The Internet is the window shopper’s haven, but some businesses with long-time internet presences are hoping to turn those visitors into customers. With advances in website tracking technology and new marketing techniques, these businesses are converting browsers to buyers.
One such company was Verve Medical Cosmetics. Michele Bracci, the director of marketing and spouse of Verve’s founder, Dr. Stephen Bracci, says attracting visitors to their site was never a problem, but making those visitors customers was. So she and her husband decided to revamp their older site. Between the first quarters of 2011 and 2012, they noticed a 20 percent increase in phone leads, and she states, “They want to call and talk to somebody who’s knowledgeable. We knew what made us different, but we weren’t doing a good job of showing it.” Now their staff can monitor the site and find out where the customers educate themselves about the company.
Businesses know that attracting traffic to their website isn’t the greatest challenge. “One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen is that people don’t measure the website’s conversions,” comments Blue Fountain Media’s chief executive, Gabriel Shaoolian. His company is a New York City online marketing company which works with Verve. He goes on to say, “So much money is wasted,” and calls for businesses to capitalize on short phrases that speak to customers and focus on efforts online with the same tenacity that one focuses on customers offline.
Steve Hathaway, chief executive of the Mass Firearms School, had a slightly different approach. His company “[believes] that [their] website is one of the biggest drivers of business.” He goes on to note, “The website is the landing pod for our other advertising campaigns.” For his firearms safety training company, running ads on television, radio, print, and online are not new, but a majority of his customers have first visited the website before coming through the doors of his business. Hathaway was the original creator of the school’s website back in the 1990s.
“When people come to us, they’re trusting us to teach them on a serious subject matter, the lawful use of firearms,” Hathaway states. He knew that updating his website was important, and the new design allows his customers to not only browse, but to sign up for classes as well. “It’s really important to us that the navigation experience for the consumer is very positive, that they can find their way around, that they understand what we are as a company.” And his efforts have yielded positive results; the school has had a 58 percent increase from 2010 to 2011 and lowered their bounce rate during that same time.
Lewis, Katherine Reynolds. “Three Proven Ways to Convert Visitors Into Buyers Online” Small-Business Guide, Small Business. Business Day. The New York Times. 9/12/12.