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Persuasion Point 6: Sales Letters - Persuasion & Favour Reciprocation

Sarah Jamieson - Friday, March 28, 2014

This blog is adapted from a series of articles I wrote with my colleague James Atkinson entitled: SEO Strategy: Buyer Persuasion Points.


Your sales letter or verbal sales pitch is an important culminating point of your reciprocal relations, persuasion strategy, and sales process.

Sales letters are the last of the major persuasion points that I show in my previous eight blogs – that is, my series beginning at Buyer Persuasion Points.

Selling to prospects with whom you have built a relationship - is much easier than a “cold call” prospect reading a sales letter.

By the time your prospects reach your sales letter you should have addressed a number of issues and ensured that you have established TRUST.

In this next series of blogs I want to review all of the persuasion psychology techniques mentioned in my colleague’s and my series of articles on Persuasion Psychology.

The sales letter itself is where you can really use those ideas - to make sales.

Persuasion process begins when you first meet your online prospect. See Seller Persuasion Actions. Then, you must use every possible avenue to state your persuasion message – in blogs, videos, web content, social networks, email campaigns and so on.

Then, last of all – you complete the persuasion process in your sales letter.

Your sales letter should NOT be written as a document in and of itself. It is really the last page of a series of documents all of which have a purpose which culminates in the sales page.

And of course, the whole educative, social, and eMail process should be consistent and work as a whole.

All prospects – no matter whether they arrive at your site through search engines, a social site, or PPC - should be presented with a message consistent with that search medium’s needs but also consistent with your overall persuasion strategy.

That is, don’t present sales messages IN your social network and search content– but rather guide your prospects to the sales pages through email and persuasion principles.

Favour Reciprocation

It’s quite possible that your prospect’s journey to the sales letter has been initiated by some form of FAVOUR you have done for your prospect. We are all deeply conditioned to treat favoursor gifts as something we must reciprocate - so it does not hurt to have your prospects feel that they owe you a favour.

Reciprocation is a valuable tool in getting prospects to the sales letter.

You can do so via all sorts of gifts and free samples. Helping a prospect in some way or giving them a personalized service of some kind should engage the reciprocation rule in a strong way.

If you’ve done a favour for your prospect he or she will feel indebted to you - until that favor can be repaid with one of their own. This often means buying something from you.

With some prospects, the feeling of indebtedness is quite unpleasant and can often trigger a LARGER repayment than the initial small gift would suggest. How you trigger indebtedness in your prospects is a matter for you to think about long and hard.

Another way to employing the reciprocity principle is by making a concession to your prospect. Concessions work in a simple way. It may well be that the initial offering to your prospect is quite high priced – but you can offer your prospect a “personalized special” which is a very steep reduction.

The smaller less expensive offering can be presented as a concession. The concession activates the feeling of obligation to reciprocate. Of course, your lower-priced product may actually be the target of the sale all along.

If prospects are then presented with a lower price - that price can be presented as a concession – which should activate the reciprocity rule. So, think about how you present pricing – before the prospect gets to the sales letter.

Show Expensive Items FIRST

There is extensive proof and data that showing the most expensive price FIRST results in higher sales if a less expensive alternative is later provided.

If you have two expensive items and an expensive item is offered first, a lower-priced article that is seen immediately afterwards is perceived of as considerably less expensive.

With the internet, it’s super easy to test different versions of a concession – for example, does a 30% discount produce more sales and profits than a 15% discount?

You can have many different sales letters for the same product – just create a special link for each concession as it’s created. It’s a win for you because if the prospect buys at the higher price then you’ve done well.

You can also employ the concession persuasion principle in your ultimate pricing on the sales letter. You could start out with a somewhat exaggerated but still plausible price – from which you then “retreat” by offering a discount – over say the next day or so or other time limit.

There is also plenty of data to show that concessions on the part of a merchant increase customer’s satisfaction with the purchase. Thus reducing product returns.

