This article originally appeared on the Spectrum blog.
In addition to being nominated for seven Academy Awards, The Shawshank Redemption either won or was nominated for 25 other accolades (which just so happens to be the average number of times a typical fan has seen it).
The Shawshank Redemption is a time-tested cult class that’s as satisfying as it is uplifting. Oh, and it can teach you a ton about business marketing and lead acquisition... especially this scene:
PRESSURE + TIME + RITA HAYWORTH = SUCCESS
Or, from a marketing standpoint:
TOUCHES + TIME + SOFTWARE TOOLS = SALES
As ol’ Brooks would say, " Easy peasy."
Now let's break down the variables:
Pressure + Time
To start carving canyons, just add water!
Fundamentally speaking, pressure and time are at the core of every successful marketing strategy. It's why companies buy television ads by the dozen. It's why logos matter and time slots count. Pressure and time are the raw ingredients from which marketers create brand awareness and build trust .
Pressure and time worked for Andy Dufresne, the story's humble protagonist, and they'll work for you, too.
The challenge lies in striking a good balance between the amount of pressure you apply (i.e.,how and how often you touch your prospects with marketing material) and the rate at which you do it (i.e., time). Initially, this is done largely through trial and error because almost every business, especially an SMB, has a unique and specific target market. Just know this: too seldom is always, always better than too often. The most detrimental marketing mistake a company can make is over-contacting its prospects via phone and email. Consumers don't want to be bombarded with solicitations. Short doses of valuable content are much more effective.
Once prospects are on your website, however, there’s an entirely new set a challenges to overcome. In order to conquer them gracefully, you'll need some online tools. That's where Rita Hayworth comes in...
Hello, Rita. Gosh you’re important.
Red loves it when “she does that thing with her hair,” but Andy loves Rita Hayworth for a completely different reason: she helps him accomplish his goal.
Rita, along with one other handy instrument (thanks , Red), are the tools Andy uses to manipulate pressure (using that instrument) and time (using Rita).
When it comes to carving rivers into canyons, Rita Hayworth is water. When it comes to Internet marketing, Rita Hayworth is software tools, which are an essential part of the 2014 Internet marketing landscape.
At Spectrum, for example, we use a myriad of front-end and back-end online software tools to provide our clients with a turnkey lead generation solution. These tools include, but are certainly not limited to:
A quote request form.
Providing your website visitors with a simple and straightforward way to request a quote isimportant crucial to successfully generating leads. In fact, every word of copy, every design element -- everything -- should be created with the end goal of locking in a quote request or recording a phone call.
Spectrum also highly recommends Quote-2-Text, a powerful and pragmatic software tool that allows sales staff to respond almost immediately when a quote request come through the pipeline. Typically, faster response times yield more conversions. So just imagine how compelling your presence would be if you responded while the prospect was still on the website...
An appointment setting option.
What’s better than a quote request? An appointment request. Hands down.
This tool is a godsend for businesses that actually have to close the sale during an in-home consultation (e.g., remodelers, window/door companies, handymen). Appointment setting lets companies bypass a couple touches -- mainly an initial email and subsequent phone call.
Spectrum found that although fewer visitors choose to “set an appointment” than to “request a quote,” the conversion rate for appointment setters is more than 3X as high.
An automated 'follow up' page and email.
You wouldn’t have someone sign on the dotted line only to immediately walk out on them without so much as a smile and a thank you, right? That would be unprofessional, not to mention weird. Personally, I'd probably void the check if I felt thoroughly enough snubbed. The same principle counts doubly online, where trust, credibility, and piece-of-mind are paramount to everything else.
Taking someone's information without providing so much as a confirmation email in return is just bad business. Check out the following elements of a quality follow-up page and, if any apply to your business, consider implementing them ASAP:
- An image of the technician that will be performing your service . This can help customers feel less anxious about your arrival.
- A link to the positive reviews your business has accumulated. This helps you build clout with customers as well as prospects.
- A confirmation number. This allows your 'thank you' page to serve as a convenient, printable receipt.
The point is that every additional step in the multi-touch sales process is an opportunity to build trust, garner credibility and, ultimately, differentiate yourself from the competition. Spectrum's software tools are a convenient and simple way for business owners to automate the processes they know they have to implement in order to close business.