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Sounds easy enough. But often, there are visitors to your Web site that may be different from your traditional customers - and sometimes, you either currently offer or could create new products or services that they'd buy.
Thinking through all possible audiences for your site, and all ways in which you might interact with them is really crucial in creating your Web strategy.
Then, so is knowing who you expect to be looking at each page of your site, and what you want them to do. This might include requesting a catalog, asking for technical support, signing up for a newsletter, etc. Include clear text links and invitations to visitor - and make it really easy for them to contact you.
Too many pages online provide great content, and then just tail off into nothing. Don't let yours be among them!
3. Under-utilising e-mail: e-mail is a powerful tool when used appropriately (and an awful one when not!) It can be used for marketing, customer service, public relations, in-company memos, business research . . . and much more. Look at your real-world communications - could e-mail save you time and expense?
E-mail marketing can be done without costs of design printing, and postage associated with traditional direct mail. It's almost free of charge!
It can be used to send notices of new products, or upgrades to existing ones. It can keep your customers informed of news and events in your company, and around industry. If it's offering brief, valuable content, most of your contacts won't object to receiving it - although of course if they do, you must take them off your mailings. But, with a few subtly embedded links to key pages in your Web site, it can be a great traffic generator.
Your own database of your customers, prospects and other contacts is best place to start - and take every opportunity to nurture that. Ask visitors to your Web site to sign up for your newsletter, product alerts, or other materials. If you buy any lists, be very careful that they're bona fide and you won't be accused of spamming recipients.
And whatever you do, answer your e-mail! Lack of e-mail response is always one of biggest customer service complaints around e-business.
So, consistently mine your customer list. Send them targeted, relevant e-mails, and grow your business relationships electronically!
Let's say it again - Internet isn't going away. Today's challenge lies in understanding how to use it to maximise your market reach, optimise efficiency of your operations, and achieve best overall return on your online business investment.
Copyright, Philippa Gamse, 2000
Philippa Gamse, CyberSpeaker, is an internationally recognized e-business strategist. Check out her free tipsheet "Beyond the Search Engines" for 17 ideas to promote your Website: http://www.CyberSpeaker.com/tipsheet.html Philippa can be reached at (831) 465-0317 or mailto:pgamse@CyberSpeaker.com