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We’re with Sage Digital Agency here to talk today about marketing mistakes to avoid.

That’s right. I almost want to call these the death of marketing. Some of these mistakes will certainly erode sales. It can affect profitability, and at the end it can put your marketing and money invested into your marketing right into the drain.

We’ve outlined seven topics for today’s podcast, so let’s start off right away with the first one. Number one for marketing mistakes to avoid is focusing on only one source of traffic.

Right. Relying on one source of traffic is, is probably the first mistake. Whether you’re an eCommerce business or you’re a plumber or you’re a roofer. Relying on search engine optimization where Google is your only source of traffic. First of all, you have no control over that. So when Google decides to change or update their algorithm, or another competitor and gets into the space, it can take all the effort and time that you put into your marketing and put you on the bottom of the first page, or worse, on the second or third page.

Sure.

Same for paid search traffic. So if you’re doing Google ads or Facebook ads and that’s how you’re relying on your phone calls to come in and your business to be able to sustain, all you need is a few people to come in and bring the auction price up. And it can either destroy your margins, or oftentimes I’ve seen competitors come into the space where they’re trying to do Google ads. They don’t understand exactly how it works, and two, three, four dollars a click you were paying at one point, they might have left the default settings on Google and now they’re paying $30, $40, $50 a click. What does that do to you? I mean, you have to be able to pay the same amount to compete. And to often, there’s businesses that just have no idea of their actual costs and can turn what was a profitable channel into a loss.

So Mike, essentially what we’re talking about here is obviously we should focus on Google ads is a fantastic way of directing traffic, Facebook ads, Instagram, et cetera, search engine optimization in the long run. But where you’re saying, I think, is don’t just put all your eggs in one basket. Right?

Exactly.

Yeah. It has to be, let’s put X percentage amount of our business or marketing dollars into Google ads. Let it not be the only thing that feeds us lead generation. Maybe we spend some money from a different lead source, a paid lead source where we’re buying leads. Maybe something else can be paid traffic and Facebook. Is that what you’re saying?

Yeah, that’s exactly right. If you’re solely reliant on SEO right now, throw in some Google ads. And if you’re doing Google ads right now, try Bing ads. It’s really important to make sure that whatever you’re doing is diversified.

Yep. The key is to diversify. Point one is don’t put your eggs in one basket and ensure to diversify, so that should there be some something drastic that happens to one of your channels, it’s not a absolute detriment to your business.

Exactly. And going to the second point is not actually capturing the leads. So you’re doing your digital marketing, you have your website, you have your email campaigns set up, you’re driving traffic to the website. Then what?

Sure. Well what, what do you mean by capturing leads? Can you explain?

Sure. So you can use a chat widget on your website, and that will let people engage with you. It’ll collect their name and email address, and in the background should give you some additional information about where the person’s coming from. So you can feed that into a CRM and maybe figure out that there’s another city that you’re not really targeting, but you’re getting a lot of leads from there. You can put a pop up on your website, and that can capture contact information.

By giving away some kind of a lead magnets, PDF, something.

Exactly. Yeah. Whether it’s a checklist or a coupon or an invitation to a webinar or a PDF or a case study. Any of that’s good.

Got it. Okay. So I feels like what you’re saying is it doesn’t make much sense to spend money on different channels such as Google ads, Bing ads, Facebook, et cetera, and then not have a mechanism in place to actually capture some of the traffic that’s coming to the site.

Right. I mean, you figured that a good conversion rate, and again, a conversion is not someone coming to your website. A conversion is something that’s actually meaningful to your business.

Phone call. Email submission. Et cetera.

Exactly.

Showing up at your office. Yes.

Now you can assume that a good website will convert anywhere from three to 5%. So you’re letting 95% of the traffic just go out the door if you don’t do anything to engage in and capture those visitors. They’ll come to your site once, then what? You’re just going to let them go as opposed to putting some sort of capture on the site to be able to get those customers and then reengage with them?

Sure. So number three is not engaging with prospects. How do we differentiate that from not capturing leads that we just talked about?

I read a study that about 50% of leads will buy from a website within 18 months. Those leads are the people that are converting. Now out of that 50%, 85% of those buyers will make a purchase within three to 18 months after their initial visit. Think about that. 85% of the people who are going to buy from you will not purchase until three to 18 months after they’ve been to your website for the first time.

Interesting.

That’s a high number not to be able to engage with, the people that are coming to your website.

So if these 85% that are not buying immediately, right, are we talking about, have we captured their email address, do we have some info on them? Or are these people that are just checking us out, doing research and coming back at some later point? Do we have any ability to contact them?

Sure. So it really just depends on the website. More often than not, the websites that I’ve been involved with have not had any sort of lead capture when we initially took over. So they’re letting the traffic just go out the door.

