How Marketing Can Get You Longtime Customers
Profits keep a business going. But, its long-term success is mainly dependent on how many lifetime customers it’s able to get.
Here’s the truth: prospects will mostly favour brands and products that are widely accepted. Your startup is not known yet, even with the fact that you’re probably selling something that really solves problems.
Hence, you need credibility to make them trust you and your product or service.
- Mass marketing
When startup entrepreneurs run mass marketingprogramm, their thought process goes something like this…
The more my ads are run, the more prospects get conscious of my products and brand. So, whenever they want to make purchase decisions, they remember my ad.
But that’s the problem with mass marketing. It’s “whenever they want to make purchase decisions, they remember my ad”. It doesn’t come with an instant call to action. It doesn’t compel prospects to make immediate purchase decisions. It tells them about a product, within few minutes, spends very little time explaining why prospects need the product and what they will benefit after using it.
Before a prospect decides to buy your product, he has to identify a problem your product can solve or a need it can satisfy. Hence, the need for you to educate them on what your product can do arises. This is something mass marketing would not effectively do for you.
With mass marketing: you can get popularity that doesn’t generate leads. You can get leads that don’t generate sales. You can get sales that don’t generate profits. And profits are what a business truly depends on to stay alive and grow, just as the human body needs food for survival.
But profits come as a result of creatively solving customers’ problems, more than competitors do. If prospects are not sure whether a product can solve their problems, they won’t buy.
Key here is that marketing is not designed to convince prospects to be sure about the effectiveness of a product or service.
Mass marketing is fine.
Yes, it is. But, many startup entrepreneurs make the mistake of making it their one and only marketing programme. They end up spending a lot of dollars, but making a few sales in the end. Why? Because mass marketing focuses on popularity. It doesn’t effectively tell prospects why they should by a product.
This type of marketing should not be single-handedly used for startup companies and I’ll tell you why.
Why a startup should not only go for a mass marketing program
The thing with mass marketing is that it is not designed help prospects makepurchase decisions. For example, I won’t get motivated to buy a Toyota Camry car because I see their ads on TV. I need something that will tell me why I need their product, and assure me of the quality I’ll get. Then I’ll be inspired to buy.
But, like I mentioned earlier, mass marketing is fine. Nonetheless, it should be used alongside: Direct response marketing.
- Direct response marketing
I consider this as the best marketing strategy for startups, and I’ll tell you why:
What makes this strategy a direct one is that it is designed to lead prospects to a buying decision (whether to email you, call, sign up for your email list, etc.) in that very moment.
It brings about a quick response directly from where you have placed your ads. So that you get to know which outlet works and which doesn’t.
Direct response marketing allows you to run your ads on almost any size of budget and also gives you a greater chance of return on investments.
In fact, you probably don’t need to put in so many dollars in this program, all you might just need is How To.
How to use a direct response marketing strategy
There are five stages your prospects go through before they decide to become your lifetime customers:
The problem recognition stage: This is the first stage your prospects experience before they even think of approaching your product. They perceive a problem or need. Then they have a reason to buy.
The information search stage: Here, they really want the problem solved, so they start searching for the information needed to make a purchase.
The evaluation of alternatives stage: At this point, they have a list of alternative brands. They begin to compare your product with your competitors’.
The purchase decision stage: Here, the prospects are making a purchase decision, but not an actual purchase. Once they implement their decision, it becomes an actual purchase.
The post purchase decision stage: After purchase and use, customers compare their level of performance with their expectations. This determines if they will repeat purchase and become lifetime customers or not.
Key here is, direct response marketing, unlike mass marketing, goes through these stages with your prospects. From helping them recognize the need for your product, providing them with information for purchase, providing them with detailed information to compare with other brands, helping them make purchase decision and ultimately, leading them to become a lifetime customer.
Here are a few ways you can exploit direct response marketing:
First of all, an A-list blog would not accept your guest post if it doesn’t truly solve a problem. Hence, writing a guest post on a big blog implies that you’ve written something that really shows your expertise.
The consequence of this is that when prospects read that post, you would earn their trust. At this point, they’d be in the right frame of mind to buy whatever you’ve got to sell.
In a guest post, you’ll definitely not be directly writing about your product or service. You’re doing something more powerful. With guest posts on big blogs, you have the opportunity to authoritatively share your expertise to a wide audience.
Just beneath the post, you are given the opportunity to write an author bio, in mostly not more than fifty words, where you get the chance to tell readers who you are, what you do and encourage them to take a specific action.
A very good example is this — when you finish reading this article, you’d probably be inspired to take an action. Whatever your choice is, I’ll get the stats in a short while. That’s what Direct Response Marketing is all about; it persuades prospects to take immediate purchase decisions.
A sales copy is any text that’s developed with the aim of compelling or persuading prospects to take a specific action.
It could be written as a newsletter, blog post, infographic, etc. It could even be the few words written beneath an article. As long as it’s written for the purpose of persuading prospects to take a specific action, it’s a copy.
Here’s a quick tip you should keep in mind while writing a copy:
Do not…address your readers as though they were gathered together in a stadium. When people read your copy, they are alone. Pretend you are writing to each of them a letter on behalf of your client.
That’s the truth. When you’re reading a copy, you’re mostly reading it alone. A very good example is this: you’re probably reading this article alone. You even get the chance to interact with me in the comments or even take a step further to email me. That’s a specific action. And that’s what makes direct response marketing.
A copy can appear in two basic forms:
As their names imply, a long copy refers to a lengthy and detailed write-up, aimed at selling. While a short copy simply refers to the short form of a long copy.
So which type of copy should you go for?
Both long and short copy can be effective. However, whether to write a lengthy copy or not is not something you are meant to decide before you start writing.
Payments at discount
Offering your product or service at a lower than normal price is another great way to implement the direct response marketing technique. When you allow discounts, you’re sending out a message that compels your prospects to take a quick purchase decision, within the time you’ve given for the promo.
What really compels them here is that they want to quickly buy before your promo is over.
Offer free stuff
You know everyone likes freebies. Giving out free stuff that really helps your prospective customers does not only show how much you care about them, but also gives you the opportunity to compel them to get something from your business. This way, you would indirectly be giving them a free sample of your expertise. If it’s helpful to them, you earn their trust, they’ll come back.
For example, if you have a blog where you freely share helpful tips with your prospects, you’re giving out free stuff. And more importantly, you’re sharing tips on how much you know what you do.
When you’re able convince prospects of how good you are with a free product or service, you more likely going to earn their trust better and compel them to take a purchase decision.
On the whole, you need to measure your marketing results. It’s as important as every other tip in this article. You really don’t want a one-off sale. And that’s why you’ve read this article down to this point. You want it repeatedly.
Tracking your results would help you know which program is bringing in the best results, and also know which one to stick to.