“Is something wrong?”
That’s how the phone call started last week when a friend’s son called home from college.
It seems that when her son started his car, he had three warning lights go on. Unsure what they meant or what to do, he called home for advice.
Cars aren’t the only things that give warning signs. An ache or pain in your body can signal that you are ill. Buzzers and lights on stoves indicate hot surfaces. Railroad crossings have lights, sounds and gates that all signal the danger of a train approaching.
Ignore the signals and you do so at your own peril.
While there aren’t brightlights or loud buzzers that go off when your business has a marketing problem, there are warning signs which are often ignored or thought to be “not that bad”.
But if you leave these problems unattended too long, just like your car, they can bring to a halt any forward progress that you’re making with your business.
Here are several warning signs to look for that may indicate your marketing isn’t performing up to par.
Warning sign #1: Your traffic isn’t converting. If you are getting tons of traffic to your website from a PPC ad, SEO, Email marketing, a sales letter, etc., but your conversion rate is low, then it’s time to dig in and search for a way to make your traffic convert.
While your conversion problem may be caused by a number of different things, here are a few of the more common reasons why this could be happening:
• You’re sending your traffic to a generic page such as your home page instead of a landing page designed specifically to capture that traffic.
• You are missing some key elements in your copy, such as a call to action or strong offer.
• The message your traffic was driven to doesn’t match the ad the traffic was driven from.
• Your strategy needs an adjustment. For example, maybe your target audience isn’t quite right or your sequence is off.
The point is, if you are getting a ton of traffic and you’re not converting that traffic, you are leaving money on the table. Investing time, effort and money to correct this is a smart business decision.
Warning sign #2: You have a website that converts well, but you aren’t getting much traffic to it. Sometimes your conversion rate is high, so you know your landing page is killer, but you don’t have a lot of traffic coming to your page.
The fix may not be a simple solution. For instance, it could mean your ad copy isn’t doing its job of producing click-throughs to your landing page. Or perhaps the audience you are targeting isn’t the right fit for your ad message. Or maybe there is a different strategy altogether that would work better for driving traffic to your site.
Whatever the solution, you’ve done the hard work (you’ve created a page that converts well,) so don’t delay and get this fixed fast! You’ll discover there is a much easier solution to this problem than the first one and it will pay off fast.
Warning sign #3: You have no idea if your marketing strategies are working or not. This is fairly common among small business owners. We tend to try to do it all ourselves which means we are learning on the fly and trying new things without always having mechanisms in place to measure results. Or we are measuring results, but not sure exactly how to read them.
It is worth it to regularly invest some time with an expert outside your business to evaluate what is working well, where you could improve and what opportunities you are missing. Just like you take your car in for regular tune-ups to keep your car running smoothly, a “business check-up” can give you peace of mind as well as help you lift response and uncover new opportunities.
Warning sign #4: Your open rates and click through rates have declined. Email open rates and click through rates do fluctuate. However, if you are noticing a consistent decline in these areas, you need to act fast. I repeat, do not let this situation continue for weeks or months as this is a severe warning that you are damaging your list.
A damaged list is hard to repair. In fact, you may find that some of your customers are lost forever. However, if you act quickly, you can minimize the damage by using email and copywriting strategies to get your list opening and clicking again.
For example, making your emails more conversational, using copywriting techniques such as the “Four U’s”) or delivering content rich emails in addition to sales emails will improve your open rate.
Watch for the warning signs in your business and when you see them, go for help. It will be well worth your time and investment when you lessen your risk and improve your conversion rates and traffic. Plus, you’ll find it can not only have a huge impact on your profitability, but your overall contentment level with your business.