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Online Marketing's Soft Sell: The 2-Stage Conversion

February 13, 2013 By Marc Poirier
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Whatever the strategy for attaining that first conversion, it must require a minimal investment on behalf of those you wish to convert. Simply asking visitors to sign up for an email list, be it on your Lightbox or on another form, enables that first conversion, and lets you begin to communicate with them further.

By completing the first step, you open the door for further communications down the road, with the opportunity to convert this same individual at multiple times.

Stage 2
Depending on the type of conversion you're after in stage two, the approach here may be somewhat different, but all with the same goal in mind: achieving a sale.

Getting a large amount of contacts, especially when marketing through email, is very important to this process. My own experience with email marketing shows an average open rate of around 18%, which then results in a CTR of around 10%. This means that only 1.8% of emails generate a click. This is the very reason why the initial conversion requires such low engagement; because we're venturing into territory where engagement can be very low.

Email marketing works very well for sites that sell apparel, such as clothing or shoes. They have an audience that is interested in what they're selling and, through email, they're able to share sales, specials and new products with them on a regular basis.

Software developers will often use step two to encourage people to use the full version of their software, pointing out functions users might be missing out on, or allowing them to access more features with no advertisements.

And social media marketers attempt to entice their audience away from the social media site they're engaging that audience on, and showing them the goods or services that they've expressed an interest in by following that brand.

Regardless of the strategy, you're still opting towards a 'soft sell' approach, as you want for your contacts to stay engaged and not feel overwhelmed. By giving you their information, they have somewhat pre-qualified themselves as interested buyers, meaning that they have, in essence, asked you to tell them about what else you're offering.

By employing a two-stage conversion model, it is possible to obtain a large volume of pre-qualified customers who can be reached on a regular basis with a low-engagement conversion at both levels of the operation.

Marc Poirier is co-founder and CMO of Montreal-based cross-channel media platform provider Acquisio. Reach him at mpoirier@acquisio.com.


 

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