This is the third of a five-part series on the components of the online marketing funnel.
The first two parts of this series talked about attracting prospects to your Web site and engaging them once you’ve gotten them there. Now that you have their attention, you need to covert them and get them to make the leap from anonymous Web site visitor to a known, named prospect.
While your ultimate goal is a completed application, in online marketing we’ll define conversion as an action taken by the prospect that results in you capturing their name and contact information. This may happen in a number of ways, from having them fill out a contact form, to picking up the phone to call you, to submitting a quote request. While this conversion isn’t the end goal (a sale is), successfully gathering contact information allows you to use all of the sales tools at your disposal.
Converting Web site visitors
Several key ways to convert your Web site visitors:
- Present a clear call to action – Want your visitors to do something? Make it stand out so they don’t miss it. Use color, size, and other visual design elements to make your call to action hard to miss.
- Tell your visitors what to do next – Give your visitors clear instructions on how to proceed. At the end of every page, present them with a clear next step, whether it’s reading another page on your site, filling out a form, or calling you.
- Put your contact information on every page – Make it easy for your visitors to contact you by putting your phone number and address on every page of your site (especially the home page).
- Give your visitors multiple ways to convert – Some visitors want to call. Others want to e-mail. Some have questions. Others know exactly what they want and are looking for a quote. Make sure you address the needs of different visitors with different calls to action.
- Use online quoting with caution! – While the dream of having customers come to your site, run a quote, and apply for a policy without ever talking to you sounds nice, it rarely happens in reality. Most often, online quoting provides your customer with an excuse to keep clicking without ever giving you their contact information.
Conversion is straightforward to measure – in the simplest form, you count how many named contacts you gathered because of your online marketing this month. Still, there are some tricks to tracking it accurately:
- Phone Calls – Don’t forget to track the number of calls that come in from your Web site. Forward a dedicated Web number to your main number to keep track of Web-generated calls.
- Conversion Rate – Track the percent of site visitors that convert on an ongoing basis. By tracking the percent as well as the raw number, you see how changes in your site affect conversion, even while your attraction and engagement efforts affect site traffic.
- A/B Testing – Don’t make assumptions! Try testing different calls to action, design, copy, and everything else on your site to see if it really brings an improvement to your conversion. You can do this through A/B testing, where you compare a change with the previous page.
A small improvement in conversion can have a big impact on your success with your online marketing. Make it a habit to continually measure, refine, and test your site.