Growth hacking is the perfect tool for impressing them in the most efficient and convincing way possible.
Using the Automated Sales Process™ framework, we’ll outline how to make prospects stick around after interacting with your brand for the first time.
Stage 2 of the Automated Sales Process™: First Impression
Not sure what the Automated Sales Process™ (ASP) is? It’s essentially a way of breaking down the growth hacking tactics and growth marketing strategies successful businesses have used, with the aim of applying them to your company.
This framework encompasses six stages:
- First Impression
- Engage & Educate
- Sales Technology
- Referrals & Retention
Each one requires technology, automation, and a growth-focused mindset.
While Attraction component of the ASP™ is about identifying the perfect avatar for your product/service, identifying where they may congregate on the internet, and crafting the perfect online ad to grab their attention, the First Impression component is all about ensuring that you retain that attention long enough for the component, “Engage & Educate” to take hold.
What Happens After Your Lead Clicks?
As we’ve seen when examining the attraction phase of the ASP™, persuading a lead to act on an online ad is a tricky process and kudos to you for capturing their attention. But the battle isn’t over when they decide to give your online advertisement a click. You need to make sure you now can retain their attention; and you do so by making a good first (online) impression.
By definition, a first impression is what happens when a lead first comes into contact with your brand or business. Traditionally, this meant meeting a salesperson or walking into a storefront – the point where customers find out how big a firm is, what it offers, and more.
Now, the landscape has changed. Most of the time, the first interaction customers will have with a brand takes place online. They’ll judge your:
- Domain type (e.g. .com versus .wix.com)
- Loading time (check yours on PageSpeed Insights)
- Web design (professionalism, modernity)
- Social media presence (number of followers, quality of posts)
- Copy (the verbiage you use on your website)
In a nutshell, your website has ~3 seconds to make a good first impression such that the prospect will stick around (for more than 3 seconds) and actually take some time to learn more about your brand and your products/services.
Pros and Cons of Generating a First Impression Online
This focus on the internet brings both opportunities and drawbacks. On the one hand, you can make your business seem larger or more professional than it really is without spending much money.
While most of us assume that a company with a fancy website and lots of social media followers is a pretty big deal, even though it might be a one-man affair in reality. Only a master of illusions could pull the same thing off a few decades ago! But the digital age has also made it increasingly important to keep up with trends – the online landscape changes quickly, and it doesn’t take long for a user interface to look outdated.
How to React to Change
Before you start planning a (very costly) way to keep up with every coming trend the second that it becomes a thing, take a step back. Many successful businesses apply a very different tactic.
Growth hacking is all about getting the best results for the minimum resource usage – and being among the first to adopt a new trend costs way too much resources to suit our growth hacking taste. Let’s take a look at two opposing strategies: fast following and being a first mover.
As you might have guessed, first movers aim to always adopt something new before anyone else, whether that’s signing up to an up-and-coming social media platform or creating a 3D website. In contrast, fast followers wait for their competitors to test out a new trend, and only adopt anything for themselves when they know how to do it effectively. Sneaky, right?
Which should you opt for?
Fast Follower vs. First Mover
There are advantages and disadvantages of both tactics – being the first mover can pay serious dividends if you get it right (think Apple), but it’s expensive and involves lots of trial and error and a great deal of good fortune.
Meanwhile, fast following is far less risky, but unlikely to lead to the dramatic gains associated with being the first.
Carry out a cost-benefit analysis – at what point does the return on investment outweigh the price of adoption?
Of course, it’s almost impossible to make your forecast 100% accurate, so here’s some insider information: a fast follow approach is best for most smaller companies. Huge multinational companies are usually the early adopters since their large budgets give them some room for maneuver.
Alternatively, why not have the best of both worlds by copying what companies in a different industry do but being the first mover within your own industry?
That’s what using the ASP™ framework and the growth hacking mindset are all about!
Look at the Data
Now you have your growth hacking hat on, remember to consistently consult the data throughout this process. Sometimes, companies believe there’s a problem with their advertisements (Stage 1 of the ASP™: Attraction) when the problem actually lies with their online presence.
In other words, leads took action after seeing an ad but decided against caring to learn more about your brand after deciding that your First Impression simply wasn’t up to par.
You can easily figure out where the problem is by checking your data – for instance, the number of website visitors versus inquiries. If people go to your site but don’t take things further, it’s not hard to see where the issue lies.
Of course, the hard part is actually fixing the problem. Start with the basics, like the design of your website and the quality of your social media. Even marginal improvements help!
Make Sure Your Book Has the Right Cover
Don’t try to convince yourself that cleaning up your digital presence isn’t important. As well as helping to convert leads, it can attract high-quality employees and partnerships to your brand.
But your work isn’t over after you’ve sorted out your First Impression – you need to engage with some prospects over time to coax them into making a purchase. This is where the third component of the Automated Sales Process™ comes in: Engage & Educate, which, as the name implies, is about engaging and educating leads after they decided that your First Impression passed muster. .
Still feeling overwhelmed about figuring out which part of your growth marketing funnel is going wrong or knowing when to adopt a new trend? It might be time to get an expert on board. At Deviate Labs, we’ve helped countless businesses to hack their way to fast growth, and we want to see you do the same.