Category Archives: Small Business

The surprising results of our “pricing on website” test…

Recently we tested adding pricing to our website.

This is very different for me because when it comes to showing price on my website, I’ve always been against it.

My fear was that if I showed prices, a competitor would undercut my prices.

For years, when prospects visited my website, they were asked to fill out a form to get a free consultation.  We would then put together a custom proposal or send them our rate card depending on what type of service they were interested in.

I know I’m not alone.

Whether you should or shouldn’t put your pricing on your website is a common question–unless you are more of a commodity type site selling something like airplane tickets, clothing, hotel rooms, and so on.

But for service providers, coaches, consultants and high-end products, disclosing price on a website is often met with resistance.

The thing is, once we tried it, I discovered that my past fears were unfounded.

You see now that we disclose our pricing in advance, the leads that fill out the form for a free consultation are more qualified. Before, we had poor leads. They often were price-shoppers and tire-kickers. They weren’t qualified, had no clients yet, and so on. It was a HUGE waste of our sales people’s time.

Now, we are starting to sell more while streamlining our process and talking to more qualified prospects. We have fewer price shoppers and tire-kickers wasting our time.

It’s created great results for us and I believe it can for you too. There are other reasons you might want to consider listing your prices on your website too…

  • Be considered an option. We now live in a time where price-shopping is part of what people do. If someone is searching for your product or service, more often than not, they want to know how much it will cost them. If they don’t find pricing on your website, they will keep searching until they find a site that has pricing. By not listing your prices, you might be eliminated yourself from consideration.
  • It presents a huge SEO opportunity. Because listing pricing is so controversial, many companies aren’t doing it. This means when you do, you can create a pricing page and optimize for the highly searched terms related to cost and price with little competition. For example, Squarespace uses a strong headline, “Simple Pricing” and includes frequently asked questions about price on their pricing page such as “Is there a discount for yearly service?” “How long are your contracts?” “How do I cancel service?” and “What is meant by unlimited?”

That said, I can almost hear some of the reasons you might still be resistant to posting your prices, so let me address those.

Sticker Shock

If you are worried about whether there will be sticker shock, remember that people often don’t want to go with the cheapest as they don’t equate the cheapest with the best. Plus, wouldn’t it be great to get away from the type of customers who don’t value your worth?

Even so, here are things you can do to overcome price objections, creating buyers that are even more ready to buy. For example, you can:

  • Add testimonials and case studies to your pricing page. Nothing is more powerful than hearing from a satisfied customer who shopped around and found your product or service to provide the best value for the money.
  • Create a comparison chart. Some businesses create a chart showing what features they offer as compared to competitors. You don’t necessarily have to name the other businesses either – you can just use a generic term, for example, “Dental service provider 1”.

Variable Pricing

Some businesses have variable pricing. The fee is dependent on the deliverables and how much time or work is involved. For these types of businesses, simply publish a “starting price.” For example, “fees start at $1,200” or “minimum fee is $500”.

Educating the Competition

If you share what my biggest fear was: that you’d educate the competition, I’d like to offer you an additional piece of advice.  They say imitation is the best form of flattery, so if your competition is trying to copy you, that means you are the leader. Not a bad place to be, right? Plus, people buy on much more than price, so focus on how you can provide something unique and on giving the best value so that even if someone beats your price, you’ll still be the top choice.

Price is a key consideration for people. It helps them make decisions faster and helps qualify whether you are a good fit. And if you don’t show your price, someone else will. So, if the customer wants to see the price, why not give it to them?

Or at least test out listing prices on your website.

You might be as surprised as I was and find that you start attracting better-qualified prospects while repelling the price-shoppers and tire-kickers that are wasting your time. Plus, you’ll sell more.

And ultimately isn’t that what we all want?

5 items you should review when your marketing isn’t producing results

One of the primary beliefs I live by is that your marketing should get you a healthy return
on your investment. And you should hold your marketing accountable.

But here’s the thing, just because something isn’t working doesn’t mean it should be
abandoned. Because sometimes your marketing isn’t working because there is a breakdown
in the process.

Finding and fixing the breakdown is key. Not discarding the entire process! (One reason I
have tracking in place for everything I do for myself and for my clients is so we can help
identify what is causing the breakdown.)

Here are the five steps we go through to build a new marketing funnel. It’s also what we
look at when something isn’t working to fix it. If your marketing isn’t working, go through
each of these steps. Start at the beginning to help you identify what needs to be fixed.

Step One: WHO –This is the first thing you should check. Are you targeting the right
audience? A lack of a well-defined target audience is one of the biggest mistakes I see. This
is so important. In fact, best-selling author, marketing expert, and co-founder of GKIC Dan
Kennedy says 50% of success or failure is the target market.

Step Two: WHERE – If you are targeting the right audience, then next thing to consider is
where your target market is hanging out. Are you targeting the wrong place, wrong social
networks, wrong lists, etc.? For example, if you are trying to reach millennials you might
think they all hang out on Instagram. However, this would be an incorrect assumption. It
depends on the millennials you are trying to reach. For instance, older millennials are often
on Facebook, so you could be targeting your audience in the wrong place.

