“The average website visitor makes at least 7 visits before making a purchase or enquiry”.
It’s one of those oft-quoted phrases on online marketing that doesn’t seem to have any definite source. While I’m not sure about the number 7 (it will in fact be lower or higher, depending on the industry and conversion strategy), I do know that returning website visitors enquire and buy much more readily than new visitors.
So you need a strategy to keep the conversation going with new visitors; to engage them and get them coming back for more. I almost always mention this in reports or presentations, yet a quick show-of-hands at a recent 3-day Exponential Marketing Bootcamp revealed that fewer than 3% of the 150 business owners present had a strategy for turning repeat visitors into returning visitors.
The difference between new and repeat website visitors
Google Analytics provides a useful “New vs Returning” report that allows you to segment a bunch of variables (e.g. conversion rate, average visitor value) by visitor type.
I recently ran this report did this for one of my ebook websites, with surprising results….
Exhibit A – Percentage New vs Returning Visitors
Exhibit B – Conversion Rate of New vs Returning Visitors
Exhibit C – Purchase Volume of New vs Returning Visitors
As you can see from the screenshots above, Returning Visitors punch well above their weight, contributing nearly half of all sales on only 11% visitor volume.
But why are repeat visitors really buying?
Are they buying merely because of repeat exposure(s) to the same marketing message, or does the fact that they were interested enough to come back in the first place (i.e pre-qualified) make them a far easier prospect to convert?
In this case, I believe the second factor is more responsible for the conversion leap.
On the other hand, particularly for complex online lead generation scenarios (e.g. B2B, high-end or technical products or services), repeated exposures not to the “same” marketing message but the multiple dimensions of the benefits you offer is the surest way of increasing throughput of qualified, ready-to-buy sales leads.
What this means is: if you want to generate leads online for higher priced / complex / intangible products or services, you MUST have a strategy to get users back to your website again and again (even if your offering is simpler, it is still a very good idea).
In other words, you need an opt in strategy. It may sound like I’m flogging a dead horse, but remember, fewer than 3% of otherwise very switched on business owners in my mini-survey above had an opt-in strategy in place.
After you’ve enticed prospects to opt in, your next job is to provide value to your list, while “dimensionalising” the value of what you offer over multiple communications. The “hot button” that triggers one client (e.g. speedy delivery) may not be important to another – so you need to cover all bases.
The mechanics and “heavy lifting” of this process can be automated using an autoresponder service such as Aweber. But you also need the right strategy, copy and implementation to make the pieces fit together properly.
One of the keys to successful autoresponder sequences is a balance between information and education (content) and compelling reasons to enquire or buy (salesmanship). Most sequences fail to find this balance by being either too “stingy” with usable information or giving too much away without tying the content into the sales process.
Designing an effective repeat visitor strategy is one of the things we can help you with (although a waiting period may apply). But whatever you do, don’t do nothing — get those visitors coming back to your website where they’re 6+ times easier to convert into qualified prospects and clients.
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About Marketing Results
As Australia’s leading internet lead generation experts, Marketing Results uses sophisticated web analytics to precisely understand how visitors are interacting with your website, then leverage proven traffic and conversion strategies to cut marketing waste, expand your reach and effectiveness and boost website profits by 2 to 21 times based on over 5 years of documented client results.