Few companies effectively market their online presence and take advantage of its full potential for generating new leads and sales.
Every marketing director must ask themselves:
Are we doing everything possible to capture leads from our online platforms with Calls to Action (CTA); to funnel leads and prompt visitors to take action and purchase or inquire further about our products and services?
The goal of a website is to convert new visitors into leads & paying customers.
The following five questions may help inspire ideas on how to improve a site's conversion of visitors into paying customers; thus improving the company's return on investment for its website marketing dollars:
1. Are visitors 'Called to Action'?
A very simple, yet IMPORTANT and often overlooked marketing technique is the Call to Action (CTA). All marketing collateral should ask the prospect to buy at every reasonable opportunity.
More often than not, prospects are ready to buy but cannot easily complete the purchase, or find a way to say I'm ready to buy now; thus get frustrated and go else where.
Everywhere a product or service is mentioned, a BUY button, or REQUEST MORE INFORMATION, a 'call to action' must be visible, and clearly instruct the user to TAKE ACTION.
2. Are "follow-up" techniques in place for future email or remarketing contact?
Prospects rarely buy on the first visit, regardless of industry. Many experts agree it takes anywhere from five to twelve attempts, visits, contacts, or impressions before a user will act and convert to a buying customer.
For this reason, the saying "the fortune is in the follow-up" came about!
In today's world, there are a couple standard methods of follow-up. Follow-up can be the normal methods, such as email and phone; to the latest form of automated follow-up called "remarketing".
Email & Opt-In Contact
When possible, it is important to try to get contact information (such as the user's email address) and permission to market to in the future. For example, requesting the visitor to signup for the company's newsletter or other opt-in services. Both direct and automated follow-ups, can help foster an on-going relationship between prospects and the business.
When prospects are interested in a product or service, yet not ready or apprehensive to buy; requesting contact information is a great way to continue building the relationship in an effort to eventually overcome any objections and earn their business.
Every site should have the ability to request visitor email addresses, as well as opt-in permission to market. The uses are endless:
- to build the relationship
- to send out monthly newsletters
- to follow-up on questions
- to follow-up on sales
- to keep in touch and build rapport
Collecting prospects email addresses, and other contact information, is an essential step in marketing the business to interested parties.
Remarketing services (as offered by Google Remarketing, and Facebook Remarketing) are excellent paid opportunities that keep a company's campaign in front of visitors AFTER they leave and visit other sites.
The way remarketing works is:
- Google or Facebook provides a tracking code snippet to install on the website.
- When a visitor comes to the site containing the remarketing snippet, the visit is logged and recorded.
- Then, as that user visits other sites on the internet, a variation of the campaign ad is shown reminding them of the original campaign they visited.
- Remarketing is a great, automated method of keeping a campaign ad in front of prospects long after they leave.
- Remarketing can be tailored to fit a specific set of demographics and target market.
- In addition, remarketing can keep the campaign in front of prospects for days or weeks after the original visit.
3. How easy is it for visitors to contact the business?
Consumers enjoy browsing and shopping online (especially with today's social distancing anxieties & uncertainties). However, if there is a question or concern, they demand a quick and easy way to contact the company for resolution.
With the amount of online fraud, it's imperative to give clients every reason to believe the site is for a legitimate business that can be depended upon for service and questions as needed.
A reputable and successful online site makes sure their contact details including: email, phone number, and address (preferably a physical location, but at least a PO Box for mailing) are easily viewable and accessible to visitors from ANYWHERE within the site.
If a company decides not to have their phone number posted in a conspicuous place; then it is imperative to make sure the Contact Us link is easily accessible in the header or main menu of the website.
Successful companies will provide customers multiple ways to contact the business with questions, whether day or night, weekday or weekend, workday or holiday.
Today's consumers want to do business on their schedule, and must be allowed to phone, email, text message, fax, or chat anytime of day or night.
Most people realize that live 24/7 service is not always possible with most business, yet everyone expects readily available alternatives to get a message to the business for response once available.
4. Does the website use headlines effectively?
Headlines and paragraph titles are a great way to quickly and easily tell users about products, services, special features, or promotions. Nobody likes having to read a novel just to find the main benefits of a product or service.
- Use headlines to focus attention on the main benefits of the products and services.
- As with anything, if headlines are over used, the intended affect is lost.
Making everything a headline creates the same issue as if everything were in paragraph format; again similar to reading a novel.
5. Is the website professional in appearance & layout?
Often the first impression a visitor has of a business is its website. While many may have a great product or service, and may even have great content and information; often many small to medium businesses fail to present a professional appearance online.
Most small to medium company sites look as though they were put together by an amateur using a boxed-template, or free do-it-yourself software (such as Weebly, Homestead, GoDaddy WebsiteBuilder) often lacking professional polish; or worse yet, lacking proper security.
To a prospect, an unprofessional site equates to a lack of credibility and authority.
Why should users spend money with a company that has not taken the time or investment to present prospects with a professional, secure, first impression?
The average consumer will invest with a business that appears to be reliable, professional, and trust worthy.
With the amount of online fraud, today's customers avoid spending money with sites that appear as though they might be a fly-by-night organization attempting to steal money or personal information.
Instead, consumers will opt for professional and trustworthy looking sites; well-established companies that have invested in proper online appearance and security.
Often the difference between a professional looking site, and a home-made site, is simply a lack of time in organization and layout. There are many aspects professional designers implement to present an image of a professionally planned and executed website solution.
The above questions are just a few of the important factors to consider when looking to improve sales or leads. Depending upon the industry and nature of business, there are always going to be other avenues for improving conversion.