Website Essentials: Offers and Opt-ins

The essence of what I’ve been talking about in these past few posts is that it’s crucial that you get something from a visitor to your site. Most professionals build a website that is a billboard or a brochure. They hope that someone reading will call and make an appointment. But think about how you respond to billboards, brochures and advertisements. You probably give them a glance and move on. They rarely move you to action.

Michael Port, in “Book Yourself Solid,” talks about having an ‘always have something to invite them to’ offer. What this translates to on a website is having something of high perceived value that you are offering in exchange for a name and email address. This can be a special report or ebook that you are offering for free to anyone who signs up for it. Let’s say that your specialty is the relief of back pain using massage. You could write a comprehensive guide to back pain, along with the soft-tissue causes. You can explain why your techniques are effective for soft-tissue chronic pain. All someone has to do to get this report is leave their name and email address.

That’s the offer. Now let’s talk about the opt-in. The visitor has to leave the information in a form that is on your page. Better yet, this form, along with the offer for the report is on every page. If you look to the right on this page, there is the blue box with an offer. That is an opt-in box. A lot of people have some kind of contact form on their site that just sends them an email with the contacts information. This is not the best way to go about getting an opt-in.

The best way is to have an email service. The box to the right will put the contact information into my list at AWeber. They note the source of the opt-in, the ip address, date, and a lot of other information that verifies that this was voluntary on the person’s part. Then they send a confirmation email, which has a link that must be clicked. This way, I am meeting Federal guidelines when I get someone’s information. If you are looking to build a good-sized list, you will want to use a similar service.

The nice thing about AWeber or most email services is that they will provide you with all the tools for email marketing. They will generate the HTML code for a an opt-in box that you can put on your website and even your Facebook business page. They also provide the tools you need to create newsletters and send out to all the people on your list. You can also set up ‘autoresponders,’ which are a series of emails that go out in a predetermined interval to your list.

Once you have the contact information of a visitor, you can start engaging them in conversation. It takes 7 or 8 exposures to your message before someone is inclined to buy. This is why a one-time visit to your site is not all that effective. But with a email marketing, you are able to reach the same person repeatedly. Now your site has become a marketing tool.

If you’ve noticed, up to now, I only spoke about some mechanics of your site: your phone number, your email and your offer. I haven’t spoken about the content of your site. My next post is going to be about your home page, and its message.

’til next time,
Woody

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