Step Three: HOW –Next you want to look at how you’re trying to reach your audience. Are
you using the right media? Perhaps in the past email has worked well for you, however,
maybe your audience has migrated and is watching more videos these days. (Tip: often this
doesn’t require all new content. In this example, you could take the same message you sent
through email and create a video with the same message.)

Step Four: MESSAGE & DELIVERY –If you’ve got the right target market, you’re reaching
out to them in the right place and using the right media to reach them, and things still
aren’t working, you should look at your messaging. A few things to look at:
 Do you have the right USP (what are you offering that is truly different?)
 Why should they do business with you above anyone else?
 Do you have an attention-grabbing headline?
 Is the message being delivered with clarity?
 Is there a clear call-to-action?
 Is there urgency?
 Is there an easy way to purchase that makes your prospect feel confident? (e.g.
have you included testimonials, secure payment, a guarantee, etc.?)

NOTE: In case you missed our announcement, if your landing page where your message
resides is the source of your breakdown, we now are able to offer you an affordable way to
fix this. We’ve found this piece alone can be a source of a BIG return.

Step FIVE: FOLLOW UP — Do you have a follow-up system in place to get them in the
door? Studies show that only 2% of people purchase the first time they encounter your offer. A full 80% will say “no” the first four times. So, if you don’t have a way to capture
leads when they arrive and then you’re not following up with prospects at least five times
after they initially hear your offer, you are letting a lot of cash fall through your fingers.

Furthermore, in today’s society, you can dramatically increase your sales by following up
with people on multiple platforms.

Think about how you like to respond. Do you prefer texting? An email? Does seeing ads pop
up remind you that you need to get your oil changed or that a new restaurant you wanted
to visit is offering a discount?

Most people have a preferred way of being reached although using multiple platforms can
speed up the sales cycle. For example, let’s say you are driving your target audience to your
landing page through Facebook ads. When they land there, you collect their name, email,
and phone number. You could then send them an email that drives them back to your
landing page. A text message could be sent asking them if they received your email. And
retargeting ads could run to keep you at the forefront of their mind so when they are ready
to make a purchase you are in front of them wherever they go online.

Don’t limp along. If your marketing isn’t working the way you think it should go through
these five steps to review it and locate where it needs to be fixed. Some fixes are simple.
Some take more digging. However, if you stick with it, I promise you the payoff will be
worth it.

Want more sales this holiday season? Fix these 4 conversion-killers…

Online shopping cart abandonment is a big problem. According to Baymard Institute
from a round-up of 37 studies, 69.23% of shopping carts are abandoned before the
customer completes the sale. This means you’re only selling about one-third of what
you could be selling.

To help you increase your sales this holiday season, here are the top 4 reasons people
abandon their shopping cart and what you can do about it.

1) Unexpected shipping charges – Twenty-eight percent of shoppers will
abandon their shopping cart when presented with unexpected shipping costs. It’s
not that people don’t want to pay for shipping. It’s when people are presented
with something they didn’t expect to pay, they get a negative feeling and leave.
What to do about it: Tell people upfront about your shipping charges. For
example, at the start of your sales funnel, say, “You’re going to have to pay some
extra shipping charges because this is an oversized item.” Or whatever the
reason is. Another thing you can do is provide a “calculate shipping charges”
feature in the shopping cart. Even if they don’t use the feature, they will expect to
pay something for shipping.

2) Being forced to create a user account. I get it. You want to capture buyers’
information and continue to market to them. But forcing people to create a user
account will ruin your chances of converting 23% of users. I’ve even seen sites
where you can’t shop unless you hand over an email address, which is
ridiculous. How do you know if you like their stuff if you can’t even look at it?

Some people just want to buy stuff and don’t want to create a user account.
What to do about it: Rather than refusing to serve customers who don’t want to
create an account, provide a guest option. For example, an effective checkout
I’ve seen is where before you go to checkout, three options are provided: 1) a
Member checkout 2) Guest checkout, 3) PayPal checkout (or Pay by Amazon is
another great option.)

3) Unsure about the product or service. If a user doesn’t have experience buying
from you, they may get cold feet during the check-out period.

What to do about it: Fifty-five percent of shoppers find customer reviews
important when making a buying decision. So, if you want to dramatically
influence your conversion rates, include customer-generated reviews and ratings.
This is a transparent way for a customer to see you have satisfied customers. A
good example of this is on Amazon.

As a bonus, review-related search queries are high in volume and very high in
click-thru rates and conversions.

4) People are unsure about website & transaction security. Now more than ever
people worry about whether their credit card and personal information are safe.

What to do about it: There are several measures you can take.

 You can change your buy buttons to read “Secure Checkout” and change
the wording next to your credit card fields to read “Secure credit card

 Add the logos of the major credit card and third-party payment methods to
your form.

 Add your phone number with the words, “Need Help?” next to your form.
This gives people security that you are a real company and makes them
feel better that they can someone if they run into trouble.

