BY ERIC GAGLIANO
It is time to stop calling your www a “website” and start calling it “Online Lead Generation!”
Advertising helps to build awareness and generate engagement. But, it’s your people and website that are your most vital MARKETING tools. That said, the number one goal of any website should be to get your prospects to your people. The days of the website being the online brochure are over!
Despite all the ways someone can learn about you, consumers use websites to find and engage with businesses 63% of the time (Local Search Association, April 2017).
Consider your goals first:
- Educate, don’t sell: Don’t count on your site to be a sales person. It should provide enough info to differentiate and provide benefits. But no more. Give your audience the highlights, but make them take the next step to get all the information they need. Essentially, entice them to take the next step.
- Collect data:If you can, at minimum, give your prospect a reason to provide their email address, it gives you a way to follow-up and you can continue marketing to them over time.
- Person-to-person contact:Provide multiple ways for prospects to engage your staff.
Lead generation beyond the “Contact Us” page:
- Remarketing: Did your digital advertising lead hit your site but not buy? Don’t give up. Remarketing to these folks can yield great returns.
- Online chat: The easier you make it to interact with your sales team, the better. Online chat tools make it super easy! How “intrusive” is online chat on your site? Does a chat box pop-up after a user spends so much time on a page or after they’ve looked at multiple pages? It should. Don’t count on that tiny “Online Chat” button in the corner to drive engagement.
- Lead generation forms on relevant pages: You should have an online form on nearly every page of your site. When a member sees something that they are interested in, they should be able to request more info. immediately:
- Keep the forms short. Only the minimum info that you need to follow-up
- Keep them specific to the page
- Create a fast follow-up process and track it
- Full blown automation with phone and email follow-ups: Don’t let people cyber-stalk your site and get away with it! If someone has been to your checking page two or three times, they’re interested … reach out to them. A strategic automation plan can target site engagement and personas to create one-to-one conversations either through email or by phone. As awesome as automation is, don’t make the follow-up and engagement process all electronic, expect your staff to contact prospects!
- Give them a reason to come back: As much as you love it, your website isn’t as fun as YouTube or Instagram. You need to work to get people coming back. Do you provide regularly updated information in a blog? How about providing customized rate alerts? Give the prospect a reason to re-engage with your site.
Test, track and adjust
This is not a, “set it and forget it,” endeavor. Try new things. Don’t be afraid to test new ways of engagement. Remember, the goal is to move from awareness, to engagement … from electronic to personal.
Track everything … from impressions, clicks, conversions, leads, follow-up calls, to opened accounts and balances. Stay with the purchase path as far as it takes you.
When you move your website from digital brochure to a full-on engagement tool, you’ll miss few sales opportunities. Just make sure your sales team is ready.