7 Ways to Anticipate What Your Customers Want

Take Yourself Pro

Embarrassingly, I pick one day every week to drive up to the sushi spot that opened in my neighborhood over the winter to treat myself to a custom roll for lunch. It’s embarrassing because the habit has the staff starting to know my order and I’m fairly certain they’ll know my name next. And, boy do they have my number.

You know that triangle of cheap – good – fast and how you can have two but not all three? Incorrect, my friend. This place is all three and then some. It’s like if Chipotle went Japanese and you make your way down the line deciding exactly what’s going to go into your roll. They use local ingredients whenever possible and they always seem to read my mind.

“It’s chilly out. How about some warm miso soup to go with that?”
“Today’s batch of lavender lemonade is the best yet. Want a cup to go?”

It’s always a yes. Yes, I want the soup. Yep, gimme the big cup of lemonade. And here’s all my money.

As I stood in line last week listening to the conversations they were having with their customers, I realized that there’s a thing or two to learn from this sushi joint for my online friends (that’s you).

Product builders, course creators, book authors, and service providers all have the unique opportunity to anticipate what their customers want before they even know it… and then offer it to them in a way that makes it a no-brainer.

Not sure how to make that happen on your own blog? That’s why I’m here. How about 7 ways you can put into place in your brand today? They are:


Content upgrades

One of the most effective ways to grow your list is to add a content upgrade onto your most popular posts. Head into your Google Analytics, find your top 10 posts, add a content upgrade to them that relates back to the post itself, and watch your subscriber rate climb.

content upgrade list builder

Now here’s an important step: be sure the content is actually an upgrade and not just a PDF version of your blog post. Add value in the content upgrade and your new subscribers will be super-fans for life.

Check out how Megan Minns did a content upgrade for a recent post about switching from Mailchimp to ConvertKit:

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Show alternate content

When Nicole from our customer success team told me about her friend Raul’s game plan, I was stoked to share it with you. See, there’s a fun feature inside ConvertKit where you get to choose custom content to people who have already subscribed to your list when they land on your website. It looks like this in the form builder:

show something else after subscribingWell, Raul toggled his form over to “show custom content” and then pasted the JavaScript from his Gumroad product into the box provided inside ConvertKit. Now whenever someone is already subscribed to a free email course, they’re invited to take things up a notch and purchase the fast track option on Gumroad.

content upgrade

Custom thank you pages

When your new email list subscribers sign up, they’re at the very peak of their interest in hearing from you. Why not tell them exactly what to do next?

James Clear shows you how to make sure you actually get the emails you’re looking for:

James Clear Thank you page

While SumoMe makes an offer you can’t refuse after you purchase something on their site.

sumo me

Iterative releases

There’s a saying: “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Iterative releases (for products, services, or even app features) are a great way of putting that statement to the test.

One thing we believe in strongly at ConvertKit is getting as many features into your hands as we can, as quickly as possible. We want you to get new features in your hands as soon as possible, even if they aren’t fleshed out completely. How does this show us anticipating what our customers want?

By giving you access to new features quickly and before they’re completely built out, we get to see you in action with them and we also get your feedback right away. So if you’re using this new option in a way we didn’t see coming, we can quickly pivot to build it in a way that is more aligned with your needs and wants.

It happened recently with our new custom fields feature:

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JV partnerships

Building a business full of happy customers who snatch up everything you offer isn’t always about starting from scratch. After all, we get by with a little help from our friends, right?

JV Partnerships (the JV stands for Joint Venture) are a great way to partner up with a fellow business owner and teach what you know to their audience. Our pal Pat Flynn is a pro at JV partnerships and he recently grabbed his buddy David Seitman Garland to talk about David’s flagship program, Create Awesome Online Courses.

Typically JV partnerships are done via webinar but you could do a joint program, a live coaching call, or even co-author a book. Use your JV partnerships to answer questions from an audience that didn’t even know they needed you – that’s the ultimate anticipation!

Pop ups and sliders

Ah the much debated pop up and slider forms. I’ve seen marketers go back and forth on this hot button topic but there’s just no denying it – they work.

Of course, you don’t want to have one of those tacky pop ups that can’t be closed or take up the entire page or auto-play a video with the audio turned up to 11… but a well thought out pop up can give you audience exactly what they need before they ask for it.

Such as Jeremiah Gardner’s community of like-minded individuals:

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Or Laura Belgray’s 1-2 combo of email opt in pop up (full of fun copywriting sass and wit) and the slider that encourages you to keep reading more (hello, pageviews):

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Guest posting and podcasts

Of course, there’s nothing like showing up all over the place to have your audience take notice and even finally hear what you have to say. When you guest blog on their favorite sites or appear as a guest on podcasts they love and respect, you have their attention in a whole new way.

Have you ever had that moment when you go “Well, why didn’t anybody tell me that??!?” Yeah, me too. But I’ve always realized that somebody DID tell me “that”, I just didn’t hear it until it was presented in that particular delivery method.

By getting your word read and heard in other places, you’re more likely to give your customers what they want before they ever know they want it. Nathan started guest posting about email marketing on the Gumroad blog two years ago:

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And he just recently appeared on the Being Boss podcast talking about (wait for it….) email marketing! Same message, different delivery, all new happy customers.


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Okay so technically that’s 9 ways (if you count sliders and podcasts as their own thing) but you see where I’m going with this. With a little extra time and attention, you can know what your potential customers need and want before they even express it and use that to move them along the journey with your brand.

How do you move your customers along through your own process? Share in the comments below which of these tactics (or maybe one we didn’t list out) you use in your business.

Val Geisler

Val is a yogi, mom, military wife, and avid podcast fan. She is ridiculously obsessed with sharing and creating content that actually makes a difference in the world, connecting with her fellow bloggers, and doing more with less effort. Val is based on Columbus, Ohio (O-H!) and can often be found oversharing on Instagram at @lovevalgeisler.

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