A few years ago, your website was regarded primarily as a selling tool It would supposedly convince visitors to contact you and become customers. But website owners soon realised that even if their site was a good source of new business, for every one person who visited the site and then contacted them directly, hundreds or thousands of others would leave the site without getting in touch. That’s a lot of wasted potential customers.
So the emphasis has changed now – and it’s important that you are aware of this as you plan your internet strategy. For many highly successful businesses, the key purpose of the website is not to instantly convert people to customers – instead it is to use the website to capture visitors’ contact details.
Let me repeat that. It’s very important. With a few exceptions (such as online stores) you should seriously consider changing your internet strategy so that the prime purpose of the site is to capture visitors’ contact details – specifically their email address.
Let’s say you have a company that sells garden supplies. You have a steady stream of visitors to your website. Some become customers but most just browse and then move on. All those people that you never hear from again are going to want garden stuff for years to come. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get their email address and their permission to email them every month forever!
So how do you get their email address? If you ask them to fill in a form, they wont bother. Why should they? There’s nothing in it for them. So instead you need to offer them something in exchange for their email address. You want to offer something of significant value to them that will leave them delighted to receive emails in the future. Here’s what you could put on your gardening website:
“Join our Green Gardeners Email Update and in addition to our Free monthly gardening tips, we’ll send you a Free Report ‘Five Top Tips to make your Garden look Stunning this Summer.”
Then there’s a small box for them to fill in their name and email – and through the wonders of technology they get their free report emailed to them within seconds. The technology to do this is fairly straightforward (an autoresponder) – your web designers should be able to help.
I know dozens of Entrepreneurs who’ve implemented this strategy who are building up thousands of email contacts every year. If you stick to your word and start a good monthly newsletter that has useful tips and advice on your area of interest, you will build a great relationship with these people and a good percentage of them will convert to customers.
So rather than your website giving you just one chance to convince people to become customers – building an email relationship gives you all the time in the world to create great relationships and show people that the person sending the email is so superb at what they do, you end up with a burning desire to get to know them better and do business with them!
When you think of your current website, how many visitors leave the site without contacting you? What could you offer that will be of real interest to people, in exchange for their email address?
This article seems to have turned into ‘War and Peace’ so I’ll give you a few more short tips on internet and email, then perhaps we’ll return to this subject in the future……
Personalise your emails. Again there’s technology that lets you do this automatically.
Don’t even think about those people offering you a million email addresses. It wont work – but it will get you in big trouble.
Consider testing pay per click advertising. This basically lets you pay to be at the top of the search engines. We’re seeing businesses getting a 200% to 300% return on their investment. Google and Yahoo are the main companies to check out.
Consider adding audio to your website. It makes your communications with your customers far more personal.
Make sure that your contact details are on every page of your website.
Make sure that all of the copy on your website constantly communicates the specific benefits of what you have to offer.
Put as much free, useful information on your website as possible.
Take action on this today! Internet and Email marketing is virtually free – and it’s NOT too good to be true!! When it’s done properly, a good internet strategy can add significantly to your profits.