You Have More First-Party Data Than you Think: Here’s How to Use it

You Have More First-Party Data Than you Think: Here’s How to Use it

You Have More First-Party Data Than you Think: Here’s How to Use it

Digital content is a necessary part of your marketing strategy. Discover how to achieve business objectives with a content agency.

5-easy-ways-to-generate-website-traffic
Liz-headshot

Meet the Author

Liz Hersh is the founder of Hersh PR and Marketing, a digital marketing agency. Together with a team of marketing professionals she helps clients generate leads and increase revenue. 

Gain A Better Understanding of Your Customers 

Reaching customers without intruding on their privacy continues to be a priority for marketers in 2022. Google, Apple and Facebook have taken steps to reduce the amount of third-party tracking on their platforms, which translates into less data for marketers to leverage. This information historically has been the cornerstone of effective marketing, helping to shape marketing content, advertising strategies, and more.

A Shifting Reliance on First-Party Data

First-party data is information a company collects directly from its customers. This data is collected firsthand without an intermediary between you and the information.  First-party data can only be accessed via platforms that you own and control. As a company, you can gather information about digital interactions, purchase history, social behavior or profile preferences to create content, ads and digital experiences that cater to an individual’s interests.

Third-party data sources can be incredibly helpful, but as we’ve seen, these sources are becoming less reliable and more expensive. Which is why it’s more important than ever to focus on collecting and using data that you own.

Benefits of First-Party Data

By relying on actual interactions with your brand, you’re building a strong foundation to understand your customers. The results can translate into a superior product or service without the “creep factor” that is associated with third-party tracking. First-party data is readily available and much easier to collect than you might think.  It’s about knowing what’s available and using it to shape your business strategy.

So, how can you effectively get the most out of your data without the help of third-party tracking?

Pro Tip: Use first-party data to create highly personalized messages and increase the effectiveness of your marketing.

Ready to take action? Let’s have a conversation

Sources of First-Party Data

Website

Digital interactions via your website are a primary way to collect data. Traffic sources, visitor behavior and even names and email addresses collected through website forms are valuable data points. Consider how users respond to your website and the pages they visit the most. 

Email and SMS

Your subscriber list is another valuable data source. Open rates, click rates and bounce rates all shed light on how these individuals interact with your brand and your content. Both email and text messaging are considered intimate forms of communication and can shed light on how customers view your company.

Call Centers

If your company runs a call center, you likely have access to call records and transcripts. This information can be used to understand patterns, keywords or other quantitative data that can help shape your strategy.

 Survey Data and Customer Feedback

Simple online surveys can yield plenty of information about your customers and what they want from you. More formal surveys conducted by a third party are still considered essential if you want unbiased feedback from customers.

Common Challenges with First-Party Data

Despite access to a wealth of information, there are challenges to collecting and leveraging this data. 

Poor Strategy  

Do you know what sources you have? And are they properly configured to collect data? It might take several weeks or months to understand what information is relevant to your brand and how to go about collecting it. And don’t forget to consider how you plan to map the data to your customer journey.

Integrating Data from Multiple Platforms

It’s challenging to pull data from different sources into one cohesive system or report that will give you a true sense of the big picture. Even though you own these data sources, the technology across platforms may or may not integrate easily. Consider partnering with an agency with the technical experience to guide the strategy and implementation of this piece. 

Taking Meaningful Action in Real Time

Your data is only valuable if you use it in a timely matter. Customer behaviors are ever evolving which means companies need to move efficiently when they recognize valuable trends. And always be ready to shift your strategy as the landscape evolves.

Your Next Steps

Using first-person data to guide your marketing campaigns is no longer optional – it’s a must do for every brand. Invest the time in understanding what data sources will be valuable to you and build the necessary system to collect and distill the information in a way that’s actionable. Over time, you’ll be able understand what data points are key success metrics for your brand.

Hopefully the tips above will help improve your campaigns. Have more questions about data driven marketing? Reach out to us directly.

