Posted Sunday, January 16, 2005
You work hard to attract visitors to your website. Very hard.
A visit to your site means that someone has sorted through the abyss of the Internet and found you. The mere fact that you have attracted a new visitor indicates that you are a success in your search engine placement, word-of-mouth popularity, or advertising campaign.
Even if your visitor has found your site to be informative and useful and made a mental note of its value, there is still a chance they will never return. They may have even bookmarked your site, but have you taken a look at your bookmarks recently? You are probably overwhelmed and lost even within your own privately selected and bookmarked sites.
This is why it is imperative that you are granted permission to communicate with your visitor in the future -- that they submit their e-mail address information to you. The development of a mailing list becomes your bread and butter -- it is the gold medal you need to succeed on the web.
There are various methods to be employed for obtaining e-mail addresses, but the most important is to make sure that it is easy and convenient for visitors to sign up for your newsletter from EVERY page of your website. This way, anyone who has visited your site can easily and instantly sign up to receive future news from you; they no longer have to remember on their own.
The second most successful way to obtain these names and addresses is to offer your visitors something in return: a free e-book download, a contest entry, a giveaway of any kind will prompt your visitor to sign up.
Thirdly, exchange newsletter promotion with other ezines. These ads are placed in the newsletters being distributed by other companies to an audience that you can assume has a similar demographic base. Exchange your ad space on the basis of your number of subscribers. For example, if their list has 2,000 subscribers and yours has 1,000, you might consider running their ad twice in exchange for them running yours once. That way, you each announce the ad to the same number of people. Make sure that your ad has specific (and easy) instructions for people to ubscribe to your newsletter.
Once you have developed a mailing list, don't forget to use it! As obvious as this may seem, it is something that occurs quite often. People feel they can't write effectively or don't know what to say in a newsletter. Rest assured that your mailings can be very brief and consist of very few words. If you are unsure what your ezine might contain, consider these options: announce new site enhancements; offer a weekly inspiration/joke/quote; introduce new products/sales/contests; share a link to a site that you think your audience would be interested in viewing. The chances are very good that if you find it interesting, so will the recipients of your newsletter.
The most important point of your newsletter is that it will contain your site's URL and remind your hard-earned visitors that you are there and that you have something of value and interest to them. Use your mailing lists to keep the visitors you have worked so hard to attract.
About the Author
Carol Cuoco is the founder of Go-Mom which owns and operates Go-Mom.com (an online community for moms of teens) and Christmas Gift Stores.com (dedicated to showcasing the products of the small and unique merchants of the web). Both sites also offer a free and interesting newsletter, Go-Mom and Gift-Ideas. (http://www.go-mom.com) and (http://www.christmasgiftstores.com)