Crafting Offers For Your Website Visitors
If you want to generate leads from your website you must have an offer for your prospects.
Generally speaking the offer will NOT be an invitation to buy something.
Getting your prospect to land on your website and then to buy something takes a lot of pre-sale work and in order for this to happen the prospect will have already been primed to buy through
previous contact with you or your company.
Most website visitors are visiting for the first time so the flow looks like this;
prospect searches Google – finds your website – browses – visits other websites
Their visit to your website can come at any point – you may be the first, last or somewhere in between.
At this point the prospect is researching – you are not the only available vendor of your product or service – they have a choice!
Faced with your competition and knowing that the prospect is not going to buy right off the bat, the next best thing that you can do is get their contact details so that you can contact them!
Most websites are passive – they are brochure sites that allow the prospect to browse around without making any offers other than the basic one which is to buy the product or service that the business supplies.
By making an attractive risk-free offer you can differentiate yourself from your competitors, build trust and authority and provide the prospect with value without them having to spend any money.
If you can do this then you are positioning yourself ahead of your competitors when the prospect comes to make a buying decision.
Depending on your business and target market the offer could be any one of the following;
- A free consultation
- A discount coupon
- A buying guide
- A user guide
- A free ‘lite’ version of the product/service
- A free demo
Whatever the offer is it should be relevant, useful and valuable to the prospect. Ideally it should be of high enough quality that you could actually charge for it!
Deciding on your offer
To a large extent the product or service that you provide will inform the type of offer that you make.
If you sell shoes a free consultation holds little value (unless you are in some highly specialist niche), whereas if you are an accountant, solicitor or some other service-type business a free consultation ticks all the boxes.
To decide on exactly what you will offer and how you will create it, first of all visit all your competitors’ websites and see what they are offering. If your local competitors are not making offers just find sites in your market from other areas.
Look at what is being offered, who it is aimed at, how it is presented and what the prospect has to do to take advantage.
Once you have done your research you will have an idea of what to offer and how to present it, you will also have a good idea of how you can improve all of those aspects on your own website.
- What do your customers want – Vs – what do they need?
- What are your and your product/service’s strengths and weaknesses?
By this I mean that you should create your offer based on what is going to deliver the most value in the most attractive way to your prospect.
The idea of this free – or I prefer to call it complimentary – offer is like teh test drive at the car showroom – your prospect gets to experience what it is like to work with you, or experience your product before purchasing. Just like the showroom test drive – the prospect gets to feel what it would be like to own the car before they put their hand in their pocket. It’s very powerful.
Creating Calls-to-Action On Your Business Website
Calls to action are one of the most under-utilised aspects of business websites.
Ultimately a call-to-action is simply the foregrounding of the offer with instructions on how to claim. For example;
Enter your details into the box to claim your free consultation
Put the above text onto a banner with an arrow pointing to a lead capture form and you have a fairly standard and reasonably effective call-to-action.
Adding a bit more specific detail makes it stronger and then placing the banner and the lead capture form at the top of every page on your website gives you the best chance of generating leads.
Many business-owners baulk at this as they feel that it is;
- too pushy
- not good design
- not good having the same thing on every page
My view on this is as follows;
For almost all local business websites visitors are looking for a specific product or service and whilst they maybe researching price points, details of a service, the background of the provider, etc, they will not be researching the service itself.
By that I mean that everyone knows what an accountant does, so no one really cares about what self-assessment is, or what payroll services are. In many cases your prospects know exactly what you do so they are not interested in reading your page on self-assessment – they want to know how much, how long, what they need to do, etc.
That being the case presenting them with a banner that says “enter your details here and we will instantly send you all the information you want to know in this handy bite-sized guide” is helping them enormously – you have just saved them the time of having to hunt through your website (and others) to find the info that they need.
And in saving them time and providing them with the info that they need you have also got their contact details and can either begin emailing them or call them up directly.
Researching Calls to Action
- competitor sites
- magazine and newspaper ads
- online banners
- PPC ads
The thing about the above list is that you will be looking at adverts with ad copy, offers and calls to action that will have been tested to quite a significant degree.
To know that ad copy has been tested and works you’ll need to be able to view the ad on a consistent basis – is it in a magazine every week/month, is it on a billboard everywhere, are the same PPC ads coming up for weeks and months without break?
When this happens you can be quite sure that the ad is converting and providing a return on investment for the advertisers. If it was not performing well no one would be prepared to pay to keep it running!
So by researching the ad copy in your industry you can gain a better understanding of what your prospects are looking for and what they are more likely to respond to.
In a future episode we will discuss ‘constructing offers for you prospects’ in more detail.
- Research competitors and identify offers
- Research calls-to-action
- Create your own offer
- Create your own call to action
- Execute on website