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Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

In a world where online sales channels have become increasingly important, digital content is a necessary part of your marketing strategy that you cannot ignore. But creating quality content takes time, creative energy and a strong understanding of search engines.

read more
10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

Automated emails are one of the best methods to nurture leads and convert them into paying customers. When you have an effective email campaign that provides significant amounts of value to those who follow your content, your organization can generate revenue with minimal ongoing effort.

read more

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Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

Digital content is a necessary part of your marketing strategy. Discover how to achieve business objectives with a content agency.

5-easy-ways-to-generate-website-traffic

Achieve Your Business Objectives With a Content Agency 

Online sales channels have become increasingly important and digital content is a necessary part of your marketing strategy that you cannot ignore. But creating quality content takes time, creative energy and a strong understanding of digital platforms.

Between basic website maintenance and supporting your sales team, it’s likely you don’t have the necessary resources to produce thought-leadership content in house.  

If your manufacturing firm wants to gain more market share or cultivate better brand awareness, an increased content marketing effort may be exactly what you need. The right agency can be an invaluable partnership, ensuring the right customers find your business. However, hiring a content agency isn’t as cut and dried as you might think.

Here are several steps and considerations to discuss before you hire an agency.

Consider This Before Partnering with a Content Agency

The objectives of your business can be achieved through a focused content strategy, but only if you are clear on your goals and how you are measuring success.

Before hiring a content agency, discuss items such as sales goals, creating awareness for your brand, and positioning your organization as a leader in the industry. Content plays a role in all of these.

You also need to ask yourself a few tough questions about your existing content.

For instance, when was the last time you updated your website content? When was the last time you published or shared something new that provided real value to your target market?

Chances are good that you’ll need an agency partner if you are still relying on print materials that haven’t been updated in several years.

As I’ve mentioned, your internal bandwidth will also play a major factor in outsourcing your content. It can take 50+ hours per month to produce and promote high quality content, and most brands don’t have the capacity to do this in-house.

Pro Tip: Developing meaningful content is built on a strong understanding of your target market so make sure you have detailed buyer personas to reference.

Ready to take action? Let’s have a conversation

Understand the Content Landscape

There are dozens of different kinds of content that you can use for your manufacturing brand – blogs, videos, podcasts, eBooks, infographics or webinars are all viable types of content you might consider incorporating into your strategy.  

The sheer number of content opportunities means you’ll need to evaluate each potential partner carefully to understand what’s in their wheelhouse. Large, full-service agencies can provide a full suite of services, but they understandably come with more overhead and higher rates. Smaller agencies, on the other hand, often have several niche areas. Most of these specialize in one or several types of content production and are generally friendlier to your budget.

What to Look for in a Content Agency

The content agency you hire should do more than just churn out content for you. Think of this as a long-term relationship and an extension of your in-house team. Here are a few items you can use to evaluate potential partners. 

Areas of Expertise

  • Does the agency have experience creating content for manufacturers? And are they comfortable writing slightly technical content as your strategy evolves?
  • What types of content do they excel at?
  • What is the agency’s breadth of expertise? Are they strictly copywriters? Or are they familiar with related concepts such as keyword research and search engine optimization?

Who is Doing the Work?

  • What specific services are handled in-house, and what services (if any) are outsourced?
  • If any services are outsourced, how is quality controlled?
  • Will you have an account manager supporting you?

Measuring and Reporting

  • Does the agency have a solid track record of success? And will they actively measure and report on their content marketing efforts in relation to your business goals?
  • Does the agency make an effort to understand your business and its goals?
  • What tech tools or other reporting tools are used? How often do you receive reports?

Remember that mistakes with outsourcing can be costly. While content creators can quickly familiarize themselves with your brand, you’ll want to make sure it’s a long-term creative fit for both of you. Starting from scratch is a massive drain on company resources and you will lose momentum that you have built, which can be frustrating.

Next Steps for Your Marketing Team

Creating content for your brand, making sure that it is optimized and sharing it across multiple channels takes a considerable amount of effort. If you’re ready to commit to a content strategy to achieve your business goals, hiring an agency is a smart move. Content comes in many different forms, styles and voices, so do your research on each potential partner to ensure that they are the right fit for your brand. 

