To engage visitors as they visit your web site you need to have an offer. Actually, you need to have a range of offers. Visitors in different stages of the sales cycle require different types of support.
If you have to pick one, make it a white paper. They help to educate and engage buyers who are early in the sales cycle and they tend to be passed around.
Next, offer a web seminar. You can tie the content to the white paper and offer deeper information and the opportunity to ask questions. Schedule the web seminar after your white paper has received exposure through your partners or online marketing.
Finally, offer a free trial. This captures visitors who are ready to purchase.
Need more ideas? Here’s a list of materials that will support your visitors at different stages of the buying cycle.
During the research stage, visitors are looking for answers to these types of questions:
What type of technology can solve my business problem?
What vendors offer solutions?
Who do my peers/analysts recommend?
What do I need to know to make a decision?
To make their short list, offer them:
> Informational micro sites
> White papers
> Analyst reports on your industry
During the evaluation phase, visitors want to find out:
How credible is this company?
How do they compare with others?
What is their success rate?
What will my return on investment be?
You can help visitors feel more confident in their decision by providing:
> Analyst reports on your software and related vendors
> A blog authored by executives
> Web seminars featuring customers or industry analysts
> Press coverage/awards
> ROI calculator
> Reference list
When visitors move to the selection stage, they want to know:
What products are right?
How much will it cost?
What’s involved in implementation? Time? Cost?
What impact will this investment make on my organization?
To get selected, provide them with:
> Solution selector
> Web seminars that are product focused
> A blog authored by product experts
> Implementation white papers
> Table of specs and competitive comparison
> Free trial
After customers have purchased from you, they want to know how they can maximize their investment. Help them by providing:
> Online community
> Web seminars on new products
> Best practices white papers
> Best practices/professional services blog
Matching your offers to different stages of the sales cycle allows you to turn more qualified leads over to sales, improve your conversion rates, and build an ongoing relationship with your customers.