Since starting with the Online Marketing Industry in 2006, I have seen and fallen into many traps, and performed many mistakes along the way because I know marketing and sales, and “this is how I would do it so it must be right.”
I was wrong!
It took a lot of wasted time and money, and tens of thousands of hard-earned dollars in marketing training, as well as countless trials and errors, and blood sweat and tears of on-the-job training, to really understand the theories behind marketing that unlock the secrets of digital business growth.
Any successful online business needs three key elements…
Online Marketing Triangle
- Website – eCommerce, Membership Website, Learning Management System (LMS) etc.
- Product – Physical, Digital, Membership etc
- Paying Visitors – Traffic
Here’s an example for you…
Craig has a blossoming business-to-consumer (B2C) business selling camping products through his online store. Craig is super busy with his physical store to want to worry about his online marketing, and he has tried employing someone to do this all for him but one person cannot do everything. They won’t listen to how Craig wants his business portrayed, and then he needs to get graphics designed, and optimised, then added to his website, and his Google ads, and his Facebook Ads.
“How many people do I need to employ to do this?” Says Craig. “It is all too hard, I wish I could just get web traffic that works!”
“…It is true – far too many clients make similar mistakes, and fall into the same traps and allow the same myths to affect their results…”
Trap Number One
Craig’s EGO! Yep, HIS EGO.
- Craig’s buyers, leads, and prospects do not care about Craig! They care about them!
- Craig’s website does not have to be 100% perfect – it will never be 100% perfect.
- 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing.
Time and time again we get hold-ups because “this image isn’t right” or “that font isn’t bold enough”, or “this Copy isn’t striking enough”.
Yes, it is important to have a functioning online business, but get up and running as soon as possible, the more eyeballs on it now makes a huge difference. Today’s buyers will be on your competitor’s website if your ads aren’t running today because of something that doesn’t really matter.
Your first ads/landing pages/offers etc are only about setting a platform to grow from. Then you test, and tweak, and monitor and tweak some more. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
It is called “optimisation”.
Much of the time what you want is not in the guidelines of ad platforms like Facebook or Google, and you run the risk of getting higher ad costs, your ads stopped but also your account could be banned.
- Copy that is negative like “are you sick of being overweight?”
- Images with a lot of text.
- Images with too much “skin”
- Controversial subjects
- A strong call-to-action (CTA)
This type of Copy is great for your website, but it is a different story when it comes to ad networks that have solid guidelines and personal reviewers.
Myth Number One
“Build it and they will come.”
Craig has spent $15,000 on a great new e-commerce store with all of the bells and whistles.
“Now let the money roll in,” he thinks.
Week 1 nothing, week 2 nothing, week 3 some visitors but no sales, same for week 4.
Craig is at a loss – “my old website got a lot of visitors, why isn’t this one?”
Trap Number Two
All websites are designed the same.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news here, but you must carry out your due diligence. Your website is the most important factors in your business success, so you must use a company that understands the best way to redesign your website so you do not lose your historical rankings within the search engines.
Too many businesses with a 10-year-old website that is generating traffic, decides to get a modern mobile friendly remake and ends up with a beautiful looking site that has lost all of its momentum because it was “re-designed”.
In Google, Bing etc, your website is just a collection of web pages, and each web page has built up over time links from various sources, and with those links comes search ranking and authority because of the content of the page.
If you build a new website and you do not keep the structural integrity of the page and the page names etc (or use correct rewrite conventions – geek out here) you will need to start over again.
This is so common – and it is such a waste!
Be sure to hire a website designer or agency that have an online marketing and “SEO” department, and ask them how they intend to keep your ranking. Also, be sure to ask this question…
“Will my site be down while this is being redesigned?”
If the answer is yes – run for the hills. No work should be carried out on a functioning website unless it is already down for some reason.
Facebook, Youtube, Instagram etc is not a place to run your business. They are all great traffic generating platforms but by conducting 100% of your business here, especially Facebook, you are leaving yourself open to losing everything in one fell swoop.
I have seen many Facebook accounts closed by Facebook because of a disgruntled client or competitor. Rightly or Wrongly your business is dead!
