Are You Ignoring the Obvious?

Do you have a viable (and probably highly profitable) marketing opportunity right in front of your nose — but you just can’t see it?

This exact scenario cropped up just the other week. I was chatting with a prospect who was in an enviable position – his site rankings were strong for a highly competitive vertical and his conversion rates were good. His concern was how to make everything better – better rankings, better sales, better conversions.

Seeing the newsletter sign-up form on his site, I figured his newsletter would be another success story that he’d want to make “better.” “We have about 13,000 subscribers who have opted-in,” he said.  “Plus, we have about 7,500 customers who have agreed for us to send them email offers.”

Wow, you can drive a lot of highly targeted Web traffic with a 20,000 + subscriber list. Then, I asked him about his email marketing campaign.

“Well, we don’t do any email marketing. We haven’t for a long time. We did it for awhile…and just stopped.”

I was amazed. Here’s a guy with an incredible mailing list – and he’s not doing a thing with it. I thought of the thousands of dollars he was throwing out the window each and every month. And I told him so, too, in almost those exact words (those who know me know that I can be a tad…blunt.)

I could only imagine his “deer in the headlights” moment as what I was saying slowly sunk in. The prospect was so concerned with chasing a slightly higher search engine position that he completely overlooked the obvious: His mailing list. Here he had an almost guaranteed way to sell more product to people who voluntarily subscribed to his newsletter – and he didn’t even see it.

The thing is, this scenario is incredibly common. I’ve gone through it. I bet you have, too. It’s like you suffer from marketing tunnel vision and you see only one path to your main goal. Instead of taking a step back and reevaluating your entire situation, you focus on what you already know (PPC? SEO?) and forget about your other options (Article marketing? Email lists?).

If you feel like things are stagnant, I highly recommend getting a breath of fresh marketing air. Sometimes, the best thing to do is get on a plane and fly to the nearest marketing conference. The break in routine, new locale and networking opportunities can spark some great ideas. I actually build a day into my business travel schedule for “return brainstorming time.” My best creative ideas always spark the first day I’m back – and I want to capture every one.

If you can’t afford a conference, then hiring a consultant is your best “breathe of fresh air” bet. A consultant can help you “see” opportunities you can’t see yourself.  You may stress that you “don’t have the money for a consultant” and it’s not a high priority expense. But think about this: Would you spent $500 for a brainstorming session to drive $5,000 more income? Of course you would. The long-term gain outweighs the short-term money hit.

No matter what scenario you choose, the important thing is to plan something. Consider upcoming search marketing conferences like PubCon. Contact a consultant and see if he’ll work with you for just an hour.

The faster you get moving, the faster you’ll find those “hidden” profit centers that you didn’t know existed.

7 replies
  1. Amy C. Teeple says:

    There have been times where I felt like I was spinning my wheels. You are right – sometimes the simplest solution is staring you in the face. It makes me think of what my mom said often when I was looking for something as a kid, “If it was a snake it would have bitten you.”

    Sometimes you just need to take a step back. Too many times we think we know the best plan of action and we (accidentally) put our blinders on. If you are too close, you could probably benefit from someone else looking at your project and saying, “Hey, why don’t you try this.” Usually that statement is followed by something that seems so obvious that you cannot believe you didn’t think of it yourself.

    I am looking forward to PubCon this year and getting inspired.

  2. Moosa Hemani says:

    Well m petty shocked and the reason is he didnt come up with some thing very simple… I mean if you have tons of subscribers and you are not going though the email marketing that’s very true that you are throughing lot of money out of the window every month.

    Over all the article was helpful and obviously interesting in reading!!

    • Heather says:

      I’m surprised…and not surprised. It’s easy to get into a rut and forget about other forms of marketing. To this guy’s credit, he immediately jumped on the opportunity and started researching options. I’m excited to see what it does for his bottom line! :)

  3. Victoria Blount says:

    Sometimes the simple option is the best.When it comes to marketing strategies then we tend to over complicate the situation unnecessarily, harvesting email address in order to do a mail drop is a great way to target customers.

  4. Rahman Mehraby says:

    This is very right. I’ve recently noticed that certain phone calls from abroad are stopped. I’m happy promoting my travel business using facebook, but those calls are not made anymore. After a bit of contemplation, I realized that I’d stopped publishing press releases! Why? For no good reason!

    Now, I’m working on it again to see if the desired contacts are made again. The point is certain online marketing methods are working better for some online businesses than others. We should keep doing them and look for other ways too.

    • Heather says:

      @Rahman – EXACTLY! Sometimes, we spend so much time trying to figure out “what’s wrong” that we forget to ask, “What worked in the past?” Congratulations on figuring out what “obvious” strategy you were ignoring. That’s not always easy to do! :)

      Great to “meet” you! Thanks for your comment!


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