When you own an online store, getting new customers is an ongoing challenge. You may want to double your sales, but you are constantly trying new things to raise awareness about your store and your amazing products. But — the things you try aren’t working like you thought they would. You aren’t getting the interactions on Facebook that you hoped you’d get, your site traffic isn’t climbing, and sales are staying stagnant… So what do you do? We’re going to walk you through the steps we use with every one of our clients to help them double their sales and build loyalty with their customers using proven techniques that address every aspect of their marketing. By the time you are done reading, you’ll know exactly how to double your sales for your store and keep customers coming back for more.
Step #1: Plan for Sustainable Growth to Double Your SalesPredictable and sustainable growth is the holy grail of any business. Can you imagine what it would be like if you could count on a certain amount of growth from one month to the next — how would that change your business? The model that we recommend using to get you to that point is called the Growth Triad. As you can guess, it has three parts. As we start working with each of our clients, one of the first things we do is assess the three areas and then work to fill in the gaps.
Documented StrategyMany business owners fall victim to something called “shiny object syndrome” — they constantly find and think of new things to do to help their business grow. So they jump in and make things happen and hope for the best. Unfortunately, it doesn’t usually work out in their favor. Random acts of marketing rarely get the results you want — and definitely won’t double your sales. On the rare occasion that you do land on something, it’s often impossible to replicate again with the same success. That’s why we recommend documenting your strategy before you start executing. When you have a plan for what you’re doing before you start out, it’s much easier to predict and track what’s going to happen.
Tools and TacticsYou will also require specific tools and proven tactics to help you execute your strategy. This could include tools like:
- Landing Page Builder
- CRM – Customer Relationship Management Software
- Email Automation Software
- Social Publishing and Monitoring Software
- Graphic Design Software
- Video Recording/Editing Software
- Search Engine Optimization Software
Actionable MetricsIt’s important not to concentrate on vanity metrics. Vanity metrics are the stats that people seem to focus on because they seem like they should be important — but ultimately, they don’t have a direct impact on the results you’re trying to achieve. For example, most people focus on things like website traffic and views on a social media post. Those metrics aren’t a great indicator of success. Instead, if you want to double your sales, you should focus on metrics you can actively impact and that are measurable. For most initiatives, you will want to track a mix of lead and lag metrics.
- Lag metrics are the numbers that happen after success or failure. These are things like revenue, profit, quality, and customer satisfaction. They tell you how you did, but only after you’ve already done it.
- Lead metrics are the things you can impact along the way. For example, if you are trying to increase sales by the end of the month (lag metric), and you know that posting daily on your Facebook page will get the sales you need, then your lead metric would be the number of posts per day on your FB page.
Step #2: Know Your CustomersNext, you will want to really get to know your customers. Most people focus on overarching demographics like age, marital status, homeownership, income, familial relationships, etc. Knowing those things is good, but the most important part of your customer avatar is their story — their motivators, fears, inspirations, and goals. A customer avatar is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. To create a complete customer avatar, you’ll want to identify the following:
- Their goals and values — what do they want to achieve, and what do they consider to be important values?
- Where they get their information — books, magazines, blogs, conferences, gurus, and other sources of info.
- Their demographic information — name, age, gender, marital status, number of children, and location.
- Any challenges and pain points — the things that are holding them back and how they feel about those things.
- Their objections and their role — do they have the authority to hire you, and if so, why wouldn’t they want to?
The Before and After Grid includes:
- What They Have — the things they physically have before and after buying your product.
- How They Feel — the way they feel with and without your product.
- What Their Day is Like — what their average day looks like with and without your product.
- Their Status — how they think about themselves before and after buying your product.
- Good vs Evil — the evil is what’s plaguing them before they purchase and the good is what’s created in their life after they purchase.
Step #3: Plan their JourneyThe customer value journey is a framework that helps us understand how to build loyalty with customers (allowing you to double your sales). It’s about understanding what moves your customers along the customer value journey from the first time they buy from you to the time they buy from you again and again. It is with this framework that we turn complete strangers into raving fans in any business. The customer value journey is about more than just digital marketing. It’s about bridging human relationships with the entire customer experience. This includes everything from the first time a total stranger encounters your brand to the time they go to make a purchase, leave a review, and send you referrals.
The Customer Value JourneyFirst, we need to get to the bottom of how the customer value journey is different from marketing. Most marketers today think in terms of platforms, tactics, or activities. This makes sense because their focus is on making the most of the available resources to create more conversions. It also means their focus is on growing the top line, increasing profits, and increasing shareholder value. But this is not the entire picture. A brand can give customers a great experience across all the touchpoints between awareness through purchase, and then to reviews and referrals. But first, it is important to look at this journey as a human-to-human relationship. There is a sequence that must be followed. Think of it like dating. Many digital marketers try to do too much on the first encounter with a stranger. They try to sell them something too fast. This is the equivalent of asking, “So, I was thinking… On our first date, while we are having our coffee, why don’t we determine how many kids we are going to have and pick out their names?” Definitely not the best first impression, and I imagine you won’t get very many dates (i.e. conversions), if any. Marketers and brands do this every day, and then think that online marketing doesn’t work at all. The sequence is important. We go into this in great detail during our half-day program “HowTo.Strategize: The Digital Foundations Bootcamp”.