Your Website is the hub of your business.
Now that we have talked about your website lets look at your product.
This is usually the easy part, and where most businesses have as their starting point.
There are a few types of product sold online as follows:
- Physical Products – like Craig with his Camping Goods, easily shipped all over the country. Either from his own store or from his supplier (known as drop shipping)
- Digital Products – Downloadable files, where you can sell many times over and the only inventory is on a server. Make once and sell many times. Videos and how to training courses also fall into this category and is one of the single biggest challenges for record companies etc.
- Travel – Airline Tickets, online bookings, home-stays etc.
- Events – Concerts, Performances, Group trainings etc.
Trap Number Three
No client email list.
Whatever your product, if it is a service or something that is shipped, your list of potential clients/customers and past clients/customers is your business collateral.
On average you should be making $1 for every person on your list each month, so a large focus should be on an easy way for people to join your list, and a great email delivery service so you can give your list great information on a regular basis.
In list building, Mr & Mrs Ego show their face again in the form of:
“I don’t want a popup on my website, I hate them on sites that I visit.”
My answer to that is “Too bad, they convert!” A well placed and well-styled popup converts really well. We see lists increase their growth by over 100% from before the popup versus after.
Guess what, I hate them on sites I visit too, but there are some that I visit that I am genuinely interested in the product or service and I fill them out.
Another Huge Mistake.
One product or one pricing level.
You have clients and prospects that make small purchases and large purchases.
We all do!
So many times I see:
1. E-Commerce stores with prices around the same price level
2. Coaches with a large priced course and no smaller offering or smaller priced products with nothing larger
Have you heard of a sales funnel? It is critical to the early success of an online business. It is critical to the early success of an online business. I would love nothing more than to sell $10k per month Facebook Ads Campaigns to 50 clients a month, and we will do.
However, there is a portion of my business that spends $100 every 2 months on graphics tasks and a portion that spend only $30 per month on hosting.
Many that buy $1000 per month of SEO packages etc.
The key thing here is that there is something called the 80/20 rule and the best place to implement it is in your product offering to your list.
Oh oh, I can hear Mr & Mrs Ego again…
Do not get caught up on the terminology that some marketers used for differing levels of product.
Free products like a “Lead Magnet” or low priced often high-value products like a “Trip Wire Offer” do create resistance but we have seen conventional businesses use “Loss Leaders” to entice clients forever. Why? Because they work. Everybody loves a special price, and once they have bought from you once, it is easy for them to buy from you again (if they enjoyed the first experience).
People buy PRODUCTS that they DESIRE from people that they TRUST.
The lower priced the PRODUCT, the less TRUST is needed for someone to purchase.
Every time someone buys something from you or gets great content from you (and they want or need whatever it is), the higher their TRUST and DESIRE grow for your larger offering.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not about shady selling or sales trickery – it is about human nature and buying on value. If you see no value in what I have then you won’t buy – no matter how good it is.
Take flying across the world for example…
Economy vs Business vs First Class. It is about value. $500 ticket to a $5000 ticket for the same thing….. or is it.
80/20 Secrets of Sales
Let’s take a look at the graph below.
No matter what industry you are in – this formula works, and it is where you as an online business owner can grow your business easily by filling in the gaps in your product offering
So in this example:
There are 200 buyers on your list.
And 50 people bought a product off you for $100 (the red portion)
Using this graph there are 150 sales of $38 all the way up to 3 sales above $1000. Everything outside the red box is money left on the table.
This graph tells us that by using the 80/20 rule the 200 buyers are actually worth $24,388 in sales with an average of $122/sale.
You can use this calculator for your own list size and products at www.8020curve.com If you would like a video of how to use this and what it means for your business, please leave me your details in the comments section of this post.
So we have covered the Website and the Product side of the Online Marketing Triangle, and these are the elements that most businesses get 70% of the way in the quickest time.
Craig finds website traffic is the trickiest of the three elements to get right, and buying traffic is hard. He sees a lot of visits on his site but not many sales, and he wants to figure out why.
