Is Your Website Putting Prospects Off?

Is Your Website Good Enough?

Here’s a fact that’s become more and more common about your website, especially over the last 3 or 4 years.

95% of the prospects interested in your product or service are going to visit your website before they call you or visit your business.

And that’s no matter where they found you – Business Catalogues, flyers, telemarketing, TV, newspapers, billboards or whatever.

The good old days of your phone ringing off the hook with new business are pretty well gone. You’ve felt it, haven’t you? I know I have.

The truth is, these days your website IS the face of your business. Even if your website doesn’t sell or do anything in particular, it is now your online showroom. So you had better make sure the impression you make is a good one if you want prospects to choose you over your competitors. You can drive all the traffic in the world but they will form an opinion about your business BEFORE they call or contact you.

After tweaking our own websites countless times and either advising on or creating websites for our clients, I’ve concluded there are 6 essentials to every good website design…

•    MARKETING – How well your website guides prospects through the buying cycle, i.e. Is there a way to capture leads, especially on the homepage?
•    DESIGN – The aesthetics of your website and how makes a visitor immediately feel, i.e. Would someone be compelled to stay or turned off within 5 seconds of visiting your homepage?
•    SEO – Search Engine Optimisation, which determines how highly Google ranks your website, i.e. Will anyone actually find your website in a search?
•    COPYWRITING – Is defined as the words on your website used to promote your product or service, i.e. Do you come across as professionals that are trustworthy? Are you using benefits to engage visitors to act?
•    PROGRAMMING – Whether or not the technical aspect of your website performs well, i.e. Do you have any broken links, images that won’t load, etc.
•    RESPONSIVENESS – Is your website mobile-friendly, i.e. If someone views your website on a mobile device, will it automatically change to a mobile version that provides them with a better experience?

If you’re missing one or more of the essentials above, I’m sorry to say, but your site is most likely losing you new prospects, leads and business — and you need to do something about it soon, before your competition snags all of that new business.

What, you might ask has this to do with the Business Catalogues.

You see, we can help your business generate countless new enquiries and leads – the Business Catalogues are good at that. In days gone by they would see your advert and call you straight away – some people still do – but mainly they’ll check you out online first.

When all your ducks are in line – everything will work for you. You need proactive media like the Business Catalogues to drive the traffic and a website (and receptionists) that follow through, make your business look good so the prospect becomes a customer.

If you have any questions about setting up a website or want us to build one for you, please call our friendly marketing consultants on 1300 360 540 or email lynda@emeraldmediagroup.com.au

Happy New Year

Well that holiday break went quickly this year didn’t it. We had a lovely relaxing cruise up to the Pacific islands and our ship even had a range of water slides which we certainly tried out. The best thing we did was sign on for the Chef’s Table event, an 11 course degustation with quality wines for only $75, hosted by the Executive Chef of the Carnival Legend.

OK.  Enough about me. Are you ready to give your business the tender loving care it needs to prosper and grow in 2015?

We’re about to start putting together the very first editions of all the business catalogues ready to hit the streets from 2nd February onwards, which is perfect timing for when the kids have all gone back to school and businesses kick into gear again.

Could this be on your radar?
 
Remember, you get complete exclusivity and Australia Post distribution to 50,000 or 100,000 businesses on the city you want to attract the business.
 
This year we have put together some amazing all inclusive packages that give you size-able discounts, and include all artwork, 1300 Phone Tracking so you can see where and when the leads come through, plus colour flyers of your advert and showroom posters.
Remember, nothing happens without a lead.  No sales, no revenue, no profit, so please let’s talk this through and we can go from there.
Call now on 1300 360 540 for more information or leave your details and we’ll send you our FREE Sample pack.

A Cautionary Tale

Small Business, Advertising, the Media and Tough Times

A man lived by the side of the road and sold hot dogs. He was hard of hearing, so he had no radio. He had trouble with his eyes so he read no newspapers. Nor did he watch TV.

But he sold good hot dogs!

He put up a sign on the highway telling how good they were. He stood by the side of the road and cried “Buy a hot dog”. And people bought.

He increased his meat and roll orders. He bought a bigger stove to take care of his growing trade. He got his son home from college to help him.

And then something happened.

His son said “Father, haven’t you heard, there may be a big recession coming on! Haven’t you been reading the papers? Haven’t you been listening to the radio and watching television? If money stays tight, we are bound to have bad business. You’d better prepare for poor trade!”

Whereupon the father thought “Well my son has gone to college. He reads the papers, and listens to the radio and television and he ought to know.”

So the father cut down his meat and roll orders. He took down his advertising signs. And he no longer bothered to stand on the side of the road crying “Buy a hot dog.”

And guess what, his hot dog sales plummeted almost overnight.

“You’re right son,” the father said, “We’re certainly headed for a recession!”

And the moral of the story

When times are good, you should advertise, when times are bad, you MUST advertise!

(This story is from an unknown origin)

Private Jet or Qantas?

You’re a busy person just about to take a much needed holiday in Bali. Do you go alone on a private jet or do you fly Qantas with other holiday-makers?

