ec Newsletter #8
Gudday from Gisborne,
This E-C Newsletter is the third of a three part series covering some of the basics every web site needs to know.
For the last two newsletters we covered "Web Usability" and "Search Engine Optimisation" - this Newsletter covers "Calls to Action" for a web site project
The motivation for this is that we lost two pitches a while ago to other design companies - because the marketing people in charge of the projects thought the other designers gave "prettier" layouts.
The marketing people in charge of the projects got caught up in "looks make the web project" not the "outcomes" of the project or reasons for having a web site.
As most of you hopefully know we are focused primarily on the outcomes from any project - just what do you want the project to achieve - rather than making something that looks pretty that doesn't work.
The other designers that we lost the work too don't know much about our "Back to the Basics" three topics - so I was thinking it's time we all had a refresher...!
Back to Basics Part 3 - Calls to Action
Calls to action on a web site are a multi faceted thing - it depends on a few different factors for each visitor to your web site.
You will have many visitors to the web project with seemingly conflicting information needs - and therefore expected outcomes.
You may have several "calls to action" for each different type of visitor.
"Calls to action" should also be like air conditioning - it's actually invisible to the visitor - until they find it's not working how they want - and then they leave your web site to find another.
This isn't fully about manipulation of your web site visitor - it's more about ensuring that we offer several different mechanisms for the web visitor to do something "next" - after reading the information they seek.
Giving thought to the "types" of visitors to your web site - elsewhere on the web called "the personas" of web visitors - lets you receive more returns from the web site.
It's easy to think of the "types" of visitors - make a big long list of all the various visitors to your web site - these could be:
- Existing customers
- Prospective customers
- Potential Staff
- Existing Staff (& their families and friends)
This makes a good start - but you could break down many of them further...
- "A" class customers (the ones you want more of that are raving fans already)
- Those customers that you like - but take up time
- Unhappy customers that will leave you shortly
- Busy customers that you rarely see that don't actually know much about your other products and services
- Happy customers that would recommend you if asked
- Customers looking to get better value from your products and services
Each of the above types could be offered different calls to action on your web site.
Here are some ideas...
A web site can add to the value statements about your brand. (A web site can also impact negatively - but that's another story…!)
When we talk of "values" that can be as simple as providing visible proof of why you charge more then a "low end" competitor or it could be to showcase other known brands that you stock, service or affiliate with.
Building a direct email database means that you many more opportunities to build a relationship with your customers (and potential customers)
Every business these days should be actively building their list - even if they don't have immediate plans to start creating newsletters.
(The E-C Toolset has a direct email database built in - let us know if your like more information about this feature for your web site…!)
Printing Information from the web site:
Some people love to "touch" information - or perhaps they need to collate a shortlist of providers for a board or management team to make a decision.
Making it easy to print information from your web site - either a single page or special "information sheets" ensures that your web site caters to the digital natives as well as those visitors that like "tree-ware".
(Most of our recent E-C web sites have a special "Print page" feature added - if your doesn't have this let us know and we can add it for you)
Bookmarking a Page:
Visitors may visit your page while "exploring" - looking for options before they actually make a "buying decision".
Having a "Bookmark this page" call to action just reinforces (and makes it easy) for visitors to actually come back to your site when they wish to buy.
Send to a friend:
Just as visitors may forget they can bookmark a page - they also need reminding that they could forward a page to a friend. You see this on media sites as well as on e-commerce sites but they also work well with newsletter archives or the search engine bait pages such as articles or white papers.
Your web site may not have the information the person is seeking or perhaps your web site is a portal for information seekers - in some cases the call to action could be to encourage a "click through" to another web site that has the answer.
This is also a good way to build up reciprocal links with affiliated web sites.
(The E-C Toolset records the click throughs to other web sites and you can view a report from the main menu)
Simply "act on" the information:
A visitor to your web site could be after something as simple as a street address to visit you - or a phone number to call you - do you provide this basic information...?
Only now (point 8 if I numbered them) do we start to talk about something actually in a typical selling process - this reflects that many web sites are great at building relationships with customers rather than actually selling something.
For the web site to generate great "Pre sales" interest make it easy for visitors to contact you with a sales enquiry - and ensure that the web site "sells" a sales enquiry rather than try and sell the complete product.
Good pre sales calls to action are about the sales enquiry being passed to a human to actually make the sale rather than the next call to action below.
If the web site has to actively "sell" a product then it needs to remove all the buying objections for the product as well as build trust that you can back up the claims made on the web site.
Many products actually can't be sold online for various reasons - e.g. the product is made to individual order or the buyer needs to provide more information before a pricing can be fixed for their needs.
Some e-commerce projects we see don't have all the extra information such as freight and other delivery details included and so don't make the sale.
Let us know if you'd us to work with you to maximise the calls to action on your web site.
See you next time...
End Feature Article
We've been working in the economic development space for many years and here's an overseas based web site that we really support - called Kiva - "Loans that Change Lives"
From Kiva's web site...
"Kiva's mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.
Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world."
Bonus "Bonus Offer"
We need new clients for the rest of this year…! Who do you know that needs a new web site that really works...?
If you refer a new client to us until the end of December we'll give you (and them) six months of free web hosting when we launch their new web site - just ensure that they let us know you referred them...
If you like these newsletters then please do forward it onto a friend...
Have you seen the E-C Help section lately...?
It is available at www.ectoolset.com/help/
We've also archived these newsletters at www.ectoolset.com/news/ That's it for now - please do let us know what you think of the newsletter - and of the e-c toolset and thanks for your business...!
Cheers and thanks again