5 Questions To Improve Sales
Turning Current Visitors Into Buying Customers
Revised March 28, 2018
Originally Published November 21, 2008
Few businesses effectively market a company's website to its full potential to generate new leads and sales. Every marketing director must ask themselves:
Considering all resources available, is the company doing everything it can to engage visitors to purchase or inquire further about the business products and services?
The goal of a website is not just to bring in visitors, but to convert these visitors into leads or paying customers.
The following five questions may help generate ideas on what can be improved to convert current visitors into buying customers; thus improving the company's return on investment for its website marketing dollar:
1. Are visitors 'Called to Action'?
A very simple, yet IMPORTANT and often overlooked technique in sales and marketing is to call the customer to action (CTA) with every possible opportunity. This means to make sure that a website is literally asking the customer to buy everywhere a product or service is discussed.
More often than not, customers are ready to buy, but cannot easily find a way to say I'm ready to purchase and thus get frustrated and end up going else where.
Every time a product or service is mentioned, make sure that a BUY button, or REQUEST MORE INFORMATION, or some other 'call to action' is clearly visible instructing the customer to TAKE ACTION.
2. Are "follow-up" techniques in place for future email or remarketing contact?
Customers rarely buy on the first visit, regardless of industry. In fact many experts agree it often takes anywhere from five to twelve visits, contacts or impressions before a customer will act and convert to a buyer.
It is 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 contact 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 customer'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. This type of follow-up will help build an on-going relationship between visitors and the company.
If potential customers are interested in a product or service, but not ready or apprehensive to buy, requesting contact information is a great way to continue the relationship and overcome any objections as time goes on.
Every company website should have the ability to request visitor email addresses, as well as opt-in permission to market. The uses are endless:
- to send out monthly newsletters
- to follow-up on questions
- to follow-up on sales
- to keep in touch and build rapport
Collecting visitor email addresses and other contact information is an important part of marketing products and services to interested parties.
- Remarketing Services
Remarketing services offered by Google Remarketing, and Facebook Remarketing are excellent paid opportunities to keep the company and its product and services in front of visitors AFTER they leave the website while surfing other websites.
The way remarketing works is Google or Facebook provides a code snippet that is put onto the website. When a visitor comes to the website using the remarketing service, this visit is logged and recorded.
Then, as that visitor surfs other websites on the internet, or surfs around Facebook, an ad will show reminding them of the original website, product or service they originally visited.
Remarketing is an excellent, automated method of keeping a company's website and ad in front of visitors long after they leave the original website. Remarketing can be tailored to fit a specific set of demographics and target market. In addition remarketing can keep an ad in front of potential customer for days or even weeks after the visitor originally visited the site.
3. How easy is it for visitors to contact the business?
Consumers enjoy browsing and shopping online. However, if there is a question or concern, they demand a quick and easy way to contact the business for resolution. With the amount of online fraud, it's imperative to give clients every reason to believe that this is a legitimate business that will be here for service or questions as needed.
A reputable and successful online website will make sure that contact details, including email, phone number, and address (preferably a physical location, but at least a PO Box for mailing) MUST easily viewable and accessible to visitors from ANYWHERE within the website.
If a company is not going to have a phone number posted in a conspicuous place, then it is imperative to at least make sure the Contact Us link is readily accessible and apparent in the header or main menu of the website.
Companies must provide customers multiple ways to contact the business with questions whether day or night, weekday or weekend, workday or holiday.
Today's customers want to be able to do business on their schedule, and must be allowed to phone, email, fax, or chat anytime of day or night.
Most people realize that true 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 customers about products and services, as well as 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 grab customers' attention to company products and services main benefits.
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 a paragraph format, once again similar to reading a novel.
5. Is the website professional in appearance & layout?
A website is often the first impression a visitor has of a business. Many companies may have a great product or service. As well, many of these businesses may even have great content and information on their website.
However, most small to medium business websites fail to present a professional appearance. Many company websites either look as though they were put together at home using some free build-it-yourself software (such as Weebly, Homestead, GoDaddy WebsiteBuilder), or appear to be some boxed, template 'do-it-yourself' kit.
To a new perspective client, an unprofessional or cheap looking website means a lack of credibility and authority. Why should a client spend money on a company's product or service when that company has not taken the time or investment to present the potential customer with a professional, good, first impression?
The average consumer will spend their money with a company that appears to be reliable, professional, and trust worthy. With the amount of online fraud, today's customers avoid spending money with a business website that looks as though it could be just some fly-by-night organization there to steal their money or personal information.
Instead consumers will opt for the professional looking website; a business that appears to be well established and has invested time and money into making their online appearance look professional and trustworthy.
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 that a professional designer can implement to take a site from what appears to be a home-made solution, to one that presents an image of a professionally planned and executed website marketing solution.
The above questions are just a few of the important aspects to consider when looking to generate more sales or leads. Depending upon the industry and nature of business, there are always going to be other avenues for improving conversion.
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