Hopefully the tips above will help improve your digital marketing. Have more questions about hiring a content agency? Reach out to us directly.

Liz-headshot

Meet the Author

Liz Hersh is the founder of Hersh PR and Marketing, a digital marketing agency. Together with a team of marketing professionals she helps clients generate leads and increase revenue. 

Read 
More Articles.

Read 
More Articles.

Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

In a world where online sales channels have become increasingly important, digital content is a necessary part of your marketing strategy that you cannot ignore. But creating quality content takes time, creative energy and a strong understanding of search engines.

read more
10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

Automated emails are one of the best methods to nurture leads and convert them into paying customers. When you have an effective email campaign that provides significant amounts of value to those who follow your content, your organization can generate revenue with minimal ongoing effort.

read more

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10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

5-easy-ways-to-generate-website-traffic
Liz-headshot

Meet the Author

Liz Hersh is the founder of Hersh PR and Marketing, a digital marketing agency. Together with a team of marketing professionals she helps clients generate leads and increase revenue. 

Use Email Automation to Improve eCommerce Sales 

There is no denying that automated emails are one of the best methods to nurture leads and convert them into paying customers.  When you have an effective email campaign that provides significant value to those who follow your content, your organization can generate repeat conversions with minimal ongoing effort.

Your email list is the backbone of your eCommerce business, and making sure you are sending the right kinds of emails to those who have signed up for your list is incredibly important.

Why Automate Your Emails?

The savviest eCommerce companies understand that consistent communication with an email list generates web traffic and sales. By automating these emails, you’re freeing up time to spend on other areas of the business.

Automated emails are carefully planned emails sent to subscribers at a specific time or as a response to the actions of users on a website. Automation allows eCommerce companies to save time, boost sales, warm up leads, and create highly targeted offers.

Think of automated emails as a function of your business. Just as your business contains different departments that take care of each aspect of the business, the same can be said for automated emails.  Make them a regular part of your communications and marketing, and you will understand what a game-changer this can be for your business.

Transactional Emails

The purpose of transactional emails is to confirm that your customer has completed a purchase and that their order is on its way. Obviously, this matters because you need to let your customers know their order has been received and is being processed. We consider these to be standard transactional emails:

  • Order confirmation
  • Shipping notification
  • Delivery notification

As straightforward as this may seem, there are a few other things that you can do with transactional emails:

  • Provide an offer for their next purchase. It could be a fixed discount or free shipping.
  • Remind customers of products they might have been interested in purchasing.
  • Obtain feedback on your ordering process.

New Subscriber Welcome Email Series

The first major step in any prospect’s buying process is to subscribe to an email list. After they have subscribed to your email list, we recommend initiating a new subscriber email series.

This series matters because if a prospect is interested enough to subscribe to your email list, it turns them into a hot lead who is more likely to buy from you.

Emails in this series should be sent out immediately. Consider including content such as your most popular videos or blogs, more insight about your company and your mission, or an offer exclusively for new subscribers. The intent is to keep them engaged and encourage frequent visits to your website.

Pro Tip: You don’t have to activate all 10 of these automated emails at once. Start with what you can and expand as your company grows. 

New Customer Welcome Email Series

Once a customer has bought something from your organization, they need to be reassured that not only did they make the right decision, they also need to be assured that they are valued. The new customer welcome email series does this.

The emails in this series need to do two things. They need to cement that you provided a seamless buying experience and they need to encourage new customers to make a second purchase.

Start these emails off with a strong brand statement to establish credibility and trust. You can follow that up with information about social media channels and support resources if necessary. We also suggest including a request for product feedback, just make sure that email will arrive only after the order is delivered!

Abandoned Cart Emails

Abandoned cart emails in your campaign have the potential to be some of your most profitable emails. These need to be taken seriously.

Potential customers abandon their carts for various reasons, and the goal of this email is to get them to complete the purchase. These emails should be sent about a half hour after the cart is abandoned. Focus on helping the customer more than selling to them. They may have abandoned their cart due to technical issues so consider including contact information for customer support.

