We spend so much time and money getting traffic to our websites, building our subscriber lists, etc. It’s understandable that one of the biggest questions I get is “how can I improve conversion on my website?”
Think for a minute about the difference between “making contact” and “making an impact”. The difference is huge. For example, you could send a spam email to half a million people this afternoon, if you wanted to do that. It wouldn’t cost very much, and you would be “making contact” with a large number of people, right? But what would it get you? Probably…not much. Consider the fact that “making contact” is probably not really what you’re going for. What you REALLY want to achieve is “making an impact“.
IMPACT: The secret to a 70% opt-in rate
When you “make an impact”…that’s when your conversions go through the roof. That’s the difference between getting a 3% and a 70% opt-in rate. I know, because I’ve been on both sides of that fence. So many people ask me how to get more traffic out to their site, and I respond that my most profitable site only gets a few thousand visitors per month.
If you want to build a site that gets hundreds of thousands of page views monthly, I’m not your guy. I’ve never done that. But if you want to be highly effective with your niche marketing campaigns, that’s precisely what I do. Do you really want to just get more and more traffic? Or do you want to make a much greater impact on the people that matter most to your business?
The direction marketing is headed
We hear about all the A-listers out there who have tens- or even hundreds of thousands of subscribers, but did you know there is an entire world of marketers that make a fantastic living on a list of just a few hundred people? Today there are more businesses marketing online than ever. And do you think that number is going up or down? More new businesses flood the interwebz daily. It’s a beautiful thing. But with as noisy as things are these days, they’re only going to get noisier. This means we need to have a greater IMPACT on our visitors. We NEED to get better conversions, because most of us are not in a niche where getting a hundred thousand visitors a month is even viable. It’s not part of our business model. We need to get great visitors, and we need to keep them.
Focus on engagement. While it’s great to have a big list and a lot of traffic, there is ALWAYS a small segment of your list that is comprised of the people that really “get” you. Focus on them. Focus on making a big impact on a small number of people. I know, it potentially means doing away with the ego stroke of being able to say “I have an Alexa rating of X” or “I have a million-bazillion RSS subscribers”. For some business models, these type of metrics matter. They have their place. But for us small business owners running a website to a niche audience, we need to focus on what’s actually going to grow our business.
How to make an IMPACT
At the end of the day, this isn’t rocket science. Thank God, right? It’s why I love this business. It’s OK to just let it be simple. How do I get awesome conversions with my websites? I have opt-in forms that convert at over 70%, because I build the opt-in form especially for a small, highly targeted group of people. So when they visit my web page, it’s almost impossible for them to not take advantage of my offer. It was built, after all, with them in mind. It speaks straight to their most pressing need, and they know it. They know they’re not looking at a mass-marketed offer, because they’re NOT looking at a mass-marketed offer! They’re looking at an offer that was put together especially for them. They’re looking straight down the barrel of a highly targeted “impact marketing” campaign.
You can do this too. It’s the difference between sending a black and white direct mailing piece, or visiting them in person and shaking their hand. It’s the difference between having your customer on an autoresponder, or taking note of their mailing address when they place an order, and sending them a handwritten thank you note. It’s the difference between having an opt-in box in the sidebar of your blog, or having 7 different opt-in pages…each one targeted to a specific segment of your readership.
Of course, in order to have high conversions like this, you have to do two things:
- You have to pay close attention to your clients and customers. You have to know them.
- You have to take the time to engage people personally.
People KNOW the difference between automated mass communication and authentic engagement. Personalizing an email is fine, but people still know it’s a broadcast message. They’re not impressed. Mass communication is important, so I’m not saying otherwise, but if you want high conversions you need to go the extra mile.
Authentic engagement is what causes high conversion rates, and it’s just something that cannot be faked. It also cannot be automated. It’s a business decision we all have to make, but if you want to make every visitor count, and if you want stellar conversion rates, that’s how you do it. Make an impact.