There are a lot of offers online, hyping the ability to deliver
thousands of hits to your web site. For a price.
True, the Internet is a numbers game. What these services are
implying is that the more people you can expose to your message,
the more sales you will get.
This is true, to a point, but it's not just about the traffic -
it's about attracting, converting and KEEPING customers.
Now, how do you do that? You get them through advertising and
keep them through customer service.
So, you carefully analyze a few ezines, determine that the ratio
of ads to original content is ok, and start getting the word out
through advertising. Soon your logs tell you that your traffic
is picking up. Great!
Now, how do you make them stick around, and hopefully become
Shower them with attention. Get their email address asap, and
start wowing them with your knowledge and insight. Maybe record
an interview with a guru or two, and post it for free on your
site. Make them feel like you're the best source of information
If you do enough of this, hopefully a prospect will soon become
a customer. So, You've Converted Them…Now What?
Now that they're a paying customer, you have to keep them. There
are a number of inexpensive, if not outright free, ways that you
can show your customers your appreciation. Hopefully most of
these will already be familiar:
*Say thank you. Tell them that you appreciate their business.
Reinforce that positive behavior!
*Send individualized follow up. Want to really shock them? Send
them a note IN THE MAIL. Do you think others out there in
cyberspace do this? Do you think it'll separate you from your
Combine the offline with the online world, and you'll stand
apart (if not stand alone!)
*Think of ways you can be extra thoughtful. Does your product
require batteries? Tuck in a pack, so that your customer will be
able to start using it immediately upon delivery. The financial
outlay will be made back in goodwill - do you think they'll feel
really great about the experience? Just think of the referral
Modest Expectations + Overdelivery = A Happy Customer
Always promise less, and give more. Error on the side of caution
concerning delivery times, repairs, exchanges...then call or
email them with the good news that the process will actually
take less time than expected. The faster you can deliver, the
happier the customer.
Worst case scenario? That you deliver the product within the
promised time frame.
A Word About Advertising...
As the hype continues to fly online, customers have developed a
healthy case of skepticism. They're rapidly becoming immune to
over-the-top claims. Don't fall victim to the temptation of hype
or spin. Honesty in advertising will give you a fighting chance.
Also, with hype, you risk having a disappointed customer. And
have you ever noticed how a person likes to share his or her bad
experiences with others? This ripple in a pond effect is real.
Online, where news travels fast, this could be devastating to
your reputation and business.
So, to end, it's not about getting more traffic - it's about
gaining a customer. Obviously, there's time and cost involved in
converting a prospect. So, once they decide to come onboard, do
everything you can to keep them!
About the author:
Paula Morrow heads Ideal Marketing Corporation, specializing in
information products and training for newbie netpreneurs.
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