Begin by understanding the difference between direct-response websites and brochure websites. Brochure websites have a nice, safe logical layout of information but little, if any, clear calls to action. Direct response websites are geared towards getting visitors to take action.
1. Tell them who it's for and what you can do for them in the first few seconds. Instead of simply having your name at the top of your website, use that space to announce WHO your site is for, and WHAT you can do for them. That means that in the first few seconds you target visitors will have the reaction “Yes, this is for me". Of course, that will be at the expense of any untargeted visitors who will click away, but you didn't want them anyway!
2. Remove anything that does not support your MWR. MWR is short for ‘Most Wanted Response’ a term I first heard about from Ken Evoy, author of Make Your Site Sell.
What do you want people to DO when they first visit your site? Call to arrange a consultation? Request more information? Book a coaching session? Reserve a space at your next workshop? Have a clear MWR for each and every page of your website and then only include the content that moves visitors towards your MWR and strip away anything that doesn't.
3. Capture visitors’ details. Less than 1% of visitors will buy on their first visit to a website, that's why it's important to capture their details so you can follow up with them.
4. Less is more. In many of the sites I critiqued today, it was almost like the site owners were thinking “I don't know exactly what I should say to my web visitor, so I'll just throw out a load of things in the hope that SOMETHING grabs their attention". Unfortunately, just adding more and more options or information is simply going to confuse your visitor, and if they aren't sure what to do next, they will probably take the easiest option and click away. . . forever!
5. Personalize your site. Include your photo and a biography. Let visitors see the person behind the website. It's true that people buy people!
6. Use a mixture of ‘towards’ and ‘away from’ language in your sales copy. Some of the sites I reviewed today were for coaches who are very solution oriented in their approach and web-copy. The trouble is, this only works for visitors who have the same solution-oriented outlook and people with problems are typically. . . stuck in their problems!
7. Copywriter Robert Collier said that you have to “enter the conversation that is already going on in the prospect's mind" and sometimes that means you have to start with the problems that are preoccupying them. So show people that you can both solve pressing problems as well as achieve desired end solutions.
It is critical that your direct response website connect emotionally with visitors who are in your target market. You can do this by making them feel at home so when they visit your site they know they are in the right place. Remove anything that does not lead to your most wanted response, capturing their contact details, limit unneeded text and images, making your site more personal, using the right mix of copywriting that appeals to your target market and addressing the problem visitors are experiencing and explaining the benefits of working with you.
(c) Bernadette Doyle, 2008. Reprints welcome so long as by-line and article are published intact and all links made live.
Bernadette Doyle publishes her free, weekly Client Magnets newsletter for trainers, speakers, coaches, consultants, complementary therapists and solo professionals. If you want to get clients calling you instead of you calling them then sign up for the Client Magnets newsletter today!