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How to court your customers online

How to court your customers online

By Darren Guarnaccia, SVP Product Marketing, Sitecore, and Geoffrey Bock, Principal, Bock & Company

Your marketing campaign was successful. Your objective was to raise awareness for your company’s innovative products and services. You wrote compelling web content to highlight your offerings. You focused on search engine optimisation (SEO), and targeted relevant keywords on Google and Yahoo. You emailed current customers and prospect lists to send them to optimised landing pages. You measured the results and conversion rates to find you successfully increased the volume of leads in your sales pipeline. Now what do you do for an encore?

Beyond a successful campaign

Use your website content to engage your website visitors. The web can be a low intimacy and noisy channel with the competition a mere click away. Nurturing relationships takes time and requires a constant supply of fresh content. To keep prospects returning to your website time and again, you need to continually provide them with new and pertinent information.

Does your website adapt the web experience to your customers? Can you track what interests your website visitors and adapt content to their concerns?  

Great content will engage your prospects at each step of the sales cycle from browsing to creating a short-list.  Your website needs to automatically qualify leads, identify the most promising ones, and notify the sales team as soon as a prospect is close to making a buying decision.  

How to court your customers

Your website can help you learn about your visitor’s habits, preferences, and typical actions. Then encourage your visitors to engage by enchanting them with a web experience that adapts to their interests and suspected requirements. When your website visitors return, you can improve their interactive experience by delivering ever more relevant content without them even asking for it. By adapting to your visitors you’ll deliver a better experience and build stronger relationships than the static one-size-fits-all experience on your competitors’ websites.

Nurturing solutions that deliver well qualified leads

Now that you are personalising your online marketing activities, you can deliver more segmented campaigns that leverage all that visitor knowledge and deliver even more qualified leads to the sales team. As it tracks your customers, the web content management system (WCMS) should alert you to when they are becoming more engaged and showing greater interest.  

While you are delivering an engaging experience to website visitors you can concurrently supply your sales team with valuable details. By assigning values to actions on your website (for example, requesting a product brochure may be worth five points, a white paper 25 points and a product demo 100 points) you can create a content scoring system. This content scoring system can help you continue to provide increasingly targeted content and trigger responses from your sales team at just the right moments. The website experience continues to become more personalised each time a customer accesses customised web pages, clicks on personalised links, or views dynamically generated content.

Forging delightful experiences

Courting your customers in this way allows you to bring marketing and sales closer together to effectively convert website visitors into qualified leads, while continuing to build a more engaging online presence. Once you’ve made the initial investments in your web infrastructure, the online channel becomes a low cost, high volume and high impact operation. Now your website can reinforce your brand, delight your customers and develop valuable insights into their interests and needs. Such early access to market trends, gives you up-to-the-minute knowledge about trends in your marketplace – something that is arguably the most valuable information of all.
Today, courting your customers online means engaging them and enchanting them with meaningful content, and perfectly timed web experiences.  

AJR
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