Generating More Web Design Sales via Web Site

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by mariahlullaby, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. mariahlullaby macrumors 6502a

    mariahlullaby

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I wanted to know if any body has any tips on how to improve follow-through on a web site. My web site W3 Promotions (which I am in the process of revamping) has a web design survey that allows people to get quotes from me for a web project. I get about one survey a week (about 3 per month), but very few ever follow through after I email them with a quote and how I'd like to discuss their project with them. Sometimes we speak on the phone, etc. but then I never hear from them again.

    Right now, this isn't a problem at all as I have too many clients to deal with (and am cutting most back as I prepare for a semester abroad), but it is something I plan on working on. A part of me tells me that this is normal business protocol, and another tells me that there's something I could be doing to reel these people in who fill out the survey -- I realize most aren't going to sign on as customers, but none of them every follow through. Any tips?

    Thank you!!
     
  2. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    Yeah, I'd say that's typical. I use to advertise free web design help at my college, and even as a free service it was hard to get people to keep a discussion going long enough for me to help them. I think it's partly short attention spans.

    Also, for me at least, the people who initially contacted me didn't realize they would be participating. That is, they didn't realize I couldn't create a web page for them if they didn't give me content. It's really hard to make a vacation page for someone when you weren't on the vacation. This obvious extra work necessary for the user seems to catch them off guard and they move on to the next shiny object. As a psychologist I shouldn't be surprised, but still I was a little disappointed.

    This is my limited experience. I guess the only advice I could give is to lit out some things to the user before they submit about what they should expect from you and what you'll expect from them. This may result in less inquiries, but you'll at least weed out some of the flaks.
     
  3. Malfoy macrumors 6502a

    Malfoy

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
  4. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #4
    If it's a survey the usual follow through (from my experience) is around 5 to 10%, most companies I have dealt with use the survey as a preliminary test so they can see the cost/features/etc they can expect from a web site design project.

    In my experience most people who use the survey aren't that serious and are usually shocked when they see the time, money and effort involved with developing a new web solution.

    I doubt very much there's much you can do besides removing the cost aspect so that if forces a client to call or see you face to face.
     
  5. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #5
    Beyond the great advice given by others, so far, some thoughts...

    1) Have a sale - only a nominal discount, it's true purpose is to set a deadline on the deal, so potential clients are encouraged to not only contact you, but make sure you follow through quickly. It's entirely psychological.

    2) Your online contact form is too long, too detailed. Not only will that turn people off from filling it out (even if only a few fields are required) - the best time to ask all those questions is on the phone or in your E-Mail reply. Use that opportunity to reel them in, use your web site to hook them - but don't give away the store yet. LESS IS MORE.

    Beyond that your site looks fine, only issue I see is I can't tell what type of site design or business you specifically cater to and specialize. If you try to be everything to everyone, they see right through it usually. Let people know what you're best at, in addition to your other overall experience and skills. Treat it like a resume' in that sense.

    Once you identify a niche' market you excel within, then re-word your forum, your sales pitches, your content to suit that demograph (type of client) and you will see an increase in activity.

    -jim
     
  6. Mantat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Montréal (Canada)
    #6
    Jim advice above is very sound. But if you want to work on many fronts, just build yourself many faces over the net! Each one with its own identity and target market.

    I know a few people who own 5-7 websites selling the same thing to different markets (at different prices!). That is something that would be very costy to do in the real world but can be done on the net with great success.

    On a side note, the very best way to get work as a designer is to visit a local programmers groups. At the group I am currently going (www.montrealonrails.com), there are a lot of developpers looking for someone with design skills for various kinds of projects (contracts, permanent position, partnership, etc...). Getting a good designer is hard, I know this from experience. I tried to find a designer for my project for about 6 weeks then finaly gave up and made everything myself from webtemplates and icons I could use/buy online.
     
  7. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #7
    I'm all for that, but at least make sure those 5-7 sites are unique in the meta section (title, keywords, author, etc.) in the HTML and contact us pages if possible. Ya never know, some clients might be Google experts and find all instances and simply write it off as unethical (even though it's not).

    Great advice on the programming groups - social networking is an integral part of all promotion and sales! Basic CRM stuff.

    -jim
     
  8. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    Well from the original post, the problem wasn't the hook, it was the follow up. That's why I eluded before to have more info up front so they know what to expect. When people have to put more effort into something there more likely to follow it up.

    Though, now looking at the form, it is a bit long. I'd recommend possibly getting rid of some of the less relevant questions, and also make use of more than just text fields and check boxes (e.g., for the "Approximately how many pages will you be needing?" you can do a drop box with a few set of ranges; 1-3 > 3-10 > 10-40 > 40-100 > 100+) because this'll make it easier to fill out. People won't want to type. Basically, if you can provide a way for the user to fill in the form with their mouse, it's likely to be the better way.

    Also, I'd consider using some JavaScript to hide the more detailed questions and provide a link that will reveal them at which point they'll be able to fill them in. This way is reduces the chance of them being scared off.

    A style recommendation: Give the input fields some color (a light color) and a different color for the currently focused field. With that many fields there's a lot of white, and having this extra color will help users traverse the form down the page.

    I'd also move the check boxes for "Will you need additional services" to the right because they're very easy to overlook. I think people will be able to how they're suppose to fill them out when it's at the right as well.
     

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