Customers

Marketing

 

How To Turn Browsers of Your Website To Clients

 

Brad Konia

    

 

Start with a professional looking Web site: Your Web site's appearance represents your company. If it looks home made, or amateurish in any way, this can reflect poorly upon your business. If you can afford to do so, hire a professional to build your site. Be sure to check their references and study examples of their past work. You'll need to become educated enough in marketing and Web site design to discern the difference between a good Web site and a great Web site.

If you're inclined to do it yourself, there are many excellent resources, including inexpensive web design templates. They can be a great way to start a site or to jazz up an existing one. Compare your site with these designs and ask yourself which looks more professional. Sometimes, it's hard to look at your own Web site objectively, so survey your customers, family, friends and business associates for their opinions.

 

 

 

Learn effective copywriting, or hire a professional copywriter. Clean, compelling text goes hand in hand with professional web design. The combination of these two elements will shape your customers' first impression of your business. It should go without saying that spelling and grammatical errors are unacceptable. However, good copywriting goes far beyond just spelling and grammar.

Good copywriting is persuasive without being too pushy. It is structured in a way that gently leads the prospect towards the next stop on the path to becoming a paying customer. Professional copywriters can be extremely expensive but are worth it if you're serious about your company's success. If you simply don't have the budget for this, there are many books where you can learn to write good copy on your own.

 

  

 

Get a toll-free number: If you don't have a toll-free number, get one. Plaster it at the top of every page on your Web site. At the very least, place it prominently on your contact page with frequent links to the page. There are plenty of people out there who still prefer to pick up the phone and talk to a real live person. Out of this group of people, a significant percentage will only call companies that have toll-free numbers.

Reinforce the fact that your number is toll-free, by putting the words "Toll Free" next to the phone number. Yes, everyone knows that 800 numbers are toll-free, but many people do not know about the new toll-free exchanges, such as 888, 877, and 866. Also, include some copy that indicates that they can call you to ask questions, not just to place an order. Many people are reluctant to call a company. They're afraid of getting an "order monkey" who is unable to answer any questions beyond whether you accept MasterCard and Visa.

Use live chat: Consider offering live chat on your Web site and put the live chat button right next to your toll-free number on each page of your site. You may be a bit skeptical about the value of this feature, but there are now millions of people who communicate with chat services every day. In fact, it has become the preferred method of communication for a great number of people. My company has acquired many new clients via chat and every time one of my clients has tried it on his site, they've been thrilled with the results. We're using a new live chat service that allows people to chat with you from your Web site via AOL, MSN, ICQ, or via a browser chat window.

Automate the lead collection process by placing an opt-in box on every page of your Web site. Make sure the opt-in box is in a prominent position. An opt-in box is a mini-form that collects peoples' email addresses and sometimes other information such as name, address, and phone number.

"Opting In" means that the visitor agrees to receive email from your company. There are very strict rules regarding unsolicited email, so make sure your visitors understand what type of email you will be sending them when they opt-in. Make it clear that their e-mail and privacy will not be abused. Joining the BBB Privacy Program is one way to help get this message across.

 

 

 

Give your visitors an incentive to subscribe to your mailing list. When someone gives you their email address, they're giving you something of value. Because of the fear of spam, many people will only give you their email address if you give them something in return. Here are some ideas for incentives that you could offer: Newsletter subscription; Free trial download of a software product; White paper (i.e., additional product information); Some type of promotional merchandise, such as a T-shirt, hat, etc.; Free software; Free E-Book; Sweepstakes entry.

If you sell an e-book, give them a free download of the first couple of chapters or of an e-book on a related topic.

If you sell an information service, give them a free sample of your service

The easiest way to put a subscribe box on your Web site is to use a service such as Constant Contact. The benefit of using Constant Contact is that it doesn't require any technical expertise to implement and they manage your entire database for you. You can use the service to automatically schedule follow-up emails to be sent to your customers at pre-determined intervals and they include tracking features so that you can measure the response to your various follow-up letters.