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Website Essentials for Attracting More Sales

Education & Training with BuilderRadio.com

This week we speak with Brian Duvall – DuvallMedia.com

Your website and email.  Like it or not, you’re business can’t grow without them.  Does your website perform like you want to pull in prospects and convert them to sales?  Does it create the interest and excitement that gets buyers hungry and excited to talk to you in person?  And if they do, are you able to follow up like they expect?

All these are issues every company faces, large and small.  Brian Duvall, of Duvall Media, shares his top tips to make your website perform as an extension of your sales department.  Here are the highlights of our interview with Brian:

Tip 1: How’s Your Headline?
There are 3 things that your website must have to make money; 3 tips that everyone needs. The first one goes back 300 years but is still applicable because it is marketing focused. We’ve seen it in Newspapers all over the world for hundreds of years.

The first tip is an attention grabbing headline that speaks to the deepest desires or greatest frustrations of your ideal customers. As people walk by newspaper vendors they have to walk by and see that headline. They have to get the point in just a second or two. That’s the purpose of the headline, to draw you in and make you read the fine print or details that make up the rest of the story.

Headlines are not restrictive to just newspapers. I’m teaching people to use them on their websites as well because it is the sales pitch for your sales pitch. But it’s not just an attention grabbing headline. It has to speak to that deep desire or frustration of your ideal customer.

So you don’t necessarily want your headlines to be so generic. You’re not trying to appeal to everybody. You need to know who your ideal customer is, what motivates them and what aspect your business brings to them that will meet the desire or frustration. It needs to be powerful, not just a mild frustration. It needs to be something that really motivates them to action. It needs to speak to them on an emotional level.

Tip 2: A Compelling Offer 
We are all inundated with information every day. Nobody really wants to bother to subscribe to get another newsletter. Whatever you are going to be giving away to your customer needs to have real value. It needs to have a particular value, again, to your ideal customer; their desire, their frustration.

What I encourage marketing people to do online is to interview your existing customer base. What is it that they want? What is it that they wish they could find online?
A great thing to give away is information, because once you’ve created it and posted it online, there’s no more cost to you.  Posting a PDF report that they can download or a short video tutorial can help them understand how you can solve their problem or meet their deep desire.  At the same time it showcases you as an expert.

If you have relevant information that is of interest to your site visitors, you can ask them for their name and email address so you can deliver it to them and also so that you can continue to market to them.  For that there’s a simple, little tool that will help put your lead generation and sales follow up on autopilot.  It’s called an email auto-responder.

Tip 3: Us an Email Auto-Responder
When somebody wants to claim this compelling offer or package that you’ve put together and are going to give away, in order for them to claim that they need to enter their name and email address and then click the ‘subscribe’ button. That loads that information into a database. The auto-responder now sends them the information that they have requested.

Then, later, depending on how you set it up, it sends continuing information of an increasing value and constantly positions you as an expert and keeps you top of mind. In this way builders and realtors can continue to share tips and information. They can also follow up with the potential client. It gives you the chance to engage them in a conversation and really warm the lead up to be turned into an actual customer.

The auto-responder allows you to take your sales message and break it into short emails that become spread out over time. As the individual is moved along in the process they are constantly being reminded and thinking of you. You can use it to invite them in for additional information such as a tour or workshop.

Using the auto-responder takes away a lot of the problems that we have when going through this process over the phone. It takes away a lot of the fears of rejection and the negative stuff that we sometimes face as salespeople and allow the customer to virtually qualify themselves by their responses to our various offers.

Designing the Auto-Responder Sequence
What I like to do is set up a simple camcorder or microphone and record my best sales person making actual phone calls and lead follow-ups. Record them actually closing the deal. You want the timing, the words they use, their inflection and similar things. Then you take that recording and transcribe the message into short email clips that can then be loaded into this auto-responder.

The emails need to be short and informational, not a slick sales pitch. Then occasionally you follow up with a “by the way, I hope you’ve been enjoying this great information we’ve been sending you. Here’s a frequently asked question that a lot of people ask when they’re in this process.” You answer the question and then “by the way, you might be interested in this offer…” Then you present them with another sales offer. You can invite them to a model tour or tell them about a workshop – something to constantly move them toward closing the deal. It’s not high pressure at all. It becomes very informational and consultative in style and it takes a lot of the pressure off.

The two most popular auto-responder services for our market are Constant Contact and iContact. They’re all very similar. With these auto-responders you can see where the people are coming from, the analytics, how many emails were delivered, how many were clicked on and if any attachments were downloaded and opened. All of that is automatically tracked. You can log into your account online and see all of the information very easy and intuitive to find and navigate.

Split-Testing Headlines
An A-B split test is a simple form of a test where if you wrote a sales letter or landing page on your website and you wanted to test one headline compared to another, you could keep the layout and all the wording the same. The only thing you would change is the headlines to see which hot buttons or which emotions generate the greater response. Version 1 would be your A and version 2 would be your B which is where A-B split test comes from.

A great tool to help you do those tests is a free tool offered by Google. It’s called Google Website Optimizer. There’s a little snippet of code you can put on those pages and as visitors come your webpage, this tool will randomly give them version A or B. By doing that you can see which one is getting the best response and it allows you to constantly tweak or adjust to improve your conversion rate.

Designing Your Web Pages
Where you place information on a webpage has a lot to do with how your visitors respond. Jacob Nealson who is the world’s leading authority for testing website usability. You can subscribe to his free newsletter, Alert Box, at Useit.com. It’s packed full of information about how to do use things.

One thing he did was set up a research lab where they set up special monitors that would look at your pupils to see where you’re looking. He brought in all kinds of people to look at hundreds of websites. They collected the data and when they compiled it all they discovered that people expect to find important information in certain areas. It turns out that regardless of the web page design, the pattern people are looking in tends to look like the letter ‘F’. They scan the top, come down the left hand side and somewhere in the middle they scan the page again. Anything that’s not in those areas doesn’t get seen. So your most important content needs to be across the top and down the left hand side of your page.

The other thing that he discovered was that people don’t read detail. They’re looking for headlines, bold sub-heads and bullet points. Nealson said to think about your prospect like a caveman on the hunt. They’re looking for information, nuggets or clues on a trail. If they don’t see that quickly and easily then they will go to an easier to follow trail and they’ll leave the website. So you want to make these attention grabbing headlines and sub-heads as bold bullet points that are easy to read and that intrigue people enough to want to read the paragraph below that.

Also, put your attention grabbing offers up in the left hand corner of the page near where the company logo would be. It’s a hotspot and it’s where they’re eyes will hit first. Position the op-in form there and as they scan the top of the page they’ll follow the trail right to it.

Listen to the audio interview.

Doug Stucky
Stucky Design, Inc. - Wichita, KS

Again good informative post. Lots of depth and useable concepts.

Mar 23, 2011 01:47 PM