Understanding the Customer Value JourneyAs an entrepreneur, you are always looking for ways to cut costs, but also double your sales. At any given moment, there are probably thousands of things you could do to cut costs and increase revenue. Maybe you could run fewer ads or use lower-quality landing pages. Maybe you could implement a cheaper SEO campaign. But as a small business owner, you should look at the largest opportunities that can offer the highest return on investment. One of those opportunities is the customer value journey. It’s the proven framework used by thousands of companies that helps you understand how to build loyalty from scratch. What Is the Customer Value Journey? You can think of the customer value journey as a roadmap to understand how and why your customers engage with your business and how to make the relationship more valuable to you and your customers.
The Customer Value Journey MapThis framework was designed by the world-class digital marketing training company, DigitalMarketer in Austin, Tx. DigitalMarketer’s Customer Value Journey Framework is an eight-stage customer journey that thousands of companies, including several Fortune 100 companies, use as a guide to build their marketing strategies. It will help you identify what actions to take at each stage and when so that the content and campaigns are based on a cohesive strategy. The Customer Value Journey Map lays out the journey a customer takes from stranger to raving fan, through the lens of a business’s digital marketing channels. Once you master this, you can definitely double your sales — often! We will start with the way a stranger finds out about your brand and finish with that same customer telling all of their family and friends or colleagues about your services.
- This one is obvious. Prospective customers need to learn about you and your products, so they know you exist. Prospects find out about you through organic or paid search. We will discuss the 4 best ways more in the next section, but for now, this is typically where most businesses wrongly stop marketing and immediately start selling.
- This stage is all about them showing interest in you — interacting with social posts, reading blog articles, etc. When someone finds you, what is the first thing you want to show them? This is called content marketing and it is much different from selling. Sales come later. This is about building enough trust and credibility that they take a real look at you.
- Notice we haven’t started talking about selling anyone anything yet? This stage is basically asking someone for their digits. You know, not literally. Once trust has begun to build, you can ask for a small commitment like giving you their contact information in exchange for something valuable like a webinar, free samples, or downloadable guides/checklists/books. Maybe even an e-book or a mini-course.
What is the cornerstone of our Customer Value Journey Framework?
- Creating great landing pages, building valuable lead magnets, and keeping your new subscribers engaged. These elements make up the “Subscribe Stage” of our 8-stage, 1-page digital marketing strategy.
- The subscribe stage could be the most important step in your marketing strategy, especially to double your sales. This is the third stage of the CVJ and it typically consists of 3 main components:
- The Opt-in
- The Lead Magnet
- The Introductory Email Drip Sequence
- The opt-in is the point of conversion. This could be by way of a web landing page, chatbot, or text message opt-in form. The lead magnet can be any valuable content you are willing to give in exchange for permission to follow up with your new subscriber. An introductory email drip sequence should try to re-engage and start connecting with these prospects as quickly as possible, so they know, like, and trust you more before expecting them to buy from you on their own accord.
- The most important thing is that you have something valuable for the person for giving their email address (lead magnet) and they are captivated by what you have to offer enough to give up an email in exchange.
- A great landing page will also encourage prospects to take the next step: getting them on your list or newsletter as well! This can be done with social buttons like “Get Offer Now”, which allows people who want more content from you to automatically subscribe when signing in to one of our platforms. It could also be encouraging visitors to sign-up with exclusive offers, early access deals, discounts–whatever it takes. The more people decide to take advantage of these offers, the great chance you have to double your sales!
- We’ve made it… After a few phone calls, we finally got the “first date”! Ok, in the digital marketing world, those “phone calls” are probably just a series of emails to build more trust, but in each one, the goal was to lead someone to make a commitment to you. This is their first investment of either money or time. You can do this with a high-value, low-risk entry-point offer Some folks call this the tripwire, others a loss-leader. We call it a conversion. As soon as someone takes this step, the whole relationship changes. This stage could be a low-dollar offer or a workshop. Now, what do we say on the “date”?
- Now that they’ve made their initial investment with you, it’s time to get them excited about working with you. We are on stage 5 of 8, and we still haven’t sold this person our core offer yet. However, this is the stage where the magic happens… This magic is called the “AH-HA Moment”. The goal of the last stage was to get a commitment, so we can take our offer from a nice-to-have to a must-have and deliver this ah-ha moment that makes people say,
“SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!”
- Finally! 6 stages into this process, and we can talk all about customers buying our core offerings. What took so long? At this stage, you are aiming for repeat purchases and larger purchases. You want to move them from the initial purchase up the ladder to being a loyal customer. It takes time to earn trust, and get people to know, like, and trust you enough that they are willing to become a customer. This is where we look at ways to additionally maximize our offers to include cross-sells, upsells, and retention-based deals like subscriptions or retainers.
