Why Your Business May Not Need a Website After All

Is designing a website from top to bottom out of your budget? Some new startups provide easy, aesthetically pleasing and sales-friendly alternatives.
Freelance writer, Self employed
March 12, 2013

When Jon Goldman would get on the phone with potential customers, often the first thing they'd ask him is, "So what is it you do?" Considering they'd ask that after they visited his website, this was a huge problem. 

Instead of working even more on his website, Goldman came up with a surprising solution: He ditched his site and instead started using a new Web tool called Pitch Site, which he says allows him to sum up and pitch his business in a "much more visually attractive and concise way." The formulaic single page website is designed to prominently display product videos, company statistics, customer testimonials and, of course, a clear call to action. That answers 99 percent of the questions people have about Goldman's business—fundraising for sports teams—so during the phone calls he can focus on benefits rather than explaining the "how." 

Since putting his business on Pitch Site, Goldman has generated 3,900 leads. 

Though conventional business wisdom says every company must have a website, many small-business owners are like Goldman: They don't have staff set aside to manage customer relationships or a budget to maintain a website complete with marketing tools and analytics. Rather than relying on the back-and-forth with your Web developer, there are simple sites like Pitch Site that do most of the heavy lifting for you, providing customers with the most updated information in an easily accessible manner that can bring them into the sales pipeline. 

Alternative Thinking

Onepager is a similar alternative to building a website, allowing you to build the site yourself using an existing theme, collect email addresses from visitors and send newsletters. It offers streamlined analytics, including views, average time on site and traffic sources—all information that's available through Google Analytics, but presented in a more user-friendly manner. For a business that's more socially driven, RebelMouse allows you to curate your blog posts and social updates into one page so potential customers can easily browse your recent activity.

How RebelMouse is Filling a "Wonderful, Terrible" Niche

Pitch Site's unique feature is the call to action that can be placed in on your site. It links to a simple form that someone can fill out to express interest. Best of all, that response will be logged into your Pitch Site activity feed, which is sort of like a simplified version of the customer relationship management tools used by sales staff. It keeps a digital trail of the interactions between you and your clients. Pitch Site also offers a simplified analytics that shows you where your leads are coming from and where to focus your efforts.

Sam Lawrence, co-founder and CEO of Crushpath, the company that makes Pitch Site, says human resources and recruiting are popular uses for the product. Other site uses include pitches for app design, a health coach and insurance agent.

Attract New Clients

These sites might remind you of a Kickstarter page—which makes sense, because they serve the same purpose. They provide just enough information to take a person from being casually interested to actively involved in your company. There's no need for complex navigation on a website that often leads people lost and confused on what they can get from you.

One smart feature Pitch Site offers is the ability to make multiple pitches all for the same initial fee. Some people use this to A/B test their message—to see if one version of the site resonates more than another—but it can also be used to target different categories of customers with a more targetted message.

How to Optimize Content for Mobile Users

Goldman uses this feature to do one-off campaigns such as a recent promotion that was targeted to wrestling coaches. He has one umbrella site from which he can copy most of the basic information and have a unique site up in less than 20 minutes.

Many musicians, filmmakers and startups are at SXSW this week, spending their time pitching their business to potential partners between sessions. Pitch Site is currently offering its product for free to presenters or performers who'd like to try it out.

Read more about online marketing.