In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
This mimicked the same false hope that building a big fan base of followers on social media was going to get your updates to the front of all the newsfeeds. As I shared throughout 2014, social media is all about engagement (fans taking action). High engagement gets your updates to the top of all your fan's newsfeeds.
We know that our space on all social media platforms is leased. Meaning we don't own those platforms, we don't have 100% control of how they function and so in 2014, we worked to develop social media pages to entice our followers to something we do have 100% control of: our website or our landing page. In 2015, I will continue to provide the latest changes and new strategies for social media, because let's face it, that is an ever moving target and you will continue to need guidance. Our focus for 2015 is making sure your website or landing page is optimized to capture, engage and convert those savvy leads into customers.
An Active List
Let's modify the saying "the money is in the list" to "the money is in the active list!" An email list, or any traffic, is worthless if no one ever books a service. Investing time, money and effort into driving traffic to your website, through SEO (Search Engine Optimization), advertising (both on and off line), social media, customer referrals or creating good will within your community, will be fruitless unless you have a good sales funnel. Those leads will ultimately arrive at your website ready to take action; if your website isn't inspiring them to continue taking action, well, that is the equivalent to running a marathon and quitting the last 200 meters. It really does you no good to have a big email list unless they are action takers.
Today's online and offline visitors are very savvy about who they want to have their contact information. In order for your voice to be heard, especially above all the "spammers," you need a good offer. This is what I like to call a "traffic magnet " that captures, engages and converts more of your website traffic into customers.
A traffic magnet is the free "item" you are offering on your landing page or website to attract your ideal audience so you can capture their contact information. The primary job of the traffic magnet is to turn your traffic into leads by getting them to join your mailing list. "Sign up for my free email newsletter" is still the most common traffic magnet used on most websites. Are you currently using this as your offer? I know that offer worked five years ago but if you are being honest with yourself; when was the last time it actually produced a healthy number of website visitors to register? If you are honestly answering that question I bet you haven't seen healthy numbers in months (possibly years). Also, for the majority of website owners, that offer is still in the sidebar of your home page or buried below the fold of your website instead of big and bold in the main header or right below the navigation bar or on its own separate landing page, am I right?
Why should you update your traffic magnet? Because a properly built traffic magnet can easily double if not quadruple your conversion rates. And not just getting them onto your email list but actually getting them to take action and become clients on your table.
Before moving forward into the details, let me be clear that you do not want to make outlandish claims or offers of items you simply can't provide. Therefore, make sure you are staying within the ethical and legal guidelines of what you can say and provide. This means staying within your scope of practice. Reference national professional organization sites that provide consumer based benefits to make it easier. Organizations like the Massage Therapy Foundation, the American Massage Therapy Association, and Associated Bodyworkers and Massage Professionals provide research, statistics and lots of consumer benefits you can use as a basis for your free offer. Also, when you use the information, be sure to properly cite them. This helps build your credibility and authority with your followers.
The Three Secrets
First, make sure you appeal to your very specific ideal audience. Offer a very specific benefit or solution to a very specific problem. For example, if you are offering a free report that tells about the benefits of massage, instead of saying "Opt in for our free report on the top 5 benefits of massage," I recommend something like, "Here's the TOP 5 Ways to feel better in 2015 – Absolutely Free!" Or you could start by saying something like, "For people who are looking to feel better and get healthy in 2015."
You have to know who you are targeting and what problem(s) you are solving. Obviously in the example above, the report would have to include some information about feeling better and getting healthy. That could mean being more relaxed, decreasing stress, sleeping better, and having more energy. Would most people equate those benefits to "feeling better" or fit their definition of "getting healthy?" We know that receiving a massage can provide these benefits for most people. Therefore, in your free report be sure you provide stats or research that supports those items and draws the proper (legal and ethical) conclusions for your readers.
By the way, did you know that a free report is still the number one traffic generating magnet used today? You may have heard it referred to as a "whitepaper." By definition, it is basically a short written document that contains information designed to help your ideal audience solve a problem or learn something new. Keep it simple and reference the legitimate data that are known and accepted benefits.
Second, keep your traffic magnet offer simple. Don't confuse your visitors by offering too much. Simple offers convert best so make your traffic magnet simple to explain. For example, "The 3 Simple ways to decrease stress." Of course, this only works if your ideal audience experiences stress (honestly who doesn't feel stress?). Do you see how this headline is addressing a major problem that a massage could benefit?
If the offer is too complicated to consume, or if it too complicated to see results, you run the risk of your ideal audience getting frustrated and opting out having never booked any services. Offer your ideal audience the solution to their biggest problem.
And third, increase the perceived value of your traffic magnet. The higher the perceived value, the better the conversions will be. You can do this simply by modifying the name, adding some images or increasing what your deliverables are. For example:
- If using a video, maybe reference it as a "training video."
- Consider calling it a "course" instead of a "report."
- Offer a "training video" and a "cheat sheet" (a PDF of the main points).
- Have a fancy graphic created that shows the traffic magnet offer – meaning create a picture of the report that looks like a physical book they can download.
- Include mp3 recordings and written transcripts if you are offering a "training video."
- Or create a "training video" of your "course" if your offer is a written report.
You want to deliver real value in your traffic magnet. If you over promise and under deliver, then your ideal audience isn't going to be impressed and more than likely will not become your ideal customer. Always lead with your best stuff and leave them wanting more.
When you create your traffic magnet offer to pre-sell them on the idea of booking your services, they get comfortable with the idea of becoming your client. Your traffic magnet is a great way to get new visitors to know, like and trust you as the expert and someone they want to book treatments with.
Stephanie Beck, Owner of SRB Solutions, is an online marketing expert working with health and wellness practitioners for 15 years. Stephanie has served as a published columnist since 2003 for several magazines and is the Amazon best selling author of Social Trigger Points: Massage Therapist Guide to Marketing Online. Connect with Stephanie at www.socialtriggerpoints.com/profiles today.