With the recent buzz about George Mason University making it to the final 4, I remembered an old acquaintance who attended GMU in the 80?s and of course ?Googled? him just to see where he landed in the scheme of life.
What I found was delightful and also shocking since I?ve completely devoted myself to website marketing.
This acquaintance I?ll call ?George? had successfully started up a family business in the fast growing niche industry for the affluent. Excellent! I thought, until I went to his company?s website.
What I found there to be absolutely shocking! His website was very ?pretty? which is fine. It was missing 3 critical and basic elements:
1. NO METHOD OF COLLECTING VISITORS EMAIL ADDRESSES. People just don?t realize how important this is. Once you get an email or physical address you can continue to market to that person forever. It?s so much easier to take care of the customers you do have than to constantly be farming for new ones.
A colleague of mine boasts about carrying a million dollars on his key chain by keeping his customer mailing list on a flash drive. George doesn?t realize that his mailing list can bring him unlimited value as a source for sales and referrals.
PLUS he could snail mail a newsletter, tips, catalogs, reminders, shopping services, sweepstakes, special promotions, VIP customer shopping events? the list could go on forever! (and archive these mailings and notices on his website)
PS. What if George wanted to sell the family business? A prospective buyer will want to know all about his inventory and stock. Where?s the real value?
His client database of course! He could certainly pump up the value if he'd a mailing list of a few thousand happy, cared for. Well taken care of ready to buy customers.
2. NO ?AUTOMATION.? What I mean by this is there?s no automatic way of keeping in contact with your subscriber list. Follow up is sooooo important. Experts tell us it takes an average of 7 contacts before customers buy.
For example: Martha wants to receive a free report about your featured product. But first she must enter her email and address, therefore. Allowing you to capture her info.
Your system automatically sends her emails every few days or weeks (you determine how many and how often) to keep in touch by offering valuable info. This automated system will also allow you to send broadcast emails to your growing database of subscribers. Act as a shopping cart for your website.
3. THE WEBSITE IS ALL ABOUT ?THE COMPANY.? Yes, pictures of sales people are nice ? but what does your customer really want when they visit your website? They want to learn as much as possible about what you've to offer. Here?s an exciting opportunity to EDUCATE YOUR CUSTOMER.
In George?s business, 5 out of 10 times his customer wants to learn more about his product before buying. He could shorten his sales cycle by posting every bit of information possible on his website so folks can ?research? before coming to his store.
Not only would he educate: this positions him as a trustworthy expert and increases customer loyalty.
4. CONTACT EMAIL ADDRESS DOESN?T MATCH WEBSITE. Having an aol email address displayed instead of your own dot.com is just a pet peeve of mine. This indicates the web developer didn?t take the time or care enough about your image as a professional.
Just by making these three changes, George is sure to increase his bottom line.
Now it?s your turn? What?s missing from your website?
Copyright 2006 Donna Payne