 Give clear instruction on what is needed and expected each step of the
way. For example, if the phone number needs to be typed in as
4445556666 instead of 444-555-6666, tell them. This helps avoid errors
and frustration.

 Add something familiar and credible. For example, the new “Pay with
Amazon” button lets people make a purchase from you with just one click.
All fields are auto-populated and the familiar orange and blue Amazon
button help make it easier while making people feel more secure.

 Keep your SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate up-to-date. The SSL
certificate authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information
sent to the server. Consumers have been trained to look for “https” as a
signal that the site is safe and secure while “http” is an indication the site
isn’t secure. Make a yearly event on your calendar to remind yourself to
update your certificate to keep everything running smoothly.

Three Ways to Get People Back to their Abandoned Shopping Carts
It may not be possible to persuade all of the shoppers who abandoned your shopping
cart to return, but there are a few ways to recover sales that have proven effective.

Send an abandoned cart email – According to SalesCycle, when you send an
“abandoned cart email” to people who have added items to their cart but failed to check
out, nearly half will open that email and one third of the clicks will lead to purchases
back on your site.

Offer a discount on items left in their abandoned cart – Fifty-four percent of
shoppers will purchase products they left in a shopping cart if those products are offered
at a lower price.

Use Re-targeting –Seventy-two percent of millennial shoppers respond favorably to re-
targeting. (Re-targeting is showing users ads to bring them back to your site after
they’ve abandoned it). In fact, re-targeting is one of the most powerful and effective
forms of marketing and can create higher ROI, greater customer retention, easier new
customer acquisition, a way to convert old customers to come back, and higher
customer spend rates.

The first step to recovering abandoned shopping carts is to understand the reasons why
customers leave without completing the sale. Use this list as a guide and then
implement the solutions provided above to build trust and complete more transactions
this holiday season and beyond.

6 ways to stop fake news from crippling your business

It’s written and published with the intent to mislead.

And if it’s about your business, it can turn potential buyers into skeptics instantly which, of course, will have a negative financial impact on your business.

For example, an investigation by Buzzfeed reported fake news sites targeting small businesses. When content goes viral on social media, it hurts the business because people believe the made-up content.

One restaurant Buzzfeed mentioned had to cut staff hours as their customers declined due to false claims about the owner being arrested for selling human meat.

Another sign fake news is impacting bottom lines is that people are paying more attention to where companies are advertising. Studies show that consumers lower their opinion of a brand if it advertises on a site they don’t trust.

As small business owners, we must not only be aware of this, but proactively combat it to safeguard our businesses.

Here are 6 ways you can fight back against the impact of fake media:

1) Back up your claims with proof. Clayton Makepeace, one of the highest paid copywriters and marketers in the world, says proof is critical, especially the higher the price a product or service is.

He says to ask yourself, “What does my prospect absolutely have to believe in order to make this product mandatory for him?” and then go about proving it in your sales copy.

You can do this a number of ways on your sales landing page including using testimonials and incorporating facts and statistics from credible sources into your copy.

2) Set up Google Alerts. In this age where people increasingly post false claims about products and services, it’s important for you to listen to what people are saying about you online and respond accordingly. Google Alerts is a free online tool that allows you to keep tabs on who’s mentioning you, your product or service, or website. You can set up any number of “alerts” to help you manage your online activity by simply inputting keywords specific to your business and brand. Google will immediately send you an email notifying you when those terms appear online.

3) Be a stickler about keeping your word. If you say a product or a special price won’t be available at a later date, don’t make it available later. If you say there will be no replay for your webinar, don’t give a replay.

When you don’t keep your word, you teach prospects and customers that your word is not to be trusted.

4) Run your ads on credible, trusted news sites. There is a “halo effect” that brands experience when advertising on trusted news and media sites.

Network Research did a study relating to advertorials. Respondents indicated they were 20% more likely to trust a brand sponsoring an advertorial, even if they were unfamiliar with the brand—if the ad is in a media outlet they know and trust. (63% were neutral)

But, if respondents had a favorable opinion of a brand and an ad appeared in a medium they do not like or trust, 19% are more likely to lower their trust in that brand.

Results from ad campaigns across the World Media Group (WMG) support this. WMG, made up of media including The Washington Post, Bloomberg Media, Forbes, Fortune, Newsweek, The New York Times, Time, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, National Geographic, and The Wall Street Journal, outperformed benchmarks and received substantially higher results—the greatest effect seen for desktop video (21% higher than average) and on mobile advertising, ads achieved viewability rates 40% higher and encouraged 43% more interactions.

5) Get your company on page one of search results. According to Forester Research, 81% of people find what they are looking for through a search engine. And Target Marketing says research studies show that people equate the results at the top of search results as being “the most authoritative, the best vendor or the correct answer to their query.”

Using SEO strategies and PPC, you can get on the first page of search engines for targeted items.

SEO gets clicked more often, but it’s more difficult and takes longer to achieve first page results. With SEO it can take anywhere from two to six months on average.

PPC results are more likely to convert click-thrus from the search engine and work much faster. With PPC you can get on page one for a multitude of targets within a day.

