Valentine's Day is just like any other day for us online marketers, as we spend the whole year strategizing how to gain the affections of our customers. And forget monogamy! We have to seduce an entire international community of online users. Have a look below and learn what web tools can help you win over your customers at any stage of your relationship.
The First Date
First time visitors to your site simply want to be swept off their feet. Woo them with your web design, your marketing pick-up lines and/or your sexy product offerings. Remember, don't make it seem like you are trying too hard with abundant banners and busy content. Play it cool, casual and clean. Also, FYI, playing hard-to-get does not work online. The easier visitors can navigate your site, the sooner they'll be begging for conversion, or better yet, a second visit.
Nice Job. The first visit was obviously a success if you've got these visitors coming back for multiple hits as opposed to a one time transaction. Now your goal is to keep them committed.
Maintain a conscious effort to read how your visitors are interacting with your site. Engagement time, scroll-reach percentages and average time on page are all great indicators to determine visitor sentiment. Subtle mouse moves, clicks, hovers, or scrolls are also good signs to pick up on to evaluate the effectiveness of your webpage elements. Heatmaps can show you this info instantly, allowing you to make on-the-fly site improvements according to your visitors' online behavior.
Mazel tov! In sickness and in health, you are a go-to site for your customers. However, even in the most committed relationships, it never hurts to shout what you're about and reaffirm what values you can offer your customers. Sometimes the most obvious truths in any relationship need to be said.
So naturally, if you can speak your mind, your customers should be given the opportunity to speak theirs. A lasting healthy relationship is a two way street, after all. Kampyle and 4Q are great web tools to help you initiate the dialogue with your customers.
Rekindling the ROI
Online marketing is dynamic, and therefore, to keep your visitors' commitment strong and ROI rising, you must constantly be reinventing the wheel.
As nicely stated in a recent Venture Beat article, customers really are the best resource for innovation. Use the direct and indirect criticism your customers give you either from your web analytics tools or via feedback forms you decide to utilize (above) to guide you.
The Love-Hate Relationship
Every now and then, you'll come across the love-hate relationship with some of your customers. But don't get defensive, get proactive and use this criticism as free usability advice. Someone that bothers to take time out of his day just to complain about your site, your products, or maybe even about you, really does care. Depending on the validity of the complaint, by highlighting your weaknesses, you can learn where to focus your marketing efforts. They might just end up being your biggest fan once all is said and done and have helped you strengthen your customer base.
Your Own Happily Ever After
Regardless of the intimacy level you have with your customers, their affection should never be taken for granted and should always be showered with attention. In a recent Copyblogger article, some online sites claim they simply want customers who already want them. I hate to be the voice of negativity, but where's the fun in that?! Don't you want a challenge? Don't you want a more diverse fan base? I guarantee you, the harder you need to work to gain the affections of your customers, the better, more profitable customers they'll be.
Happy Valentine's Day!