Turning online lookers into buyers takes work. You have to ensure the site is intuitive, in that visitors can find what they want and there's a clear path of for them to follow. (An excellent primer on the subject is Call to Action by Jeffery Eisenberg and Bryan Eisenberg.)
Current Marketing Challenge
Here, readers provide tips on how to use or improve your Web site to make more sales.
How to turn Web browsers into buyers
I am reviewing my company's Web site to see what we can do to make it better. I'd like to hear your experiences on what you've done to successfully increase the conversion rate on your Web site.
—Tyler, Marketing Director
Thank you for your valuable advice, readers. Your valuable suggestions give us three ways to make the most out of any Web site:
- Gear your site to your target audience.
- Provide needed information within three clicks (and respond quickly to questions).
- Build the relationship by offering a freebie in exchange for an email address.
Next Marketing Challenge How to market a complex product to non-techs.
As you know, it's important to know your audience and target market whenever you're trying to reel in buyers. Sometimes we forget to do the research or we write for ourselves instead of for the target market. Having had good luck with her company's Web site, Lynnette Braillard, marketing director at Sunset Realty, provides great advice:
First off, you need to accurately identify your audience and gear your site to their needs and what they want to know about your product/service. I find that providing as much information about your product or service while keeping in mind the WIIFM (what's in it for me) approach has made our Web site one of the best in our market, and we continue to take market share and increase our online bookings substantially in a competitive industry.
The more questions I can answer online the better because visitors won't have to take time out of their day to call our office. Make the process as simple and efficient as possible while providing features or services that make your target audience's life easier. Time is an invaluable gift to give your customers.
Alessandro Fabris, sales and marketing manager with PBA srl, shares three things his company plans to do with its Web site to make it faster to navigate:
1) We are going to give the customers the possibility to skip the Flash presentation. 2) We are going to satisfy the "3-clicks rule," meaning the visitor must find an answer within three clicks. 3) We answer Web questions in the shortest amount of time.
Another popular way to attract potential buyers is offering something for free, like a report, webcast or email newsletter. Requiring visitors' email addresses to get a freebie provides an opportune time to collect information about visitors. Then, as your mailing list grows, you can use the email addresses to send occasional emails so your company stays on the customers' minds.
A report or webcast with no follow up is useless, however, because as soon as your visitors attend the webcast or save the report to their hard drives they might forget about the company. An email newsletter, on the other hand, is a nice way to remind customers about your products and services as long as you give them valuable information—not just sales-speak.
While paying attention to the audience, make the site as easy to use as possible and offer complimentary products and services. These are steps toward getting more buyers even though the sales process isn't always as fast as we'd like it to be. Some buyers buy instantly, while others take months to mull it over. Try to stay in touch with the customers so when they need your product or service you're the first business they call.
Next Marketing Challenge: Can You Help?
We have a product that's complex and technical, and its decision makers are not even close to being technical people. The product is known by its acronym since we've yet to brand it. How do you market such a technical product to the general public?
—Ben, Marketing Manager
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