The Secret to a Web Site That Sells


Remember those Columbia Record Cl‘s from a smaller selection than your local record shop offered, but at an inflated price?

Do you remember what their secret was to get people to join? I’ll give you a hint…the offer wasn’t 11 records for free.

That’s right, it was the penny. It was 11 records for one cent. And they even gave you the penny to avoid any financial hardship on your part. Do you know why they did that?

Because it worked.

When they did testing, they found that the “penny group” converted at a much higher rate than the copper-free group. When recipients had to take an active role in the sale–taping a penny to the reply card–responses went up…enough to cover the cost of all of those unreturned pennies.

So what’s the penny on your Web site?

If you have a five-page Web site that talks about your products and services and how long you’ve been in business, there’s little to engage your visitors into working with you. You need to find your own penny, something that gets your visitors into the process. None of the following ideas are revolutionary, but they do work. You just need to adapt them to your own business.

Calculators. If your product or service can save people time, money or energy, it offers them some sort of return on investment that probably can be calculated. Let them run the numbers themselves with an interactive calculator. Bonus points if it’s on your home page.

Audio & Video. With bandwidth connections increasing and the cost of storage decreasing, adding audio and video seems like a no-brainer. You can add demonstrations of your products in action, or clips from a recent presentation to your Web site. This allows visitors to get a sampling of what they can expect when they begin work with you.

As a recommendation, use Flash to play your audio or video, since it has the highest adoption rate and will work for almost all visitors.

Discussion Forums. Tried, but true. A well-developed discussion forum can drive search engine traffic and give visitors a reason to return to your site time and again. Many discussion forums also allow posters to subscribe via email to view replies to their initial query, increasing the chances they’ll revisit.

A Wiki. Imagine putting your product handbook or manual online in the form of a wiki, which would allow your customers to constantly update the handbook with improvements borne of real-world experience? You’d get buy-in from customers and it would help you develop an improved product the next time around. Plus, you’d get a bunch of new features, benefits and applications promoted that you didn’t even know existed!

Downloads. White papers, relaxation audio recordings, desktop widgets, or anything else your prospects and customers are interested in and can be converted into a digital product. Bonus points if you can get people to fill out a short form to access your downloads.

Customizable Pages, Online Reservations, Post Your Review, the list goes on.

In Conclusion. By adding interactivity to your Web site, by letting your visitors take an active roll, you will increase their interest and your conversions, which will ultimately benefit your bottom line.

If you need some interactivity on your own Web site, please contact flyte new media today.

–Rich Brooks
President, flyte new media