So, here’s the question …

Why is it so important for your business to go it alone when you do a letterbox drop? Why not simply share with other non-competing businesses catalogues in the highly cost-effective business catalogue and drastically CUT YOUR COSTS!

Turn your prospects into buyers with this news

Do you know about the government’s repeal of the Minerals Resources Rent Tax and the concessions for business that were to be funded by it?

(OK, don’t yawn!)

Not many people know about this, and it hasn’t been widely publicised, but there is a massive incentive going on for businesses to bring forward their spending on capital purchases before the end of 2013.

Why should you care?

Basically, if you want to make more sales between now and the end of the year, go back to all your prospects and let them know that if they make the purchase now instead of waiting until 2014 they will get the advantage of immediate tax deductions.

And that will get you more sales now!

Here’s a link to an article in My Business which will tell you more, or just check with your accountant.

I really hope this makes a difference to your sales between now and the end of the year.

Wisdon From Seth Godin

What if surfing was your job?

Same waves, different day.

The risk of skin cancer. The falling. Sand in your socks. The people hassling you for your spot on the wave. The pressure to do more sets. The other guys at the beach who don’t appreciate your style. The drudgery of doing it again tomorrow, when the weather sucks. And then every day, from now on, never ceasing.

Where would you go on vacation?

Your drudgery is another person’s delight. It’s only a job if you treat it that way. The privilege to do our work, to be in control of the promises we make and the things we build, is something worth cherishing.

What media should I use?

Here’s an idea of which media to use for marketing your business. This can be essential in planning your marketing and give you a realistic timeframe for your creative process, production and mailing or ad placement.

Direct Mail/Business Catalogues:

How it benefits your business:
With direct mail, you’re able to send a high quality ad directly to massive numbers of your target market with a specific message. Budget-wise, if you choose the business catalogues this helps you cut down on your cost-per-lead because you share the costs with other non-competing businesses.

With a printed piece, your reader will be able to hold your advert in their hands and read it at their speed and convenience — enabling a higher chance of them keeping it in case they aren’t ready to call right away.

Brings in more new leads and customers

Boosts brand recognition

Send special promotions or sales

You can also track how many leads you get with 1300 or 1800 phone numbers or Google Analytics to your website.

Timeline:
Two weeks from artwork sign off to your advert hitting the streets.

Radio:

How it benefits your business:
In radio, you can reach an enormous audience through drive-time talk programs, morning shows and shock-jocks.

The biggest benefit is that it is relatively affordable. The production of a 30-second spot compared to TV and buying the ad time is well within most small businesses’ budgets, that’s if you don’t choose the prime announcers like Alan Jones. The only downside…it is hard to track your response.

Reach a semi-targeted, large audience at one time

Opportunities to partner with radio stations for giveaways

Works for a reasonably small budget, depending on your location

Timeline:

2 weeks to leave room for changes and editing

Website:

How it benefits your business:
90% of consumers will visit your website before calling or visiting you. That’s a huge percentage! Your website may be the first impression you make, so having a professional, lead-generating site will keep your visitor interested. Downside, is that although you may have a faulous website you have to be on the ball all the time about directing traffic there, and this can be costly.

Main benefits include:

Instant way to capture contact information

Generates leads that can turn into customers

Displays products, videos, company info and promotions in one location

Fast updates and changes

Timeline:
3 weeks to eternity! Changes can be instant, it really depends on your website developer’s timeline and how complex your project may be.

Email Marketing:

How it benefits your business:

Email marketing is an effective follow-up tool that helps you close more leads — plus it’s VERY affordable to set up and you can send with little preparation.

Close more prospects

Increase re-orders

Educate and stay in front of your customer base with e-newsletter

Send last-minute special promotions

Timeline:
At minimum, 3 days to a one week to plan for copywriting, design and HTML programming.

Social Media:

How it benefits your business: You can use social media both to talk directly to your customers and to find people who can help you build your business — it will also create a lot of positive word-of-mouth at no cost to you.

Keep your prospects and clients informed in real time

Create a platform to build customer relationships in a non-formal arena

Drive web traffic to your website

Feedback and generate leads through your posts

Post deals, events and other online or offline promotions

Portray a personal image/face of your company

Increase your Google and search engine rankings

Timeline:
Instant

TV:

How it benefits your business:

TV allows you to convey your message with sight, sound and motion, which can give your product or service instant credibility.   Note: It will be one of the more expensive ways to go — script writing, shooting, production and actors’ pay adds up.

Increase brand and product awareness

Reach large audience to maximize lead potential

Improve customer retention — schedule ads to appear several times during a targeted program to build brand retention

Timeline:
Minimum 6–8 weeks to leave time for production, editing and voiceover work.

Creating a winning concept, getting the artwork together, choosing a mailing list, coordinating your message and hiring talent takes work — but it’s worth it!

Need help putting together a full, effective marketing program?

Call us now on 1300 360 540 or 0800 503 003 from NZ.

Elements of a successful advert

So, what makes some businesses highly successful in this media and others fail? Mainly it is the creative content and layout of the advert or impact of the message, but a hugely important secondary point is the way a lead is handled by the business when a call comes in. Here’s a list of the ten key things you should consider when you do any advertising.

