As a webmaster you probably get a lot of email. And as your site grows you are going to get a lot more. This is just part of the business of having a website. The thing about this growth in popularity, and in email, is that most of the time you don’t know where it is coming from. Doing one simple thing in every email will help with this dilemma.
You write articles, post content to your site, exchange links with other webmasters and do a whole host of things. All of this work slowly pays off and your website gets pollinated in a lot of different ways to a lot of other places on the web. As this occurs there is no way for you to keep track of it. It is an impossible task. And if you tried to track it all it would be very difficult for you to determine what is effective and what is not. And this understanding of what is working and what is not working is one of the most important skills you, as a webmaster, need to have. It is how you can allocate your time and pour more energy into the right places.
So how do you get a handle on what is working?
This brings me to the message of this article. Getting an email from somebody about your website is a good indicator that something is working. But what is working? This is the crux of what you have to put in your email. Ask the question!
When replying to an email from a web visitor, advertiser, marketer, account executive, search engine optimizer of anyone at all who is inquiring about your website you have to ask a question that will help you improve your understanding of how they found you, what they liked, and how you can improve your site.
It really is as simple as that. Asking a question will very deeply enrich your understanding of your website and where and how it is being exposed on the web, what people like about it and what they don’t like about it.
Practical Tips on Question asking
Everybody has limited time and I recommend you only ask one question in an email. If you are too demanding you run the risk of never getting a reply. Here are some sample questions:
- How did you find my website?
- What attracted your eye to my website?
- What article really interested you?
- What other websites, similar to mine, do you like to visit?
- What new things would you like to see on my site?
- Was there anything difficult about my site? Navigation? Layout?
- Do you have any suggestions on how I can improve my site? (I get great response to this question. People like to know their opinion is valuable. )
For more interesting insights into being a creative webmaster and making your website work for you visit the authors site at: The Creative Webmaster – Forging the Iron of Creativity on the Anvil of a Website