For long-term efforts, get an SEO strategy in place. For product, service or business launches, limited time offers, special events and to build your brand awareness, a PPC strategy will serve you best.

6) Pay more attention to brand safety than price. An article in Marketing Week says, “Marketers must also stop the focus on price. Ensuring ads are viewable, not susceptible to ad fraud and appearing on the right sites will cost more than allowing ads to appear anywhere.”

I want to assure you that we are working hard to help ensure your brand safety. As a premier Google Partner, I can tell you Google is diligently monitoring content and removing anything that breaks their rules.

While there may always be a risk, you can use these steps to mitigate it.

An Inexpensive Media to Attract New Customers

Almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day, reaching more 18 to 49-year-olds than any other broadcast or Cable TV network.

That’s a large pool of customers to tap into.

But that’s not even the best part.

According to my inside source at Google, because it’s still in its infancy among other reasons, advertising on YouTube is very cheap. You don’t have to have a large TV advertising budget to get your ad in front of people. In fact, ads range from only two or three cents per view to between 10 cents up to 40 cents for the most competitive niches.

Five additional reasons you should consider advertising on YouTube.

1) YouTube is very good for scale. You can start with an ad budget for as little as $1 per day if you wanted, test things and scale when you determine what works. My advice would be to spend more the first few days to get the data quickly. The data will help you determine whether your videos are good enough and discover who your customers are so you can target better. (You’d be surprised how many people are wrong about who their customers are)! Once you have that data, you can turn off the ads that aren’t working and scale up on the ones that are.

2) You can generate leads cost effectively. As mentioned, ads range from only two or three cents to forty cents per view. The key here is to understand how valuable a lead is to you. Even leads for customers with a small lifetime value can be generated affordably here.

3) It can be profitable straight away. Because the ads are so inexpensive, you’ll will get a return on your investment very quickly. Plus, because you’ll know within a few days if your ad is working, you won’t have to waste weeks or months testing like you do with other types of advertising.

4) It builds a strong bond with the user. Because a lot of information can be shared in a video, not only with words but with what’s visually presented in the video, you can bond with the user very quickly.

5) You can repurpose your video ads. Once you’ve created your video, you can use it on other platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to extend your reach even further.

What type of YouTube ad should you use?

There are different options for running ads in YouTube. The most prevalent are the ads you see at the beginning of a video where you have to wait five seconds before you can skip the ad. Discovery ads are the ads that appear at the top of search results on the right-hand side of the video you’re watching. The ad looks like a thumbnail of a video which encourages people to click. Overlay ads are the semi-transparent text ads that appear in the lower part of a video.

Recommendations will differ depending on what you are trying to accomplish and testing to determine which is the best option for you.

What should you include in your YouTube ad?

The beauty of video today is that you don’t need expensive equipment to create one. You can even shoot a video on your phone! That said, there are some important things you’ll need to consider when creating your ad yourself.

Remember the human aspect. It’s important to remember that you are doing business with a real human being on the other end of that video. Focus on the user and think about the impact you want to have on them. Imagine they came into your business, what would you say to them

The first five seconds are critical. You want to capture their attention within that first five seconds so they will stay and watch more rather than skipping your ad once they can. Focus on images and words that will grab them by the lapels and draw them in (while still being relevant to what you are selling.)

Market backwards. Think about your best customers, clients or patients. Where did they come from? What were they searching for to find you? What problem were they looking to solve? If you can work back from the sale to when and how they discovered you, it will help you identify the moment that triggered them to interact with you. This will give you clues as to what to include in your ad.

Create different ads to connect with your audience where they are at any particular moment. Not everyone is going to be in the same place as far as how ready they are to buy. One person may be looking forward to a future event and simply doing research. Another person might need to buy something today. For example, let’s say you’ve moved and need a new dentist. You’re just doing research at this point so you want to know why you should pick one dental office over another. Now let’s say you have a bad toothache. The information you want is about a dentist who can alleviate your pain immediately with no wait. By structuring your ads differently and using different keywords, you’ll be able to connect with your audience the way you would in a face-to-face meeting, speaking directly to their exact needs at that moment.

Deliver an authentic, customer-focused message and YouTube advertising can be an incredible advertising platform. Plus, jump on now, and you can get in on the ground floor while it’s still inexpensive.

How to create cash flow AND more time during a crisis

Several months ago, my wife was in a bad accident.

It was, of course, unexpected and upsetting to say the least.

I share this not to alarm you… she will be alright. No, the reason I share this is because this incident caused me to examine my business.

You see, when the accident happened, my wife went from being active in the job market to not being able to work for quite some time which meant a loss of income.

Not only did I need to instantly ramp up my business to compensate for the loss of income, but I also needed extra time to take care of my wife and four kids.

For many small business owners, immediately turning up the revenue faucet would require a lot more of their time. Which means dedicating the extra time needed to take care of their spouse and kids, would cause a conflict.

Either way, what course of action you choose could have devastating consequences. On the one hand, you could end up with severe financial difficulties. On the other hand, your decision could negatively impact your relationships with your wife and family.

What would you do?

