15 Dec 2015

Turn Your Website into a Massive Lead Generating Machine

How is your website doing? No, honestly, how is your website doing?

Your website is your biggest marketing and sales tool, period. It is the window to your company, whether you are a local bricks and mortar selling current buns to the immediate area or a giant multinational selling your service to the world. If you haven’t got your website design fine-tuned to be THE best lead generating machine in your sales system then you are missing out on all the magical leverage that it can offer. Your website should be attracting the right kind of lead, turning them into customers, then sending them out as evangelists for your brand. If that isn’t happening, it’s time to think hard about what your website is doing.

Analysing how well your current website it doing at bringing in sales leads is a tricky business. You need to track the metrics that matter and understand what they really mean. It’s definitely not a case of staring into the screen and asking, ‘Are you working?’, ‘Can you tell me something?’ or shouting ‘WHY AREN’T YOU WORKING!’ It doesn’t work. But you already know that, it’s something you often try.

Collecting data for a full year is the only way to accurately understand what is happening with your online marketing and where it is taking you. Each industry is different, as is each company, so one may track rate of returns whilst the other number of complaints. One company may value number of units sold, whilst another, the number of upsells sold. It is hard to advise what to metrics to look at, but if it’s your company, you should already know what indicates your success – so track it.

Hubspot created an excellent infographic about creating inbound sales leads:

 Arc-Reactions-Blog-AR-Your-Lead-Generating-Machine-1024x477

In one simple, easy to read diagram you can see the process your leads have to go through to become a promoter, and the media that Hubspot suggest you use. This linear sales funnel is a great way to shepherd your contacts into promoters, but the way they suggest is not the only way.

ATTRACT

The more you engage with customers the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing.” John Russell.

One of the premier reasons to have a website is to be found. Even a non technological, made by hand, Ma and Pop shop needs some kind of online presence as the internet is the first place shoppers look to source the goods they need.  Being found, however, is not the purpose of a successful website, attracting people to it is its aim. And that’s a completely different set of goals.

Looking for a company when you know the name is easy as you just type it in, but that’s a ‘being found’ goal. If you want people to find your website, you have to think like them. If you sell Bigga Whopper Burgers you need to think to yourself ‘what would I use to search for one?’ The first place you would go to, may be the same as the places they will start. If it’s the internet, what would you search for? If you would search for ‘delicious burgers’, then that’s a key word you need to focus on. If you’d turn to your local paper and look at page 7 under ‘restaurants’, then that’s where your customers will look too. If you’d turn to your coupon stash and see what you had that was still valid, then there’s another lead. You know your industry, your company and your product best, so use your knowledge and make it work for you.

Don’t discount the use of other media to help you attract leads to your website. Business cards and brochures can point the way to the web, your packaging can have your URL on and you can even put your web address on your voice mail message, they are no longer outdated by the web, you just have to adapt to the way you use it.

Attracting customers becomes easier when you think like one, but if you can’t think like that anymore, or are short on time to spend as much as you need to find out, then look at hiring a marketing agency. Attracting customers is the most important stage and you can’t afford to take too long in finding out.

A marketing agency has many ideas that it can use that will help you attract leads, but more than that, they know how to use it to maximum effect right off the block. The devices they use are media like:

  • SEO: The optimising of all the possible keywords your industry could use on every media that your customers are using. There is a morass of information out there to tempt your customers so you need to make sure that your content gets in front of them and pretty near the top.
  • ENTRY CONTENT: A marketing agency knows the difference between attracting content and keeping content. The type of content that brings people in is blogs and videos that are easy to read and address the problems they face, but this type of content also has a strategy – that is to bring in the contact details that can be progressed into sales.
  • NEW MEDIA: Everyone knows social media is the best way to reach new customers, but do you know the best way to present your social media to your prospective customer? For instance- have you integrated your social media buttons on to every web page? Do they follow the page as your scroll down? Does your web page have your ‘latest tweets’ or Facebook posts, so people can see that you are active and relevant. A marketing company will know which is the right media for your company and your customers and that knowledge and experience is worth paying for.
  • METRICS: Don’t forget that measuring success is the only way that you will know what is working and to be able to leverage it to its fullest. You need good information to make a good judgement and quality metrics are all the information you need.

These tactics produce traffic to your site.

