In the last article, Covering Your Website Bases: Part 1, we covered the minimum must haves for being able to convert as many visitors passively. However, passive is not the best approach. Most people prefer not to be bothered, so you need to intrigue and challenge them to engage. The longer one remains on your website, the more apt they are to sign up for something. So part of covering your website bases is aggressively converting visitors to followers.
Now, we live in a world where the word “aggressive” gives the connotation of chicanery, bullying and tricking people. This is NOT what I am advocating. To do so would be bad business, would eventually kill your reputation and brand, and hurt the industry as a whole. It would make people paranoid of subscribing for anything. You would not be serving your visitors well.
By aggressive, I mean being more active in the process. You do this by providing interactive methods that are intriguing, fun and/or educational. It’s about providing a better user experience so your visitor WANTS to engage. Makes sense? We do these with aggressive methods like the following.
NOTE: For these to work, they must know you will NEVER sell or share your list! People hate to be bombarded with SPAM and junk offers. Use your list wisely, providing value to the relationship.
People are busy and seconds count. Moreover, people are lazy; they don’t want to look for something – they prefer to have it handed to them. A pop-up subscription form does just that. It brings the form to them.
For a pop-up to work well, there are two things to consider: aesthetics and frequency.
Paying attention to these two dynamics will make your pop up more effective.
Questionnaire and quizzes are a fabulous way to either:
For someone to take the quiz, they have to provide their email address at a minimum – name and email preferred – to receive results, a grade, certificate or badge. Moreover, you can provide articles and resources with the summary at the end, leading them deeper into your website.
For example, I have a Marketing IQ Quiz. At the end, there’s suggested reading on the topics of the questions, with links to the articles in my blog. It serves to help them learn more about the questions they missed, while keeping them on the site longer. Again, the longer they are on the site, the more apt they are to sign up for something.
A back-end, or members’-only area, is a way to prepare for monetizing your website. People like to belong; it’s the herd mentality. By providing this, you take a relationship deeper. However, there are pros and cons.
The Pros: You not only build a database, but it’s easier to communicate with them in the back end. After a while, when there’s plenty of value to the membership, you start charging a monthly or annual fee.
The Cons: You have to provide content. So there’s more work required. If there’s nothing being provided, there’s no reason to belong. Plus, it’s this additional content that adds the value worth paying for later.
When it comes to marketing, email is still king. You will get more sales from email than from any other method. Why is that? Well, you can’t advertise in a blog. Let me rephrase that; you shouldn’t advertise in a blog. If you do so, you will lose readers, because that’s not why they join blogs.
However, in a newsletter, you can put ads and calls-to-action – it’s expected. You can overdo it, so resist the temptation to use 4 or 5 ads. Keep it simple, clean and useful.
For example, here to the right is my latest newsletter. What you will notice is:
Finally, there’s live chat. Live chat provides instant satisfaction. If they have a question, they receive immediate feedback. Since you are having a conversation, it allows you to make suggestions that can lead to a sale.
There’s a service called Pure Chat, which allows you to offer live chat for free. It limits some features, but the free service is great. If you need or desire additional features, they’re available for a nominal fee.
Not all options may be viable; for some, they may. However, the more interactivity you provide, the more engagement you will get. And as I mentioned previously, since you don’t know what speaks to your individual visitor, it’s better to provide all the methods you can feasibly sustain.
Therefore, count the cost. What would these methods be worth in potential revenue and building of your database, versus the cost to implement? Then decide which you can sustain. Many of these require no additional work after they are in place; some require additional content to add the value which makes them worthwhile. Before you think, “That’s too hard.” You will be surprised at how simple some of these are.
So there you have it! You have the roadmap. The question is, will you follow it? Knowledge is NOT power – applied knowledge is power. Now that you know, I challenge you to do!