Unfortunately, there’s no easily accessible research on this subject. However, I estimate that about 80% of service sites fail to achieve their online business goals ONLY because their creators thought it was impossible.
I hear this repeatedly while still at the inquiry stage.
Our site can't sell because our customers don't buy through it; they just navigate the site, find the product they want, and then call....
Our site can't sell because none of our sites have sold before....
Our site can't sell because we've had the site for ten years, and we have yet to see the effect....
Our site can't sell because our competitors don't sell through their site either....
Does this sound familiar?
If you identify with these types of beliefs, I have good news for you. These are purely myths that can be detrimental to your business, and this article will prove it.
No, I'm not asking who you want to go on a date with 😉 I'm asking who you would send to meet a big potential client. Obviously, a good sales representative would be better suited to attend a customer meeting.
So why do companies always say "it has to be pretty" whenever they are looking for a new website? Why do they prefer to have a model represent them online rather than a well-prepared and empathetic sales representative?
Well, "if it can't sell, at least let it be attractive so we feel good about the expense...", right?
Making websites with the assumption that they won't bring in business is the downfall of this marketing sector.
There are five reasons for this limiting belief:
As you can see, there are lots of reasons but all of them can be fixed right away!
You have the effectiveness of your company's digital communications at stake. What will you do? Will you give in to false beliefs or take responsibility for your business and give it the digital tools it needs?
What about the model? Do you think it's a bad thing for a website to look good? I'm glad you asked that; let's establish this once and for all. Asking about design or about an agency's portfolio is NOT a bad question!
It just shouldn’t be the FIRST question. Design IS important. It’s an integral part of the Digital Customer Experience and one of the five layers of our 5D technology that creates digital products.
A pretty model can also be a highly effective salesperson. All the more effective if the industry is susceptible to coercion. However, besides appearance, it’s essential to have important qualities and skills.
A sales representative who’s attending a meeting must always be well-kept. But whether their work is successful or not, won’t depend on the brand of their outfit. It will depend on their ability to listen to the customer's needs and show the customer a product or service they want to buy.
It's the same with the website’s pages. They must be neat, consistent and clear; nothing should hinder the customer from navigating the site. But that's not what the site’s effectiveness is dependent on.
I can’t define your company's website goals in a four-page article. Nor can I create a communication strategy that will tell you exactly how to achieve these goals.
However, I can give you 11 goals our clients' sites have successfully achieved. These goals are sometimes smaller or larger, but all of them are implemented consciously and in cooperation with other marketing activities of the organization.
Here they are:
Goal #1. Acquire leads through phone calls, emails, forms and even a CRM system.
A simple and obvious goal, right? Unfortunately, putting an email and a form on the page isn’t enough to achieve that goal. It's similar to only setting up a register in a store and nothing else.
Writing a message is the final result of what your customer finds on your site. Look at it from the broader perspective of their behavior and decisions.
Goal #2. Build a mailing base.
Similar to the goal above - this one is also obvious. Again, few companies ask themselves, "Why would our customers even want to subscribe to our newsletter?". Only after you know the reason, give them an opportunity.... then show them the reason!
Goal #3. Filter and segment leads.
Your communication works like a magnet. Vague and generic will attract vague and generic customers. Focused and built around specific values, will attract those who appreciate those values. And at the same time, it will reject those who aren’t a good fit.
At the very least, look at it from the perspective of saving time and making things easier for your sales team. Instead of beating their heads against the wall, they can work with better-suited clients immediately. That’s if the website works as it should!
Goal #4. Build an online presence and brand visibility.
I know this is a soft and hard-to-measure goal, but marketing isn't just ad campaign sprints; it's, first and foremost, a communication marathon. It takes a long time for the market to get used to your promises and values on a large scale to verify their worth.
This process WORKS, whether you want it to or not. You can only control it and consciously create it, or you’ll have to put yourself out to pasture, your choice.
Goal #5. Perform specific tasks within the customer acquisition and sales process.
For a successful sale, you’ll likely need to build trust and support in choosing the best product or at least deter fears and doubts. The website is a great tool to make these micro-task processes happen in an informed and often automated way.
