May 23, 2008
One of the things I often notice on websites is that I’m not sure where to go or what to do when I arrive. There are those websites that are simply online brochures that tell me all about the features of a product or service, but don’t ask anything of me. There are other websites that give me a headache, as they try to send me in too many directions at once. When faced with too many choices, I become overwhelmed and ultimately leave the site without taking any action.
How do you get your visitor to stay on your site and convert to a prospect? By presenting one clear call to action on every page of your site.
Do you want the visitor to listen to an audio clip? How about signing up for your email newsletter? Do you want the visitor to call a toll-free number and listen to a message? Would you like them to subscribe to your blog updates? Do you have a free ecourse that you’re offering to your visitors? Don’t be shy about telling your visitor what to do. Most people don’t want to have to think when they arrive at a site (myself included), and are more than happy to follow whatever directions you provide and actions that you outline.
For owners of service businesses, I strongly believe that the most important call to action that should appear on your site is asking your visitor to get on your email list. This information becomes the gold in your marketing funnel. You begin to build a list in this fashion, and can email your contacts on this list on a regular basis with special offers, new programs, or just news updates.
The primary way that I capture someone’s contact information is through my email broadcast service, aWeber, which offers me the coding for a subscription form that I can place on any page of my website. Once they have opted in to my list, they begin to receive my email newsletter, as well as emails about special offers, sales, and other pertinent news about my business.
Too many times I hear my clients lament that they’re getting traffic to their websites, but the phone isn’t ringing. I think it’s pretty unrealistic for you to expect a visitor to buy from you immediately upon “meeting” you via your website or becoming acquainted with your service, unless you offer a very highly specialized product or service that visitors cannot obtain elsewhere. Think of your own buying habits. I’ll bet that you fall in the 7-10 “touches” category that marketing experts say is needed in order to get someone to purchase what you’re selling. What do I mean by a “touch”? It could be an email newsletter that you send out regularly, a direct mail postcard that you send, a phone call that you make, or a lunch date that you set. It takes roughly 7-10 contacts (touches) for someone to begin to get to know you, respect you, and like you enough to make the decision to buy from you.
If your offer is compelling enough, 1%-3% of the visitors to your website will convert, or take the action you want them to take. What constitutes a compelling offer? Once upon a time, it was simply an invitation to subscribe to your email newsletter. However, it seems that everyone is writing an email newsletter these days, and with the levels of spam growing increasingly larger day-by-day, a free email newsletter is no longer as enticing as it once was. Instead, offer a free giveaway that provides a solution to a problem that keeps your visitor up at night. Make it compelling enough that your visitors doesn’t hesitate to give you his name and primary email address.
To be effective, your call to action needs to prominently displayed on your homepage, not hidden mid-way down the page in a paragraph of text, or “above the fold”, to borrow an old newspaper term. In this case, your call to action, should be the first thing a visitor sees when arriving at your homepage. In some cases, you may want to have the call to action appear on every page, making it crystal clear to your visitors what action you want them to take.
What compelling piece of information can you offer visitors to capture their names and email addresses? Once you have that info, what is your plan to follow up regularly? Creating a clear call to action on your website, along with an effective follow-up strategy, will measurably increase your sales. Isn’t that we all want from our businesses?
Online Business Resource Queen (TM) and Online Business Coach Donna Gunter helps independent service professionals learn how to automate their businesses, leverage their expertise on the Internet, and get more clients online. To claim your FREE gift, TurboCharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, visit her site at http://www.OnlineBizU.com. Ask Donna an Internet Marketing question at http://www.AskDonnaGunter.com.