How many times have you been invited to one of those home parties? You know the kind: kitchenware, make-up, jewelry, clothing, essential oils, purses, candles, and even weight loss coffee these days! How many times have you dreaded going, but felt bad saying no because you promised your friend you’d be there? You enjoy going to socialize, have a drink and some appetizers, with no intention whatsoever to purchase, but you end up making a guilt purchase anyway. You leave with buyer's remorse wondering, “Are they really a model for a successful small business?” Well, they probably provide passion and provision for some people, but they are a good example of how NOT to make people feel when they are a potential customer for any business. Let’s think of it in marketing terms.
You didn’t have to buy any kitchenware you won’t use or make-up you won’t wear – but you felt obligated to do so because the consultant was probably a really good one, making a great argument justifying your purchase and becoming borderline pushy trying to convert you to buy. This is the part we’re focusing on – the conversion – to help you have a successful small business.
When you attend a home party, you have essentially become a lead – someone the consultant is trying to turn into a customer by letting you see, taste, feel, smell, and experience the product. The act of you showing up at the party turned you into a lead because you showed interest in the product. Regardless of whether you purchase anything or not, you most likely filled out an entry form to win a free something, so they’ve captured your information – and you’ll now be bombarded with phone calls and emails of the latest thing. How annoying!
An inbound marketing strategy does this too, but there are two KEY differences – it actually gives your website visitors what they want and it doesn’t guilt them into anything. Once someone has landed on your website it’s up to you to be a good host. There are three pieces involved in any successful online conversion process:
- Landing pages
- Email nurturing
Let’s assume you’ve already created the helpful content people are looking for. We’ll even use a home based-business product as an example. If you sell make-up, then an inbound marketing conversion process might look something like this:
- First you create a helpful piece of content that someone could download on your website. How about a “Guide to Knowing the Right Colors for Your Skin Tone.”
- You need a call-to-action for this offer. A call-to-action tells the visitor what to do next. So it might say, “Match Your Make-Up to Your Skin-Tone – Download Your Free Guide Now!” with a button that says “Learn More.”
- When the visitor clicks “Learn More” they are taken to a landing page that has a catchy headline related to the call-to-action, some brief bullet points describing the offer, and a form to fill out requesting your information to get the offer. The form might just be a name and email, or you could ask for more if it’s appropriate, but less is more in this case.
So, if someone searched Google for “what make-up should I use” and your website popped up in the search results, they clicked the link, saw a call-to-action for a free download about matching make-up to skin tone, they would probably click on it, fill out the form on the landing page, and voila! You’ve captured their information, which means they have been converted from visitor to lead.
Now you can follow up with a few emails timed appropriately to offer them more helpful information, such as being notified of a party in their area or hosting a party to get free stuff. Do you see the difference? This person probably wouldn’t dread going to or hosting a party because they are already interested in the product. No more guilt purchases!
Inbound marketing isn’t just for home-based businesses that host parties! It can help any company become a successful small business without being pushy or making people feel forced to become a customer. If you’d like to learn more about implementing an inbound marketing strategy for your business, contact us at Half a Bubble Out. We’re a passion and provision company that offers marketing, advertising, and consulting and we’re friendly and helpful!