Blog posts are amazing pieces of content. You can use them to attract potential customers to your website and then nurture those leads and get them ready to buy your products or services. You can use them to demonstrate your authority and solve the problems your customers, leads and prospects face. But no one wants you to actually try to sell your products/services on your blog. So how do you convert your blog traffic into sales? How exactly do you move leads from your blog posts to your sales pages (e.g. landing pages and product order pages) where you can actually make sales? Don’t worry. It’s not as difficult as it might seem.
Make it natural
The most important thing you need to do when you want to transition leads from your blog to your sales pages is to send them in that direction naturally. Your calls-to-action should never feel forced otherwise your potential customers just feel like they’re being harassed by a pushy salesperson.
To avoid that, create call-to-action links as an integral part of your blog post creation process. When you’re planning your transition blog post, look for ways to include a link to your sales page that will be entirely logical and seamless for your reader. Don’t tack a link on at the end of the writing process — or worse, during the design phase.
One of the best ways to make sure your transition links are natural is to make them useful. And to do that, you can position them as solving a problem for your lead.
Solve your lead’s problem
Many of your blog posts will aim to solve a problem for your reader. Just look at this post. Its aim is to help you overcome a problem — how to move your leads from your blog to your sales page. If your product or service provides extra help solving the same problem that your blog post addresses, then you’ve got an easy, logical, natural way to send readers to your sales page.
For this strategy to work, you need to provide lots of value in your blog post (ideally in a string of blog posts) and you need to demonstrate that you’re a reliable trustworthy business that really can help readers solve their problem. One of the best ways to use this strategy is to use your blog post to tell readers exactly how to solve their problem and then link to a product that helps them implement the solution or to a service that implements the solution for them.
If we use this blog post as an example, I’m telling you how to create a blog post that enables you to move your blog readers to your sales pages. If I wanted to funnel you through to a sales page from here, I could link to a landing page for a blog writing service where I write that blog post for you. Now, that’s not the purpose of this blog post, but since I’m talking about it, if you do happen to want me to write this kind of blog post for you, send me an email.
As another example, let’s say you sell clay seed balls. You could write a blog post that gives a thorough description of how to create clay seed balls so that it’s easier for your reader to germinate seeds that need to be kept consistently moist. At the end of the post, you could say something like ‘if that seems like too much effort or you just don’t have the time, take a look at our selection of ready-made clay seed balls’. The last part of that call-to-action would, of course, be a link to a sales page for the seed balls.
A slightly different approach to solving your lead’s problem with your transition link, is to solve one problem with your blog post and then send your lead to a sales page for a product or service that solves a very closely related problem or solves the problem in a different way. Here are two examples of how to do this:
- Let’s say you sell a product that protects shower curtains from mould. You could write a blog post that gives a step-by-step guide to removing mould from shower curtains. The process your blog post describes would need to use tools and products that the reader would likely have at home. Then at the end of the post, you could encourage your reader to purchase your product so that they can remove the mould from their shower curtains and then immediately prevent the curtains from getting mouldy again in the future.
- Think back to the previous example about clay seed balls. A different approach to a transition blog post might be to write the post about making clay seed balls and then, at the end of the post, say something like ‘another way to keep your seeds moist is to install a micro-sprayer irrigation system’. In this case, your call-to-action could link to a landing page for your state-of-the-art micro-sprayer irrigation system.
Send leads to your mailing list
If you want to maintain more distance between your blog and sales content, you could use transition blog posts to encourage readers to sign up to your mailing list. You could then deliver your sales messages via email.
An effective way to do this is to create a unique lead magnet (a free piece of content that prospects can only get access to if they sign up to your mailing list) for each transition blog post. When using this strategy, you can write a detailed blog post that begins to solve a specific problem and then create a lead magnet that goes into substantially more detail.
The key here is to make sure that both the blog post and lead magnet provide lots of value. If your readers get a lot out of your blog post, they’ll be really impressed that you’ve already given away great information for free and will be more likely to trust that you’ll give them something of even greater value in compensation for them providing you with their contact details. And therefore they’ll be much more likely to sign up for your mailing list.
If, on the other hand, your blog post doesn’t tell your reader anything they didn’t already know, they’ll be less likely to sign up for your mailing list because they’ll be sceptical about whether you’ll provide them with anything of value to them.
Go above and beyond when it comes to providing value
If you have adequate resources and your product or service has a large price tag, you can use a similar strategy to the above option. But instead of signing people up to your mailing list, you can instead offer them a free phone consultation or something similar. The idea here is to provide lots of information in the blog post and offer more information or personalised information in your consultation during which time you can also attempt to sell them your paid product or service. After getting so much value from you, your prospects will then be more likely to want to reciprocate. And they’ll have a chance to see exactly how much value you can provide to them. They’ll think, ‘if that’s what I can get for free, the paid stuff must be awesome!’.
Now, you don’t want to be offering such a resource-intensive freebie to every Jane and John, so you will need to pre-qualify and screen prospects. This can be done in lots of ways. For instance, you might have a detailed form that prospects have to complete. Or they might have to complete a free training program. However you chose to do it, just make sure only those prospects that are a great fit for your product/service and who are nearly ready to make a final purchase decision are the ones who get the high-value freebie.
Create multiple content funnels that lead to the same purchase pages
According to Demand Gen’s Content preferences survey, nearly half of all buyers view three to five pieces of content before they decide to make a purchase. That means, content funnels that contain three to five pieces of content before asking for the sale have a better chance of converting leads into sales.
But what about the other half? About a fifth of buyers consume fewer pieces of content but a third of buyers consume more content.
So how do you cater to these various preferences? Create multiple funnels of varying lengths that lead to the same purchase page — and provide plenty of links that enable readers to cross between funnels as needed. That way, your leads are more likely to be able to consume your content in the way that best suits their preferences. And for the third of buyers who consume lots of content before making a purchase decision, they’ll likely be exposed to multiple transition pages that push them towards your sales content so you’ll have multiple opportunities to convert them into customers.
Have you created the other parts of your content funnel yet? If not, the following blog posts should help you write blog posts that attract prospects and nurture leads:
- How to write a great blog post
- How to write an SEO-friendly blog post that attracts potential customers to your website and generates quality leads
- How to write awesome blog posts that nurture your leads and prime readers to buy your product or service
If you’ve read this post and aren’t sure why it’s not a good idea to give a hard sell in a blog post, you might like this post that describes 26 benefits of content marketing and this one about how content marketing works.