If you have been in the email marketing game for even a little bit of time, you would notice that the typical squeeze page is bare or minimal. In most cases, it is just a simple field for an email address, maybe a field for a name, and a heading with some text and a submit button -straightforward, simple. Unfortunately, if this is the kind of squeeze page you are going to be promoting, you are going to get pretty much the same results as most other list marketers. In short, you are going to be settling for mediocrity.

You must understand that, for you to maximize the amount of people signing up to your squeeze page, you must introduce story elements. As I have outlined in Chapter 4, you can massage story elements into your blog posts, articles, forum posts and social media engagement. You should not stop there. The story-telling has to inform -the things that you do before people get to your squeeze page, the things that they are doing on your squeeze page, and the things that they will be doing after you collect their emails.

Sell Them the Dream

I do not care what kind of product or service you are trying to sell. People often have a pre-conceived notion of what that product or service is, or the benefits they get from that service or product. In other words, they have an ideal. The best marketers are people who can convincingly communicate their offer in the guise and form of that ideal. This is where effective storytelling comes in. You are essentially trying to talk them into buying in to the dream. Of course, the specific forum and positioning of the story must be closely related to the nature of the product. For example, you are selling a money-making program or trying to convince the reader to join an affiliate marketing network.

You should base your story on the typical dream of the person who is looking for that program or who typically buys that kind of product. The most common -if not cheesy or outright corny -example is the idea of making money automatically, while you are asleep or lounging around the house in your pajamas. There are many effective squeeze page stories that highlight pictures of exotic tropical vacation spots, and a person typing at a computer while enjoying a martini by a tropical beach. Other squeeze pages tell a story paired with pictures of a person working only a few hours a month, while generating several thousands of dollars in income on an automatic basis.

All these different narratives point to an overarching story, that the best online money-making systems all involve a passive income. This means you only work once, and then you reap the benefits of your hard work many times over. Your story must proceed from there. There are so many ways you can present this story. You can lay out a typical “workday” that involves the protagonist of your story waking up at two o’clock in the afternoon, having a long lunch, checking emails, checking the huge amount of money he/she made at PayPal, and then going shopping either online or to the local mall.

You get the point. The point is to de-emphasize work and emphasize the rewards. Of course, the most effective way to sell a dream is to still make sure it is anchored somewhat to reality. People can smell fantasy a mile away. If you make your story so fantastic that it is almost unbelievable, you are sabotaging yourself. You are making it harder for people to buy in to the dream. The dream must be positioned right. It must have enough realistic elements: so, people can still identify with it, while at the same time, play up the advantages and benefits, so that their aspirations and wishes are engaged.

Again, it is a tightrope that you are walking on. On the one hand, you do not want to be so realistic that the story turns people off. It is so different from how they conceptualize your product or solution that it gives them pause. It discourages them from buying whatever it is you are pushing. On the other hand, you do not want things to be so fantastic and so amazing that it is obvious, from a mile away, that you are peddling fantasy. At best, people would look at your squeeze page as unrealistic. At worst, it might come off as an outright scam.

You must walk this tightrope skillfully.

The best way to do this is to pay attention to your conversion rate. If your squeeze page is not getting enough sign-ups, you might want to either dial down or step up the intensity of certain elements of your story, so that you can get people to buy in to the dream.

Keep in mind that you are not manufacturing a dream. People already have a dream. What you are doing with your story is simply relating to that dream. You are simply trying to speak the concepts that they already have regarding the product or service you are promoting.

Building Effective Conversations

The typical squeeze page is just one page. You dump traffic to that page. Whether you get that traffic through blog posts, articles, or Facebook Ad buys, the result is the same: you generate traffic and then you lead it to a squeeze page. This is straightforward. This is how most people build a list. In a typical case, they would offer a freebie, like a free e-book, in exchange for an email. People are offered an e-book for their email.

Freebies are quite effective. They can lead people to sign up to your list. Unfortunately, if you are building your list through freebies, you are only succeeding on one thing: filling up your list with squatters. That is right. When you give out freebies -whether it is a digital product, free software, or an app -you are essentially bribing people. Nine times out of ten, the only reason they joined your mailing list is because they are interested in what you are giving away. They are only interested in the prize. Once they get it, they either unsubscribe or they do not open your emails.

In fact, from my experience, it is worse when people do not bother to unsubscribe. You have to remember that most email services charge you a monthly fee, based on the amount of subscribers you have. If your list is populated mostly by email list squatters, this can be a big problem. You might think you have a nice asset because you have all these people on your list. But, if they do not open your emails, much less click on your links, you are not really making money off these people. These people are just squatting on your list. They are worthless. Worst of all, you are paying for them monthly.

One of the best ways to avoid this problem is to not offer digital bribes. That is right. Get away from offering free e-books, free software, or any kind of digital goody. Instead, use your squeeze page as the final page of a multi-page conversation. I am going to outline how this works out below.

A Story-Driven Multi-Page Conversation

As I have mentioned earlier, the secret to effective online sales is to understand the buying cycle. For people to buy from you, they must first trust you. To get people’s trust, you must first get them to like you. Finally, for people to feel that they like you, they must first reach a stage where they think they know you. This is the standard Know-Like-Trust-Buy stage.

This multi-stage process does not just apply to consumers buying stuff from you. It also applies to consumers signing up for your squeeze page. You must engineer your opt-in process so that this multi-stage strategy uses story elements. The end of the funnel is your squeeze page. By selling a lifestyle, reminding them of the dream and playing up the dream, these different pages talk to your target audience members at many different levels.

However, they all lead to the same place. They all lead to the dream or the idea that you are selling. Of course, the different stories of these different pages must be geared towards key stages of the Know-Like-Trust-Buy process. The early pages should be focused on getting the reader to feel that he/she knows you. The next stage is to tell stories that get them to like you.

Finally, this should be followed by pages that build on the previous levels and establish a high level of trust. Once you have established trust, then you increase the likelihood that people will sign up to your squeeze page. I have phrased this in broad terms because you must flesh this out yourself. The specific forms that these pages take must mirror the actual service or product that you are pushing. Different pages require different stories. They take different forms. You need to fine-tune and fill in the different pages, based on the specifics of the product or service that you are promoting.

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