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Mixing Tactics and Making Sales

TacticsIn my previous post I wrote how educating customers can provide more sales, increased trust and loyalty.

Richard asked in the comments if people took this advice would advertising diminish.

I started answering as a comment but then I realized the issue deserved a full post.

Advertising Versus Blogging?

So first things first, do I advocate blogging instead of advertising? No.

Blogging is not a marketing strategy, it is one tactic of many. Using one tactic to the exclusion of others is rarely a smart move. The best approach is to use complimentary tactics, of which advertising could well be one of them.

Using Multiple Tactics

You need to approach your audience with

  1. what they need,
  2. when they need it,
  3. where they need it.

Look at what I do. My marketing reaches out in a number of ways. I have a blog, two email lists, an email sequence, a forum, I guest post and do interviews, speak, and just co-authored a book (did you think I wrote a book for the money?). I have even used advertising as a test where I drove awareness of my flagship content ebook, which of course requires an opt-in to get.

While I don’t advertise now, Google Adwords could be a fantastic way to do this for your business. By matching your response (offer, search result) to your prospect’s questions (search phrases and keywords) you fulfill the requirements I just set out in one go.

Advertising to Educate

In the last post I said advertisers should be aware of the buying cycle. Advertising is not the only tactic. Going from advert to sale is only appropriate for people who are ready to buy *right now*

If your customer is ready, and they will show this through the search phrases, by all means send them to the sales page. What you do not want to do though is send a researching customer to a buying page. That is where education comes into play.

They could instead use the same Google ad budget to drive people to

  • your blog
  • an informative email sequence,
  • video series,
  • customer adviser call back,
  • webinar event
  • or PDF report.

Instead of going from advert to sale, you will find it far easier to go from advert to opt-in, from opt-in to eduction, and from education to sale. Providing you offer value all along the way this patient no-pressure technique will definitely pay off.

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Comments

  1. Chris –

    Am I the only one getting annoyed with everyone posting Google ads in their blog? How many people actually click on those links, which are typically not relevant?

    This is brilliant insight!
    “Instead of going from advert to sale, you will find it far easier to go from advert to opt-in, from opt-in to education, and from education to sale. Providing you offer value all along the way this patient no-pressure technique will definitely pay off.”

  2. Chris –

    Am I the only one getting annoyed with everyone posting Google ads in their blog? How many people actually click on those links, which are typically not relevant?

    This is brilliant insight!
    “Instead of going from advert to sale, you will find it far easier to go from advert to opt-in, from opt-in to education, and from education to sale. Providing you offer value all along the way this patient no-pressure technique will definitely pay off.”

  3. You can also use education before opt-in. You may ultimately get more opt-ins by educating first. Then promising even more education for opt-ins.

    Nice post.

  4. You can also use education before opt-in. You may ultimately get more opt-ins by educating first. Then promising even more education for opt-ins.

    Nice post.

  5. I have noticed that this is something that a lot of web marketers are getting wrong. I would search for something along the lines of “how to install widgets” and the ads in the sidebar would all be for buying the damn things.

    In my day job I spend hours looking up information for specifying and searching on Google is a pain because all of the sites that you get on the first page are for selling, if I find some good information I am going to spec it and that supplier is going to get a sale for 100s of units rather than the one or two that people may get at the checkouts.

  6. I have noticed that this is something that a lot of web marketers are getting wrong. I would search for something along the lines of “how to install widgets” and the ads in the sidebar would all be for buying the damn things.

    In my day job I spend hours looking up information for specifying and searching on Google is a pain because all of the sites that you get on the first page are for selling, if I find some good information I am going to spec it and that supplier is going to get a sale for 100s of units rather than the one or two that people may get at the checkouts.

  7. I have Google Adsense on my blog. And I can honestly say the ads that they run make little to no sense to the post that people are reading.

    Before I jump on the bandwagon that critizes Google for displaying first page selling sites, let me say that if these people were not selling they would either be out of business or on their way out of business. If they are selling then I hold nothing against them.

    The sale, as long as it is ethical, is what counts.

    There is no growing of a business, tuition reimbursement, corporate taxes paid, or charitable contributions made without a sale.

