Web Marketing: How to Connect with Customers - dummies

Web Marketing: How to Connect with Customers

By John Arnold, Michael Becker, Marty Dickinson, Ian Lurie, Elizabeth Marsten

We buy things from people we know, like, and trust . . . and often even envy. Your marketing strategy on your website is an opportunity to start that relationship and then build upon it. Here are some ways to increase the human factor of any specific webpage, or the website overall:

  • Write from your heart, not from the dictionary. For example, a CPA firm can take a dry sentence like this:

    We prepare individual, joint, and unincorporated small business tax returns.

    And personalize it, as follows:

    So many new clients would tell us their business and individual tax return horror stories with other CPA firms. We just knew we were really on to something special when they would thank us for making the process so easy.

  • Add a good photo to your webpage. Adding a genuine and original photograph of yourself or your team to any website header or landing page turns a dry, faceless pile of words into a personal endorsement from you and can increase your opt-in and sales rates.

    Have a professional, studio-produced photo taken and get feedback from all your friends and family — you don’t want to look too scary. If your picture captures the true essence of who you are, they’ll tell you so. And, that’s the picture to use for your website.

    [Credit: Courtesy of Chris Warner]
    Credit: Courtesy of Chris Warner
  • Introduce yourself and your product with video or audio. Video and audio are the highest forms of introduction available for placement on a website.

    With today’s tools, almost anyone can learn to create his or her own professional-looking videos from home for less than $1,000. At Animal Behavior Associates, you can find an example of a homemade video for a business that would’ve cost between $2,000 and $5,000 to produce in a studio with professional editors.


    One of the most popular questions about audio and video is whether to begin the playback immediately when visitors land on the page or to give them the option to click a Play button. The answer, as you might have guessed, is to test your own results. (You test by using web analytics.) Try both ways before you decide.

    If you have to pick one or the other and stick with it, have the automated playback begin immediately when visitors land on the page, but then offer a Stop button so that they can turn off the player if desired.

  • Encourage contact by phone, e-mail, or live chat. Welcoming communication builds visitor confidence and sets you apart from the rest of the many companies that use the web to avoid communicating with their customers.

  • Describe how you were once in the same position as your visitors by telling your story. Consider this fictional example of a divorce attorney attempting to sell her services:

    22 years ago, my high school marriage grew apart, only to land in divorce court with an attorney who had never been married and didn’t understand. I lost everything — including my dignity — and I vowed I would learn to fight for others to never let an experience like that happen to them. Now, with 18 years of experience in divorce law, I have a reputation for always . . .

    Good copy is all about getting people engaged so that they want to find out more about you.

  • Display your longevity and commitment to an industry. Take a look at Isla Animals, a nonprofit animal rescue shelter. By looking at the pictures and exploring the site, it doesn’t take long for you to realize that there is a real building with real people.

    With “Since December 1999” in the header, you become convinced of its longevity as well. Everything about the website exudes a dedication to animal rescue.