Exit Strategies For Your Website

What is the last thing people do on our website? Idealy we would like people to buy or contact us, or perhaps subscribe to our newsletter. Are we considering the phsychology of our web vistors? What is our exit strategy?

Visitors to our website do not always go to our home page first. They might follow a "deep link" from an email or more often than not, search results will also deliver them to some other "landing page". The landing page is the first page a visitor sees on your website.

From the landing page, the visitor may click a call to action, or use your navigation to browse around your website, perhaps glancing over 3-5 pages. Eventually that visitor will have read all that they need to know, and they will make that next step. Here we need to consider the phsychology of the visitor, and what messages we are communicating.

Lets consider the following scenerios

  • Visitor did not find what they were looking for, and use the search tool in their browser to look for another page
  • Visitor found exactly what they were after, and would like to purchase or contact you.
  • Visitor is browsing/researching sites of interest, and might bookmark your site
  • Visitor is browsing/researching sites of interest, and might subscribe to your newsletter
  • Visitor is browsing/researching sites of interest and is weary of giving up personal contact details to you.

Is it this last scenerio that offers the greatest opportunity for social networks. Providing social networking links to your visitors allow them to share/bookmark/fan/friend/follow your website/business/you and to control the method of communication with you. They know they can sever the link at anytime, and they trust this more than giving up personal contact details via your website, that might lead to some anoying sales person contacting them, when they are just not ready to make a purchase. This visitor might have just "stumbled upon" your link, or clicked on one of your adverts somewhere. A person who is currently in this phsychological mode is not ready to purchase. They are "window shopping" and will consider your brand over the next few weeks or months, then eventually they might make a purchase. Many of these people are weary of hard sells. Social networking is a good option for them.

We need to consider all the different types of people who visit our website. They are all in different modes, all in different sections of the customer lifecycle, and they may not all want to engage in an autoresponder/hard sell environment. For each and all visitors of our website, we need to consider what exit page they will leave from. We don't want people to leave our website without making that connection, so:

  • Exit strategies and calls to action must be visible on all pages
  • All exit strategies must be accounted for, telephone number, email link, contact us link, social networks, subscribe and buy buttons.
  • Exit strategies must be in an appropriate place. Links at the bottom of all pages may work, but calls to action on the right column where you don't need to scroll to find them, will more likely be clicked.

Remember that the exit page is only the start of your customer relationship. That customer may follow your blog, status updates, tweets, etc and then one day, will return to your website to make that first purchase or formal enquiry. And from then on, perhaps encourage them to join your mailing list, and then encourage repeat business and word of mouth referrals, or share your links on their status updates and tweets.

Posted: Thursday 15 July 2010

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