February has arrived as have the inevitable (and somewhat predictable) chocolates, roses and those cuddly teddy bears holding love hearts are filling the shelves in the shops.
And this year there’s an added twist during this month of looooove. 2016 is a Leap Year, and tradition has it that on February 29th it’s us woman who get down on one knee and propose to our man.
But would you propose on your first date?
Chances are the answer is no.
In fact on my first date with my now husband, the last thing I was thinking about was racing to the bank to apply for a mortgage, walking down the aisle and… kids! Although as it turned out, over time this is exactly what did happen (and in that order).
Think back to your first date. Probably at the cinema, a local restaurant or even down the pub (an upmarket one of course!). In between the awkward silences you got to know each other, talked about your interests and the things you had in common.
All went well and you agreed to meet for a second date, where you got to know each other further and started to like each other and after further dates, before you knew it you start to trust each other.
Without realising it you’ve run through a classic Know, Like, Trust marketing campaign!
So, if you wouldn’t ask someone to marry you on the first date, why do so many business owners ask their website visitors to effectively “marry them” on their first visit to their website?
Customers won’t buy from you unless they have a relationship with you first. They need go on that “first date”, then the second, then the third etc. They need to know, like and trust you before they’ll buy from you.
When Glen and I do our free website conversion critiques on our stand at the EC National Events, one of the things we look at is, does your website start the relationship process? Most will aim their website at the end sale.
Let me give you an example.
Take a car dealership website. The main aim for a car dealership’s website should be getting visitors to book a test drive. That’s it. Nothing else. If their website talks about the end sale, buying the car, it won’t be “super-successful”.
Would you buy a car before test driving it?
The ‘R’ in C-O-N-V-E-R-S-I-O-N stands for relationship.
How on earth do you start a relationship on your website? Actually, I’ve already half answered that with my date analogy.
First of all visitors to your website need to get to know you. Tell them clearly what you actually do and how it solves their problem in your main headline (notice I’ve purposely called it a headline and not a title).
Please, please, please do not start your website by saying something like “Welcome to…” or use your company slogan, which usually speaking doesn’t really explain very much at all.
Think of your website as a front page of a newspaper, use the headline to grab your visitor’s attention and encourage them to read further.
Grab a copy of November 2015’s Circular (or head on over to The Vault if you don’t have a copy to hand) and have a read of Nigel’s lead article “To Be or Not To Be” which is about not being shy, retiring and hidden in the background.
We often find that too many people hide behind their website.
Visitors need to like you if they’re going to buy. Utilise tools like video alongside photos of you and your team (and lots of them), your premises, products, action shots of you doing what you do etc.
To test this do a ‘competitors logo test’ – if you were to put your competitors logo onto your own website, would it look like your competitors website? If yes, then your website isn’t personal enough.
And finally there’s trust so include customer reviews/ testimonials (used throughout site not on a dedicated page), guarantees, awards and accreditations and for online shops clearly display your delivery times, returns policy and credit card logos.
Trust is something we all have to work hard to earn, it’s not a given just because they clicked onto your website.
Asking for that first date
Now your website visitor knows, likes and trusts you, how do you pluck up the courage to ask them on that first date?
Have opt-in forms dotted and repeated all around your website. The perfect opt-in is your next sales step (book a test drive for the car dealership) as it feels natural for the visitor to do and for you is really easy to then follow up on. Or maybe a whitepaper like 7 top tips that’s linked to your offering (makes you the expert), cost calculators or quotation requests.
Secondly make sure you have a crystal clear call-toaction telling your visitors exactly what it is you want them to do next including a telephone number (a tracking number of course!). Did you know 64% of people prefer to contact a business offline after visiting a website?
Once you have that first date in the bag dim the lights, light the candles, pop on the Barry White CD and who knows where it may take you!