Optimize Sales Funnel Profits with Testing and Tracking

A critical tool in the area of performance improvement is the ability to identify areas within your business that are in need of improving.  Although the sales funnel is by no means a new tool for managing a sales process, it can help ascertain which actions could potentially help the sales and marketing processes increase the level of “deal” or sales flow while lowering sales costs.

In a perfect world, everyone’s sales funnel would be in the shape of a straight pipe. This would mean 100% efficiency and profit from top to bottom of the funnel. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. Our real-world funnels have a significantly different shape involved. We can take this perfect funnel shape and use it as a model of what we are actually looking for.

Advertising Methods.  In order to get your sales funnel up and running, it often requires some experimentation. This can actually be necessary on a continual basis as different methods to market and capture leads or prospects hit the ever-changing internet world. There was a time when banner ads and newsletter advertising were the only way to go. Today, however they are joined by new and improved options such as social media, video, blogging, PPC or pay-per-click and a variety of other options.

Test and track various advertising options to evaluate not only which methods drive the most traffic to your site but which methods result in the most opt-ins and conversions.  For example, you may find that PPC results in a ton of click throughs but a low opt-in rate and your social media marketing efforts have a lower click through rate but an outstanding opt-in or conversion rate.  Then you can fine tune your advertising and marketing strategy.

Front-End Offers.  Let’s face it, some front-end offers and marketing strategies are going to work better than others.  You may have an entire funnel designed and the marketing implemented and find that your entry-level product doesn’t sell at all.  Perhaps the majority of your customers are entering your funnel at a higher price point.  This isn’t a setback but rather an advantage to modify your marketing strategy and make even more money. However, the key to discovering this opportunity is to pay great attention to your sales figures, conversion rates and even how people arrive at your site.

Back-End Offers.  Many prospects will convert into customers.  This group of people can now be used to test back end offers.  Consider testing and tracking various offers and different levels in your sales funnel.  While each back-end offer will be designed to enhance your customer’s initial purchase, you may find one offer sells much better than another.  By testing and tracking this information, you can optimize your strategy and thus maximize profits.

Always, implement testing and tracking procedures for each and every marketing strategy, it’s the only way to make sure you’re on track and to fine tune your sales funnel for the most profits and results.

Building a Mailing List

The most important step you will ever take to grow your online business, whether or not it’s client-based or customer-based:  will be quickly starting a mailing list.

It sounds so easy, doesn’t it?  Yet setting up a mailing list is the step countless entrepreneurs procrastinate over the most.

Although it can be an intimidating process, if you know what you’re doing and what pieces to focus on you’ll be able to include this crucial component quite easily.

You’ve done most of the basic groundwork for your business:  Thoroughly researched your market, identified your best paying customer and created at least a rough business plan and sales funnel.  The next step is to build a list of subscribers who are pre-qualified and predisposed to buy from you.

Here is an overview of exactly what steps are involved in creating and setting up an effective, growing Mailing List… of responsive customers and clients:

  1. An irresistible incentive (your “freebie”), to entice readers to part with their highly-prized contact information
  2. An irresistible “squeeze” page (landing page)
  3. Choosing and setting up your Autoresponder service
  4. Creating and uploading a fascinating Autoresponder email series — that flows smoothly
  5. Maintaining momentum and maximizing your assets

Many of my clients get stuck right at number one.  What can I offer?  What do I create?  I don’t want you to be bogged down by this one step.  Keep moving with action and make a decision.  Here’s what you need to consider:  Take a look at what your ideal customer or client needs, where are they in their journey… and try to anticipate their next need.

Think of creative ways to offer a juicy freebie that fills the gap.  Some ideas are:

  • A “how to” video or webinar
  • A free local (or online) workshop
  • A “taste” of your product or services
  • A free email mini-course

Maintain a presence online, build your community, dedicate a set time per day to social networking, hold webinars…

Your journey has only just begun — but pay attention to these 5 steps and implementing them in your biz plan your list will grow and prosper almost organically.

Real Biz How Tos

Are you feeling like your spreading yourself in too many different areas of your business? Do you struggle to get your biz plans off the drawing board table and into action?  It’s time to allow yourself to BUILD and GROW a strong business foundation with the right tools.

My colleague, Barb VerCande and I, are co-hosting The Biz HOW Power Virtual Training Series March 20th – 29th!

This training series is going to fill your tool shed with ideas, knowledge and skills to explode your business.  The best part – it’s all happening online so you can listen in from wherever you are by phone or on your computer.   It’s just that easy!

