You know all about the funnel method of upselling. But have you ever applied that model to your blogging efforts? If you haven’t then you probably aren’t leveraging as effectively as you could be.
Here is a very simple illustration of the funnel method as it applies to blogging. At the very top are your marketing efforts to drive people to your site and their initial awareness. This initial awareness phase is absolutely critical and you want to make the very best first impression you possibly can. Equally important is to find ways to leverage this fabulous first impression into a budding relationship.
In the blogging world your first opportunity to start building relationships is when someone leaves a comment on a post. Normally there are two types of commenters:
- Someone who’s been reading your blog for quite some time
- A New, first time commenter
Both of these require specific actions on your part but in this article we are going to concentrate on responding to first time commenters.
There are two hard and fast rules of thumb that apply to any sort of comment to your blog:
- Respond To Them – you are building relationships remember. Replying lets them know you care about what they have to say and it builds or re-enforces a sense of community.
- Do It Sooner Rather Than Later – this can be hard to do but again this fosters a sense of community and communicates your commitment to your blog and your readers.
One of the most powerful tools you can use to really capture the attention of your first time commenter’s is via the Comment Redirect plugin for WordPress. This is a super nifty little plugin that automatically redirects first time commenter’s to the webpage of your choice. I recommend a thank you page or a combo thank you upsell page. Here is an example I created for a client that thanks the commenter and encourages them to sign up on her mailing list. http://www.drivingir.com/a-big-thank-you
I love this little gem it covers the two rules and requires no effort on my part once it is in place. Anything I can automate I love!!
Finally, here are a few other things you can do to turn first time commenters into long time readers.
1. Comment on their blog
This is often overlooked. Approximately 70% of those who leave a comment on your blog have a blog of their own. Commenting back on their blog will make you stand out in their mind and really shows your interest in them. This will make them more inclined to come back to your blog and comment again!
2. Send them a personal email
Once you have developed a bit of communication via exchanged comments you should send them a short personalized email. There are some plugins that will do this automatically but I am not sure that is the ideal way to do this. For one thing the email goes out as soon as they comment, for another thing they to come across canned and impersonal AND they tend to get caught in the spam folder.
By waiting a few days to send out an email you provide the commenter with another reason to return to your site AND you re-enforce your presence in their train of thought. (Remember the phrase … people normally need to see things three times before they act on it.)
You don’t have the time to do this? That’s what your VA is there for, outsource it!
3. Show them your best content
This is really more like detailed directions on how to effectively use Step 2 and almost all the bloggers out there totally over look this fabulous opportunity.
When you are creating your personalized email include a few links to some of your best blog posts or perhaps to a specially created landing page that highlights your best posts and some basic info about your or your business. You could even include a short teaser lead in to your first level products and/or services.
Doing this exposes them to the best of your blog and gives them a reason to stay on your blog longer than the time they spent reading that one initial post that they found via a Google search. Seeing the best of your best will hopefully show them they should be following your blog. It will also highlight your expertise and show them that they are in good hands with you.
An interesting side effect of this process (thank you → comment reciprocity → personal email → best content) is that is tends to weed out those who are not your ideal audience and therefore not your ideal client/customer.