Having an online presence is now important for any business. It opens up new growth options and is a great way to create low-cost exposure to current and potential clients or customers.
A website can be used for many different purposes, including as a shop front for the selling of goods, as a tool for customers to interact with the business, or simply an online advertisement to potential clients. However, one of the most powerful uses of a website is as a lead generation tool, and this is something that most businesses will be interested in.
Building a website that is effective for these purposes is not as easy as it may sound, and there are a few key things to bear in mind in order to create one that achieves the best results.
It is a popular phrase in most walks of life and it is certainly true in the online world, first impressions count. The image that a business wants to project online will be largely determined by the website it has.
A lot of consideration needs to go into the design and feel of the website because visitors – potential leads – will come in, look around the site, and then decide very quickly whether or not the business would be a good fit for them without ever making contact. There is a lot that goes into developing a website that can convince visitors to stick around and in most cases these techniques and strategies are best left to a professional.
It usually does not make good business sense to give away things for free because that, on paper, defeats the object of being in business. In the offline world there are few businesses that would do this, but online it is common place to offer potential leads something for free.
Ideally this free gift will need to be something of great value to the prospect, but it doesn’t necessarily have to cost you much to produce.
Content – a free report, checklist or white paper on a topic related to the site – is a great giveaway. Collecting a name, email address, even a phone number, in exchange for the report, is an ideal strategy for converting website visitors into hot leads. If the content that is given away for free is of value then it is likely that they will become interested in the business and its paid services.
When dealing face to face with potential leads it can be fairly easy to judge whether they are worth following up. The nature of the interaction through a website means that it is a lot more difficult to judge which leads are genuine and which are just “tyre kickers”. So initially it is a good idea to follow up on all leads.
This also helps to show everyone that there is a human face behind the website, and a simple follow up could be all that’s needed to convert them into loyal customers.