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How the web is won: 4 ways to convert surfers into buyers

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in Career Management,Small Business Tax,Small Business Tax Deduction Strategies,Workplace Communication

Driving visitors to your company’s web site and coaxing them to provide contact information is a great way to generate sales leads. However, only 4% to 8% of people who click to a web site leave their personal information, according to Invesp Consulting, a conversion optimization firm.

To convert those web surfers into customers, consider these four surefire tips from FuelNet:

1. Spread your wings.
List your web site address in as many places as possible. That includes your e-mail signature and all social and business networking sites, says Andy Sernovitz, CEO of GasPedal Ventures, a Chicago marketing firm.

2. Don’t sell—inform.
For example, Robert Basso, owner of Advantage Payroll Service in New York, touts his offerings through e-newsletters and an online video program called Basso on Business (BassoOnBusiness.com), where he interviews business owners about what made them successful. By informing rather than hard-selling, Basso gets plenty of visitors—and potential clients—to his site.

3. Don’t get too nosy.
Have you ever started to fill out an online form for a free download only to be turned off because it asked for too much information? That’s called friction.

“You can increase the number of leads you receive from your web site by simplifying your contact forms,” says Khalid Saleh, president of Invesp Consulting. “Do not ask for more than a name, a phone number and an e-mail address.”

4. Respond quickly.
The odds of qualifying a lead decrease dramatically the longer you wait to follow up.

“Calls placed within the first five minutes of receiving a lead via the web have the highest likelihood of making contact,” says Mike Scher, president of consulting firm Frontline Selling. “The odds of contacting the lead drop 10-fold within 30 minutes of the web submission, and drop another 10 times by the time an hour has passed.”

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