What do you think is the single most important "start off" goal for any website? Here's some ideas. Perhaps to:
- Sell books, e-books, software or templates.
- Offer a range of products and services.
- Sell related items.
- Take orders.
- Interact with readers and visitors.
- Use the website as a kind of shop window, including c.v., and so on.
Although I would absolutely agree that all or any of the above can be important if you want to provide a superb website presence, nevertheless, I suggest that there's one multistage objective that is absolutely crucial to put into action as your prospects visit your website. The process to which I'm referring is: email address collection.
However, the days of just collecting email addresses with abandon, without forethought, are thankfully long gone. Today, to protect yourself from unfounded Spam-related accusations and to have the opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism, rather than amateurism as soon as possible.
Ideas To Consider When Inviting Your Users To Register On Your Website
To meet today's more demanding requirements, your website email address capture system should:
- If you're going to ask people to subscribe, use a double-opt-in email management and subscriber system as outlined here. Web content management systems like Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, and similar solutions, include these as standard.
- However, also use Google v2 ReCaptcha spam protection too.
- Invite every new visitor to the site to register with your website. Today, people are naturally more wary of sharing their email addresses, so demonstrate trust.
- Include a "sign-up" box or web form, ideally on every page or most key pages.
- When a visitor "registers", your website administration should automatically send an email message to the address they provide containing a special link.
- Ask your visitor who just registered in in the previous step, to click the special link that is unique to them contained in the email message they received.
- Automatically fully register only those visitors who have clicked the special link in the previous step. Visitors who arrive at Step 7 are now considered fully registered. The email addresses of visitors who do not click the special link should be automatically removed from your records since these are not double-opt-in.
- Have your registration system automatically send an email to the fully registered subscriber from in the previous step, confirming that they are now fully registered (double-opt-in).
- Let your registration system record registered users IP addresses. Why: in most instances, these are not relevant. However, if you encounter problems, the IP address can help you determine sources. In some jurisdictions, this may soon become a legal requirement.
- Automatically record and provide access to documentary evidence to prove to you that for each email address received, and which has been fully registered, that you have the owner's express permission to record their email address and to communicate with them under the agreement you outlined on your website. Otherwise, In today's more chaotic Internet, you can be accused of sending Spam - delivering email messages without permission of the owner. Without documentary evidence, guilt is usually assumed. Spam accusations that are upheld can result in your website being swiftly closed and, in severe cases, can even result in loss or suspension of domain name.
- Allow you to regularly contact and interact with your users and customers by email. Ideally, or if appropriate, send or make available an email newsletter once a week or certainly at least every two weeks.
Send information that is genuinely worth reading, is entertaining, interesting, is price attractive, and which provides news about products, services, or solutions that genuinely solve problems that you know matters to your users.
Most of the steps above are fully automated at InternetTIPS.com and similar websites we create for customers.
Note: if you run a website from the UK, you may also need to register with the UK's Data Protection Registrar. At the time of writing, registration costs about £35 / year.
Key tip: so just why is the above strategy arguably more important than just seeking to sell products and services? Answer: without a double-opt-in email address, you may never have another cost-effective chance to contact a new visitor or prospect again.
Managing The Balance Of Desire To Collect Email Addresses Verses Risk Of Loss
If you don't connect soon with a new visitor, you may lose them forever. Why? If your prospect visits your site today and then goes away without making any firm connection, the general "busy-ness" of life can ensure that the likely-hood of them revisiting by chance again is slim. However, the risk of doing business online.
Your key goal is to create a bridge or link to as many of your users that are receptive from hearing more from you. Email sign-up can a fragile time: be polite, kind, considerate, grateful. Not pushy, pestering non-stop pop-ups, pop-unders, undeletable boxes, etc.
Even though your current offer may not interest a user today, your follow-up offer might be just what your potential customer is seeking. A double-opt-in email address provides the bridge that enables you to create win-win solutions for both your customers and your business.
Also, today, double-opt-in when done properly, can protect a web business from unfounded spam accusations, even blackmail attempts by fraudsters. Take care online. Learn how to create and manage double-opt-in to send commercial emails especially.
However, you must take the initiative; take control. Don't leave email management to random chance Instead, work out a respectful way to connect with your website visitors.
Keep good email records of double-opt-in completion and maintain regular website backups as well.