Ideas for making your website more interactive

by Wanda Loskot

If you think that your site is effective just because it looks great, it is well organized, loads up fast, and even offers a lot of free information - think again! World wide web is all about communication and remember that effective communication is not about *you* communicating (that's called "talking") but about two parties communicating with each other.

So, how are you doing in the department of communication? And how do you encourage your visitors to communicate with you? Having standard subscription to your e-zine is a good start, but don't think that it is enough.

Why? Because the more visitors communicate with you, the easier it is for you to build a relationship with them. And you know already that it is the relationships what counts - not only how many hits you get, or even how many people click through your site, right?

Here are some of the relation-building sites worth emulating:

* Visit the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and you will be amazed how many ways a website can communicate with visitors to dazzle, to charm, to ask, to entertain - and of course to build a lasting relationship!

* Drop in to Mama's Cucina <>, Ragu Sauce's site invites you to participate, write stories, list favorite restaurants, share recipes, learn Italian, sign up for grocery giveaway - wow! do you think this can help build them good relationships? And does it help sell more jars of Ragu? You bet!

* And how about another of my favorites - Guevalia Coffee? It offers visitors not only great coffee and quite awesome dessert recipes. Just for trying their coffee, Guevalia will send you a free coffeemaker. And I mean a really GOOD 10 cup coffeemaker with a melita-type filter!

* Another way to keep people coming back forever is to develop a good, interesting CGI program. One of my favorites you will find at - a superbly elegant site of David Slack, a speech writer from New Zealand. This sophisticated CGI script will write for you a powerful business introduction speech (or a great letter if you prefer). Free of charge of course. Quite awesome way to provide value for visitors by getting them involved in communication and at the same time presenting own professional talents!

* You don't need to be that creative with CGI. How about installing your own discussion board? Just like the one on Jim Daniel's site It is definitely one of the busiest networking corners on the internet! And you can get even the CGI script for free.

* Meguiar's Car Care <> offers a car care prescription service. Visitors key in information about their car, key environmental factors, and their level of commitment to car care - in response they are getting a personalized advice how to extend the life of their cars. Do you think they come back and even tell others to visit that site?

* Needless to say that if you drop to my own Success Connection at you will have a few opportunities to have fun as well - with weekly MasterMind chats, watching my slide shows, listening to the radio, sending invitations to your friends, or signing up for my on-going coaching give-away.

Of course it takes a lot of work, time and effort, sometimes even some cash to develop a site that communicates like that. But when you think in terms of the life value of your potential customer it makes a lot of sense to go out of your way to make your visitors feel really special, delighted and willing to talk with you.

When you keep charming people like that and when you keep showing them your love and respect (plus of course if you are really good at what you're doing!) many more people than you expect will want to become your customers. Quite likely for a lifetime!

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Wanda Loskot is international business coach/writer/speaker author of referral system that will make your business work so that you can rest or play - register to win one month of FREE business coaching!

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