Most of us are familiar with the saying, “strike while the iron is hot,” which means to act decisively and take your opportunities when they arise. The saying, of course, is derived from a blacksmith at his forge. If he delayed in shaping the iron when it was hot, the pliable metal soon would cool and harden and the opportunity would be lost.

So why is it that as business owners and marketers, we often knowingly or unknowingly lose online opportunities left and right by not striking while the “iron is hot”? Let’s explore some real-life examples of three ways you can make the most of every website visitor (opportunity) you get.

Form Fail

How many times have you visited a website and wanted to download a cool resource, or sign up for a free trial of a service only to be greeted with a form that had more fields on it than a college application? Why do we think we need to get so much information from people to give them something of value? Are you committing form faux pas on your own website?

You may want 12 pieces of information, but your visitor may only want to give you two. Plus, once you get past three or four fields, your conversion rates (or the number of people that fill out your form, sign up, etc.) will typically start to drop off. You can test the number of fields and amount of information you collect by using a tool like Optimizely.

You can also try something called progressive profiling. When a visitor comes to your site and carries out multiple actions (e.g., downloads multiple guides), they’re presented with different fields on each form. This lets you collect, say, 9 pieces of information while only asking your visitor for 3 at any given time. It usually translates into a much better user experience and you end up with more information you can use in the future to deliver content and offers that are more targeted for that visitor.  Most CRM systems allow you to do some sort of progressive profiling.

There’s No Sell Like a Cross-Sell

While you’ve got visitors on your website and they’re potentially adding products or services to a virtual shopping cart, they’re showing intention to buy. Some of the best retailers in the industry know and show that this is the time to strike with the cross-sell. Online retailer Anthroplogie does a great job of this with their, “get the look” recommendations right below the product, and their, “you may also like” section.

Some retailers hit you at multiple touch points in your experience, like Omaha Steaks. As you add items to your cart, they suggest a complimentary add on product, and if you’re shopping for a gift, they’ll suggest something for you as well. And they don’t stop there. As you move into the checkout portion of your visit, they suggest and recommend things all along the way. Talk about carving out some add on revenue! How can you incorporate this into the user experience on your website?

Give Them More Ways to Connect

When visitors come to your website and sign up for your newsletter list, they’re actively saying they want to hear more from your business on a regular basis. While they’re on your site, give them other ways to connect with your business. For example, Jon Morrow of Boost Blog Traffic does a bang up job. We visited his blog, signed up for his cheat sheet on writing viral blog posts (hey, even we can use good advice), and what do you know, a small call to action popped up on the right side with an offer to Like Boost Blog Traffic on Facebook. Then a few moments later, an offer to get a free case study on how to get 1,000 subscribers presented itself. The key here is to ensure you don’t have too many offers or calls to action lest you distract or annoy your visitor. You can use plug-ins on to present calls to actions and offers and change the cadence accordingly.

By using these three tips you can try to maximize every opportunity to strike while your visitor intention is hot! How do you do this on your website?

© 2013 – 2018, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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