Janette Speyer, Web Success Team
Your website is the heart of your online marketing business. It’s the center of all your marketing efforts. How do you get visitors to stay and take action? Here are twelve proven direct response techniques that will increase visitor viewing time and get more productivity from a website:
1. The First Step — It is never too late to implement effective direct response web marketing techniques. As the old Chinese proverb says, “The longest journey begins with the first step.” The beauty of web marketing is that it is a fluid environment. See what’s working for your site, revise it, hone it and improve it. Be clear, talk straight, test and track.
2. First Impression — The look and feel of a landing page or homepage should be grab attention and have content that is significant. Imagine leafing through a newspaper and you read an attractive ad or headline catches you eye. You want the same for your homepage reaction for your homepage.
3. Seek the Balance — The landing page should look designed, but not over designed. There has to be substance, not just beauty marks. For example, flash or music elements can enhance but also annoy. Remember most viewers “window-web shop”, they are looking for something. The question is whether or not it is your something!
4. It Speaks! — “Silence is not always golden.” A website with an video message that is carefully crafted will give your site added personality, engage the viewer, and give them more information in that precious 5 seconds of decision time. They can even walk away from the screen and still listen to your site!
5. Fresh Is Good — “Today’s news is tomorrow’s fish wrap.” Make certain your content is relevant, concise and crisp. Use sharp headlines, sprinkle in informative sub-headlines that orient the reader and lead them into the text, and use a dash of graphics or photos to reinforce the image.
6. Break the Mold — Celebrate your differences. What is it that makes you unique from the competition? Your viewers should know up front they came to the right place. Give them a feeling they haven’t experienced before, an out-of-the-box solution. But don’t get too far from the core.
7. Something for Nothing — You should offer a viewer a gift for just visiting your site (such as a downloadable report, free offer, etc.). While you’re giving it away, capture their name and email for further marketing outreach. It’s called an Opt-In. I always like downloadable PDFs branded with the contact information. That way your brand is on their desktop and they can refer to the article or content, revisit your site, or contact you. You remain a top-of-mind presence on their computer.
8. It’s Not about YOU! — Well it ultimately is, but your viewer wants to see “what’s in it for them?” So it is important to address their needs and concerns and be the solution to their problem. If you make them feel they can relate to your site, you are half way to a sale or a call.
9. Going Somewhere? — Remember, the idea is to engage the viewer and keep them navigating through your site. The navigation bar heading should be logical and easy to maneuver. It can also be creative, not just the simple: who, what, where and when. For example, instead of a special offer in the body, put a navigation that says “Limited Time Offer.”
10. Two Way Traffic — Communication is a two-way street. Give the viewer ample opportunity to communicate with you. Not just “Contact Us”. You can develop an online survey. You capture their name and email in the process and can email a response to their question or a result of their survey. This also helps you build your email list and develop a relationship with that list.
11. Your Alter Ego — The use of testimonials is important for credibility. Call them “rave reviews”. It gives the viewer some recognition that people are satisfied with your products and services. Use of audio to accompany the written testimonials is also a novel way to present them.
12. Be Social — Your website is your window to the world so be social. Have the social media icons like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube placed in a prominent place on your home page and throughout your site. Give your visitor several channels to get to know you, your company and its products and services. It’s all about the engagement with your visitor and keeping them in your community.
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