Back in Stock Notifications

Items that are out of stock are inconvenient for everybody involved and it can be a legitimate reason why a customer doesn’t buy anything. This is where the back in stock notification comes in handy.  It will let customers know that what they wanted is back in stock, which will hopefully lead them to buy.

Most of the time, back in stock notifications can take the place of an abandoned cart email in that it makes more sense for your customer to receive this email instead of the abandoned cart email if anything in your catalog is out of stock.

Showing pictures of the product that was previously out of stock, linking the email to a regenerated session of their cart and making alternative suggestions if the item has been discontinued are the best ways to use back in stock notifications.

Product Education Emails or Evergreen Blog Articles

Content in the form of information that provides infinite value is known as “evergreen” content.

If executed properly, these can be very profitable emails in your campaigns. These messages can convert followers into buyers and they can convince buyers to purchase more. Product education emails can vastly improve a buying experience and give you loads of opportunities to cross sell.

Product education emails should be part of your new customer or new subscriber email series, as they can provide information that those on your email list will appreciate tremendously.

Cross Sell Emails

There are two steps you should take when somebody buys one of your products.

First, make sure that the customer’s buying experience is as perfect as it can get. Make sure there is product education content attached to the purchase if necessary, and make sure any questions about the product can be answered easily.

The second thing you should do is send a cross sell email. This is where you send an email that sells something that is related to what was just sold to the customer. Cross sell emails are important because they will help your customers find something else that is useful for them as well as help you generate more sales.

Pro Tip: Test different variables like subject lines, delivery times and workflow spacing to determine what generates the best response. 

VIP Emails

Your most valuable customers ought to be treated differently than customers who just come and go. When your VIP customers remain happy, they will keep buying from you and you won’t have to work as hard to generate conversions.

This is where the VIP email comes in. VIP emails target the top 5 to 20 percent of customers, giving them an incentive to continue making purchases.

Executing these kinds of emails means you need to know who your VIP customers are. When it comes to determining your VIP customers, consider how much your customers have purchased and how frequently they have ordered from you. You can even take this a step further by creating a formal rewards program with different levels based on how often someone makes a purchase.

Win Back Emails

When a customer has not purchased something from your website for a long time, you’re going to need to win them back.  These emails are important because once a website visitor has bought from you, the chances of them buying from you again are very high, and a well executed win-back email campaign can accomplish this.

Executing a solid win-back email campaign is done by determining when customers lose interest. One way you can do this is by tracking how much time has passed between purchases. The average time between orders will vary from one online retailer to the next. Determine what makes sense for your business and build an automation with an offer they can’t refuse.

Date-Based Emails

Everyone can relate to important dates and milestones, whether it is a birthday, anniversary, or another similar event. Your customers and subscribers will appreciate anybody who remembers their birthdays or the date of their first purchase.

Executing date-based emails is as easy as collecting a subscriber’s birthday or anniversary, then putting those emails into your campaign. You’ll then be able to offer anything you want to them within your date-based email.

Your Next Steps 

Having one email campaign for everyone who visits your website is simply not enough if you are serious about acquiring and keeping customers for your brand.

Ten different email campaigns may seem overwhelming, but given that most email campaign software allows you to easily build automations with different kinds of triggers and parameters, this is much easier than it looks.

Hopefully the tips above will help improve your eCommerce conversions. Have more questions about setting up successful email automation campaigns? Reach out to us directly.

Read 
More Articles.

Read 
More Articles.

Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

In a world where online sales channels have become increasingly important, digital content is a necessary part of your marketing strategy that you cannot ignore. But creating quality content takes time, creative energy and a strong understanding of search engines.

read more
10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

Automated emails are one of the best methods to nurture leads and convert them into paying customers. When you have an effective email campaign that provides significant amounts of value to those who follow your content, your organization can generate revenue with minimal ongoing effort.

read more

Subscribe to Get The Latest Insights.

What makes marketing so challenging?

Trying to keep-up with the tools, technology and the limited attention span of your target market are all challenging. Get our tips on how to grow leads and revenue, delivered directly to your inbox.

