At Haden Interactive, we make websites introduce themselves: that is, we make sure they’re readily findable on search engines, and we make sure that they tell visitors within seconds what your company has to offer and how to get it.
For some companies, that’s enough. You’re selling guitars, your visitor is looking to buy a guitar, and that’s all there is to it. “If everything works right,” a focus group member told us, “we don’t need a relationship. It’s just a transaction.”
Sometimes it’s not just a transaction. Realtors can expect to be working alongside their customers for nine to eighteen months before the transaction goes through — and their clients may have been looking around online for months before they even chose their realtor. Medical professionals and business-to-business service providers expect to maintain relationships with clients for years. Software as a service requires a relationship, and wedding planners or event venues expect to get to know clients fairly well before completing a transaction.
In those cases, you can’t just say, “Here’s our stuff. Buy it!” You can hope you impress your visitors enough that they write you down someplace, or at least pin you on their Pinterest boards so they can find you later. You can increase your visibility to the point at which you can feel fairly sure that you’ll be on the top of your prospective client’s mind, or SERPs, when they’re ready to buy. You can make your blog and social media appealing enough that people develop that relationship with you by coming back to your website repeatedly for the good free stuff you’re offering and naturally choose you when they’re ready to pay for something.
Or you can make sure that your web site asks visitors to dance before proposing marriage.
That is, you can create a call to action that requires a lesser commitment before expecting people to make a larger commitment. Ask people to download a white paper (in exchange for their email information) before you ask them to fill out a lengthy registration form. Ask them to sign up for a giveaway or contest before they have to give you a credit card number. Give a free trial before you ask for a hefty annual fee.
To get the most out of your
dance invitation call to action, take these steps:
- Make sure you’re offering something of value. If your visitors have to give you their emails before downloading your white paper and then your white paper reads like an ad, they’ve paid (in personal info) for an ad. They’ll be angry, not grateful.
- Get contact information. Permission marketing is terrific — you get permission to send things to your visitors’ email addresses, and then you can reach out to them instead of waiting for them to come to you. Without capturing that data, you have no way to reach out.
- Follow up. Once you capture that email, make sure you reach out before your visitors forget how you got it. Wait a month, and they may not remember you.
Once your web visitors have had a dance with you, metaphorically speaking, you can offer them a cup of coffee. Metaphorically speaking. By the time they’ve enjoyed your coffee, they may be ready for that transaction.
Wonderful article Rebecca. Few people want to be just a transaction. Lunch tastes better when served with a smile. And not being rushed.
Yeah, I was kind of surprised when our focus group member said that (and others agreed), but they were talking about buying a commodity — an item that is the same everywhere you buy it.
Neither your company nor mine deals in commodities 🙂