As 2014 comes to a close I’ve been taking time to reflect on our company’s accomplishments for the year (and the one key area I want to improve going forward).
In 2014 we achieved our goal of building an audience. Over 2,200 active subscribers are currently on our email list. Traffic is also growing quickly. Yesterday we topped 7,400 visits for the last 30 days, averaging about 250+ visits per day.
The quality of our content is gradually getting better as well. I measure, in part, by looking at our repeat visitors metric which continues to increases. Pages per visit has also improved.
If 2014 was the year of building our audience and establishing a basic funnel, then 2015 will be the year of monetizing the relationship we’re building with our growing audience.
To do this in a way that is effective and win-win, the AutoGrow team and I need to step-up our game in our current written email and website sales funnel. But how?
We already have products and services to offer, now it’s simply a matter of finding the right way to do it so:
- The right offer is put in front of the right person at the right time
- Avoiding the perception of “hard-selling” or spamming
- And maintaining goodwill
I would say we’re currently doing a mediocre-to-OK job of this at the moment. I believe the reason for this is we haven’t fully aligned our offers with people’s underlying needs, which creates (or channels) a desire in to buying our products and services.
If one of the gaps in your sales funnel is similar to this–how do you go about improving it?
How do you create or increase someone’s underlying desire to buy?
What are the best strategies, tips, and trick available to you?
First, let’s start by asking a few other experienced entrepreneurs what they think — then we’ll pivot into a defining what is “a desire to buy” actually means…
What do other entrepreneurs and experienced marketers recommend?
From Eugene Schwartz in “Breakthrough Advertising” one of the best books ever on marketing & advertising… (that’s why it costs $130 hardcover on Amazon)
“Let’s get right down to the heart of the matter. The power, the force, the overwhelming urge to own what makes advertising work, comes from the market itself, and not from the [sales] copy…copy cannot create desire for a product. It can only take the hopes, dreams, fears and desires that already exist in the hearts of millions of people, and focus those already-existing desires onto a particular product. This is the copywriter’s task: not to create this mass desire — but to channel and direct it.”
Clay Hebert, CrowdfundingHacks.com
The more I do this, the more it occurs to me that it’s impossible to “create” a desire to buy if that desire doesn’t already exist naturally. The key is to understand your customer so well that you know what matters most to them, and you can speak their language. Identify with their need, and the sale takes care of itself.
Brian Casel, casjam.com
Let me throw this out there. The opportunity let’s call it of desire is all about timing. You’re trying to either pull someone into a story being told and hoping they latch onto to something enough to buy OR you’re pushing them the benefits of a product/service and hoping your timing is right. While I agree with Clay (see quote above), I also see it day in and out that if the timing is right, desire can be ignited therefore creating a purchasing potential.BJ Cook, Digital Operative
We use this motto: “You don’t get people to buy what you sell, they buy WHY you sell it.” People are purpose driven and emotional. You create the feeling they will get when they own your product, nothing else.
What is “a desire to buy”?
So now that we’ve heard from a few of the experts, let’s see how, combined with my research and experience, I can synthesize their insights to create a definition.
A “desire to buy” is best defined an logical and/or emotional state where a customer decides they want what you have to offer. The logical motivations of a buyer are directly influenced by the arguments of the seller. On the other hand, the emotional motivations of the buyer are indirectly influenced by the seller in how they connect with the buyer in terms of their fears, hopes, dreams, identity and on the level of basic human authenticity.
In addition, people who desire your service or product may or may not be in agreement around the pricing of your offer. But to have desire for a product or service means the prospective customer has reached a new “level.” This is because you or your company are seen as offering something they want.
For example, one popular acronym (AIDA) places the “desire level” immediately before the point where the customer takes action.
- A – Attention — Are people reading or listening to what you have to say? Have they opted-in to get more content from you?
- I – Interest — Are people opening and clicking your emails consistently? Are they emailing and calling you for more information?
- D – Desire — Are people asking about pricing? Clicking links specifically related to an offer in your emails? Visiting your checkout page? Asking for a proposal?
- A – Action — This is where people take out their credit cards, wallets, or write a check, completing the transaction.
The AIDA phrase was made popular in part in the famous “negative sales motivation” scene from Glenngary Glennross embedded below (NSFW).
So how do we go about finding, unearthing, and channeling that emotional desire?
What role does fear play if any?
How do we appeal to people’s rational side with logic?
After studying hundreds of sales funnels, email autoresponders, reviewing the “Autoresponder Madness” course from Andre Chaperon, and putting our knowledge into practice within our clients’ businesses — here’s 4 simple tips I’ve come up with for “creating” purchase desire to help you turn leads into clients.
Tip #1 – Focus on writing for one person
When it comes to your website sales funnel, most service professionals and entrepreneurs (myself included) are resistant to the idea of writing for one specific person.
This is because we worry we are limiting our businesses. As if by saying “our service is for X type of person or business” we are immediately cutting our business in half or worse.
But, we fail to realize the upside in limiting our focus to one segment of the market is we grow our businesses faster.
This is because by focusing on a specific type of client we are helping them to see themselves “on the page.” This in turn leads to a higher conversion rate because those people who your product or service is more likely to appeal to are now more likely to believe that your solution is a perfect fit for him or her.
