With a steady stream of visitors coming to your web site, and hopefully returning, the time has come to try and identify these visitors, in other words to try and get their name and address,gender,age or at very least their e-mail address. Only when you can get this information can you really think about selling anything via your site. However, to persuade people to give you this information you need to give them something in exchange, such as an e-mail newsletter, or a an autoresponder based course.
Because it is so easy for Internet users to leave your site and go somewhere else, it is extremely important that you handle all visitors to your site with great care. If you try too hard to sell them something they will simply go somewhere else. Online business is all about the art of slow and gentle persuasion, and this means encouraging a sense of trust and friendship between the web site visitor and the company running the web site.
The process of building this trust and friendship starts with persuading the visitor to give you his or her e-mail address, and perhaps also their name. It is the start of a process known as permission marketing, it involves you offering the visitor something free, something which is of use or value to them, and in exchange they give you permission to contact them via their e-mail address.
The most widely used means of getting a visitor to a web site to leave their name and e-mail address is to offer them something like a regular newsletter, or an autorespoonder based course. Things which do not cost a great deal to produce but which are sufficiently useful and interesting to a high percentage of visitors.
A regular newsletter is the classic method, and research has shown that as many as 20% of visitors to a web site will leave their e-mail address in return for a free newsletter subscription. This compares with less than 1% for a banner advert.
The great advantage of a newsletter is that you can use it to continue the process of encouraging the trust of your subscribers by giving them more useful information, for which they will feel grateful and therefore obliged to at least look at something you want to sell. You can also use a newsletter to run quizes, competitions, anything which will give them a sense of belonging to a community.
You can also use a newsletter to find out more about your subscribers by running a market research survey, or you could use your subscribers as a type of focus group to help define pricing or product specification policies.
A lot of things become possible with the Internet once you have established the trust of visitors and persuaded them to reveal their identity, and to do that you have to give your site visitors something ein exchange. That something is usually quality information.