When you advertise in an ezine, there are four steps the reader (your prospect) has to take before a sale is made. Understand those four steps and maximize your chances of the reader making it all the way to the purchase.
This article explains the click thru process that occurs when a subscriber reads an ezine. The example below describes four types of click thru rates and explains how to accurately measure Conversion rates.
There are actually four measurement rates in the sales cycle:
- Click thru to the article – the ezine click thru rate
- Click thru to the writer’s web site – the web site click thru rate
- Download of material or request for information – the response rate
- Purchase of product – the conversion rate
You are a writer who has published an article that is running in an ezine with a circulation of 10,000 readers. You are lucky. You have the lead article and the majority of readers will affix their eyes to your script.
The Ezine Click Thru Rate
Let’s say that 50% or 5,000 people select your article. When they click on the link, they will go to your article on a sub page or area of the ezine. This is the ezine click thru rate.
The Web Site Click Thru Rate
People who decide to click thru to your article will do a number of things:
- they may read the first sentence and lose interest
- they may scan the article but fail to click on your link in the byline
- they like what they read and decide to click thru to your web site.
In our example, we will assume that the Web Site Click Thru Rate is 10%. 500 people like your article enough to ”visit” your web site. The web site click thru rate is a visitor rate. Many people confuse this with the response rate. A response rate ( step three) implies action on the web site. People who surf your site are not respondents. They need to take action.
In the brick and Mortar world a visitor is a respondent. When you go into a retail store and are ”just looking”, you are one step away from the sale. In the online world, the visitor needs to take an extra step to be included in the response rate. They need to take action. In the brick and mortar world, the action is the sale.
Taking Action – The Response Rate
At this point, the reader has turned into a visitor and is one step away from becoming a respondent. The visitor becomes a respondent when they take one of the following actions:
- they subscribe to your newsletter by providing their email address
- they download a free ebook or software tool from the web site
- they request additional information through an email form
Why is this significant?
When a visitor takes action it is the first time in the process where you have taken some control over the sale. Up until now, the reader and visitor did not commit in any way. They begin to commit when they allow you to influence them. You influence the visitor when they give you the ability to contact them with your auto responder and provide them with further information. It is at this step in the sales process that pre selling occurs.
Again, let’s assume that your response rate is 10%. 10% or 50 people take action and request additional information.
Making the Sale – the Conversion Rate
So, here we are at the end of the process. We have 50 people out of the original 5,000 who may buy your product or service. This is a far cry from the original 10,000 subscribers, 5,000 readers and 500 visitors. We will assume that your pre selling was effective and results in a 5% conversion rate. This sounds awful I know – but its reality. 5% of 50 is 2.5. 2.5 sales does sound demoralizing especially when you compare it to the original 10,000 subscribers.
As you can see, the number of readers in step 1 is crucial to the outcome.
I have purposely taken a worst-case view of this process to illustrate how difficulty it is to make sales on the web. A more realistic approach would be to eliminate step 1: the ezine click thru rate. Most ezines do not publish multiple articles in their ezines. In most cases, your article would be the only one for the reader to read.
In this case, your sales would double!
10,000 people read the article
10% or 1,000 people visit your web site
100 people respond
and 5 sales are made.
Still, you’re no millionaire. But, you should now have a more sophisticated understanding of the click thru process and the trigger points you must capitalize on to make your sales.
Trigger Points In the Sales Cycle
Let’s review each of the four steps in the sales cycle and apply a trigger point or influence for the reader to move to the next step in the cycle.
1) The ezine click-thru rate
This rate is influenced solely by the ezine publisher. As a writer you must depend on the ingenuity and effective presentation of your article and its placement in relation to other articles, ads and offers. There is no question that the layout – the ”look and feel” of the ezine will motivate people or bore them.
2) The web site click-thru rate
This rate is influenced by the quality of your web site content. The quality of content is directly related to the pre-sell added value You provide. Visitors need to be motivated to become respondents. Click-thrus alone do not provide buyers. You as the writer/website owner are on the hook for this one. Your article reeled the reader in, what are you going to do with him/her now?
3) The response rate
Again, this depends on the quality of your offerings. The quality of your offerings is heavily influenced by the quality of your web site content. In order for your products to establish credibility with your visitors you must first establish credibility and trust through your communication. Great care must be taken to ”pre-sell” your audience. You must provide added value to your prospect in order for them to be motivated to purchase your product.
What is added value?
Added value is real and perceived. When you offer unique information and content for free, you are providing real added value. When you offer a better way of life, a creative alternative to a dead end lifestyle or a more creative way to manage time, you are offering a ”perceived” added value. It is usually a combination of the two that will help you establish credibility and trust with your audience.
4) The Conversion rate
The list of respondents you obtain is a captive audience that has agreed to be part of an opt-in mailing list of subscriber list. These people have been ”pre-sold” and are your best prospects for future sales. You can maximize your results by maximizing your responsiveness. This is where auto responders can help. Once a prospect has ”responded” they want to receive a reply immediately. Nothing destroys credibility faster than a slow reply. Your autoresponder should include a select group of articles or marketing pieces that continue your pre-selling campaign with closely timed emails at extend the life of your offer in the prospects mind. The longer you can extend your offer in the prospects mind, the greater chance you have to convert the sale.
is a marketing professional and technical documentation specialist who has taken the plunge into online marketing. Please visit: