Crafting compelling surveys and questionnaires [Opt-Ins and Conversions]

Client reconnaissance. Cool phrase, right? But what does it mean? “Preliminary surveying or research” is the strict answer, of course. And now that we’ve said that, you are likely to already know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you should be learning as much as you can about every lead that enters into your sales funnel. That may tempt you to put surveys allover your various webpages – and you no doubt see lots of businesses doing that. Buy something; hit with a survey. Complain about something; offered a survey. Read a FAQ entry; treated to a survey. Take a

Insane Guarantees, Micro-Commitments, + Free-Image Sources [Noise Reduction .75]

Hey Team,

So you may have seen the essay we wrote recently on Guarantees over on the Blog.

Well, the team over at MagCast are right at the final stages of their 2014 intake, and have taken their guarantee to the next level:

If you publish one issue a month for the next 12 months and you’re not thrilled with the results your digital magazine is getting, they’ll buy your licence back for double what you paid for it.

Think about this offer for a moment: they are essentially guaranteeing a 100% ROI for their publishers — a guaranteed minimum exit price for their publishers’ businesses. What a risk reversal for a target market of online marketers!

These publishers (which you still have time to become) are investing in the platform and training, so they can make a profitable digital magazine. Now, what’s their biggest concern?

It’s, “If I create this magazine each month, am I going to make any money?” right? We’ll they’ve completely removed that risk by guaranteeing a minimum profit. Not a money-back guarantee, a profit guarantee!

Now they’ve got the data to back this guarantee up (667 marketers over a 12-month period, generating a massive 3.2 million new customers — that’s an average of 4,797 new customers each)… but have a think about how you can apply this in your particular business.

What is the true objective or outcome your clients are wanting, and how can you guarantee that? Don’t just remove the risk, guarantee the outcome!

On that note, enjoy this week’s Noise Reduction below.


Five Examples of Profitable Marketing with Micro-Commitments [Conversions]

Marry MeA good friend of the Preneur family, James Tuckerman, founder of Anthill Online and Not So Freaky University, has a great little anecdote about building profitable customer relationships. James explains the core of the relationship-building as follows:

You wouldn’t ask someone to marry you before you’ve shared a cup of coffee with them.”

James is spot-on about this. Though he’s making a point about starting out baby steps when it comes to earning sales, his philosophy brings to mind a slight caveat.

Building a profitable customer relationship is really about getting them to follow-through on a series of micro-commitments, before taking on the comparatively big, scary commitment of conversion.

While much is said about those broad, macro ideas about the sales process, what are the little steps along the way? The answer: those micro-commitments that constitute the interactions that lead up to the glorious sale at the end.

This essay focuses on micro-commitments. That is, small actions you ask your customers to take leading up to (and sometimes in lieu of) a big conversion step.

In this essay we’ll look at the following concepts:

  • An explanation of the psychology of micro-commitments
  • Buyer-identifying micro-commitments
  • Social sharing micro-commitments
  • Free-trial offers as micro-commitments
  • Payment micro-commitments
  • Customer feedback micro-commitments

These concepts aim to increase conversions (and sometimes opt-ins) by asking your customers to take small, non-threatening steps.

Let’s get started!

Selling Air, Doubling Conversions, & Acquiring 3.2 Million New Customers [Noise Reduction .74]

Hi Gang,

Hope the start to the back half of 2014 is off to a flyer for you!

This week’s Thought of the Week comes from a conversation during a recent Platinum Advisory Board meeting:

You can’t control the “outcome” of making a baby, just the “actions and inputs” (bad pun intended).

Same in business… we can’t sit down and actually make $10,000 unless we work at the mint printing the stuff. We can only sit down each day and do actions that are consistent with moving the business or project forward.

So… what’s your next productive action?


Engaging Alternatives to ‘Can I Help you?’ [Increasing Retail Opt-Ins by Asking Better Questions]

retail storeIf you’ve spent much time working in a face-to-face sales environment, you know that asking “Can I help you?” is the best way not to get a customer to take you up on your offer. In stores, the customary response to that greeting is “I’m just looking.” Generic questions like “can I help you?’ do nothing for encouraging the retail opt-ins you need to grow your business.

You need better questions to ask your prospective customers. It goes without saying that “How can I help you?” is a closed-ended question – one that can only elicit a yes or no answer. And when it comes to parting with money, people are inclined, by default, to say “no.”

A little basic psychology can help you overcome this challenge and win more sales just by asking more effective questions. Specific, focused, questions that urge interaction are the kinds of questions that will help you get your customers’ attention and make subsequent sales.

That means alternatives to “can I help you?” become a huge part of your marketing strategy.

In this essay, we’ll take a look at the following ways to help you skirt around the dreaded question, “can I help you?”

  • Understanding why “help” isn’t wanted
  • 25 Alternatives to ‘can I help you?’
  • A note on the importance of context
  • Establishing credibility
  • Following the steps
  • Why sales is about engaging, not interrogating

Asking the right questions will go a long way toward helping your double your profitability by pulling one of our 7 Levers of Business, Opt-Ins.

Let’s delve into the most profitable types of questions to ask your customers.

Numbers Retrospective [PreneurCast140]

As part of our retrospective series, here is a show that was first published 3 years ago. The main topic was Numbers: why they are important to your business, which ones matter, and why it’s important to view them the right way.

Expanding Revenues + Transactions Every Period by Selling Nothing but Air


skyYou’ve heard the old saying “the best things in life are free,” right?

Well, the spin we put on those timeless words of wisdom is “the best things to sell are free – or pretty close to it”.

What we’re talking about in this essay is how you can sell the relatively low-cost intangibles peace of mind, time, and personalization. These items, as you have probably already inferred, have the highest profit margins of all – as their cost is next to nothing!

Selling nothing more than air is not as hard as you think. In fact, many types of businesses have been at it for years. You can get in the game of selling intangibles by implementing the best practices outlined in this essay.

Before we get started, one thing we should clear up right away is that selling nothing but air (that is, intangibles) is all about connecting benefits with customer problems – even if the customer in question has never encountered the problem at hand.

All of the marketing tactics we are going to talk about today require a little action on your part. Namely, you have to know what can go wrong for your unique customers post-sale. Do you sell a product that could break? Is it a high theft item? Does the manufacturer’s warranty on the items you sell have unfriendly steps like shipping the item abroad, which you could absorb for your customers by offering an extended warranty or insurance plan?

Whatever the case may be, you can leverage selling intangibles like warranties and insurance to grow your revenue and increase profitability dramatically.

In this lesson, we’ll look at selling nothing but “air” as follows:

  • Selling extended warranties
  • Adding insurance onto the sale
  • Selling time and personal attention

Selling intangibles helps you pull two of our 7 Levers of Business (Items per Sale and Profit Margin) and that’s exactly why we are putting these tactics in focus in this essay. Let’s dive right in to see how it’s done!

3 Ways To Double Your Website Conversion Rates – With Tips Every Marketer Must Know

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Toby Jenkins of Web Marketing That Works. One of Pete’s 7 levers of Business is Opt-ins. Typically, an opt-in rate of 2-3% on all of your website traffic is considered a good result. In this post, I want to focus on how, at Bluewire Media,  we have been able to use landing pages that help us consistently an opt-in rate of 6-7%. The proof is in the pudding,, as you know. So here is the data comparing the last 90 days vs the previous 90 days: Even though  traffic has dropped fractionally,  opt-ins

Increasing Transactions Per Client [PreneurCast Ep139]

This week, Pete and Dom focus on another of the 7 Levers of Business: Increasing your transactions per client. They discuss the fundamentals, as well as give lots of examples you can implement yourself to improve this part of your business.

Increasing Prices, Risk Reversals & Marketing An Adult Site [Noise Reduction .73]

Hey Gang,

Lots of cool stuff happening on the interwebs this week ,which we’ve highlighted below in this edition of Noise Reduction.

I know I’ve been a little quiet around here lately — it’s because we’ve recently made the move to Infusionsoft, which should will mean a lot more regular Noise Reduction editions, and some other cool stuff shortly!  

But before we get into this week’s recommendations, here’s a cool quote that I heard on a reality TV renovation show of all places:  “Never let success go to your head, or failure go to your heart.”



p.s. As we move towards the halfway point of the year. I’d love to hear your highs and lows of 2014 thus far. Please let me below!

Pete Williams is an entrepreneur, author, and marketer from Melbourne, Australia.

Before being honored “Australia’s Richard Branson” in media publications all over the continent, Pete was just 21 years old when he sold Australia’s version of Yankee Stadium, The Melbourne Cricket Ground For Under $500! Don’t believe it? You will! Check out the story in the FAQ section (it really is our most asked question).

Since then, he’s done some cool stuff like write the international smash hit ‘How to Turn Your Million-Dollar Idea Into a Reality’ (+ the upcoming ‘It’s Not About the Product‘) and he’s created a bunch of companies including Infiniti Telecommunications, On Hold Advertising, Simply Headsets and Preneur Group.

Lots of other people think he’s pretty good too! He’s been announced as the Global Runner-Up in the JCI Creative Young Entrepreneur Awards for 2009, the Southern Region Finalist in the Ernst & Young 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year, and a member of SmartCompany’s Top 30 Under 30.

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