Do you have a strategy for targeting new clients? Or do you put content out into the wild and hope that it draws people in?
While membership businesses are one of the easiest ways to build a repeat, highly-profitable income, the idea that you can “build it and they will come” is a myth. Just like every other business, you will still need to market and sell if you want to get customers.
Sales and marketing are key to supporting your business growth, but it can feel overwhelming and relentless at times, especially if you’re new to it all!
In this article, we’ll share the basics of creating a sales strategy that will allow you to automate some of your new client acquisition, so you are not only free to create your compelling content, you’re also reaching your ideal demographic…
Flowing In The Right Direction
The term ‘sales funnel’ is thrown around marketing circles a lot. But what does it mean and how can it help your business to thrive?
A funnel’s job is to create a smooth, measured passage for a substance – and the substance in the case of your business are your potential clients.
A sales funnel is a way to simplify your sales technique by motivating and tracking your potential buyer’s journey. This starts from your initial contact through to their – hopefully ongoing – purchase from you.
A quick web search will bring up lots of graphics that illustrate the process; the top is always the largest part. This is because it represents the marketing activities you do that get seen by the widest audience. A sales funnel helps you to organize your marketing and sales in a structured way that maximizes the impact of each part.
So, what’s the best way to get new clients pounding down your door? Professional marketers often use the ‘AIDA’ model, which stands for;
A – Awareness/Attention
I – Interest
D – Desire
A – Action
Using this model helps you to create a process that targets your sales efforts where it matters most. But what does that mean in practical terms?
A is for…
In a sales funnel, the top represents ‘awareness’ of you and your brand. This is any attention-grabbing marketing that puts you in front of people – from posters in your local gym to Facebook ads to decals on your car.
It’s fairly broad in range and captures a variety of people at different stages of their buying journey. To get to the quality leads, you’ll need to refine them as they travel through your funnel.
I is for…Interest
Once people know about you, you want to pique their interest. That’s where stage 2 – interest – comes into play. You want to encourage them to make their intentions known, but without coming on too strong.
Think of it as the meaningful look you give across a bar; you’re not pushing anything, just getting a feel for their vibe.
This is where you might offer a free download on your website in exchange for their email address. E-books, printables, newsletters and guides are great ways to demonstrate your knowledge and unique take on your area of expertise, while also leaving them wanting more.
Commonly referred to as ‘lead bait’, your offering needs to provide real value to your potential customer (no one wants a sales brochure as a freebie) but also not give away everything you do. It’s a fine balance but done right, you will help guide your buyer to their decision to subscribe.
D is for…Desire
The ‘desire’ step is key. Your buyer will want to know more information about you, your memberships or courses and your pricing because they are keen – but they’re not fully sold yet.
This is where the exchange can get a little more personal. You’re offering to buy them a drink, figuratively speaking.
Here you really up the ante with tailored marketing. Your sales page must highlight all of your membership benefits and include testimonials to add weight to your claims.
Keep in touch with automated emails that act as a reminder of the many benefits of your product or service, making sure you give them the chance to opt-in to future communication from you.
A is for…Action
Action: the final step in guiding them across the line from potential buyer to actual buyer. This is where you can use exclusive deals, limited time offers and personal emails to convert them to a subscriber. You’ve put in the time and now you can make your move.
In theory, that’s it. That’s the end of your funnel. But here’s a little secret.
Because your business is built on memberships, and having a member renew means that what you’re doing is working. You want your customers to stay customers, so your funnel needs to include post-sale actions too.
Thank you emails, happy birthday emails, upselling or cross-selling emails. You want that last ‘a’ to be an ongoing thing.
At Memberlab, our custom membership websites are designed with sales in mind. We have packed them full of features that will help you to create a sales funnel of your own; from templated sales pages to integrations with your favourite email automation software. All you need to do is create the content and put your funnel in place.
To find out more about our done-for-you membership sites, just get in touch to book a demo. As an added bonus, you’ll get to experience our sales funnel too!