Many small business owners have a really hard time knowing how to set “realistic expectations” and all it takes is a quick glance at the latest promises being made by the “get rich quick, make $100,000 a day while sitting on your ass” to see why.
For example, I am working with a client who has done EVERYTHING right. She tightly targeted her marketing efforts to focus on a specific target or niche audience. Not only was her marketing tightly targeted, she even tightly targeted her product offering. Even though she began this process long before she had read my book Beyond the Niche: Essential Tools You Need to Create Marketing Messages that Deliver Results. Even though she hadn’t read my book, she had followed the steps outlined in the book beautifully. Her product was not only tightly targeted to a specific market, it also addressed an issue which literally CONSUMED her target audience.
So, it wasn’t surprising that after launching a new web site marketing strategy with a redesigned web site, new business blog and an email newsletter, that she began enjoying phenomenal success. After 6 short months the results were literally amazing. Her newsletter had a 76% sign up rate. That meant that out of 100 visitors to her site, 76 were signing up for her newsletter. (For the rest of us, an average sign up rate for an online newsletter is about 13 %.)
Even better, those subscribers were actively reading the newsletter, sending the newsletter to their colleagues and even writing testimonials for my client ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER. (Most business owners consider themselves fortunate to get an unsolicited testimonial for their PRODUCTS or SERVICES. An unsolicited testimonial for a newsletter is truly above and beyond.)
However, the success stories didn’t end there. Not only were newsletter subscribers raving about the newsletter and telling others, they were also quick to act when they were offered a special price on her product via the newsletter.
Sounds like marketing nirvana, doesn’t it?
As a marketing professional I was VERY pleased with my client’s success and assumed she would be as well. She had tightly targeted not only her marketing materials, but also her product offering and as a result, she was seeing outstanding results in a relatively short period of time. Sales were climbing – customer service was effortless because customers were tickled pink with her product.
Unfortunately, my client wasn’t pleased. As a matter of fact, my client was upset. Imagine my surprise to learn of her displeasure.
Turns out, she had been making the “info guru free teleclass” rounds and as a result, her expectations were
really out of line.
At her request, we began shifting our marketing strategy. Instead of tightly targeting a well defined audience, we began expanding our focus. We began adopting the web site marketing strategies she had been reading about in the free teleseminars and newsletters.
As a result of this experience, now when I begin working with a client, the first few sessions are ALL about setting realistic expectations. If I’d had that kind of “intake” with my client mentioned above, she would have joined me in rejoicing instead of being disappointed by her initial results.
Expectations are everything. Your figures will vary, but begin keeping track of your own numbers. For example, if you deliver your message to 1000 people and 10 respond, that is 1% success rate.
Of those 10 people, if 2 purchase then you have a 20% close rate.
Once you know what numbers your marketing it producing, then it becomes a game to try to beat your previous numbers.