Chris Mercer, who typically goes by "Mercer", has a sales and marketing background that stretches over 20 years. He began his online marketing career in 2009 and has become a sought after analytics & conversions expert, helping other top-marketers to improve their own offers and sales funnels. Now decades of real-world experience are brought to you post-by-post as he delivers Seriously Simple Marketing tips that you can use to build your own business!

One quick word of caution, though. With every piece of content you create and every stage of your funnel, you’re generating data. Though all of it is useful to your sales process in some way, it’s easy to get bogged down in data and metrics tracking instead of focusing on the few key performance indicators (KPIs) that will actually give you the information needed to make meaningful improvements.
In addition to using your sales funnel for strategic planning, you can use CRM software like Pipedrive to help you save time and focus on moving more customers to the end of your sales funnel with automation tools and activity reminders. For instance, the Smart Contact Data feature can decrease prospect research time and email templates can save time spent on drafting emails from scratch.
The truth? People are smart. They're not simply going to buy anything from anyone unless they feel there's an immense amount of value to be had there. Thus, your funnel needs to built that value and bake it in through a variety of means. But most importantly, you have to create a strong bond with your prospect, and that happens by being relatable, honest and transparent in your email warming sequence.
But what if I told you that 70% of the world is actually searching Google on a 3G connection or slower? Yup, you read that right. Even if you’re cruising on wifi or LTE, you might have potential customers living on the edge of data—or close to. On a 3G connection, the average mobile page takes a whopping 19 seconds to load, which means most of your visitors are abandoning your web pages before they’ve even seen them.
QUOTE: “I don’t think we’d be able to do that from the beginning. That’s a good point though. Maybe we should clarify that somewhere…. But for the most part in the same way that we use speed for desktop I don’t see us doing that in the beginning. That’s something we would like to do in the long run but not in the beginning.” John Mueller, Google Dec 2017

Similarly, elevators contain mirrors so the passengers keep busy in styling themselves and not thinking about the time spent traveling. This passenger behavior is analogous to that of website visitors in the cyber world. And the same general principle applies for online businesses as well: It is the objective length of wait that defines the experience of waiting.
Solution: I will offer a solution or 30 days program where people can systematically unplug from the system through technologies (heart rate variability, isolation tank) and healthy diet (I’ve successfully helped my best friend lose 60lbs through the bulletproof diet ala Dave Asprey), meditation, mindsets (gratitude) and introspecting questioning that will help them be happy again. My program will also help them get back on the right track in life. It may not solve all of their problems, but will start making them asking the right question, and start living a happy life.
Customers will move on to Stage 5 when the sale is complete. Although we won’t detail it here, Norman should brainstorm the kinds of information these customers will need, as well as how he’ll provide it as part of a cohesive onboarding process. Though he doesn’t need to worry about customers finding him at this stage or moving on to the next one, it’s still important to meet their needs so that they walk away feeling good about their purchase decisions!
But, given the volume of leads that fill your funnel, sales teams have a hard time converting leads into customers because they cannot discern the hot from the cold. This results in unqualified hot leads in the top of the funnel that either drop out due to slow response times, or remain stuck in the middle of the funnel eventually becoming cold leads. For a business this means missing out on golden ($) opportunities. And, that’s just one leak. There are more ways you lose leads in the sales funnel.

Our founder spent the better part of the last decade with Peisner Johnson & Company, LLP a CPA firm that focuses exclusively on state taxes. While there, he became one of the country's leading authorities for state tax issues like nexus, drop shipping, eCommerce, and service providers. He assisted many other clients in many industries. He is a frequent speaker having been requested to speak at events all across the country and is often interviewed and quoted by major publications. He is a prolific writer and regularly presents on his own and other's webinars. Mike has a support team second to none, but we are always looking to add outstanding individuals who can complement or add to our our existing array of services.
Web hosting and development companies with a common response to speed optimization concerns that “everyone’s got broadband these days” translates directly into financial losses and damaged brand reputation for online businesses. Attractive website performance is critical to the success of ecommerce businesses since websites taking more than 3 seconds to load immediately lose 40 percent of the traffic. 79 percent of dissatisfied visitors almost never return to slow ecommerce sites!