Join The List

Request a Consultation.

Are you ready to take action? Let's see how we can reach your
goals with a 20-minute introductory call.

7 Marketing Metrics Every Manufacturer Should be Tracking

7 Marketing Metrics Every Manufacturer Should be Tracking

7 Marketing Metrics Every Manufacturer Should be Tracking

Don’t waste time on meaningless metrics. Learn how your company can measure goals and track performance with these KPIs.

5-easy-ways-to-generate-website-traffic

How to Use Data to Run More Effective Campaigns 

What gets measured gets not only managed, but improved.

Of the dozens of marketing metrics that you can track, we’ve identified seven lead generation metrics that will ensure your organization runs more effective campaigns. In order to set the right goals and prove returns on your marketing spend, you must have a handle on these metrics.

The best part is that most of these can be easily tracked using Google Analytics or similar tracking tools. Sure, there are more advanced tools available, but you won’t need to spend a lot of money to obtain insight on these basic data points.

#1 Website Visits/Traffic Sources

Site visits are a basic but very important metric. Every campaign should have a “visits” goal because traffic is often the early indicator of how effective your message is — or if it’s time to update a campaign’s creative. If clicks to a landing page are lower than expected, then the message, graphics and/or the call to action needs tweaking.

A closely related metric is traffic sources. Within Google Analytics, there are several primary “sources” you need to be aware of:

Direct Traffic: Visits that comes from those who directly typed or copied the URL of your website into their browser, clicked on a bookmark or clicked a link in an email/SMS chat.

Search/Organic Traffic: Visits to your website from an unpaid search result on Google, Bing or Yahoo.

Referral Traffic: Traffic that comes from a third-party website rather than a search engine. This could include links from press releases, guest articles, business directories or social media websites.

Paid Website Traffic: These are visits to your website from people who have clicked on a Google paid search ad or display ad. This only applies to businesses running advertising campaigns, and you’ll need proper tracking set-up within Analytics.

All four of these are equally important in that search engines like to see traffic coming from each source. There aren’t any hard and fast rules about the ideal breakdown in traffic, but direct traffic and organic traffic are still highly coveted. Take steps to improve traffic from all sources and you’ll be moving in the right direction.

Pro Tip: Use your existing data in Google Analytics to create a baseline. Understanding your baseline is critical to developing an effective marketing strategy.

Ready to take action? Let’s have a conversation

#2 Time Spent on Site

Do visitors to your website leave after quickly scanning your home page? Or do they spend time digging into the content and your services? Most website visitors spend less than 15 seconds on any given website, and that’s not enough time to demonstrate your thought-leadership.

The first step to increasing time spent on your website is making sure your strategy includes a client persona that focuses on pain points as well as content that addresses their challenges.

Publishing original content such as blog articles, case studies, podcasts, videos or white papers gives visitors a reason to explore your website. Plus, when you create thought-leadership content, you demonstrate to search engines why your website is relevant.

Tools like Crazy Egg and Lucky Orange offer more advanced insight into what your visitors are doing with heatmaps and recordings.

#3 Bounce Rate

Related to time spent on a website is something called Bounce Rate.

A “Bounce” refers to the act of a visitor getting to the website and then leaving said website without any further interaction.

Ideally this rate should never rise above 60%. You need to make some serious adjustments to your message, homepage design, and some of your CTAs if your bounce rate is this high.

If your campaign message aligns with your landing page and you give visitors the information they want, you’ll begin to see your bounce rate fall. This is an iterative process that takes time. Systematic tweaks over time can yield results. Use your existing data as a baseline and start tracking your progress. 

#4 Number of Pages Ranked

Website success will always be related to search rankings, and the number of pages you rank for represents the number of chances for your potential customers to discover your content as well as your website.

Ideally you want this number to be the majority of pages that you have on your site. You can use a free tool like Google Search Console to track ranked pages. If you are ready to invest in a paid tool, you’ll get a little more insight on your ranking pages as well as those of your competitors.

