At the end of last year, we predicted that site owners would develop a more cohesive inbound marketing strategy. To achieve this aim, it is helpful to divide your inbound marketing program into distinct parts. Let’s examine the five parts or “gears” that can make or break your inbound marketing strategy.
While each part focuses on a different objective, they are deeply correlated. Much like gears in a machine, one part won’t work until the others are properly adjusted. Furthermore, value provided by the site owner is like oil that keeps the gears working in unison to propel the machine forward. It is critical that the site owner provides value to the user at each step.
Second Gear: Build Trust. When visitors arrive on your website, they make a very quick judgment about your brand and products. Is your expertise proven and trustworthy? Do you correctly identify and empathize with the problems faced by your visitors? Is there a match between your products and services and the visitor’s problems?
Third Gear: Use Incentive To Get Visitor’s Email. Once you’ve established a need-product match and built some level of trust with the visitor, it’s crucial to obtain the visitor’s contact information. Of course, it doesn’t have to be the visitor’s email address — it could be their phone number — but typically, the site owner entices the visitor with an incentive for their email address, such as a free PDF, subscription to a newsletter, or access to “members only” area of the website.
Fourth Gear: Follow Up. It is rare to find visitors who convert to customers or paid subscribers immediately. Therefore, staying in touch with visitors is critical because it allows you to demonstrate additional value and build additional trust (second gear) which leads to the initial sale and, subsequently, repeat sales and/or long term subscriptions (fifth gear). Incidentally, this “gear” includes acting on feedback from customers that affects the efficiency of the machine.
Fifth Gear: Sales/Paid Subscribers. Whether visitors convert immediately or take a few weeks to convert, a steady stream of visitors to your website that enter your sales funnel encourages you, as the site owner, to produce more valuable content that prompts more users to subscribe, stay subscribed, and/or upgrade their memberships. In turn, this leads to more revenue for the site owner. It is easier to make more repeat sales and/or engage subscribers over a long period of time when site owners coordinate all phases of their inbound marketing strategy as shown in the diagram above.