About the Author:
Marnie Pehrson, founder of C.E.S. Business Consultants
and the International
Association of Computer Professionals,
develops products that help computer professionals market
and manage their businesses.
She is author of
Run a Successful Computer Training Business,
Get & Keep Customers for Your Computer-based Business
Your Sanity in a Home Business.
is an Internet strategist and content developer for
community-based Web sites. Her plans and strategies have
garnered clients an average of $100,000 each in seed
capital. She also offers ghost writing services and content delivery for your
Web site or e-zine.
lives on a Georgia farm with her husband and their six children .
C.E.S. Business Consultants
It's All in the Follow-through
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
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
||Give them an incentive to give
you their contact information. This could be
a free advertisement on your web site or a
chance to enter your contest. Also let them
check whether they would like to subscribe to
||Immediately follow-up with a
thank-you for entering or listing or whatever
you had them do.
||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, you can send
them a follow-up offer to upgrade their
The IACP uses this method. Any
computer professional or consultant may have
a free two-month trial membership in the
automated directory. Then, at the end of that
time, they are notified about full membership
and how they can use the system for a full
||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
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, visit www.siteconnection.com.