Everyone knows that people love free stuff and that you can get them to give their email (or “like” you on social media) if you give them something for free. And you’ve all seen the stats about the impact of offering “free shipping” on your online store. BUT the truth is that – in the long run – what matters is building trust and credibility to create real customer engagement, not building large email lists of uninterested visitors.
So Are Your customers Genuinely Engaging with You?
In the next month, I’d like you to observe how YOU interact with companies on the web because I firmly believe you can learn a lot from your own behavior. (Grant you, it is not statistical sound, but somewhat anecdotal, but still a valuable exercise).
Let me share a few stories that demonstrate how essential customer engagement is to the success of your online business:
- You created giveaways where participants needed to “like” your Facebook page and realized that many of them “unliked” your page shortly after.
- Why? Because they just wanted the free stuff and were not truly engaged with your brand.
- Online retailers have “popups” asking website visitors to subscribe to their email lists, usually with the incentive of a coupon on the first order, or a gift, in exchange for emails. A few seconds after landing on a web page, you get one of those. Do you enter your email address? Personally, I just close the popup window.
- Why? Because at that instant, I have not decided yet that I am interested in this company or product, and I don’t want another e-newsletter hitting my inbox, for a coupon I will likely never use.
- Solution: A better tactic is to have the popup window only appear when people are exiting the site. Services like Optinmonster can help with that.
- Online marketers want to sell you ebooks, video classes or membership, and get you on their email list, with a free guide. Again you’re very likely to unsubscribe from their email list.
- Why? Because the marketer has not built trust first.
How do You Build Trust and Credibility to Enhance Customer Engagement?
The solution: be patient, give your prospective customer a chance first to know you better, to make his/her opinion on the skills and expertise you have, and to understand the value of your services and products.
He will become a more valuable and engaged customer in the long run.
Let’s see some examples of how marketers are doing it, with more or less success.
- Case 1: An online marketer has a 5-minute video explaining how good is his class of 15 videos about Facebook ads (cost $500). Are you buying?
- I did NOT buy: I did want to learn more about advertising on Facebook, but I didn’t know how good his class was. I have not read any of his articles or took any of his classes. Testimonials were not enough to convince me to spend $500 on a course without more information.
- Case 2: An online marketer has a one-hour webinar, during which she shares valuable information on passive income and then asks you to subscribe to her series of videos. Are you buying?
- I did buy: Because it was a low-risk investment of “$1 to try for one week”. That one-week trial allowed me to discover the quality of the videos and to understand if I was learning something useful to my own business.
- Case 3: An online marketer has a one-hour webinar on how to grow your blog traffic, filled with information, followed by weekly emails where she shares precious tips? Will you buy one of her courses?
- I am occasionally reading her emails: One of her emails’ subject line caught my attention, and she did share some innovative ideas. However, it is hard to get noticed among all the emails we get, especially on a topic as broad as blogging.
- Case 4: An online marketer has monthly podcasts with remarkable speakers and has not even asked yet for your business? Will you buy one of her courses?
- I have listened to many podcasts from Jenna Kutcher. I love her passion and enthusiasm, and I would purchase her products anytime unless the price was too high.
I hope that these examples have given you ideas on ways you can build trust and credibility with your prospects to improve customer engagement.
Please share your experience in the comment box below. We’d love to hear from you.