It’s one thing to generate traffic to your web page. I have consulted and taught endlessly about doing just that. However, once the traffic from your target audience is generated, then what? It’s been my experience that too many people don’t know what to do with the web traffic once it comes in, or aren’t aware of the challenges of turning web traffic into buying customers. But allow me to provide an overview of how it’s done.
First, there has to be a recognition by web-page owners that traffic to your web page, even if it’s targeted and done properly, is probably the coldest type of sales lead out there. In fact, most people don’t recognize just how cold these leads are, which leads to a myriad of mistakes, including hard-selling your leads far before they’re ready to buy anything from you.
There are various reasons why internet traffic is so cold and, at least initially, why web visitors are unlikely to buy something from you right away. It’s the first time people are visiting your site. They know very little about you. Many people have deeply-imbedded fears about doing business with people they don’t know online.
Specifically, the following are the kinds of questions that initial visitors to your website will have, and will often prevent them from acting further with you.
Doubts Visitors Will Initially Have About You:
Before you can even begin to start answering these types of questions successfully, and remove the natural barriers people have raised when visiting websites, you have to establish a relationship of trust. And you do this through what’s known as reciprocity, which is essentially an arrangement where both parties benefit. In other words, in order to get something (a decision to purchase from a lead), you have to be willing to give something.
Now, many web-page owners — not all — recognize this need for reciprocity, and will offer incoming web traffic various types of content to address it. However, much of it is unsuccessful because there is no recognition of the size of the gap that exists between cold internet traffic and hot sales leads. So, putting up content just for the sake of it will not get the job done properly. Believe me.
Your Content Needs To Be Great!
Instead, there needs to be an understanding on the part of web-page owners of the buying process involved that turns traffic into leads. There are a series of dots (the questions listed above) that need to be connected for a person in order for them to be ready to buy something from you. To get there, your traffic needs to get the following from you: knowledge, trust, credibility and authority. It’s these principles you need to keep in mind when structuring the reciprocity relationship.
So, to bridge this gap between cold web traffic and hot sales leads, the content that you provide, which can consist of articles, videos, presentations, tutorials — you name It — needs to contain three vital elements, or what’s called the Three E’s: Empathy, Education, Empowerment.
It’s only when your content engages your web visitors in these three important ways that you’ll begin to turn your cold traffic into hot leads.
Empathy involves letting someone know that you understand their situation; that you can actually put yourself in their shoes. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton once famously said to voters, “I feel your pain.” He earned the trust of many of them, and won the election. It’s this kind of empathy, although on a deeper level, that you need to establish with your web traffic. This creates the credibility and authority you need for them to buy from you.
Education, the first step is to explain to people why their predicament exists in the first place. If you can explain this to web page visitors better than they can explain it to themselves, then you’re almost there. You will have built enough trust to get to the second step, which is to provide the solutions for them, which they’re far more likely to believe you have if you’ve demonstrated adequate education and understanding of their situation.
Empowerment, you will have demonstrated that you have a specific solution tailored to the client, and not just a general rule that’s supposed to work in most cases. This way, the lead will have been empowered by the content you have provided to them, and will now believe you have the specific answers to address their specific needs.
Where Most People Fail
It’s been my experience that many people actually implement these three E’s into their lead-generating online content. However, they also tend to fall short in a couple of very important areas.
First, there’s often a failure to distinguish between two types of sales leads: product-based leads and service-based leads.
This is a very important distinction to make because the type of lead associated with your business will affect the type of contact and engagement you make with them, and thus affect the type of reciprocity involved in turning a cold lead into a hot prospect.
With product-based leads, you’re looking for qualified traffic to buy your product, which in many cases is only limited by the number of units you have. On the other hand, with service-based leads, your qualified traffic will be further limited by the turnover involved, usually within a period of 24 hours, in making them a client, rather than simply a purchaser. This turnover requires the investing of time an effort in establishing a client relationship in a way that’s not applicable to product-based leads.
As a result, even though both types of leads involve the establishing of reciprocity (give something to get something) through the implementation of the three E’s (empathy, education, empowerment), they differ in terms of the way in which you maximize your time, money and efforts to establish this reciprocity. This distinction is crucial. Without it, your lead-generation efforts could be very wasteful.
For example, with product-based leads, volume is usually essential, so you would engage your web traffic by putting them through the sales buying process. What does this involve? Well, if you think about it, when you go to buy a product, a sales person will often demonstrate it to you. So, that’s exactly what you do with your lead-generation content for product-based leads. A demo video showcasing how your product works is an excellent example of how this is done effectively.
With service-based leads, your lead-generation efforts require the added layer of funnelling your web traffic through a qualifying process. This is necessary because of the extra time and effort needed to turn a lead into a client. So, whatever reciprocity campaigns you initiate need to be directed towards leads that have already been qualified. There are various methods to do this, and I can provide further guidance on all of them.
Taking Your Content To The Next Level
All these steps are necessary in the process of turning your cold web traffic into hot sales leads. However, it’s still not enough. I’ve seen a lot of content posted on websites that’s meant to address all these concerns — whether it’s written materials, videos, audio presentations, etc., — but much of it falls short because it fails to contain the following three additional elements:
Your content needs to be consumable, digestible, and actionable. Otherwise, it will be ignored.
For your content to be consumable it means that it must be structured such that the audience is capable and willing to consume it. In today’s media age, people sometimes only have a few seconds, or minutes to consume what you have to offer. So, unless your content is to the point, and ready for quick consumption, the audience won’t bite (forgive the pun).
Your content is digestible when it’s offered in a format that is easily understood by your target audience. So, for example, if you’re offering a video on the topic of learning English as a second language, it would be wise to offer a narrative to people still struggling with the language, rather than providing a university lecture. Again, your content should be easy to understand.
Which makes the final requirement that much more achievable, which is to make sure your content is actionable. Once it’s consumed and digested, your audience will then need to know what simple action(s) are required to take the next step. This actionable content involves having your audience come to you in order to complete the buying process.
Establishing Long-Term Customer Relationships
So, that, in a nutshell, is the outline of how you turn your cold web traffic into hot sales leads. You need to remove the barriers that people have once visiting your website. You do this by providing a reciprocity in which visitors learn to trust you. By connecting the dots in the buying process, you will have provided content that not only empathizes, educates and empowers, but that is consumable, digestible and actionable.
That is how you achieve buying actions from your web traffic and establish long-term relationships with the people that visit your web page.
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