As the Web grows and online promotion gets more popular among even small businesses, the cost of online advertising continues to rise.
In the last 18 months, any online business owner will tell you that it now takes a lot of work, time, and money to bring a visitor to your site for the first time.
Pay-per-click advertising costs in particular have seen dramatic increases in response to both market demand (bids going up) and profit motive by the search engines (increased prices).
Smart marketers know that it rates a lot easier and cheaper to “recycle" visitors for a return visit than to attract them in the first place.
The following tips will help any website owner - large or small - recycle Web surfers into repeat visitors and customers.
** Publish A Newsletter: Nothing brings a horde of visitors back to your website faster than sending an email to a targeted list of subscribers who signed up for your email newsletter.
In fact, this tactic lies at the heart of virtually any successful online entrepreneur's business plan.
Use your newsletter to develop a relationship with your subscribers and then leverage that relationship to recycle people back to your website (and to others) in order to make sales.
CAUTION: don't fall into the trap of making your newsletter nothing but a big “pitch" to spend money.
You must give people good, relevant content if you hope to grow your newsletter into a true business building tool.
** Surveys: Hold an interactive poll or survey on your web site.
Ask your website visitors questions about a topic of intense interest to them.
Not only do people enjoy giving their opinion, but they'll also want to read the results as you compile them and update them on your website over the next day or week.
If you want to get their email address, tell them you'll send the updated survey results via email.
My favorite survey tool is www.oneminutepoll.com.
** Original Content: People go online first and foremost to get specific, relevant, timely information in areas that interest them.
For some that means news articles, for others sports scores, and for others it means current prices for things like stocks or commodities.
Whatever content they want, give it to people in a way they can't find anywhere else (or at least not very easily) and make it easy for them to see that your site rates a bookmark in their browser so they can return often.
** Use A Blog: People crave up-to-the-minute news on subjects about which they feel very strongly.
Some investors, for example, spend hours combing the Web for nuggets of information to help them evaluate specific markets, companies, or stocks.
One way to make your site invaluable to your audience members is to simply post a news bite, tip, or current “nugget" of relevant information on your blog daily.
If you develop a dialog with your prospects and customers, then you can quickly build up a regular following of recycled traffic.
Remember this: as the Web gets more vast and complicated, it becomes increasingly difficult to find trusted sources.
Once people find a site they trust, they tend to latch on to it until given a reason to change.
Adding these “recycle" elements will make your up-front traffic costs easier to bear since you know they'll ultimately get you multiple visits for one price.
Copyright (c) 2007 Jim Edwards
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