From the February 2011 issue of our newsletter, Let's Grow. For a FREE subscription, CLICK HERE

Online Involvement Techniques That Boost Sales

The first person to suggest putting "yes" and "no" stickers on a direct mail reply card likely had the idea hooted down as nothing more than a needless expense. Yet subsequent tests proved that this technique can boost response by a factor of two or three times.

Indeed, anything that stops your readers in their tracks, engages their attention, and gets them to interact with your advertising is likely to yield higher sales in the long run. Here are a few possibilities for online involvement devices, large and small.

Technology-Enabled Involvement. Some online involvement devices rely heavily on technology. Take, for instance, Garden Supply's Kitchen Garden Planner, an interactive tool to help gardeners plan their own vegetable garden. In the process, users build an appreciation of Gardener's Supply as a valuable resource, and are more apt to return there for future purchases. And of course, many opt to buy the pre-planned gardens offered on the site.

Quizzes. A simpler way to draw in your website visitors is with a quiz. For instance, a company selling push lawn mowers might post a quiz titled "Is a push lawn mower the right choice for you?" followed by questions like, "Do you have less than half an acre to mow?" and "Is it important to you to buy eco-friendly products?" Get your prospects answering a series of questions with a "yes," and they may well talk themselves into the sale.

Properly worded quizzes can also highlight particular sales benefits. For instance, asking "Were you aware that our prices include shipping and handling?" reminds the reader of a benefit, and provides feedback on how well that benefit is being conveyed.

Video. While online videos aren't interactive, they are engaging. That's especially true when they include people, perhaps because the experience feels more like a social interaction. It's no surprise that online retailers who use video product demonstrations typically report a 30% to 40% lift in conversions.

Questions on Social Media. Social media presents a golden opportunity to engage your customers and prospects. For example, instead of using Facebook simply to advertise sales or promote specific products, try asking questions. Posts like What are your favorite plants, and why? or Which of your plants are doing best in the current drought? evoke responses that effectively turn your fans into salespeople for you.

These are just a handful of online involvement techniques. I invite you to email me at with others you find, and I'll share them on Let’s Grow Blog.

Descriptive text has a place on your website, both to educate site visitors, and to help your search engine rankings. But text and static pictures aren't the only options. Any product-related content that encourages a personal interaction will help your website visitors focus on what you're offering, remember your site, and move closer to the sale.


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