Blogs, case studies or podcasts with specific key phrases are opportunities for your website to rank. These individual pages will begin to rank over time in searches, generating more visits and leads.

#5 Number of Leads Generated

Leads are generated by what is known as a call to action, or CTA.

Determining how many leads a given CTA in your content generates is one of the most useful marketing metrics you can track. Optimizing for leads (and quite often the goal is better qualified leads) is also an iterative process, involving incremental tweaks over time.

If you are running several campaigns and testing multiple CTAs, then you’ll be well on your way to understanding what is most appealing to your target customers.

#6 Lead Conversion Rate

Related to the number of leads is the conversion rate, the percentage of visitors to your website that complete a desired goal out of the total number of visitors.

A high conversion rate is ideal. Traffic doesn’t mean much if it doesn’t convert into leads who could possibly benefit from your services.

Think of conversion rate as a journey that a buyer takes that leads them to pursuing your product or service. You can segment this journey into three phases and track your conversion rate for each phase: The awareness phase, the consideration phase, and the decision phase.

By tracking your conversion rate through this journey, you’ll understand how far your visitors get into the conversion cycle. You can then alter your strategies and campaigns to improve conversions.

#7 Return on Investment (ROI)

Probably one of the most important metrics to measure is ROI because it shows you directly which tactics work and which ones do not.

ROI is best expressed in a percentage. For example, a $1000 investment that generated $1200 in revenue would have an ROI of 20% since 1200 is 20% greater than 1000.

Determine your target ROI during planning and strategy conversions. Then work backward to further define the resources required to achieve this goal. Consider all of the resources you have at your disposal when doing this with the understanding that successful marketing campaigns don’t come together over night!

Next Steps for Your Marketing Team

Digital marketing strategies are a marathon, not a sprint. And as the world becomes more and more digital in its communication, it’s necessary to have an understanding of these unique metrics. You’ll find that your internet visibility is stronger, and your expertise is in much higher demand, especially in the world of manufacturing where there is a lot of competition.

The same principles of traditional marketing apply to web-based marketing campaigns. You need to build trust and authority with your digital audience, using these metrics as indicators of your progress.

Hopefully the tips above will help improve your digital marketing. Have more questions about running successful marketing campaigns? Reach out to us directly.

Liz-headshot

Meet the Author

Liz Hersh is the founder of Hersh PR and Marketing, a digital marketing agency. Together with a team of marketing professionals she helps clients generate leads and increase revenue. 

Read 
More Articles.

Read 
More Articles.

Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

In a world where online sales channels have become increasingly important, digital content is a necessary part of your marketing strategy that you cannot ignore. But creating quality content takes time, creative energy and a strong understanding of search engines.

read more
10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

Automated emails are one of the best methods to nurture leads and convert them into paying customers. When you have an effective email campaign that provides significant amounts of value to those who follow your content, your organization can generate revenue with minimal ongoing effort.

read more

Subscribe to Get The Latest Insights.

What makes marketing so challenging?

Trying to keep-up with the tools, technology and the limited attention span of your target market are all challenging. Get our tips on how to grow leads and revenue, delivered directly to your inbox.

Join The List

Request a Consultation.

Are you ready to take action? Let's see how we can reach your
goals with a 20-minute introductory call.

WordPress Websites: What to Look for in a Web Design Company

WordPress Websites: What to Look for in a Web Design Company

WordPress Websites: What to Look for in a Web Design Company

Liz-headshot

Meet the Author

Liz Hersh is the founder of Hersh PR and Marketing, a digital marketing agency. Together with a team of marketing professionals she helps clients generate leads and increase revenue. 

Find the Right Partner to Build Your WordPress Website 

Having a strong website is important because it’s often the first impression you will make on potential customers. Whether they found you through a search engine or through a link shared by a connection, your website is typically the first point of contact.  A strong website is well-organized, easy to navigate, modern (in terms of style and layout), functional, branded, and motivates the visitor to do business with you.

A company specializing in website design and development will help you achieve a website that looks great and is suited to your style or brand. A website developer will use the designer’s specifications in order to bring the concept to life. Here’s what to look for when choosing a WordPress web design company:

Are They The Total Package?

