Why do you have a website?
No really, stop and think about that for a moment.
If you’ve never thought about that before, you’re not alone.
But it’s an important question.
Why Businesses Have Websites
A lot of marketing advice out there — including information here on my blog — is about how to get people to your website and how to get them to engage with the website once they get there. But there’s a missing piece, that’s often overlooked.
And that missing piece? Businesses have websites so that they can make more money.
Your website’s job is to take anonymous visitors — random people from the internet — and turn them into “known” people, who you can (eventually) sell a product or service. After all, not everyone who visits your website is going to become a customer and even those who visit your site with the best of intentions may get distracted and forgot to come back.
So that means it’s your job to figure out how to stay on their radar. Which means you need a way of capturing their information.
Which really is just another way of saying you need a form. And, because people don’t really like handing over their information without a good reason, you need something of value to offer them in exchange for filling out that form.
Behind the Scenes: Research from 110 dog trainers
Let me show you behind the scenes here at Click and Repeat for a moment, as an example.
If you scroll down to the bottom of this post, you’ll notice I have a form encouraging you to sign up for my email list. Signing up gets you emails each time I publish a blog post AND, more importantly, it gets you a copy of my report on what marketing tactics work (and which don’t) for dog trainers, based on a survey I did of 110 R+ trainers.
Pretty powerful stuff, huh?
(Don’t worry, if you want to go sign up now, this article will still be here when you get back. I’ll wait.)
Without this, you’d have two options the first time you visit my website — decide to hire me right away, or leave the site (possibly never to return). Guess what I don’t want you to do?
However, it can’t just end there. If you sign up for my email list and then never hear from me again… that’s actually not any better than if you’d just decided to leave. So the one tool I want you to think carefully about today is your email newsletter.
The One Mistake You’re Probably Making with Your Marketing
Probably the single most common mistake I see business people make (and by business people, I’m including dog trainers!), is not thinking about how they’re going to get and keep clients.
Sure, they may run a Facebook page and share pictures of their cute daycare dogs, or graduation photos from their classes. And that’s great. It’s a fantastic way to get people to share your posts on Facebook. Or they may place an ad in the local paper. And sometimes that’s all it takes—people see the ad or the facebook post and decide to register for a class.
But more and more often, people are doing research before they make a purchase. And business owners rarely think through how they can actually attract and then convince someone they’ve never met to sign up for a class if that person doesn’t sign up right away.
And that leaves an awful lot of money on the table.
A Tool to Help You Fix It
You’ve probably caught on by now that the tool to help you fix this problem is to create a newsletter and use some sort of an incentive to get people to sign up.
The truth is creating a newsletter is actually much easier than most people realize. In fact, Mailchimp will allow you to do it for free for up to 2,000 subscribers. And most email service providers like Mailchimp offer a way to set up an automatic RSS-feed based email system, so your latest blog posts will be sent to subscribers automatically.
Then, you just have to go in and manually send out an email any time you’re getting ready to start a new class. And just like that, you’ve set yourself up with a more effective marketing funnel.
How do YOU ensure people don’t come to your website once and then never return? Were you making this mistake? Tell me about it in the comments!