You Lost Me There, Part 2
In part 2 of this series, I'll continue to recap a presentation I gave a few weeks ago to the Florida Direct Marketing Association titled “The Second Half: 50 Tips, Tricks and Tactics to Make You a Direct Marketing Superstar.” It's my goal to continue to serve up tips so you too can be a superstar at driving more ROI for your company. (For part one, click here.)
This week, let's look at the many ways you can lose prospects who visit your Web site without even knowing who they are. This phantom demand can be captured and added to your contact strategy, and these leads can be nurtured until they're ready to buy. To capture them and begin a sales dialogue, however, you must get them to identify themselves, right?
So without further preamble (or pre-mumble as a former colleague of mine used to say), here are some more tips for you:
- Catalog requests — say it loud; say it proud. Believe it or not, people still love to shop via catalog. Some people, myself included, still prefer the tactile feel of leafing through a catalog. And here's a bonus for you: Catalog/multiple channel buyers spend more money per channel. In other words, the more channels they spend time in, the more engaged they are from an emotional perspective in your products and business. This yields buyers who in most cases will spend more per order and over their lifetimes. That said, why is your catalog request link not more prominently displayed? Make it big, and make it stand out so it’s easy to find.
- Newsletters, special offers and other sign-up opportunities (yes, but something crucial is often missing here). This is a must-have on your Web site, and most of you already do it. BUT when I sign up to receive a newsletter, that’s when the inquiry conversion can start. Most of the time I get this boring, generic “thanks for signing up” e-mail confirmation — if I get anything at all. But more often than not, I get nothing — no thanks at all, which is totally shameful. Confirmation pages — better yet, confirmation e-mails — are the perfect place for special offers, coupons and forward-to-a-friend links. They're also a great opportunity to call out specific products that you want to promote. And don’t forget to add a few testimonials. (I’ll discuss more about testimonials later in this series).
- Serve up a whitepaper or other info. While not normally applicable to consumer business, whitepapers in B-to-B are a powerful tool for building credibility. If you're a B-to-B seller, prominently offer free whitepapers on your site. Give customers value in return for their permission to continue the sales dialogue with you.
For consumer-based merchants, offer things like style guides or something else relevant to your prospects in order to have them pony up their names for future marketing efforts.
The goal is to get all the people who visit your Web site to raise their virtual hands in the air and allow you to continue to market to them until they buy.
Check back next week for part three of this series, when I’ll examine additional ways multiple channel companies can stop the Web-bleed and capture more prospects.
Have a comment? Want to add something? Post it below. Don’t be shy.
Jim Gilbert is president of Gilbert Direct Marketing Inc., a full-service catalog, direct marketing and social media agency. His LinkedIn profile can be viewed at www.linkedin.com/in/jimwgilbert. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gilbertdirect or read his blog at gilbertdirectmarketing.wordpress.com/.
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.