Is Your Website a Super Magnet?
Ok, so you've got someone to visit your website once. What if you wanted them to visit again, and again, and again? Ooh, that's hard, isn't it? Not really. Find out how to attract them back without begging with this simple internet marketing tool.
First, The Myth
Ask most web designers what is more important: a unique visitor or a repeat visitor? Most will choose, the former. I tend to disagree.
Let's analyse a unique visitor. They could just be browsing, like shoppers in a mall, or they could be a potential customer. Now, don't get me wrong. Unique visitors might be important, because they are like new customers. However, with new customers, the onus is on you to prove your credibility. Existing customers already know what you do and how you do it. You do not have to prove yourself over and over again.
Why Is It So Important To Retain Existing Customers?
Because, it costs eight times as much to get a new customer than it does to retain one. That alone should make you want to keep them. Also, since you've developed a relationship with them, it's now easier for you to do business, to re-sell, up-sell and get referrals (really, really important). If you play it right you can use your website (amongst other communication material) to stay top of mind with them.
My Customers Have Already Seen My Website: Why Should They Go Back?
Precisely! Most websites are about me, me, me and me! Ever notice how tons of websites have an About Us page. Frankly, who gives a damn about you? No one! Everyone who gets to your business or your website or reads your brochure wants to know what's in it for them! Yet, all communication that goes out is based on me.
Do something constructive. Put your ego in cold storage and start re-engineering your website and your internet marketing to give information to your customer.
How Do I Go About Giving Them Information?
The system is amazingly simple. You know everything (or rather a lot) about your business. Your customers will never know quite enough. If, you provide them with a steady stream of information, you are already two steps ahead of the competition. You are taking the time to educate your customers and you are keeping in touch with them.
Take a look at this website for instance. It's essentially a power marketing vehicle. With minimal effort it gets existing customers to have a look at it repeatedly, simply by giving them information that would help them in their business or their jobs. If you are a casual browser, your curiosity will be aroused, and you will find yourself wanting to read more. Once you're through with the How To section, it's almost natural to move on to the Client Results section. At this point in time, I am no longer selling. You have begun to sell the concept to yourself.
How To Use Email To Retain Customers And Get New Business.
Everyone needs to know more than they currently do. So, how about asking your customers if they would like some more information that will help them understand stuff better. In my case, I send out monthly articles to do with marketing and communication. Detailed, incisive insights that the customer wasn't thinking of before. Then I ask them to visit the website so they can read other articles.
It's important to stop and see what we're doing here. Many may not have the time today, but may have the time next week, or when your next helpful e-mail goes out. The first time the action is done, and they benefit, they are hooked. That's it. You've achieved visibility and top of mind consciousness. Sometimes it will happen instantly and at other times it may be several months later. What you can be sure is, that it will happen!
Why The Website Is Such An Important Tool For Your Business.
It's dynamic, that's why! Say, you printed your cards and brochures last month. You spent a small fortune on them. But now you discover you need to add something that will dramatically change what you're communicating. You can't throw out a thousand brochures or cards, but updating a website is easy-peasy! Simply tweak it, and you're on your way.
Remember, customers aren't always willing to buy when you're willing to sell. By keeping them informed and in touch with your website, they can reach out to you whenever they are ready!
How To Match Information And Credibility.
Credibility is important. So you definitely need to have the About Us factor. What you need to do, however, is to tailor it in such a way that the customer understands what you've done, why you've done it and how you can help them. You can still strut your stuff, just make sure you're doing it with your customer in mind. That alone will change the way you write it and present it. It will make the difference between it being read or being ignored.
If You Don't Have Testimonials, You're Missing Something.
It's brief, underestimated and really powerful. Remember, people are looking at your business from a monitor! They don't know if you're reliable, smart or just a dork. Obviously clues within the site will indicate these things, but why not go for the kill.
Why not get yourself a testimonial and completely rid them of that niggling doubt? It's pretty nasty if you don't have testimonials but totally unpardonable if you don't go out and get them! When you do a great job and the customer says, 'Great work!', ask for a testimonial there and then. It's the best time and customers tend to gush more than 6 months down the line, when they can't even remember what you did!
A Word Called Discipline.
No one said this was going to be easy. Having to update your website, sending out helpful e-mails, and keeping in touch is going to take time and effort. You will need to read more, so you learn more. Then you will have to write. And write reasonably well. You can do it yourself or get a freelancer to do it, but do it you must. Marketing your business must take precedence over everything else. When times are good, we tend to slacken on the marketing. If you disclipine yourself to read one book on your subject and write at least one article a week, you are now starting to build up content. It can be done. And as Nike says, 'Just Do It'. It's the only way.
What you will need.
1) A totally updateable website.
You should never have to learn html or a html coding programme. Your website should be such that you can update both pictures and text from a cyber cafe while vacationing in the Bahamas!
2) At least 6 articles that can help your customer.
That's a good start, but invariably you will have to write more and post them on your website and/or e-mail them to your customers. If you can't do it yourself, write down the points and get someone else to do it for you. But do it!
3) Minimal, fast loading graphics.
If you have no time, neither does anyone else. Make sure your website is as lightning quick as possible. Check it out either by cleaning out your cache or by checking it out from different computers. If it's not screaming fast, you have a problem on your hands.
4) A credibility section.
Get your portfolio out there with the customer in mind. And get those testimonials!
5) Iron discipline.
It's your business. If you don't do it, no one will.