Are You Following Direct Response Rules on Your Website?
I'm pretty hardcore about using direct response principles. So I'm not really going for direct response-ish. I'm committed to FULL ON, direct response all the way.
Perhaps, someday, I’ll write another post about why I love direct response so much. For now, suffice it to say that direct response works.
My most favorite aspect of this type of marketing is the relationships (and subsequent platform to speak to the masses) it helps you build.
Anywho, my commitment to direct response means I believe your website should contain certain elements and will absolutely miss out on serious conversion potential if you fail to implement these things on your site.
Here’s My BARE BONES List of
Direct Response Elements
For Your Website
#1 – HAVE AN OPT-IN.
In case you need some clarification here, an opt-in is an opportunity (in a box, a page, etc.) for visitors to get something valuable from you for free in exchange for their email address (a.k.a. “opt in”).
This is sales 101. People buy from people they know, like, and trust. So invite your visitors to start a relationship with you by making a FREE offer.
But what do we REALLY want?
This isn’t really about the email address (it is and it isn’t). It’s about the relationship.
What you’re really saying by providing an opt-in is, “If I give you this free thing, can I stay in touch with you?” You’re inviting online visitors to take the relationship further than just this one visit – because most people won’t buy on the first visit.
Of course, YES, that’s the goal … to get them to buy right away.
So you could also look at this opt-in concept as a way to get a micro-commitment from your visitors. You’re essentially “training” them to enter into transactions with you.
First it’s an email address, next it’s opening your emails and downloads, then ongoing readership, and hopefully, ultimately a credit card.
#2 ASK FOR ENGAGEMENT
Engagement, in this case, simply means interaction. In every communication with your prospects you should be asking for engagement.
I can’t stress this one point enough. Every single page on your website should have some sort of call to action.
“Don’t ask. Don’t get.” – Bill Glazer
You can ask them to read more. Ask them to download something. Ask them to call you, to comment, to buy something.
While it would be quite annoying to be on a website that asks you to buy or download or comment (or do something) every few paragraphs, each and every page on your site should contain an opportunity for your visitors to engage with you.
If you leave this off, you fail at holding up your end of the relationship building process. Be available.
Someone has gone out of their way to read your “About Us” page, make sure you invite them to do something (ANYTHING) when they’re done reading.
On our about us page, we are currently, BOLDLY encouraging visitors to sign up for our ACE Review Membership where we provide 3 detailed marketing reviews per month to help business owners like you get better results from their marketing (and become better marketers).
But again, you don’t have to ask folks to buy. Just ask for something. You could simply invite them to check out your blog or read testimonials.
You’ve gotten them this far, ask them to keep going!
#3 PROVIDE CONTENT REGULARLY
When was the last time you posted on your blog? Uploaded a video, or taught something new to your tribe?
Teaching is everything in business. One of your most important jobs is to educate the marketplace. If you’re lucky, someone else will do the heavy lifting for you and you won’t be starting from scratch. But you will have to demonstrate your knowledge and keep the marketplace turning to you for information and solutions.
Providing content via a blog, videos, tutorials, a podcast, or even slide shares allows you to provide ongoing free value to your prospects and does the following great things for you as a business owner …
Establishes your authority
Allows you to earn trust
Brings you traffic
Brings you REPEAT traffic
Gives you a reason to stay in touch via email (to alert prospects to new content)
Ranks you higher on search engines
Gives you a platform to declare your values and position
Gives you a platform to SELL
And really, sooooo much more.
Providing content on an ongoing business is a major credibility builder and your ticket to a much richer business.
And let’s face it, this isn’t really a direct response rule … this is the #1 rule to making your website actually produce business for you. If it’s static there’s no reason for anyone to ever visit more than once. But if you’re constantly adding new content, well you’ll build yourself quite a valuable business asset.
If you have not done this or have been inconsistent with it in the past, DECIDE today to declare that you will commit to content creation.
This is how you’ll see CONSISTENT results in your business.
Now, here’s a challenge for you …
I’ll leave #1 and #3 for you to work on on your own because the are bigger projects (and #3 is ongoing) … let’s work on something you can COMPLETE TODAY.
Check out the pages on your website. Are you asking for engagement on every page?
If not, fix that. You don’t have to come up with cheesy language that forces a sale on every page. But just ask yourself what you want the visitor to do next and then write that!
As Bill Glazer taught me once (and maybe he’s sorry he did), “Don’t ask. Don’t get.” Take that to heart and start asking for what you want on every page of your website.
If you have questions or comments about how this can be done, please do share below. I’ll respond and keep the conversation going to support you in your efforts to make direct response marketing work for you.