Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Why B2B websites fail

B2B websites can fail for many reasons but one of the main reasons is due to the difficulty of accessing content. In an article that he wrote for Rain Today, Brian Carroll, an authority on how businesses can improve the lead generation process, sites evidence from Marketing Sherpa and the Nielsen Norman Group to outline why companies don't translate great web traffic into sales leads.

He believes that companies shouldn't place a web form in front of evry demo or whitepaper. Brian states:
You'll do better by thinking of lead generation as a process of micro-conversions that slowly build a prospect profile over time.
He suggests to start small and gather perhaps just an email address at first and build up the relationship between the prospect and company over time. This is what I have been recently advocating to my clients. If you have content that you know prospects would like to see, offer a few bits for free or with a minimal barrier. Let them munch on it and if they want more, then they can fill out a web form that has additional fields. At least they can see the value in the content that you provide before having to fill out a long form.

The same can be said for your PPC search campaigns.

If you have people that have found you from say Google or Yahoo, I would ask the least amount of information possible to access a key whitepaper when they first land on your site. Treat these people like new neighbours who are meeting the rest of the neighborhood for the first time. Greet them with a nice warm welcome the first time and invite them over for dinner for the next time. In terms of lead generation, get an email from their first interaction and then follow this up with an email that contains information or an offer that is directly related to what they came to your site about. On this follow up email, you can ask for additional information to see if the prospect is truly interested and qualified

Blogging is very similar.

Don't make people submit an email address if they don't want to when they comment on your blog. If prospects find your blog and like it, they will eventually submit their contact information. Notice how with RSS feeds, you don't need to submit any contact information. You can just sign up on your own.

Always keep in mind what your strategy is but also what is on the minds of your customers when you market to them.

Chad H.

Related posts:
Website Conversions - What are they good for?
Sealing the Deal: Your Landing Page

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