Did you know that according to the World Internet Usage and Population Data that as of there were approximately 1,262,032,697 online as of November 2007?
Stop and think about those numbers for a minute! There are more than 2 billion people online right now…that's pretty amazing, isn't it?
Now think about this for a minute…of those more than two billion people, how many of them have stopped at your Website and/or purchased one of your products or services?
Pretty depressing, right?
But don't let it get you down – because if you take the time to put together an Internet Marketing campaign, you'll stand a much better chance of making connections with a few more of them!
Let's start by looking at the four different stages visitors to your Website go through when they're online. Although they've been classified in different ways, the four basic stages can be described as:
Thinking about buying
Ready to buy
Let's start with the first one: Just Looking
People who are in this stage have something on their minds. They want something – usually information – and they're probably not thinking about systematic keywords, or features of a particular product or service. They're probably using very general one or two word searches to get more information about the niche or topic.
The best way to reach a visitor to your Website at this point in the game is simply to provide them with lots and lots of general information. Some ways of doing that would be:
* Writing articles about the topic
* Reviewing different products or services and posting them to your Blog
* Offering a free, informative newsletter about the niche topic
* Doing weekly or monthly Podcasts
* Doing free teleseminars and interviewing experts in the industry, or arranging to be interviewed.
The main thing to remember is to provide lots of broad information. The more questions you can answer for your visitor right now – the more they're going to remember you as they move through the buying cycle – and the more they're gong to perceive YOU as the expert in your industry or niche.
The Second Stage: Thinking about Buying
People who are in this stage of the buying cycle have the information they were looking for. They understand the basics, and now they're starting to look for reasons to justify their purchase – they want to be convinced that they need it!
Something to keep in mind is that the larger and more expensive the purchase is, the more logical reasons you'll need to be able to give them.
So to engage visitors who are thinking about buying, you'll want to provide easy access to all the features of your product or service. If you're selling cameras for example, this is where you'll want to have lots of customer reviews, descriptions of the different benefits and features of the product and answer all the "how to" information.
For example, you'll want to make it easy for someone to find out how they can buy your product or service, how you ship it, how much shipping costs and what your guarantee and return policy is.
You'll want to give them the logical reasons for justifying the purchase at this point. (But don't forget that you need to keep showing them what your product or service is going to do for them at the same time – so be subtle, but push the benefits here too.)
By answering their "how" questions, you'll not only continue moving them through the buying cycle, you'll also help to guarantee that you're the one they're going to want to do business with, because you've shown them how easy – and secure – you've made the buying process.
The Third Stage: Ready to Buy
If you've done your job right, the people who are ready to buy will move quickly and smoothly through your sales process – and come out on the other end as something completely new – your customer!
Here's how to attract visitors who are ready to pull out their credit cards:
You've answered their "what" and "how" questions and they're feeling safe about making an informed decision. So now you want to appeal to your visitor's "emotional" side.
Here's where you start piling on all the benefits and goodies and feelings of urgency!
Make sure you're giving visitors "future pictures" to get them thinking about what your product or service is going to do for them, and how it's going to make them feel.
Here are a couple of concrete examples: If you're selling lawn services, for example, you're not really selling a greener lawn. You're selling pride in yourself, in your home. Becoming the envy of all your neighbors because of your beautiful yard!
Or if you're selling tooth whitener, you're really not selling whiter teeth. You're selling sex appeal, and beauty and being instantly more attractive to the opposite sex. You're appealing to the person's needs to look nice and to have people think that they care about the way they look and feel.
See how easy that is?
When you're piling on the benefits, don't forget to take all the risk off the buyer's shoulders. Offer a rock-solid guarantee – and be very clear about exactly what your guarantee is.
You'll want to add a sense of urgency to the offer – something needs to be time – or quantity-limited. (People hate thinking that they're going to miss out on a bargain.) And add enough – relevant – benefits that your visitor feels like they'd be a complete idiot to miss out on your deal.
That's really all there is to it. By following these simple steps, you'll be able to turn those low-down, internet marketing blues into a "Happy Happy Joy Joy!" song as you watch visitors to your Website – and your sales – hit the high notes!
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