There are many types of website traffic, such as:
- Offline Traffic – from brochures, catalogues, newspaper & radio advertising etc.
- Organic Traffic – Search engine based traffic, where your audience searches for your product or service and a page of your website is served up and they click through. (SEO)
- Social Media Traffic – Similar to organic traffic but it comes from links in posts, or videos in Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn etc.
- Paid Traffic – From Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, LinkedIn Ads etc.
I have specialised in two of the above traffic generation methods since I opened my first Google Adwords Account and wrote my first ad in 2006.
Paid Traffic & Organic Traffic.
Since then our team of experts have run Advertising and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) campaigns for hundreds of businesses. From Cosmetic companies to international Art Galleries, Online Bingo Companies to Business Coaches, Corporates with large budgets (>$40k/mth) to Mum & Dad Businesses with smaller budgets (<$1k/mth).
We have helped them generate 100’s of thousands of dollars in business (over a million dollars for one client alone).
Traffic generation creates many of the biggest online Myths, Traps and Mistakes.
It still takes time!!
Paid traffic isn’t as instant as many clients expect. An Ad campaign really needs a minimum of 2-4 months to build and grow to find the sweet spot before it will start to generate a consistent flow of leads and sales.
In the old days when Google was the only paid ads option and clients were less aware of advertising online, it was instant and a couple of days testing a campaign were enough to test if it was going to work or not. Grab a few keywords, send them to a form on your website, get a couple of conversions then rinse and repeat whilst increasing the budget and ramp the leads up.
Now there are many factors to consider:
- Audience Targeting
- Image optimisation
- Ad copy
- Budget optimisation
- Geographic Targeting
- Landing page optimisation
- Pixel seasoning
- Product type
Budgets can go from low to high without warning, so the likes of Facebook Ads is much less set and forget than the past.
You now need to run multiple ads, multiple ad sets, variations on audience targeting etc.
Trap Number 4
Sending traffic to your Homepage.
Just like electricity and water, prospects take the path of least resistance. You want to send all traffic to a page that has one main action (called a conversion) and that one main action is to either sign up or to purchase, dependant on your product and your campaign. Too many options create confusion and drop off of leads with equals higher Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) and lower return on investment (ROI).
You must make sure that to get the best conversion of ads to leads is to have a page with the least amount of distraction possible. Maybe have a video and some text with great copy, but the only way off the page is either to fill out the form, buy the product or the close button at the top of the page.
By sending traffic to your homepage, your prospect can go where ever they wish and you have no way of directing the action based upon the reason that they clicked on your ad in the first place.
What if you have multiple products or offers? You can start with an initial “umbrella” statement or problem offer a lead magnet and then based upon the email sequences that follow direct the appropriate offer for the lead.
There are many strategies and funnel setups for many product offerings, simply reach out and we will assist you through which solution or solutions will best fit your situation.
Craig now has many ads running through an agency that runs his ads, his sales funnel, and he just sends his offers. They have a solid understanding of his audience and of the online marketing funnel above.
Craig is saving a huge amount because he doesn’t need to hire extra staff to do his online marketing or get a graphic design company to craft up his images, or try and work out how to best perform testing and measuring.
All he needs to worry about is making sure that he can stock the products that he now sells.
For the first time he is selling $5,000 bundles online and is able to get cheaper shipping as a result – life is so much easier for Craig and getting the extra online sales is a boost to his business.
About The Author
Steve Fallon – Online Advertising Specialist
Based in Brisbane Australia, Steve is Head of Advertising for Web Traffic That Works, specialising in Facebook and Google paid ads.
Over the past 11 years, Steve has consulted to a total of 353 small businesses and large corporations all over the world, developing and managing online advertising.
After a long and successful sales management career, Steve transitioned into online marketing in 2006 after becoming a Business Consultant with Results In Business Institute (RIBI). Steve saw a way to help small business owners with the internet, and create an advantage for his clients leveraging strategies through online marketing.
Due to the fact that all major advertising platforms use complicated algorithms that change and improve, Steve is at the forefront of education through Google and Facebook partnership programs, as well as industry-leading marketing training programs.