The Biggest Online Marketing Mistake Small Businesses Make Every Day

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Many small business owners — particularly those who are running more mature businesses, firms that have been successful, that draw good online traffic and good response rates from their drip email campaigns — tend to fall prey to a certain type of online marketing faux pas.

As we know, small businesses have limited resources in time, money and people. So the decision to pursue a certain strategy always comes with a high opportunity cost. And when businesses reach that point where they have good traffic and a certain amount of lead generation and online success, there’s a temptation to pursue additional search engine optimization, to pursue social campaigns, more email marketing to prior customers to try to get them back.

Driving additional traffic at this point is a completely natural impulse. But my question would be,

Have you gotten everything you can from the people who are engaged NOW? Wouldn’t it be cheaper and more profitable to optimize lead generation and revenue from the traffic you have today than spend resources to drive new traffic?  

To me, the instinct that drives business owners to build traffic at this point is analogous to giving a presentation at a conference in front of all your best prospects but being more concerned about all the people milling around in the lobby than the ones sitting in the room actively listening to you.

There’s a lot that you could be doing to better optimize your return from the people already listening to you…

  • You could be monitoring and segmenting your traffic to learn more about them and better optimize your conversion process.
  • You could be adding new content and calls to action based on the preferences of your best prospects.
  • You could use drip email campaigns to nurture prospects and push them closer to a sales.
  • You could trigger sales followups based on how your visitors use your site (easily done by combining ORBTR with Zapier which allows you to trigger emails and notes/tasks in many popular CRMs).

It isn’t wrong to want more traffic — but if you’re going to invest in that you should first make sure you have the tools and systems in place to ensure that you’re always going to get the most out of your audience. When you reach that point, growing traffic makes a much bigger impact on sales and a cleaner link between marketing efforts and real bottom line results.

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