Today a wide variety of tools are available to sales and marketing managers in order to deliver new clients, from traditional methods such as direct mail through to highly targeted PPC driven techniques. However, what is the most effective way to drive sales and ensure that you have the ongoing business your organisation requires?
It may surprise you that almost 2 million small businesses which have no online presence. Research has shown that these organisations are losing over £343 billion each year in lost sales.
If you are one of these organisations, the research shows that you could see a 62% increase of revenue, an average uplift in revenue of £173,769 per business. Online sales are increasing year on year, Eurostat research shows that 87% of the UK population have purchased at least one item online. Companies which are not online stand no chance in capturing this massive opportunity.
Web credibility research by Stanford University has shown that 75% of users judge a business’ credibility based on its web design, an ineffectual website can cause irreparable damage to your potential sales. Additionally, it stated that 79% of users would not purchase from a website which took too long to load. A loading time of more than 2 seconds can again detract potential clients.
It is therefore vital to ensure your site is professionally designed and laid out to maximise user experience, maintaining excellent readability, rapid page loading and clear visibility across a variety of platforms including both desktop and mobile.
Academic research has shown that 91% of users will not go to the second page of search engine listings when they are looking for organisations. (Using the Internet: Skill Related Problems in User Online Behavior; van Deursen & van Dijk; 2009) This means that, if your website is not listed highly within the search engine listings you will struggle to reach the potential to maximise your return on investment.
It is advised that you employ the services of search engine optimisation specialists who can ensure that your website not only lists highly but also maintains its position in the search engine rankings.
The major search engines do not publish their ranking methodologies and regularly change them to ensure that it is not easily possible to garner good results artificially, however SEO experts can use their experience to find the best combination of backlinks, high quality content and other technical requirements which will create the best listing for your website.
It is vital to maximise your spending on sales and marketing, the best way to do this is to first understand your basic metrics. The most basic is the cost per customer (CPC) which allows you to calculate the total cost in terms of sales and marketing spend per successful customer. The CPC is calculated as follows:
Total marketing cost + Cost of sales activity / number of customers who have purchased = CPA
Tracking your cost per sale figure over time will allow you to monitor the effectiveness of your marketing and sales activities. One of the issues you may find is that a number of traditional techniques are both high cost and return a high cost per sale. For example direct mailing has, on average a 3.5% response rate which ramps up the costs considerably.
You may find that your marketing and sales activities are better served by employing a more targeted approach.
Classic mass marketing yields low response rates as you are hitting many individuals who have no interest in your product or that your mailing hits them at the wrong time in their purchasing cycle.
A considerably more effective way to approach your sales is to find customers exactly at the time when they need your product or service and have them approach you, freely giving their own details ready for you to contact them as a hot lead. Of course this may seem impossible, however it is something which can be achieved by using web generated leads.
Web generated leads are created by using pay per click advertising to specifically target consumers who are looking for specific products or services which your organisation offers. So, if you were offering life insurance you could create a PPC campaign which targets individuals who meet your criteria. These individuals will see targeted advertising which will direct them to a specially created landing page where they are encouraged to provide their own details to receive more information directly.
This means that, instead of sending many thousands of postal items or emails, potential customers are coming directly to your organisation. It is a very powerful technique yielding considerably higher returns as the customers have self-selected and provided their information wishing to have contact from your organisation.
It is the difference between delivering potential junk mail in the hope someone may be interested and directly targeting consumers as they carry out relevant web searches and encouraging them to complete a sales enquiry with your organisation. It is the 21st century approach to strategic marketing.
With more than 15 years experience in delivering excellence in online marketing, MM Group are your chosen strategic partner when it comes to developing or delivering your online presence.
MM Group provide a wide range of online services from the creation of high quality websites and eCommerce solutions to the development of tailored online sales and marketing campaigns. The professional team will take the time to understand your organisation and its requirements with the aim of delivering the tools you need to build the sales you require to succeed. They have a consistent track record in providing excellence for their clients which range from SME’s to blue chip organisations.
MM Group can support every part of your online presence ensuring that you maintain page one search engine rankings, deliver highly effective and secure 24-7 online trade and the tailored leads you need to drive business.