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It's Like Basketball; It's All in the Follow-Through
by Marnie Pehrson of http://www.pwgroup.com
Copyright 2003

From the third grade through high school, I played basketball. My strong suit was scoring -- specifically foul shots and driving in to the goal. In order to insure that the ball goes into the goal, you have to let your hand and wrist continue to point to the goal for several seconds after you release the ball. This is called follow-through. You can't just flip the ball up and put your hands down really fast. You'll rarely make it that way.

Now, it's the same with your web site. You can't just flip it up on the Web and not follow through. You have to keep seeking the "goal" with your web site as well. You also can't just pull the visitors in and then call it quits. You've heard me say before that people rarely buy on their first visit. They may have to visit your site several times or even a dozen times before they will buy. I've had people sign up for a free listing on my site and then finally purchase something a year later. In between, there was a lot of follow-through.

Here's a typical example of what you can do to follow-through with your visitors.

Step-1: Give them an incentive to give you their contact information. This could be a free advertisement on your web site, a trial membership or a chance to enter your contest. Also let them check whether they would like to subscribe to your newsletter(s).

Step-2: Immediately follow-up with a thank-you for entering or listing or whatever you had them do.

Step-3: If they signed up for a newsletter, send it on schedule. A publication rate of 2 times a month seems to work well. At least send them something every month. If they didn't want a newsletter, but signed up for a free listing or trial account, you can send them a follow-up offer to upgrade their account.

Step-4: If you make major changes to your web site, keep them updated on these. You can integrate these into your newsletter. You can also periodically hit your entire list -- whether they signed up for your newsletter or not. Do this every few months. As long as you make it informative, very few will unsubscribe.

All this follow-through will give you more traffic and eventually more customers. But, if you have thousands of people visiting your site who need to be contacted at different intervals who are at different steps in this process, it can get hairy. To solve this problem, you should check into an e-mail follow-up service. You can feed the e-mails, names and other contact information into this service. Then, enter your standard e-mails into the system and tell it the order and the interval to send them. The system does the rest; it keeps track of where each person is in the queue and will automatically send the e-mails in the proper order and frequency. For details on this type of service, click here.

About the Author
Marnie Pehrson is an author, creator of IdeaMarketers, LocateACoach, BuildEbooks and more. She helps talented professionals deliver their messages to the online world. She also helps people earn money from home using the phone and the Internet. For more information on her projects, visit http://www.pwgroup.com.

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