Monday, December 14, 2015

Editor’s Note: We’re pleased to present this guest post by Matt Ackerson, founder
of Petovera. He and his company are on a mission to give growing businesses peace of mind via their 24/7 WordPress sales-funnel support service. Today he’ll be sharing exactly what he recently did to ensure a steady stream of leads for his business. 
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When I first started thinking about how to get email subscribers, I didn’t really know what was possible.

Then I met a friend who was collecting 15 new email opt-ins per day.
At the time, I was collecting a grand total of 0, so this sounded like a lot.
“Man, how do I change that?” I wondered.
Fast-forward 18 months, and my company receives an inbox full of client leads every week. Just take a look at my lead notifications:
Those new leads join a quickly growing list of 6,500+ email subscribers.
How’d I get from there to here? It comes down to understanding one simple rule.
But first, a little backstory. Plus, if you’d like to save this post to read later—and grab my bonus 7-point checklist on optimizing your website for lead generation using the “Every Page Rule”—click below to get both PDFs:
It was the beginning of 2014 and I was spending New Year’s in Russia with friends (and a little too much vodka). While thinking about the year ahead, I decided this would be the year I would commit to creating a sales funnel for our business.
Since its founding in 2010, my company, Petovera, was getting regular sales, but growth was flat. The company could only grow as fast as my team and I worked.
The biggest problem? When I stopped selling to focus on another priority or project, the company stopped growing because we stopped generating leads.
If you’ve ever owned or worked in a B2B service business, this may sound familiar.
I somehow needed to find some leverage to get the company to the next level.
Happily, I’d had the good fortune of networking with a number of smart marketers and entrepreneurs, like freelancing expert Brennan Dunn. They’d shown me that implementing a strong inbound sales funnel was my ticket. After all, we were a bootstrapped business with a small ad budget, and I knew that inbound leads would always convert the best.
Studying how Brennan was building his business opened my eyes to the missing piece of my marketing equation.
And it was such a simple formula for success:
1) Get traffic with truly valuable content that will help your target audience.
2) Convert that traffic into email subscribers.
3) Convert your emails subscribers to qualified leads and sales.
That was it! So. Simple.
I had tried each of these tactics individually in the past, but it wasn’t until my turning point in 2014 that I committed to implementing and linking all 3 together.
With an understanding of what an end-to-end sales funnel looked like, I started at the top: creating valuable, in-depth content for our audience, like this detailed post on writing an FAQ.
By mid-February, we were starting to see some good traction. Traffic had quadrupled from the end of December, and the feedback I was getting on our content from our email list was encouraging. (One of my favorite pieces of feedback from that time: “Just reading your latest blog post and had to give you some virtual high-fiving. F—ing great.” – Jordan Gal,CartHook.com.)
Now that traffic was rolling in a bit, my next priority was to convert more of that traffic into email subscribers. And I did it through a little strategy I call the Every Page Rule.
Here’s what is it: you treat every page on your website like a landing page.
The goal of a landing page is to convert a visitor into a lead by prompting them to fill out a form, opt in, make a small initial purchase, or take any other type of action that leads to a desirable result.
So applying the Every Page Rule, that means:
  • Your homepage is a landing page,
  • And so is your about page.
  • Your services page or individual product pages are landing pages.
  • And all of your blog pages are also landing pages.
Think of each page on your site as part of a leaky ship. You need to every hole in order to stay afloat.
That may seem like a pessimistic metaphor, but it’s realistic. Bounce Exchange has estimated that 70%–96% of website visitors never return after an unsatisfactory first visit. Traffic coming into your website and then leaving your website without converting equals lost relationships . . . which equals lost customers . . . which means you’re not just losing traffic, you’re bleeding money.