All leads are not the same, and for professional service provider practices like yours, phone calls are the most valuable. Yet, there are times when visitors come to your website, such as after hours and weekends, when they don’t want to call because they know they will just leaving a message or get a recording. So making your practice accessible via email or digital text is important.
And of course, there are consumers who visit during your office hours who still prefer to send a digital message to get initial insights or information.
Knowing that your practice converts telephone leads into consultations and clients at a much higher rate than email leads, the question becomes:
“How does our practice generate more phone calls and convert elusive email leads at a higher rate so my team wastes less time chasing prospects?”
Unfortunately, most practices simply resign themselves to the fact that they will not convert many email leads and invest very little time, thought or resources to improve.
Here are some important tips to incorporate into your online marketing and sales process.
1.) Telephone Focused Calls-To-Action
If you want to have more telephone conversations with prospects, it starts before they send you an email. Make sure all aspects of your marketing and website promote phone-drive actions by your visitors. Utilize frequency, colors, font size, and strategic placement when updating your high-priority website pages.
This is particularly true for your "Contact Us" page. In many cases, your “Contact” page is one of the top 10 most visited pages of your website. Make sure you promote phone calls as the most immediate, direct and accurate way for visitors to get the information and answers they seek. This includes incorporating phone call actions in your email form. Take a look at your priority pages and Contact Us page. Are you promoting email submissions more effectively than phone calls?
2.) Immediate Follow-Up
Although most practices recognize the need to follow up with digital leads as quickly as possible, the challenge comes in the execution. If your practice generates a significant number of email and text based leads, you need to devote designated person to oversee the follow up to these prospects. In most direct-to-consumer settings it would be ideal to respond to these leads within one hour, particularly if they come in during workday hours. There are numerous studies and research that indicate timely response alone will make a difference regarding connecting with prospects and increasing conversions.
During evening and weekend hours, when visitors may expect your office being closed, it is important that they receive something from you immediately. Setting up automated confirmation emails is important to setting expectations and providing a reminder to prospects.
3.) Think Mobile
Not only is it important to follow up with email based leads quickly, it is important to keep in mind that they may not read your email in the same manner that you compose them.
Studies have shown that consumers check their emails using a smartphone more frequently than any other device (Adobe study showed 81% use their smartphone regularly to check email). So make sure your responses are affective for both desktop and mobile consumption. Regardless if they are reading it on a desktop or smartphone, your responses need to be concise, on point and easy to read. Avoid long sentences, lots of punctuation, long paragraphs, and industry jargon. (Added Tip: secret shop your forms and read them in your smartphone. You may be surprised at what you see!)
4.) Utilize Links
In order to respond in a concise, “on point” manner, yet still provide more substantive support and clarity, it is important to anticipate common questions and provide your sales team with useful recourses.
This is particularly important with mobile visitors. Having touch to call resources and driving visitors back to branded website can differentiate your practice from the competition.
Part of the strategy would also include conceptualizing and developing strategic consumer resource pages and assets not found on your competitors’ website. This important content needs to be fed directly to prospects; don’t just hope they find it.
5.) Ask the Right Question
Probably the biggest missed opportunity in converting emails into phone calls we see when secret shopping practices and their competitors is overlooking the all-important “close” of your email.
Most practices are focused on promoting and selling consultations (free, comprehensive, personal, private confidential, informative, etc.) that they overlook the most important step: A phone call invitation.
Also, rather than end with a dead-end statement (Ex. - Call us for your free consultation . . . ), close with a open-ended question (Ex. – Are you available for a quick 10-minute call?).
If you are able to turn more of your expensive exposure and traffic into telephone calls, you will generate more new clients and business, and stop wasting opportunities and staff time chasing digital leads. Take steps today!