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A website conversion is when a site visitor takes the action that the business desires. For a retailer, this is typically an online purchase. For a B2B company, this is typically when a lead is generated through a form submission, download or call.
And there are many other flavors of website conversions as well. For a publisher, it can be Page Views (so the publisher can increase advertising rates). For a social community site, it can be Time-On-Site and participation. For a recipe site, it can be recipe printouts.
Website conversions drive business success. Measuring website conversions is useful and helps us to understand how to continually refine our website to meet the needs of our customers.
What I would argue, though, is that we need to take the next step and measure lifetime value of a customer to our business as well. If you are a retailer, you can aim to make a sale and measure your website’s success accordingly. But you should also take the more holistic view, see the potential for a lifetime of sales, and do everything you possibly can to build a long-term relationship with the person.
So, instead of constructing your website exclusively to drive a single sale, construct a process that:
- Drives continual customer touch-points
- Makes your brand relevant in their lives
- Delivers benefits to your customers continually
Let’s say you sell cookies through your website. Offering a 20% discount for a purchase may drive short-term, one-time sales. But how about tying your cookies into your customers’ lifestyles rather than focusing on a one-time discount, which does nothing to build a relationship with your customer.
With cookies, you can offer different types of packages – is the customer a mom looking for a treat to include in her child’s brown bag lunch? Or is it a person looking for fun family desserts? Or is it a person looking for great gifts for family and friends? Or is it an office worker looking to satisfy afternoon hunger? Define the different ways that your cookies fit into your customers’ lives and design packages and solutions accordingly.
The mom looking for a brown bag lunch treat? Offer her a package with brightly colored, individually wrapped, mini-sized cookies for each day of the week. Offer a subscription service so that the mom is sent a new set of cookies each week. Offer a chart that matches the best type of cookie to various types of lunches.
And if you felt compelled to offer a discount?
Well, instead of a one-time discount, what if your website offered the 20% discount for an ANNUAL cookie-lovers membership instead? In this way, instead of focusing on a one-time sale and then HOPING that the customer will come back, you are building a business model on a more solid, predictable, longer-term foundation.
Within this framework, you can deliver fresh new cookies on a monthly or weekly basis. Further to this, you can offer additional, value-add specials throughout the course of the year. You can build a deeper relationship through conversations with your customers. You can provide access to an exclusive website filled with special offers, fantastic cookie recipes and a forum for their voice to be heard:
- Offer members an exclusive opportunity to make recommendations for new cookies
- Offer them the exclusive opportunity to taste test new recipes that are not yet available to the general public
- Hold an exclusive cookie recipe contest, offering to sell the winning cookie
The possibilities are endless, and they apply just as equally to retail as they do to B2B, publishers and just about any other type of website.
These are just a few suggestions to help you construct a great website that drives your business growth over the long-term. If you need additional help, let me know below or at www.WebsiteMarketingNOW.com. Thanks!