Creating an online offer that converts in seconds
12 Dec 2011
In this article we lead you through the process of creating and delivering a great offer on your website, with the goal of converting new leads and building your email database. The most important rule to follow is to keep it simple. Make the offer easy to understand, free of conditions and generous (ideally free!). Securing an email address and permission for future contact should always be the basis of any website offer.
Goal of the Offer
First determine the goal of your offer. Examples include:
Build your list of subscribers.
Deliver a lead or contact through the website to your staff for action.
Make an online sale immediately through the website.
Generally speaking, we have found that website offers that require a payment rarely have a high conversion rate. Trust online is built over time. We recommend that for most businesses, the goal should be to build the list of subscribers or get an enquiry, potentially leading to a sale in the future. It is unlikely that a first time visitor to your site is going to hand over their credit card or paypal details, unless they are shopping online for a low value product or gift.
Once the goal of the offer has been decided on, brainstorm on potential offers you could make to visitors. It is important to keep the offer simple, free of conditions and generous. Don't confuse the visitor with too many offers. The offer should be weighted in favour of the customer such that they can overcome any indecision or inertia to act (make the offer a no-brainer!) Here are some examples:
Book in a FREE consultation (phone, skype or in-person).
Book in a FREE test-drive or product demonstration.
Download a FREE e-book, voucher, or offer that can be redeemed in store.
Sign-up for a free educational event or newsletter.
Enter a rolling competition, where free products or samples are given away.
Sign-up to receive regular email updates on special offers, sales, educational information relevant to the industry.
Ask a question and get free advice within 24 hours.
Your offer needs to be generous, unique and interesting, as well as relevant to your industry.
Many offers initially proposed by our web clients are often a discount of some type. We have found that product discounts are usually ineffective as consumers are used to these types of offers and they simply aren't generous enough to inspire action. Two for one offers are better, but nothing beats FREE! Be generous to your visitors, and they will be generous with their permission for future contact from you.
Delivering the Offer
There are a huge number of ways to present a website offer. We suggest the following two methods.
Delivering the Offer - Method One
Present the offer via a call to action button on the right hand side of website content. Ideally the offer should appear on all pages of the website along side the core content. Clicking on the button delivers the visitor to a page that explains the offer and leads to sign-up via an online form. Here are some examples from an office furniture client that make the offer/s clear prior to click through.
Delivering the Offer - Method Two
Present the offer on the user's first visit to the website via a display panel that ghosts out the website proper (see the example below).
Some consider this approach intrusive, but is now widely used such that most users know they can click on the Close(X) to view the website without signing up. This approach needs to be taken carefully. It should not be implemented as a pop-up window!
Also, you don't want the offer appearing on every page as the visitor moves through your site. It should only appear on the landing page that the visitor arrives at the website on.
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