Over the last two decades, the internet has changed how nearly every industry does business, and electronics is no exception. These already rapidly moving trends intensified in 2020, as in-person opportunities for sales conversion all but disappeared. According to Statista, “2.14 billion people worldwide [bought] goods and services online [in 2021], up from 1.66 billion global digital buyers in 2016.” An increase of 28.92% in just five years.
Alongside this rise in sales, according to GE, “81% of customers research online.” So, how do you attract these potential customers and how can you convey the necessary information to convert them into sales – potentially without ever speaking to them in person, over email, or by phone?
The answer: your website.
Working with Your Website 24/7
One of the most significant advantages of a website is that it works day and night, 365 days a year. When run correctly, it can deliver results without needing much supervision. However, your website will need periodic performance reviews, proper management, and investment just like a human salesperson.
If you haven’t touched your website in several years, it may be helpful to give a total makeover or redesign. However, often it’s most beneficial to optimize what you already have. Of course, before you can improve on what’s working, you need to identify who you’re trying to reach.
Are you looking to improve your brand awareness amongst design engineers? Increase the traffic to distribution partners? Look for buyers who’ve completed their research and are ready to make a purchase? These and the countless other possible audiences all come with their own set of considerations and content they’ll find most useful.
How to Generate Audience Engagement
Once you have an audience in mind, it’s critical to write for them. Catering your content to their concerns, design issues, needs and desires will create a rewarding experience that provides value while enticing new visitors to make a purchase.
For instance, if you’re trying to reach buyers early in the browsing stage, most won’t feel ready to click that “contact us” button for further information.
However, they might be willing to provide their email if you can offer valuable content in return. Free whitepapers on design considerations and current trends, brochures that showcase the problems your product solves, informational videos, newsletter sign-ups, and eLearning courses can all be incredibly useful in beginning the conversation with potential customers.
Once you receive their contact information, sending a quick “thank you for your interest” adds a human touch. If you have the time and resources, consider adding a short, personalized note with the name of your company contact. This puts you that much closer to the customer, increasing the chances of remembering your brand, returning to your site, and eventually reaching out.
PRO TIP: In this email outreach stage, it’s important NOT to go for the hard sell. Pushing a customer into a purchase before they’re ready may scare them off and will certainly minimize your chances of educating and bonding with the prospect and leading them to the next stage of the purchasing process.
With all this in mind, it’s time to get into actionable steps to improve your website and turn it into your best salesperson.
1. Tell Your Story: Case Studies & Customer Success Stories
Buyers want to know what sets your business apart and why they should trust you. Engineers especially appreciate clear stats, deliverables, and well-packaged information. Smart copy and sales pitches can accomplish this. However, buyers tend to be wary of lofty promises by sales teams.
Reviews and the experiences of previous customers, on the other hand, provide a chance to show your skills and products from the eyes of someone in the same shoes as your potential buyer.
That’s why offering case studies and customer success stories from past clients or projects is so important. Though it can take time to collect these testimonials, it is well worth it to provide the facts behind your sales pitch.
Keep these stories concise but detailed. Ideally, ground the copy with relevant analytics, such as time and money saved.
Peppering these posts throughout your sales pages–or potentially creating a designated page in your navigation menu–gives your business a sense of validity and trustworthiness that could be the difference between someone leaving your site or deciding they’re convinced.
2. Incentivize Your Buyer: Providing Value to Start the Conversation
Reaching solution-minded site visitors can be tricky, but lead magnets (free content or info given away in exchange for contact information) can make all the difference. You should foreground thought leadership content that answers questions, solves your potential customer’s problems and shows your business as a trusted source within its industry.
These free resources can be as simple as roundups of your best press releases and blog posts or product applications, or as complex as downloadable webinars and eBooks.
As mentioned above, getting folks on your mailing list is critical for keeping visitors and achieving strong ROI.
According to Hubspot, “email generates $42 for every $1 spent, which is an astounding 4,200% ROI, making it one of the most effective options available.”
Prioritizing your most interesting, attractive content and email opt-ins on the hero section of your homepage gives you even better chances of getting that critical email address.
Then, you can build a bridge of communication between you and the customers you want to reach, opening the door for future invitations back to your site via email marketing campaigns.
PRO TIP: Keep Onboarding in Mind When Creating Contact Forms
When properly mobilized, your contact form can become one of the most valuable parts of the sales process.
A generic field doesn’t do much to inspire customer confidence. Instead, think about how your contact form can function as onboarding. When done correctly, the Contact Us button can turn into a means of qualifying leads and gaining the critical insights necessary to craft a compelling offer once you’re on the phone or writing that first email.
Create options to designate the field, application requirements, and basic information about why the visitor has come to your website and what they need from you. These simple questions can make all the difference in providing the value necessary to show you’re the best choice.
That said, make sure your contact form doesn’t become too lengthy – you want to show your audience you care about their time and value prompt, clear communication.
Consider investing in smarter tech to sort and hold this database of information if you aren’t already. Improved communication tools allow you to become faster and more efficient when beginning the sales process with a new contact.
3. Live Chat & Chat Tools
Many companies are wary of live chat because they see it as a waste of resources, but chatbots and live chat can do a lot to accomplish the steps listed above. They assist in answering site visitor questions, provide free resources, help to connect with your team and lead visitors to sign up for email lists.
Because they offer immediate responses, site visitors are more likely to engage with them than a contact form with a waiting period. No matter what sector of electronics (or any other industry, for that matter) you’re in, live chat and/or chat tools can help.
Prioritize, Optimize, Repeat
While these three steps are–in concept–quite simple, choosing where to begin with website optimization can be daunting. Though websites aren’t “alive” in the typical sense, they are digital organisms that evolve and refine. As such, take the time necessary and update your website at whatever pace makes sense for your business.
This process will take time and shouldn’t be rushed. Invest time and resources where called for, and you’ll begin to see the benefits as you go.
Consider how much time you have and what projects are realistic to accomplish. Look at what parts of your sales process you most want to improve. Do some research of your own into similar sites and see what you like and don’t. These steps will clarify what’s most important and how to begin the process.
Prioritize demonstrating that you understand your site visitor’s problems, know how to fix them, and have the skills and expertise necessary to be a trusted partner.
Finally, begin to test how your updates perform. Simple A/B testing can be a huge help. Try replacing your stock images with organic, unique images from your business. Or optimize your contact us or CTA button and see how conversions change over the next month. Switch up your headlines on traffic-heavy landing pages to current SEO best practices, foregrounding question/answer or value-driven formats.
Your website can become a critical member of the sales team. All you need to provide is some care, attention, and a commitment to experimentation. From there, it’ll do the work for you.