You’ve prepared your brand, designed your sales funnel, and now, you’re ready to launch.
Whether you’re on your first business, or you’re an established player bringing a new idea to market, this step can be full of anticipation.
What more could there possibly be to do, but sit back and enjoy the ride, watching the leads (and the sales) roll in?
What you do before your launch can be just as important as how your funnel is designed or what your logo looks like.
In fact, according to a recent analysis, people are pretty skeptical of brands and the tactics they use to engage customers through the sales pipeline.
By driving traffic to your funnel before you even launch it, you have a chance to define the direction.
With these strategies, you’ll be able to develop higher-quality leads that have more trust in your brand and your funnel.
Each step we’ve included for you serves its own purpose, but in complementing each other, they’ll also solidify the overall experience your customers enjoy.
And in part, that’s the key to this guide: creating an experience for your audience before they even arrive.
And today, we’re going to look at how to create that experience.
With more, higher-quality traffic, you’ll be more confident in the results and get a better return on investment.
Make Appearances on Lots of Podcasts
This year is turning out to be the rise of the podcast.
And with services like Pandora introducing podcasts such as Serial, more and more people are being exposed to this medium.
As a marketing tool, it makes perfect sense: podcasts are a low-cost way to have your own radio show.
So when you make appearances on them, you get to grab some of this limelight for your funnel.
But most importantly, you’re able to show your potential audience that you’re a real person with real ideas, not just a brand with a product.
- Create a list of podcasts that might be relevant to your customers
To find podcasts, turn to sites like iTunes, but apps like Stitcher also remain a popular choice. The simplest method is to use Google or Bing to search for shows in your niche. You can also reach out to friends in your industry who have started podcasts. The longer the list, the better.
- Listen to at least 1 episode of each podcast
By getting a feel for each podcast, you’ll have a better idea of whether it matches your brand voice and your goals. Also, you’ll also be able to connect what you hear to your pitch when you get in touch with the host.
- Reach out to the host and pitch an appearance
We recommend contacting via email. Go beyond simply telling them that you love their show, and you’d like to be on it. Instead, compose a short email that distinctly shows what you can offer. If you’re able to connect yourself (not just your brand) to a specific show idea, you’re much more likely to be offered a slot.
- Prepare your space and your ideas
You’ll want to be prepared. Check the space you intend to conduct the interview at ahead of time. Ensuring that, for example, your mic works guarantees a smooth appearance. But also prepare a list of ideas that you plan to bring to the table, so you’re ready to be relevant to the host’s audience.
- Act natural and enjoy the spotlight
Remember how we’re creating an experience instead of simply pitching a product? Your funnel will benefit when listeners hear a genuine person getting in touch with what matters most to them. While it’s perfectly okay to do a short pitch, stay relevant and give back value to the community you’re interacting with.
- Thank everyone involved
Before you close your appearance, thank the host, but also thank the audience. Invite them to visit your website or get in touch with you for questions on social media. You’ll also want to send a thank you email to the host afterward, letting them know you enjoyed it, and you’d love to be back at anytime.
- Share, share, share
Once you’ve made your podcast appearance, share that episode! Sharing a link on your personal social media is totally allowed and gives your brand that authentic feel we’re looking for.
Protip: You might be tempted only to target podcasts with the biggest audiences.
But remember, while spreading your brand as far and wide as possible is important, sometimes those smaller audiences can be a better match for your brand, especially if they’re strong enthusiasts in your niche.
Guest Post on People’s Websites
But guest blogging goes a few steps further than simply writing a blog article and calling it a day.
Instead, you’re tapping into a whole new community of people.
Think about sites that feature multiple authors like the popular Lifehacker.
Notice anything interesting? Sites like these are really entire communities commenting and sharing content in a niche.
By guest posting, you’re presenting your brand as an authority in the industry to these real people.
- Visit some of the popular sites in your niche
Just like with appearing on podcasts, you’ll want to create a list of popular sites. If you’re already a frequent commenter on another site, it’s even better, since you’ve already established yourself in the community.
- Browse past articles to find a topic that fits, but might be missing
Keep a list of ideas as you browse the site’s past articles. Once you’ve made a shortlist, search the site to see if they’ve written on these topics before. This way, you’ll be bringing the community something new.
- Reach out to the blog or website owners.
Let them know what your idea is, how it can benefit them, and why you and your brand are the right fit for a guest article.
- Motivate, inspire, challenge, connect
Captivate your audience and look to move them really. Whether it’s giving them tips or presenting a novel perspective, skip directly pitching your brand and seek to get them engaged. But don’t be afraid to link back to your own site when appropriate.
- Answer comments and questions on your article
Once you have their attention, don’t just skip town! After your guest post is published, be sure to return and regularly answer questions or thank people for their input. Continue to be part of the community.
