There is a constant struggle in marketing between trying to create the best possible product for your consumers, and using the appropriate marketing techniques to reach your customers with news of this product. No matter how good your product may be, if consumers aren’t aware of it, they won’t buy it. The field of web design is highly complex, and some users choose to simply display static information on their site for all to see. This approach is termed ‘flat’ web design, since it does not permit users to interact with the hosted content. Lead generating web design, the more modern trend in web development, gives users a way to feed back their details as a result of content they have viewed on the site. This type of site allows customers to voice their queries and concerns, as well as to feel as if they are getting a service tailored directly to them. Converting your website to a lead generating site is no small undertaking, and there are many traps and pitfalls to be avoided during the process. The ten top tips below will ensure that your transition to a lead generating website is a smooth one – keep on reading to find out how!
Form usability is key
From experience using various websites, you’ll likely appreciate that poorly designed forms are the bane of any customer. A glitch resulting in an inability to select the colour of dress you would like, failure to remove an obstructive calendar from the screen after a date has been selected, or clearing painstakingly entered data if a tiny formatting error is detected are all infuriating consequences of poorly designed forms, and can lose customers right at the point where lead generation looks most likely. Putting thorough thought into just what data necessitates a required field, and what types are optional, as well as thinking through the interface itself, will make using your site a much more pleasant experience for customers, and will encourage them to return time and again.
We all know the feeling of clicking onto a web page with high hopes of quality content, only to be assaulted by a barrage of pop-up advertisements and obnoxiously flashing banners demanding personal data. While these methods of lead generation are indeed eye-catching, and are sure to grab the attention of the customer, they are frequently met with annoyance; the window containing your content is swiftly closed as soon as it has been opened. This process not only wastes a valuable opportunity, but is also likely to associate your business with the feeling of intrusiveness and frustration. For this reason, it is wise to avoid all types of pop-up form or advertisement, and to keep loud graphics to a minimum.
Statistics are useful!
Advertisers often shy away from a vital part of the lead generation process: statistics. The numbers are important since they allow you an insight into which aspects of your online marketing strategy are generating the most sales. In this way, some helpful measurements and calculations will help you to focus attention on the techniques which result in the greatest number of data collection and sales for the least cost, and allow you to ditch the ones that have a disproportionate level of cost for very little return.
Pay attention to lead quality
The use of statistics feeds into the quality of leads. Lead quality refers to the number of lead ‘conversions’, i.e. the number of data submissions which result in actual sales. Calculating lead quality can often yield surprises about just which method of lead generation results in the most data collection and the highest number of sales, and so is an important factor when designing and upgrading your site.
Be wary of incessant e-mails
When a customer entrusts you with an e-mail address, the last thing they want is a barrage of e-mails about the latest offers and deals from your company. Even weekly newsletters are too frequent for most customers, so a fortnightly or monthly e-mail is most likely to get the balance right between getting your products out there, and the risk of unsubscription from your mailing list.
Allow immediate unsubscriptions
No matter the infrequency, some users will inevitably wish to unsubscribe from your e-mail service. It is of vital importance than a link to unsubscribe from a mailing list be included on every e-mail (except for those directly involved with a purchase), and that the unsubscription happen instantly once the link is clicked. While this may seem counter-productive, it will in fact guard against damage to your reputation in the eyes of the customer, and will prevent rumours of huge volumes of e-mail and permanent mailing lists from your company arising.
Invest in a well set up hosting service
Making realistic predictions of traffic through your site is a skill learned through experience, and is best performed initially as a trial and error approach. Setting up your website to host around 100 visitors a day is a good starting point, but finding a hosting service which supports website scaling is the best approach. The hosting service should have a minimum of down-time (remember, 99% up-time will still leave your site down for 3-4 days out of the year), and an appropriate data handling service to make sure information submitted to your site is able to reach you as quickly as possible.
Beware social media
Social media, for all its viral videos and instant internet hits, is woefully bad at lead generation. While it is true that a huge amount of advertising is possible through social media outlets, the restrictions on data collection from user profiles often means that users must submit data via a messaging service – a laborious task for all involved. For this reason, social media if often less used for the process of lead generation itself, though it does indeed have great power for product advertising.
Test the site for yourself
This point is particularly critical if you have decided to design the website yourself, but is still important to keep in mind even when an outside company has designed the site for you. No matter what the designers tell you, don’t be satisfied until all your friends and family have submitted their details through your site, and you have received the information intact through your chosen medium. All too frequently, important contacts are missed because of a fault in a website’s configuration, so testing the website as much as possible, and at regular intervals, is a prudent idea.
The tips above should provide you with all the information you need to set up the best possible lead generating website. By keeping these tips in mind, you will ensure that your customers are left completely satisfied with your site, while still allowing you to gather important information and keep your customers up to date with the latest products and services.