Two years ago I made a shift in my marketing agency and moved from consulting, implementation and development. We were all a connected, growing and extensive team.
We determined to move to another model where we would offer technology first and add consulting and implementation to the technology.
We could see that the technology was very scalable. The technology is basically, a platform that can sustain in the same way 10 clients or 100 clients. All of this activity is hosted in a cloud environment and will consume only the resources requested by the clients at any certain moment.
A learning phase.
At that time, when discussing our ideas with the clients I seemed to be putting forth the idea that I am not a technical person. However, by continuing my work in this way, I've found out what works better for my company.
I used excuses instead of applying myself to learning that which I did not know.
After a while I realized that it was only an excuse to say that I was not technical. It was showing my lack of availability to myself and to the progress I owed to myself to learn more in the technology area. I determined to work out the way in which I could teach myself a lot in the areas I felt I was lacking in -- and that especially included technology. By finally making this shift in myself and my personality, I've observed some very interesting things.
The competitive business world.
1. A lot of clients are too comfortable and prefer to use "horse and carriage" type of solutions having bigger costs, delays in execution and sometimes big or small incompatibilities with the actual web standards. Practically, some decision makers are more interested in keeping their comfort zone than the good of the company and I find this not acceptable in today's very competitive business world.
2. Also, I've observed a lack of understanding that the technology, in general, is better and better, more secure and cheaper at the same time. We must learn all the technology that we can in order to become faster and better at what we do and the services that we provide.
3. I've met companies who wish to have all "information security" for their database -- and yet will send everything they have to secure to an external processor. The external processor then takes care of the operation of sending newsletters. Using this process is basically losing the control over your company security.
A more appropriate way of doing this action from a security standpoint, and even from a cost and execution point of view -- would be for the company (or client) to secure their own information with a username and password in a rented platform. Possibly even consider the notion of using a private server.
This process can then become an asset for the company to utilize an external processor to manage the newsletter or whatever the case may be. In the case of e-mails, there is another potential problem: the deliverability of them to the inboxes of the recipients. It's better to work with a specialized provider.
4. I saw many ignorant clients buying things sold as 100 percent custom made but they were buying just arranged templates and personalized open source platforms. I witnesses that 70 percent of the work was already performed.
Of course, this is all about honesty first and then the creativity that has to be provided no matter what. How good the technology is without a great copywriter and an amazing idea will generally produce nothing or less than nothing.
I saw a happy client who bought a Wordpress blog that was 100 percent customized -- or so he supposed -- when actually, Wordpress is a free open source software. You can even buy a theme with less than $30. I saw ZERO type of any actual type of personalization -- and ironically, this "custom" equipment remained with the creator's link in the footer.
We must find better ways to do our work. We must study and know well that which we purchase.
The purpose of this article is to show you, the startup founder, owner or marketer -- that there are better and more effective ways of doing things.
Today's theme is how to create lead generation pages, product pages, and sales pages.
A Facebook Ad or Google Adwords can be directed towards a page where there is offered something -- possibly a "lead magnet." Some companies exchange this for the name, e-mail address and the phone number. Some companies will allow you to sell something and show you, "we have a sales page."
The e-commerce platforms, the ones for online stores have well standardized the pages for product presentation and even the ones for lead generation. But when selling products and services outside these platforms the problem is how do we build a sales page or opt-in page.
Those services can be created in-house or externalized towards an agency. The added value of an agency will come, not from reselling the technology based on the fact that the client is not informed, but from the creativity of the message and execution. Without the creativity and the know-how technology will not produce even two cents in advertising.
Yes, I'm repeating myself -- the technology exists already and it better and better and cheaper all the time. We need to be in a position to know when the right time to take advantage of the technology and apply it for our work.
The Clickfunnels Platform: a small startup from the USA sensed the demand from companies and agencies to create pages for lead capture, sales pages, and sales funnels. You can test the platform free for 14 days and after that, the cost is only $97/ month.
On top of the base services - the page builder there are also available upgrades - autoresponder system, membership portals and affiliate programs. The platform contains already templates for Facebook Ads, Google Adwords and e-mail marketing optimized pages which are adapted for potential conversions.
These pages can be installed on your private domain or they can work on a clickfunnels subdomain and are hosted on the company's servers. More details here: http://clickfunnels.eu
Wordpress Profit Builder: it is ideal for Wordpress fans and it works in the form of a plugin and theme which can be customized. When you attach the plugin there will become available the templates for the optin pages. There are also the sales pages and the presentation pages (product reviews) so you will just have to change the text and photos and of course you can alter the design.
It can simply be installed on your own domain. The product can be purchased with a license to be used on 3 to 50 websites for your own projects or for the clients having also developer rights and doesn't have a free trial period. The price is one time fee - between $67 and $147. More details here.
Convertri: the main advantage of Convertri is the speed of loading the pages created and hosted on the company's server, important element especially during the paid campaigns where you have literally a fraction of a second to attract the attention of the user.
If the page is loading slowly -- then the results can cause you a lot of trouble with your clients -- and can be pretty bad with very low or nonexistent conversions. The platform has a trial period of 14 days for which you have to pay just $0.01 and after the trial, there is a monthly fee ranging from $59 and $199 for the agency version. Convertri has also a plugin version for Wordpress which is included in the price. More details here.
All three solutions have integrations with CRM systems, autoresponders, payment processors and others and you can be up an running with your company's offers in a matter of hours. You gotta love the new technologies.