There are tons of ways to boost visitor engagement on a website from clickbait content to catchy videos, from social media engagement through to online communities; you simply need to find the perfect mix and make sure you have a steady flow of visitors who keep coming to your website and stick around for longer.
Out of the many ways to engage your audience, here are the four most popular and highly effective ways:
1.Well-Crafted Emails: Engage Even When They Are Not on the Site
The best method to engage your audience even when they are not on your site is to get them to subscribe to your emails and newsletters. Email marketing is one of the best ways to make sure you have an audience for your blogs, new product arrivals, and other content. What’s more, it cuts down on advertising and PPC costs, thanks to some loyal followers and repeat customers.
Well-crafted emails consist of three aspects:
- Design and aesthetics
- Clever headline
- Fresh & valuable content
Make sure your emails are well-crafted with visually appealing images. Use email marketing software if you are not good at designing. They take out the hard work and guessing for you with ready templates and a gallery of thousands of royalty-free striking images.
Headlines are very important as your email is sure to end up in the trash folder if it doesn’t attract the readers’ attention. Here are a few tips to help you get your emails opened:
1) One of the best ways to boost email open rate is to generate curiosity.
2) Also avoid these email headline disasters. The first one begs for your attention, the second one, you wouldn’t know it, but has been consistently the same since I subscribed, the third one is too long and the message is lost and the last one is too generic and vague.
3) Always remember the 3 Rs of emails: Responsive, Responsible and Relevant. In one line – make sure your emails are mobile-friendly, offer an unsubscribe option and provide relevance to the reader (with personalized and segmented emails).
You may have read somewhere that you must send at least 2-3 emails a week but if you don’t have fresh content / products, don’t email your subscribers. Everything you have read about rehashing and repurposing content is crap and can backfire with your loyal subscribers opting out. For example, this TechTarget email rounds up 5 highlights followed by a brief description of their latest content.
2.Cross-Selling – Irritating but an Indispensable Engagement Method
We all have come to hate the phrase ‘Would you like some fries with it?’ Jokes, memes and articles have been written over it. Nevertheless, it works.
Cross-selling is a science and art like a lot of things including marketing, teaching, public speaking, management and the list goes on.
Cross-selling keeps your audience on the site for longer while you are recommending them useful products because if your customers are buying a guitar, they would surely need strings and tuners and perhaps a songbook.
Cross selling can work more effectively in engaging your audience than up-selling because customers already have the budget for buying products at a similar price.
Here are a few things to remember when cross-selling:
1) Always keep your suggested or recommended items below the fold to avoid distraction.
2) Find unique ways of cross selling. See how Amazon creates algorithm based finds to cross-sell items.
3.Interactive Content: The Future of Content Is Here
What’s the most fun part about Facebook, BuzzFeed and tons of other websites where you go to entertain yourself?
Interactive content takes visual appeal to the next level. For instance, an infographic is visually appealing but an interactive infographic is in a different league. It has what it takes to go viral. You can even create interactive story boards and e-books.
If you don’t have resources and time to create heavy content, use interactive elements like feel-good quizzes, pseudo-scientific personality tests, video tests and polls. The best part is interactive content is even helpful SEO wise.
Here’s how to create great interactive content:
1) Don’t create interactive content for the sake of it. The world has enough ‘What would you be in your next life?’ quizzes already. Make sure the content is related to your brand or product.
2) Use tools to create quality interactive elements. Some of the most popular tools are Apester, Zaption, WebyClip and Mapme.
3) Think of ingenious ways of backing your website through interactive tools. For instance, Raid has this interactive bug identifier which helps you find those annoying pests and find a solution for it from the range of Raid products. Shopify has a logo maker that helps small businesses to create professional logos. The logo maker is simple, so even a layman can create a logo with simple drag and drop functionality. Both these tools are not directly related to what they are selling/offering but they work great for engaging the audience and providing value.
4.Website Popups and Exit Intents: Before They Go
Pop ups are annoying. I agree to that wholeheartedly. But they are also effective. If you are not using them, your website is leaking money and prospective audience.
It’s related to a persuasion technique known as the “pattern interrupt,” which is basically when something unexpected happens after the brain has become lulled into a rhythm. – ConversionXL
Let’s consider this example of WaitButWhy.com, a long-form blog content which posts random stuff. They have an exit intent pop-up that is simple and true to their long form strategy, it is also quite lengthy.
Best part is they keep updating their pop-ups with different text and size (probably they’re A/B testing), so you don’t see the same old boring pop-up.
It is very important you get your pop-ups right because bad pop-ups can be quite infuriating. Here are a few ways to get it right the first time:
1) Be genuine, warm and welcoming. Using hard pitch can make you come across as a smart-ass or worse, a brute.
2) Make sure the tone of the text matches the tone of your overall site. Also it shouldn’t be cluttered.
Over to you
Instead of summing up what I already said above, I would like to hear from you.
What do you think is the best way to engage your audience?
What is the best way to promote related products and cross-sell on a website?
Do you think interactive branded content is the future? (once we see past those stupid quizzes and tests)
If you had to choose between losing money and minor annoyance (pop-ups) what would you choose?
Care to share your thoughts in the comments below?