Balance between brand marketing and direct response marketing - Cath

You need both types of marketing in order to be successful, but with so many moving parts it can be difficult to hit the mark perfectly.

So, if things aren’t working as they should, how do you figure out the problem so you can fix it?

One of my students recently presented me with this question:

“I get great open rates and click through rates from my marketing emails, but when they get to my website they are not converting into sales. What’s going wrong?”

And I’m sure she’s not the only one experiencing this problem, right?

So let’s dig deep to diagnose the cause.

When your subscribers click through to your website are they :

a) Stopping there? or

b) Are they adding the product to their shopping cart but then not completing the checkout process?

If you answered (a) the issues could be one of the following :

1. The product offer is not clearly communicated or there’s a mis-match between the topic of the email and the product or offer they clicked through to on the website.

Have you talked about a specific problem, product or solution in your email and then directed customers to click through to a category page on your website? Don’t leave anything to chance – if you’re making a specific offer in an email it should click through to the exact product shop page on your website.

2. You’re asking them to buy too soon. For example, if the email recipient is new to your email list and they’re in a nurturing sequence, it may be too early in the customer’s buying journey to ask them to buy just yet.

Sometimes, you need to spend a bit of time developing a relationship with new subscribers so that they learn to know, like and trust you before they’re ready to place an order, in which case the email should send them to a piece of highly relevant and engaging content before making them an offer on your products. This helps to educate your potential customers and increases desire to buy your products.

3. Something about the shop page is not compelling enough. Take a good look at your product shop page on your website – really scrutinise it objectively, from the point of view of a potential customer.

Images need to be high resolution and should include a mix of contextual as well as product shots. (By contextual I mean – show the product in use. If your potential customers see an image with someone ‘just like them’ using your product in a real-life situation, it’s going to be a much more compelling proposition than a product image on a white background.)

Similarly with your text: don’t just speak about the products – product features are boring and not at all persuasive. Speak to the benefits – what will your customers experience by using or consuming your product? What do your customers need to know, understand and believe in order to want your product?

4. Call to action is not compelling or clear. Sometimes this is a design issue – where is your Add to Cart button? What colour is it? Is it obvious on the page?

And sometimes it is a language issue – do you explicitly tell your website visitor exactly what to do next? Is there only ONE single call to action on the page? Be very, very clear with this – if your visitors are confused, they’ll click away very quickly.

If you answered (b) and your website visitors are adding products to their shopping cart but are not completing the checkout process, then you are not alone.

A recent study by Forrester Research shows that an average of 88% of online shoppers abandon their shopping cart and further research by SamCart indicates that as many as 92% of online business owners have no idea what their cart abandonment rates are.

Two strategies you can implement to mitigate shopping cart abandonment rates include :

1. Implement an effective abandon-cart automated email campaign. Designed to entice shoppers back to complete their purchase, an abandon-cart email campaign should include a series of 3 emails that reference the products in the shopping cart and the benefits the products would bring to the lives of your customers.

You can also include a special offer at this point, whether it’s a gift with purchase, a free shipping offer, or a coupon or discount.

Click here to download my free email campaign template if you’d like to use it to help write your own compelling text for your abandon-cart campaign.

2. Review your shopping cart itself. A high converting shopping cart should help your customers complete their purchase as quickly and simply as possible. If your shopping cart process takes too long, is too difficult or confusing, then you’ll definitely see a big drop-off of visitors who don’t complete their checkout.

I’m not going to go into an exhaustive list of characteristics of a great shopping cart – I’ll save that for another blog post – but here are a few to keep in mind :

  • Must be mobile responsive
  • Include a compelling one-sentence line of text about the product and its benefits (so visitors know they have added the right thing to their cart)
  • Include trust symbols (if you have a money back guarantee, mention that; if you have a security certificate and/or trusted merchant facility, mention those. Use symbols or logos for these elements where possible.)
  • Include a customer testimonial
  • Ask for as few details as possible – the fewer personal details someone has to fill out, the more likely they will be to complete the purchase.

Need some help converting more product sales on your website?

If you’re using email marketing to promote and sell your products, you might be interested in my free guide to creating a highly effective, automated email follow-up system, which includes a handy fill-in-the-blanks template.

[HINT: you can apply the strategy in this guide to all sorts of email campaigns, not just abandon cart campaigns!]

And for more help implementing a high converting marketing automation system in your business, check out my program Magnetic Website Formula.

About our Ausmumpreneur Expert :


Catherine Langman is an award-winning business owner with extensive professional experience in brand communications, digital design and online marketing. As a business coach to Productpreneurs, Catherine has helped clients with product-based businesses to achieve massive growth in their own businesses. Find out more about Catherine here: