Chances are when you first developed your business website you took your company brochure and transferred it up online. And that was great for initially getting you up on the Internet and being able to say, “Yeah, we have a website, we are internet savvy and professional”. But, if you haven’t done anything past the point of just getting your brochure up online, you are missing out on the best marketing tool you may ever have.
When properly conceived and developed, your website can serve as an online sales mechanism collecting data from your web visitors for subsequent campaigns that build stronger relationships with your prospects and customers. Just as a salesperson keeps in touch with their prospects periodically by calling them, stopping in, or sending them a newsletter, your website can streamline that process, by generating automatic e-mails to your online database.
Is that SPAM?
Spam is when you send out e-mail campaigns to people who have never requested it. Like junk mail and telemarketing, those tactics are under close government scrutiny and will soon become a thing of the past. However, your company may want to consider “opt-in” lists or, (even better), “double opt-in” lists from people requesting information either specifically about your company or about the service your company may offer. These opt-in lists are a great way to jump-start your internet database.
Integrating all marketing efforts.
Want to drive traffic to your website? Include your domain name in every collateral piece you have, and in all radio and television campaigns. Set up a mechanism to collect customer information once they get on your site. Produce simple forms that generate an e-mail to your company or even better store the information in your server database.
What’s the trick in getting them to give you information? Offer real VALUE, like a money-saving discount. Ask them if they want to be notified of new products or promotions, or would like to receive a newsletter with relevant information that educates them about the benefits of your product. Or, simply have them sign up to receive a free sample or win something of value. Keep the form simple with just a few key questions and required fields. Follow-up by phone or use future e-mail campaigns to further qualify them.
The importance of a privacy statement.
Don’t forget to tell them you’ll keep their information private. They have requested information from you and only you. Earn their trust by telling them you will not share their information with other companies. Inform them that you support an ANTI-SPAM policy and include in all e-mail campaigns the opportunity to unsubscribe and then make sure you take them off your database.
Respond to inquiries immediately.
When you do receive information from a prospect, respond to them immediately. If they have given you their e-mail address, automatically confirm that you received that information and let them know what will be happening next. (Autoresponders work great for this.) If they requested that someone call, tell them that a representative will be calling within a certain time period. If they requested a newsletter, tell them when the next newsletter will be published. If they requested a free sample, let them know how and when they will be receiving it.
Analyze web activity and track its source.
Your hosting company should provide you with a way to track activity on your website from the source of unique visitors to their activity on the site. This reporting is often an additional fee to hosting but is well worth the money to track all marketing efforts from online to traditional.
Track your e-mail campaigns.
Track your e-mail campaigns as well. The company managing your campaigns should provide reporting on e-mails that bounced back, those deleting your e-mail, those opening your e-mail, and those who clicked through to your website.
Test different subject lines to test your prospect’s hot buttons. What subject line in an e-mail campaign was opened more? What is it that people are responding to the most?
Research like this is readily available through integrating all marketing strategies with your website. Now is the time to consider upgrading your site from the online brochure to the real marketing tool it can be.
Janet Bronte is part-owner of On Track Marketing Consultants, a marketing consultation firm offering integrated marketing strategies designed to work in today’s economy. She can be contacted at (407) 375-5598.
So you have just put the finishing touches on your website.
You’ve honed every aspect from usability to navigation. The content is strong and packed with keyword-enriched phrasing. All tags have been optimized, the title is clear and images are compressed.
Visually, your website is exciting and slick and it brands your company’s image perfectly. It begs for action from the user and conversions are measurable.
Adopting a “wait and see” approach is sure to disappoint. Search engines can be slow to index a site and building page rank takes time. Considering the competition on the Internet today, with millions of new sites being launched daily, you simply are not going to automatically place in the top of search engine results.
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?
On Track Marketing uses a variety of methods to maximize your Internet Exposure while maintaining your marketing budget…
You’ve optimized your website, yet your site still doesn’t rank on SERP – Search Engine Result Pages
What can you do to get top search engine results?
Try this: Type in a keyword that someone might use to find your business and hit “GO!”
Where does your website fall in the search results? Is it even on the First Page? The Second Page? Do you really think anyone will continue to click to the Third, Fourth, or Fifth Page of search results to find you?
You need to be the First, Second or Third listing on Page One to be found and if you are not then a sponsored search engine ad campaign, (also known as Pay Per Click or PPC campaigns) may be just what you need to increase web traffic and make your website the marketing tool it should be.
Basically, sponsored search engine ad campaigns work like this …
You determine which key words you want your ad to show up on Search Engine Result Pages, (SERP). You then select the dollar amount you are willing to pay to have your ad show up, (Remember for the best results you’ll want to be the First, Second or Third Listing.) Then you determine the daily budget you want to spend. (There are other factors, like determining what regions you’ll want your ads to display and if you want them to display on relevant websites, and more.)
Then you create a compelling ad that will entice some one searching that keyword to click on your ad. If you have selected a number of key words than you will want your ad to be key word specific. Don’t use the same ad for all keywords. Special offers and discounts are very effective in these tough economic times.
You will also want to make sure to create separate landing pages for specific ad campaigns. The biggest mistake businesses make is to dump the interested visitor on the home page of your website where they have to look for the information your ad described. Landing pages also provide a method to measure the effectiveness of your search campaign.
Contact the experts at On Track Marketing to find out more about how sponsored ads can help increase your web traffic and boost your business’s bottom line.