05 Dec 2014

How to Convert Online Leads Into Sales

Getting potential customers to visit your website from the search results page is one thing, but converting those visitors into paying customers is quite another. 79 percent of online leads never turn into sales. This does not have to be the case for your small business if you follow these tips to convert leads into sales.

A recent study from The Baymard Institute found that 68 percent of online shopping carts are abandoned, meaning that over two-thirds of online transactions are canceled at the point of sale. This statistic is disturbing, particularly to small businesses who rely on their website for sales. However, small businesses that rethink their internet marketing strategy and focus on web conversions will have an advantage over their competition. The internet is both a blessing and a curse for companies— potential customers are able to find your business quickly and easily online, but they are also able to find your competitors and comparison shop without ever having to leave their homes. This means that your website must stand out and your customer service and selling techniques start from the search results page and carry through to the sale. Implement these tactics to boost your website conversions and turn more leads into valuable customers.

Make Web Content that Converts

One possible problem in your website design may originate from old or outdated web pages. If your pages are not aesthetically pleasing and containing relevant information to sync with your paid and organic search goals, you will not have a lot of luck attracting and retaining qualified leads. Think of every page of your website as a landing page – they are all meant to entice web visitors to perform a desired action, such as filling out a contact form or subscribing to your emails. Additionally, each page needs a clear call-to-action that makes the conversion process simple and accessible. Good CTAs typically are of a larger font, contrasting color and obvious positioning to stand out and make it easy for the website visitors to use. Make the most of each page by establishing its purpose and narrowing its focus to convert.

Respond Promptly

When a lead fills out a contact form, it is your duty to get back to them as soon as possible if you wish to close the sale. Every minute that it takes for you to respond via phone or email, the staler your lead becomes. A study by researchers at Sungkyunkwan University found: Companies that try to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving queries are nearly 7 times more likely to have meaningful conversations with key decision makers as firms that try to contact prospects even an hour after receiving the inquiry. Is your company one of the 37 percent following up on leads in a timely manner, or are you, like 63 percent of other businesses, losing out on sales because of a slow response?

Provide Social Authority

When you ask a potential lead to purchase your products or services, you are asking them to take a risk in trusting you. They may not know your website or your business, and better-known online retailers have an advantage because customers know and trust them. To level the playing field, you need to use social proof, or the positive influence created when a person finds out that others are doing something, on your landing page. When someone lands on your page, they won't know whether your offer is any good, but you can sway them using testimonials from customers, case studies, positive Yelp and Google reviews, embedded tweets, social sharing counts, trust seals and relevant certifications, a privacy policy, web security and more. If your visitors see that others who have used your product are speaking positively about it, they are more likely to think positively about it as well, and may fill out the form and convert to a lead.

Use Tools to Close the Sale

It can be difficult to organize and follow up with every lead your website earns. Most small businesses only have one or two people delegated to finding and retaining leads, and for entrepreneurs, it is nearly impossible to answer every email or phone call in a timely fashion. For these businesses, your website can be an invaluable tool for you and your leads.

Email Auto Response: A few months ago, we talked about how email response can improve your ability to close leads:

When a website visitor completes your contact form, they should get a professional and informative email that confirms their submission and reassures them that you will answer their email as soon as possible. In turn, you should respond to the email within one hour (during business hours), though the longer you wait before answering it, the colder your lead becomes. An easy way to make sure you get your leads quickly is to set up your email to send an alert to your phone whenever you receive a lead. This allows you to see leads even if you are away from your computer. By making sure that the lead feels like you are responsive, you will have a much easier time completing the sale.

Email marketing is one of the best ways to improve your sales. A recent study revealed that 44 percent of email recipients surveyed made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email. For every $1 spent, $44.25 is the average return on email marketing investment, and roughly half of your email list will be actively opening or clicking on your emails. We offer a number of email marketing services, from auto-responders, to DIY email management and full-service email management.

Live Chat: In our digital world, consumers are looking for immediate answers online rather than calling businesses or waiting for an email response before making their purchasing decision. A study called “Making Proactive Chat Work” that was conducted by Forrester Research found the following:

Many online consumers want help from a live person while they are shopping online; in fact, 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a Web site can offer.

By utilizing a live chat service, you can immediately answer a customer's questions and put them in a position of knowledge so they can decide to make the purchase. Not only does this secure your holding on that lead, it provides a personal experience to that new contact as well. If you do not have the time to host your own live chat, we can do that for you.

Use a CRM (customer relationship management) System: A CRM System manages your interactions with clients, allowing you to easily organize, automate and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support. Think of it like a project management system or a personal assistant. One of the most popular CRM systems available is Salesforce. As the most effective platform for managing sales, marketing and customer service, Salesforce is an effective way to boost workplace productivity and improve customer service satisfaction. For this reason, Salesforce is often the CRM platform of choice for most businesses. Right now, our friends at MST Solutions are offering a free 60 minute consultation on their Salesforce implementation consulting services. Let them help you increase your sales and improve organization throughout the sales cycle.
Are you looking to boost your online presence with internet marketing? CyberMark International can help you! Please call 623-889-3380 today, or fill out our contact form and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.