Direct Response Website Design 101

Direct Response Website DesignOne of the most important principles of Direct Response Marketing is that "media is just media." While plenty of online marketing thinkers would have you believe otherwise, it's a plain and simple truth. Just because we're talking about websites, doesn't mean the rules of conversion, lead generation, and targeted response somehow go out the window. Of course not! Your website should be built with the core principles of Direct Response in mind. And for that reason, you should constantly revisit your website to tweak and improve your results. Here's a guide to help you do just that...

Pretty Doesn't Produce Profits

When most small business owners set out to design their first website (or to "redesign" their existing website), they make all of the classic mistakes. First, they find a Web Design firm that has the sharpest graphics and droves of designers who have the "eye" for creating a beautiful website for your business. Then, they spend all of their time (and your money!) improving that design until it looks JUST right.

The reality is, unless your business is directly linked to fashion and design, your website design should be your last concern. Now I'm not saying that a good looking website doesn't make a difference -- it definitely does. I'm simply saying that a "pretty website" isn't going to give you what you need to grow your business.

It All Starts With Lead Generation

What really sets a direct response website apart from a "branding website" is a focus on Lead Generation. Generating leads is nothing new. It's one of the critical pillars of what makes Direct Response style marketing really work.

Rather than focusing on acquiring sales from your website, you should be focused on acquiring leads. That means every page, every blog post, and every single facet of your website should include at least one very easy way for visitors to hand over their contact information.

Focus Your Visitors On The Next Step

The best copywriting & "web design" advice I've ever received from someone came in a deceptively simple statement: "Every page on your website should have a laser targeted focus." Exactly!

In other words, you should be able to look at every page of your site and know what the next step is. And so should your visitors! If you're focused on Lead Generation like you should be (read above), the next step is likely to opt-in. From here, your marketing funnel can take them step-by-step through every other part of the process you need them to complete to become a lead, a buyer, and then a lifetime customer.

Again, just because your website is online doesn't mean it's not subject to the same important rules as your direct mail campaign. These quick direct response website design tips should help you integrate the classic strategies of Direct Marketing into your online presence.

Jason Clegg

Jason Clegg is the CEO & Founder of Convert With Content. He's on a MISSION to help small businesses convert tire-kickers into lifetime customers & raving fans with #ConvertWithContent marketing systems that work! His secret weapon is Infusionsoft.

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Gail Gardner - January 27, 2014 Reply

Hi Jason,

Too many are focused on selling one piece of the puzzle and while they can drive traffic or increase social interactions, if those aren’t increasing conversions they are a waste of money.

Getting small businesses and the consultants that serve them to understand that we must first tune the site for lead generation and conversions BEFORE we spend time, effort and money on things like social has been a challenge. Most still are not “getting it”.

    Jason Clegg - January 27, 2014 Reply

    Great points, Gail! You’re absolutely right — the horse must come before the cart when it comes to Lead Generation vs. Social Media and other traffic-building strategies.

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