There’s a place where the marketing is cheap and the conversion rates are higher than anywhere on earth. It’s a nirvana that I was blind to, until now.
Getting new customers is a killer, right? You can spend lots of time and money putting your message in front of strangers who don’t know you, and who aren’t interested in what you’re selling.
Not in marketing nirvana though, which I found as a result of making a big mistake.
My big mistake
A few years ago I wrote an eBook. It was the first online product I ever created and sold.
I ran AdWords and tweaked different things, but my campaign never generated a consistent profit. Over a longer period I realised my ads were only breaking even. So, I stopped running them. Seems logical, right? No profit, so what’s the point?
The maths behind my blunder
Let’s say you spend $100/day on AdWords and only break even on your $30 service or product. Over a year that’s $36,500 spent for $0 profit. Ouch. But keep in mind, that’s 1200 happy customers! Some businesses would consider the lack of profits a failure. But that’s short-sighted.
Why? Because now you have 1200 hot prospects for a new/improved/complementary/recurring service or product. Your existing clients are hotter prospects than you will find on any list, in any demographic, or through any market research. They’ve found you, understood you, trusted you, chosen you, paid you, and been satisfied.
You are now in the business of serving this group of people. And if you can serve your 1200 customers to the tune of $100 per customer per year, that’s $120k with no more advertising.
But wait, there’s more
Consider that you can up-sell to bigger products, cross-sell to more products, sell consumables or maintenance services for recurring revenue, or offer a monthly membership. We could be talking multiples of $120k, which isn’t bad for a business that was only breaking even.
And don’t forget that next year you might double the size of your customer pool, with another 1200 customers through AdWords, and you’ll have 1200+ customers out there doing your marketing for you. Talking, tweeting, and recommending you.
Could this be our transition from business marketing that’s difficult, to marketing that’s easy? Could we spend less time chasing new clients, and focus on the most fertile prospects – the ones right in front of us? What if new customers helped us grow, but were no longer required for us to eat each week?
If we have built our own pool of willing customers, and tailored our products or services for them, could we avoid the mess of SEO strategy, social media strategy, cold calling, and the entire suite of marketing challenges that swamp us? And no longer roll the dice on Google rankings, Facebook policies, and fluctuating marketing budgets?
As long as we produce a happy customer, and have a way to keep in touch with them (email, mail, or phone), that’s it.
Should we stop marketing to strangers altogether?
It’s true we all have to start with new customers, but if we can see that the first sale is the hardest, most expensive, and least profitable, shouldn’t we be hell-bent on leaving this phase as soon as we can, and playing an easier game in marketing nirvana?
Are you focused more on getting new customers or existing ones? Have I found marketing nirvana?