This amazing line-up of 14 leading experts ready to show you how to equip your business masterfully to implement secrets and techniques that will BUILD and GROW your business in no time!

Do you think you have to wear all the hats in your business and do it all by yourself? We’re here to tell you that we have a new solution for you – The Biz HOW Power Series!

http://tinyurl.com/bizhowpower

NOW is the time to fill the cracks in your business without having to figure it out all on your own. In the Biz How Power Series, you will get the H.O.W – “Harness the Insight, Organize your Plan and Weave it into Action”.

What if I told you that you don’t have to do it all alone and you have the opportunity to release the feeling of spinning on the hamster wheel, build your business and have more freedom!

Learn the D.I.Y. tools from attracting the right clients, to speaking your message, to setting up your web site, to outsourcing to a virtual assistant and everything in between.  Let yourself have the freedom to be brilliant at that thing you do by learning how to use powerful tools.

It’s time for ACTION!  I promise, you are going to love it!

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Go here to get all the details:
http://tinyurl.com/bizhowpower

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Please share this event and let others know how you’ve managed your business by leaving a comment.
 

Define Your Webinar Purpose

There’s just no getting around it: Webinars are a “must” nowadays in every internet marketer’s bag of essential tools. And it doesn’t matter if you’re not quite ready to go that route quite just yet — it still needs to be thought about, planned for, envisioned and ready to set in motion when the time comes.

Putting together a profitable webinar doesn’t have to be overwhelming or complicated. If you can talk on the phone, you can host a webinar. You just need a little guidance and some careful planning.

How to define the purpose for your webinar

In order to have a successful webinar you must first establish a purpose for your webinar. Is it to teach, train, inform, excite, impress, market or a combination of these aspects?
Do you know exactly the products or services you wish to promote through a webinar?
Do you have a clear idea of what to talk about during the webinar?

What is your product? — Believe or not some people who have a lot of information do not have a clear idea of what their product is. Before having a webinar you should know specifically which one product you will be promoting so that you can fine tune your message and get the audience excited about your product.

One idea is to bundle your existing products that relate to one another into packages. Always create more than one package, one inexpensive, and one more expensive. If you have a large attendance there is always someone who will want all that you have to offer, while others will want to just stick their toe into your product offerings.

Who is your audience? — You must also know your audience or target market. It’s not everyone! you must fine tune and laser target your market in order to be able to give an effective webinar presentation. If your audience is full of mothers, make sure you are talking in words and examples that they can relate to.

If you’re talking to business executives your examples will be far different than if you are talking to stay at home moms who wish to work from home, for example. Sure some of the moms will also be executives, but all moms relate to “mom things” but all moms are not executives.

Sell or inform? — Your purpose of your webinar is to either sell or inform or a combination of both, but it is always better to go with the information aspects because most webinar attendees will not want to be involved in an extended telemarketing call. Instead they want to be engaged, informed and inspired to act by your webinar.

Listen, I’ve hosted webinars, and I know how nerve-wracking it can be the first (or seventh) time you stand up in front of that virtual audience. But with a helping hand, you’ll be able to plan away your nervousness and make every webinar a success. Give it a try. Before you know it you’ll be an expert host!

Joint Ventures Multiply Your Results

By our very nature, we entrepreneurs want to do everything ourselves. We want to take on the world, build a huge business AND do it all on our own. We are the consummate DIYers.

I struggled with the idea that I needed to do it all myself for many years. But finally, I couldn’t deny that trying to do it all was actually holding me back. Not only is it true that I CAN’T do it all – I SHOULDN’T be doing it all. And neither should you! So – today’s blog covers leveraging the work of others by getting into some smart joint ventures.

If you’re wondering what a joint venture is, it’s simply teaming up or collaborating with other business owners to get something done. And right now you want to add more subscribers to your email list. As long as you both benefit, you’re doing it right.

The number of ways in which you can partner with other business owners to build your list (and theirs!) is only limited by your imagination. Here are some common ways to partner up with another business owner and build your list:

Email – If you both have email lists, one way to build your list is to simply ask your JV partner to tell her list a bit about who you are, why she trusts you and why she highly recommends they pay attention to what you have to say. In exchange you can do the same. It’s an easy way to increase your reach.

Giveaway – Add on to the email idea above by including a giveaway for your partner’s list. Be careful what you give away as it will be the subscriber’s first introduction to you and your business. Pick something to both impress them and leave them wondering what else you have to offer.

