In my conversations with business people I've noticed
a surprising lack of understanding about the Internet
and its potential for their business. Most know it is
important for business in general but dont really know
why. Few really understand what it can specifically do
for their organisation, "What can the Internet really
do for me?" This article aims to answer this fundamental
question by identifying some key benefits to help you
start reaping the benefits of the internet for your business
At its most basic level, the Internet provides you with an opportunity
to publish a website at a specified www address. Anyone armed with
this address can then type it in to their computer and access your
website at anytime day or night from any (internet enabled) computer
located anywhere around the globe. This starts to give you some idea
of the potential power and reach of the internet. Just stop and think
about that for a moment. Your website and anything you place on it
will be accessible around the world, anytime, by any of the estimated
450 million internet users. Thats some potential eh? Internet benefits
for you: it enables you to reach new customers and markets. Plus there's
the supreme convenience of the internet's instant, anytime, anywhere
Actually I think a website is more than a mere storage area for your
web pages, it becomes a sort of 'focus point' to your customers, largely
due to its convenience and text/visual format. People make purchasing
decisions based on all sorts of questions and anxieties, either real
or otherwise. A website provides a place where they can help themselves
to find out more and answer those questions and anxieties or take any
other action. Thats an often overlooked internet benefit that wasnt
really possible previously: easy self-service. If they cant find what
they want, they can simply send you a message from your website and
await the tailored response. Another benefit: rapid and personal communication.
Clearly, what you put on your website and how you present it is therefore
very important. Your website's visitors will start to build an impression
of your organisation and products based on what they see there in the
first few seconds of their arrival. Both its content and presentation
should reflect you and everything you do well and should therefore
get the research and attention it deserves. Thats another benefit:
flexibility of content and ability to add /update it instantly. Too
many sites remain static. If you can, try to attract and engage visitors
by keeping your site up-to-date with fresh content. By the way, when
I say product I mean this in a very universal way, including products,
services, information and any other item you may offer.
All you need now is some promotion to get the word out that your website
is up, running and eager to help your new prospects. You can use the
internet to find and contact companies, newsletters, publishers, etc.
and to arrange your promotions and advertising on any industry or topic
you choose. This of course is the internet's speciality and a key benefit
for you to use: easy access to information on every topic imaginable.
Now, if you do your homework and promotion for your new website well,
you'll soon start to get prospects looking around your site and viewing
your content. Ideally, they will arrive, read exactly what they want
to and buy your product immediately. They click to purchase the product
and bingo you've made a sale. At this point you smile with satisfaction
and sit back as your bank completes the transaction and deposits the
payment into your bank account. You havent even been involved in the
transaction. Automation and new revenues: significant internet benefits.
Alternatively, if they havent just read what they wanted to: do they
want further information before making a decision? Are they just not
ready to buy yet? Are they just not going to buy regardless of what
you provide? Ideally you should cater for all these scenarios to get
as many sales as possible. This is an often overlooked internet benefit.
The opportunity to interact and in this case cater to different needs.
Ie. Want to know more? Click this link. Then they could see some specifically
written text with more depth, etc.
However tempting it may be, when you've made the sale dont sit back
glowing in that internet glory for too long because there's more to
do. Are you happy with one sale or would you prefer more? Of course,
given the choice you'd choose more wouldn't you? What if you now produced
a useful regular newsletter sent by email and asked them if they would
like to receive it? You're on your way to getting more sales from them,
instead of that one initial purchase that you may have settled for
before the internet arrived. More Internet benefits I yell! The ability
to send newsletters/ ezines quickly, easily and cheaply without traditional
stationery and postage costs. Plus its practically guaranteed to be
read by the recipient.
Now you have the opportunity to build up a mailing list of prospects
and customers who want regular contact from you. They want you to send
them useful information, special offers, product announcements, etc.
Whether they bought a product from you or not initially they are starting
a relationship with you. If you do it correctly they'll begin to trust
you and your recommendations and ultimately buy more products further
down the line.
Your existing customers may appreciate this type of new attention too.
Previously they may have felt abandoned after their first and only
purchase and maybe you havent contacted them since. This is an excellent
way to keep existing customers happy and loyal, which again will likely
mean more sales further down the line. Ultimately what you are doing
here is building strong relationships with your customers. They've
probably never had this kind of attention and focus before. Yes, another
internet benefit. Do it right and you will positively stand out from
everyone else they deal with who doesnt treat them in this attentive
way. What more could you want? What more could they want?
I hope you've seen that if you put the thought and effort into your
website, your business can reap the benefits of the Internet. There
are more benefits than those i've covered here too. Try to use them
all to offer something new or unique. Be creative in your thinking
and identify how they can benefit you and your customers regardless
of your industry and business model. What can the Internet really do
Target and reach new customers and markets with your products. Sell
your products to those new customers and markets. Sell more products
to your existing customers and markets. Be open 24 hours a day/7 days
a week/52 weeks per year. Be convenient and interactive. Customers
love to help themselves anytime, anywhere, etc. Generate awareness
and credibility in new online world. Build stronger relationships with
your customers than ever before. Get regular, guaranteed reading of
your offers by customers who are already interested in them. Use facility
to tailor content and update immediately. Utilise rapid communication
between you and your customers. Personalise all communications for
higher impact, eg. Hi Peter...
Author: Peter Simmons
Peter Simmons is editor of the DYNAMIQ EZINE. GET MAXIMUM RESULTS FROM
YOUR WEBSITE! Increase your traffic, prospect conversions, sales, profits,
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