It takes a surprising number of specialists to launch a successful website. A content specialist will ensure you nail the marketing messages. A graphic designer can make those words pop. And a developer has the technical expertise to ensure everything functions properly. Make sure the company you partner with is able to handle the content, design and any custom coding needed for your website to function the way you want it to.

Review Their Portfolio

What has the web designer or developer done for other companies? Do you like their past work? While it’s true that the definition of what makes a great website varies slightly from company to company, you should observe a level of design and function that is indicative of a professional. Looking at the projects that your web design and development firm have already completed will give you the best idea of what they can do for you.

How Big is This Company – And How Big is Their Average Client?

Designing a website for a small business is much different than designing a website for a large corporation. The scope of work and resources required are drastically different. If a firm doesn’t understand your needs and how to fill them (one-on-one meetings, the ability to change things on your own in the content management system, follow up help after the project is complete), you might need to consider a firm better suited to work with small and mid-size businesses.

Pro Tip: It’s advantageous to work with a company that you can form a long-term business relationship with. Not all freelancers are interested in long-term relationships because they may not have the resources to support your future goals.

Consider Your Timeline

Do you need this project done quickly? Is there a specific date you have in mind to launch? Making sure that a company can plan a reasonable timeline, or that they can follow the timeline you have in mind, will help the project go smoothly. And don’t forget to ask how the relationship between your company and theirs will continue once the project is complete.

Upfront and Ongoing Investment

Depending on the status of your business, price can be a major factor in deciding who designs, builds, and maintains your website. Websites are a lot like cars, ranging from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the functionality, appearance and security required. That’s why it’s important to clearly define your goals and requirements and educate yourself on the resources required to make it happen. And remember, even after design, development, and implementation, websites require maintenance. They are a tool that can help your business grow and thrive when properly maintained.

We believe the best way to achieve your dream website is by hiring a single company dedicated to the design, development, and implementation of your site.  Contact us today for more information.

Read 
More Articles.

Read  More Articles.

Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency

In a world where online sales channels have become increasingly important, digital content is a necessary part of your marketing strategy that you cannot ignore. But creating quality content takes time, creative energy and a strong understanding of search engines.

read more
10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

10 Automated Emails Every eCommerce Company Needs

Automated emails are one of the best methods to nurture leads and convert them into paying customers. When you have an effective email campaign that provides significant amounts of value to those who follow your content, your organization can generate revenue with minimal ongoing effort.

read more

Subscribe to Get The Latest Insights.

What makes marketing so challenging?

Trying to keep-up with the tools, technology and the limited attention span of your target market are all challenging. Get our tips on how to grow leads and revenue, delivered directly to your inbox.

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Increase Website Conversions: Simple Site Edits for Manufacturers

Increase Website Conversions: Simple Site Edits for Manufacturers

Increase Website Conversions: Simple Site Edits for Manufacturers

Increasing your conversion rates is absolutely crucial.  Discover simple website edits that help manufacturers improve website performance.

How to Convert Website Traffic into Leads 

An eye-catching website is an essential component of any digital marketing strategy. However, having a good-looking website won’t necessarily convert web traffic into qualified leads. The best websites engage the audience, educate them, and demonstrate that your product or service is a viable solution to their challenges.

The challenge for marketing departments is knowing what site changes to implement because there are many variables that affect conversions. Short of conducting extensive split testing, in-house marketing teams must incrementally test different variables to see what performs best.

Here are some of the most common website edits we implement to help clients increase website conversions.

Don’t Beat Around the Bush: Clearly State Your Value Proposition

Don’t bury this information! It should be front and center on your home page and any campaign landing pages. Knowing your target market, their pain points and how you solve them is of utmost importance. Do you understand the journey they take in order to solve these challenges? If you don’t immediately speak to your target markets’ needs, you’ve lost them.

Crafting these messages, both written and visual, is an art and a science. You need to consider how the visitor is arriving at your site – via organic Google search, display ad or PPC ad – and how the verbiage on the page builds on the information they expect to find.

