By John Eberhard

In my last article I introduced the concept of a conversion-focused website, with a conversion being defined as someone who responds to you, either by filling out a form or calling you. You could also call this a response-focused website. The overall idea is that you want to get a decent percentage of people visiting the site to respond.

So how do you do that? How do you get more people to respond on a website, rather than just wander around the site and then leave?

There are typically two types of conversions/responses that we are going for:

  1. One is a response that will lead fairly quickly to a sales process, or to an actual online sale.
  2. The other is a response where the person is giving you his email address, in exchange for some type of content that is available only when the person gives you his email.

Lead Response: The first type of response is a lead or an online sale. With companies that are doing lead generation, there are a couple of different forms this can take. For example, with a healthcare practice like a plastic surgeon or dentist, you are often going for a consultation, whether free or paid. With a contractor, you are often offering an inspection of their home, or a free estimate or something like that.

Notice that with these types of leads, the person knows he will be interacting with a live person in a meeting either on the phone or in person.

List Building: In this case we are building the email list, usually by offering some kind of content (sometimes called a “lead magnet”) where the person has to give you his email before he gets it. This is very important because an in-house email mailing list of people who have responded to you is a very valuable item in your marketing tool chest.

The key here is to come up with some type of offering that will be valuable enough to your target public, in order for them to give you their email address. This is not as easy as it used to be because most people have signed up for various things, then got inundated with email, then had to go through a big unsubscribe process with a bunch of companies. So they are more reluctant to sign up for things than they used to be.

You have to come up with something that is very appealing to your target public, usually that speaks directly to their “pain points,” i.e. their pains or problems, that buying your product or service would solve. This means you have to have a good idea of exactly who your target public is for your product or service, and what their pains or problems are. A helpful step here can be to sit down and work out a customer “avatar” for your target public – who they are, what they are like, where they hang out, what problems they have, etc. It is a common error in business to assume that your target public is “everyone,” and thus never work out how to target the right people who will buy your product or service.

Some possible types of lead magnets you could create to build your email list could include:

  1. A “white paper” or special report about the target public’s pain points and how these can be solved. These are usually 1,500-2,000 words long, are mocked up as a 2-4 page piece, and downloadable as a PDF.
  2. A webinar about the target public’s pain points and how these can be solved
  3. A video or series of videos that the person can only view if he gives you his email
  4. A quiz that the person takes and has to give you his email address to get the results
  5. A library of templates of use to the target public
  6. A demo version of software (if software is the final product being sold)
  7. A cheat sheet that shows solutions to something they are interested in
  8. A toolkit or resource list
  9. An assessment, test, or “grader”

A Response-Focused Site

Many sites today are not set up to be response-focused. And so they do not get many responses. Many business owners with this type of website may begin to feel that the site is worthless to them or that it is impossible to get responses from a website.

This is not true. It is totally possible to get a website to produce volume responses, both leads and names added to the email list. But to do this you have to have multiple offerings on the site for both lead generation and building the email list. And you have to have a good idea of who your target public is, and you have to craft offerings that will appeal to that target public.