Let’s face it; not everyone is ready to buy on their first visit to your website.

I’m probably not going to buy that beautiful house I just clicked on in a Facebook ad this morning, no matter how convincing your website is.

This is especially true of traffic from social media. 

Social media and content marketing have dramatically changed the landscape for a customer’s first visit to your website. They weren’t shopping when you caught their attention. They were looking for and consuming information (or maybe they were just watching a cat video), and it is highly unlikely that you will close the deal on this very first interaction. 

Even sites with a clear call to action will lose these leads, and one visit to your website probably isn’t enough to remember you when the time comes, and they are ready to buy. 

So, what do you do? 

Remember why they were there: to learn more to get information and knowledge about how to solve their problem. Give them what they want. Give them valuable information in exchange for their email address (and maybe their phone number). We call this a transitional call to action, and what it does is it builds your reputation, establishes rapport, and gives you the ability to stay in touch with them via email (and social media too if you set it up).

What kind of valuable information can you give your clients? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

A free e-book

I love e-books. They are an incredible marketing tool. They feel valuable to your customers, and they are so cheap to do well. They can last for years! A company I worked with is still using an e-book today that we wrote about eight years ago, and it’s bringing in nearly 1,000 leads per month!

An e-book is usually delivered as a PDF. It can be as long as you want, but it doesn’t need to be longer than 10-15 pages. Make sure the content is tied directly to the problem you solve for your customers. You should spend a little money to get a professionally designed cover, and you need to give it a great title. The title and cover will do 90% of the work, so pay close attention to them. You may even want to test a few designs and titles to see what works best.

Here’s a pro-tip. Don’t go crazy on your e-book content. If your e-book rivals the work of Michaelangelo, I applaud you for the accomplishment and can’t wait to read it myself, but I have bad news. People don’t read e-books. The vast majority of the e-books you deliver will either collect digital dust in a Downloads folder or will never be downloaded. If you write the world’s best free e-book ever, you probably wasted a lot of time and energy that could have been used elsewhere. HOWEVER, this isn’t a reason to slack off entirely because those who are most likely to buy your product will read it. I’ve found that ten pages of valuable content designed and written well is the perfect combination.

I almost always recommend an e-book for my clients. They are the most cost-effective way to get a ton of new quality leads delivered straight to your inbox.

A video course or series

The video age is upon us. It is cheaper than ever to produce and distribute video content. However, the low barrier to entry is no excuse for doing a lousy job. Video is incredibly powerful, but it is very easy to do wrong. Make sure your videos are produced with as much quality as you provide your product or service with and preferably even more. Nothing convinces me faster of a poor fit for me than someone putting a crappy video in my face.

Like I teach with all content. Make sure you focus on your customers, on their problem, and help them solve their problem. Don’t talk about yourself and how cool you are. Please don’t show us your (fake) Ferrari’s. Enter your customer’s story and make them the hero!

And don’t be afraid to give away the farm. I’ve found most people play their cards (and content) too close to the chest. It will pay off, in the long run, to give away as much quality content as you can.

Here’s a pro-tip. If you’re really struggling with where to draw the line on what content to give away and what to keep behind the paywall, here’s a simple rule of thumb to help guide you. Give away the why and the what, but don’t give away the how. This is a great place to start and get your feet wet. 

A white paper, checklist, or customer testimonials

These are rarely my first choice, but this is certainly a case of something is better than nothing. White papers are boring but can work in a more technical field if done well. Checklists are one of the easiest pieces of content to create, but they don’t always generate a ton of value. Customer testimonials can work in a pinch, but you don’t want them to sound like testimonials. Think of them as customer stories or triumphs! If you’re in the nonprofit sector, telling the stories of those you serve can be an immensely powerful tool!

A discount

For online stores and product sales, a small discount on their first order is a perfect way to get a browser’s information. It’s great because it is 100% free if they don’t purchase, and if they do purchase well, then it’s job done. Congratulations! Discount promotions can usually be taken from idea to implementation in a couple of hours, so if you’re still reading this article and feeling overwhelmed, this may be the perfect place for you to start.

Some other value

There are a thousand other ideas, a free book, early access, insider information. Whatever it is, make sure it is on narrative. Make sure it solves their problem. Here’s an example of something that is not on the narrative that I see all the time, and you do too. 

Join my newsletter!

No one’s problem is that they just can’t get your newsletter. Your customers don’t care about your news. They didn’t wake up this morning dying to know whether you hit your goals this year or not. Please don’t make your transitional call to action your “newsletter.” If you have a great blog, that’s fine, and you can use that, but please, please don’t call it a newsletter.

The last step

Ok, this is the most critical step in a transitional CTA. You have to communicate with those who give you their contact information. If you do all the work to create a great resource, give it away for free, collect warm leads, and stop there, you’ve just wasted your time (and maybe even theirs). You need to use their contact information to keep the conversation going. An automated email campaign will do just that. And remember when I said people don’t read e-books, they will read your emails. Not all of them, maybe not even most of them, but a consistent presence in their inbox will keep you in mind when the time comes to buy.

Need help?

You probably aren’t a copywriter or marketer by trade. If the idea of creating content makes you angry or scares you to death, don’t worry. We can help you create content that you will be proud of, and your customers will love. We will make it so easy for you to build your email list faster than ever and grow your business.

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