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Designing Websites that Generate Leads

Design Principles and Patterns

Web visitors, users of our websites are people, just like you and I. We quickly form habits and behaviors inspired by repetition and preferences. We like consistency and predictability. Consequently, websites, web pages, and content that bring this consistency, predictability, dare I say clarity always - always - bring satisfaction and higher conversion rates.

How do you get this consistency and clarity? By starting with clear design principles that are largely formulated around familiar design patterns that users are already experiencing.

If you're a creative you might be ready to push back a bit, but stick with me. There's a lot of room for creativity in a world that is naturally constrained. Being more aware of these constraints - technical limitations, user psychology, user laziness, user behavior conditioning - will make your designs more effective and elegant to your ultimate client, the user.

Content Strategy

Effective content strategies all have some essential elements. However, where you start and how you apply or prioritize those elements have a lot to do with the maturity and state (health) of your current project's website and brand.

Elements of a Content Strategy

New website or brand

Mature, but haphazard (neglected) brand

Mature, intentional (healthy) brand

Conversion and Lead Acquisition

Consistent, credible, trustworthy

Message clarity - what do you do, how do you do it better, why do you do it?

What are users looking for from you?

What do they need to inquire with or buy from you?

What are their alternatives? What have they probably already seen?

What do you want them to do?

What's a reasonable first step?

Don't forget the follow through!

Lead Nurturing

Getting the lead is typically just the starting point. In most businesses once you get the initial lead or inquiry you have weeks and often months of work ahead of you to close the deal. This is where most lead generation systems fall down.

Too many organizations form an unintentional barrier between marketing and sales. This organizational structure leads to this kind of dialogue.

Marketing: "We generated the leads, it's sales job to close 'em."

Sales: "The leads suck!"

We all know this isn't productive. But, we continue, often unintentionally, to create a bright line between lead generation as a marketing responsibility and lead nurturing as a sales responsibility. This hurts conversion rates, revenue, and the customer experience.

So, let's add lead nurturing to our lead generation systems.

Understanding the sales process

Lead capture and delivery

User affirmation

Show the user eagerness (really it's lead qualification, shhh! don't tell the user)

One-touch follow-up