    So making a sale, even through a structured sales pitch, is good.

    Like I said in a previous comment, I believe that advertising on the internet is becoming less effective. But I do believe a sale is a sale.

    Live From Las Vegas
    The Masked Millionaire

  8. I have Google Adsense on my blog. And I can honestly say the ads that they run make little to no sense to the post that people are reading.

    Before I jump on the bandwagon that critizes Google for displaying first page selling sites, let me say that if these people were not selling they would either be out of business or on their way out of business. If they are selling then I hold nothing against them.

    The sale, as long as it is ethical, is what counts.

    There is no growing of a business, tuition reimbursement, corporate taxes paid, or charitable contributions made without a sale.

    So making a sale, even through a structured sales pitch, is good.

    Like I said in a previous comment, I believe that advertising on the internet is becoming less effective. But I do believe a sale is a sale.

    Live From Las Vegas
    The Masked Millionaire

  9. Chris- I so absolutely agree with this, that as my own business has gained momentum over the last five years, I’ve actually taken to slowing down potential buyers/clients. I don’t want the spontaneous sale as much as I want someone who has really truly decided they want what I’m offering.

    As a result I have a better connection with the clients that do show up, and have an extremely low rate of return on products sold- well under .5%.

    It’s not that we don’t push sales- we do. But only to people who in relationship with us in some way- never to a stranger at the door.

    It just feels better, and I’ve seen plenty of growth in the business as a result.

  10. Chris- I so absolutely agree with this, that as my own business has gained momentum over the last five years, I’ve actually taken to slowing down potential buyers/clients. I don’t want the spontaneous sale as much as I want someone who has really truly decided they want what I’m offering.

    As a result I have a better connection with the clients that do show up, and have an extremely low rate of return on products sold- well under .5%.

    It’s not that we don’t push sales- we do. But only to people who in relationship with us in some way- never to a stranger at the door.

    It just feels better, and I’ve seen plenty of growth in the business as a result.

  11. @Tony – Some contextual ads are well matched, on one of the blogs I write on I mentioned a particular musician and their ringtone ad appeared alongside. I agree though, many are just crufting up the pages and serve no use.

    @George – Yes very true, the temptation is to make every penny count but by offering something with no strings you can actually gain more trust. Blogs are perfect for the “no strings free sample” 🙂

    @Jeff – Indeed, and half the time the sites are not actually selling but providing secondary ads for the people who are. My wife is currently researching rental properties on Vancouver island, she is constantly frustrated by all the junk/spam/buy-buy-buy, so much she nearly gave up and called a brand name agent. There is an opportunity for the smaller brands to be the customer champion here in most markets.

    @The Masked Millionaire – Sales are the bottom line, but how you get there can be long term profitable or short term cash spike. Like the famous saying “I make a loss on each unit but I make up for it in volume!” 😉

    @Mark – It definitely does feel better, I think there is something very icky about the hard sell that is completely absent when you know your customer is making an informed purchase. Both your customer and you can feel good when you are both confident in the deal.

  12. @Tony – Some contextual ads are well matched, on one of the blogs I write on I mentioned a particular musician and their ringtone ad appeared alongside. I agree though, many are just crufting up the pages and serve no use.

    @George – Yes very true, the temptation is to make every penny count but by offering something with no strings you can actually gain more trust. Blogs are perfect for the “no strings free sample” 🙂

    @Jeff – Indeed, and half the time the sites are not actually selling but providing secondary ads for the people who are. My wife is currently researching rental properties on Vancouver island, she is constantly frustrated by all the junk/spam/buy-buy-buy, so much she nearly gave up and called a brand name agent. There is an opportunity for the smaller brands to be the customer champion here in most markets.

    @The Masked Millionaire – Sales are the bottom line, but how you get there can be long term profitable or short term cash spike. Like the famous saying “I make a loss on each unit but I make up for it in volume!” 😉

    @Mark – It definitely does feel better, I think there is something very icky about the hard sell that is completely absent when you know your customer is making an informed purchase. Both your customer and you can feel good when you are both confident in the deal.