Let me ask you a simple question:
What do you think is the main reason your website isn’t generating (enough) new leads and customers?
It could be a million different things, but from my personal experience, in most cases the symptoms are the same – you probably have, as I like to call it, a “classic” old school website system.
But wait, I have a brand new website. It can’t be outdated already!
It doesn’t matter if you have a brand new sexy and responsive website. The best design in the world could still be just a temporary cover up for an infected classic website.
Many moons ago, in my early online ages, my team and I launched an online fashion start-up that consisted of multiple websites: brand new news magazine, an online store and a private social network for a targeted niche.
It was beautiful!
At the time, everything was going great – tons of new community members, magazine visitors and even a few sales. Soon I had to hire couple of new team members just to be able to handle the whole project.
There was only one problem I wasn’t aware of – my entire business was based on “the classic website” concept meaning it wasn’t built to convert visitors into clients.
We had a growing audience, but at the same time we were leaving too much money on the table, and it had to back fire at some point.
And oh it did, but we’ll get back to my failure story a bit later (you’ll like it!)
The focus here is not about the visual layout of your website, whether is modern or not but what is under the hood of the website, the system that converts visitors into customers (often called website funnel).
I had to learn the hard way that the entire point of having a website is to easily reach your end goal – more leads, long term customers and profits!
In good ol’ days it was more then enough just to be present online, having informational content about your business and maybe a contact form. I’m sorry to break this to you, but those times are over, and your biggest online asset is just sitting dead in the water, making you frustrated and leaving your money on the table for somebody else to take it.
Classic website is mostly informational and it serves as your online business card, nothing more.
Visitors can find information about your business, services/products and contact information to learn more, but that is about all there is.
In most cases, they will read about you and your services and probably move on to the next browser tab, unconsciously looking for a better online experience.
How can you know if your website fits the “classic” profile?
Most website funnels consist of five keys elements. The easiest way to find out if you have a classic website, is to ask yourself five simple questions.
Question 1: Do you have any lead capturing mechanisms?
To simplify – you have to have targeted opt-in form where your visitors can leave their email address in exchange for a “lead magnet”. There are many different types of opt-in forms: sidebar forms, pop-up forms, content forms, exit pop-up forms.
Contact form on your ”contact us” page doesn’t count! Sorry, but the contact form is part of a classic website model.
Question 2: Do you offer lead magnets to your visitors?
Think of a lead magnet as a legal bribe for your visitors, something they find interesting enough to exchange their email address for, such as a solution to their topic related problem.
There are many different types of lead magnets, mostly based on the product or service you provide. It could be a simple ebook, trial access to your online service or a 20% off coupon for one of your physical products.
In my case, I create free online courses for my clients (check opt-in form example above), where they can easily learn about building profitable sales funnels online.
Question 3: Do you have an email follow up sequence in place?
There are many businesses that have both lead capturing mechanisms and lead magnets in place, but they just don’t do a good follow up on their leads. That lead will buy from someone else who gave them more attention and value right from the start.
I’ve seen this problem with so many businesses, heck I’ve experienced that problem myself and it was one of the main reasons why my online start-up failed.
So, please read this carefully because it is very important – email marketing should be implemented in every aspect of your online business strategy.
You need to know how and when to follow up with your leads, how to keep them interested and in the end how to convert them into buyers.
Question 4: Do your visitors know what exactly you offer and why should they get it?
Another very important subject is related to the presentation of your products and services. One of the common problems of classic websites – you outline your services in general, without specific benefits and features for a potential customer.
You must never forget the most important question people ask themselves when being presented with an offer:
What exactly am I getting, and is it enough to take out my wallet and give you my hard earned money?
Just stop and think about the fact that your visitor had probably gone through a lot of internet clutter to find you, and is really interested to know more about your products and services. Make sure to appeal to his darkest desires and make him want to buy it right now!
Good product presentation should be combination of appealing visual layout and clear copy writing.
Question 5: Do you create regular content for your audience?
You don’t have to be a ferocious blogger posting 2 articles per day. Just remember the part about providing value to your potential customers, and consider content creation as a part of a lead generation process.
Other benefit is that your are directly demonstrating knowledge and expertise giving readers one more reason to become your customers.
Case studies, how to guides and similar actionable content will be your secondary lead magnets so the more high quality content you have the bigger are chances to get more leads.
Have you answered NO to the any of the following:
- Do you have any lead capturing mechanisms?
- Do you offer lead magnets to your visitors?
- Do you have an email follow up sequence in place?
- Do your visitors know what exactly you offer and why should they get it?
- Do you create regular content for your audience?
Since we are being honest, let me tell you how many NO answers my early start-up had? Five out of five.
Technically we had one opt-in form and a weak lead magnet on one of our websites but nothing was connected or placed at the right positions.
Our email marketing efforts were minor, and we didn’t have any follow up campaigns. To make the situation even worse, when doing promotions there wouldn’t be any segmentation or smart targeting (This one was my most painful discovery)
Although we were creating a ton of content, most of it were only one time reads without any added value.
Lack of knowledge about proper website funnels and few other factors resulted in project termination after almost 3 years. It was tough, stressful and very intense experience but on the other hand the best “real life education” I could ever get.
So there you have it, I really hope that you have less NO’s than I did.
Although even one missing element is more than enough to keep your website from being profitable.
You should make sure to have a fully operation funnel website instead.
The WEBSITE FUNNEL is a carefully combined system meant to convert visitors into leads and hungry buyers at the lowest possible cost.
This is why every website element is placed and engineered to be a dynamic part of the entire customer generation process (sales funnel). You have lead capturing mechanisms followed by laser targeted bribes (lead magnets) and fully automated email system.
Your visitors (and future buyers) know what exactly is your offer and how to get it plus they can get valuable info even before buying those offers (blog content).
The perfect real world example would be a supermarket store:
“Have you ever wondered why the fresh fruit and vegetables are the first thing you see in store? Or why the bread and milk are so far away?
Supermarkets spend millions of dollars researching consumer behavior in order to develop tactics to compel you to buy more in their stores. A classic retailing trick is to put the milk and bread at the very back of the store (often at opposite ends) to encourage short-term shoppers to walk right through the shop and be tempted to buy other products along the way.
Last-minute temptations such as chocolates, magazines and cold drinks are all located here to entice bored, tired shoppers (and their children) while they wait to be served.” (source)
How many times did you buy an item that wasn’t on your shopping list? Don’t worry it is not your fault (at least not entirely). Supermarkets are clever and vicious examples of sales funnels that work no matter what.
How to fix a “broken funnel”?
It took me few years, a lot of $$$ and a failed start-up to learn about the importance of a proper sales funnel. You don’t have to go through the same agony to realize what I am writing about.
To save you time and money, I have put together a 15-Minute checklist called: Supercharge Your Website Funnel
Take the next 15 minutes and:
- Focus on the 5 key areas of a website funnel to breath new life into your existing website
- Discover your (potential) website’s weak spots in less than 15 minutes
- Fix the weak spots by yourself almost instantly (with NO tech overwhelm!)
- Become “overwhelm and frustration free” when it comes getting constant leads online
This is the exact check list I use when working with my private clients, and you can have it – for FREE!