Fortunately, I didn’t have to choose. I had systems already set up in my business that allowed me to do both. As I thought about this, I realized how lucky I am. It also made me realize how many small business owners I know that, if faced with a similar situation, would be forced to choose.

So while I sincerely hope you are NEVER in a situation like this, I felt it was important to share what I’ve done that allows me to quickly increase my income AND at the same time, take extra time off without negatively impacting my business.

Here are three things you must do:

1) Make your business scalable. Being able to create more income at will is something everyone should do. Whether you have an emergency, want to make a special purchase or take a vacation, etc., it’s nice to be able to create extra cash flow to your business on demand.

2) When possible, automate. If you have a lot of manual processes in your business, it’s more difficult to scale your business up. Plus automation gives you a lot more time to do the things that are most important to you and your business.

There is a lot that can be automated in your business. For example, I receive the same type of questions over and over. Rather than writing an entirely new message each time, I can automate my communication to answer a prospect’s questions. This leaves me more time to focus directly on my clients.

Lead generation is another thing I’ve been able to automate. This not only allows me to attract new leads to my business 24/7, 365 days/year, but it also allows me to turn on, turn off or turn up my lead flow.

3) Create systems. Systems not only make your business more efficient, they make your business duplicable. Which means you can have someone step in and take care of things exactly as you would. (This makes your business saleable too.)

Systems can also make your business more profitable. I have a system in place for my accounting. This eliminates the shoeboxes of invoices plus I know exactly how much a lead costs, what the lifetime value of a client is and other important numbers in real time. Knowing these numbers is critical to running a profitable business. They allow you to see what advertising is effective and make any course corrections in a timely way instead of figuring out at the end of the year that you weren’t as profitable as you thought you were.

Systems work well for processes such as marketing, billing, and lead generation.

Take a moment to examine your own business (and take a short survey here):

Are you able to scale your business up or down as it exists today?
Have you automated processes that you repeat, such as lead generation and repetitive communication?
Do you have systems in place that would allow others to step in and duplicate?
If the answer is “no” to any one of these questions, then I highly recommend you put these on your “to-do” list. As I discovered, you never know when you’ll need them and it pays off to be prepared when you do.

Here’s to your online success!

John Pfeiffer

P.S. I want to hear from you. I want to know which of the above three things you struggle with? Which would you like to know more about? I’ve created a short survey that will take less than 60 seconds of your time. It’s completely anonymous so you can feel free to answer openly and honestly. Please take a moment to let me know here so I can address your biggest business difficulties in future emails.

4 Ways to Build Credibility to Grow your Business (plus a Tip for Decreasing Uncertainty)

Recently, while being interviewed for an article by Hub Staff, the reporter’s questions gave me reason to pause.

His questions made me think about where I’ve struggled at times as well as how we’ve grown, and continued to evolve as a business.

I told the reporter that running a business is a lot like navigating a ship through uncertain waters. Sometimes it’s smooth sailing and the business model works like a charm. Other times, you need to anticipate the wave and tack in one direction or the other to avoid getting wiped out.

While I’ll be revealing more about this in the coming months, today I wanted to share some of the things which I believe have allowed our business to consistently grow and expand.

Here are (4) things you can do to increase your credibility and keep your business on course:

1) Define your values and be authentic. Often you are told to deliver what your customer wants. While this is true, it’s not just about attracting clients with bold promises. It’s about boldly proclaiming what you believe and attracting clients that line up with your authentic beliefs and values.

I take an analytics –first approach. Testing and analyzing the data of different product offerings, services, pricing, and so on is something which helps me to decrease the uncertainty about the direction of my business. I am passionate about and deeply committed to this approach. I also have a belief that my clients want to decrease their uncertainty too. After all, less uncertainty reduces stress and increases your chance of success. Right?

What are the values you feel passionate about and are deeply commited to?

2) Align your personality and brand personality. As a business owner, YOU are the face of your company. If you try to be something you’re not, people see through that, lessening your credibility. However, when you align with your personality, it strengthens your credibility.

PPC for Small Biz focuses on analytics. This approach not only lines up with my values and who I am, but it is something that oozes out of me. My clients are loyal because they can see we are deeply committed to this approach which saves them thousands of dollars by allowing them to test ideas, price, copy and other data for a small investment rather than spending tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) developing an idea or product that won’t sell.

Our approach which lines up with my personality gives us an advantage because clients can see it’s important to us that they have peace of mind and get a return on their investment (ROI.)

Is your personality and brand compatible?

3) Be consistent. When you are unwavering in your commitment and messages, it breeds credibility. Once you define your values and align them with your personality, your messaging needs to stay consistent. To be clear, this doesn’t mean you can’t expand your product or service offering. It’s just that your expansion should line up with your values and personality.

Personally this is something I question in my own business on a regular basis. For instance, the majority of our business over the years has been managing Google AdWords for small businesses. More recently we’ve started supporting large enterprise level clients too. At first I wondered if this expansion lined up with our messaging and brand. But here’s the thing. My real brand personality isn’t just about doing PPC for Small Businesses. It’s about taking an analytics-first approach. It’s about being personally committed to my customers to help them get the best results I can. And that doesn’t change no matter what size or type of company it is.

