These days there's an increasing significance among marketers on building up a nice social media presence. Don't get me wrong, social is incredibly important, but it's important to remember that your website acts as the anchor in all your online marketing initiatives.
You post your website URL on your facebook and twitter pages, on your Yelp profile and almost anyone who reviews your business will link to your homepage. And of course, search results from google will be pointed directly to your website.
If you're like most local businesses, your website traffic might look something like this:
As you can see in the photo above, this restaurant website's traffic has grown from next to no visitors in 2010 up to over 4,000 unique monthly visitors in 2013. And the trend is continuing upward.
It's important to consider who these visitors really are. A unique visitor to your website or mobile site as an incredibly high-intent audience. These are people that have researched your business or service on Yelp, have heard about you through a friend or have googled for a business like yours. As we've discussed before, It's important that you capture this intent at it's peak, and drive that customer in-store.
Traditional marketing might suggest that simply having a newsletter sign-up form on your website is the best way to convert the audience. You've probably seen these forms a million times. But as a visitor, this form is daunting. Why do I need to fill in all these fields? What am I getting in return?
Instead of simply asking for a customer's email, you should run promotions and coupons on your website in exchange for building an email relationship with a high-intent customer.
Sarah's Seafood is displaying their current $1 oyster special in the top right of their website. When unique visitors land on their site, they can click the tab to see the current promotions, specials or coupons. When a visitor clicks the tab, the offer slides down with the full details of the promotion. (below) The visitor is then promoted to register for the offer with their name and email address, and can then follow instructions in a confirmation email to redeem the offer at Sarah's Seafood. This person would then be added to Sarah's Seafood email customer database.
In this example, the $1 Oyster special serves as a great call to action, and offers a very small, yet effective incentive for a customer to share their contact information with the business.
We strongly recommend looking at your website analytics to better understand your monthly website traffic. After you have an understanding of the size of your website audience, you should consider running promotions, specials and coupons as a way to build more email relationships with customers rather than the traditional email signup form.