The Art of Snuggling
I gave a technical demonstration at the Africa e-commerce show in Cape Town all about snuggling… how to build lasting relationships with your website visitora. The first half of my demo was actually a short presentation about getting to know your visitors, and I thought it would be nice to share here.
These are the seven steps to a good snuggle :)
1) Nothing is worse when snuggling than using the wrong name.
How often have you been greeted with a 'hello Mr. User' or had a mail addressed to Dear ListMember5575? When 'talking' to the customer, either on-screen or via direct marketing, either use the right info or nothing at all.
2) When snuggling, keep your hands to yourself until invited.
Isn't it annoying when you register on a website and immediately it's inviting you to newsletters or showing you special ads? It’s important to give people personal space. A good tip is to set triggers in the site to go deeper with your visitors, and only bother them when the relationship is established.
3) Snuggling is best done on cold days.
Understanding the context of an engagement is vitally important. How often have you gone to a website and found something irrelevant to your country or season displayed? Make sure that your ads, banners and teasers are relevant to the person AND the context. Remember, maybe they don't want to snuggle today so hold the ads and banners until next time.
4) The best snugglers know what each other likes without asking.
Giving the best snuggling experience should be something that your website does without explicitly being asked. For example, how about someone using a mobile phone. Do we want to bump them off to a .mobi site? Of course not. We want to understand what they like. As an editor, I need to be able to see it for myself as well, so I understand what they like.
5) A good snuggle can turn into something else.
Too often sites have three page sign ups or four page checkouts. Find the easiest path to engaging / buying something and remove roadblocks. Remove information and barriers that are non critical.
6) Snuggling is private (and probably between only 2)
The visitor wants to engage with you. Not you and your friends. Don't push them off to third parties like subdomains. Keep payment providers 'inline' where possible. Make sure they know you don't share their details and they know they are secure. Keep it cozy.
7) If your snuggling is rejected, find out why.
Sometimes your visitor doesn't want to snuggle, and that's okay. But you have already gathered some profile about them... You might know what pages they've looked at, what products they had in their cart, at what point they abandoned their purchase. You might even have captured contact details. Look at the stats, learn from them, and if you think it's worth it, pursue them!
I hope that these seven simple steps have given you some food for thought. If you have comments, feedback or suggestions on what I might have missed, do let me know!