You must market your siteDave HershmanInternet, advertising, marketing
A Web site is an advertising vehicle, not an
Okay, so Internet-mania has died down. Not everyone who puts up a
Web site is going public and will retire in a few months. But,
regardless of the ultimate failure of the dot-com era, the truth is
that the Internet is not going to go away; it will be as important
a business-to-consumer and business-to-business vehicle as anyone
had predicted. There are very few people who are not going online
for one reason or another.
So, why cant you just put up a site and let the good times roll?
For one thing, imagine a mall with millions of visitors. Now,
imagine the mall with millions of stores. A particular visitor will
rarely find your store among the millions.
Yes, there are search engines that help your name appear in the
mall directory, but imagine a directory with millions of stores.
The search engine cannot help all of them. In real life, you will
have to give many consumers directions to get to your store. Most
Internet customers do not buy before they look around on the
Webthis can allow you to provide important value through your site
during this process. Value helps build relationships, and
relationships are what sales are all about.
So how do you market your Web site?
Tell everyone you know. Send a letter or an e-mail to
everyone within your sphere of influence, including previous
customers, prospects, friends, peers, coworkers, vendors and anyone
else you can think oftell them and keep reminding them. How are you
going to be found if you do not let anyone know you are there?
Include your Web address in every marketing piece.
Business cards, stationary, ads, direct mail and everything else
should feature your Web address. It costs no more money to include
your address on your business card. Why not get full advertising
value? The advertisement does not have to feature your sitejust
remind them that they can reach you online.
When you advertise, always incorporate your site in some
way. Within your marketing strategy, you should not have to
choose between featuring your site or your products. You can
accomplish both, as your site provides a way of selling your
products. For example, if you are advertising a particular real
estate listing, why not direct them to an online floor plan?
Leverage your relationships. Any successful business
has numerous relationships which can be taken advantage of. You
deal with vendors on a regular basis, and you provide referrals to
other businesses, but how much value are you getting in return? It
is simple to provide reciprocal links to the sites of your
partners. This can result in more than just the addition of traffic
with the benefit of little extra cost. Your partners can provide
value to your prospects and customers. You may decide to market a
joint offering that can be targeted to the visitors of both sites
and the databases of each partner.
Market the value, not just the product. Most consumers
go online to get educated, not to shop. If you do not provide
value, you will unlikely attract the majority of interested Web
browsers. Again, some of this value may be provided through your
partners. Market to your visitors repeatedly. Simply making the
phone ring does not work if you do not follow up. Your value
offerings provide an opportunity to register visitors, but unless
you contact prospects on a regular basis, they are not likely to
In reality, your Web site is not an advertisement. What it
should become is an important component of your marketing plan.
When fully integrated into your marketing scheme, your site will
become an essential and valuable tool for your business. Do not let
it stand alone, because it will become virtually ineffective.
Dave Hershman is a leading author and a top speaker for the
mortgage industry with six booksincluding two best sellers for the
Mortgage Bankers Association of America. His newsletters are used
by Mortgage Brokers to provide value to previous customers,
financial planners, real estate agents and more. The atricle abvoe
is an excerpt from Mr. Hershman's new book, Maximum Synergy
Sales and Marketing. For newsletter samples, call (800)
581-5678 or visit www.originationpro.com
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