  1. A clear, bold headline. There should be one central message that addresses the prospect with a benefit. The best way to achieve that is with a bold, clear headline that’s not cluttered up with other text. The best headline I know is for a Security company that uses – Business Owners, Buy back your freedom. Think about why that works. Also avoid using negative words, another headline we changed was Monitor Your Business that we changed to Secure Your Business. Just a one simple word change, means the same but comes across better don’t you think.
  2. A graphic that supports the message.The graphic should be easy to understand and add to the message the headline is trying to convey. Also, make sure your graphic is appealing. For instance, if you are a dentist, a picture of an attractive smiling model will help get that point across much better than before and after teeth pictures.
  3. Color or graphic backgrounds that pop out.Make the headline and other text stand out by using a color that stands out from the background color. When you look at the advert, ask yourself, “What do I see first?” If your answer isn’t the headline, you might want to tweak the colors, the background or the text.
  4. Subheadlines that lead into text. Prospects need 2 things in order to start reading the text in your advert. They need motivation and they need guidance. A compelling subheadline will give people that motivation and a place to start reading.
  5. Benefits, benefits, benefits. One of the biggest errors people make in advertising is stating features rather than benefits. Features are what you look for when you’re nearly convinced to buy a certain product, it certainly doesn’t draw you in at the beginning. What is your prospects decision-making process. How will you solve his problem? Make sure to create your unique selling proposition (USP).
  6. The offer.The offer usually includes 2 things: First, what is being offered, and second, at what price or discount. Your offer should be appropriate and believable. If you offer 95% off who would believe you, and if you offer 5% off who would care! A genuine 25 – 50% off is a believable and desirable offer. This can be interpreted as $20 OFF or HALF PRICE or 2 for 1 even. ALWAYS USE AN OFFER as it will result in more enquiries, and ultimately more sales.
  7. Your company name and logo.Although this needs to be in the advert, it shouldn’t overshadow the offer. Customers care most about what you can do for them.
  8. Call to action.Tell prospects exactly what you want them to do. “Call today for more information” or “Must end 20th August” or “10 only at this price” or even “While stocks last” are among the most common desired actions. It means DO IT NOW (before the phone rings).
  9. Contact information.Provide your name, phone number, and possibly your web address directly following the call to action. Whatever you ask prospects to do, give them the means to do it easily. However, if your website does not follow through from your offers in the advert, or your website does not have a means of capturing data please think about excluding it and having the prospects call you. At least you get the chance to ask their details.
  10. You You You.You must take control when you get a lead, they are gold. One advertiser at the end of last year was advertising those massive big air conditioning units for factories. He got a good number of leads but when the advert went out it wasn’t particularly hot so no one bought straight away. We asked him in February during a heat wave how many of these leads came to fruition, had he re-contacted them, and he told us that he hadn’t written any of them down. Crazy!

These are all simple steps that can really help to ensure you’re getting the best results possible on each campaign.

Celebrating 10 years in business

When I first got a start in the media I was 15 and still at school. The local paper would let me come in and join the news team for the school holidays and I got to write the record reviews, wedding reports and the obituaries. I even got to review Elton John’s “new” single Crocodile Rock, but that’s really dating me.  Newspapers are in my blood, even my old dad was a photographer going back to the black and white days, and print media is still something I am very passionate about. I left the newsroom and joined the advertising department, before trying my hand at radio and TV sales as well as owning and operating a tropical island resort in the Cook Islands, a wholesale food and beverage distribution business and running backpacker hostels in Cape Tribulation and then Cairns.

So it’s only fitting that I stuck with the media even though I’ve tried all sorts of other things in my life. Ask me how many times I’ve jmped out of a plane, or jumped off a bungy tower, yes I even did these things for a living!

Anyway, the point of all this is that back in the late ’90’s I was a bit disillusioned, selling advertising for the Austereo Network’s top Perth radio station, when there was a cause for celebration if an advertiser got a result after a spend of $5,000 in any one week. I came across a garage door manufacturer who not only gave the radio station a go, and me some commission, but he showed me the Homemaker Catalogue that an agency from Adelaide would compile and deliver to every household in Perth. He said the leads he got from it exceeded everything else he ever did, and that included radio, TV and the newspaper.

Long story short, I didn’t want to go into competition so thought I’d front up to the big smoke – Sydney – and give it a go in Australia’s biggest market.

So, getting together with Denzil we started the Shoppers and Business catalogues in March 2002 and I guess the rest is history. Although successful, we stopped compiling the Shoppers catalogues in 2005 and focused on building a complete solution for B2B businesses in all the main cities in Australia and Auckland.

We’re currently celebrating 10 years in business, our first catalogues hit the streets in June 2002. Over the years we’ve built up a network of trustworthy suppliers and we’re delighted with the team that works with us to deliver the best possible experience for you that we can.

Drop in to our offices anytime, say hello, ask us anything, we eat, live and breathe B2B direct repose media and if we can add value to your business, we will.