Are you being consistent in your messaging? Are you conveying the RIGHT message?

4) Make sure new products and services align with your personality. New York Senator Chuck Schumer said, “In today’s competitive economy, to stand still is to die.” Whether you agree with Schumer’s politics or not, this statement is true. I once read, people don’t ask, “What’s old?” they ask, “What’s new?” To keep people engaged and interested, you have to keep making new offers.

Product offering is another area I frequently question. What can I offer that is consistent with my brand personality? I’ve comfortably expanded into offering BingAds, Yahoo Gemini, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook because these easily relate to and align with my core offerings.

But I’m continually evaluating how we should proceed and what direction we should take with our product and service offerings. I’ve realized that I may have limited myself more than I need to because I wasn’t considering that my REAL personality is an analytics-first approach, not my original core offer which is PPC for small businesses.

Do your new product and service offerings line up with your brand personality? After examining your brand personality closer, could you offer something more than you are now?

Keeping a small business afloat –especially during difficult times isn’t always easy. However when you embrace your personality and values… convey consistent messaging and product offerings…and are authentic… you’ll find your credibility rises and attracts more and better customers. Which means it will be much easier to not only stay afloat, but stay on course to grow your business.

Take time to consider these questions. In thinking about your answers, you may just find you surprise yourself. Plus, making your business more closely align with your values and personality, you may find you enjoy your business more than you ever have before.

Here’s to your online success!

Part 3 of 3: Two cutting-edge strategies to double, triple, or even, quadruple your sales

Today, in the final part of our series, I’ll discuss how you can drive your unconverted leads back to your landing page. These methods, when done correctly, frequently double, triple and even quadruple response. Which means…if you’re not employing them, you are leaving A LOT of money on the table.

The money is in the follow-up.

Research shows that only 2% of all prospects are ready to buy “right now.” The remaining 98% need to be nurtured, especially if they find you online. That’s because when they first make contact, they don’t know you, like you or trust you. You have to prove to them that you and your product or service will actually do what you claim, and that takes time and education to accomplish.

There are a number of ways you can do this, but today we will focus on two of them.

1) Retargeting.

Retargeting (a.k.a. remarketing) works by keeping track of the people who visit your website and displaying your retargeting ads to them as they visit other sites online, thus keeping you top-of-mind.

Retargeting works by placing code in your website that tracks potential customers’ browsing history so when they visit your site and leave before purchasing or taking the desired action, you can follow up with them.

The data collected creates an ultra-customized audience. This information allows you to display retargeting ads to this ultra-customized audience at appropriate times. In fact, customers can be retargeted just about anywhere they might go online. Which means you’ll have additional chances to send people back to your landing page.

Retargeting is fairly quick and easy to implement and can be done on any budget. More importantly, it will keep you in front of that 98% of traffic that you are currently losing. Plus, it builds awareness and trust by putting your brand in front of this targeted group of customers much in the way Apple or Microsoft repeatedly puts their brand in front of customers. When you do this, you’ll bring back the customers, clients, or patients who were interrupted so you can increase your online sales.

2) A Drip Campaign.

A drip campaign is an email and/or direct mail program that automatically delivers emails, letters, or postcards to customers or prospects on a scheduled basis.

In the past, these campaigns would continue through the end of their predetermined schedule. Today, the developing trend of the most successful drip campaigns deploys emails and letters based on a customer’s actions.

Let me show you what I mean.

Let’s say you want to sell a personal training package. You set up a PPC campaign that drives people to your well-written and designed landing page designed to capture people’s name and email address. To entice them to input their information, you offer a free trial gym membership.

Now that you have captured their name and email, you can begin delivering your drip campaign. The drip campaign delivers messages that address and overcome your prospects objections. Within the messages, there are links that drive your prospects back to the landing page to buy.

The thing is…you’ll have a variety of responses to this campaign. Some will return to your landing page and buy. Others will return without purchasing. Others won’t open a single email.

What your prospects do (or don’t do), will dictate what action you take next.

For example, if a prospect buys after reading an email, they will be not receive any more messages driving them back to the landing page to buy. Instead they will be sent a different message… perhaps an email offering a product or service that will enhance their new purchase or congratulating them on their purchase with directions on what to do next.

If a prospect reads the whole series, returns to your landing page but still doesn’t purchase, you might offer an additional incentive to encourage them to complete the sale such as a free workout planning tool. Or maybe a short survey will be sent to try and understand the prospect better so you can make an offer that is more compelling the next time.

If a prospect never opens an email, the message may be changed into a postcard and mailed to their home address.

The level of complexity and number of triggered events should be carefully considered based on your business model, sales cycle, seasonality, revenue per sale, and so on.

And while setting up an effective drip campaign can be a complex process that takes a fair amount of time and effort, it can pay off big time. Plus, with email, once the system is in place and producing measurable results it should only require basic “care and feeding” to keep the triggers and campaign messages optimized.

Remember, your primary goal is to follow-up with your prospects to give them multiple opportunities to buy from you.

