I should really sub-title this post: “All Year Round Internet Marketing.”
That’s because your online business presence can educate, entertain and yes, even captivate, prospects and customers 365 days a year.
By using the big guns of Internet Marketing:
Online Press Releases
You may remember that in a previous post I described how controversy sells.
Here’s another example of that with a topic I’m personally interested in – the D-Day Landings of 6, June 1944 and the subsequent Normandy campaign.
The UK’s Guardian newspaper mentions a military historian’s new book in which he presents some rather startling claims about the heavy French civilian casualties as the British and Canadians advanced on the town of Caen.
The journalist quotes Gary Weight, who runs Pegasus Normandy Tours, with his more measured opinion of the military’s decision to carpet bomb Caen.
Fantastic publicity for Mr Weight’s business – guided tours of the Normandy beaches and battlefields.
So, as an interested prospect, I google his site and, for a few minutes, proceed to relive my wargaming years (I had a D-Day simulation boardgame, Atlantic Wall, that covered an entire living room floor!) and a cycling tour that took 3 of us from Cherbourg to Bayeux in about 10 days, back in 1990.
We saw most of the US, UK and Canadian landing beaches, wiped away tears at the Omaha beach cemetery memorial (along with some kind German motorcyclists), drank ice cold calvados cider at the end of long cycling days and slept off wine, cheese and baguette lunches in the long grass by quiet country roadsides.
All those memories!
But once my imagination was stirred and I read through the website’s pages, (and I read EVERY single one of them. Hint: interested prospects are ravenous for information on their hobby/topic)…
… there was nothing to keep me coming back. (Unless of course I was ready to book a tour or decided to contact Mr. Weight’s team for more information.)
However, from experience I suspect (could be wrong!) that only a small number of first time visitors will do either of those – and an equally small number will take the trouble to bookmark the site for later visits.
Most 1st time visitors will simply hit the site and leave, never to return.
What I think Mr Weight and his partner should do is consider sending in the email Pathfinders!
That is, put together a short trip report (in pdf format) which describes the highlights of their tours with pictures, D-Day trivia, and personal annecdotes from clients (get their written permission to do so first).
To make it really exclusive they could include a discount off any tour for a 1st time customer (repeat customers would be on another email list) and perhaps a list of ‘recommended’ hotels in Bayeux and surroundings. (Cut an exclusive deal with a few of these establishments).
Then give that report away in return for the visitor’s email address – this can easily be automated with an email autoresponder service such as Aweber or GetResponse.
Put a big sign up box on the website which offers the report PLUS a 10 part ‘Pathfinder Tour’ by email.
Visitors will now know up front what they’ll be getting – a report and some followup emails.
Naturally, some people only want the report and will immediately unsubscribe from the mailing list.
That’s fine. They may or may not become future customers.
(Tracking these stats is important and the subject for a future blog post.)
As soon as visitors opt in to your list, the autoresponder immediately sends a thank you message and a link to the downloadable report.
Additional emails are then broadcast by the autoresponder – say at 2 or 3 day intervals.
And what’s the purpose of these emails?
To get the click!
Drowning in a sea of spam email, most people are not very tolerant to being sold by email.
In fact, they (and that includes me too!) HATE it!!!
This is where the savvy (and genuine) marketer can warm up prospects by building a relationship with them and providing helpful information on what to expect IF they choose to do business with them.
And for battlefield tours like this one, probably most prospects will have questions and logistics they want to sort out before making a booking.
So, in my opinion, the purpose of each email in the autoresponder series should be to excite and encourage prospects to click through to a specific web page where they can ask additional questions via email, a contact form or by phone.
Of course you can have a customized web page for each email in the series e.g. one for the famous and tragic parachute assault on St. Mere Eglise, another for Omaha beach etc.
All 3 contact choices should be clearly visible on the top half of these web pages (above the fold.)
When a prospect makes contact they’re several steps closer to being psychologically ready to buy – and the chances of a sale have increased considerably.
OK, that begs two questions:
1 – How many emails are enough in an autoresponder series?
2– What about blogging, articles, press releases and (chirp, chirp), the joys of Twitter?
Patience, dear readers, patience!
Email landing craft will come ashore in the next post.
And we’ll conclude the 3-part series with a bombardment of prospect resistance strongholds using heavy caliber article marketing, press release rocket launchers, blog post strafing and ack-ack tweets.
– Mark McClure
PS– This post’s title came from a book recounting the German side’s view of the D-Day landings. The English translation was “Invasion! They’re Coming” by Paul Carell. I must have read it dozens of times in the mid 80s.
PPS – Before you bombard me with emails asking where is my signup form for THIS site… plans are on the drawing board and they’ll be in action soon. The Samurai writer’s Operation Overlord, if you will.