Whether you are selling face to face, writing a direct mail letter, an email or a web page the same basic rules apply.
And one of the most basic rules is to "ask for the order".
In fact, if you've ever employed sales people who could not, or did not ask for the order, the chances are they had a very short career with your business.
Your Website - Big Mistake #1
For some reason most web pages, on most websites, make exactly that mistake. They conclude with... er, that's right, you guessed it... nothing at all.
Many websites and web pages fail to effectively ask for the order, and subsequently fail to generate the enquires and leads that they should.
In most cases, this can be quickly and easily resolved by adding a simple sentence to each page.
What they should at least conclude with is a simple sentence with a strong call to action.
After all, if you can persuade someone to read your page, you owe it to them to suggest the next step and you owe it to yourself, and your business, to ask for "the order", whether that is an enquiry, a newsletter signup, special report request or other appropriate action.
Almost every page on your website should end with a sentence like this one...
"To get started, to request a proposal or to find out more -please call us now on 01234 567890, enquire through the website or request our special buyers guide."
Do yourself and your business a big favour and check your website now.
One client who took this to heart after having this pointed out to him by his Business Builder Programme advisor (Peter Tilbury-Fowler), was Cameron Brookes of Niche Blinds.
When Cameron started working with us he already had a good website - but it lacked strong call to action.
To make the most of web traffic, Peter suggested the website should have stronger call to action points throughout the copy and suggested the addition of a response form to facilitate enquiries.
Within two weeks of adding the new copy and implementing the new form, Cameron sent us this email:
"Can you please help me mock up a letter of introduction for all the enquiry requests for brochures that are coming through for me!"
And just 2 weeks after that Peter received this email...
"The new template has "nailed it" as far as I'm concerned. My latest 3 brochures requested look to help me turn over £6000 in 3 sales, with a possible add-on of £4000 – not bad, eh!"
Simply suggesting the "next step" to website visitors has had a huge impact on the conversion rate of website visitors to enquiries because the site now asks for the order (enquiry).
Website Mistake #2
You may look at your website and say...
"But we have our phone number at the top of the page in the banner, we have a contact page accessible by the main navigation bar, and we even have some graphic banners down the side of each page offering our newsletter and special reports - surely our site has strong call to action".
That may be true.
It may also be true the visitors are using these call to action tools on your site (by the way, I'm not saying don't have these on your website, they are very effective and every site should have them).
Many website visitors suffer from "banner blindness".
They come to your site, and specifically the web page in question looking for information.
Their eye falls immediately to the beginning of the information and starts scanning at that point - this is normally the beginning of the copy on your page.
If (and only if) the copy is relevant, and compelling, they will then read on and many people will blank out the surrounding graphics and banners - after all that is just the marketing "bumpf" and they want information.
If you don't have a call to action sentence in your information (the copy) then you have effectively failed to ask for the order and "banner blindness" reduces the effect of your other call to action methods.
Your call to action sentence needs to be presented to vistors and readers where they have focussed their attention - within the copy.
The beauty of the web is that you can test this.
Add a call to action sentence to selected pages, and use your Google Analytics and Google Conversion Tracking tools to measure the difference over a few weeks.
The chances are, that like Cameron from Niche Blinds, you too will get more enquiries, sign ups and conversions from your website.
We have practical, expert help available for businesses of all sizes. Contact us online now or call us on 01536 747 310 for more information.
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To read more articles related to this go to the Online Marketing section of the Academy.