CONVERT

“The simple sound of a human voice speaking to us has an amazing way of converting information into meaningful content”. Susan Weinschenk

Once you have the attention of your prospective customers, you need to convert them into leads or there’s no point to your website. There is only one way to convert a lead and that is to ask them! Once you have engagement with excellent quality content you need to ask them to commit. Calls to action (CTA) are the only way.

Successful CTA’s depend on:

  • PLACEMENT: Your CTA needs to be somewhere prominent and easy to access. Being above the fold line is ideal, as is floating with you as you scroll, or as a sophisticated pop up at a crucial point. Your CTA’s need to be prominent and inviting. You need their information to progress them.
  • DESIGN: Colour, size and shape all have a part to play in an effective CTA and once again metrics are your friend. If CTA’s are a new concept to you then you need to play around with what works and do some A/B testing. It may take some time it find out what works, but that makes your campaigns from then on more powerful.
  • DOWNLOADS: Downloads are a great way to engage your audience, but also to use as a filter. If a lead is really interested in what you have to offer, then they will download a white paper, infographic or cheat sheet. If your CTA’s speak clearly to your target customer in the right size, shape and format, then they will download and ask for more.
  • BREADCRUMBS: All your content and CTA’s need to progress a lead to a sale so always start with a plan, then adjust it, review it, but never abandon it. Strategy is everything in online marketing, so think of your CTA’s as breadcrumbs leading to a sale and you’ll find a way.

Remember every webpage you have on your website needs to have a purpose – and a CTA. Do not assume that all web roads lead to the same page with your only CTA. Online marketing is driven by the path the customer wants to take, not always the journey that you want them to take, so put a CTA on every page.

CLOSE

“You don’t close a sale, you open a relationship is you want to build a long term, successful enterprise.” Patricia Fipp

Now you have your leads interacting with you need to start turning them into sales.

  • METRICS: Once again the numbers are your friend. By keeping a record of who you have entering your sales funnel, where they are exiting and what their buying behaviours are you can make the best of each sale. The biggest challenge is keeping them all in order. If you don’t really know where your sales are coming from or where you’re losing them, then you need to consider a CRM (customer relationship management) system. They collect all the most important data and keep it in order until you need them.
  • TOUCH: It takes on average 7-13 interactions with a brand before customers will buy. If your leads are ranked and prioritized you can work them in order converting them into sales and encouraging more. Whether you are using emails, landing pages or phone calls, you proved your worth and now is the time to ask for the sale. Don’t wait for the customer to ask you – go right out and ask them for the sale. They should be used to it, they’ve been challenged by CTA’s on the journey all the way.

This is the moment you’ve been waiting for – make the most of it. Now is definitely the time to over perform.

DELIGHT

Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.” Donald Porter

Making the sale should not be the end of the journey. You want repeat customers and even more, you want happy customers that sell your product for you. That means just as much effort is put into your customer service as your sales funnel.

You need to consider:

EMAIL: Sending out a ‘Thank You’ email, or satisfaction survey shows you were not all about the sale. It allows the customer to feel that you are interested in what they think and feel. Invite them to contact your company if they need you, and make them feel that they are a part of something big.

SOCIAL MEDIA: If you want to reach your past customers and keep them thinking about your company when they next need your product or service, then social media is the way. Keeping in contact, and establishing yourself as a credible and reliable authority for the next time you’re needed is one of the strengths of all social media platforms. Become familiar with them, and with your customers.

UPSELL: Take the opportunity to upsell as you interact with your past customers and continue to relieve any pain points they may have.

ATTITUDE: The attitude of your customer service agents has a huge bearing on whether your customers become your promoters. Everyone has nightmare stories with customer service, for which international call centres figure highly in the dissatisfaction, so you can no longer afford to separate your post-sale customer service from your marketing. You need to market to your post-sale audience, continue to nurture them and have them be your best sales person. As you do, inbound leads from friends will come.

Turning your website into a lead generating machine is a strategic and consuming task, but well worth it. You need to pay attention to every detail at each stage to make sure that the opportunity is for people to ‘come on in and know us better’, and if you do it well, they will.

 

Resources:

http://www.square2marketing.com/blog/bid/149271/Inbound-Marketing-Website-Design-vs-Traditional-Website-Design

https://vtldesign.com/inbound-marketing/inbound-marketing-vs-outbound-marketing/

http://www.terrymarketing.com/what-is-inbound-marketing

http://arcreactions.com/linkedin-as-an-inbound-marketing-lead-generator/

http://yfsmagazine.com/2011/11/22/10-creative-tips-to-attract-new-customers/