Friday, November 02, 2007

Bring Them Back

I have a few short little stories to tell, which will all tie together in a hopefully interesting way.

First of all, I was reading some emails and I got one from a guy who teaches actors how to survive and thrive in the difficult world of the entertainment industry. He always has some good advice.

This particular time, he talked about how to really win an audition. The trick, he says, is not to stress about whether or not you’re going to get that particular part that you’re auditioning for that particular day. He says that you should go in, do your best to show your stuff, and walk out with your head up.

What happens is that if you go in and do a good job, and act professional in the process, then even if you don’t get that particular role, its very likely that at some point that casting director is going to have a role that you are just right for, and you’ll get the callback for that one. In the meantime, you’ve gotten better at acting and auditioning.

The Second story: The other day, I made some Indian food in my dutch oven. I really had a good time about it, and as I shared that with some of my other dutch ovening friends online, someone suggested I look into getting a Tandoor if I really wanted to cook Indian food. A Tandoor is essentially a big clay pot, sometimes buried, sometimes encased on concrete, and heated from below by gas or charcoal. You skewer your meat and set it down in the pot, with the handle of the skewer sticking out the top. Tandoori chicken is one of my favorite Indian dishes!

So, I started checking out websites all about Tandoors, looking at prices, sizes, features, etc… I wasn’t buying yet, just learning. Just checking. I bounced from website to website and discovered a lot about these fascinating ovens. Some are quite primitive, others quite high-tech. Some are designed for home use, some for restaurants. I learned about the features and what makes this one good and that one better.

But I didn’t buy anything. Just like the casting director. I didn’t cast the part. The actors, and the websites, ended up with nothing.

Here’s where it all ties together with running a web business: Not everyone who visits your site is going to buy immediately. Some studies show that it can take as many as 6-7 contacts with your store to entice some people to drop their money. Have you failed? No. They may come back later and buy.

Now, the trick is to discover what you can do that will make that more likely to happen!

  1. Get them to leave a trace

The first step is to entice as many visitors as possible to leave you their email addresses. Offer a prize drawing. Tell them about the amazing information they’ll miss out on if they don’t sign up. Give away something free. You can’t contact them and bring them back unless you’ve got their contact info!

  1. Send out a newsletter

When you update something on your website, send out an announcement. Got a new product line? Got some new information? Did anything change at your site? If so, let everyone know! As you’re building up your list, begin using it.

  1. But not too often

I found a website that had lots of great information about web marketing. I thought the site was cool and useful, so I signed up for the mailing list. Since then, I have rued the day that I did. Now, at least every other day, if not daily, I get something in my inbox from this guy. It’s no longer useful, informative, interesting, it has crossed over into annoying, and soon will go into my spam filter.

  1. Get into other people’s newsletters

Some newsletters that address your site’s focus will allow advertising. Buy some listings in someone else’s newsletter. Or maybe trade adds. I’ll mention you in my newsletter if you mention me in yours. You scratch my back…

  1. Be well connected in a community

In addition to the newsletter, a good way to draw traffic back to your site is to be well-linked within the web community. If someone is searching for what you’ve got, and they keep seeing it in their web travels, it will eventually draw them back to you. In addition, being well-linked within a group of topical websites will boost your search engine performance as well.

So, don’t be too sad if you miss out on the sale the first time around. Just do all you can to bring them back!

Mark is the co-director of, the search marketing consulting arm of Clickincome ( Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his MoBoy blog.

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