The favor reciprocation principle is easy to misuse and so it should be exercised in an ethical manner.

In the next Persuasion Point blog I look at “Commitment and Consistency in Sales Letters”.


Persuasion Point 5 (a): Calls to Action - Join an eMail List

Sarah Jamieson - Wednesday, March 26, 2014

This blog is adapted from a series of articles I wrote with my colleague James Atkinson entitled: SEO Strategy: Buyer Persuasion Points.


This blog is about those prospects you have deemed ARE ready to buy.

Up to this point I have suggested that your marketing efforts should not be openly related to ‘sales’. But of course your entire marketing process is about SALES. It’s just that in the earlier Persuasion Points prospects are not ready to read or hear your sales message.

There is not much point in leading a prospect to a sales page if they are not ready to buy. The result is well, - they won’t buy!

Naturally there comes a point where that sales process must openly be about what you are selling. Ideally the prospect will already be in one of your ‘information’ eMail Marketing lists.

Accordingly, I suggest that you separate your social networks, search engine content, and PPC from the point where the information process openly becomes a sales process.

I’ve found this much easier to do in an eMail campaign. But of course you should test where best to start your “open” sales process.

But of course you also need to cater to those prospects who simply want to buy NOW. Most of these ‘buy now’ prospects will arrive via PPC. The image below shows the two types of prospect eventually reading your sales material:

Each of the green dots is a persuasion point. For more on going direct from PPC to Sales Letter see: Sales Force Automation.

The Role of eMail and Persuasion

One of the biggest mistakes web site owners make is not capturing the names and email addresses of their visitors so they can follow up later.

Even sites with high conversion rates lose the vast majority of visitors. Distraction plus lack of trust, information, and time to read and consider the offer all contribute to this.

The bulk of web site visitors do not buy anything on the first visit. The average web site conversion rate is around 1-2%. That means up to 99 out of every 100 visitors leave your site without buying, and most will never return!

When someone visits a search engine or a social site, they are usually actively seeking information about something. In my experience, people seeking information are much more willing to take action, for example, opt-in to your email list or buy from you - if you fulfil the need they are trying to meet. By contrast most offline advertising is incidental to what the user is trying to do, read the paper, watch their favourite TV show, listen to radio music and so on. Products that are advertised offline may fill a user need, but the users’ response rate will be lower because they are not ACTIVELY searching for a way to meet the need.

Online, you can position your message at multiple “key information points” where people go to search for a solution to their problems. For example: In the search engines, you can be the most relevant search listing or PPC ad; in social sites (forums, article directories, Facebook, etc.), you can be the helpful friend giving free advice; on related sites, you can show up as a relevant advertisement.

This hunger for information online also creates the opportunity to build a relationship with users - through repeated contact to deliver information. Online marketing is all about relationships, so this is a big advantage.

Online market research surveys let you find out exactly what information different market segments desire, and the language they themselves use to talk about it. It’s akin to reading prospects’ minds. You can then create content that is ultra-relevant and desirable for each segment. Information marketing is all about talking their problem before your product.

And because you understand their problem so well, and offer relevant information, you build trust. This can position you as the only choice in the market when you eventually deliver your sales message.

On the internet you can get your message in front of millions of people and can potentially generate huge amounts of traffic and sales. At the same time, you have unprecedented ability to target your message to the people who are most likely to buy, and then to quickly measure virtually everything they do.

With online marketing you have instant access to sophisticated statistics like click-through rates, conversion rates, ad and keyword stats, email open rates, split and multivariate tests and so on.

This kind of targeting massively increases your sales conversion rate. When you use people’s own language and the exact features and benefits they’ve told you they want, you are telling them exactly what they want to hear - in order to BUY. In my experience this usually equates to a large increase in sales.

This is very different to offline marketing, where market research is very expensive (e.g. focus groups), making it hard for small businesses to benefit from research.

