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Your Web Site Can Drive Customer Loyalty
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By Dan Martin

Ask any small business owner to name their number one challenge, and they’ll likely say customer loyalty.

In their constant quest to keep customers consistently coming back for more of their products and services, many small business owners often overlook the obvious – their web sites. They invest significantly in a web site, but mistakenly view it as nothing more than an online presence of their business. In reality, their web site can be their most valuable tool to draw customers to their business and make them feel part of your customer “family.”

Below are several ways small business owners can keep customers engaged and motivated to visit, and consistently revisit, their web site. These simple tools are designed to both draw customers in, as well as keep them coming back for more.

Coupons & Promotions: Obviously, use your web site to post and advertise specials and promotions. Create coupons that can be printed and need to be redeemed in person at your location for use. This is a simple and basic way to drive customer traffic.

Daily Comics/Quotes: Daily comics and quotes on the main page of your web site make it “fun” to visit. The comics and quotes can be updated daily. A quote can be general and inspirational, and easily relate to your specific area of business. Together, comics and quotes will draw customers in and provide them with useful “daily advice” and inspiration. Small business owners will quickly find that customers will log on to their sites more often simply to check out the daily comic and the related quote.

Daily Tips: Likely, customers will also be more willing to visit your site if they feel that they are getting valuable information out of their visits. Daily or weekly tips on business and life can help customers feel as if you are giving them expert “outside world” advice for free, and they appreciate it.

Customer contests: Contests are an effective way to draw customers in and also to have fun with their use of your web site. Businesses can run contests ranging from the “Name our new product” to “Guess the number of site visitors,” or it could be something that they need to submit by physically taking an entry to your business location, such as a page that their children can print out and color for a coloring contest. Prizes can be used for additional promotion, for example, the winner or winners can win gift certificates or receive free products or services from your business. It’s a great way to attract new customers. To make the chance of winning just for entering more enticing, all submissions to a contest can be put into a drawing with the winner being announced online on a specified upcoming date.

Weather reports: A highly popular and often used tool is a current weather update customized for your city. This easily accessible resource will draw customers to visit your web site. Once they check the weather, they are prone to access additional information about your products and services.

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Dan Martin is the President and CEO of IFX Online.
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