Write for Them – Guest blogging is certainly a joint venture option. You may also want to partner with people who own ‘authority’ sites and contribute as an author. At the end of your article or blog post, include a call to action that leads people directly to your email list sign-up page. Writing for other sites is a GREAT long-term technique, and there are many sites out there looking for quality writers.

Speak for Them – Add multimedia to the mix. You could record an audio filled with quality information and give your JV partner full rights to give it away, sell it, or otherwise distribute it to your list. You could do the same thing with video, or a teleseminar or a webinar.

Talk to Them – I’ll bet the person you want to partner with has plenty of ideas for you. Have a dialogue to ask him or her if there is something in particular they’re in need of that you can provide. Filling their need will make them that much more eager to work with you.

There are so many amazing, talented and smart business owners out there. It’s time to go out and connect with them! Make a list today of who you can contact right away and just see what happens…

 

Email Follow Up Is Good Business

Email Follow UpIf you are in business, any kind of business then it is important for you to learn how to make your customers and clients happy. The first rule of doing this is to make them feel listened to and appreciated.   One of the easiest ways to do this is to use an email follow up every time you get a message from one of them.  There are a couple of different ways to accomplish this. It does not matter which one you choose as long as you do choose to follow up with an email.

These days the most common kind of email follow up is the autoresponder. With this kind of email follow up you will use a special kind of software program, one that takes all of the hard work and wasted time out of having to send follow-ups. With an autoresponder service all you have to do is tell it what to say when someone sends you an email and it will do it to perfection every single time. This is the easiest and the fastest way to deal with email follow up.

There is only one drawback to an email follow up sent with an autoresponder service software program and that is that it is not at all personal.  Every single person will receive the same message.  The best way to use these kinds of email follow ups is as a first contact.  Simply let your clients and customers know that you will get back to them within a certain amount of time and that you did actually get their message in the first place. This is important to people so make sure to do it right.

Then, it becomes important that you do get back to them with a more personalized email follow up. This can be in response to their questions or problems or it can just be another email follow up letting them know that you have not yet solved the problem but you are working on it.  If you have any sort of timeframe you will want to put it in this email follow up in order to put the persons mind at ease about what is going on.

There are all kinds of reasons why people will use an automatic email follow up versus sending personal email follow ups.  What you have to do is learn when which kind of email follow up is most appropriate and which ones may make people upset at you!  Different businesses require different kinds of responses so talk to some of your peers in business.  Find out what they do and what works for them in terms of email follow up.  You should also ask them what has proven disastrous; perhaps that way you will be able to avoid making the same mistakes as they did, that is always nice!
 

Lori Isachsen is driven by passion and desire to help business owners reach new heights – by taking leaps in their business.  Not every business owner has the time or the fundamental skills to expand and grow their online business, and when she realized entrepreneurs were struggling, she wanted to share her online business manager expertise and support them.  By taking care of tiny details and strategically using common online systems, she’s rescuing more entrepreneurs and contributing meaningfully by finding solutions to make a difference in other people’s business lives.

Telesummit Snap to It!

by Lori Isachsen, Rescuepreneur

TelesummitThinking of doing your own telesummit is one thing, actually putting one on is another?  It can be a major undertaking, not to mention stressful putting on your own event like this.  Sure it sounds simple enough and really it is, if you know where to start and how to plan it out.

Some may not know what a Telesummit Event is, so let me answer this question, “What exactly is a Telesummit”?  Instead of attending a conference or seminar in person, a group of experts come together to speak and share their knowledge via telephone or live streaming on the internet.   A telephone bridge line facilitates the means to allow others to listen and learn from anywhere.      

Why host a Telesummit event?  It’s one way you can establish your expertise in your field.  You’ve got a message that needs to get out there.  You have unique gifts, products, and services that clients will benefit from.  Share your knowledge and give information to grow your tribe to tap into potential customers, let them hear you!

Here are four tips that I use with my clients to start organizing their Telesummit event.

1)  Decide on a theme for your telesummit. 

Start by making a list of topics that pertain to your business and your target market.  What information would you like to share to your audience?   

2)  Determine the dates of your event. 

Have multiple days in which you’ll be sharing information about your topic.  This can be during one single week or spread out over various weeks.  If, for example you are holding a 5 day event, you will need a minimum of at least 6 – 8 weeks lead time to prepare and set up the event.  Allowing yourself enough time to invite and confirm your speakers, get web pages up and running, and prepare promotional material will greatly reduce your stress.

3)   Make a list of potential speakers and gather their contact information.