For example, here’s how I’m going to apply this to our online course, our “entry level” product:
- In rewriting the sales page I am will specifically picture one person sitting in front of me as I do it, namely, the owner of a small service business.
- I am specifically going to “call out” and name the types of people the course is tailored to. That is owners of small service businesses and service professionals. And I will give examples, for instance: web designers, personal trainers, lawyers, SEO consultancies, consultancies, moving companies — because these are all people who has bought the course, bought our services, or who have seriously considered buying from us.
Tip #2 – Position your product or service as a solution to a specific problem (emphasize the problem)
If you’re an avid reader of this blog you might have seen me repeatedly recommend defining the problem that your product or service addresses before discussing how awesome your product is as a solution.
As far as creating desire in the mind of your target client, this is particularly important on an emotional level. Why?
If people believe you understand the internal and external roadblocks that make-up the problem, they will feel an immediate connection to you. This is because by vividly describing their problem it demonstrates on a basic level that you empathize with them — you understand their pain.
And to paraphrase Dane Maxwell, copywriter and entrepreneur, one of the deepest human desires is to be understood. In fact, if you describe the problem that people are trying to solve in a way that connects, they will automatically assume you have the solution.
When I was working on a SaaS product in the past, SaberBlast.com, we were able to convert 2% of all traffic into buyers. SaaS products (where you charge a monthly fee) are notoriously hard to grow and scale, and yet right out of the gate we were converting 2% of all visitors into buyers.
Part of the reason for this I attribute directly the fact that we’d spent a significant portion of our time in designing that sales funnel to reflect and accurately state the problem the product solved.
Here’s how I plan to apply this tip to our sales page for our online course:
- Invest more time on the page (both with text and visuals) towards explaining the problem, which is namely, “you don’t have a sales funnel”
- Furthermore, I know the reader will benefit from understanding in greater detail why that’s a problem in the first place (lost sales, lack of predictability as far as cashflow, personal stress). In this way, I’ll be reflecting what they already know and feel.
- In addition, I’ve already changed the title of the course from “Build Sales Engine” to something that better reflects the problem solved and end-result that students want: “The Sales Funnel Blueprint“
Tip #3 – Explain the benefits
It’s amazing to me the effects that simply naming the specific benefits can have on a conversion rates.
For example, a little while ago we redesigned and completely rewrote the website copy for an answering service company in Houston, TX. In doing so, we focused the language on communicating the benefits to potential new clients, like in this screenshot from their services page:
Thanks to not only to the new design for creating a strong frame (more on “framing” in a future article), but with the benefit-focused text, the company has seen their leads and revenue more than double in the last 18 months.
Many small businesses and service professionals underestimate the power of this. Some convince themselves they are “already doing this,” when in reality they are buried and/or stating features of their service.
The key is to focus on naming the end-results the client wants to achieve as a direct result of buying your offer — and doing so in a brief, to-the-point manner.
For example, if you’re a personal trainer you would want to talk about how one key benefit is that the client has someone to hold them accountable.
On the sales page for our online course:
- We’re already listing out the specific benefits, but more time should be spent describing them.
- I’m considering making a top 10 benefits list for instance since eye tracking studies have shown that lists / bullet points get read more often than plain text paragraphs.
Tip #4 – Give them a free sample (but focus on results)
This is because an autoresponder will start an email subscriber (a lead) down a path, but it’s up to the subscriber to take action to complete it either by contacting the company for more information or by buying a product.
For example, let’s continue with our example of the personal trainer.
A personal trainer wants to increase people’s desire for his services so to do this he would set up an email autoresponder and get people to opt-in to it. The headline might read: “shed 10 lbs. of fat in the next 5 days.”
Then, over the next 5 days a new tip would be delivered, one for each day. Each tip would focus on one simple, bite-sized action the subscriber could take to get to that weight-loss goal they want.
With each tip, the readers confidence and trust goes up because they see they can take action and get a result. In turn, when it’s time to make a paid offer for the lead to buy the trainer’s ebook or to hire them for their training services, the potential desire has already been built up in the mind of the prospect.
When it comes to The Sales Funnel Blueprint course here at AutoGrow,
- We’re already offering our free Double Your Leads in 5 Days course, which has gone through 2 revisions to date. A number of subscribers have emailed me saying thank you for the tips and strategies included in it.
- Still, I know there’s room for improvement. One change I plan to make in it is to include more story-telling elements to better highlight the roadblocks that each tip or strategy addresses. I’m also going to simplify it since some lessons might be too dense as far as quantity and depth of information. This will make the strategies easier to implement.
- The easier I can make it for a reader of our free course to take action and get a positive the result, the more goodwill and desire they will have “stored up” for our course offer, which appears at the end of the autoresponder.
- Most of the experts agree that desire is not something that can be created. It’s more like something that’s there but it needs to be unearthed and fed into with your sales copy.
- When writing your sales funnel or emails, make sure to write for just one person. This will increase conversions and sales because people are more likely to take action if they see themselves on the page.
- Position your product logically as a solution to a specific problem. This is accomplished largely by explaining in detail the problem that the prospect has in a way that shows you understand his or her pain.
- List out the benefits.
- Create goodwill and unearth desire for more of what you and your company can offer the prospect by giving away easy to follow free tips in your email autoresponder.
How will you apply these tips to increase desire for your product or service? What are some other more advanced tips for how to do this?
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