How To Pull Your Cold Website Visitors Into Your Sales Funnel
Most companies today deploy a mix of paid advertising and organic content tactics to drive traffic, engagement and revenue through digital channels. Looking at search and social advertising in particular, marketing technology has come a long way in making it easy for digital teams to spin up digital ads and landing pages to drive conversions for both B2C and B2B organizations. But just because it’s easy, doesn’t mean it works very well.
For many, digital campaigns that focus solely on generating immediate sales (B2C) or capturing qualified leads (B2B) often underperform as they rely on catching buyers at that magic moment when they’re actually ready to buy.
But what about the hundreds or thousands (depending on your market size) of anonymous, cold website visitors that also click on one of your ads to learn more about your company?
Why do so many companies completely ignore cold website visitors when these are the people that have obviously shown some level of interest from your paid ads? You’re paying good money to sponsor ads on Facebook, Twitter or Google and yet you’re sending these visitors straight to a sales page HOPING for a conversion.
You can do a lot more than hope.
Why not pull those cold website visitors into a segmented nurturing funnel, plant some seeds of trust and turn them into a loyal customer down the road?
Let’s start with some simple numbers… When looking at first-time visitors across multiple industries, you can expect a 4-7% conversion rate. That conversion rate makes it worth the investment of time and some proper planning. Take into consideration that repeat visitors typically have a 3-8% conversion rate. With those baselines, here are some next steps.
1. Direct Cold Website Visitors to Evergreen Content or “Power Pages”
People click through ads all the time, but you need to take advantage of cold traffic and direct them to authoritative content. This cold visitor is new to your brand, and you don’t have an established relationship to rely on for conversion.
Do not send cold traffic to your sales pages. Although they likely searched for a relevant keyword, it’s likely that these visitors are still researching their available purchase options. The simple fact is that your company won’t grow if you only rely on past customers.
To start reeling in cold website visitors, show them that you are the expert about the problem that your product resolves. No doubt you already have a ton of evergreen content on your blog or site. Put it to work for you and direct your cold traffic to these authority pieces.
Authoritative power pages typically have the following:
- Long form content – typically around 3,000 words
- Heavy inclusion of research, statistics and factual information
- Tie in relevant content through internal links
Evergreen content is an excellent way to increase organic traffic and is one of the few ways to bring in non-paid cold leads.
2. Segment Your Traffic to Direct Cold and Warm
Ideally, your traffic would go from cold to hot in just a few clicks, but that’s not usually the case. When you introduce a method to segment your traffic, you can direct cold or warm traffic towards content that won’t scare them off, whereas you can direct hot traffic straight to your sales pages.
Segmenting traffic can increase sales by up to 89% and increase the value of your orders by as much as 58%.
Segment your traffic based on these criteria:
- New visitors – cold traffic
- Repeat visitors – warm/hot traffic
- Referral source – varying traffic
Segmenting your traffic with these three aspects can impact all of your conversions, not just your cold traffic. What this does for your cold traffic though is it helps guide the cold traffic into warmer waters. Warm up cold traffic with a content experience catering to their segment.
We mentioned before that new visitors should go to evergreen content and that it should aid through discovery and awareness. Now, use those posts to direct these slightly warmer visitors towards evaluating your brand against their needs.
What do you do better than everyone else? Don’t wait for your cold lead to find out through their own research, just tell them. Be transparent to build trust, but here you can start dropping hints that you’re ready to make a proposal.
3. Give Real Value Before You Make an Offer
As soon as your new visitor knows who you are, they will either want to know more or diverge from the pull of your sales funnel.
Cold traffic brought in off of hashtags and ads should quickly move into discovery because they are actively looking for a product or service. You’ve already shown them evergreen content and proven yourself as an authority. To rope in some otherwise unconvinced cold visitors, offer something highly valuable before you make an offer.
These usually consist of such offers as test periods on services, discounts, or outright freebies. There is nothing wrong with this method as you’re actually getting something very valuable in return, their email address.
Offering something for free for a bit of personal information is not a new concept. You need to go beyond giving something in hopes of getting an email though. You want to give something of high value in exchange for their trust.
Seal the deal with these tricks, tips, and tools for showcasing value to cold and warm traffic:
- Remove on-site discount ads.
- Remove subscribe pop-ups.
- Use a heat map to identify where visitors click most often and place your evergreen content there.
- Add video or social media testimonials.
- Offer white papers and case studies.
It might seem counterintuitive to remove on-site discount ads and subscription pop-ups. These pop-up ads will often drive away cold traffic. It also annoys returning traffic if a regular visitor has to click “no thanks” every time they come to your site.
Removing pop-up ads builds confidence and helps cold traffic ease into the discovery portion of the sales funnel. Essentially, by removing these ads, you’re saying, “We know we have your attention, now here’s the content you wanted.”
Instead rely on your UX to usher cold traffic from evergreen content into product or service specific content and finally, into a sales page. All the while, you are sprinkling subtle CTAs through the material.
4. Maintain Your Blog
When you’re handling content marketing tasks, or large scale digital marketing communications projects, it’s so easy to become overwhelmed.
Blogs require a lot of work. Besides manufacturing the content, there’s curating and promoting the work and hoping that it leads to conversions.
Not to add to a content marketing managers workload, but your blog also needs regular maintenance. Blogs are worth all the effort, though, as blogs can generate 67% more leads than businesses who don’t maintain a blog would see.
This leads us to the issue of all other content needing regular maintenance. Statistics, laws, trends and more change and if you cite them in your content, you’ll need to update it — schedule time in your content calendar for reviewing and updating your past blogs that still bring in traffic.
5. Provide an Alternative Communication Method
A final way to pull cold leads into your sales funnel is to offer another form of communication. For most campaign marketers, they aim to promote one-way email communication. While email campaigns are certainly valuable, two-way communication is becoming the user preference.
Ideally, you’ll convert your cold visitors into brand loyal customers. One of the best ways to promote brand loyalty is through social media communication. Not just posting on social media when you publish a new article, but actively engaging with social media visitors through comments.
Offer alternate communication methods throughout your blog posts and sales pages with quotable tags that redirect to your Twitter, Facebook, or even Instagram pages.
Sure, hot leads are easier to handle, but if you only focus on warm or hot leads, you’re missing out on a huge chunk of your traffic. Think of it this way… You’re paying for every one of your cold visitors. Your ads are hard at work bringing in new people. You should be taking advantage of those opportunities.
To take advantage and pull in cold leads:
- Direct them to evergreen or power content
- Utilize segmentation
- Give something that your lead actually wants
- Maintain your blog
- Offer alternate forms of communication
Save videos and other “convert quick” methods for products that really need it. If your service doesn’t need a demo video, save your page speed and focus on creating quality content instead. The pull that draws in cold leads and makes them loyal customers is trust, so put the focus on relationship building early.