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Thanks for the suggestion though.
have you tried a press release? writing to all the tv channels / radio stations / newspapers can work wonders. you only need one of them to pick up your 'story' and it can rumble on for weeks or even months. even if others don't take up your story directly, they may follow up from a story in another newspaper or on another channel.
all you need to do is think up what the press release should be about.
Reminders always seems like a good idea (I know it has been done before on and off the web)send email to remind of someones birthday anniversary etc etc .. depends on what you are selling anyhow.
Reviews of future products industry news, discussion forums, tips and tricks from users .. techniques to use / enjoy whatever it is you sell better .. from your users prizes to winner voted for by punters..
Online crossword .. apparently worked in print for a company in UK who had nothing interesting to say about new products for years, he ran a series of small competitions (brain teasers) did not even offer prizes next to all the usual product ads in trade mags, built up a following though who he claomed were loyal also to him and his products.
BTW why do you want them on site when they are not in the mood for shopping?
And an equally interesting question .. what sites do you visit when you are not in the mood to use their services and why?
it's called impulse shopping and only works when the consumer is already there for something else - then they say "Hey - cool, I need one of these doohickeys."
Your site is only focused on one thing, one particular type of product. You're not providing the 'other reason' to be there.
Go fire up your forum and see what happens. Getting a decent community up and running takes a lot of time. You won't have time to do anything else until that is up and running smoothly.
Unless you mean something different by candy, in the offline world it is at the checkout to tempt the kids to irritate / bribe / coerce their parents to pay for it for a quiet time packing the shopping because it's not usually free.
It is no reason for me to return with my kids to a particular supermarket and I pay the bill not my 2 year old ! :-)
If by candy you meant "general impulse buys" relevent to people passing then that is somewhat different and indeed less irritating.
It would imply that you might be going wider than deeper in your range which would also not tempt me back.
Example: My local supermarket used to sell food well. Now it also sells clothes, computers, television and video, digital cameras, microwaves, bicycles, videos, drugs, petrol, books, none of which it stocks in depth, none of which it can support with any tecnical knowhow nor on which does it offer choice or low prices. Plus it now takes me 4 times longer to find my food, result I try not to shop there at all and if I want some non food product I never think of them.
ebgreen sorry I missed this before.
keeping customers coming back can create word of mouth but what you want is good word of mouth *only* how satisfied are the customers that have used your service?
It's only satisfied customers or satisfied site visitors that are going to generate that word of mouth.
If you contacted the 500 people who last purchased from your website and asked them for a quick response "how satisfied are you with myservice myproduct etc 5 over the moon 4 very satisfied 3 ok 2 .. etc
Assuming a great proportion come back with "very satisfied" with our purchase from yoursite (BTW you could also ask will you be likely to buy again or refer me to others .. if you think they will take the time)
- Now you have your editorial press release almost writen for you "80% of recent customers from xyz.com rated they were "very satisfied" with the experience / their products / ecommerce success story, picture of happy punter with product, "not just amazon making profits online" etc etc get a pro to write your press release for you .. and deliver it, they have better contacts with editors .. and will have a better publication list.
- editorial resulting from press releases / public relations work have more credibility than advertising because it looks like a not for profit third party endorsement.
Plus the fact that you have taken the time to contact your customers because you care about them may make them believe you do care about them (see effect of product recalls in the automotive industry)..
Sorry for rant, hope some of it is valuable for you.
Oh, if course you do! No doubt. So does everyone, but it is also putting your name and product in front of the right target market. Particularly on line - it's quick to click.
Using myself as an example, let's have a simple illustration of applications of niche marketing. Now, I do not personally recall noticing you participating in discussions here with other people. But I do notice that you start a tremendous number of threads, where of course you receive maximum attention, because the discussion is centering around an individual. Remember that we cannot post URLs here at WmW -that is what the profiles are for.So from a "grocery checkout" point of view, starting multiple theads puts a member in view of the "consumers" while staying within the rules of play. Naturally, it probably gets a lot of clicks - BUT is it indeed the right target market?
THIS is the point that's being made - niche marketing. Personal - if it were chocolate I might be a steady customer. But I am the wrong niche.
Are people who sit behind computers as their chosen activity the same type as those who spend their lives focussed on athletics? Hardly - I knew Dennis Tinerino for years, you could never keep that man behind a desk.
You have to allocate marketing resources, time and efforts in the most productive way possible among available choices. Clicks will not otherwise convert and bring people back, not if they're inappropriately targeted and generated.
So you have to know your target market and GIVE them something on a sustained basis to keep them coming back in a community environment. You have to GIVE first and it has to be what they need. ebgreen, just installing a forum is different from dealing with the dyamics of interaction in an online community.
That type of endeavor is not the same as whether to put a blue or red label on a product package. You are marketing relationships, a whole different set of concepts.
Finding and targeting the right niche and filling their needs is the best way to draw people and keep them coming back. That's the bottom line. It starts with being a giver - like Brett with his wonderful posts. That's the model, and no one can tell anyone how to do it. But you can see it when it's operating and learn from it.
I am not trying to drive untargeted traffic to my site. We just want to bring back visitors as often as possible.
Also, I do try to answer as many threads as I feel comfortable in answering.
Marcia I don't know if I can post urls here so I wont but a great example of niche marketing on the web which ebgreen might be interested in, and one with very sticky content is a digital photography review website I have been spending lots of time on recently since I started to get into it in Nov 2001.
There are very high quality in depth reviews of all the different models, regular news items, technical articles, brand specific forums all only relating to digital photography .. etc etc .. it is very focussed and very sticky... they seem to make money from ads and affiliate sales if and when you buy a camera from one of their affiliate resellers and I know from comments in the forums that they recently got a big visitor boost from an editorial article in a major us newspaper.
I don't know what ebgreen is marketing cause I have not looked up his profile perhaps I should anyhow some input above on sticky niches :-)
Marcia I've sent the details to ebgreen by stickymail ..
I certainly rank that particular site as one of the best deep and narrow sites I have come across but I may be biased as I am now interested in their subject matter. If you are interested I can send you the url. But later as I really have to get some breakfast now :-)