How to Convert Your Website’s Visitors into Loyal Customers
Did you know that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer, than to keep an existing one? This impressive stat should be engraved in the mind of any business owner. Converting an anonymous visitor into a lead, a lead into a client, and a client into a returning customer (thus avoiding churn) is crucial to grow a successful business. This process is especially true when it plays out on a website (for example if you’re an online store or service provider). Now you might be wondering how to achieve that, considering the little human interaction in the digital world.
It may seem like a challenge, but with the right steps and guidelines, it’s far from impossible. Thanks to the quick development of smart online tools, even the least experienced of business owners can track and retain their customers like a Fortune 500 company. The most-acclaimed website builder for SMBs, Wix, created a variety of smart and intuitive tools, to cover all the steps of money-making: acquisition, conversion, and retention. And the best part of it all? Everything can be done from either your desktop, or on the go with your smartphone using the Wix Owner app. Without further ado, let’s go through the steps of successful customer relationship, and see exactly how to convert visitors into loyal customers:
Acquisition ~ How to turn visitors into leads
In the general sense, acquire means to come into possession of something. Even defined in a bare-bones manner, this applies aptly to visitors. Of course, it doesn’t mean that you actually own them, but simply that you acquire their full attention and interest – and ultimately, their money. Applied to the world of websites, acquisition means that an anonymous visitor becomes a lead, that is someone in which you’ve identified a very strong potential of intent to buy your service or product. Whether it’s the fact that they’re just browsing or are hesitant to buy something from a site they don’t know, any visitor has the potential to become a lead.
Offer live communication: Now, how do you make the magic happen? If you’re ‘making eyes at someone’ at a bar, but no one makes a move, you’re just wasting your time. Someone needs to take the first step, and sometimes you should have a proactive approach with your customers to ensure they know you’re available to them at all times. Meaning, you can answer any questions they may have. Live communication should be the forefront of your customer experience. Using Wix Chat, which you can easily add to your website, any visitor on your site can instantly send you a message and start a chat. You can chat back in real time, even from your smartphone. Going back to making the first move – you can also see when you have a visitor on your site and initiate a conversation with them. It can simply be a friendly “Hello, I’m here if you have any questions”. Doing this allows your visitors to feel supported, while building brand awareness, and increases the chances of them coming back to pay another visit.
Sign up: Let’s go one step further. As mentioned earlier, sometimes you visit a site simply to digitally window shop and have no intention of making a purchase. We all do it, but what’s going to remind your newly acquired leads to come back to your website? You can create a sign up form (using Wix Forms) which is beneficial for both parties involved. You’ll receive the information of a potential new customer you can market to, and they’ll get a reminder of that website they wanted to check out again. Anyone who signs up using the form will automatically have their information added to the Wix Contact list located in your Wix Dashboard.
Create a database of your leads: Talking about contacts, it’s important to stay organized with a neat database of your new leads and existing customers. A newsletter you send to one group may not be relevant to send to another, so knowing who is who is paramount to the experience you provide to them. This is where Wix Contact List comes in. This can easily be found on your Wix Dashboard, and shows any and all communication you’ve had with your customers. Information from your feedback forms and all chat conversations are also linked to the particular contact to stay organized. This way, you have access to all the relevant information of any lead that you engaged with on your site – any time, and from any device.
Conversion ~ The science of making new clients
Conversion is exactly what it sounds like: turning a lead into a customer. In order to successfully convert visitors there are a couple of tools and techniques available such as the following:
Send targeted newsletters: This highly effective technique not only provides a gentle nudge to your subscribers, but it can also be used to further entice them with other goods. Whether they want to know when your next sale is or your next blog post is being sent out, sending a newsletter is a great way to stay in touch and keep the communication open between you and your customers. Wix Email Marketing makes it extremely fast to create beautiful and professional emails to send to your subscribers. With several templates to choose from, you can easily customize your newsletter so that it matches your brand. When you’re done, share it with that precious list of subscribers. Some examples of killer newsletter ideas could be: introducing a new product or service or sending a holiday greeting.
Offer coupons: Sometimes, someone will sign up for a newsletter to stay up to date with a website’s sales and promotions, and still never come back to make a purchase. I’m sure you’ve fallen into this category once or twice before yourself. It happens. (In case you missed out on that sale, here’s a Wix promo code just for you.) If simple “reminder” newsletters aren’t good enough, it’s time to incentivize. How do you achieve that? One word: coupons! They are a great way to persuade any reluctant visitor that is on the fence about a purchase. Whether it’s a percentage, a dollar amount, a free shipping code, or a “buy x get x free deal”, you can easily create coupons to share with your prospective buyers. Set the time frame of the promotion, customize the design of the coupon, and you’re good to go. After that, you can share the good news via newsletters, your social channels and throughout your site.
Use Wix Chat: Sometimes it’s not about prices. Sometimes, a visitor may be hesitant to pull the trigger on a purchase from your website if they haven’t found enough information they need to put them at ease. For example: helping them choose the best suited product/service available from your offerings. This is another area where live chat can come in handy. Your potential buyer can talk to you in real-time and clarify any information or ask more questions.
Retention ~ Earning your client’s loyalty
Customer retention is the ability of a business to retain customers after their first purchase. While, as we said earlier, you never really own your customers, keeping them is just as important as acquiring them. Building up your relationship comes from more than throwing a coupon at them (though it doesn’t hurt every once in a while). It comes from genuinely engaging and hearing what they have to say. Let’s take a look at a couple of ways to do this:
Provide feedback forms: The relationships that you create with your customers are valuable in more ways than one. One idea to show them that you value their opinion is by actually asking for it. Adding a feedback form so they can share their thoughts on your site, product, service or general feeling of your brand sends a clear message that you’re open to receiving feedback. You can use this valuable information to further improve the experience your customers will have. Wix Forms comes with a premade feedback form template that you can easily add to any page on your website. Or, to make things a little more personal, you can add the form to a hidden or private page and send the link to a particular customer to ask for their feedback specifically.
When creating a form you’ve got to keep in mind that the more information you ask of your customer the less likely they are to fill in the form. To avoid this, ask for only the most important information. Also, build the form in a logical way so that it’s easy to understand in the eyes of your customers. If you’re not sure your form is clear send it to some family and friends to try before adding it to your site.
Send invoices after payments: As a customer, there’s no better feeling than a seamless transaction experience. Technically speaking, this isn’t hard to do. Show how professional you are by issuing detailed invoices to your customers immediately after each purchase. This way, you’ll build an image for yourself as being trustworthy and reliable making you a safe choice to come back to. You can create and send invoices directly from your Wix Dashboard. There, you’ll also be able to manage and track all of your invoices in one convenient place.
Send out automated emails: If your customers have taken the time to sign up for your newsletter, made a purchase or have filled in a contact form, the least you can do is send some kind of message or notification confirming their action. With no confirmation of any sort, your customers might feel like you’ve left them in the dark. Show them you do care by creating automated emails to thank them after a purchase or a “you are now subscribed” message. That’s right, you guessed it – you can find this nifty solution right in your Wix Dashboard. It’s a small, feel-good act that builds up loyalty and won’t cost you a cent since everything is automated.
By Blake Stimac
Community & Social Media Manager