Mashable claims that adding videos to some of your top landing pages can result in an increase in conversions averaging at 86 percent! Our brains process visual information about 60,000 times faster than text, which means that any visitors to your site absorb information in videos better than they would by reading text. Learning about your product or service will be much more effective through video than text.


Dear Derek, Thank you for a great article. However, I am more used to videos and now I see how lazy I am to read :D. I am definitely going to include video in my new website. I am a career coach (12 years of experience in HR) and business consultant (8 years as a business owner). I struggle how to communicate it on my website as these are 2 target groups (employees/business owners.)
Google’s goal is to extend support in features like the Top Stories carousel to AMP-like content that (1) meets a set of performance and user experience criteria and (2) implements a set of new web standards. Some of the proposed standards in the critical path are Feature Policy, Web Packaging, iframe promotion, Performance Timeline, and Paint Timing.
Okay, so death rumours aside, the sales funnel is in good health and every argument I’ve heard suggest otherwise comes from someone trying to create a selling point for one of their products. What has changed in recent years is how marketers use the sales funnel because the number of interactions between brands and consumers along the buying cycle has multiplied.
The sales funnel simply depicts how leads traverse through your sales process from start to close. It’s only a visual representation of the numbers game in the form of a funnel; there’s more than meets the eye. If you analyse the number of leads who enter your funnel and the number who convert to customers, more than likely you’ll find there’s a huge dip. Sometimes prospects drop out of the sides of your funnel when their needs don’t match your services. While it’s nearly impossible to retain every prospect who enters your funnel, it’s however important for your sales team to make efforts to retain the ones who are ready to buy.
The marketing funnel is a system that helps track the stages consumers or purchasers travel through to eventually make a buying decision. It also lets you know what your company needs to do to help influence consumers at each stage, such as follow-up telephone calls or sending them positive press reviews. Marketing personnel guide this traffic — the prospective customers — through the funnel using strategies that are designed to be effective at each stage.
Load time is provided as “fully loaded time” by default (the time from when the visitor initially navigated to the page until 2 seconds after there’s no network activity). “Onload time” is optional (when the web page has finished processing and all of the resources on the page, including images, text, and scripts, have finished downloading). The remainder of the report is divided into six different sections: PageSpeed, YSlow, waterfall, timings, video, and history.
Prospective customers who are on the fence about buying from you may well be swayed by a well-placed opt-in offer for, say, free shipping, or 10% of their first order. Even if they decide against the purchase at that time, but do sign up for your opt-in offer, you’ve still added them to your database and they may choose to return later to complete the sale.

http://www.asjartworks.com/category/prints/available-regular-prints/ and http://www.facebook.com/asjartworks can help solve that problem for them. I have several categories of artwork to suit any taste: animals, landscapes, flowers, child-theme wall art, and more. And you don’t have to physically go out to purchase: simply browse and purchase from the comfort of your chair –anywhere you use your computer. I also have a newsletter available that features new artworks every month. Sign up here–>