In addition, offline segmentation is a tough process. You can only target your offline message to a relatively broad group, based on the demographic profile of the average viewer of a certain TV show, reader of a certain magazine, and so on.

So, persuasion begins in search engine and social network content – then flows through into the eMails that you send out to your prospects. It must be a slow and well thought through process. Don’t start your sales messages immediately your prospect opts-in to your list.

Take your time and build the relationships – then give out the sales message. It has to be a “natural” process – not forced. It has to flow in a logical way.

Yes, it is time consuming and difficult. But remember this, once you have set up your content > sales process it’s pretty much automated.

I often read that you must get your message out seven times before it is effective. That’s not been my experience. I think the important issue here is not some magic number of email messages, but rather of simply letting your prospects get to know you and creating a reciprocal relationship – over a period of time.

Computer screens are pretty faceless and it’s difficult to have eye ball conversations with prospects. On the face of it, then, you would think that it’s easier to build relationships OFFLINE. My experience however, is the opposite.

The internet is not as faceless as it first appears. You CAN build relationships online – very quickly and relatively inexpensively.

I mentioned above that providing information and content is a great way to build relationships. Of course writing articles and making videos for the social networks takes time and this is a cost to you – but often you can do it at minimal cost.

In any event, when your prospect is deemed ready to buy – you must refer them to a sales letter which is the topic of my next blog.

Persuasion Point 5: Prospects Respond to an Action Call

Sarah Jamieson - Tuesday, March 25, 2014

This blog is adapted from a series of articles I wrote with my colleague James Atkinson entitled: SEO Strategy: Buyer Persuasion Points.

In this series of blogs on Persuasion Points, have shown that there a number of points at which an online business can influence and persuade searchers and prospects. Persuasion Points are predictable and can be discovered through market research.

These points are excellent places at which online sellers create and begin ‘reciprocal relationships’ with searchers. The right types of reciprocal relationships eventually lead to sales.

I have earlier discussed the following entry Points:

  • Prospects have a need or desire
  • Prospects start researching online
  • Prospects start an educative process
  • Prospects engage in social relationships.

Thus, knowing the ‘Persuasion Points’ of buyers in their marketplace a business can then “convert at all the bases” so that the entire search-to-sales continuum is covered. To put it another way – you should publish content that allows searchers to FIND your business no matter which Persuasion Point the searcher enters the search-to-sales continuum.

I now move to the fifth of these points – Prospects Respond to a 'Call to Action'.

When a prospect wants to solve a need, desire, or problem they’ll often seek or encounter an online ‘call to action’ offer. This is where many sellers BEGIN their sales process. You of course know better!

In online jargon, sales relationships are often referred to as “direct response”.

What is direct response?

It’s an offering that demands a direct response. For example, the seller / marketer seeks an opt-in to an email list or directs you to a sales letter then seeks a buy response. Thus for more information the prospect may: click on a Google Adwords, join an email list, click from an email to a sales letter, click a BUY button on a sales letter and so on.

All eBusinesses MUST incorporate direct response attributes which is another way of saying you need a sales process.

In internet marketing, the terms “direct response” and “direct market” appear to mean the same thing. But there are qualitative differences. So, I want to briefly discuss two aspects of direct response marketing

1. The direct response as internet marketing ‘norm’

The use of the direct market model EXCLUSIVELY – without the benefit of surveys, prospect segmentation, SEO, and Social Marketing is the most prevalent online business model and is widely taught by internet marketing gurus as the only eBusiness model that works!

Because it holds a ‘normative’ position, this type of direct marketing causes many systemic dysfunctions in markets.

When I was learning internet marketing, I used the direct market model exclusively and extensively. The old model WORKS – though it is expensive to operate and you need to be very wary of advertising costs – especially Adwords.

Strictly speaking direct response by itself is a MARKETING system, but many eBusiness owners would consider direct response as their primary eBusiness “model”.

