While businesses have used coupons in their print media for decades, smart Web marketers are putting coupons on their Web sites. Your Web site won’t be replacing your physical building any time soon. So just because you’re on the Web, doesn’t mean that you don’t want to drive people to your store. Weekly coupons, or ongoing “Web Specials” are a great “call to action.” Coupons can be brought up in the visitor’s browser, and with the hit of the “Print” button, will be in their hands in moments. Make sure your staff has seen a copy, so they know that the coupon is legitimate. If you are a retail business, and are set up for them, we can take your UPC codes embed them in the coupon. For an example, see (and take advantage of) http://www.hospitalityinn.com/coupon.html
WebTV added default background music last year because their focus groups showed that people felt the Web wasn’t as “exciting” as TV because it had no sound. Adding music to your site will differentiate your site from the pack by making it a true multi-media experience. Synthesized music files (MIDI’s) are one way. Although they load fast and are crystal clear, on a cheap sound card they can sound thin and over-synthesized. Data Management’s Web (http://www.dmcorp.com/) uses a MIDI file that stays up while you browse their site (and gives you the ability to turn it off if you get tired of it).
With the right plug-ins, you can take a radio ad, your “on-hold” message, or your jingle and stream it on your website. V.Richards uses Shockwave (http://www.vrichards.com), Hospitality Inn (http://www.hospitalityinn.com/) uses Real Audio to stream a set of messages produced specifically for their Web site.
Also, make sure you have the composer’s permission to put the song on your site.
Although video and audio have a long way to go before they are crystal-clear digital, movie companies, news organizations and other companies have been putting streaming video on their Web sites for some time. The technology has improved, and the cost has gone down. Ministry Health Care is using a series of features done by a local TV station. See it at http://www.ministryhealth.org (Go to the Main Site, click to “For Customers” and go to Health Connection).
Site Search Engines
If your site is rich in content, one of the most frustrating things to a visitor is trying to find their way to the information they came for. Although the sites we design are successful in navigational ease, it still may not be fast enough for the less patient visitors. Adding a Keyword search will enable the visitor to search your entire site in seconds and find the page(s) that contain the relevant information. Editran (http://www.editraninc.com) and Ministry Health Care (http://www.ministryhealth.org) are just a couple sites we’ve built search engines for.
New opportunities emerge every day… watch this space regularly for more!
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