Are You Asking for the Digital Marketing Sale?

7 Marketing Tactics to Get Prospects to Act

Whether they’re doing social media, digital marketing or content marketing, executives often complain their marketing doesn’t work. A closer examination of the marketing in question reveals that the creator was so focused on the blog post, email or webpage that they neglected to communicate what they want the prospect to do.

Earlier this week, I watched a blind woman and her service dog wait for a commuter train. When the train arrived, a conductor came out and led them onto the train. It made me think about how as marketers we spend lots of time and resources developing promotional campaigns but forgot to take prospects by the hand and lead them to the next action we want them to take.

Fixing this problem is relatively easy. After determining your marketing goal, decide what action you want your prospect to take. While your ultimate is probably closing a sale, each time you engage with your prospect, the action and goal may vary. Remember you’re examining tactics and sub-tactics.

Here are seven suggestions to motivate your prospects to action and improve your results.

  1. Add a call-to-action. After spending time with your marketing, readers may not know what to do next. Take a cue from old-fashioned direct marketers and give them a call-to-action. Test which copy works best, where to place the call-to-action and how many placements are needed for maximum effectiveness. To help, here are thirty-three calls-to-action.
  2. Ask for the sale. To leverage the ability of your content or social media (including blogs) to drive sales, incorporate links to appropriate product purchase pages in the content so readers can click to find out more or purchase. If you’ve got a retail establishment or sales team, include a phone number to give readers another option to close the sale.
  3. Invite readers to participate and give their views. This encompasses reader comments on content, blogs and products. If you want online engagement in the form of content, then give readers a question or two to ponder at the end of your column. Alternatively, ask them to rate your products or content. To encourage further engagement, respond promptly to customer input to show that you’re listening and you care.
  4. Provide at least one response channel. Prospects and customers may have specific questions they need answered before they’ll take action. Make sure you’re monitoring customer communication channels and responding in a timely fashion. Bear in mind prospects will use any channel where your organization has a presence to communicate and get answers. This applies to  email addresses, phone numbers and social media presence.
  5. Suggest they share the content. Give visitors a few choices of social sharing such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. While there’s wide variety of options, don’t overwhelm visitors with too many or they may not respond. Incorporate a related call-to-action to guide them.
  6. Propose visitors stay in touch. Offer the ability to follow you on Twitter, join your Facebook page, get your email or get your feeds (RSS). This provides another opportunity to engage later.
  7. Request buyers review your products. Use purchase events as a reason to reconnect with customers by getting them to review your products. This serves two goals: it provides user content that prospective shoppers are looking for and it gets customers back to your website.

Regardless of how good your marketing is, you need to guide prospects to action whether it’s the next step in the process, a sale or engagement. As any good sales person will tell you, it’s important to keep closing. Test different copy, presentation and placement to determine the optimal approach.

Are there any other ways that you get your prospects and visitors to engage with your marketing? If so, please add your recommendations in the comment section below.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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Photo credit: bfhoyt via Flickr

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