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by Graeme Benge on 27th May 2014
A website should exist to serve a purpose. Gone are the days of having a site because, well everyone else has one so we may as well. A website should exist to feed a business leads, leads that convert to custom.
Business websites need to serve the business. Understanding what role your site plays in the overall success of your business will better inform your marketing strategy. The two basic models of contribution are ecommerce sales (onsite transactions) or lead generation (self-qualified prospects).
Tackling Ecommerce sales is a post or two on its own, so in this post I am going to look at what a business needs to know about lead generation online.
Having spent the time building up a site of useful, user-centric content it’s time to make it pay its dues. You may be very proud of it but for a user to hand over their email address, you’ve got to earn it , you’ve got to answer the “What’s In It For Me?” question. Sales begin as leads so your site needs to be geared up to generate visitors compelled to complete that form or to take note of that phone number and call in.
With every offering the basics need to be adhered to: the offer is clear and needed by the user and that the time for the action is now. Repeat that for products, for giveaways, for email sign ups, for RSS feed sign ups and so on. It’s pretty simple…on paper (or blog pixels).
Internet users are bombarded with bad news stories about scammers duping users innocently or naively using sites – so why should they sign up to your email list? It’s more vital than ever that what you are offering is highly relevant and transparent in its content. So consider if your offer has the following:
Here is a very simple but effective example from one of the “go to” blogs for Conversion Rate Optimisation, the mighty Unbounce.
The focus of your visitor should be entirely on the offer and having no reason to NOT transact with you. Visual niggles can act as barriers to conversions so keep in mind these:
Establishing your credibility is easily overlooked and there are two angles to look at; what your peers say about you and what your customers say about you:
On our Services Page we combine the brand equity of some of our clients with a testimonial to give that reassurance needed to generate a lead:
Books have been written about how to write an effective Call To Action or CTA. By pure definition this will be the on-page element intended to get that “Submit” button clicked. As such is pretty vital that all the stops are pulled out to make that happen.
We touched on clarity before. Precision is key; tell your prospect what they are about to do – “Sign Up Now For Your 30 Day Free Trial”. Point an arrow to the button, make the button larger than any other on-page element.
Instead of using an example of how this is deployed well by a site, I’ve picked out a company that could do more with their site to generate more leads.
Juiceplus is a popular fruit and vegetable supplement. It’s marketing model is based upon its ‘word of mouse’ carried out by their Distributors. It works very effectively as the discourse is done on a peer-to-peer level as opposed to any hard sell. That said though a job could be done to enhance the lead generation their site accounts for.
First of all, the email sign up is buried a long way down the Home page. It would be interesting to know the scroll tracking and understand what % of people that visit the site actually scroll that far down.
The first recommendation would be to at least feature this in a side bar to capitalise on the visitor looking to scan and sign up.
I spoke about the quality of the offer and that is distinctly lacking here. ‘Staying Connected’ means next to nothing, however “Receive Free Recipes Straight To Your Inbox Every Week” would be much more compelling.
The sign up box is made very distinct, which is in its favour; the rest of the page’s design is a white background so this does jump out – when you get that far down the page. There may be a case for removing the prompt text to eliminate any confusion that may cause.
The glaring miss here is that there are so many customer testimonials that could be applied to convey the credibility of the product and organisation.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to put that site of yours to work. Treating it as a glorified brochure is doing your company a disservice. Construct a necessary asset, present it in a compelling way and give visitors no choice but to sign up for it! Put your site to work generating leads.
Qualifying Sales Leads, Qualified Sales via BigStock