By Marie Allen
There are lots of websites out there that look good and give you lots of great information about the company they represent. But many of them don’t grab their website visitors and get them to do something as a result of visiting the website. If your website doesn’t do this you are losing a lot of potential clients.
Your website visitors will be thinking “Oh yes, I like the look of that company. I’ll come back later.” Then they will go to the next website on their search results list and, after a few minutes, they will probably have forgotten all about you.
So how do you transform your website into a place where visitors want to engage with you? A place where they actually want to take the next step, either to get in touch there and then, or to sign up for more information.
There are two essentials to creating a website that actively engages your visitors:
1. Contact Me!
Display your contact details in a prominent place on your website. Don’t just rely on a Contact Us page. Website visitors are lazy! The easier you make it for people to find your contact details, the more calls and emails you will get.
Ideally include them in the top right of your header so they appear on every web page. As a minimum show your phone number and email address. Twitter and Facebook details can also be included. Different people prefer different methods of communication so, the more ways you offer to get in touch, the more clients you are going to capture.
2. Create an Irresistible Sign-Up offer
A Sign-Up Offer enables you to obtain the email addresses of website visitors by offering them something in return. You provide something of value to them if they fill in a sign-up box with their email details.
Email addresses are precious. People do not give them away lightly. Capturing email addresses gives you direct access to the in-trays of potential clients. Use that access wisely and never abuse it. Use it to raise awareness of what you do and to help people by sharing information that will be of value to them.
Do this and you will build up a list of interested potential clients, who have a connection with you. When the time is right for them to buy the services or products that you offer, you will be top of their list.
How do you create an opt-in offer that your website visitors will love?
Here are a few ideas:
• Free consultation
• An e-book
• An e-course
• A hints and tips sheet
• A video training session
Your product does not have to be difficult to produce. An e-book can be a pdf packaged in a nice cover. Look online for low-cost e-book cover providers. An e-course can be a series of e-mails sent out at specific intervals. A video training session can be filmed using a home video camera or smartphone (tip – buy a microphone to ensure acceptable sound quality.)
Do invest in an email marketing system, such as Aweber, Mailchimp or MadMimi to manage the distribution of your product, and your ongoing email marketing. As well as making your life a lot easier, these will also give your subscribers that all-important sense of security regarding spam and privacy protection. Some email marketing services offer a free plan to start with.
And do package your product nicely. However useful it is, it also needs to be attractive. Give it a catchy name and a nicely designed logo to grab the attention and maximise your signups.
Lots of lovely-looking websites out there don’t do these things! They don’t have clear contact details displayed and they don’t feature an email sign-up. Or if they do it’s a feeble “Sign up for our newsletter,” rather than an irresistible offer!
See your website as an active marketing tool, not a passive “brochure site,” and you will have taken one big step ahead of the competition.