- Get the data
Can you imagine knowing how many people were already aware of your sales funnel before you even contacted them? Data from your guest post gives you a great perspective.
Protip: Include a photo of yourself that’s relevant to the topic of your article. This adds a human touch to your post and further connects the audience to you and the experience you’re writing about.
Use Content Marketing on Your Blog
Chances are, you’ve probably heard of search engine optimization, and the phrase, “content is king.” But in reality, content marketing on your own blog serves several functions for your sale funnel. First, it allows your brand to be found more easily on sites like Google and Bing. It also draws potential customers to your website and increases the chance they’ll be exposed to your sales funnel, increasing the possibility of a positive ROI by as much as 13 times.
- Select your keywords
Choosing the keywords for your blog can be a challenge (and one we’ll address on another day). But selecting the right keywords makes it easier for people to find your site when searching.
- But write with natural-language in mind
While many people have their own best recipe for how to write blogs, your readers will appreciate it more when you develop your own voice, free of stringent SEO gimmicks. This creates a better overall experience.
- Choose a posting schedule you can keep
It’s true that . But keep your efforts in perspective and commit to a schedule that makes the most sense of your sales funnel.
- Keep an eye on your stats
Just like with any marketing effort, you’ll want to watch your data so that you can change what isn’t working and keep what is.
- Be patient
At the same time, building a blog audience doesn’t happen overnight. Patience and regular posting are the keys to drawing in those readers.
Protip: Instead of closing with a traditional call-to-action, ask your readers to share with you by getting in touch directly. It’s friendly and offers a more one-to-one custom experience for them.
Engage Your Email List to Build Up Your Click-Through Rate
It seems that every year, someone declares that email marketing is dead. While it may be true that “content is still king” in the case of blogging, email remains at the top of the list for driving traffic to your funnel. It may surprise you to find out that, according to Entrepreneur and Direct Marketing Association, email increases return on investment by thousands of percentage points.
And yet, it is consistently one of the most misunderstood ways to drive traffic to a sales funnel. You’ve probably gotten your own fair share of bulk-sent emails you’ve ignored over the years. Isn’t there a better way? Yes!
- Forget the newsletter templates
Most people’s inboxes are flooded with newsletters that they don’t have time to read. Instead, opt for a more organic feel by using a standard email.
- Send your email from a singular person instead of a brand
You may have noticed recently that big brands aren’t sending emails from [email protected]. Instead, they use individual people with real names to send communications, even to bulk lists. This helps give a more one-to-one connection to the message, increasing open rates.
- Start a conversation
In today’s day and age, we’ve learned that people want to share their stories and conversations. Why not use email as a vehicle to create a conversation about your product or service… and ask them to share their own thoughts?
- Include a link
Don’t forget those links! By sharing relevant links, you drive that high-quality traffic back to your funnel.
Protip: Personalizing content with the day of the week or a regional reference point helps link your audience to the message by making it immediately relevant to their own lives.
Find Affiliates for Your Upcoming Launch who can Drive Organic and Paid Traffic
If you’re new to marketing, you might be wondering how affiliate marketing works. Think of it as a way to get your brand out there through 3rd parties that take a small commission. Google Adwords and Amazon’s affiliate network are two popular choices, but there are many other networks out there. Bottomline: you take advantage of lower costs and broader penetration of your market. The real selling point here, however, is that you often only pay when you see results.
But how do you use it to create a genuine experience for your customers and drive traffic? Really affiliate marketing shines most when you’re able to get honest, real reviews of your brand across the web. Sites like Yelp have programs that can truly benefit your funnel with genuine reviews. And with as many as 90% of consumers trusting reviews to help make up their mind, you can see how important this strategy is.
- Clear message that taps into their need
When you’re able to craft or approve the message that will be used for your affiliate marketing, make sure that the message is simple and straightforward and appeals to your customers’ needs.
- Provide excellent customer service
Whenever you have an affiliate review, take the opportunity to address any concerns or issues the reviewer had. By publically doing so, you’re showing off just how awesome your customer service really is.
- Update content regularly
In today’s world, it seems that ads get stale in a heartbeat. Regularly changing out your ad means that new traffic is constantly seeing fresh content to entice them your way.
- Follow your data closely
Always be on top of your affiliate data so you can make any changes. You’ll also know when an affiliate network is working toward your advantage and when it’s not.
Protip: When using affiliate marketing reviews, consider “doubling up” your marketing by putting positive reviews on your website as testimonials, another strong marketing tactic.
You’re the expert in your industry: what strategies have given you the best return on investment?
Written by Stephen Esketzis
Stephen Esketzis is Head Of Content Marketing at Clickfunnels. He is known as the ‘Sales Funnel Architect’ and is a specialist at using paid traffic to generate highly profitable sales funnels. You can also listen to his podcast ‘Marketing on The Move’ and look him up on Facebook.
This content was originally published here.