22 Jul Your Website Should Do This One Thing Very Well
I have to say right off the bat that I am very opinionated when it comes to websites. I believe in most all cases that the sole purpose of a website is to provide leads. You might say what about education, exposure, brand awareness, etc.? All of those things are secondary. If your company is dependent on getting customers, you need leads. It is your company’s life’s blood. The question is how do you get more of them?
In most circumstances websites are dependent on the “Contact Us” page. The problem is that people today are more reluctant than ever to give their personal information to a stranger. They do not want fast talking sales guys calling them up and pestering them. Giving over their personal information is valuable.
They are saying: Yes I am open to being contacted.
You are saying: Yes I will promptly contact you with the information that you require.
The down side is that only a very motivated customer is going fill out your “Contact Us” page. Granted those customers can be the hottest leads but you might also be leaving a lot on the table. That is why you need other capture devices that give immediate gratification. People want it now and are not content with waiting. So another transaction takes place and no human contact is required. The method that I have used that proves to be successful is an incentive based technique that gives the person requesting something in exchange for his or her personal information.
What is needed is a call to action banner on your website that offers the opportunity to download something of value to the visitor. This can come in the form of a white paper, e-book, brochure, etc. after the visitor clicks on the banner they are taken to what is called a landing page where they are asked to input their information such as a name, telephone number, email address, etc. Please note keep your mandatory questions to a minimum. You can ask a lot of questions because the more you ask, the more they generally will answer. Do not make the mistake of making the majority of your questions mandatory. The reason is that there is a great likelihood that they will not complete the form and become frustrated.
After the form is filled out and submit is pressed, simply take them to your valued content and let them download. Don’t forget to always send an automated thank you message email with links to other information or promotions they might like.
Please note that leads gained from this method of information gathering are different from the leads you get from your Contact Us page. What is the difference? The difference is that these types of leads may be in an earlier shopping stage versus a buying stage and they may need some nurturing and education. The good news is that you probably got them early in the decision making process before anyone else has. Do not squander this lead and just send them one email and hope that when they are ready to buy that they will come back to you. Your next step is to keep in front of them by sending them periodic emails through a custom email marketing tools or through a service such as Constant Contact. Do not overwhelm them with emails, you might well annoy them. I would keep it under four emails a month. Keep your emails positive, useful and educational. Send them incentives and keep them up on current events. Depending on their buying cycle you want to remain top of their mind and the first thing they think of when they decide that it is time to take advantage of your great product or service.