In a business to consumer (B2C) context as opposed to business to business (B2B) context, they are essentially telling you who they are in order to begin a relationship with your company.
Getting Questions Answered Today vs. the Past
When people needed to solve a problem in the past, they would go to the library, look at print magazines and newspapers, or go to conferences or tradeshows. Today, search engines and social media are incredibly influential. When someone has a question, they do not write it down and head to the library. Instead, they immediately whip out their smartphone and ask Google or Siri their question. If they are at home using their desktop, notebook, or tablet, they are asking questions all day long to Siri, Alexa, Bing, Google, or Cortana.
If there is an expertise unique to your company that aligns well with your products and services, it is in your company's best interest to make sure you are answering those types of questions on your website. That way, when an ideal prospect or client asks you a question, they can find their answer on your website in one of your digital assets.
A great way to look at this would be to think about every question you have been asked in person, on a sales call, at a client meeting, over email, at a conference, or at a networking event. You want to have a question and answer for every one of those on your website.
Two-Pronged Emotional Response
When a search is conducted and an ideal client lands on your website, they should experience a two-pronged emotional response. The first reaction should be “Wow, I have been looking for information like this for hours, days, and weeks. I cannot believe I finally found it—this stuff is amazing.”
The first reaction is important because it prevents buyers from bouncing away from your website. If buyers bounce from your website, there is an excellent chance they are never coming back. The worst part is, tens of millions of people are logged onto servers Google owns every day; not only did your visitor leave, but Google knows they came and left a few seconds later.
What kind of message is sent to Google when someone visits your website and leaves a few seconds later? It’s similar to someone walking into a store at a shopping mall and immediately leaving because they felt they were lured in under false pretenses. Do you think Google is going to continue to send visitors to your website through organic search or their AdWords program if users are leaving instantly? It’s bad for the user and it’s bad for your ability to attract prospects. You need to be sure visitors get much value from your content.
The second part of the emotional reaction is “Who are these folks and what else do they have to say?” This second reaction allows visitors to stick around long enough to notice other blogs, and other inside pages. Visitors may see a video they can play or call-to-action buttons that take them to premium content.
Premium content is valuable content often kept behind landing pages. Examples of premium content might include:
- Planning guides
- White papers
- Special reports
- Downloadable checklists
Landing pages are where the pedal hits the metal -- they offer something so valuable that prospects are willing to pay with their form of virtual currency. Prospects essentially give you their business card information along with other information about themselves to get access to your premium content.
Why Businesses Suck at Generating Leads
The trouble is many businesses totally suck at generating leads from their website. What often ends up happening is, the only place someone can raise their hand and say “Hey, I’m interested,” is a Contact Us page, Sign Up for a Demo page, or a Request a Quote page.
The problem with having only a Contact Us page, Sign Up for a Demo page, or a Request a Quote page is that they only appeal to people at the absolute tail-end of their sales process or buyer’s journey (Decision stage). This means that 70%-80% of their mind is already made up, and they are finally ready to talk to with someone from your company.
Prospects know that when they fill out a form, minutes later, they will be contacted by sales. So they don’t do that early on in their buyer’s journey. In the early stages of their buyer’s journey (Awareness stage), they are looking for educational content that helps them solve their problem.
In the middle of the buyer’s journey (Consideration stage), they are looking for content to help them evaluate and compare solutions to their problem.
Once they pass the Awareness and Consideration stages of the buyer’s journey, when they are 70%-80% of the way through the decision-making process, then, and only then, it is the right time to lean on your Contact Us page, Sign Up for a Demo page, or a Request a Quote page.
If your website only has a Contact Us page, what you are explicitly saying to your potential clients is that you don’t want to talk, provide value, or begin a relationship with prospects until they are absolutely ready to talk to sales and ready to buy.
Considered Sales Process
If your company has a considered sales process where the average sales cycle is not an impulse purchase, where it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months or more to buy, you are sabotaging your company if the only thing you have on your website is a Contact Us page with a form to fill out or a phone number to call.
The analogy I tend to use is: I am 6’1”, a moderately tall guy, so when I go car shopping, headroom and legroom are fairly important to me. So let’s say it’s my first time out to a car dealership. A salesperson walks over to me and says “Mr. Feinberg, what kind of car will you be leaving with today?” It is my first time here, and I am just checking out headroom and legroom. After this happens three to four times, what happens to the relationship? The person at the dealership completely brushed off my needs, and I am walking out the door after having had a miserable experience.
At the opposite extreme, a couple of weeks or months go by, and I am ready to buy. I walk into the dealership, and instead of being accosted by someone paying a ton of attention to me, I am looking around and going “Anybody here? Who is going to help me? I only have two hours,” and I cannot find anyone.
It is important to make sure you can understand the context of where somebody is in their buyer’s journey. Are they early, in the middle, or at the late stage of the buyer’s journey.
When someone lands on your website, you do not know where they are in their buyer’s journey -- are they early, in the middle, or at the end of their buyer’s journey? It’s critical to have content that appeals to people regardless of where they are in their buyer’s journey - Awareness, Consideration, Decision.
The Bottom Line
A Contact Us page does not provide any value or benefit for why a prospect would want to talk to you in the first place; there are much better ways to build Decision stage content. If you are driving all of your traffic by spending money on Google Adwords, Facebook advertising, direct mail, or some other type of sponsorship and you are sending everyone to a website that only has a Contact Us page, you are scaring away 70%-80% of potential clients that could be a great fit.
There is no way for these prospects to engage or begin a relationship with you because you are either too lazy or too clueless to have content that resonates with people that are either early on or in the middle of their buyer’s journey.
Are you driving all of your leads to a Contact Us page? Or do you have content available on your website for every stage of the buyer’s journey? Let us know in the Comments below.
To learn more about traffic generation and lead generation for your website, download our eBook on “3 Revenue Growth Opportunities Your Business May Be Missing.”