If you know a thing or two about marketing, then you understand the basic idea of a purchase funnel and how the sales process, in general, works. When you are using email lists to make a sale, then you definitely need to be considering the steps and stages that prospects and buyers will go through on their way to making a purchase from your company.
Step One: Openness
The first step toward getting a customer to make a purchase is finding customers that have an openness to new ideas. Using your bulk email opt in is a great way to determine the perfect leads. When someone chooses to join your email list, this automatically suggests an openness that may allow you to make a sale. The customers that use the bulk email opt in are definitely showing a curiosity about your company and your products and services. The reason for their curiosity may vary, but you need to have this before you can really move any further through the process.
Step Two: Wanting or Needing
Once you can establish that a customer on your email list is open to new ideas and perhaps open to making a purchase from your company, you can start to provide them with information that will encourage them to look further. You want to establish in the prospect’s mind that they have a want or a need that you can fulfill for them, by having them purchase your products and services. For this, you can not only use your email marketing lists, but also your social media, because many people will unconsciously (or consciously) have their wants and needs driven by what others are saying, doing and buying. Use articles, news stories, retweets, or whatever you can to help the prospect realize that they cannot live without your products and services. Surveys are showing that more customers than ever are relying on social media when they are researching products or services that they may need.
Step Three: Education
During this phase of the buying process, customers, or potential customers, are doing some research to learn what they can about the products and services that they are considering, the ones that you have convinced them that they want and/or need. They may be doing some comparison shopping, reading reviews, or otherwise learning more about what you have to offer. During this phase, you can use your email lists very wisely, by developing emails that include reviews or “how to” videos that will help you to convince the customers that they are making the right choice with your products. Customers want to feel good about what they are buying, and you can help them with this by confirming that their interest is warranted. Make sure that they know the benefits, advantages and value of making a purchase through your company.
Step Four: Purchasing
This is an obvious part of the process, but the most important part, really. As the customer is ready to make the purchase and going through the necessary steps, you need to make sure that it is as simple as possible for them to give you their money. If you are using email marketing lists to promote your products, make certain that there is a link to your shopping cart checkout page. If you are trying to promote downloaded materials, then the link should be prominently featured right there, so that the customer does not have to go looking for it. The simpler you make it for them to make the purchase, the better chances you have of capturing that conversion at the time the customer is ready to spend their money.
Step Five: Post Purchase
The purchase is not the last step in the process. What happens after the purchase is just as important, because you want to make sure that the customer is satisfied and that they will not only come back again and spend more money, but that they will be able to help you by referring others to you, or mentioning your company on their social media networks. Customers are a powerful part of your advertising, and you need to make the most of every customer. Ask the members of your email marketing list if they would perhaps be willing to submit a testimonial about their experience with your company, and you can use this in your future mailings and proudly use it when communicating with other members of your email list.
Understanding the processes and feelings that customers may be experiencing during the buying process can help you to use your email lists more wisely. Segmenting your lists, based on the phases of the buying cycle that your target audience may be in, can be extremely helpful as you attempt to close the sale on more customers. You can increase conversions simply by getting the right messages to the right customers at the right time. Timing is critical when it comes to internet marketing, and your strategy should include being able to get to know your email list members and individualize their experience as much as possible. Hitting the recipients with the wrong message at the wrong time can make them feel bombarded, or come across as perhaps too pushy. This is why you need to pay careful attention to your email marketing lists and know how to maximize the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign.
When you can close the purchase loop by using your email list more effectively, you will find that the process moves much more smoothly from lead to sale. Each customer is going to need something a little bit different, and you need to understand what they are thinking, and how the psychology of the buying process works, and then you will find that you can become a much more successful internet marketing specialist! Customers appreciate the attention to detail, and they always prefer to work with knowledgeable business people, so learning what you can about the entire process will make everything more effective.