By Vlad Gozman, a serial entrepreneur and the founder & CEO of involve.me. Follow @vladgozman on Twitter.
The first generation of websites were simple digital brochures. You could browse through them, learn about a company and its products and maybe even contact the company if you were interested. But that was about it.
Nowadays, website visitors expect much more from the sites they visit. They want to be able to interact with the site, not just passively consume its content. This shift hasn’t happened overnight though. It’s been a gradual process, shaped by three web generations.
Web 1.0 was all about presenting information in a digital format. This was a huge step forward at the time, but it wasn’t long before people realized that they could do more with the internet than just read articles and view images. Web 2.0 brought interactivity to the forefront. Finally, we have Web 3.0, which is all about even greater immersion.
Interactive websites are typically more engaging, which can lead to more conversions. They also enable the collection of zero-party data, or data that a user voluntarily provides, which can be used to create better customer profiles and improve marketing and sales efforts.
This trend toward interactivity is only going to continue in the years to come. As cookie-based tracking becomes less and less reliable, it will become more and more difficult to know who your website visitors are. Making the experience interactive provides a transparent way to collect information about visitors.
If your website isn’t interactive, you’re missing out on a lot of potential revenue. Here’s a look at how you can get started.
Customer engagement is important for any website, but it’s especially critical for e-commerce sites. You need to keep people on your site long enough to make a purchase, and in my experience, an interactive site is more likely to do that than a static one. One way to add interactivity to your site is to include a fun personality test or quiz. This not only helps engage users, but it can also give you valuable insights into what they’re interested in.
Whether you’re selling products or services, you can also use interactive elements to provide custom price quotes. This gives users a more personalized experience and can help you close more deals. In any case, engagement is the precursor to conversion. An unengaged website visitor is unlikely to convert, no matter how good your products or services are, so it’s worth investing in.
The simple act of offering users something of value, even if it’s just the answer to a quiz question, in exchange for their input can make a big difference.
A website visitor is not the same as a lead. Any website owner can attest to the fact that the vast majority of visitors never become leads. In order to generate leads, you need to give visitors a reason to provide their contact information.
One way to do this is to offer a free download, like an e-book or white paper. In exchange for their contact information, users get access to valuable content that they can use. This is a win-win situation: You get leads and they get something of value.
While turning a visitor into a lead is an important step, not all leads are made equal. In order to close more deals, you need to qualify your leads so that you’re only pursuing the ones that are most likely to convert.
One tactic is to use an interactive quiz. This can help you weed out leads that are not a good fit for your products or services. By only pursuing qualified leads, you’ll be able to close more deals and save time and resources.
Offering custom price quotes is another excellent way to qualify leads. By getting visitors to input their specific requirements, you can provide them with a more accurate price quote.
Finally, consider offering leads a free trial or demo. This allows users to experience your product or service first-hand and see if it’s a good fit for them. If they’re not interested, they can simply walk away without any obligation. But if they are interested, you’ve just qualified a lead that’s much more likely to convert.
Once you’ve engaged and qualified a lead, it’s time to close the deal. This is where accepting payment comes in. In the past, websites would simply have a “buy now” button and take the user to a page where they could enter their credit card information. But these days, there are much better and more user-friendly ways to accept payments.
One popular option is to use an interactive sales funnel. This allows you to upsell and cross-sell products and services, and it also makes it easier for users to make a purchase. By breaking down the purchase into smaller, more manageable steps, you can increase conversion rates and reduce cart abandonment.
Another option is to use a subscription model. This is especially common for websites that offer content or services on a recurring basis. By allowing users to pay on a monthly or annual basis, you can make it easier for them to commit to using your site.
The Bottom Line
Marketers are facing headwinds as consumers demand more personalized and interactive experiences. If you’re not making your website interactive, you’re missing out on a lot of potential. If you haven’t already, now is the time to decide which interactive elements to implement on your website and start growing your engagement today.