- Do you look at online reviews when you travel, go out to eat, or need services for your car or home? Just about everyone does. Nothing says a business is good like a testimonial or an online review. Customers in this stage will happily give testimonials and make referrals when they are asked. There are some great software tools out on the market that can make the review collection and reputation management process a breeze. We know because we own and market a product that does this well. Typically, if you don’t want to spend money on a fancy digital tool, you could just ask people verbally for them to write a review. But are you really going to follow up?
- No deal is easier to close than a warm referral. Who is sending you new customers? Networking is great, but if you can get existing customers to refer new customers to you, you’ll easily be able to double your sales. Better yet? Put a system in place to incentivize people to tell others. These customers are happy and will enthusiastically recommend you to others without being asked. Secret strategy? Stickers and T-shirts are magical. By the way, in 2021, face masks are the new t-shirt!
The Big 4 — How Do Strangers Find You OnlineThe awareness stage of the Customer Value Journey is made up of four traffic generating places our friends at DigitalMarketer.com refer to as “The Big 4”. They are:
How to Turn Your Fans and Followers into Paying Customers (and thus double your sales!)You’ve got a big following on social media. So what? Unless those followers are paying you for products or services, they don’t mean much. It seems more of a “Vanity Metric”. I’m not saying that social media followers aren’t important in some ways. Having a lot of followers sends a signal to potential customers that you have a popular brand. It can help you get more traffic and attention. That said, sales and profits are the names of the game. If those followers aren’t buying from you, they’re not doing anything for you in real terms… and they certainly won’t help you double your sales. The solution? Take those fans and followers and convert them into paying customers. Here’s what to do.
Get to Know Your AudienceAs the owner of a small or medium-sized business, you may not have given a lot of thought to what makes your customers tick. And yet, customer analysis is the key to turning casual fans and followers into customers. Creating a detailed customer persona can help you understand your audience. Your persona should include:
- Demographic information, including the age, gender, educational background, and income of your ideal customer
- Psychographic information, including what your ideal customer likes and dislikes, and most importantly, the pain points that led them to look for your product or service.
Provide Value to Your Target CustomersOnce you know who your target customers are, your next mission is to give them what they want. Here, I’m talking about entertaining and ACTIONABLE content that provides tangible value to the people you want to convert. In other words, be generous with your knowledge. It doesn’t matter what your business is, you know it better than anybody else. Give some thought to what brings your customers to you — and what would convince them that your product or service is the best option to solve their problems. You can provide value in a variety of ways. Here are some examples:
- Write blog posts that address common questions and offer real solutions.
- Do a live Q & A on social media.
- Create a lead magnet that demonstrates your authority and provides a solution to a common problem.
Interact with Your Followers and FansHaving a large following is one thing, but ultimately, we all want to feel valued. Your job as a business owner is to make your fans and followers understand that you value them and care about them. The answer is communication. That can mean a lot of different things, but here are some effective tactics that have been proven to work.
- Ask your followers’ opinions and use the responses to focus your content on their needs.
- Integrate your social media with your customer service, empowering your employees to respond to questions and complaints quickly.
- Create a chatbot to provide immediate help when someone messages you or visits your website.
- Create a lead-nurturing email sequence to inform subscribers about your product and give them an incentive to buy it.
What is Chatbot MarketingAnother way we’ve acquired new opt-ins is through chatbots. What is a chatbot? Great question. Chatbots are an automated chat service that can answer questions, process orders, and provide other valuable information, like lead magnets. They are an important part of the future as they will be able to handle customer communications 24 hours a day with no break! Chatbots are a relatively new way to collect user information without sending them to another page. The most common form of chatbot is through Facebook Messenger. You can use a service like Manychat and when people comment on a post or click on an ad, you can have your chatbot begin a conversation with that person, offer your lead magnet, and add the user’s email to your email provider. This will kick off your drip sequence. What is an Email Drip Sequence? The intro drip sequence needs to be designed to re-engage prospects who might have dropped off down the funnel and get them back in contact with our brand. Different emails can offer different benefits: for example, we could send a content-rich article about building prospect relationships or an exclusive discount code that new subscribers can use as soon as they sign up with us! This is also where you introduce yourself–“Who are you? How will this relationship work? What do I need from you? Why should I trust you? How often will I hear from you again?”
Curate ContentDo you know that feeling when you walk into a store and a salesperson pounces on you before you have time to draw a breath? Very few of us enjoy that feeling, and the chances are good that your customers don’t, either. While your social media content can and should focus on what you and your products can do for potential customers, it’s important to keep the direct sales pitches to a minimum (even though you want to double your sales). The solution? Curating content from other sources. Content curation means pulling content from:
- Industry-relevant publications
- News sites
- Social media pages from other companies (just don’t share things from your competitors!)
Use Retargeting to Double Your SalesRetargeting is one of the most cost-effective forms of advertising because it focuses on people who are already engaged with your business and interested in your products. By using a Facebook pixel, for example, you can target people on Facebook who have:
- Visited your website or read your blog
- Put items into their cart without checking out
- Followed you on Facebook or Instagram
- Clicked an ad