I really love today’s guest post by Clayton because it talks about a real obstacle that many Internet marketers have…
…Getting your audience engaged enough to take action on your offers.
Today, Clayton provides an in-depth explanation for why your audience might be unresponsive and three simple ways to fix it.
I noticed the trouble started when I sent the first “broadcast” message.
I had worked for about 6 months to build up my little email list in my new niche business (after shifting from several niche mini-sites to one authority niche site).
I had 2500 people on my list. Not huge, but not tiny either.
I was finally ready to launch my first product after doing nothing but affiliate offers for over two years.
The response rate from my first message was dismal. Only 16% of my list even opened the email and 5.3% clicked through.
That means that only about 130 people even saw the offer.
Clearly this launch wasn’t going to go quite as well as I had hoped.
All those months of making the product, planning the launch, writing copy… and only 130 people even saw the offer.
The sad thing is that I’m told these numbers are not uncommon
At first I went through the usual self-flagellation that comes with any sort of failure. I figured I was a terrible marketer. My subject line wasn’t catchy enough. My copy must be horrible. Maybe my product just sucked.
Maybe you can relate.
And the worst part was that I had just kicked off a launch and, now that it was started, I had to keep going through with it to the bitter end. All while the majority of my list didn’t even notice…
But I want you to know that even if you’re just a halfway decent marketer, you don’t have to beat yourself up.
When you’re learning the ropes, you hear a lot of people preach a lot about “passive income.” They tell you to do SEO, set up autoresponders, and basically distance yourself as much as you can from your business (and your followers).
Especially if you’re building a lot of fly-by-night niche mini-sites that only exist to exploit a short-lived opportunity.
But this isn’t a good business model.
If you’re not encouraging your followers to be actively engaged, you are encouraging them to ignore you.
Every time you fail to even reply to a single comment on a blog post, you are showing your readers that you don’t listen to them.
Every time you fail to reply to questions that people email you, you are training them to ignore your emails.
And that also means when you are counting on them to buy stuff, you’ll often be left alone as the digital tumbleweeds roll through the sales page.
What are you supposed to do?
Remember, if you’re not training them to be actively engaged, you are training them to ignore you.
So, I recommend that you train them to interact and engage you right from the beginning.
Here are a few actionable things you can do in order to do this:
After someone joins your list, ask them to send you an email and then reply back to them. This is huge because you are showing them that you are a real person not just a firstname.lastname@example.org. It also gets them in the habit of keeping an eye out for your emails (who doesn’t lookout for a reply after they send a message?).
Get in the habit of replying to every comment on your blog (or if the sheer number of comments is overwhelming, even a handful is helpful). This way your readers get used to interacting with you. Also this allows them to create their own open loops when they leave comments. They will feel compelled to check back later to see if you replied.
Reward your readers for interacting with you. In your blog posts mention insightful comments or messages you’ve gotten from them recently. Feature people who have gone out and used your advice to get results. If they have a website themselves, link to them once in awhile when it makes sense to do so.
Is this a lot of extra work?
You bet it is.
If you have a list of 500,000 then maybe you can get away without doing this. After all a 5% click through rate is still 25,000 people you can send to an offer, and you can still make good money from that.
But if your list is significantly smaller, then you could really benefit from making sure that your readers are actively engaged. They’ll be more likely to share your content, they will trust you more, and when you are really counting on it they will pull through and buy stuff when you recommend it.
Of course this means that you’ll likely have to make some sacrifices. You probably won’t be able to manage a portfolio of countless draub and forgettable niche sites. This takes time and you’ll likely have to laser focus in on building an authority niche site.
But if you’re a reader of this site, you probably already understand the drawbacks of tiny niche sites.
And there’s also a very big benefit to doing this and focusing on one niche too.
You’ll be down in the trenches with your readers. You’ll know in a very real way what they are struggling with, what they truly want, and what they believe is holding them back.
This will give you an edge over every other marketer in your niche who is unwilling to do this and merely assumes they know what people want and need.
Not only will your audience be much more responsive because they know that you are a real person who is willing to interact with them, but you can begin to tailor your marketing based on the real life interactions you are having with your readers.
This will additionally improve the responsiveness of your audience too. You’ll be able to really speak to them in a very meaningful way that pulls their attention and compels them to take more action (buying things).
So, now I just want to leave you with a two questions:
How engaged is your audience?
And what action are you taking right now to improve your reader engagement?
Leave your response as a comment below.
Clayton Terao is an internet marketer, a recovering Google addict, and he writes over at Journey of My Own about high impact marketing strategies for conversion. He loves meeting other internet marketers, so stop by and say hello.Take Action. Get Results.