Back in 2007, I came up with a term – “The 400-to-1 Principle” – to describe the outcome on an online marketing promotion we just completed, a promotion which reinforced that success in online – and offline – marketing is all about working the RIGHT numbers rather than pursuing a mass marketing strategy.
At that time, a new Affiliate boasted to me that he would dominate my sales in the next 30 days by using the latest traffic generation techniques. The outcome was interesting:
- The new Affiliate sent 40,000 visitors to our website in that particular month.
HIS RESULT: One (1) sale for $25.00!
- By comparison, one of my regular Affiliates sent 100 visitors during the same period.
THEIR RESULT: Thirty five (35) sales all in excess of $150!
The “new” affiliate won on traffic-deliverability – by a factor of 400-to-1, hence why I coined that phrase. However, he lost the race on conversions by the proverbial mile. All he did was prove that quality is always more important than numbers.
Here’s some tips on building a QUALITY sales / relationship funnel:
Don’t Listen To Everything Promoters Of List Building Programs Tell You
Their big sales pitch is that “you need a list – and we’ll show you how to build it”.
Well they are right, you do need a list, but what they don’t often tell you is that:
- email open rates have dropped alarmingly (often to below 20%)
- many who subscribe for a free offer are info junkies and may never purchase anything from you
- many of the email addresses used are short term addresses which are dropped after a few weeks/ months and therefore non-delivery is high
List building can be quite an expensive exercise and so you really need to be aware that a lot of your effort – and financial investment – may not pay off.
Therefore, don’t get hung up about numbers. If you focus on quality, then the above won’t be an issue.
Pre-Qualify Your Leads
Back in 1991 when in the mail house sector, I did some work for an American direct marketer who sent out 1-2 million postcards a month inviting people to send $3.00 for a sample of their product.
This low cost promotion (8 cents / unit in those days) helped them build a list of respondees who they could direct market higher priced offers. It was a qualification process, something which today’s Internet world seems to have forgotten due to this crazy mindset that “getting a name” via a FREE offer is the best way to build a list.
The fact is that buyers – even at a low introductory / sample price – are always going to deliver a better result if you want to build a longer term relationship.
Finding a way to pre-qualify your list has to be a priority!
Many online marketers who push the FREE model for list building will probably shout me down on that one, but hey, the jury is still out on the FREE model!
Maintain Regular Contact
Building a list can be a totally wasted exercise if you don’t maintain contact.
Now there’s no point in bombarding your subscribers with emails unless you have something really relevant to pass on.
If you do bombard without delivering value, then all you’re going to do is increase the chances of their unsubscribing or ignoring your future communications.
VALUE is the operative word above. It may be an alert to a new resource you have just released, an invitation to a webinar, a special offer, or or simply a tip. As long as there’s value to your subscriber, then the chances of their acting are increased.
Develop An Effective Social Media Strategy
Many social network users believe that a big fan / follower base gives them bragging rights or a huge direct marketing base.
Now I know some people have had great commercial success after establishing big follower / friend bases … but having big numbers does not work for everyone!
There’s a special way to build relationships on social networks. There are many who are very good at it, and I am really enjoying watching – and learning – their processes on Google+.
These “social media pros” are NOT playing a numbers game. Instead, they are focusing on content … and using that to build “their brand”.
They know that more people will follow them for this reason – and most importantly, more people will read their posts. The people who read those posts on a regular basis are all prime targets for their books, services, etc.
They are not adding all and sundry to their Circles. In fact, some have added less than 100 people to their Circles yet may have 500,000+ people following them.
They’re very different to the self proclaimed “guru” internet marketers in that their giving and sharing process comes across as being sincere rather than as a staged and methodical sales pitch!
Time is always going to be your biggest enemy when it comes to social media…
If you’re not a celebrity, then trying to attract thousands of followers is crazy for he simple reason that nurturing your follower base requires a substantial amount of time and effort. One social media celebrity – Guy Kawasaki – has actually stated in a post on Google+ that he allocates 2 or more hours a day to his activities there. ( He’s a magnificent person to follow because of the quality of his posts plus his personal engagement in the conversations which flow from his posts.)
Have you got time like this to allocate daily?
The reality is that you need time like this to find and / or develop content that you can share, read everything that people post, and encourage conversation.
My recommendation is to work out how much time you can allocate to social media plus what you want to gain from your involvement, and then structure a strategy accordingly.
There is NO one size fits all. Your strategy has to be one which suits you!
How are you “working the numbers” on your website and social media accounts?