Your Website’s Purpose
In my experience, most websites are inefficient at collecting leads, selling products and services. People waste a lot of money and time on website development. They forget the reason why they are building their website in the first place. If you want to start collecting email addresses before launch, a simple page template with a landing page will be fine. Simple does not mean unprofessional. No, no, no. Your website must ooze professionalism to inspire trust and credibility.
Your website must have a purpose. Is it to sell a membership, a product, a service, or to collect leads or to educate? It may be a combination of those things. Be sure that you are clear on what you want your website to achieve. Then define the outcome you would like your visitor to gain from visiting.
Collect Visitors’ Information
The facts are that sales can take time – only three per cent of people are ready to take action right away and the majority of those may not decide for a number of reasons. Therefore, asking for the sale up-front is not the best way, unless you have a very low-priced product or service. Instead, you need to work on building relationships with potential customers. People who know, like and trust you and your product are more likely to buy from you.
Your website should aim to collect all visitors’ information so you can get in contact with them again to nurture them on their path to become a valued customer.
How to Get Visitors To Return
Two great ways to do this is by email and by retargeting. I recommend you use a combination of the two.
Retargeting are the ads that appear to follow you around after you visit a company website. You can set your ads to appear on Facebook or sites on the Google Display Network, after they visit your website.
You will need advertising accounts and a Facebook Business Page and a Google Account. You will also need to get your web developer to install the code provided by Google and Facebook (Pixel) in your website’s header.
The other way to bring people back to your site is through email marketing. To send your target market emails, you need visitors to submit their email addresses. And to do this, you will need to entice them to enter their email addresses with a valuable offer.
You may have visited shopping websites that display pop-up offers that say “Save 10% Off Your Next Order”. Pop-up offers aim to bribe you to enter your email address so they can send you more promotional offers. These intelligent operators understand you will not be likely to buy upon your first site visit.
They need to get you back to their store to increase the chances that you buy from them.
If you don’t have an e-commerce store, you can offer visitors something else of value to entice them to submit their email address. For example, if you sell statistical software, you may provide a free report on “7 Simple Stats that Could Be Costing You Money”. An offer like this is relevant to your customer. Make the free report valuable – it is the perfect way to demonstrate that you and your company are experts in your chosen field, and you can solve their problem.
Once you collect a visitor’s email address, email marketing software can send the report and follow-up with an email campaign that entices them to become a valued client.
The Best Website Builders and Content Management Systems
I used a squeeze page before I launched my startup book which allowed me to collect email addresses of those who wanted notification of Startup and Scale’s release. When I later release the book, I will have a ready audience to promote this book to. You probably think this was a stroke of genius. Well, it is not my strategy. I copied the approach from Dropbox whose founders created a single web page with an introductory video and a place for visitors to add email to get notified of Dropbox’s release.
Generally speaking, you only need a single page website to collect email addresses. The page contains a headline and benefits of the offer along with a simple email field and submit button that allows visitors to submit their email address. Entrepreneurs call these pages “squeeze pages”.
Website and Content Management Systems (CMS)
If you want to make a simple website, you can find many different platform builders online and can use services like WordPress and Squarespace. These are great for blogging and writing articles that you can share on social media. However, to collect email addresses, it is good to have landing page software. Landing pages are pages focused on getting a direct result from advertising. They are short and punchy. Landing pages also inspire people to download that free report, ebook or watch that training video.
Many independent web developers can be hired to help you make a simple or highly customised website to suit your particular needs. However, it can be time-consuming and stressful. Your website is an important part of your company’s overall success. Make it professional, but don’t overdo it at the start.
There are so many website platforms available which have content management systems (CMS). The CMS is the administrative section your website where you update, edit and delete content such as web pages, photos, videos and blog posts.
There are several solutions that I have personally developed over the years, such as Joomla, Mambo and Drupal, to name a few. However, the CMS that remains the best solution in this area is WordPress. And it is open-source, meaning the source code is freely available to the public – so you can install it on your hosting server for free.
I created this with WordPress myself – I wasn’t joking when I said I had a background in tech. Why I say “Wordpress is the best”? Well, developers from around the world are working on the CMS giant to improve the platform constantly. There are also masses of developers who are creating plugins and themes that extend WordPress.
Some have criticized page load speeds of WordPress. In my opinion, if WordPress pages are loading slowly, it is because users do not configure it properly or the resources of the web host are below par. However, if you install a proper caching plugin such as W3 Total Cache and host your WordPress website with the right hosting company, then its page load speeds will be fine.