Before the holidays, I offered to spend 90 days helping you establish those business systems that are specifically designed to bring in the cash. As your Income Advisor, I want to help you install 12 different systems—just like your accounting system, payment system and inventory system—that will become part of the fundamental underpinnings of your well run, efficiently managed business. For most businesses, getting new customers is their #1 priority, which is why I discussed how to establish a simple offline Prospecting and Lead-Generation System in the first post in this series. And System #2: Customer Relationship Marketing is here.

Today, I want to help you establish System #3: Your Online Prospecting Platform and Website Marketing Path

Most business owners understand the need for a website, but all too few understand what a website is really supposed to do. Your website is a delivery vehicle for your message, just like newspaper ads, postcards, telemarketing or direct-mail packages. And like those other devices, the Internet has its own checklist of requirements you must follow to make any campaign a success. Your website must convince visitors to provide their name, email address and other identifying information in order to access a free buyer’s guide, online tutorial, downloadable checklist, subscription to valuable information, evaluation, self-audit or other instant giveaway that has value. The format of your giveaway item doesn’t matter—whether PDF, audio MP3 or other format—just as long as it can be easily opened, read, listened to, viewed or otherwise used by the people who opt-in at your site to get it. It should be downloadable at your website to keep your delivery costs at zero. And it must be compelling.

These days, convincing visitors to opt-in isn’t as easy as it used to be—mainly because registrants know they’ll be emailed advertisements and promotions later. You need to provide a tangible benefit in return. Even giving things away for free requires a persuasive and specific offer. “We have great prices!” is not an offer. Similarly, “27 years in business!” is not an offer. And “Sign up for our newsletter” has not worked as an offer for at least a few years. An easy way to create a compelling offer is to start with a persuasive headline about the giveaway item they’ll be downloading for free. Then, using direct-response style marketing language, describe the actual item they’ll receive, detail the benefits of instantly downloading it, and tell why you’re providing it free. Finally, this offer on your homepage should close with a simple opt-in form and give visitors exact instructions for completing the form—along with your promise that they’ll receive their information instantly. Once visitors fill in the form and hit the “Submit” button, two things should happen: (1) Their contact information should be collected into a database linked to the opt-in form, and (2) Visitors should be taken to a simple thank-you page that confirms they’ve opted in successfully and tells them how to download the free giveaway item. At the same time your visitor is accessing the free giveaway, your database should immediately begin delivering every 2-3 days (for a fixed period of time) a series of pre-written generic messages. Within these messages should be other helpful information. Then, starting with the 5th or 6th message, they should contain marketing copy about the first product or service you plan to sell to your visitors who opted-in. Later, you can offer other products, more services, and new offerings. Taking visitors through a compelling opt-in on the homepage, selling them an easy-to-buy first purchase a few webpages later, following up with other compelling offers on subsequent webpages, and reconnecting via a logical series of emailed offers days and weeks later is called a marketing path. What are the steps for setting up YOUR Internet prospecting system (or adding one to your current website)?

Five Easy Steps…With Tremendous Long-Term Pay-Off

Building a customized Internet selling infrastructure that’s actually designed to capture leads—then migrate them to a first sale—is simple when you consider there are really only five steps:

Step 1: Draw on paper a visual marketing path for your website that starts with an opt-in offer, then migrates visitors to a sales letter, then upsells them on other products. Your drawing will probably look like this one. You’ll be creating the webpages you need from your drawing. Step 2: Sign up for a shopping-cart service which not only captures visitor data via opt-ins, but also facilitates sales of both your entry-level and advanced products and services. (Click here for my favorite, economical shopping cart service.) Step 3: Build your webpages and link their featured opt-in forms and products for sale to your shopping cart’s name-capture and buyer’s databases. Step 4: Write a series of emails that can be programmed and automatically sent by the shopping cart to visitors who opt-in at your site. This re-captures the interest of visitors who leave without buying. (To receive my pre-programmed series of Instant Income autoresponder emails, opt-in here.) Step 5: Eventually, you’ll also want to create an affiliate recruitment and marketing system — including an affiliate recruitment webpage, affiliate registration function, online affiliate support center, and affiliate marketing tools — all managed by the shopping cart and designed to convince other list owners, website owners, bloggers, and endorsers to promote your goods and services to their customers through links at their site and emails to their list.

Executing the above steps is, admittedly, a lot of work. But it’s also worth it to you in increased lead-generation and revenue for your business. Plus, once this aspect of your website is operational, you can drive Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media followers to your site and send them through a path that prompts them to BUY.

This Week’s Homework Assignment

Begin the process by doing three things:

  1. Draw your marketing path on paper (see the sample above).
  2. Determine what your opt-in offer will be whether a free report, buyer’s guide, online tutorial, downloadable checklist, subscription to valuable information, evaluation, self-audit or other instant giveaway that has value.
  3. Recruit a webmaster or HTML programmer to build the new webpages you need. You don’t have to hire an expensive graphic designer—in fact, because they’re usually not marketers, designers are notorious for adding unnecessarily elaborate elements that actually detract from the “compellingness” of the offer on the page.

Of course, if you need step-by-step guidance in developing your online prospecting platform and website marketing path, click below to get my comprehensive Internet marketing plan designed to give you the soup-to-nuts task list and tutorials for converting your website into one that resolutely migrates visitors from opting-in to buying an entry-level product or service to buying even more expensive products and services later. With the right kinds of offers and marketing path at your website, your website can turn from a mere “brochure site” into a true money-maker for your business—regardless of whether you’re a consultant, service provider, retailer or other kind of bricks-and-mortar business owner. Of course, this 59-page Internet marketing plan is in addition to what you’ll receive every month from my new subscription service which delivers planned-for-you marketing campaigns (at a very low cost) to help you execute revenue-producing campaigns, new-customer-acquisition strategies, media activity, customer relationship campaigns and more. Click: http://www.instantincome.com/marketing-plan/?page_id=1229 These campaigns are easy to integrate into your business… are instantly actionable without a lot of advance work… and require just a few hours (or less) to review, understand and execute (either by yourself or by a staff person)… Plus, they’re planned for you and delivered in exacting detail. They can be yours every month for less than the cost of lunch at your favorite restaurant or 7 minutes on the phone with an accountant or attorney. Click below to get started with “Finding New Customers”—your first month—at the introductory price of just $3.95. I’ll be back next week with details about the next Income System. http://www.instantincome.com/marketing-plan/?page_id=1229 Until next week, Instant Income Janet Switzer Editor, Instant Income Revenue Report Creative Commons License photo credit: SeeMidTN.com (aka Brent)  

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