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    Online strategy: Who else wants to attract 38,000 visitors to their site in four days?


    aa22-jun-jul-2007-online-strategy-who-else-wants-to-attract-38000-visitors-to-their-site-in-four-daysIt is true that the best way to get someone to do anything is to make them want to do it. The quickest way to do this is to find out what they want, and then make it clearly available to them. Be sure to discard any illusions you may hold about your target market and what you think you are providing them. Think about what they are actually buying from you. It is not the product or service itself, but the benefit you provide them through their purchase. For example, the man buying a drill from the hardware store actually wants a hole in the wall, not a drill. He may really want to watch the cricket, but his wife wants him to hang a picture.

    Once you know what they want and what you are able to provide to satisfy this desire, you need to set yourself up (website and sales conversion system) for the successful capture and conversion of interest generated from your campaign. Think smooth. Any speed humps that appear before you emotionally engage your audience can quickly become roadblocks.

    Some of the things you should definitely incorporate are:

    Clear and direct calls to action: People need to be instructed as to what you want them to do. Be specific, lead them through the process and don’t leave anything to chance. It is astounding how many people leave this critical element out.

    Permission marketing: Offer a newsletter, report or some kind of ongoing communication. Use a very simple subscription field where you only ask for an email address at first. You want to be as non-intrusive as possible at the initiation stage of this relationship.

    Prize Draws: Once your visitors qualify to enter a prize offer, you can easily collect information. This is an ideal opportunity to offer an opt-in to your newsletter, so the addition of a checkbox and statement about the subscription can be placed within this form.

    Forward to a friend: Make it really easy for your visitor to send it to their friends, and encourage them to do so. Two input fields are all you need – their email address and their friend’s email address. Remember that you need them to opt-in for any email marketing, so if you plan to follow it up, make sure to include a checkbox and statement to that end.

    Phone staff, answering service or voicemail System: If you instruct them to call you in your call to action, make sure that their call will be answered by your staff, a phone service or voicemail. Make sure a call is responded to within 24 hours. A free call or toll free number is a great asset here, but be careful – the web is world wide.

    With the foundations set, it is time to go viral.

    You should consider where and how your target market is being reached. Research and consider some of the following: blogs, chat rooms, news groups, mailing lists, forums, email connectors, direct mail, newspapers, press releases, advertising, offline promotions, TV or radio.

    Come up with a fun, playful and relevant game, or entertaining video, animation or audio piece that truly engages your audience. Whatever you create, it must be funny, entertaining, or offer a prize attractive enough that they want to send it to their friends. You might even want to offer an incentive to send it on, like a discount coupon, reward points, free membership, etc.

    If you choose a game, make it quick to learn and very easy to play on most computers. It needs to be unique and entertaining, quick to play and addictive, with an element of luck.

    With a video or animation, remember that humour is the simplest and most direct route. If you do go for funny, make it genuinely funny, or it could end up just being painful for all concerned. Your piece may end up on some other website like YouTube, or being sent or viewed alone, so make sure that it contains your brand, website and a strong call to action.

    Remember, you have a small window of opportunity here to grab your audience’s attention. Decide what you ultimately want them to do and integrate it in a clever way that befits your clever viral campaign.

    The ride can be fast and exciting; don’t miss out on the conversion!

    Luke Faccini is Director of Creativity at The Sponge, a Sydney-based company specialising in the development of multimedia branding solutions. www.thesponge.com.au