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Web News & Tips - Issue #215

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Turning Traffic into Subscribers

By Stuart Reid

Site Traffic is always more economical in terms of Time and Price compared to Ezine Subscribers. It's quicker to get a hit than a subscriber! Bulk Leads are almost useless for using as subscribers and so-called Co-ops can be expensive. Dedicated Signup pages are one of the best ways to grab subscribers.

Creating a good Signup Page is a must in order to make the most of this. Grabbing a visitors attention and getting them to give you their email address is one of the most important things you must do to build your subscriber list.

If you go to ebay or other auction sites you'll see that you can buy bulk traffic for very little. These hits come from a variety of sources, such as popups, popunders, hit exchanges and expired domains. Although there are problems with the verification of such traffic it's still a great and cheap way to drive your site rankings in place such as Alexa.

Because site visitors, especially random ones, are very flighty it's important a page that is shown as this kind of traffic is targeted and hits you quick.

First - NEVER use your main page! It will probably take too long to load and be too `full` to be effective!

Make sure any signup box appears at the TOP of the page. If the page loads in a frame or is off-center on the screen then only a small portion will be immediately viewable.

Use a catchy headline to grab attention. A graphical headline may work better. It's goal is to get the viewer to see the page rather than just click the small `x` in the corner!

Offer benefits under your headline, such as free downloads or site access. Repeat your signup box near here.

Only then list your ezine description in detail, and also include your privacy policy, publishing schedule and other pertinent information.

The goal of this signup page is to load fast and grab attention. Don't waste time with frames (they take ages to load) or large graphics. Don't overload with banners, but a few could be useful to take advantage of the traffic you get. Make sure they load at the bottom.

Be careful with popups and popunders because they can make your site invalid for hit exchanges and certain bulk traffic sellers. It's advisable to make TWO dedicated signup pages, one with a pop-up (that you can use for your own links and ads) and one without. Subscription Rocket works especially well for this!

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Web News

E-tailers who experienced the online holiday retail growth in 2002 should be prepared analysts are already anticipating increased e-commerce spending by the end of 2003. 

Excluding travel, research from eMarketer indicates that 2003 will bring in $58.2 billion in business-to-consumer (B2C) retail revenue and similarly, Jupiter Research (a unit of this site's corporate parent) predicts $51.7 billion for the year's online retail sales, led by 97 million consumers (59 percent of the online population). 

The worldwide market for handheld devices declined in the first quarter of 2003 due to sluggish demand from businesses and consumers alike, according to tech research firm IDC. 

Despite new advances in handheld functionality and a drop in prices, handheld devices just aren't capturing widespread market share in the PC marketplace, for consumers or enterprises, the firm said. 

IDC's quarterly roundup said worldwide shipments fell by 21.3 percent from the first quarter of last year. Sequentially, shipments dropped by 26.5 percent from the fourth quarter of 2002 through the end of first quarter this year, ending up at 2.45 million units shipped. 

Communication has stalled slightly, as findings from TNS Telecoms, a division of Taylor Nelson Sofres, indicate a decrease in the average total telecommunication spending by American consumers the first in more than three years. The research also indicated a significant slowing to the increase in wireless phone and Internet adoption, with slight declines in growth for both services. 

"While there are certainly many factors contributing to this trend, it is clear that consumers' communications spending is not immune to the pressures of the broader economy," commented Charles White, vice president, TNS Telecoms. 

If site visitors aren't being tracked, how can e-tailers figure out how to keep them? A 2003 survey from the e-tailing group, inc. finds that more than three-quarters of the respondents wisely implemented new technology in the last year, but critical back-end components are being neglected. 

"Merchants are investing in the tools that help customers efficiently find what they want, enable smart browsing, timely and targeted communication and simplified ordering," said Lauren Freedman, president of the e-tailing group, inc. "Unfortunately many of the sites now in need of platform upgrades or new servers launched with platforms that did not survive the recent technology demise. Others are kludged together with a mix of proprietary legacy systems and off-the-shelf software solutions. Either way these sites are forced to invest in improving their backbone before they can even consider other initiatives." 

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