6 Tips to Capture Every Site Visitor
Editor's Note: After an extended hiatus, Retail Online Integration's original blogger, Jim Gilbert, is back to give his irreverent take on all things related to retail marketing. Welcome back, Jim!
Hi folks, I'm back. After a two-year hiatus, I'm re-energized and writing again. I've used my time wisely, doing a lot of consulting and, therefore, I have lots of insights that I'll impart to you over the next weeks and months.
One of the universal truths I see is a lack of understanding by many marketers, from newbie to experienced, of what their website is really for. I know, I know, marketers always say the right thing: It's about conversion. When I look at their website and ask them what their site conversion rate is, I hear them proudly state, "I convert 2 percent, look how good I'm doing!" (And of course some marketers don't even know what their site conversion rate is.)
Here's a better goal: The objective of building a website is to have everybody who visits it raise their virtual hand in the air and identify themselves. Once they identify themselves, you can build a relationship with them until they're ready to make a purchase. In essence, you want to leave no stone unturned when it comes to providing web visitors ways to identify themselves to you.
There are other conversion key performance indicators to track too. Do you track web to Facebook, Twitter and opt-in email conversion beyond sales conversion? Those statistics are just as valid, especially in a socially driven world.
With that goal in mind, the question I always ask marketers is, "well, what are you doing about the other 98 percent of your site visitors?"
Typical response: "We have email newsletter sign up and our social icons".
So let me ask you this.: Are you satisfied, really satisfied, with losing up to 98 percent of the people who visit your site?
If you answered "No!", here are a few tips for you:
- Consider adding a survey to your site. The more opportunities you give site visitors to connect with you, the more leads you'll drive. A simple survey asking visitors their thoughts about your site is another way to get people who visit to identify themselves. And the people who take the time to "help you out" turn out to be excellent (i.e., engaged) visitors. Once someone completes the survey, send them a confirmation message along with with a thank you, an email opt in (or opt them in during the survey) and, of course, a compelling offer — e.g., Thanks for taking our survey, as a gift here's an X percent discount coupon for you.
- Rethink your content. Just like in social media, content is king. Consider adding more testimonials and videos (your own and from users) designed to engage visitors. Now I'm not talking about your blog here. Move engaging content off your blog and onto other pages of your site. Make sure all of your content ends with a call to action!
- Location, location, location! Take a look at your site with fresh eyes. Are your social links prominent and above the fold? Are they big, small, even visible? Social isn't an afterthought. Your social pages aren't getting in the way of driving prospects to your sales funnel. These days, nobody buys without at least a cursory review of a company's Facebook page. Turn your social chicklets into icons, even banners. If you can't convert consumers when they visit your website, drive them to your social sites and get them excited and engaged.
- Live chat should be live. One of my pet peeves: Retailers that have "live" chat on their website that isn't actually live. If you have live chat, make sure someone is manning the ship. And when visitors do respond to chat requests, train your reps to make sure they get to your email opt-in page and social sites as part of the selling/info providing process. Live chat is a great customer acquisition and email opt-in tool too.
- Catalogs still drive business. Retailers have gotten away from mailing catalogs — which I believe is a mistake. If you sell more than a few products, you need a catalog, even if it's a simple one. First off, a catalog request page is the ultimate opt in. You get complete contact info (and you can even ask a few demographic questions if you're careful not to overload) and, more importantly, direct mail works! If you simply hate snail mail (you shouldn't), send them a PDF of your catalog or a flyer.
- Test retargeting. Don't know what retargeting is? Have you ever visited a website and for days after you see banner ads on sites you visit for the same website you visited previously? That's retargeting. OK, it's a little creepy to have ads follow you around, but it's a very effective marketing tactic for keeping your brand and offer alive after a site visit. You can even retarget your message to Facebook. Retargeting is definitely worth a test.
So there are six ideas for you. What do you do to capture the other 98 percent of web visitors? Post your comments below. It's good to be back, and look for more articles to come.
Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.