You lost me there part 2 (your website doesn’t do enough to capture leads)

In part 2 of this series, I’ll continue to recap a presentation I gave a few weeks ago to the Florida Direct Marketing Association titled “The Second Half: 50 Tips, Tricks and Tactics to Make You a Direct Marketing Superstar.” It’s my goal to continue to serve up tips so you too can be a superstar at driving more ROI for your company. (For part one, click here.)

This week, let’s look at the many ways you can lose prospects who visit your Web site without even knowing who they are. This “phantom demand” can be captured and added to your contact strategy, and these leads can be nurtured until they’re ready to buy. To capture them and begin a sales dialogue, however, you must get them to identify themselves, right?

So without further preamble (or pre-mumble as a former colleague of mine used to say), here are some more tips for you:

  1. Catalog requests — say it loud; say it proud. Believe it or not, people still love to shop via catalog. Some people, myself included, still prefer the tactile feel of leafing through a catalog. And here’s a bonus for you: Catalog/multiple channel buyers spend more money per channel. In other words, the more channels they spend time in, the more engaged they are from an emotional perspective in your products and business. This yields buyers who in most cases will spend more per order and over their lifetimes. That said, why is your catalog request link not more prominently displayed? Make it big, and make it stand out so it’s easy to find.
  2. Newsletters, special offers and other sign-up opportunities (yes, but something crucial is often missing here). This is a must-have on your Web site, and most of you already do it. BUT when I sign up to receive a newsletter, that’s when the inquiry conversion can start. Most of the time I get this boring, generic “thanks for signing up” e-mail confirmation — if I get anything at all. But more often than not, I get nothing — no thanks at all, which is totally shameful. Confirmation pages — better yet, confirmation e-mails — are the perfect place for special offers, coupons and forward-to-a-friend links. They’re also a great opportunity to call out specific products that you want to promote. And don’t forget to add a few testimonials. (I’ll discuss more about testimonials later in this series).
  3. Serve up a whitepaper or other info. While not normally applicable to consumer business, whitepapers in B-to-B are a powerful tool for building credibility. If you’re a B-to-B seller, prominently offer free whitepapers on your site. Give customers value in return for their permission to continue the sales dialogue with you.
    For consumer-based merchants, offer things like style guides or something else relevant to your prospects in order to have them pony up their names for future marketing efforts.

The goal is to get all the people who visit your Web site to raise their virtual hands in the air and allow you to continue to market to them until they buy.

Check back next week for part three of this series, when I’ll examine additional ways multiple channel companies can stop the Web-bleed and capture more prospects.

Have a comment? Want to add something? Post it below. Don’t be shy.

4 thoughts on “You lost me there part 2 (your website doesn’t do enough to capture leads)

  1. Natalie Carmoli says:

    Hi Jim, Great article. I work for a company that is in the business of giving Small Business Owners the skills they need to run successful stores. My role is website/social media consultant to these folks.

    When I give website reviews, the information that you give in parts on and two of this article are a big part of what I talk about, and often these things are missing from their sites!

    I really like your ideas and writing style and would like to reinforce these ideas to our members by reprinting the article on our membership website. Of course I’d be glad to link to your website or blog.

    Can I get permission to reprint? Thank you, Natalie Carmolli/WhizBang! Training

    • Jim Gilbert says:

      Thanks for your kind words Natalie. By all means put my series up on your site with proper links.


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