Retargeting is an effective and inexpensive way to compete with bigger brands and repeatedly stay in front of your customer so they will know and recognize you. Drip campaigns give you the opportunity to educate your prospects on what you do…how you do it…and why you’re the best solution for them.

Both are automated and consistent. This is a great complement to skilled sales people and can give them a huge advantage since it’s often impossible for sales people to provide detailed follow-up with each new lead. By looking at who is engaging in your drip campaign, you or your sales people can identify who are the best qualified leads and concentrate their efforts on them.

When you do these two things, you’ll see more leads turn into opportunities and sales will increase dramatically.

Part 2 of 3: What would you do with a million dollars for your business?

Last month, in part 1 of our 3 part series, I discussed the most effective and efficient way to attract more and better quality leads to your landing page and website. (You can read it here).

This month, we’ll talk about how to convert more of those leads.

“So, if I gave you a million dollars to take away any problem or issue in your business today, how would you use that money?”

That was the question I was recently asked by a vendor. The only stipulation the vendor gave me is that I couldn’t use the money to pay off any debt.

After thinking about it for some time, I decided the first thing I would spend money on is developing and testing landing pages. (A landing page is a stand-alone webpage designed with the single objective of receiving campaign visitors, starting a conversation and closing a deal.)


Because a high converting landing page is the foundation of a successful online business and the key to making money in your online campaigns.

I know what you’re thinking…developing out and testing new landing pages on a frequent basis can be expensive, time-consuming and frustrating.

However, all it takes is one high-converting landing page to bring in the big bucks. And when your landing page converts well—you can buy traffic and predict what you will make. Which completely makes it worth the time, money and effort.

Plus, if you are driving your traffic to destinations that don’t entice customers into your sales funnel, then you are wasting your time and money.

Not long ago, a conversation with an entrepreneur who sells advertising revealed that one of his customers was getting a lot of leads from advertising his product. In fact, 20 solid leads in the first week the ad appeared. But not one lead closed.

This is not a result of the advertising, but rather something broken in the sales process.

Similarly, if you are getting traffic to your landing page and it’s not converting…that is not a symptom of the campaign driving the traffic but rather a sign that there is a problem with your landing page.

Unfortunately there is no “one-size-fits-all” instruction manual for creating the perfect landing page.

However, here are some of the areas that high-converting landing pages have in common that are worth examining and testing:

Your Headline — Your headline and the quality of your visitor are said to make up 80% of the success of your landing page. A killer headline hooks your reader –grabbing their interest, attention, and understanding. It makes them want to read more.

Messaging — You can use your landing page for almost any purpose such as capturing leads, selling a product, inviting people to an event or webinar, or offering a discount. However you have to remember that your message needs to be:

– Clearly communicated. The purpose of your landing page needs to be communicated clearly and linked to a specific call-to-action. For example, “Save 50% at the restaurants in Colorado when you sign up now.”

– Specifically targeted. Motives are different for why people respond to messages. More than ever, you can inexpensively target very specifically–yet businesses still use very generic messaging. Instead of having one landing page with generic messaging, test having multiple landing pages with different messaging specifically targeting different audiences. For example, a fitness business could create four different messages for four separate landing pages. Each landing page would target a different audience: One to people who want to lose weight. Another to people who want to tone and build muscle. Another for people who are looking for group classes. And a forth for people who are training for a specific sport they participate in.

– Benefit-oriented. Messaging should be clearly focused on the user instead of company-centric. You want to show the reader what’s in it for them. For example, instead of saying, “We’ve been in business for 25 years and offer financial planning products and services that have helped thousands of customers to retire in style,” say… “You can afford to retire! Discover the 3 questions you must answer now to ensure you enjoy the retirement lifestyle you’ve imagined for yourself.”

– Logical flow. The logical flow of a landing page is important. An engaged reader will follow the thought process when you use a compelling message that logically leads them through the process and persuades them every step of the way to take the action you want them to take. Start with your headline, then a clear message and explanation with benefits, include testimonials and end with a call to action.

Trust Elements — Logos, images, graphics and videos can attract your visitors and persuade them emotionally to take action. In fact, images are processed 60,000 times faster than text. Use elements relevant to your product or service. For example, include a money-back guarantee badge, client logos (shows you have experience), payment logos, and a better business bureau logo. A picture of your face can also add a personal touch and go a long way in building trust.

Testimonials also help readers trust your product or service. Seeing a sincere and real quote from a current client can be the push someone needs to take action. Testimonials are strongest when you include a full name, picture, city and state, and when appropriate name of company or title such as CEO or Doctor.

A Guarantee — Guarantees help readers feel reassured and improves the likelihood of conversion. For example, “Try our product for 60 days. If you aren’t completely satisfied for any reason, return it and we’ll give you every single cent back. We’ll even cover the cost of return shipping.”

The Call to Action (CTA) — A powerful Call-to-Action is one of the most significant pieces of your landing page.

