In their book, Start Your Own Business, the staff of Entrepreneur Media Inc. guides you through the critical steps to starting a business, then supports you in surviving the first three years as a business owner. In this edited excerpt, the authors offer quick tips to help you get visitors to return to your site and stick around for a bit.
A good website design and a strategy for attracting visitors takes you three-quarters of the way to success. The final step is getting people to try your offerings and to come back for more. The best way to do that is to treat each customer as unique. Fortunately, the web lends itself to the kind of personalization that’s relatively easy and inexpensive for even the smallest business.
With a little effort, you can address each site visitor’s needs effectively. Combined with offline strategic work—such as hitting customers every other week with a free newsletter or offering them a two-for-one special if they haven’t visited your site in two months—readily available ecommerce tools enable you to personalize as nothing else can.
The basis for customization is the cookie—a morsel of information that lets sites know where customers go. A cookie is a piece of data that’s sent to the browser along with an HTML page when someone visits a site. The browser saves the cookie to the visitor’s hard drive. When that customer revisits the site, the cookie goes back to the web server along with his new request, enabling your site to recognize the return visitor.
Here are some ideas for marketing programs you can create from an analysis of stored cookies and email:
Getting visitors to stick around long enough to explore your site is just as important as tempting them to visit in the first place. Here are some tips on capturing your visitors’ attention.
By the Staff of Entrepreneur Inc.
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