When you commission a website you do so for a specific purpose. Often it is to sell products or services. Many would be online businesses fail to develop a coherent strategy though. From the start you need to understand who your prospects are and how to take them through the customer journey.
The AIDA model of sales provides a useful framework to inform your strategy. It is short for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. The theory goes that, to sell to any prospect, you need to attract their attention, build their interest, stir in them a desire, and then make them take an action.
Let’s take a look at how this fits in with your strategy.
Who are your prospects?
To truly understand your prospects you need to comprehend how they think. What are they actually searching for? If they are selling a Nikon Camera, you are selling the ability to take great pictures, not a piece of tech. Yes, sure, people love gadgets, so you need to big up the gadgetry aspect, but your copywriting needs to show them how your products actually help your visitors to achieve their goals. Listen on social media and find out the questions they are asking. Run polls on your site to find out what your customers think about different trends. Find out how you are going to grab their attention. You should also use social media to build relationships, which, when formed, will jump your prospects through the AIDA levels more quickly.
Attention is the first stage. It involves first putting a message in front of the right prospects, and secondly making that message compelling enough to get them to a position to take an interest. This could be the heading in your print marketing, it could be the title in your website page showing in the search engines, or the PPC advert. Grabbing attention is often down to power packed titles, but it could also be stunning graphics.
When a visitor arrives on your page you have only a few seconds to build their interest, or they will leave. Andy of Kudos Web Design, an SEO company in Manchester, explains that “part of building interest is your brand and website design. People are impressed by great designs, and an attractive website can take your prospects from attention to interest, and even start building their desire to buy from you.”
Building interest may also mean ticking boxes. There may be set questions your prospects come with. Can it do such and such? Is it within my price range? Can I get it delivered? You need to make sure you are answering your prospects’ staple questions or they will fall out at an early stage in the process. Bear in mind they won’t look around for the answers; they are not that motivated yet. Make the answers prominent.
After you have got their interest you need to build desire. This is where you show them all the amazing ways your products and services can take away their pains, or bring them pleasure. People buy just about everything out of these motivations.
Taking away pains- how do your products take away physical pain, save time, save money, make communication problems go away and so on?
Bring pleasure- how do your products make them feel better, provide them with great memories, make them happier?
Building desire is about feelings and emotions. You need to use emotive language in most cases to stir these emotions. If you are bored when you are writing you will not be able to. You need to be inspired; for you can only inspire other people from an inspired frame of mind.
To get prospects to take action, first of all you need to provide them with a way to do so; a call to action. You need a buy it now button, a phone number, a contact form and whatever other action interfaces that work for your site. You, or course, need to know what action you want from them to complete, and to write great copy encouraging them, perhaps with some confidence signals, such as guarantee crests, testimonials and grab messages. Take a look at these examples of great calls to action, and have a look around the web for ideas.
By taking your customers through the AIDA journey you will have more success. Building a strategy requires that you break down the customer experience, make sure you are saying the right things at the right times to build confidence, and encourage engagement.