How to capture the details of your site visitors

The internet has advanced so much in the last few years that websites are no longer just brochures that your customers browse before calling you or visiting your store. Websites now have the ability to facilitate businesses – they can generate leads, customers can purchase your products online and you can use your website to engage in regular communication with your contacts.

Most businesses want to visitors to their websites to either make an online purchase or make an enquiry. Often, this is also the goal of a person when they arrive on the website, so both parties get their desired result. However, on some occasions, prospects are simply browsing the site for information and won’t immediately become customers.

Are you doing something on your site to capture the details of these people? Just because they aren’t willing to purchase from you right now, doesn’t mean they won’t be in the future. So it is important that you get their details so you can communicate with them and convert them into customers.

So what can you do to gather their information? A great way to capture the contact details of your prospects is to offer some kind of incentive on your website. Great incentives include:

  • Newsletter – useful stories and information that is sent via email to your database of contacts on a regular basis. Many businesses use email newsletters because they are an effective way to communicate with prospects and increase sales.
  • Ebook – ebooks are electronic publications that can be downloaded from a website. They are typically educational, informative guides to particular topics and are used by businesses to share their expertise.
  • White paper – similar to an ebook, a white paper is an electronic publication available for download. Whitepapers tend to be research or reports compiled by businesses and contain useful information and data.
  • Competition – create a competition on your website that users can enter into to win a prize. The prize can be something from your on business or something of value from an external source. Consumers love getting something for nothing, so competitions are a great way to get their details.

Once you have chosen one of these tactics, you need to create a signup form and place it on your website so prospects have to fill in their details in order to get access to your offer. Most people view this process from a WIIFM ('What's In It For Me') perspective, so they will be happy to share their details with you if they are getting something in return.

Here are a few tips to help you successfully capture details with your offer:

  • Make the incentive valuable - as mentioned, your prospects will only give you their details if they are getting something in return, so offer them an incentive that is interesting and valuable. Email newsletters are a great tool, but many people already gets lots of these, so try also offering an ebook that contains some expert advice from you on a topic that relates to your target market. If ebooks aren't for you, try running a competition with a valuable prize, such as free consultation or product.
  • Make the offer visible - for your offer to capture lots of details for you database, it needs to grab the attention of your site visitors. It should stand out from the surrounding content, be on every page of your website and appear above the fold so visitors don't have to scroll down the page to find it. Don’t just use the form to promote the offer – if it something really special and interesting, create an eye-catching advertisement and display it around your site.
  • Make the form easy - while most people will be willing to share their name and email address with you, they usually won't bother filling out your form if you ask for too many of their personal details. So limit the amount of information you request from them in order to get as many prospects to respond as possible. With most database marketing systems, the details collected on your website will be automatically added to your database and you can automate an instant email to be sent to them.
  • Use more than one incentive – all your prospects are different and will therefore like different things. While some may be interested in your ebook, others would prefer a competition. To ensure that you don’t miss out on anyone, use a variety of incentives on your site. For example, have a constant newsletter signup on your website, and alternate between a whitepaper and a competition each month. This will meet the needs of all your prospects and increase your response rate.

Once you have got the contact details of these prospects and added them to your database, it’s important that you engage in regular communication with them to build up a relationship.

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