Most Industrial and Manufacturing Websites are Still Stuck in Web 1.0

Lead generation from their Websites is the number one objective of most manufacturers and industrial companies that I talk to. Yet, their existing Websites have little to no lead generating capabilities.

That statement may come as a shock to many site owners because they are convinced that sales leads will just roll in because their site includes a toll free number in a big bold font, there are links to the “Contact Us” page everywhere and/or there’s a RFQ form on the site.

Here’s what’s wrong with that picture:

  • A vast majority of your site visitors are not ready to buy on their first visit
  • Visitors are not likely to interrupt their online activity to pick up the phone and call you
  • Very few visitors if any will take the time to fill out a complex RFQ form

When I try to point out these shortcomings, I usually get a quick response like, “Well, we don’t want to waste our time with tire kickers.” Really?

Consider this then, a vast majority of those “tire kickers” will go on to buy from someone else in the next 6 to 10 months or sooner and probably from your competition. I am not making this up just to scare you. Google it and you’ll find plenty of research studies to back that up.

Instead of dismissing those visitors as time-wasters, I suggest that you rethink your online strategy if you are serious about using your industrial Website as a lead generator. At least have a mechanism in place to weed out unqualified prospects and move qualified ones into some kind of a lead nurturing program.

Here are some additions that you can make to your Website that will help to engage site visitors:

  • Add a “live chat” feature. This can be a static button throughout the site but should pop open when a visitor has been on a product’s page for 30 to 40 seconds. Do they need help finding the right part number? Do they need assistance with an application?
  • Add a big button to download your online catalog. Try to put this above the fold. You can make this content ungated (doesn’t require registration) to help visitors specify your products long after their first visit. Add a simple order form if you publish a printed or CD version of your catalog.
  • Try adding an option to your Contact Us form for someone to call them. Monitor how many visitors select that option. Test to see if your conversion goes down if you make that field mandatory.
  • Use a mix of free and gated content to qualify and nurture your visitors. For example, product catalogs, datasheets and application notes can be ungated.
    Technical articles, white papers and case studies would require basic registration information – name, company name and email address.
    Subsequent content such as online demos, samples, product configurators and webinars should ask for more information (progressive profiling).

It is a matter of adjusting your mindset to bring your industrial and manufacturing Website out of the dark ages and into a Web 2.0 mode. It is worthwhile pursuing these strategies to convert informational Websites into robust lead generators.

Is your current industrial Website driving sales or turning them away?

5 replies
  1. Vince Giorgi
    Vince Giorgi says:

    Excellent post, Achinta. Up here in Minnesota we do quite a bit of fishing. And whether you’re lazily bobber-fishing off the end of a dock, or trolling with downriggers on deep and cold Lake Superior, there’s nothing more frustrating to fisher folk than reeling in the line to discover there’s no bait on the hook! You immediately start to wonder how long that’s been the case — and how many trophy fish have passed by while you were bait-less.

    Websites are often like that. And very often the key to making them more effective at catching the attention and engagement of customers and potential customers is not “redesigning,” but “re-contenting” (to make up a word). Making sure the promotional content you have on the site is optimized for search. And then injecting more value-adding content offerings and calls to engagement into the site, starting at the home page level.

    Reply
    • Achinta Mitra
      Achinta Mitra says:

      @Vince,
      Good to hear from you again. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Glad you enjoyed reading my post.
      Absolutely loved your fishing analogy! Your “re-contenting” strategy is very similar to what I encourage my industrial clients to do.

      Reply

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