How complete is your integrated marketing strategy? Does it stop once you get your consumers to the shopping cart or once your consumers submit a form? How important is it to include strategic tactics that follow the consumers through until the sale is made?
As a marketer, I often use my purchasing experiences as an opportunity to gain insight on how I can improve results for my clients. Today, I’m going to share a recent experience I had. This is a perfect example of how easy it is for companies to lose sales even when they have implemented a well thought-out marketing plan.
In this article, you will find 4 valuable tips to get customers in your sales funnel as well as 4 common mistakes companies make that loses the sale. As a bonus, you will also gain insight on marketing tactics you can start using to attract customers away from your competitors, on their marketing dollars.
Here’s my story…Like many other people, I bolted into 2015 with a resolution to get fit. This time, I had a plan. After seeing dozens, if not hundreds, of commercials for the Bowflex TreadClimber, I was convinced that this machine was the answer to dropping the XX pounds, I desperately needed to lose.
Now that my decision had been made, I sat down at my computer and performed a search for Blowflex TreadClimber. Although there were several organic options, I choose to click on the paid ad that promised a savings of over $608.
Upon my arrival at the website, I was greeted with a large red image that caught my attention immediately as it confirmed the promise that I would save over $608. Since I like to save money, I was even more resolved to make this purchase.
Then when I went to finalize my purchase, I saw a notification offering me 18 months of interest free financing. It was like Christmas all over again. I completed the credit application and upon the notification of approval… my doorbell rang.
Two weeks later, I’m happy to announce that I’m the proud owner of a NordicTrack X9i Incline Trainer.
You are probably wondering how I went from deciding to purchase a Bowflex TreadClimber (even getting credit approval) to actually purchasing an Incline Trainer from Bowflex’s number one competitor, NordicTrack. First, I’ll share four things that Bowflex did extremely well.
• SEO – the entire organic area of the first page was monopolized with Bowflex related listings. The content in these listing were extremely relevant and valuable. This is evidence that Bowflex is using best practices for both onsite and offsite SEO.
• Paid Search – the paid ads for Bowflex contain specific offerings that entice consumers to click on their ads. It is best practice to use specific offerings and benefits or other content that is unique to you. This way, your ads will stand out instead of blending in with competitor ads.
• Landing page relevance – when ad message matches the content of the landing page, it increases the confidence level of the consumer. In this situation it was the $608 dollar savings. It is best practice to keep your product, service and offer consistent between ads and landing pages.
• Check out process – since there was an option to get interest free financing, it eliminated my concern about taking $2,000 from my checking account. This follows two best practices. The first is to eliminate concerns or objections that would prevent a consumer from purchasing. The second is to offer more than one way to make the purchase.
Once I explain how it all went wrong with Bowflex and what you can do to ensure you do not suffer a similar fate, I will first tell you how I ended up actually purchasing a NordicTrack machine.
My purchase was disrupted by a distraction, the doorbell. There are various distractions that prevent a consumer from taking that final step of making the purchase. Distractions happen often and if you want to secure the sale, you need to be prepared.
There were several steps Bowflex could have done differently to better guide me through the purchase. Below are your don’t tips on how you can minimize or eliminate the risk of losing your low hanging fruit to your competitors.
1. Ensure emails are relevant to the stage of the purchasing cycle.
Several hours after receiving approval from my credit application, I started receiving emails asking me if I would like help completing the credit application process. I continued to receive emails with this message for the next week, total 5 duplicate emails. Since I already completed this process, I ignored these emails.
If there was an offer in the email to help me complete my purchase or if the email contained instructions to contact someone to answer questions to help complete my purchase, I would have been more likely to take action.
2. Use an email series to remind consumers of why they were interested in the product.
Instead of sending the same irrelevant email 5 times, the following 4 email message concepts could have been used in a series to win me back.
• Remind me of the $608 savings. Since I clicked on an ad containing this message, it is likely this offer enticed me.
• Email about the $608 savings offering ending. This would create a sense of urgency.
Considering the season, reminding me to keep my fitness goals in mind, and how the TreadClimber would help.
• Announce a better offer for a very limited time.
I did not see any remarketing ads from Bowflex in the two weeks between completing the application and purchasing the Incliner. Remarketing ads could have been used to entice me to finalize my purchase in a similar fashion as above.
4. Remember, timing is everything.
A week after my NordicTrack arrived, Bowflex called me to offer an additional $200 discount to finalize my purchase. What can I say that Pat Benatar hasn’t already said, “It’s a little too little, a little too late”.
Wondering how I ended up purchasing a NordicTrack instead of the Bowflex?
For the next two weeks after completing my application, my resolve to reach my fitness goals diminished. My new fear became that I was going to end up with a $2,000 machine that never gets used. Before I completely gave up, I decided to go to YouTube for the purpose of viewing video demonstrations on the benefits and ease of use.
Instead of finding Bowflex videos that eased this concern, all I could find were videos demonstrating why NordicTrack was a better option than Bowflex. I was sold. One of the videos brought me to the NordicTrack website where I was able to make an immediate purchase with 18 months no interest financing terms.
Based on the numerous things Bowflex did correctly and the fact that they were able to get me to their shopping cart, it was evident they are practicing integrated marketing. At the same time, my experience after the cart, lead me to believe that minimal thought was given to winning back abandoned sales. Their integrated marketing strategy was incomplete.
If you don’t want to get caught with your hands in empty pockets wondering where your marketing ROI went, or spending your advertising budget to grow your competitors’ market share, make sure your integrated marketing strategies are complete.
As a final tip, consider using an outside marketing agency that specializes in integrated marketing strategies. Doing so will help to ensure that elements are considered for all stages of the sales cycle, thus minimizing the risk of losing customers already in the sales funnel. Whether you need someone to audit your existing marketing strategy or create it from scratch, DirectiveGroup can help. Contact us today.