This form of online marketing is practiced by many large corporations and individuals who appear to function from a “making-money” point of view. This type of activity may eventually lead to a form of systemic dysfunction in particular marketplaces.
For example, in the “internet business” market, GREED and “making money” drip through the pages of endless emails and sales letters.

Wary buyers eventually turn off the hype and conversion rates drop below 1%. Put another way, 99% of potential customers are not really “listening” and the cost of doing business in a market becomes prohibitive.

The direct marketing standard is actually an offline business model. I’m sure you’ve encountered this model. All that junky paraphernalia stuffed into your mail box is one part of the model. The online model uses the same techniques adapted to the internet.

It works, but it’s becoming less & less effective, more & more expensive - especially now that Google and other search engines are shifting their search algorithms towards shared social relevance.

2. ‘Call to Action’ as a necessary part of a sales process

This facet of direct response is simply the sales process part of my system. It is the fifth of the Persuasion Points that I show above.

All online businesses must have some form of direct response ‘call to action’ sales process. This is one of the advantages of running an internet business. It is relatively easy to set up these systems – such as obtaining an eMail opt-in, directing prospects to a sales letter and so on.

The model allows a great number of areas in which persuasion principles can be built into your sales process.

The internet is a wonderful place to establish “like-minded” communities. It’s relatively easy and inexpensive. When you “sell” in a community environment – you are tapping into a long-established way of doing business.

Picture a hardware store in a small town - run by a Mr. Jones. When you want help to fix a leaking roof you go to Mr. Jones. He advises you how its done and provides all the necessary materials. He does not try to “sell” you a bunch of unnecessary goods.

You have a reciprocal relationship with Mr. Jones. He advises you and he knows you’ll buy what’s necessary to do the job. Reciprocal relationships - this is the best way to sell.

For more information of how our Persuasionworks system functions please see: Online Marketing Strategies.

In the next blog I’ll look more closely at various ‘calls to action’.


Persuasion Point 4: Prospects Engage in Social Communities

Sarah Jamieson - Monday, March 24, 2014

This blog is adapted from a series of articles I wrote with my colleague James Atkinson entitled: SEO Strategy: Buyer Persuasion Points.


This is the fourth Persuasion Point in my series. Please see my earlier blogs on the topic.

Your goal in the social networks is to gain trust and build a community. By doing this you create the ideal conditions for sales.

There seems little point in spending time and money building sites and relationships if you don't have a sales and back end sales process. You want prospects and customers – not thousands of online friends.

As the image below shows, sales persuasion does not occur 'clear space':

The picture illustrates some of the many factors that influence the buyer - in addition to the psychology issues raised above in Why Buyers Buy.

Online social relationships that are imbued with Meta Narratives are an excellent way to affect your persuasion strategy. I'll explain Meta Narratives in a later blog.

Social networks are a Key Information Point where conversations are happening in your market, opinions are being formed, and buying decisions are being made.

Social networks are a powerful vehicle to create traffic, persuade, and influence the decision to buy. Online social media has a huge user base that is rapidly increasing all the time.

The reality is that if you're not influencing your prospects in the social networks, then your competitors will. Social networks are different from traditional internet marketing – users want quality information and interactions with like-minded people.

Sales pitches in social networks are ineffective.

The way to create traffic and sales through social networks is by building reciprocal relationships with prospects. Persuasion research shows that familiarity makes people more likely to find what you say credible and convincing. Familiarity makes prospects like you more, another driver in creating influence. These are compelling reasons to engage with your market regularly.

Google is also paying attention to social networking. Your level of social influence now has a direct effect on your search engine rankings. Social networks are a Key Information Point where you can exert enormous influence to gain more traffic, sales, and even higher search engine rankings.

Social Networks and Persuasion

Social networks give you a valuable way to engage with prospects and shape their views throughout the buying cycle. You can join in the conversation and shape prospects' views about your market.

