You could have the greatest website in the world with the highest SEO ranking, but if you sell physical products or services, and depend on people coming to see you face-to-face, you’re probably not making much of a living.
In a world that is so digitally focused, how do you get people to your store?
It’s all about creating a customer journey and guiding your new website visitors into your space. Surprisingly, a very small number of brick and mortar business website ask their visitors to do anything at all. Yet, a simple directive is often all it takes to move people to action.
1. Tell your visitors what you want them to do
When someone lands on your website, what do they see? Is there a clear guided path, or a jumble of information? Do you expect people to find your sales, contact, or sign up page or do you place it in front of them so they don’t have to waste time searching?
If you run a yoga studio, for example, your main goal is either to get people in the door to take classes or, the increasingly popular version, sign up for online classes. Is your class schedule and sign up information front and center, or buried three tabs deep?
This hair salon, for example, has “Book Now” above the fold, front and center for every new visitor to see.
Make your website as easy to navigate and overly clear as possible. Get rid of any extra clutter that doesn’t help sell you, your products, your services, or your brand.
Website audit question: What do you want your website visitors to do when they land on your home page?
2. First offer value
Successful selling has always been about building strong relationships. The general rule of thumb is to “give” 80% of the time and “ask” 20% of the time. Show people that you are a reliable source of information in your niche. Prove that you are in this business for the right reasons and that you are a valuable, approachable resource when they have questions. Your content marketing strategy might include a blog, a free class, a newsletter, or other free content that new visitors can digest before ever deciding to buy.
While selling is still one of the most feared tasks by small business owners, selling to warm leads is far easier than selling to cold ones. Give more than you think you should. Present yourself as a helpful guide and people will come to find you when they are ready to buy.
One easy way to successfully give value while selfishly collecting leads is through an opt-in form. Have an eBook, checklist, template, video, online class, or other items that are low cost to you, but have a high-perceived value with your customers. Offer this freebie on your website and watch as prospects give you their email address in exchange.
Place that opt-in on your home page, on the sidebar of your blog, and on all other high-traffic pages.
Here’s a great opt-in for a fun, short quiz about Face Yoga. It’s different, eye-catching, and engaging.
Website audit question: What free content are you giving away to build trust with your new prospects?
3. Incentivize their first visit
Not sure what to give away with your opt-in? If your goal is to get people into your store, studio, or office, then giving a coupon or free in-person gift is the way to go. Give something that requires face-to-face contact to redeem.
One of the best small business automated email marketing campaigns I’ve seen is from a coffee house near my home. Not only did I get a 50% off coupon for joining their email list, but I also get coupons for discounted bread around the holidays, free coffee on my birthday, and double punch perks on my “member card” each Tuesday.
They got me in the door with the first coupon. Then keep me with their impressive customer service.
Website audit question: What will entice your prospects into your physical space?
4. Once you have them, spoil them
Which just goes to show, once you have them, you need to spoil them. It costs 25x more to acquire a new customer than it does to incentivize an existing one. So why do so many of us spend more time looking for the new, when we have people who are perfectly willing to hand over their credit cards right in front of us?
Do you know what else the coffee house in my neighborhood does? They send me emails when I haven’t been there in “a while.” How do they know that I haven’t been there? They don’t – they just know that I haven’t used my credit card there in a while. There are days when I go and pay for my coffee with cash. But you know what, it doesn’t matter – I get free coupons to come back again!
Maybe you don’t spoil your customer with coupons, but maybe you hold VIP classes or sessions or you offer a “sneak peek at next season’s merchandise.”
Make them feel like you value their opinions and time and they’ll feel appreciated. Feeling appreciated, or as you belong to something, is one of the biggest reasons people stay loyal to a brand.
Website audit question: What can you do to over-deliver on customer service?
5. Give back
Show your customers that being part of your small business has a greater impact. Every time they purchase something from you, does a portion of your profits go toward a philanthropic organization? Do you support local charities or global missions? Don’t be afraid to tell the story of who you support and why.
We live in a society where companies who give back hold a greater amount of respect with their customers than companies who don’t. No matter how large or small you are, and no matter how large or small the organization that you support is, giving is giving. And that will help your bottom line.
For example, WeWood plants a tree for every wooden watch purchased.
And Box Lunch donates to organizations who work toward ending hunger in the US.
Website audit question: Can you tell your story in a way that makes people want to be a part of what you have?
In this digital world, forming personal relationships is more difficult than ever, and arguably, more important than ever. The good news is, the businesses that stick around are those who value the customer experience.
Continue to ask yourself:
- What do I want my customer to do next?
- How am I improving their life with my products/services?
- How can I maintain an authentic brand?
Continue to over-deliver information, kindness, and fun, you’ll find yourself in a place of abundance and wealth before you know it.