Direct Response – Online Marketing – Website Tips
Most businesses have some sort of web presence these days. Everyone from mom’s making crafts to magicians who do kids’ parties have a website. It doesn’t really matter how big your business is; if you are selling something then you should be using th
e internet to connect to your customer base.
But even if you have a sweet site and get a lot of regular traffic to go with tons of page views, you still need to ask yourself a question regularly. Is my site creating more leads? Leads usually equal money and money keeps your business in business.
Direct Response is a specific type of marketing that has the goal of an instant response from the customer base or consumers. Ideally you have a better feel for what works and doesn’t work based on the response. Since it takes place between the customer and owner it also serves as a connection for each customer to the business. Often people appreciate it when they know their feedback is being given to someone who can then make decisions that directly affect them.
One of the most power aspects of the internet is the ability for people to get in direct contact with small businesses. So what is your site doing for you? If the answer is, “Just looking pretty,” then you have a problem and are missing out.
Let’s look at some basic Direct Response options:
- Do you have a lot of Contact Us links and ways to direct customers to ask questions, report problems and concerns, or inquire about services?
- Do you use a message board or thread link to allow people to open a dialogue with the business and other customers?
- Is there a spot to sign up for or opt-into a mailing list or regular newsletter?
- Do you have a special spot where people can sign up for specials or coupon type deals?
- Do you have a Facebook page linked to your webpage to allow people to Like you and add comments thus spreading you about their social network?
Obviously not every business will have a need for all of these options, but you should have at least something. One great reason is to ensure you have an active email list for customers that you can then incorporate into a marketing plan. Another reason is so that other businesses or even affiliates have a simple way to contact you in the case of partnering. Many people prefer the simplicity of a quick email rather than using the phone.
Tips about Direct Response
- Keep at it. This is a part of your business on the internet and should be regularly reviewed to ensure you are getting new leads or customers. Just like the freshness of your website, direct response should be looked at quarterly or even monthly.
- Respond to everyone personally. Even if your business is huge make sure someone is responsible for getting back to a customer or potential customer. People appreciate a polite response.
- Incorporate social media as part of your response. Sites such as Yelp or Facebook can be huge tools for a business if used properly. You want to know what your customers are thinking (good or bad) so you can make informed decisions for a more profitable business.
- Ask a few friends to look over your site for honest feedback about it. Maybe you and the web designer think everything is simple and looks great but the average customer has a problem with the interface or is confused. Not everyone has the same web savvy as you do.