For independent guys like me and my team we have to work extra hard to get our users to stick with us or to use what we're putting out over competitors, rivals or alternatives. It all depends on the topic and the user of course but if there is one thing I find common with all our "sticky" sites and indeed our non-sticky sites it is our 'patter' which our users seem to like the most, way above any gizmos and features on offer or even the quality of our writing and website aesthetics. By 'patter' (an English expression) I mean how we interpret whatever we are writing about or doing with these sites of ours.
But that is me, how about you? If you dropped the forum or arcade from your site for example would your visitors dump you? Or if you added a forum, maybe your visitors would return?
What tricks do you perform to keep your visitors coming back?
Post them up.
PS I'm hoping this thread goes off on a tangent somewhat to the content is king & follow these content is king code of practice rules of thumb for stickability type debates that dominate all content related discussions. I want to see what unique concepts or ways people are putting out to A) attract users and B) keep them coming back. What changes people have made to their sites in order to gain stickability and what has and hasn't worked for people with regards to stickability in the past or that YOU are finding out for yourself.
[edited by: Grassroots at 9:45 pm (utc) on Oct. 4, 2006]
We dont use them yet, but I have read mountains of data the last few weeks and there is much to be learned from sites of people like Jim Edwards or Michel Fortin (part of the aggressive sales ebook author crowd). Try registering to any site that has his name on it and pay close attention to when you receive emails and how they motivate to take action.
Another nice little trick I thought about, is this: if someone performs a search for "widgets" on your site, then ask if they would like an email update next time you add new content about "widget". Kinda like google news alerts. Clever little feature for content sites, especially if you produce lots of articles.