Marketing On The Web � How To Get Repeat Visits
by Lisa Kryder
Day by day, the World Wide Web becomes the medium of choice for finding information in a hurry. The estimated number of current users ranges from 9 million to 35 million, as cited by the magazine Intelliquest. The average age of Internet users is 33, according to a December 1997 article in Internet Words, while their average salaries are $59,000 (compared with a U.S. average of $20,690).
Why do people cruise the Web? The vast majority of people (97%) use it to become better informed, while 81% find it a good place to research products and services. Another 57% say they surf the Web for fun. (These statistics are based on a survey of 500 adults reported in Net Smart magazine.)
Web site owners interested in promoting products and services have one desire in common � to bring browsers back to their sites again and again. As every marketing guru says, repetition works, so repeat visits to Web sites multiplies the chances of closing the loop on a sale.
Keep Coming Back to Your Site
What makes interested browsers keep coming back? Take the following proven ideas, borrowed from a variety of sources, and adapt them to your own Web marketing campaigns:
Update - Provide information of value and keep changing that information. Establish yourself as a subject matter expert through your Web site. Offer the latest topics, trends, breakthroughs, meeting results, conference updates, etc. on your site. That positions your site as the "go-to" place for late-breaking industry news and insights. Making your ideas relevant to the industry ties them closer to your site as an information resource. Being creative, even outrageous, helps to grab their attention. Search the Web to see what others are doing and adapt them to your area of expertise.
Engage - Encourage participation when browsers visit your site. Have them pick door A or B, answer a preliminary question, choose from a list, vote for something, e-mail their opinion on a subject ... the list of possibilities goes on.
Reward - Give them a free "something" if they leave their name and address. For example, you can e-mail them an article on the subject of your expertise. Offer them an industry update report by e-mail. Think about what people in your target audience want to know.
Give Tips - Offer a thought for the day or a tip of the week regularly. Author Jeff Davidson has a weekly tip sheet of new ways to have more Breathing Space (http://www.BreSpace.com); Scott Adams offers last Sunday's Dilbert comic strip, among other colorful features (http://www.unitedmedia.com/comics/dilbert/).
Teach - Create an on-line tutorial use short instructions that teaches your visitors something new. You could mimic ideas used in the newspaper such as "This Day In History" or "Quotes of the Day."
Question - Make it easy for visitors to give their opinions through an online guest book. You might even pose a question and announce the person who gave the correct answer as a winner on your Web site. Give the winner a reward (e.g., a coupon to buy your product at a nearby store) and pose a new question to keep the momentum going. Be sure to acknowledge every winner on the site, and keep prizes fresh and interesting.
Create links - Find complementary connections on the Web and appeal to site owners to create a link with yours. Start with people you know, then use search engines to find companies offering complementary products and services. When you find compatriots, offer to hot link their sites to yours and combine your promotions to create synergy for all.
More links - Determine places your business may be listed through online directories (e.g., industry associations, Chamber of Commerce, etc.) and refer visitors to those directories through hot links. What else do you belong to? Civic and social organizations, clubs, teams, etc. Think about including all your international, national, regional and local affiliations.
Member ties - Have several Web site features that are for members only, requiring a password to participate. Find other ways to make visitors feel exclusive. For example, if they sign your online guest book, they get a password to enter a closed area on your site.
Draw Prospects to Your Site
The ideas above are designed to bring people back repeatedly to your site, but don't neglect the strategic ways to get them there in the first place. Keep this checklist in mind as you develop your marketing campaign.
- Mail a postcard or letter to your clients and prospects telling them how to contact
you via the Internet. Entice them with a taste of information they can expect to find
- Follow the idea above with fax memos and voice mail messages.
- Place your Web site address and e-mail address on every piece of advertising
you do, including stationery. Make this information as standard as your phone and fax
- Let your clients know you have a feedback system in place through your Web
site. Encourage them to use your e-mail to leave messages, ask questions, lodge
complaints. In some companies, service requests delivered by e-mail get a quicker
response than phone calls.
- When you have articles written by you or about you, make sure they mention
your Web site. Then multiply the effectiveness of this publicity by telling everyone on
your client and prospect list. Better yet, put the articles on your Web site and ask
people to read them there.
- Continually send updated information about your site and appropriate key words
to the search engines, shopping malls, and bulletin boards relevant to your business.
Try these and other ideas. E-mail me at [email protected] and tell me what worked best. Happy marketing.
� Lisa Kryder, NetProfitMarketing.com. All rights reserved.