This extends all the way from pre-buyers who are researching a market to existing customers with whom you want to deepen relationships.

Before the internet, marketers didn't have much influence in the buying cycle until a prospect was actually ready to buy – at which time their opinions had of course already been formed. Shaping opinions in the pre-buying stage was tough.

Prospects got their information from a small group of friends and that was what influenced buying decisions.

Likewise, we didn't have as much influence on the backend to keep customers buying. Contacting customers to deepen relationships, build loyalty, and reinforce our unique benefits was difficult and expensive.

Social networks have also made business a lot more transparent. Bad products and service are discussed and word spreads very quickly. Good products and service will also get 'talked about'!

The information prospects find in social media influences their opinions about the market, their needs, and the features and benefits they want.

You need to have a voice in that conversation and engage your market on social networks. If you don't, you can be sure your competitors will.

The Future of Social Influence

As an interesting aside, haute couture has over the years recognizes the importance of the internet for sales. At the Dolce & Gabbana show in Summer 2009, CEOs of the major cloths retailers were pushed back from their normal position in the first row.

Who displaced the executives? The CEO of an online retailer!

In a show for the high-end Dolce & Gabbana line a few days later, bloggers occupied front-row seats. In the ultra-hierarchical world of high fashion, this was a significant shift towards the internet. Online high-fashion retailers Net-a-porter and Yoox have proven that haute couture sells online.

Social networks like Twitter and Facebook are full of brands like Louis Vuitton and Burberry, and audiences at the European shows were Tweeting about the runway action as it happened.

Dolce & Gabbana now have their own online magazine and create web content by having their European shows filmed from multiple angles to be released online – everything from the street outside, guests arriving, and the designers inspecting models backstage, to the runway show itself.

Traditionally, fashion magazines - like Vogue - are the media where audiences for designer labels seek information. Magazines create a seamless blend between advertising and editorial content. The content exists to support the advertising and give it third-party credibility.

However, this is clearly changing. Now the Key Information Points are also found online, in the search engines, social networks, and blogs are starting to shape the audience conversation.

The Goal of Social Marketing

Your social marketing goal is to build relationships with a loyal community of people who regard you as a trusted authority.

You do this using a two-pronged approach:

  • Quality, relevant content
  • Two-way interactions

This is where persuasion principles come into play.

Giving people content that is of value to them and helping them through personal interactions activates the reciprocation principle. They will subtly but powerfully feel obligated to repay you by buying or taking some other action like sharing your content or joining your email list.

A community of people who are engaged with your content is a very powerful force for influence. People who enjoy your quality content will share it to the farthest reaches of the social networks.

Content sharing creates an ever-increasing influence ripple effect for you as your content achieves more prominence and produces more followers, traffic, and sales.

Google now considers social network prominence – for example: how much your content is being shared, voted for, and bookmarked – as a primary factor in rankings. Social factors have largely replaced the old link-building model, which was too easy to manipulate, as the main criteria for off-page relevance.

The biggest asset you can gain from social media is a community. Quality content and personal interactions are investments you make to build your community.

This is how you establish trust, loyalty, and a following. Once these elements are in place, the benefits of social networks flow naturally.

Communities = higher ranking = more sales!

Social Networking is Very Different from Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing tactics don't work in social networks – period.

If you want to be successful in social media, you'll need to unlearn much of what you know about marketing.

Here's the difference in a nutshell:

  • Traditional internet marketing is about going out and pitching your sales message to a cold audience that has never heard of you. Hype, sales resistance, and lack of trust are familiar features.
  • Social networking is about building relationships to position yourself as a trusted expert through quality content and two-way interactions. People naturally come to you when they're ready to buy because they see buying from you as being in their own best interests.

People on social networks are not receptive to overt selling. They want information and relationships with people they trust, not a sales pitch. Any attempt to sell on social networks does not work, and could damage your reputation.