It makes me think about the fact that it’s a similar conversation we’ve had many times in the past, is let’s put aside the traffic that’s not converting immediately and we’ll come back at some point in the future. Similarly, let’s say we’ve generated X amount of leads over the last 30 days via whatever processes we have in place. I feel as if more than likely, these people, although they have “converted,” they’ve called, they’ve sent an email, it doesn’t mean they’re going to buy. And it means that there must be some process in place for us to follow up, right? It’s like we’ll call this one not engaging with our prospects are not engaging with conversions over a period of time in some fashion via CRM, via anything.

Right. Now again, the second step that we outlined was to capture the contact information from a potential customer, the prospect. Now this step, the engaging with them, whether that’s putting them into a retargeting list on Facebook or that’s putting them into an email list or some sort of text list, it really just doesn’t matter, even if you were to send direct mail. The point is that person has already been to your website once. Now it’s about being able to engage with those prospects to stay on top of mind.

Yes, in an intelligent fashion, not an irritating way to send emails every single day. Certainly not. But I like that. I like that. So I would say that most people would probably say, “Hey, the person didn’t answer the phone on the first try. Second try. It’s a bad lead.” Right? I hear that a lot. It’s a bad lead. Whereas I think that we should take into consideration the percentages that you explained earlier and see that most of the people that contact are not going to make a purchase decision in the next hours from now. We should treat them as an opportunity to make a sale over a longer period of time and not forget about them.

Exactly.

Number four, not converting prospects.

Right. Now, this not converting prospects really needs to be separated from the not engaging with the prospects. Now, converting the prospects. Now, typically this will apply more directly to eCommerce brands and subscription services. However, it can apply to any other companies selling any actual product, whether it’s online or not.

Now, through this customer journey process, we’ve already acquired the lead through whatever source, whether that’s an ad or organically or through Facebook posts. We’ve acquired the lead through a popup now that they’ve been on the website or through the chat, we’ve put them into a CRM or some sort of database, now we’re emailing them, and then what? It’s time to close the deal. So if you’re trying to sell someone a widget or some sort of T shirt or whatever someone’s selling, a printer, doesn’t really matter. The process to be able to get someone to buy, obviously they’ve looked at the product, they’ve considered, they have their credit card out, they’re ready to buy. Too often, the checkout process is not smooth. It’s often overworked.

Sure, sure.

And at that point, if the customer doesn’t feel comfortable, they’re going to go to another vendor to buy from.

Talking about eCommerce for a moment, I almost in every case try to pare down some of the unnecessary fields that are asked for on the standard checkout. It’s irritating. There’s too much. There’s way too much. And yeah, that speaks to that. So essentially what we’re talking about here in number four is we have different lead channels, we have funnels in place of which we have people coming into our ecosystem, but we are not succeeding in converting those people over a longer period of time. That’s essentially what you’re saying.

Exactly. So often I see on especially eCommerce sites where someone’s ready to buy, they have some question, maybe that’s about returns or shipping or a question about the product that they couldn’t find on the actual page, and there’s no chat. How’s someone supposed to get their question answered?

Sure.

They’re not going to be able to. People are not going to fill out a form and wait two days for an answer. They’re going to go to the next website. And just a lost opportunity.

Agreed. And you’ve made mention of this before, Mike, in maybe different contexts, but it makes me think that in most instances you are not the only person selling this particular product. Right? So if they can’t find it with you, as you’ve said, they’ll go elsewhere. And more than likely find another solution that is, if not exactly the same, very similar. That’s the reality of the situation, right? Nobody has this monopoly of, we only sell this particular thing in most cases.

No, no, not anymore. I mean, consumers are savvy enough; they understand how to use the internet and shop and price shop, and they understand what’s a reputable site and what’s not. And even if you had something exclusive at one point, if it’s anything worth having, someone’s going to have a come up with a equivalent option or knocked you off directly. The customer has options.

So let’s continue on. We’ve got number five is not delivering quality content or enough content.

Yeah. And that could be, not even just not delivering. And I use this with a fine line, but over delivering. Let’s say the customer has already purchased from you or they’ve already signed up to your newsletter. Now the next step is for the business to be able to wow the customer. And whether that’s through a great welcome series or a great content or if it’s a eCommerce site and someone has browsed a product and not purchased, we can send abandoned cart messages to them. Formation. If they went to a site, they look at a product, let’s say they put it in their cart and they decided not to buy. There was some sort of hesitation whether that’s price or they haven’t actually made up their mind. These are both great opportunities to send someone a very targeted email to address some of those concerns.

