Authored by CCarter
By CCarter

Channel Incentivization

"When you set out to influence and persuade people to action, when the campaign is tremendous, nation-wide [sic] in scope, don't think that it just happens; something has to be done to get millions of people to think the thought you want them to think and then to get them to act on that thought." - Carl Byoir

One of the key components of baiting traffic is the ability to use an incentive for visitors to sign up, give you their information, or buy. I'm a big believer that channel to direct sales is bad form since there is no direct selling process where they experience all the benefits. You can attempt to do this through videos, images, etc, but your website really gives the whole experience. None the less people still practice a channel to direct sales approach and usually have far less success than Channel -> Communication Funnel (to start the soft selling process) -> sales process. In this approach we are going to talk about different ways to incentivize people to give you their information.

Free Stuff: Everyone loves free stuff, especially if you can convey that the thing you are giving out has real value. Most people see value as equating to the cost, so you'll have to play by those lines. Using a channel like youtube, you can have an outro message in your youtube video that asks people to subscribe to your channel (easy to do), or sign up for your exclusive newsletter that offers XYZ. XYZ can be exclusive discounts to members, extra content that guest don't see, more videos, or even a chance to win a gift in a weekly raffle.

The key is to get creative and see what people in your niche are doing AND also look at what other successful marketing campaigns are coming up with OUTSIDE your niche. Remember we're exploiters, so our aim is to use one method that works and try to re-shape it to work in our niche. Trial and error is really the only way to success.

You can do the same thing for classified Ads. Is there anyone blatantly stating "Get Free Discounts on Electronics by signing up for our newsletter" as a simple classified Ad? Sometimes the direct approach is the easiest, test out different tactics on different channels and see what gets people reacting, talking, and oh boy if you can draw up some controversy, you are at least being talked about and starting to enter the grand stage of your niche.

Imagine a Craigslist Ad "See What We Do Differently Than ABC Competitor" that pushes visitors to a Youtube Video completely destroying the competition, and then telling people "to find out how we are different sign up for our exclusive mailing list - ssshh... it's a secret, we don't want the competition knowing our secret sauce." Going from Craigslist you've filtered people that are interested in knowing what could possibly be wrong with ABC Competitor and then gave them a video 100% talking about all their faults. Now you have left them in a daze and wondering how can you be different. But you didn't tell them your whole story and they are now feverishly wondering "Well, okay, how are you different?" - You essentially gave them blue balls, and the only way to answer that question that you put in their mind is to sign up for your newsletter. This further filters people who are more genuinely serious about a resolution. Make sure to tag these individuals as coming from this particular campaign, and then start hitting them with your benefits, and greatness. Depending on your tactic, you'll find these tagged individuals might be more receptive to your services and convert a little higher than the rest of your mailing list.

For each campaign, tag the individuals and make sure to cross check sales/revenue with tags to see what's working and what's not.

Downside, you might find out that one tactic increased sales BUT also increased refund rates. It happens, don't dwell on the refunds too much unless it's an astronomical number. Use the opportunity to ask for feedback to improve your product/service for future customers, and you might even have them give you a 2nd try.

Social Actions: Another example of ways to incentivize people is on a forum for example. If you are attempting to drum up activity and traffic you can do what WickedFire did in the beginning and give away Trip to ASW in a contest for every 500th comment in a particular thread (*** Postwhore Contest - Every 500th Post Wins ***). That got everyone commenting in an attempt to drum the brand, and get people talking about it. You can possibly do that for your youtube channel, your retweets, your own forum, or your Facebook fan page. Imagine giving away $500 for every 500th post on your fan page, How many shares, likes, or social traffic will that drum up? You can give them $100 or even switch the prize to gift cards or free stuff from you. What about sending free stuff to everyone that has a funny photo of themselves using your photo to help spread the word? Doesn't even have to be your free stuff, you can strike a deal with someone looking to get more exposure for their own brand and willing to give away free versions of their product.


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