Speakers may be associates, clients or friends  with whom you work with or have worked with in the past or they may be those who you have followed closely and admire.  Choose speakers who can share their knowledge on relevant information based on your topic.  I recommend making a list to cover each of your dates with at least 5-7 extra speakers.  Not all of them will be available during the days of your event, nor may they be willing to accept your invitation.  The simplest way to obtain their contact information is usually found their websites.

4)  Invite your speakers.

Craft your invitation to your speakers to include who you are (if they don’t know you), what your Telesummit theme is, why you are passionate about putting on your event,  and when your event is including days and times available for them to choose from, plus any other information you feel that they should know.
Email your speakers your invitation by indicating in the subject line that it’s an “invitation to speak or participate in an event”.

Don’t let the fear of speaking get in the way.  Your business is worth it!  Just getting these initial four steps completed will have you well on your way to putting together a terrific event.  You’ll be happily surprised at how many people want to participate and hear what you’ll be offering.    Make it a fun event and you’ll share even more!

Need help with organizing your Telesummit Event?  Contact us 

Lori Isachsen is driven by passion and desire to help business owners reach new heights – by taking leaps in their business.  Not every business owner has the time or the fundamental skills to expand and grow their online business, and when she realized entrepreneurs were struggling, she wanted to share her online business manager expertise and support them.  By taking care of tiny details and strategically using common online systems, she’s rescuing more entrepreneurs and contributing meaningfully by finding solutions to make a difference in other people’s business lives.

7 Essential Steps for a Yearly Check Up

Check up time

Lori Isachsen, Online Rescuepreneur

In many areas of our lives we get a check up, such as going to the dentist or doctor, but do we give our business that same opportunity?  No matter how large or small your business is, a yearly check up is an invaluable tool for getting your business into tip-top shape and positioned to grow.  So what areas should you review in your business’s annual check-up?

Here are 7 steps to get you started:

  1. How do your year-to-date sales compare to the last couple of years? Don’t be satisfied if you managed to match them because if sales stayed the same then you’ve achieved zero growth.  This flat growth line is a warning sign for more trouble down the road.
  2. What percentage of your business is from repeat clients? This is important to know because if it’s too low, then it needs to be improved.  The estimated cost of getting a new client versus retaining an existing one can be as much as five to one in terms of dollars spent.  Keeping clients is more cost-effective than constantly seeking new ones.
  3. How is your business doing compared to your competition?  Every business, no matter what the size, has competition.  Is their business growing or downsizing? Is their service better than yours?  If so, what can you tell potential clients about the difference in your services?  Loyal customers like to see you changing and progressing with the times.  If you’re stuck for an idea, ask your clients what they need.
  4. Do you consider marketing and advertising expenses as investments?  How you look at the money spent in these areas affects your willingness to spend money at all.  Marketing is really investing in you, your vision, and your company.  The old adage that you must spend money to make money is true, but you must spend it wisely.  Spend it on ads that are pulling responses and if they’re not maybe you need to change your advertising tactics.
  5. Do you know what PR is and how to use it to positively position your business in the media?  I’ll bet that your competition does.  Nearly every mention of Affiliate Experts in the newspapers, magazines, and on the internet is a direct result of publicity efforts.  Being quoted or featured in an article speaks volumes to your clients and readers who are your potential prospects. 
  6. Do you have a website?  If you don’t, you should consider having a presence on the internet.  This is a great way to advertise your listings and your services.  If you already have a website, make sure you spend time maintaining it and updating it regularly.
  7. How do you treat your clients?  Just as you appreciate when your doctor takes time to talk to you, your clients will appreciate you if you take an interest in their needs. If your clients don’t feel special when coming to you for services, why should they remain loyal to you?  Create a mailing list of your existing clients.  Send occasional post cards or greeting cards for special events or just to keep in touch. 

At any time of the year, it’s easy to let attention slip away from doing a regular check-up on the health of our business.  When you take the time to do a yearly check up, you not only organize and reassess where your business is going, but you also stay motivated.  Let these yearly check ups be your secret weapon to help your business grow and increase your profits.

Lori Isachsen is driven by passion and desire to help business owners reach new heights – by taking leaps in their business.  Not every business owner has the time or the fundamental skills to expand and grow their online business, and when she realized entrepreneurs were struggling, she wanted to share her online business manager expertise and support them.  By taking care of tiny details and strategically using common online systems, she’s rescuing more entrepreneurs and contributing meaningfully by finding solutions to make a difference in other people’s business lives.