Social media is about building relationships with an ever-expanding community of followers. The first step is to gain trust. You do this with quality, relevant content that is of value to your audience.

Once prospects associate you with quality again and again, they will start to trust you. This giving and helping approach leads to a position of influence, trust and authority in your market. From there, traffic and sales follow naturally.

With the social networks, you don't have to go out and try to sell prospects that have never heard of you and don't trust you. As I already mentioned, trust is a condition that must exist before a sale can be made.

But a sales letter is not the ideal place to establish trust. Trust is best earned slowly over time with quality content and two-way interactions. With social networks, you build relationships to establish the ideal conditions to make sales: people already know and trust you by the time they are ready to buy.

You are not trying to sell anyone, per se. You are simply using the leverage of social networks to shift their mindset so they grow to trust you as an expert who is on their side.

Once prospects see you as an advocate who is on their side, they will view it as being in their own best interests to buy from you. Once prospects have made this change in their perception, they have an internally-generated motivation to buy. You don't have to try to sell them with hype and marketing pitches – they will sell themselves on your products because they believe they are the right choice.

People will come to you when they're ready to buy rather than you having to go to them. You have achieved a position where what you want and what they want are the same thing – a win-win situation.

Their perception of you has changed from someone they know nothing about (the position marketers are in with traditional internet marketing)to someone they know and trust as their advocate.

And the speed with which this can be accomplished online is astounding!

My next Persuasion Point is Prospects Engage in a Call to Action.

Persuasion Point 3: Prospects and the Educative Process

Sarah Jamieson - Sunday, March 23, 2014

This blog is adapted from a series of articles I wrote with my colleague James Atkinson entitled: SEO Strategy: Buyer Persuasion Points.


When prospects want to solve a problem or need, they initially WANT information about that topic. The information helps them solve the problem.

This is the third of the Persuasion Points that I list in earlier blogs. This the point at which you begin to create reciprocal relationships – that ultimately lead to a sales process.

People go online to find out about things – to educate themselves about all sorts of subjects. Before you begin to write content that educates you should conduct a survey to help you discover exactly the distinct segments of your market, what each segment wants, and what drives them to buy. Thus, market research creates a blueprint for your products and marketing messages. It is the foundation of all successful persuasion and marketing. See Prospect Segmentation.

When searchers seek information they are NOT particularly receptive to advertising or sales letters – they are looking for information.

This is a golden opportunity for you to engage your market as they search for solutions. You can use your content and interactions with them to shape their views of the market and position yourself as an authority in that market.

Most of all, you can gain prospects' trust. Trust is the foundation that must be in place before you make a single sale. That’s why web sites spend so much time on testimonials, credentials, sales numbers, proof screenshots, and so on. It all builds trust.

In this pre-buying stage, prospects are most responsive to non-sales content that builds trust – things like informative, useful and relevant blog posts, videos, and articles.

The Power of Content

Your survey should have already pinpointed the exact problems that your market wants to solve, thus providing you a golden opportunity to help prospects – and position yourself as a trusted authority at the same time.

You can publish the content on your web site, blog, and social networking profiles. The content may be text, videos, audios, images - any medium really that is going to grab your prospects’ attention.

Your main vehicles to get visitors to your content are the search engines and social networks. You need an integrated strategy to position yourself high on the search engine organic results and to make yourself highly visible in the social networks.

As they continue to consume your content, you should be influencing and shaping the views of your prospects and placing yourself in a position of strength – as a trusted authority.

Producing lots of excellent, useful free content can be highly persuasive and enables you to activate a number of the influence principles discussed in our articles section. When you are genuinely educating people about how to solve their problems you can do this without the pressure of the sales environment.

Positioning yourself in this way provides a number of advantages. From free content pages you can get followers to join your email lists - so you can communicate with them whenever you choose.

Pre-existing relationships result in more sales, less resistance, and no need to use hard sell tactics.

