Small BusinessSocial Media

Testing a new tool to convert web visitors to prospects

This week I will start a new social media marketing strategy that is designed to convert web site visitors to live discussions and new business leads. Of course I don’t know if it will work but am sharing the plan here in hopes of triggering some feedback and additional ideas.

Background

My web sites attract a higher than typical amount of traffic – about 500 visitors per day – partly due to the sheer volume of material that I have published. Over the past 30 years I’ve published thousands of pages of mostly technical advice on taxes, benefits, financial planning and a range of related business management topics that might be of interest to small business owners. I presume that most web surfers are simply looking for free information and I notice that I interact with only about 1 in 10,000 of these web site visitors. Perhaps only 1 in 30,000 ever become prospects for new business. I dislike the intrusive marketing and data collection methods used by many other information publishers so I have avoided using these. I prefer a soft and personalized way to introduce an offer of further communication.

I know that my web traffic tends to peak during the 4th quarter of the year as people investigate tax and financial planning topics. I anticipate an average of 350-500 unique live U.S.-based visitors per day. Some days peak over 1,000 and weekend traffic typically drops to about 150 visitors.

Method

I tested the free version of Zopim chat (part of ZenDesk) for several months with mostly satisfactory results. Today I upgraded the service to allow a new software feature that will add a pop up message on the lower right hand side of the screen that says “Thanks for visiting. If you would like to schedule a follow-up conversation please leave a brief message with your name, contact information and a convenient time for a follow-up.” What I like most about this approach is that I expect to be able to use the same tool and management site across all platforms, web sites and blogs. In other words, all controls and messages come into one page at Zopim.

I will obviously have to ignore the messages without a name, telephone number or email address. Those that contain identifying information will be checked against the Spokeo database as a primitive means of verifying that it is a real person.

Cost

Zopin costs $14 per month and Spokeo is about $50 per year. The primary cost will be time invested.

Expected Results

My best guess is that this feature will generate 1-2 additional messages per day. About half may be “verifyiable” as coming from real people with a legitimate question. Of perhaps 20 per month, I will likely establish telephone or email communication with about half of these. Of these 10 communications, my hope is that I can refer 9 out to other resources (some are paid referrals) and that at least one will result in discussion of additional services. So if my projections are close to accurate, then the cost per lead is less than $20. The additional time requirement is not known at this point. If my hunch is right, this could double the revenue originating from my web sites.

I will publish an update of results in about a month.

The first snag:

Zopim only runs on WordPress.org blogs. Mine are WordPress.com. So I need a workaround before even getting out of the block.

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