A business starts and ends with the customer. Without customers, you cannot do business for you will not have anyone to buy your products or services. Acquiring customers is a continuous problem for businesses for they are always looking to sell more and make more profits. Don’t you think it’s about time to start affiliate program planning?
Today, you’ll learn the strategies used to easily acquire customers online.
Strategy #1: Search Engine Optimization
What is the first thing that customers do when they like to buy something? There is a high likelihood that they’ll search for their desired item in the search engines. And if you have not done the work to show up in the results, you’re doomed.
This is the reason why search engine optimization is important. You need to be there for your customers when they need you but you can only do that by being their first choice when they search for your products or service online
Search engine optimization is the process of tweaking aspects of your website to convince the search engine robots that your website is about a particular keyword. So if you like to rank for a particular keyword, your website should contain that keyword or words that are related to that keyword (LSI Keywords) and you have websites that talks about that keyword linking to you.
To put it simply, you want the search engine robots to relate your website with your main keyword so that they will rank you higher in the front page.
You may have heard of multiple terms when you read about search engine optimization. You may have seen concepts like offpage optimization and onpage optimization. Onpage optimization simply refers to on-the-website tweaking while offpage optimization is all about getting other websites to link to your website.
Here are some resources that will help you understand SEO better.
- Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO
- Google’s SEO Starter Guide
- Kissmetric’s SEO Guide
- Backlinko’s 200 Google Ranking Factors
- Neil Patel’s SEO Made Simple
Pagespeed can affect your rankings. Fortunately, Google has a tool for this. All you need to do is enter the URL and the tool will assess your loading time and overall performance of your website.
Want to see who is linking to you? OpenSiteExplorer can help you. It has a range of tools including link analysis as well as give you a list of your most linked pages. You can also use the tool to research for your competitor’s websites.
Need to test if your keywords are worth ranking for? Google Keyword Tool will give you the search volume and competition level that you need. It is free to use and you can get all the insights quickly.
If you want to look at your keywords and websites thoroughly, Ahrefs is your weapon. Ahrefs has a way to show all the websites linking to a particular URL as well as generate metrics on those websites (no. of backlinks, DA, etc.). And it does not stop there. Ahrefs also has a keyword tool that ranks websites based on keyword difficulty (number of referring domains).
SEMRush works in a similar way with Ahrefs. But it’s keyword difficulty is based on the number of competitors than on the number of referring domains.
Strategy #2: Email Marketing
If you have tried selling before, you’ll know how hard it is to sell to a cold customer. A cold customer is the customer who hardly even know you and have no prior interactions with your products or brand. This type of customer is the hardest to convince for they have no interest in your products or brand to begin with.
Selling to a warm customer is different. This is when you ask someone who has bought from you before to buy again. In some instances, this may even be expected and you will rarely be seen as a pushy salesperson when you do this.
The same is true if you are talking with a person who has prior interactions with your product or brand. That person may not have bought from you. But if the person liked your brand or products enough to sign up to the email list, then that person can be considered as a warm prospect.
This is the reason why email marketing is effective. Unlike traditional marketing methods that love to shoot arrows in the air, email marketing is targeted exclusively to warm prospects. The result? A significantly higher sales percentage compared to selling to ice cold prospects.
But how is email marketing done? For that, you need some guides.
- Kissmetric’s Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing
- Marketo’s Guide to Engaging Email Marketing
- List Building for Blogs: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need
- OptinMonster’s Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing
- Email Marketing Essentials from CopyBlogger
Email Marketing Tools
Mailchimp is perhaps the largest email marketing platform on the Internet. The reason for this is their low cost to entry. Using Mailchimp is free until you reach a certain number of subscribers. And its interface is also very easy to use. You can also try another Mailchimp alternative if the Mailchimp pricing plans don't work for you.
If Mailchimp is the largest, Aweber is the oldest. Since email marketing platforms is difficult to transfer, most of the old websites who have done email marketing have their lists in Aweber. Still, it is easy to use. The best part is that it is quite common and there are a lot of guides about it online.
If you want email templates that wow customers, then you’ll love Constant Contact. What separates it from other autoresponders is the professional feel that it gives you when you ask for your prospect’s emails. Templates are built in and you can launch them with a click of the button.