When you go to a restaurant, the chances are pretty good that you’ll invariably choose one of the mid-priced dishes. This is because many restaurants manipulate psychology to push people toward the mid-range meals. We’ll often avoid the cheapest dishes – and the most expensive – making the middle-tier options the most appealing. This is a technique known as “decoy pricing.” The same principle can be leveraged to increase sales online with tiered pricing structures.
One of the core concepts in the digital marketing industry is the sales funnel. While odd sounding at first, this single core concept can take a business from virtually non-existent and unknown to multi-million-dollar marketing machine with mass saturation, seemingly overnight. In fact, there are skilled practitioners who have built a career around implementing this single concept in business.  
QUOTE: ‘For every 100ms decrease in homepage load speed, Mobify’s customer base saw a 1.11% lift in session based conversion, amounting to an average annual revenue increase of $376,789. Similarly, for every 100ms decrease in checkout page load speed, Mobify’s customers saw a 1.55% lift* in session based conversion, amounting to an average annual revenue increase of $526,147′  (from wpostats)
If a guy tells you he is looking to buy a cheap 50’ garden hose because “every damn one of them breaks after a few months so I don’t want to put a lot of money in it,” it is up to the sales person to challenge their perceptions. To sell the premium $40 hose, the salesperson has to say something like, “You know the water in a hose that is out in the summer heat can boil? That makes the lining susceptible to tearing and shredding, like you’re experiencing now. This hose has a triple reinforced and insulated lining preventing that and staying flexible even when it freezes.”
Research (aka, investigate solutions) - The discovery stage continues with consumer research. Visitors are often focused on consuming content and learning more about the company and its products. They are looking to understand why they should choose a particular company. At this stage, the goal is not to overwhelm the consumer with offers, but provide the necessary information to be considered.
Website speed optimization is an ongoing and evolving process and goes well beyond subscribing to the best web hosting services in the world. Some business decisions intended to maximize revenue by altering website design and features adversely affect website performance by stealing size-able chunks from the bandwidth allotted to each individual visitor.
Let’s say at the top of the funnel you included a place to sign up for a newsletter (and that included a free guide or audio from you when the register) but now weeks have passed and you haven’t sent a single newsletter. Well, friends, you’re dropping the ball. The middle of the funnel is where your customers latch on and get comfortable with you—so don’t let them go! This is where they should understand who you are and why they should invest their time in you.
Adopting a CRM positively impacts sales teams’ performance. But, what most users miss to realize is that CRM software is not just a customer database; it’s also the most beneficial tool for managing the sales funnel and pipeline. CRM helps you define your sales process, identify leaks in the sales funnel, and streamline the conversion process to bring leads down to the bottom of the funnel.
Sometimes, it feels as though you’re doing everything right, only to see your conversion rates hovering somewhere between “miserable” and “pathetic.” Oftentimes, this isn’t anything to do with the messaging or positioning of your ads (though it pays to look at this closely), but rather a misunderstanding of when and where conversions are happening.
Solution: These steps are simple and educate you to as the Passionate leader behind that Sport discipline to a timely routine to be more effective, reflects efficiency, learn to maintain a weekly attraction and support by fans and supporters and the whole community. These steps enable leaders to provide their updates even if the information or item is small. You need to make them want to come to you to provide information!
There's a really fun example of this type of content at a chocolate factory here in Seattle called Theo. They sell chocolate (in a great many varieties), but they're perhaps better known for their factory tour, during which they teach people about where chocolate comes from, how it's grown, and how the beans from the odd-shaped cocoa pod are converted into the chocolate bars we all know. Visitors leave feeling like they've become relative experts, and from that point forward, they think of the Theo brand as one that not only knows exactly what it's doing, but is also quite generous with that information and is just as concerned with developing an appreciation for chocolate as it is with simply selling it (it doesn't hurt that they're also quite generous with samples). Those feelings go quite a long way toward creating the brand loyalty we're all striving for.
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Sales reps further qualify leads for sales opportunity by setting up a call, meeting or demo. It is this stage that’s crucial for sales teams to impress a lead to convert. Here the lead discovers more about the your services and the benefits of working with you. If they determine you’re right for their needs, they proceed to the next stage, and considered an opportunity.
DEFINITELY. I know a blog that’s better than a therapist. In fact, I told my therapist that the blog was better than she was (lol. I do still see the therapist though — she’s good, just not as good!). The blog talks about a specific trauma that I’m going through, and the blogger speaks truth about the situation — MY situation — in a way that nobody else ever has, not even my therapist. Bloggers can be straightforward in a way that therapists can’t. Your therapist is supposed to help YOU figure out what to do, which can take YEARS. A blogger can say, Hey, stranger on the internet, DO THIS NOW. That’s really powerful.
Consider how personality traits affect purchasing behavior. Just because someone will splurge when it comes to cable TV doesn’t automatically mean that they will go all out in everything. If you think about a car, some buyers might be interested in the safety standards and gas mileage, while other buyers might focus on brand, color or speed. The first buyer would appreciate information on the specifications, but the second buyer would probably respond better to a celebrity endorsement.
If you try to opt-in with the same information to get another video, they ask you to sign up again. I believe that is their process. Like I said, that creates some friction. Yes, you can enter a fake email, but, if you believe in the quality of the content (and it is really good content; Andrew is one of the best interviewers on the Internet), you won’t.

