How to make visitors come back
Last updated: March 2019
Your visitors aren’t all sitting in a usability testing lab in isolation. They are real people living real lives:
- Their kids might ask to be fed, and they have to abandon their online shopping to go and “cook” a bowl of Cheerios.
- Their taxi driver might arrive to take them to line dancing.
- Their dog might knock a glass of Snapple Mango Madness onto the floor, and so they hurriedly abandon the life insurance form they were completing, and instead spend the next 20 minutes mopping the Best Stuff on Earth® out of their rug.
Stuff like that. Real lives can be distracting.
Once your visitors are distracted, they may never come back. How can you, as a web marketer, overcome those problems? You can’t make breakfasts. You can’t postpone line dancing. You can’t absorb Snapple Mango Madness. So how can you make those visitors come back?
Solution 1: Be memorable enough so that they return:
There are many ways to be memorable. Here are just three examples:
- Have a memorable name: Once someone has heard the name SurveyMonkey, they are likely to remember it. That’s a conversion benefit that many of SurveyMonkey’s competitors—Typeform, for example—don’t have. If you want to create a great, memorable name for your product or company, we highly recommend this free PDF and this not-free book from EatMyWords.
- Have an entertaining message: Dollar Shave Club became famous overnight with a video ad that went viral. Within four years, it sold to Unilever for $1 billion.
- Be different: LingsCars is a real business. It’s much larger than it appears. It achieves memorability by looking absolutely crazy.
Solution 2: Establish ways to communicate with the visitors on an ongoing basis
If you can get your visitors’ contact details, or get them to follow you, then the pressure’s off. You no longer need to persuade them in a single session; you can do it over a period of days, weeks, months or years.
- Offer a no-brainer deal with a tiny commitment. Consider how you could greatly increase the conversion rate of the first visit by greatly reducing the commitment your visitors need to make. We described this in detail in our section “Step 2: Try to reduce how many words you need, by reducing the commitment. And then use as many words as you need.”
- Persuade your visitors to follow you on…
- Or whichever social network is used most in your industry.
- Use ad retargeting to persuade the visitors to come back. Retargeted ads are particularly effective. Visitors who visited once tend to be extremely likely to visit again.
- Capture your visitors’ contact details—their email addresses, postal addresses and/or phone numbers—and then create a follow-up flow that keeps their attention and persuades them to proceed. In many industries—such as education—this beats everything else.
- Use shopping-cart abandonment campaigns. By the time a visitor adds something to their shopping cart, they are highly likely to convert. Software like BounceX, SAP Hybris Marketing Convert and VE Interactive allows you to create timely email campaigns that get them back into the checkout process.
All of the techniques above are effective at turning the relationship into more than a one-night stand.
By using them, your business becomes resilient to Cheerios, taxis, Snapple, and whatever else life throws at your visitors.
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