If you want to build complicated workflows into your email marketing, you’ll like Drip. This is more than just your ordinary email marketing software. It allows templates and more. You really have to use it to find out.
Strategy #3: Content Marketing
The word ‘content marketing’ has been used over and over in Internet marketing. But what is it really?
Content marketing is where prospects are primed with content to get them ready to buy a website’s products or services. Usually, it is used to refer to blogging and other written work. But the word ‘content’ in the term can refer to multiple things. It can also refer to podcasts, videos and others. In content marketing, these are created not to make an instant sale. Instead, it is used to create a relationship with the customer.
The business model for content marketing is relationship first, sell after. It revolves around the idea that customers are more likely to buy from people they trust. What content marketers do is that they create content and let the content speak for their expertise. Then, they funnel the people into a list where they send their products and services afterwards.
Due to the nature of content marketing referring to multiple things, it can take a while to fully grasp the concept if it is new to you. Fortunately, here are some guides that can help you.
- How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy
- Neil Patel’s Content Marketing Made Simple
- 75 Inspiring Content Marketing Examples
- Quicksprout’s Advanced Guide to Content Marketing
- Content Marketing Strategy: A Comprehensive Guide for Modern Marketers
Content Marketing Tools
Want to know the type of content in your niche that gets the most shares? BuzzSumo has the answer for you. This tool can search through millions of blogs and generate their social shares with a click of a button. It also has other features like the Who Tweeted This feature that shows you the profiles of people who tweeted a particular link.
If you are running a content marketing campaign on different websites that you own, then you may want to manage them in one place. This is where Contently can help you. Plus, it allows you to instantly connect with people who are also talking about your topic. So that’s content creation and promotion in one.
Want some tools that can help you market your content? You’ll be surprised with the wide selection that Sumo has to offer. From email capture to tracking and social media sharing, Sumo got you covered.
Do you need to create some images as content for your marketing campaign? Canva can help you. This is the only tool that allows you to create high quality images without the need for Photoshop. It is really easy to use and can generate images with a click of a button.
Want to create videos? You can easily create easy screencasts with this tool. Just click it and it will instantly record your screen. Power up your microphone and you can just do a voiceover.
Strategy #4: Conversion Optimization
Getting customers is only one part of the problem. Converting them is another. Customers who are not converting can be your worst nightmare.
Just put it this way. Let us say that you managed to drive thousands of people to your website. They are reading your website and may even be signing up to your list. It all looks good until you decided to sell something.
Once you launch your product, you found that no one bought it. No one clicked on the website and you have not made a sale.
This situation is usually enough for you to scratch your head and think about what happened. The main problem in this situation is conversion. This means that you have not tracked and seen the type of product or service that will convert in your target market.
So what can you do? Here are some guides that will introduce you to conversion optimization.
- Quicksprout’s The Definitive Guide to Conversion Optimization
- The Conversion Rate Optimization Rulebook
- Moz’s The Definitive How-To Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization
- Qualroo’s the Beginner’s Guide to CRO
- 16 Fresh Pieces of Conversion Advice
Conversion Rate Optimization Tools
One of the ways to understand customers is to look at their behavior in a website. Crazy Egg is able to know this through click-tracking. What Crazy Egg does is that it generates a map that shows you where the customers are going and how they are staying in a website. This is great for visual marketers who love to see how people behave.
Want to track the performance of your landing pages? You can do that with Unbounce. This tool allows AB testing on your pages and has multiple pre-designed, highly optimized landing page templates that you can use on the get-go.
You can track your website’s performance in multiple platforms with Optimizely. It is not just about the traffic. It also tracks user behavior in mobile platforms. This is perhaps the best tool for beginners out of the bunch because of its WYSIWYG interface. And its lowest plan at $17 a month, it is an obvious choice for new business owners.
If you have the budget for your study, you can always use Kissmetrics. While it is not cheap ($150 a month), it gives the most insights out of all the tools out there. What is good about Kissmetrics is that it combines data with the human element. This combination of the qualitative and quantitative factors helps you to paint the whole picture of your current customer situation.
Strategy #5: Social Media Marketing
Today is the age of social media. When someone tells you that they are online, they are usually in one of the popular social channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube. This is the age where people have their lives integrated with technology. Just about every aspect of their lives can be seen in an instant in social channels and they are usually updated with the latest news through it.