Surely you know what is needed to drive sales for your business; content, types of communication and resources. Your customers will look for these things elsewhere if you don’t provide them. But will this "other route" help your sales?
Goal #6. Support your sales staff’s work as a platform to present your company or offer.
Are you trying to move your customers from offline to online? Or are your customers used to the first contact being in person? No problem, do that, and at the same time, prepare the site to be a tool that will support your salespeople.
This could be preparing an offer, presenting your company's unique values or product range, or showing the ordering process in a meeting with a customer. Hardly any company operates SOLELY online; more often than not, it operates in both channels. And these channels should support each other.
Goal #7. Streamline and expedite ongoing communications by being able to refer back to specific materials.
Let me give you an example. Our clients often ask about the first step in a project; It’s the completion of a rather challenging brief. To help clients see this step better and reassure them of the value it provides, we wrote an article about it.
Now, instead of answering the same question piecemeal, we provided an article that thoroughly answers this question. The idea is to have predetermined answers to your customers' questions. Having them on the site makes life easier for you and your customers.
Goal #8. Support the recruitment process with ready-made ads and application forms.
Did you know this goal will become increasingly important? New generations of employees don't want to work wherever. And because they have more and more choices, they are more likely to choose those organizations whose culture and values suit them.
Of course, a website can't replace the deficiencies in an organization's culture. However, if it is strong and you have something to brag about, your website must show this. In this way, the company's website doesn’t just become a magnet for customers but also for the most talented job candidates.
In addition, you can (though you don't have to) make the process easier by maintaining these forms directly on your site.
Goal #9. Test products, services, new target groups and new markets.
Online marketing has an advantage over offline since it’s much easier to test. You only need to create one new landing page to test virtually everything; from the target audience to pricing and sales.
This approach allows your business to gather quality information quickly and efficiently. This will allow you to make better decisions and have an unassailable advantage over your competitors.
Goal #10. Collect valuable customer and market information through targeted landing pages or A/B testing.
This has a similar goal to the one above but different in content. You don't have to actually launch new products or enter new markets to test.
Are your current customers getting the best possible experience from you? Have you tested this? Have you compared this with other options? A/B testing gives you invaluable knowledge about a customer’s behavior.
Goal #11. Make yourself independent of other tools, platforms and apps.
Facebook may ban you, but your website will always be yours. Many business cases confirm this golden rule that if you can own something, you better own it. Similar topics have befallen sellers on large marketplaces, where an "anonymous notification" handled by artificial intelligence has disabled all auctions or offers.
Of course, I'm not saying it's worth abandoning all social media and apps. I'm just saying that it's worth factoring the risk of these types of cases into your business model and marketing strategy by giving your company a secure communications space.
We’ve seen each of these 11 goals in action with our clients. We know they work and bring business benefits. All you have to do is remove the limitations of misconceptions and reach for what's within your grasp.
Start with the following five steps.
If you do your homework and open up a way for your company to achieve your goals in the digital space, the results will surprise you. This is where your customers really are. If you don't allow them to interact with you, your competitors will.
If that's still not enough and you don't know how to get your website to finally start doing its job - let us know by writing to us.
Start with 67% of your customers.
Why this percentage? Well, there is an unwritten rule of 3/67/30. It says that only 3% of customers are ready to buy now, and about 30% will never buy from you, so the most lucrative group is the remaining 67%.
These are the people who are JUST not ready to buy right now. They're not ready because they don't feel they need it, they don't trust you, or they don't know if it's the best solution for them.
They need some nurturing and information, they need SOMETHING from you. Find out what it is and give it to them through Content Marketing. If you have yet to have a company blog, You tube channel, podcast or any other form of content marketing before - get started.
Create and publish CONTENT that gives your audience VALUE and will make them perform ACTIONS consistent with where that audience currently lies.
Most companies fight like lions for that little sliver of 3%, and they ignore the other 67%.
I guarantee that this element alone will turn your site from a pretty model into something that will start growing your business.Create and publish CONTENT that gives your audience VALUE and will make them perform ACTIONS consistent with where that audience currently lies. Click To Tweet
Find out how to improve on your website to get more customers.