Yes. I absolutely love when I am a new client of any kind of business and they have a really, really, really great welcome series. Don’t you just love that? I love that. I can appreciate it so much that time and thought and effort has gone into it. It solidifies the relationships so much, especially when there’s a free trial period in place. Right? So that they haven’t just collected my info and if they stay, they stay, they don’t. They don’t. There’s a couple instances that I’m thinking of that have really, really been interesting recently. So I love when that happens.

It really says a lot. And think about it. Think about the last one, you were at a restaurant, and then you went into the restaurant. You have a great restaurant, great looking restaurant, and then the restrooms are just bland or dirty. It really just shows what gets overlooked. And having a nice welcome series or nice email receipt or follow up series, it really says a lot about the company because that’s what’s going to bring us into our next step of being able to upsell to the customer.

So number six is not upselling and not providing additional resources and opportunities to a customer.

We can take a situation. Again, let’s refer back to an eCommerce example. If you’re selling a T shirt and someone buys a white T shirt. Right when they’re at checkout, why not offer them another white T shirt or another shirt in another color? You already know they’re interested in a specific type of tee shirt. Why not sell them something else? Or they’re buying a computer. Why not try to sell them a wireless mouse and keyboard, or a case or an extra laptop charger?

Someone’s in front of their computer or their phone. They have their credit card out and they’re ready to buy. Being able to upsell is a great opportunity to offset marketing costs by adding in additional items because there’s no extra cost of customer acquisition at that point. You already have them. They’re about to buy.

Let’s say the customer doesn’t take advantage of that upsell at that point of checkout. Maybe they need time, they want to evaluate the product, they don’t want to spend more at that exact moment.

Yeah. They want to get the first product and see if it’s actually great. Right?

Exactly. So let’s say we were to sell someone a lunchbox. After they’ve received it, we can then go on to offer them a collapsible thermos. They’ve already been a customer. They trust the brand. They bought the product. They did not return the product. It gives a window of opportunity to be able sell something else. And simple.

All right Mike. So number six, we really talked about upselling. We said not taking advantage of opportunities, a customer’s bought something, a particular product or category of product that we’re offering. It would be wise for us to say, “Hey, why don’t we educate them and show some other opportunities that are available?” May not happen at the time of checkout. It may be in the form of follow up series via email after the fact.

So it leads us to number seven. What is number seven? Not asking for referrals.

And to tap on to not asking for referrals, not asking for reviews. Both of those are essentially one in the same, depending on the type of business. You found a customer, you acquired them, they trust you enough for them to give you their email address or contact information or more-

Money.

Or money, and they’ve made their purchase. They’re happy with it. By not asking for them to share their experience with someone or to offer an opportunity for them to promote your brand-

It’s a huge loss, essentially. It’s a huge loss.

Yeah. You’re missing out on the opportunity for them to do your marketing for you.

Yes. I personally am in the habit. I do these things on a regular basis because I see the value of it. It’s like people are almost asking you. Oftentimes we’ll receive emails and say, “Oh, the experience was great.” It seems obvious. It’s like, okay, well, great. Can you please provide social proof? It’s very powerful. Would you mind leaving a review on Google My Business or would you mind writing a testimonial? Whatever the case is. These are all things that really, really, absolutely be a part of a marketing plan and oftentimes are overlooked, unfortunately.

Right. Now, don’t get me wrong. If you sell some sort of knock off iPhone charger that doesn’t work, you’re not going to want to ask for reviews on that, but I guess in which case you’re probably not going to be in business for very long.

No.

However, in many situations I’ve seen where there could be an issue or a problem, and the actual follow up process and the experience that the customer gets could certainly offset whatever problem or negative experience a customer might’ve had. Throughout the experience of working with the customer and being proactive to give them updates on the shipping process or why it got delayed or trying to find an alternative product for them, those steps can allow the customer to still view the business in a positive light, thus wanting to promote your business even more, even if they had some sort of negative experience.

Interesting. Interesting. The fact that we handle it well, that the customer handled it well is enough to negate that issue.

Yeah, it’s very important, and I don’t think people should feel uncomfortable or be afraid to ask for referrals. In many ways, if you’re proud of the business you have or the product that you’re selling, there’s no reason that your customers can’t be your biggest advocates.

Certainly. It’s one thing, in my book, your current clients I think are the ones that are most neglected as time goes on. I think people are too focused on sales, sales, sales, sales, and new acquisitions, as opposed to paying the right attention to the people that have already proven. Nobody is better than somebody that has already proven to work with you and trust you and pay you for your time and efforts. So I think that’s a often overlooked issue.

I couldn’t agree more.

So we talked about seven very interesting topics all relating to marketing mistakes to avoid and issues we’ve seen. Thank you for your time. I really enjoyed it. And until next time.