A Commercial Website Should Give Something Away!
Internet users expect something for free, even if it is only a place to find out something of interest to them.
Here are some of the ways you can do this:
- Provide a free set of reports on a subject of interest in which you are expert. A good example of this is that many health product sites send out free reports written by health care experts. These shouldn't be ONLY a sales pitch for your product, but should educate and inform.
- Provide extensive educational material (such as the information about website design, website marketing or search engine optimizing on this website) free to anyone who wants to read it.
Many people do research online to find out if they can do what they need for themselves. Give them enough information about what's involved, and they may decide it's better for them to hire YOU to do it for them.
- Provide a list of tips and tricks about your specialty.
- Provide a glossary of the terms of your industry.
- Provide free pointers on how to USE what you are selling.
- Provide links to other sites of interest to your visitors, with explanations and recommendations.
- Give away a sample product of some kind or a demo.
- An email newsletter is a freebie you should be sending out regularly. Let them sign up for it.
Taking our own advice, we also send out a free newsletter called "Design Coolness" for our clients and anyone who joins our mailing list. Just send us an email asking to join the Design Coolness list.
- Provide in-depth technical specifications on your products, for your existing customers.
- Provide a "Frequently Asked Questions" list with good, clear answers. This is one thing that this site does not do that it probably should.
- Provide a forum for your users where they can get their own questions answered.
- Provide links to (or copies of) magazine articles or newspaper articles about your product or industry.
Get creative and find something--anything!--of value to give away on your website.
As an example, THIS website gives away (absolutely free!) the valuable advice listed above.
This site also has some nifty, useful resources for people promoting websites who might also be interested in our Search Engine Optimizing services, such as:
- Exactly where to go to register your website with the search engines and directories by hand.
- A list of all the opt-in email lists one can rent to send out opt-in email messages. Note: One should never spam -- but mass email mailings are acceptable to people who have opted-in to accept email mailings about what you offer. Such services, like www.YesMail.com, are a public service.
There was no resource on the web that listed all of the companies that provide opt-in email lists if you are looking to rent one, so we created it. Since putting up this page, we have gotten many requests from people to help us find lists for them as part of our marketing services.
If you need help to implement this advice -- to give away something free on your website -- feel free to contact us. We've consulted and helped a lot of our clients set something free up on their websites.
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