Because they already like and trust you and see you as an authority, they will naturally give you their business. In so doing you can position yourself as the best choice when your prospects are ready to buy.

Relevant Content Leads to HUGE Traffic and Sales

Search engines know that users are only interested in one thing: relevance. You’ve got to give the search engines what they want – relevant content that meets searchers’ needs. See The Relevancy Regulators.

Once you do that, the search engines give you what you want – lots of targeted visitors.

The same rule applies to social networks. You simply can’t fake your way to social prominence using sales messages!

The only way to harness the enormous power of the search engines and social networks is to follow a strategic plan to provide - on a regular basis - two things:

  • High-quality, relevant content
  • Relevant social interaction

The prospect’s information search starts long before the sale and often continues well after the first sale for as long as the person remains interested in the market.

They Google it, and in many markets they identify and read / watch the new information on their favorite content sites daily, or sign up for email lists so they can get content delivered regularly.

In my previous blog, I’ve explained in "The Search Continuum" how you can take advantage of the prospect’s search for information. We can now influence prospects throughout the buying process which can be presented in different places – for example:

  • Pre-Buying Education Content

    This is the stage where prospects have identified a need and are searching for information and solutions. They are still forming opinions and assessing which features and benefits are important. The keywords prospects enter in the search engines at this stage are called “information” or “educative” keywords.

Virtually all traffic originates from a search engine or social network!

The pre-buying stage is important because information gathered at this stage actually creates buying decisions. In the past, prospects would have gathered this information from their circle of friends, but now the information search has moved online.

Thus, the internet allows you to put your message in front of prospects and shape their perceptions of the market.

So what’s the best way to influence prospects?

At the pre-buying stage prospects use search engines and social networks heavily because those sources are believed to provide unbiased, transparent, and non-sales information.

It is for this stage that you create high-quality educative content. The results of your earlier survey should provide the answers to questions that prospects are seeking.

Your answers are then perceived to be ultra-relevant to prospects’ needs.

During the pre-buying stage, prospects are researching the market and the available solutions. At this point, they aren’t ready to buy yet, so ads and sales letters that aim to get an immediate sale won’t be effective. Something more subtle means are needed – influence and persuasion. Using your survey, you’ll find out exactly the topics people in your market are desperate to know more about.

Use this knowledge to create irresistibly relevant content that speaks directly to prospects. The content must be free and have no apparent sales message. Your goal is influence: to position yourself so that when they are ready to buy, they naturally come to you.

Sales Eucation

This is the educative process that directly leads to sales. I try to keep my pre-buying educative process separate from my sales education process.

Probably the easiest way to do this is to run sales education via autoresponder email and video campaigns. But of course this is a matter for your own online business model. In addition, WHEN you start your sales education is also a matter for your own business model.

The Sale

This is the process that directly leads up to the sale.

It includes direct response elements designed to make the sale, like ads and your sales letter.

The survey will tell you the “buying”keywords that can lead to an immediate sale so you can put your ads in front of the prospects who are ready to buy right away.

The Backend

Many online business models rely heavily on the backend – that is, they’ll take a loss on creating a customer through say Adwords in the hope that the customer will buy more products on the backend. Because you can contact customers directly by email, marketing costs fall in the backend. Thus, conversion rates are higher when you sell to existing customers.

Your content goal in the backend is to continue building strong relationships that create powerful loyalty to keep your customers buying. I suggest you strengthen your relationship with customers with lots of quality content and personal contact.

As you continue to create first-rate content such as blog posts, articles, and videos and distribute them socially, you’ll achieve some important benefits. You will:

  • Deepen your relationship with your customers
  • Increase familiarity, an important component of influence
  • Control mindshare
  • Remind them of your unique benefits
  • Strengthen their loyalty
  • Increase their willingness to buy from you again.

All of these are important embellishments to your overall persuasion and sales process strategy.

In my next blog I'll look at Persuasion Point 4: Getting Sales From Social Networks.

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