We can’t stress this enough—the biggest challenge for a sales rep is to be able to identify qualified sales leads. Experienced sales reps probably know how to qualify their leads over time, and therefore effectively work on the right opportunities. But for the rest of them, this is still a burning issue. The struggle to pick out qualified leads in the funnel forces sales reps to chase them all. The result—getting nowhere.


QUOTE: “It’s clear from our test that the speed of our website affects both of these revenue streams, over the short term, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds, and in the long-term millions. The speed of the site negatively impacts a user’s session depth, no matter how small the delay. Slow sites also have a detrimental effect on the number of articles people read. Largely, the slower the site, the greater the effect. The data suggests, both in terms of user experience and financial impact, that there are clear and highly valued benefits in making the site even faster. From this research we’ve chosen to invest even more time in making every aspect of the new FT.com website even faster over the coming months.” FORBES

For example, Glossier promotes their products using beauty influencers on Instagram. As you can see in the screenshot below, micro-influencer Grace Abbott has provided a unique promo link for their products. By following the link, her followers can get 20% off on their first order from Glossier – and Glossier can see how much Grace Abbott is worth to their brand down to the last dollar.


Measure your most effective TOFU content with first-touch attribution. One of the key takeaways of Rand Fishkin’s video on marketing funnels is that you should set up first touch attribution at a bare minimum.  First touch gives you a clear picture of the top of the funnel by assigning the sale’s credit to the first interaction a lead had with your company. You know what’s bringing in visitors, so you can optimize for demand generation.
Take the time to go through your site and make a list of any hesitations you believe visitors may have based on the information already available. Critically evaluate your site in this step—don’t just assume that the visitor will be able to find the answers. You want to ensure everything is easily accessible. Once you’ve done this, provide a solution to the problems you uncovered. Not only will this increase conversions across your site, but it will also make it more user-friendly.
Look at your current offerings. Can you give anything away for free? If you’re in the software business as we are, it’s easy to offer free, no-obligation trials of your software. Even if you’re not, you can just as easily give away samplers, trial memberships, two-for-one offers, and other reward-based incentives. Giving stuff away for free isn’t just a great way to improve people’s perception of your business, it’s also a great way to introduce them to your must-have products and tempt them to buy more.
When you NURTURE prospects, you give them what they need to grow strong and healthy. Obviously not every prospect will grow into a “Lifetime Customer” regardless of what you do. That’s just the nature of lists, email marketing, and all the rest. Still, it’s so important to remember that a list of 100,000 weak and “under nurtured” prospects will never stand up against a list of just 100 “strong and healthy” prospects.
If you want to make more sales through social media, you need to utilize the power of social media influencers. Get them to strategically feature your product in their photos or videos, or have them tell a unique and engaging story about your brand. You can also work with influencers who will give honest reviews about your product, and/or provide tutorials and how-to content regarding your product.
AMP has caused quite the stir from a philosophical perspective, but the technology hasn’t received as close of a look. A few weeks ago, Ferdy Christant wrote about the unfair advantage being given to AMP content through preloading. This got me wondering: how well does AMP really perform. I’ve seen folks, like Ferdy, analyze one or two pages, but I hadn’t seen anything looking at the broader picture…yet.
I once showed a client the glass doors on a home by demonstrating how they would be hurricane proof, slapping on both sides to evidence their construction quality. This immediately got the customer's full attention and set apart the product and me from the competition. Average doesn't pay in sales. Wow them with your presentation, your dress, your belief in the product and the service you offer.
The absolute critical principle in maximizing website performance is to focus on page speed optimization from the ground up. Performance optimization plugins, server-side scripts, and final tweaks have minimal – however noticeable – impact on page speed and load times. Yet, Web developers and online business owners tend to overlook page load times in their website development and design strategies.