With this in mind, it is very important to advertise your products and services through social media. This is the place where your target market is ‘hanging out’ so it is your responsibility to promote your brand in these platforms. Ignore the trend and you’ll miss your customers. You don’t want them to go to your competitor, do you?
This is where social media marketing plays a role. You need to do two things. First, you must familiarize yourself with a social media platform. You need to get to know its people and its culture. Get to know what they care about and how they talk with each other. Second, you should look for advertising options. Do they allow ads? If they do, how can you advertise? These are the things that you must take into consideration if you want to go into social media marketing.
Social media marketing strategies can vary depending on your brand, product or service. Every product, service and brand has a different target market. These people will care about certain things and will be completely oblivious to others. The relevant tactics will ultimately depend on the behavior and culture of your target market. Here are some guides that can help you do social marketing the right way.
- The Marketer’s Guide to Facebook
- The Marketer’s Guide to Twitter
- The Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn
- The Complete Guide to Youtube
- The Beginner’s Guide to Instagram
Social Media Marketing Tools
Imagine logging into multiple accounts and having all of those accounts make the same update at the same time. That can only be done if you have a tool that can help you. Hootsuite is a tool that allows you to log on multiple accounts and to set their updates on schedule.
And it doesn’t stop there. Hootsuite also allows you to reply on the go. So if someone retweeted your post or made a comment, you can instantly reply. No need to go to the website and log in.
The problem with social media marketing is it can get overwhelming. You cannot expect yourself to be in multiple platforms all throughout the day. Fortunately, there is a tool that can help you schedule your updates. Buffer can do that. What I love about this tool is that you can log into different accounts and set the schedule all at once.
This is an invite-only tool that works in the same way as Buffer. You may want to try this one out if you don’t like the other two tools above.
Same as the previous ones, Sprout Social gives you the option to manage multiple accounts and schedule updates. It just adds an extra element for it also allows for customer service and social media marketing in one platform. It adds the business element in social media marketing.
Strategy #6: Copywriting
You cannot get customers without a good copy. Even if you know how to drive customers, a bad copy can always drive customers away.
Copywriting is essential to online sales. The Internet is powered by content and most of the content is done through writing. Without the proper skills, you can mess up your message to the point of burying what you need to say in a sea of words.
You see, new online writers love to write from their heads. They would often write what is inside their minds and let all of that flow to a document. While there is nothing wrong with this when you are looking for ideas, this can get quite confusing if you lack the necessary skills to create a good copy.
A good copy is straight to the point but it covers all the points that needs to be covered.
If you’re new to copywriting, here are some resources that may help you.
- Quicksprout’s Definitive Guide to Copywriting
- How to Write Magnetic Headlines
- The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Copywriting
- The Copywriter's Handbook
Words are not coming to you? If you feel that writer’s block has hit you and you need a new way to write a particular sentence, you’ll love Unsuck It. This is a tool that instantly fixes your writing for you and even gives you ideas on how to improve your sentences.
You will also need to check if your content is similar to other content on the Internet. This is to avoid the duplicate content penalty. Copyscape is a great tool that instantly scans your content for duplicate material. The best part? It also shows the copied content URL.
You need this tool so that you can have an unlimited resource of words for your copy. No matter how good of a writer you are, you will always need some ideas for words. And a thesaurus is the best tool for that.
The problem with writing is the distractions. Sometimes, we can get too caught up with all the noise and social media distractions that we hardly get to write anything. Zen Writer breaks through all of that noise by providing a platform where you can do nothing else but write. It truly lives up to its name with the design of the application.
You have all the guides and tools at your fingertips. The Internet is a business-friendly medium. It allowed people to build businesses out of thin air (and without any investment). These are the days when you can build a business out of your passion and actually make money out of it. It is also the age for eCommerce websites to thrive and flourish. Just make sure not to take shopping cart abandoned too seriously and make sure you know how to get those abandoned cart customers back.
Customers are the lifeblood of your business. It is only natural to look for ways to acquire them. But more than acquisition, retention is more important. You should not transact with your customers as if your goal is just a one-time sale. You should aim to build a lasting relationship with your customers instead. Talk to them. Ask for their feedback. Ask how you can improve your products and services. Ask how you can serve them better. While businesses are created to make money, profit is just extra. The main goal is to give customers what they need and everything else will follow.