SEM managers face a daunting challenge: marrying online and offline marketing initiatives. I've worked with numerous companies that utilize PPC to initiate a conversation with a lead/customer and then close the sale offline via a sales call. Over time, I've learned a few techniques that help companies boost online conversion rates while enhancing their offline close ratios.
Awesome Content that Motivates
Your content should motivate a visitor to take the desired action. What content will your core audience find irresistible?
Contact Form that Collects the Appropriate Information
As a general rule, the lead generation form on your landing page should be as short as possible. What is the appropriate contact form length? Honestly, I don't know. It depends on your business. However, think about it this way: what information will aid a salesperson the most when they follow-up at a later time?
Your contact form should gather enough information for a successful follow up call, but the form shouldn't ask unnecessary questions – or questions that are inappropriate for this visitor's station in the conversion process.
A great way to determine the appropriate questions for the contact is to talk with your sales team. Find out what they would like to know before getting a prospective customer on the phone.
Conversion Confirmation Page that Sets Proper Expectations
Someone comes to your website/landing page. You effectively influence that visitor to complete your contact form. This looks like success – but you aren't done! The conversation with your prospect is just getting started! You need to utilize the conversion confirmation page to set the proper expectations of the next step of the conversion process.
The confirmation page should provide additional supporting content. Go ahead and include information to validate your prospect's decision to interact with you. This would be a great place to provide whitepapers, case studies, client testimonials, or any industry accreditations.
Remember that the point of conversion, when someone has made a decision to possibly purchase from you, is filled with hope and excitement. Go ahead and fuel that excitement!
Follow-Up Email that Continues the Conversation
Another great way to set proper expectations is a follow-up email after someone completes your lead form. Many companies utilize this strategy but they do so with such lackluster effort, and they probably generate mediocre results.
Make sure this follow-up email is parallel to the tone of your website. Make it memorable. Let the prospect know when they will receive a follow up. Don't forget to provide additional supportive content. Include links to case studies and other sales/supportive content on your website.
Call Script that Bridges the Communication Gap
Once you've generated a lead and followed up appropriately and thoroughly, then you need to close the sale. Make sure that your sales team knows what content is displayed on the website and the content provided during each step before actually getting on the phone. Your sales team member will have a fuller understanding of the sales process which will help them enhance their follow-through.
Pull It All Together
You may be doing all of these for your lead generation efforts or perhaps none of them. Even if none of these tactics fit well for your business, that's OK – but hopefully this article got you thinking about your conversion funnel and how you might be able to improve your sales process.
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!