There is a common saying that if you don’t toot your own horn, nobody else will. When communicating the value of what your organization does, it is critical to help website visitors understand why they should work with you. Some of the strongest selling points on a website are testimonials, value propositions, clear calls to action, self-generated news releases, and sharing your story or credentials.
Tackle those testimonials
If you don’t want to toot you own horn, let your customers do it for you. The best sales tools are testimonials from satisfied customers. They are more credible, applicable, and real. Once you have them, you’ll want to design space in your layout to sprinkle them liberally throughout the website. The trick is getting them.
– If you do great work and people sing your praises, ask for testimonials.
– If your product/service is not something people want to confess they use (like “getting the IRS off your back”), then offer to use their fi rst name and last initial. When people like you and compliment you, the likelihood that they will help with a testimonial is huge. Just ask politely, and make it easy for them.
– Ask top clients to give short, sweet testimonials and let them know that you “want to brag that they are a client.” Build the testimonial list and add to it as the organization grows.
– To make collection seamless, you can offer to transcribe the testimonial and send it to them for their approval. One of the biggest barriers in getting a testimonial is that the requestee thinks you want a formal recommendation letter. They can get overwhelmed and not act simply because they don’t totally understand that you want something short and sweet.
Offering to write it takes the pressure off and omits inconvenience.
Pepper testimonials throughout your website. Most folks are not compelled to go to a testimonials page. Keep a page on your website with a list of testimonials, as it’s great to be able to e-mail a link to a compiled list of accolades, but sprinkle them throughout your site as well to keep the sales power strong. Often the best structure is to make a claim and then have a testimonial (sometimes in a box) that speaks to that claim.
Clearly communicate value
Online marketing must clearly communicate value so that website visitors understand why they should work/shop/buy/donate. Many organizations make the fi rst words or headline of their website their unique selling proposition. Sometimes showing versus telling works wonders. Video can be a very compelling way to show value in an easy and enjoyable way.
Calls to action need to be called out
If you want website visitors to buy, sign up, download, contact you, or refer a friend, you have to ask them to do so. Calls to action can be woven into website copy, can be designed into the wireframe and built into the website development (e-mail sign-up boxes, contact submission forms), and can even be at the end of videos that live on your website.
Become your own news department
One of the biggest misconceptions organizations have is that they cannot have a press or news page if they haven’t been covered by mainstream media. Wrong. It is the job of marketers to become their own media department, creating properly formatted press releases that live on their websites. Creating selfgenerated news is a sellability strength that communicates the value of what is happening at your organization, shares sales-worthy updates (new products, services, pricing, etc.), and keeps a strong P2P (people-to-people) conversation going. Becoming your own news department also helps boost credibility.
Seeing all the great happenings, awards, and more on your website can help visitors feel secure about doing business with you.
Stories sell. Online marketers must accept that they are in the story-selling business. An easy way to start sales-rich content creation is to communicate the company’s history, the professional backgrounds of its leaders, and so on. Website visitors need to know, like, and trust an organization before they open their wallets, and a surefi re way to start the story-selling process is to share credentials. Be interesting so you can get prospective buyers interested in working with your organization.