You know, if someone was to ask me the ‘secret’ to building a business online I would say it is one simple thing:
Capture the email address of anyone who visits your website
An email address in the online world is the equivalent of a business card in the offline world.
Say you are at a networking meeting talking to someone who is a great fit for your service/product. What do you do? You ask for their business card and permission to contact them again.
If you don’t, that person will walk out the door and you have no way to contact them again. Doh!
The same thing applies online. Your website is simply a conversation with the people who visit your site… a written/read conversation instead of verbal. And in this conversation your visitors get to know you and determine if they have an interest in what you are offering.
If they are interested, you want to capture their email address to continue the conversation in some fashion.
This is the *ultimate* goal of any online marketing effort. With an email address you can contact the person again through your newsletter or perhaps a direct response. Without the email address they are gone with no way for you to reach them, and chances are pretty slim that they will come back to your site anytime soon (stats show that return visits are pretty rare).
I went to a website the other day, a coach who does swimming and triathlon programs here in Calgary. I came to his site already interested as a referral and looking to be notified of upcoming courses/programs… and you know what? There was *no* way for me to leave him my email address.
(BONK!) Sound of my head hitting my desk.
It honestly makes my heart sad when I see this online. Here I am, an interested and eager potential client, and there is no way for me to join his mailing list.
So is your website set up to capture the email address of your visitors? You can do this by offering a free report, a newsletter, heck even just a “join to be notified of my upcoming classes” form.
Some techniques are definitely better than others for capturing email addresses (that whole conversion thing)… but the main thing is that you have some kind of “join here” form on your homepage.
If you do any one thing to your website do this… my forehead will thank you. 😉
PS – How do they get the caramel inside the Caramilk bar anyways? Has anyone ever found out? LOL