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Making those adverts work properly

This week I’ve spent a couple of articles discussing why you need to convert your web traffic into name-and-address sales leads because your website can’t sell on its own. And yesterday I looked at converting traffic from Google into prospects. Today I’d like to cover a source of web traffic which you have a little more control over – your own advertising and promotions.

With these, you can tightly control what responders do, such as “phone us for details” or “fill in the coupon”. However, we all know that most people prefer to follow things up online now, so whether it’s a web or email promotion, or something “offline” such as a print ad, it makes sense to direct people to a web page.

Astonishingly, however, many advertisers just send people to their website home page. As I’ve pointed out before, this is like inviting a customer to your company and not meeting them in reception and taking them to the right place. In fact, I’m sure you can see the amusing parallels between people clicking around your website on their own, and visitors to your company wandering around the building looking for their meeting.

With an advert, you’re in charge of where you send people. So you should send them straight to the related product page, or better still, a special version of the product page tailored to that advertisement, which picks up on the design and focuses on the same message as was in the advert.

Behind all of this is the need to ensure that the website visitors, which were generated so expensively by the advertisement, result in as many name-and-address enquiries as possible. With your advertising budget as restricted as it’s likely to be at the moment, you can’t afford any longer to be saying “we’ve spent so many thousand pounds on advertising this year, and we’ve had so much new business, but we can’t show the two are connected”.

In the past, when you placed a print advert, a part of the budget was spent on the artwork. Today, whether you’re advertising online or in print, as part of the exercise you need to budget for creating a web page where you can convert people into real sales leads. It’s possible to “make do” by sending people to the correct product page and ensuring you have a good call to action, as we’ve previously discussed, but it’s much better to have a proper dedicated “landing page”, and I’ll talk about that tomorrow.

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