In general:
– Make your CTA larger so it stands out.
– Make your CTA compelling. Don’t use the word “submit.” Instead use more exciting and explosive language. For example, “Getting started takes less than 5 minutes. Try it FREE now.”
– Use a button. Users have been trained to expect the CTA to be a button. Stick with the tried and true so people know what to do.
– Use a contrasting color. Your landing page has a color scheme. Now, whatever color you use on your CTA, make it different. At the most basic level, your CTA button needs to possess color. And, to make it stand out, that color needs to contrast from the other colors on the screen. Contrasting colors help to attract the eye, and compel the click. For example, if the font is blue and black on your landing page, then you might choose a green button.

There are a lot of small changes that can increase your conversion rate. As mentioned, small tweaks such as the button color, font type, and spacing can all increase your results. However, I’ve found that the biggest increases come from testing bigger things such as headlines, the flow, messaging, guarantee and Call-to-Action.

If you want to make more money in 2016, then looking at ways to test your landing page might just be the ticket.

Part 1 of 3: When Google is Bad for your Business

Today is the first article in a series of three.

I’ll be showing you the most effective and efficient way to attract more and better quality leads and increase their conversion.

Let’s get started…

J.G. recently confided in me …

“Why are other psychotherapists doing better than me? I have 10X more experience and a brand new website.”

During my diagnosis of his business, I determined that when prospective customers were searching on Google for the products/services he offered, customers were finding his competitors, not him.

This is a common occurrence.

Most small business owners I consult with can’t understand why other businesses rank higher than them in a Google search—even though they have more experience, larger businesses, superior credentials and so on.

In essence, what the Internet and Google have done is to commoditize or devalue a lot of businesses.

Because let’s face it, searching online is becoming a habit.

Most people go to Google as their first stop for shopping for just about anything, and this especially applies to consumers looking to hire local service professionals.

In fact, according to research by BIA/Kelsey, 97% of people use the Internet when searching for local products and services. And over two-thirds start their search on Google through their desktop computers or smartphones.

Pre-internet, customers, clients and patients relied on the advice from the best businesses they could find.

They found businesses through referrals from friends or looked in the yellow pages to find the product or service they wanted.

But today, the Internet is their go-to source when searching for local products and services. This means it is critical for your small business to show up on page 1 when customers, clients and patients search for the products or services you offer.

And whereas, the jeweler, the doctor, the accountant, the lawyer and so on used to educate their clients, customers and patients, it is not unusual for people to educate themselves based on what they find when searching on the Internet.

According to Bright Local’s 2014 Local Consumer Review Survey, 88% of consumers trust what they read online.

The result? Whatever business shows up on the first Search Engine Results Page (SERP) when your prospect is searching will more often than not win their business. In fact, 98% of searchers choose a business that is on page 1 of the results they get.

The question is: If Google is hurting your small business—what can you do?

Well, you can either beat your competitors at the Google game…or rise above it.

So how do you beat other small businesses competing in your space when your customers, clients or patients are turning to Google to find people who do what you do?

1) Optimize your website for Google and other search engines.

The bulk of people who do a Google search contact those few vendors who show up on the first screen of the SERP.

If you aren’t there and instead appear on the third page or the seventh page or whatever, you are essentially invisible. Almost no one will find you.

Prior to enlisting my services, that was the problem that Richard Cauvin of had. Now he outranks his competitors and is no longer needlessly losing business to them. Richard says, “I did a Google search using our keywords and the majority of the time, we were in the top 3, if not the first.”

2) Guarantee you show up where your audience is searching. PPC is the fastest, most efficient way to get people who are actively searching for your products or services to find your website. Effectively it guarantees you’ll immediately show on page one of the SERP, instantly connecting you to your target audience who is searching for your product or service (and on the verge of buying) right now.

While I believe you have to do a combination of types of advertising, once you have built an effective landing page with an offer that converts, there is no more efficient way to grow your business.

Dion Riccardo of was struggling to get new students for his martial arts studio. After looking at his business, we built a PPC campaign for him. Dion says, “Today, I am no longer wasting time and money trying to drive web traffic by myself. Now, all of my new martial arts school students come from the quality pay per click campaigns.”

When people can find you when searching for the products and services you offer, the quantity of your leads will increase tremendously.

Scott Schoen of increased the amount of leads he received by five times over the previous month once he started incorporating PPC into his marketing strategy.

Not only will you increase the quantity of people who will find you when searching for your products and services, but you’ll also find that the quality of your prospects improves..

Richard Senker of says he used to not get a lot of traffic to his site and when he did it was poor results. Since he began doing PPC campaigns with us he says, “Now, my best leads come from your PPC campaigns.”

I don’t have room here to teach you how to do SEO or PPC. BUT, I do have time set aside to take a look at your website, investigate your competitors’ websites and give you recommendations on what you should do…and it won’t cost you a penny.

You can receive this free service by contacting me today.

Once you achieve your goal of appearing on the first screen of the SERP, a chain reaction of great things start to happen. More and better prospects lead to more customers which results in more revenue, more profit, a more stable business and more peace of mind for you.

Here’s to your online success!

John Pfeiffer

P.S. Next month I’ll discuss, the one element that when you invest in getting it right can turn your business into an ATM machine.