Driving Customer-Acquisition Traffic
By Kelly J. Andrews
Let It Ride
The business-transforming power of e-commerce seemed unlimited just two years ago. Back then, the door was open for direct marketers to apply their knowledge to a new direct-to-consumer medium that had reached mass acceptance at unprecedented speeds.
Business plans were laid, money was invested, and glossy front-ends were seamlessly integrated with flawless back-ends.
But for many marketers, results didn't live up to the hype. Blame the economy, blame overblown expectations, but don't blame the medium itself. Says Will Tifft, senior vice president and general manager, mail and network product marketing, 24/7 Real Media, "The promise of e-commerce has lagged because it's taken time for e-commerce companies to figure out how to do it properly. Customers clearly are thronging to sites that can make it work."
The high-flying companies with a dime's worth of marketing experience and a C-note worth of bluster are gone. What's left are the power players who executed the fundamentals: driving traffic, making the sale and building customer relationships that last. With the shakeout comes the opportunity to stand out in your product category and drive acquisition traffic that once went to an upstart competitor. Here's how to make it work.
Be Sure Customers Can Find You
Of course, your domain name must be intuitive and easy to remember. Your company or catalog name probably fits the bill, but don't stop there.
At one time, nearly every English word and combination was gobbled up by domain squatters and fly-by-night companies whose only business asset was a great Web address, but many of those simple domain names are back on the market at affordable rates.
Consider registering and redirecting variants of your name, major domain extensions, common misspellings, all of your registered trademarks, products for which you're known, and generic product categories and keywords.