Increase Conversion Rate Using Context & Tension (Email 3 of 4)

This is the third email in a series on building the systems you need in your creative business. If you missed the earlier emails, here are  Email 1  and  Email 2 )

Let’s get right into it today because being able to increase your conversion rate is one of the fastest ways to grow your business.

Same number of people, same offer, more revenue. Chef’s kiss

Now, I’m not going to sell you on some newfangled widget, tell you to sign up for a click funnels account, or change the color of the buy now button on your website.

This isn’t about tactics. It’s about psychology.

Everything we’ve talked about so far in this series has been about psychology. We’ve rarely talked about strategy other than what to set up, as opposed to what tools to use.

The same applies to converting more leads into customers.

When you get this wrong, you end up with a ton of people who are turned off by your business, because you tried to shove them through a funnel, put a timer on their discount, and forced them into making a decision that they weren’t looking to make.

Ick. Don't do that.

We’re going to take a different approach:

  • Segment your audience so you know more about your leads
  • Only sell to those who are ready to be sold to
  • Create context and tension along the way
"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Wishing is not enough; we must do." -Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Segment your audience so you know more about your leads

Segmenting is the process of attaching data points to your new email subscribers so that you can selectively message people based on their desires and demographics.

Think about two offers in your business:

Say you have a done-for-you offer that costs $25,000, and an online course that teaches people how to do what you do for $250.

Which offer should you present to your new lead?

It depends, right?

Those things that it depends on are the different ways that you segment your audience.

  • the stage of business they’re in (length of time, revenue, etc)
  • their industry
  • their desired outcomes
  • how they like to learn
  • whether they’re looking for done-for-you, done-with-you, or self-paced

All of these things play into what offer you present them, but if you don’t have that information, then you’re shooting in the dark.

There are plenty of tutorials online for how to segment your audience through tagging, custom fields, and surveys, but that’s outside of the scope of this email series.

What’s next is equally important. Rarely, if ever, would you present the same offer to everyone on your list at the same time…

Only sell to those who are ready to be sold to

Ever bought a car?

Which one feels best:

  • you get a cold email from a dealer, (you have no idea how they got your email), and they try and sell you a minivan despite the fact that you don’t have kids.
  • you go to the dealer because you’re “just browsing”, yet they persistently try to sell you a specific car because they get a bigger commission on year-old cars than brand-new cars.
  • you go online, research the car you want, click to reserve your vehicle, then select your trim, wheels, colors, fabrics, and extras, choose between lease or finance, and a few months later your exact vehicle shows up at your door.

Yeah, that’s an easy one, right?

The problem with the first two scenarios is that the selling process was about them not about you.

They didn’t take into account your needs, your timing, or your desires.

The third option feels like nirvana compared to those first two torturous experiences.

You decided when you were ready. You had complete control over the price, the package, the outcome, it was clear what you were getting and for how much, and the vehicle was perfectly suited to your needs and desires.

Ahhh. Feels soooo good.

That is the kind of experience you want to give to your ideal customers.

How you do that is part art and part science.

The art comes in the last section of this email on creating context and tension.

The science is about how you strategically use your email list to sell to customers when they’re ready, and present the perfect offer based on what you know about them and their businesses.

Whenever someone joins your list, you now have permission to sell to them. But, that doesn’t mean you should act like the car salesman and immediately start putting offers in front of them.

On the contrary, you should wait until they signal that they’re ready for the next step. That they want to be sold to.

You can simply put a call to action button or link in an email that allows a lead to take the next step when they’re ready. That might be at the end of your three-day email series. It may be a month or two or even a year later.

There’s research done by Dean Jackson that applies:

“only 15% of people who buy within two years make a purchase in the first 90 days. Everyone else — 85% of people who buy — don’t make a purchase until AFTER 90 days. That means there’s FOUR TIMES THE OPPORTUNITY waiting for you after three months — if, and only IF, you don’t screw it up.”(Quoted from Tiny Little Businesses Emergent Marketing Newsletter, emphasis added).

We need to make sure that we approach sales on the potential customer’s timetable, not ours.

That doesn’t mean that we should default to waiting for a year, but that we use a pull, not push, mentality when it comes to sales.

The simple way to do this is to make it easy for people to signal that they’re ready to take the next step.

  • Put a link in every newsletter.
  • Add it to your email signature.
  • Put it as a link in your bio on social media.

Make it clear that clicking that link signals that they are ready to take the next step, and at that point - and only at that point - start selling them.

But, don’t make the mistake I and literally everyone else has done and send the prospect directly to a sales page…

Create context and tension along the way

No, instead, you want to create context and tension.

Context is the mindset the prospect has when you present them with your offer.

They could take the stance of “this isn’t that valuable to me, so you better show me why this service is worth $10,000 of my hard-earned money!”, or they could be thinking “$10,000?! I would have happily paid $50,000. Where do I sign?!”

The difference comes down to how you present the offer. The way you frame it, the context that you give to your prospective customer before you present the offer.

Dating gives us an apt analogy...

Asking someone on a first date is the equivalent of asking someone to join your email list. They have had some exposure to you, they know who you are, and you think it’s a safe bet to ask for the email address in exchange for a lead magnet. Similar to asking someone for their phone number in exchange for a nice dinner.

Now, the last thing you would do at that dinner is talk about how badly you need to get married, profess your undying love for this person, and get down on one knee, ring in hand, asking them to marry you.

That’s what going for the sale too early is like.

Instead, you would date for a while, get to know the person, understand their worldview, their wants and needs and hopes and dreams, and only after you know that they, too, are ready for the next step, would you bring up the “offer” of marriage.

Even then, you might tease a little, create some desire and mystique around it. You’d ask them out for a really nice dinner. You’d tell them to dress up. You buy flowers and give them to your partner at the doorstep when you pick them up. Then, you have a wonderful, beautiful, magical evening. Only then, at the point where it seems like it wasn’t going to happen after all, do you smile at your lover, and ask them to marry you.

In that example they are dying to say yes, they can’t wait to accept your offer, because of the way it was presented.

Same offer as the other example, completely different context, and lots of tension.

That’s how you increase your conversion rate. You take everything you’ve learned in this series, and treat your new prospect like you’ve landed the most incredible first date. You treat them special, go above and beyond to make them feel supported and cared for and safe. Then, and only after you know they’re ready to take the next step, do you prevent an offer. You wait for the signals, so that you don’t ruin a perfectly good offer by skipping the context and creating no tension.

Now, there’s a lot that we’ve covered in these emails.

We’ve talked about generating high-quality leads in a more systematic way, guaranteeing a “minimum effective dose” of new people discovering you and giving you permission to “date” them on a weekly basis.

We’ve talked about tailoring your offers to the pains, gains, and jobs to be done of your audience, so that they become no-brainer offers, and today discussed how to present them so that you’re more successful when you sell to your prospects.

These different areas of your business can be optimized and by doing so your business will grow.

But, there’s a risk in approaching your business that way.

Your business isn’t just a set of three different systems, independently running and generating outcomes.

In fact, your business is one big system, with many other sub-systems that are all interconnected. When you optimize one without realizing the relationship to the bigger system, you run the risk of hurting your business more than you help it.

On Friday (no, I'm not gonna send you emails on Thanksgiving!), I’ll share how to prevent that from happening, we’ll tie all of this together, and you’ll be well on your way to using your new understanding of these systems to grow your business over the next year.

Talk to you then…


PS - take a look at your business. What systems already exist? Which ones are missing? Which ones are sub-optimal at delivering their desired outcome? Knowing where you are now is an important step in using what's to come to its fullest extent...