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    Hugh Thyer
    • Total posts: 159

    I posted this a few weeks ago on my blog, and I thought I’d post it here because it seems that it might be relevant to a few people posting questions about marketing and advertising. Its one thing to know where to advertise, and another to understand the process.

    Here it is…

    Are you REALLY getting the response you deserve?

    I’m sure you’d appreciate it if I’m blunt. You see, I bet you’re NOT getting anywhere near the response from your advertising that you SHOULD be.

    OK, I’m sure people DO respond to your ads, but whenever you place an ad somewhere, I reckon its probably seen by thousands of people. And yet if you’re lucky, only 1 or 2 will actually respond.

    Do you have a yellow pages ad? It’s a good example. Every time somebody goes to the section where your ad is, your ad is right there in front of them. But of the thousands that see it, how many call?

    I bet you only get a few calls out of the many thousands that see your ad. Yes, I’ll concede that you DO get calls. But only because of the shotgun approach, where if enough people see your ad, someone’s BOUND to call at some time. Problem is, what happened to all the other people who saw your ad and decided NOT to call?

    You see, to get your phone ringing red-hot, you need a full system for getting your prospect from looking for someone to do business with, to getting them as a full customer.

    OK, now most people run yellow pages ads with their business name, logo and contact details. But what that ad is asking is that people make the decision there and then that your business is the one they want to do business with (or at least on a shortlist).

    That’s a big ask. So, here’s a different alternative.

    Why not just offer them something for free. No obligation, nothing. Just something for free. A good example for an accountant might be a free report on the “7 Ways To Rip Off The Tax Department…Legally”. So, while you’re not asking your prospect to become a client, you’ve offered them good free information….
    …and so they take up the offer. The nice thing here is they’ve got something of value, and you’ve done it in a way that wont make them feel threatened.

    In the report (or should I say content-rich sales letter) you offer them an audit of their last year’s tax return absolutely free. And they can take your results and get the tax department to give you even more back. So, there’s some incentive there!

    Once you’ve done the audit, your audit contains another offer, this time to get the prospect to commit to using your services. It might be a free consultation, or a percentage off their next tax return. And because you’ve proven your ability with the audit, they’d be mad NOT to take your offer up and become a client.

    Sounding better so far?

    Well, we can bolt on a few more things here, because we can pick up clients through newspaper ads, or your website.

    And then, we should be sending out follow up letters as well.

    So now we’ve got a simple yet effective marketing funnel.

    Here it is, drawn out.


    Of course it gets bigger than this. You could have lots more steps in it to include referrals, pay-per-click campaigns, up-sells into different services and so on. I’ve seen marketing plans with over 30 different steps including phone calls and faxes, and especially emails, depending on where people come in to your business. I put together a basic one the other week which could grow to include upsells to different products, boxes of products, affiliate programs and so on.

    Hang on, did I say ‘affiliate program’? Sure did. This applies to the online world as well. In fact, you can use any number of tools to automate this whole thing for an online business, so depending on where your prospect first comes in contact with your business, you can roll out an entire marketing funnel to them over weeks, without lifting a finger.

    Look, even as a tradesperson you can use a marketing funnel to do the exact same thing. It might start with leads coming from various sources such as the yellow pages, local newspapers, the internet, direct mail, referrals and so on. Then leads to free information, or a free audit of their needs, to writing up a proposal (giving you the chance to sell other services) and once you’re done, you can offer cleaning products or matching decor, depending on what business you’re in. And dont forget to promote your referral service, and give your customer an incentive to refer other people on.

    Give it a go with your own business. Grab a whiteboard and go nuts. You’ll be amazed at how many ideas you can come up with to get heaps of new customers, and how to lead them through the process to becoming a buyer.

    One last though here…the value of a business is in its systems. A business with a solid, PROVEN method for getting customers and getting more out of your relationship with them is worth MUCH more than the business without any of this.

    • Total posts: 113

    Thanks Hugh, yes it gets more complicated than this :)

    • Total posts: 634

    Interesting article, Hugh.

    I’d take it a step further, however and say that 95% of businesses are wasting their money doing any kind of broad spectrum advertising (whether that’s yellow pages or in the paper).

    That same money could be funneled into activities like direct mail which could yield anywhere from 100 to 1,000% better returns.

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