What is a Direct Response Website and Why Is It Important For Your Business?

This is the first official blog post of The What and Why Series. You can learn more about The What And Why Series by clicking  here.

Everyday I meet small  business owners who have nice-looking websites, and even get lots of visitors, but do not generate business from their site. Their website is just another expense, when it should be an asset for their company!

In fact,  one entrepreneur recently said to me, “I don’t get it. I’m number one in google for good keywords, and my phone should be ringing-off-the-hook, but it’s not! I rarely get a phone call from someone who has been to my website and I can’t afford traditional marketing like newspaper ads! Can you help me figure out what’s wrong? ”

I suspected that I knew the cause of her problem, and one look at her  website confirmed it.  While her site looked attractive and provided adequate information about the business, it was basically an online brochure. It was not set up to encourage visitors to take any action, like to make a call, for example. Her site was not designed to begin a relationship with a prospect, generate leads, or make sales.

A Direct Response Website is a site that is designed to get a targeted group of people to take a specific action(s) with the ultimate goal of generating a lead or a sale. These specific actions can include: calling a phone number, filling out a form, signing up for email, printing out a coupon, engaging in online chat and / or making a purchase.

A Direct Response Website can certainly be attractive and reflect your branding, but  (prepare to be shocked!) it doesn’t even have to look good help put money in your pocket. Even a simple, basic, (dare I say it — “ugly”)  website can be more effective at generating leads and sales than a fancy, beautiful one, if the site is  set up according to the principles of Direct Response website design.

Creating a Direct Response Website, or tweaking your current website to incorporate some of the tools and principles of Direct Response Design is critical to your business for several reasons.  If your website doesn’t  “do it’s job” of generating leads and sales then:

  1. As I said above, it is an expense, not an asset for your company.
  2. You will have to spend more money on traditional advertising to try to attract new customers.
  3. Even if you do spend more money on traditional advertising to get new customers, they will likely look at your website before they decide to call you, come into your store or place an order, so you want your website to encourage them to take action right away!
  4. If you invest time and money in using social media to attract new business, your efforts will likewise be undermined by having an old-fashioned, ineffective, brochure-style website. After finding you on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, people will go to your website to “check you out.”  If your website isn’t set up to generate leads or sales sell, you’ll simply miss out on a lot new business.

Need I say more?

Well, yes, in fact, I must say more…

I’m not going to just tell you about what a Direct Response Website is and why it is important…and leave you hanging…

That would make me a very mean Maven…and “mean” is not my style!

I imagine that, at this point, you want to know how to design a Direct Response Website, or how to tweak your current website to include Direct Response tools and principles.  So below  I will  list  the five essential elements of a Direct Response Website and I will describe each element in greater depth, in the upcoming posts in the “What and Why” Series.

5 Essential Elements of a Direct Response Website Are:

  • Well Researched Keywords In The Right Places
  • Concise, “Emotional,” Action-Focused Copywriting
  • Simple Design & Natural Navigation
  • A “Call-To-Action” On Every Page (but not too many!)
  • A Lead-Capture Mechanism With An “Ethical Bribe”
  • A Blog (Yes. I said it and I mean it! Your company’s website needs a blog. Period.)

That’s all for now. As I said above, I will cover each of these elements of  Direct Response Websites in future blog posts…so stay tuned! Or, if you just can’t wait, and you need help designed a Direct Response Website right now, then contact me here. I have several affordable options to help get your phone ringin’ and your door swingin’!)