Fixing This Online Mistake Can Double Your Sales

The following is a post by Paul Hannam of Bright Green Leadership (a 3p sponsor) – offering internet marketing strategies for responsible businesses. The tips and observations in this series are aimed at green entrepreneurs looking to understand how internet technology can benefit them more.

A significant flaw in the online business models of almost all green organizations is the absence of an effective lead capture system. In the world of internet marketing, everything is designed around an email “opt-in process” or “landing page” which is a page dedicated to capturing leads by acquiring the email address of the visitor. An email address is a valuable asset and email “list building” is an invaluable skill.  Every email address represents a prospective customer, as it represents someone you can actively promote your products to by newsletter and other means. Indeed, the lifetime customer value of that person can be substantial.

Let’s say you are a supplier of green gifts, like recycled stationery or organic cotton towels. Each new email address could convert to a customer who buys many gifts from your store year after year. Each customer could have an average lifetime value of $500. And maybe you convert 1 in 4 leads, that is email subscribers to customers. Then each email address is worth $125 in sales, potentially!

Now you can begin to see the real value of email addresses. The problem is that when I searched on “green gifts” almost every ad I clicked on took me to a home page where there was no genuine lead capture process.  There was the odd newsletter sign up tucked away in the corner, but nothing compelling. These suppliers are leaving large amounts of money on the table by not using a landing page or effective opt-in process.

Green businesses need to transform their website from online brochures to dynamic marketing and lead generation machines. This is the fastest and most effective way to double your leads. Why spend more money on advertising when only one or two percent of your visitors are subscribing with their emails? Instead, set up an opt-in process or landing page where you can convert three, four or five percent of your visitors to email subscribers. In simple terms, doubling your email addresses should double your sales as you have doubled the number of your prospective customers.

Here are five suggestions to help you double your sales in this way:

  1. Set up a separate landing page on your site with a Clear Call to Action to acquire their email addresses. Here is an example from my Green Marketing Website
  2. Create a Compelling Headline that grabs the attention of the visitor and encourages them to give you their email address.
  3. Offer the visitor an Incentive which has a high perceived value in return for their email address such as a discount, a coupon or free report.
  4. Keep it Simple and just ask for a name and email. Make it easy or the visitor to take action!
  5. Add an Image or Video to increase conversions. If you use a video ask the visitor to take the action you are encouraging and explain the benefits in under 90 seconds.

In addition you can also set up a Facebook sign up process to acquire more fans. Here is a good example of this process from the Sierra Club’s Facebook Page. Then you can direct fans to your website and vice versa. The more links and paths you create, the better  If you want to see some good landing pages please email me and I will give you access to a video I made where I evaluate a number of Green Business Landing pages and recommend best practices.

Paul Hannam is president of Bright Green Leadership that provides internet marketing services to green organizations. Paul is also Chairman and co-founder of Bright Green Talent and taught environmental business at Oxford University. You can get access to over 50 hours of Free Internet Marketing Videos or contact him at Paul@brightgreenleadership.com

Paul’s mission is to provide outstanding sales and green marketing strategies for individuals and organizations that are dedicated to making a positive contribution to our society and planet. His clients include green businesses, universities and authors. He has developed a unique sales and green marketing system that integrates strong environmental and social values, successful business strategies and cutting-edge technological and marketing tools based on the following experience.

Paul's organization, Bright Green Leadership, is a Triple Pundit sponsor.