In the Digital Marketing space we are often asked what is the best way to market a product. We can come up with many different ways: social media, pay-per-click, SEO, affiliate programs and more. But regardless of which digital marketing vehicle is chosen, what often happens is the sales process breaks down because you haven’t clearly identified what you want the prospect to do when they visit your website. What you really need is Sales Optimization not bigger funnel.
Want to make my eyes roll? Say “just send them to our home page.” That’s a common and, in my opinion, lame goal. With any digital or traditional marketing effort you really have to create a defined sales funnel. It seems simple and obvious but in fact, it is this step that is often overlooked. Even if you are doing traditional marketing like outdoor, radio, TV or publication advertising, people are looking still you up on the web. It is critical that you take maximize every visit you get to your digital space.
The first step in your sales optimization effort is your website and the flow. Strip away all the pictures, videos, and graphics and create a map of what you want prospect to do. Literally, make a flow chart. Think like a marketer, not a programmer. Put yourself in your prospect’s frame of reference. Create the funnel or map in terms of what your customers and prospects will want to do. Do not start with the navigation and all the links you “must” have. Think like your prospect and think like a sales person. The navigation, links and images should all be in support of that sales funnel.
When all the fluff is stripped away and all you have are links and content is there a clear path created for what you want the prospect to do? If the answer is yes then start creating event tagging and goal funnels using your web analytics. Test your theory over a period of time; the results will most likely surprise you. Typically; however, the surprise comes when you start the funnel process and realize it’s a maze with the exit being a bounce or browser close.
When creating specific advertising, list what you want a prospect to do when they search for you and look at your website. If it’s a special offer or a pay-per-click ad, have a landing page that is specific to the advertising and clear path of what you want them to do. Always setup events and funnels with your analytics software so you can develop an ROI model and really show how the marketing dollars are being spent.
Take the time to regularly review your website through the eyes of a prospect. Look at your analytics beyond page views and traffic. Dig a little deeper. Develop a real reporting model so you can learn how customers move and then make the appropriate modifications. After all, isn’t it about making sales and optimizing your efforts to that end?