Email is your best asset here. Targeted email campaigns have been said to generate up to 760% increases in revenue. Email is well-known for getting you the best returns on your investment. By segmenting your mailing list into different customer types, using the information your contacts have provided with, you can target them with specifically relevant email content that will keep them engaging with your business even when they aren’t ready to make a buy. When they are, because they love the support and advice your brand give them, they will come straight to you. With DirectIQ, you can tailor your emails to each segment of your audience according to any metric you have gathered on them. Give customers content that speaks to who they are.
About 30% of those responding said they formed a “negative perception” of a company with a badly put-together site or would tell their family and friends about their experiences. Further research by Akamai found that almost half of the online stores in the list of the top 500 US shopping sites take longer than the four-second threshold to finish loading. The survey questioned 1,058 net shoppers during the first six months of 2006. Consultants Jupiter Research did the survey for Akamai.
System 1 is prone to substituting a difficult question with a simpler one. In what Kahneman calls their "best-known and most controversial" experiment, "the Linda problem," subjects were told about an imaginary Linda, young, single, outspoken, and very bright, who, as a student, was deeply concerned with discrimination and social justice. They asked whether it was more probable that Linda is a bank teller or that she is a bank teller and an active feminist. The overwhelming response was that "feminist bank teller" was more likely than "bank teller," violating the laws of probability. (Every feminist bank teller is a bank teller.) In this case System 1 substituted the easier question, "Is Linda a feminist?", dropping the occupation qualifier. An alternative view is that the subjects added an unstated cultural implicature to the effect that the other answer implied an exclusive or (xor), that Linda was not a feminist.[3]
Once you know where you have nexus we can register you for any state or local tax including sales tax, income tax, payroll taxes, and Secretary of State filings. We also offer business licensing registration and compliance, registered agent representation, and annual report services. We can even help you form an entity. If we have not listed your registration need, ask us, chances are we can help.

eCommerce is one of the most rapidly evolving areas of sales tax and will be for years to come. We are one of the foremost thought leaders in the field and can help you navigate this tumultuous sea of change. We have services for Amazon sellers as well as those selling on other platforms. We can help you determine where you should register to collect sales tax, perform registrations, do your returns and configure your platforms
Maybe you’re more successful than I am, but I thought I’d defined a pain point, but I couldn’t sell a solution. Turned out that while it was a pain point, I had a hard time convincing them that it would make their lives easier. That’s what made me ask. YOU know that a certain website could be optimized better, but how do you plan to find someone with the problem and then convince them that the problem even exists in the first place? Someone else in here said it this way: they don’t know what they don’t know.
A marketing qualified lead (MQL) is a prospective customer who has demonstrated a particular level of engagement that leads the marketing team to conclude that real sales potential exists. The level of complexity involved in this assessment will vary based on the resources available to the team. Norman, for example, might conclude that anybody who fills out his online demonstration request form is an MQL. A company that’s using a marketing automation program might be able to set the bar to MQL qualification at something involving a combination of viewing specific pages, interacting with certain forms, and opening a certain number of email messages.
Similarly, elevators contain mirrors so the passengers keep busy in styling themselves and not thinking about the time spent traveling. This passenger behavior is analogous to that of website visitors in the cyber world. And the same general principle applies for online businesses as well: It is the objective length of wait that defines the experience of waiting.
Google has indicated site speed (and as a result, page speed) is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages. And research has shown that Google might be specifically measuring time to first byte as when it considers page speed. In addition, a slow page speed means that search engines can crawl fewer pages using their allocated crawl budget, and this could negatively affect your indexation.
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