For the last 12 months, everybody learned how to shop on the internet. If you didn’t have a web presence, you likely got left behind. If you did have a web presence, you should have seen a serious spike in traffic on your website. Consumers are engaging with companies in the digital realm now more than ever. Your tactics need to digitize as well. Starting with your website.
If you read last week’s article, you know that every website is a digital version of a retail location. You can employ most of the same techniques for in-person shopping to the web. For special buys and big-ticket items, it can be difficult to break through the noise and get the buyer’s full attention. The best place to get undivided customer attention is to place them in a position where the only way out is through.
The bottleneck approach
You see this at the grocery store. In the checkout line, they place all the candy, personal electronics, and gossip rags there. This is a place of captured attention. You also see it at the various service counters: deli, bakery, butcher, etc. There are multiple special buys here because you are likely waiting to be served.
At warehouse stores, like Costco and Sam’s Club, promo discounts are taken at the register; meaning you need to walk through the whole store to get access to the special buy.
In each of these scenarios, you are getting squeezed. You are blocked in by something: physical barriers (in the case of the checkout line), or time barriers (in the service counters or the journey map). These moments where shoppers are squeezed are designed to get them to pay attention to something important. They need to be somewhat attentive because they need a person to help them. They are reluctant to turn around and leave because they are committed. It’s not likely that they will go back the way they came.
Long story short: This all applies to your digital marketing, and I’ll tell you why.
You need a squeeze page. A squeeze page is just what it sounds like above: a dead end, where the only way out is through. Squeeze pages are best for email marketing and special purchases because they give the page visitor a single option. That’s it. They can’t do anything else. No header or footer navigation, no active links. Their only options are to complete the squeeze or hit the back button on their browser, which they will be reluctant to do.
There is a reason they call it “surfing the web,” people want to ride the wave. The wave can go many places but always forward. It is a natural psychological trick that captures people and one we seem to put up with. Can you imagine if you had to rewind something on television before you could change the channel?
A squeeze page is a single page on the internet or a pop-up window that covers the screen. Popup blockers usually filter those out in most browsers now, but a full webpage is a legitimate option. Try not to think of it as part of your website, although there are benefits to consistent colors and branding.
You need a lure
Every squeeze scenario starts with a lure. It is usually an offer from the conversion equation and a call to action. The offer is what gets the prospect to take the bait and follow you to a place where you control the environment: your website. Your website is where you can capture their business and their behavior. You can see everything they click on.
To review the conversion equation:
- Interrupt: The hot button issue in the mind of the prospect (Something they want and don’t have, or something they have and don’t want)
- Engage: How can the problem be solved?
- Educate: Information about the problem and the solution in an objective context
- Offer: How you solve the problem or provide the want
Call to action
- Ask: What is it you want them to do to accept the offer?
A squeeze page can sell clearance items, promote an event, and serve as a platform for market research. A typical squeeze page is designed to capture an email address for the purposes of building an email drip campaign.
Email marketing is one of the last great inexpensive marketing tools available. There are so many things in this world that compete for our attention and there are studies that suggest we have no more than 30 seconds of attention span before we move on to something else. We pay attention to email.
Most of us comb through our inbox every day. Unlike a radio or tv ad, web banner, or social media post, we read the entire email. You can also send them regularly and expect your prospects to get them on a consistent schedule. Unlike other mediums, emails are kept and can form multiple parts of a longer story. You want the prospect to hear the entire story.
Remember, it takes between five and 12 touchpoints with a customer to get them to purchase something. This is the buyer’s journey. Your goal is to be present during as much of that journey as possible. This gives you a chance to build trust and expertise, slowly and consistently in the mind of the consumer.
Email marketing software
Any Google search will give you a set of options to choose from. Most of them have free options to get yourself started. You can typically send emails to a list of up to 1,000 subscribers for no monthly fee. For a monthly fee, you can get multiple email lists, automations, graphics, and several other features that allow you to slice and dice your audience. The sky is the limit, and everything scales with the size of your audience.
There are too many to count:
- Benchmark Email
- Constant Contact
- Amazon Web Services
Start with the ones that have the best free options to get your feet wet. You may be surprised what’s available from a no-name vendor.
We’ll talk about email marketing and drip campaigns in a future article. For now, work on generating your squeeze page and start building a database.
In the great digital retail experience that is a website, lead your visitors through a journey just as you would push a shopping cart through a store. When you have something that requires their undivided attention, put a little squeeze on them. It won’t hurt.
Check out Dana’s next article Drip, Drip, Drip: A Word on Marketing Automation.