Blog Clan

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Three Ways to Make Your Website Work for You

My marketing business in San Luis Obispo, California, MegAmuse, is off to a great start. I've developed a series of white papers for my clients to help them improve their bottoms lines. This first one describes three basic changes businesses should make to their website to ensure they're not only showcasing their business to its best advantage, but that they're getting web visitors to convert (i.e., transition from prospects to actual paying customers).

Call to Action Button
What is the single most important action you want visitors to take when they find their way to your website? Is it to pick up the phone and call you? Purchase a product? Try a service for the first time? Refer a friend? Read an article?

Then say so. Be very clear on what it is you’d like them to do and ask them to do it. Usually, this will take the form of a Call to Action button or banner. Here are some of the more common CTAs (as they’re called in the marketing biz). Schedule a Free Consultation. Download a White Paper. Register for a Free Trial. 10% Off for First-Time Customers. Take a Free Introductory Class. 
You get the picture. Here’s one piece of advice, though. Ultimately, you probably want them to make a purchase of your products or services. It’s okay to put that as a CTA, too, but recognize that you may need to “warm up” your prospects a bit before they’re ready to buy. That’s where Content Marketing can help.

Content Marketing
Everyone likes to get something for free, especially if it helps them in some way. So whether your customers are individual consumers or other businesses, think about what they might find of value that you have to offer, and then give it to them – for free. 
Here’s an example. Let’s say you have a home improvement company. You know how to do a wide range of repairs and you’re probably more up to speed on some of the latest trends or even building regulations. What little tidbit might you know that you could pass on to potential or existing customers to a) delight them in some small way b) remind them that you’re available for hire c) reinforce your credibility as a knowledgeable business?

Let’s say you learned that your state is offering home owners a 100% energy rebate if they install solar paneling and that it will save them hundreds of dollars each year and cost nothing up front. Why not put that in the form of a “tip of the month” and have people subscribe to receive this and other tips? Or maybe one of your most common repairs is replacing old light fixtures with modern ones. Could you find someone to video tape you showing, step by step, how to do this and post the video on your website, blog or Facebook?

The key here is that, while the info is free, you are asking these potential customers to give you their email address or other contact info (i.e., giving you’re their “permission” to contact them). This whole exchange is known by terms like Content Marketing or Permission Marketing, and it’s one of the top marketing trends of 2013 according to Business to Business magazine.

Contact Capture Form
The final component of this marketing trio is finding a way to capture the email addresses or contact information of prospects and customers when they sign up to receive your content. There are many, many tools out there for capturing this data directly from your website. My friends at HealCode offer a website widget that you post on your site and it feeds the contact info directly into your database or relevant software. ConstantContact also has a nice tool that you can post on your Facebook page and when people provide their emails, they’re fed directly into your Constant Contact email marketing database.
But while automation is the goal of nearly every marketing endeavor, you can go “old school” and simply keep a spreadsheet of contact information as those prospects sign up to receive your new content.

For more ideas to boost your revenues and improve you marketing effectiveness, contact MegAmuse for a free consultation.

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