Here are some content/messaging best practices to consider:

  • Make the text scannable and use short paragraphs. Visitors will only read about 20% of your content.
  • Be concise. Be relevant. Use action verbs.
  • Omit unnecessary words and minimize jargon.
  • Incorporate plenty of headlines. Be short and direct. Headlines should stand on their own and be understood out of context of the rest of the text.
  • Front load important information.
  •  It’s OK to leave the visitor wanting more.

Pro Tip: A meaningful value proposition is built on a strong understanding of your target market. Make sure you have detailed buyer personas to reference. 

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Make Your Objective Clear

Just like with your value proposition, don’t bury this! Make it clear and obvious what you want your website visitors to do.

Is the first step in your buyer’s journey educational? Perhaps they should download an eBook or review product specs.

Is your product highly customizable for the unique needs of each client? Perhaps you might want to highlight case studies that demonstrate your ability to partner with customers and solve complex problems.

Remember this is step one of what could be a long and winding buyer’s journey! It’s your job to test and learn what’s going to move the lead through this journey efficiently.

The Three-Click Rule

Whenever we’re working on a website, we constantly ask this question: Are we getting the visitor to the information they want in three clicks or less?

If users can’t find what they are looking for quickly, they are likely to become frustrated and leave your website. This gets tricky for manufacturers with a robust set of products or services, or products that are complex in nature that might require the visitor to explore technical specifications.

Here are some items to keep in mind:

Navigation Bar: Make sure you have clear navigation at the top of the site. Visitors shouldn’t have to think too much about where they need to go; good navigation will lead them throughout the site naturally.

Site Search Tool: For websites that contain a lot of product data, consider an optimized search tool that will return relevant and accurate results.

Website Forms: Placement of lead capture forms is critical. You don’t want to turn customers off by immediately shoving a contact form in their face.

Buttons and Links: Use well labeled buttons, links and calls to action that tell users where they are and where they will be headed.

Build Trust With Reviews, Testimonials, or Case Studies

Testimonials play a valuable role in building trust and increasing sales. According to research from BrightLocal, 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Case studies also play a role in shaping buyer perception by illustrating a company’s success. By explaining how a customer used a product to solve a problem, you can demonstrate what your brand delivers and represents. Your leads are more likely to convert if you can show that others have benefited from what you’re offering.

Full-Length Case Studies: For longer case studies, we like to use the S.O.A.R. format. This stands for Situation, Opportunity, Action Taken and Results Generated.

Mini Case Studies: Some projects don’t require a detailed case study, but we find that there is still a story worth telling. Use mini-case studies to highlight customer wins as well.

Add a Live Chat or a Chatbot

Big companies like Amazon or Zappos have trained us to expect instant gratification, if not demand it. A recent study by Salesforce Research has shown that all buyers have the same expectations regardless of the purchase type. The study also indicated that 80% of business buyers expect real-time communications.

Don’t let this create unnecessary stress for your marketing and sales department. Chatbots can bridge the gap between getting questions answered immediately and speaking with a live human. Even a simple chatbot can capture contact information and reassure the website visitor that help is on the way.

Before you shoot down this idea, reasoning that chatbots are impersonal and don’t align with your brand, consider how this could accelerate your sales and marketing. Depending on how you build your chatbot, you have the potential to streamline lead qualification, lead nurturing and meeting scheduling. Aren’t these the same reasons we leverage other tools like email marketing?

Be available to your customers where and when they are looking for your services. Test a chatbot or a live chat feature and measure how it affects conversions.

Next Steps to Increase Your Website Conversions

Set aside any preconceptions you have about what you think might work and what won’t. It’s amazing how much of our own perceptions influence our decision making. And remember that a website is always in development. You should always be testing and learning to better understand your audience and improve conversions.

Hopefully the tips above will help increase website conversions. Have more questions about your website content, design or user experience? Reach out to us directly.

Liz-headshot

Meet the Author

Liz Hersh is the founder of Hersh PR and Marketing, a digital marketing agency. Together with a team of marketing professionals she helps clients generate leads and increase revenue. 

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