Connecting Prospect Behavior to Helpful Suggestions

Do you ever get the feeling you’re being watched? Relax. It’s true. You are being watched, especially if you’re a participator of online commerce. Google knows what you’re doing, and many eCommerce sites you visit are taking note as well. Friendly, helpful suggestions or curiously coincidental ads reflect your interests all the time.

For example, have you ever noticed that when you view a product online – perhaps a book from Amazon – you’ll see a image telling you, “Visitors who viewed this product also viewed…” and showing you a similar item?

The power of suggestion is, well, powerful. And profitable. A recent study of 1.5 billion shopping sessions showed that eCommerce sites could generate almost 68.4% of their revenue from just such a product suggestion. Now, why is that?

Possibly…people don’t always know what they’re looking for and can be easily persuaded that you know the solution they need.

Also, people are persuadable. As we all well know, paid media can’t match a recommendation from a reliable friend in choosing which contractor to call. Recommendations from unnamed online personas – though maybe not as close to you as momma or daddy or your best pal – are still seen as valid and valuable. Bringing that to your attention with a suggestion (basically saying other people just like you really liked this) is a smart move.

Well-Placed Advice

Contractors operate differently than eCommerce sites, but the common thread in this successful practice is using automated technology to advise customers on good solutions. A prospect (unless he’s a DIY-er) would not typically view new HVAC systems or plumbing pipes or electrical service panels.

But many visitors could reveal their interests by the parts of your site they peruse. For example, if someone spends time accessing the articles and posts related to allergies and indoor air, your site could suggest, “You might like a free indoor air analysis. Want to schedule? Just click.”

Or if someone is looking at the energy efficiency details, indicating energy savings is a concern, your site could offer up, “Want to know how much a new system can save you in energy dollars? Schedule free estimate and find out.”

Suggestions like these are advisory and connect to their interests. You could add, as well, the idea that others are doing this too: “Homeowners like you, who learned the secret dangers hidden in their indoor air, started with a free indoor air analysis. Find out more.”

Most of us – persuadable and uncertain as we are – are given to the idea that an action is more correct if others are doing it. It’s a tested and proven marketing practice.

In fact, you could include testimonials as part of your online suggestions. Again, if energy savings seems to be the focus: “Happy Customer says, ‘We’re saving 30% on energy each month and have never been more comfortable.’ Schedule a free estimate today.”

If they’ve looked at plumbing inspection possibilities: “‘Our plumbing inspection prevented a very costly and messy repair, and we’re so thankful,’ Grateful Homeowner says. Get the details.”   

If they’ve indicated interest in renovation: “‘We wouldn’t have trusted anyone but [company] for the electrical wiring during our renovation,’ says Satisfied Customer. Learn more.”  

As a guideline, present relevant suggestions with a call to action. Also, use content “best practices,” including strong copy and dynamic images.

Remember, recommendations are a service, not a technology. Your ultimate goal is to help your prospect find the solution that is right for their home. Once online contact is made, make your customer service personal, providing access to a personal advisor.


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