There are not many things more important to a e-commerce business than insightful analytics. Understanding the purchasing habits of your visitors and how they relate to your various marketing channels is vital in today’s competitive market.

But what if your site isn’t ecommerce focused? There are many business models that work with an ‘online enquiry: offline conversion’ model. ‘Big ticket’ (a considered purchase where you’re likely to need the advice of a salesperson) products  like cars or home improvements are one such example, service based industries such as lawyers are another.

If an enquiry is the main conversion aim of your website here are a few handy tips:

1) Give the user a choice of response mechanisms

An enquiry form might seem like the most straight forward method of response, but that isn’t suitable for all users. If your product is one that requires consideration, the phone might be a more suitable route (especially for mobile browsers), and gives the call handler an additional opportunity to demonstrate value and promote your product. Encouraging a visit to your store or office is likely to be a winner for some (particularly tangible) products. Or users might appreciate the ‘immediate response’ factor of connecting with you via live chat or a social network that they are already familiar with using. You can still track these mechanisms effectively using unique telephone numbers and tracking tags.

2) Integrate web analytics with CRM to optimise your marketing

You’re probably monitoring online enquiries using a web analytics package and optimising your marketing spend accordingly. But what happens to that information once it hits your offline sales force? Marketing source is often a useful tool for the sales force (“I see you found us via a price comparison site, I’d like to build our best price for you” etc). Wouldn’t it be great to know which affiliates, adverts or keywords actually resulted in people actually buying that car or becoming a regular user of your service? For this there needs to be some element of integration between your web analytics and your prospecting/CRM system, so that for each user you know which marketing channels brought them to you in the first place, and what keeps bringing them back.

3) Taking the customer offline does not mean they have to stay offline

Your customer might have rang up to book their holiday, but that doesn’t mean the rest of your relationship with them has to be offline. You can still service that sale and customer journey via your site and this could offer additional benefits or savings. This makes the user feel in control and gives you the opportunity to service them in an automated, trackable manner, while safe in the knowing that there’s someone available on the phone or at your store.

In summary, the more you can understand about your customers the better service you’re able to provide them, and the more efficient you can be with your own media spend.

Happy optimising!