Successful small business owners really should have it all their own way. Never before has it been easier and more affordable to start your own business, provide amazing customers service to your customers, nor have you had such a wide range of marketing options available to you.
And yet for whatever the reasons, millions or small businesses out there commit innocent enough sins that cause their business long term damage.
Here are the 7 deadly web sins….
- Not creating a conversion strategy for your website.
- Not using emails to their full potential.
- Not offering worthwhile bonuses.
- Not sticking a great video on your website.
- Not getting around to blogging.
- Not using effective graphics on your sales page.
- Not getting the most out of testimonials and endorsements.
Sin #1: Not creating a conversion strategy for your website
To sell customers on the benefits of your product or service, the first thing you need is a good informational website. To get the most out of your online presence, a website should have a purpose… and that purpose if for it to convert people through one of many ways.
We suggest you look at doing the following on your website:
- Make it easy for visitors to buy.
Your site must be easy to navigate, or visitors will go to a competitor’s site. “Buy now” or “Add to shopping cart” buttons are hard to find on many websites.
F.W. Woolworth, who can best be described as the Sam Walton of his day, said: “I am the world’s worst salesman; therefore, I must make it easy for people to buy.”
Make sure your site is customer-friendly by asking friends to give it a test drive. It could be the most important feedback you ever get.
- Build your brand.
Your website is the best place to build your brand. Make sure your brand is visible: your company name, product and service names, product design and packaging, business logo, membership associations, or professional certification.
- Collect names and emails of visitors.
If at first you don’t succeed… try, try and try again. By collecting email addresses from your customers, you can then add them into an email marketing strategy which can hopefully turn them to customers down the line.
One great way to collect email address is to offer your customer’s a relevant lead bait;useful PDF guides, free trials, free resources or tools… just as long as it is relevant, useful and of high value to your customers.
In addition, you can create an email marketing strategy for your successful customer’s too, so you can upsell or cross sell them onto other products (but we’ll talk about that later).
Sin #2: Not using emails to their full potential
Email is the fastest and cheapest way to promote special offers. Auto responder-based free courses and newsletters are proven ways to convert prospects to buyers.
Now-a-days you can create a number of email marketing strategies which you can use to increase the number of customers and also increase the average order value from each of your customers.
Ideas for email marketing campaigns can include:
- Non-customer newsletter:
Send potential customers a regular newsletter, which encourages them to return to the website and purchase your product.
- Customer newsletter:
A series of newsletters which go out to customers and offer help and support in relation to their purchase. In addition, it can be used to offer up sells and cross sells that are related to what they have purchased.
Sin #3: Not offering worthwhile bonuses
Free introductory material is the fastest way to position your brand and familiarise customers with your products and services. Special reports, white papers, free MP3 downloads, or bonus gift with purchases are popular tools.
Remember though, whatever you offer MUST have a high value to the customer you are offering it too. If you’re selling a weight loss product from example, then anything that helps your customer with their fitness goals will go a long way to convincing them to buy.
Here are just a few ideas…
- Make a free or introductory trial offer at the top of your sales page:
You want to get the visitor to do something as quickly as possible. Research shows that your response rate will triple by adding a free evaluation offer to your sales page.
- Offer a free newsletter signup, or free special reports:
You must collect emails and follow up with helpful information that builds your brand. Just write about what you know.
- Offer free bonuses with certain products:
If you sell a product with multiple levels, then offering free and relevant goodies as part of the more expensive packages, can encourage people to purchase the more expensive options.
Let customers know you’re willing to go the extra mile to serve them. You wouldn’t be in the business you’re in if you weren’t passionate about it.
Sin #4: Not sticking a great video on your website.
You don’t need to be a professional broadcaster or IT expert to include video on your website. All you need is a website, a microphone, and a web cam.
Including video content that helps convert customers can create tremendous viral marketing opportunities. Customers and potential customers come to your website in search of helpful information, and video is fast becoming the most popular way to absorb this information.
For example, you can create videos that offer your audience some practical suggestions for applying their new knowledge to a real problem. When they find something on your site that adds value to their life, they will want to tell their friends about you in emails and through their own websites and blogs.
Sin #5 Not getting around to blogging
A blog helps to create a community of users. Blogging is one of the best ways to build long-term relationships with prospects and customers.
A blog makes it possible for you to connect with your entire community of customers and prospects as if you were talking to each other in person. Visitors feel that they belong to the online community that grows around your blog.
Blogging needs to be the core of your customer relations strategy. Here are four reasons why all small businesses should blog:
- Branding – A blog puts a human face on your business. By engaging visitors in online dialogues, blogs establish rapport and build relationships with visitors. Blogging helps you separate your product or service from the competition.
- Feedback – A blog is an ideal tool for gathering feedback from prospects and customers. Blogging creates the opportunity for instant feedback. A blog thread can tell you more about your customers’ desires and needs than all of your expensive and time-consuming marketing surveys.
- Word of mouth – Blogs create word of mouth by giving readers useful information and tips. When your blog helps visitors solve real problems, people will tell their friends about you. Every prospect who reads your blog can become a volunteer marketer for your Internet business.
- Search engine optimization—Content is the key to search engine ranking. And it’s easy to update the comments in a blog. Search engines detect the activity and give your site a higher ranking.
When customers feel connected to your online community, they return to your site and tell friends about it. Once you have a community of users who are excited about your product, you have the opportunity to create a niche market around them.
Sin #6: Not using effective graphics on your sales page
Line after line of unbroken text is hard to read on a computer screen. Graphic images break up long blocks of text into sections that are easier to read. Well-chosen graphics engage readers’ attention while giving their eyes a chance to rest.
Graphics must look great and say something at the same time. Keep these tips in mind when adding graphics to your web sales page.
Remember… the graphics you use must aid the sales process of your website. Images are a great way to help people convey meaning about your products quickly. If you feel an image is distracting people from it, get rid of it or change it.
Sin #7: Not getting the most out of testimonials and endorsements
Compared to what the customer has to say, your words aren’t as important as you think they are. Fellow customers words can be the golden ticket to convincing that you customer to buy that very day.
Be sure to add written and video testimonials to your website. It’s crucial to put in place a feedback loop for gathering information; in other words, once you sell a product to your customer, invite them to send you a testimonial
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of testimonials and endorsements:
- Seek out endorsers who are willing to promote your product or service to their customers. Email allows this to be done smoothly and with no upfront costs.
- Collaborate with other experts in your field. Identify people in your industry or business whose customers are perfect prospects for your product or service. Co-write a special report or co-sponsor an Internet show with other experts.
- Ask vendors and customers for referrals. One of your vendors may have customers that are ideal prospects for your business.
- Use Tell-A-Friend viral tools. Approach your customers with a Tell-A-Friend campaign to drive their contacts to buy your product.
When visitors feel they’ve benefited from using your website or product, they’ll be happy to spread the word to friends and co-workers. By encouraging “Tell-A-Friend” promotions and testimonials to come to your site, you’re effectively getting your customers to sell your product for you. How perfect is that?
Got any questions about today’s blog post? Or do you want to confess to your own web sins? Then sound off below and let us know!