Frequently Asked Hosting Questions


How do I encourage visitor interaction with my website?

You can make your Web site more interactive with some of these tools. Feedback from your customers and visitors is important to let you know what you are doing right and what you need to change. But more importantly, it can help to build a trusting bond between you and your potential customers.

Guestbooks
Give your visitors somewhere to air their views on your Web site Guest books are used by many people to give visitors the chance to air their opinions on their Web site The disadvantage is that you have no real control of the nature of the comments your visitors make. Maybe this is the reason it isn't used much by commercial Web sites. So you have to decide if it is worthwhile to set up such a service. In our opinions, we wouldn't use one for the reasons stated above. Most web hosting companies provide guest books for free, but if yours don't then there are many organizations that do.

Newsletters
A newsletter will enable you to keep in contact with your customers and prospects, thereby building a relationship with them. You can provide news of new products, special offers, new features on your Web site, etc. Since they have requested this newsletter you can be sure that they will read it. This will give you the opportunity to sell to them again and again.

Some web hosting companies will provide a script for you to set up a mailing list. This will be able to log all the subscribers and send an email which you provide to all the email addresses contained within the mailing list. This means you won't need to spend much time maintaining the mailing list. There are strict policies regarding bulk emails, so be sure to read the terms and condition of use, set out by your mailing list host. Be aware that most free mailing list hosts will attach an advertisement to your outgoing email to pay for the service. Usually a small monthly fee will get rid of this advertisement.

Bulletin boards
Message boards are popular amongst web surfers as they allow like minded individuals to meet up and chat about the same topic. So if you sell golfing equipment at your Web site, then golfers can meet up to discuss golf related matters at your Web site You can answer questions or give advice to your visitors. This can only help to build a trusting bond with your business as people will come back to your site again and again for news and information. You can highlight special offers somewhere within the discussion forum page to tempt visitors to come into your store.

It can also be used as a classified advertisement board. So if you are a golfing equipment supplier, your visitors would naturally assume that people who see their advert are likely to be interested in golf, therefore a greater chance that they would sell their wares. Again, this will would help to build a closer relationship with your customers and prospects.

Most Web site hosting companies provide this service for free or as an additional service for a small fee.

Chat rooms
Chat rooms are similar to discussion forums, except as that they are real-time. This means that individuals can meet up and chat to each other like they were having a conversation in real life.

Let's take this example. Say you are a supplier of angling equipment. Anglers from all corners of the world can meet up in your chat room to share their fishing experiences and advice. You can even use it as a form of marketing. Why not hold a weekly or monthly meeting for visitors to discuss angling related matters. You can answer questions and give advice, thereby asserting your knowledge and expertise.

So where do you think these anglers are likely to go to buy their new fishing tackle? You, knowing the fact that you are an expert on angling and you provide free help and advice or another fishing tackle supplier who doesn't bother to meet with their customers?

Surveys
By placing a vote function somewhere on your Web site, usually on the home page, you can get quick feedback from your visitors. Use it as a form of market research. Say you are thinking about adding a new product line to your store. Ask your customers and prospects whether they would be interested in such a line of products. This would save you valuable time and resources, knowing that they may or may not sell before you even stock the products.

Usually it is only used for one specific survey at a time. This would give visitors a chance to air their opinions without the time consuming aspects of a normal survey, which should get a better response.

Related articles: Bulletin Board Forms Guestbook



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