For many of us the task of finding new clients, or I should say, the task of having clients find us can be tricky.
We’ve created the perfect website, we’ve optimised it for the best keywords, we’re active on social media sites and business forums, but we’re not getting as many enquiries as we’d like.
We scratch our heads and wonder if anybody is actually landing on our website.
So we check Google Analytics and can see that our traffic volume has increased. The keywords are working. The social media interaction is paying off.
But still no major increase in enquiries.
People are obviously finding your site, taking a look around and then leaving.
The most likely cause is that there’s no incentive.
Whilst some people will contact a Virtual Assistant straight away in the search process, many will collect information. Then compare skills, experience and qualifications. And only then make contact.
By which point your details may have been lost, forgotten or pushed further down the list.
Getting around this problem is easy.
Implementing it is a little harder, but by no means out of reach. It just takes a little time, planning and creativeness.
So what is ‘it’?
An autoresponder series.
In other words, a sequence of marketing emails that get sent to everyone who subscribes to your list. You choose what messages get sent and how many times, with the objective of encouraging new business.
I’ve already talked about the importance of having some kind of data capture on your website. This is the first part.
So you should have already thought quite carefully about what the free giveaway or news bulletin should be.
Think about your target audience. What would they find of value that it’s worth them parting with their name and email address over?
Then create it. Integrate email software to your website. Write a powerful call to action to encourage them to download it. And start seeing your prospect list increase.
The second part is equally important. Creating your autoresponder series to ensure you don’t forget about them, and crucially, they don’t forget about you.
Here’s my three step process to help you create the perfect autoresponder series that once in place, you can leave to let it work its magic on your potential new clients.
Step 1: Creating your email structure and content
This is where you need to clear your workload for the morning and spend some time.
There’s absolutely no point in sending out half-hearted email messages. They won’t do yourself any justice and they’re unlikely to bring in any new business.
So grab a cuppa, sit down and think long and hard about how you can connect with your prospect list to give them value.
To make them want to work with you.
There is a smart technique for this step in the process that I’d suggest you follow. This is based on a five part email series, but you can of course adapt it if you feel you want a longer series. Personally, I wouldn’t advise a shorter one.
Email 1 – Welcome. Thanks for signing up. A teaser about what great info is to come that will help them or their business-type specifically.
Emails 2, 3 & 4 – Problem solving emails. This can either be three different problems relevant to your target market that you will solve during the course of each email, or one problem that you will solve over the course of the series.
Email 5 – Thank them again for signing up. Invite them to give feedback (which should in fact be included in each email of the series). Then ask them what they’d like help with next.
By asking them what they need help with next, you’re a) giving yourself some valuable information and content for your next autoresponder series. And b) giving them an incentive to stay subscribed to your mailing list.
Both of which may result in a new client at some stage.
Step 2: Optimising your email for maximum results.
This starts with the subject line.
You want a title that will be tempting and persuasive, so the open rate is high.
Since you will be solving some kind of problem in your emails, this should be relatively easy to do. But just remember it shouldn’t be too lengthy. So it may take a little time to get right.
It’s followed by the email itself not being too lengthy.
The last thing your subscribers will want to see when they click on an email is a copy heavy message. It will automatically put them off – even if it is solving something relevant to them.
Keep it brief and to the point.
Then add in that all important link from it through to more information.
This is the final way to optimise your email for maximum results.
Oh and guess where this extra information is contained? That’s right – on your website.
Gaining traffic back to your site. Incentivising them to stay for longer whilst they read the information. Then hopefully at one of the stages in this problem solving process, contacting you to enquire about your services.
Step 3: Ensure it is super simple for website visitors to subscribe.
Taking the time to create the perfect autoresponder series is obsolete if your website visitors don’t realise there’s a free relevant-to-them offer on your website!
So take a look at your site. Or even better, take a look at other websites where there is a data capture exchange (and it doesn’t have to be another VA website) to see where they’ve placed it.
You’ll soon see what works and what doesn’t.
Then simply replicate it on your site.
Don’t just think about your homepage. Think about all pages of your website. And different sections of each page.
You could add a call to action within page content as well as a more obvious sign-up box.
You’ll have already created the autoresponder series within the email software you’ve chosen (Mailchimp, Aweber, Constant Contact, etc.) so once you’ve embedded the code provided to each call to action, and added your sign-up boxes, you’re good to go.
Now put down your cuppa, sit back and get ready to start seeing all that networking and keyword placement hard work pay off.