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Chapter 5 - Getting Customers and Retaining Business


Throughout its existence, the world of Internet marketing has been reinforced by the various changes that have occurred in it. In recent times, the changes have been immensely positive. As the popularity of this type of marketing grows, marketers find that there are more and more ways in which they can enhance their business prospects.
Internet marketers have now realized that the most profound way in which they can lure customers is by making themselves popular all over the Internet, leaving no scope for ambiguity at all. People must get to know their business closely; this is the way they can direct more business to themselves. Right now, Internet marketers are trying to increase their sales by giving people all kinds of information about their products and services. To help them, the Internet has provided them with various resources so that they can get in touch with their client base in a much better manner.
We have been seeing over the last few chapters how people can get in close touch with their prospective market by using different methods, ranging from articles to videos to social networking methods. Marketers use all of these methods and more to get their customers.
But, apart from merely obtaining customers, it is very important to retain them. This is all the more important in the Internet marketing world where every customer is considered to be special and is treasured. Also, since Internet marketers do not expect a constant flow of customers all the time, they bank upon repeat businesses. There are lot of instances in which there is upselling of products and services by the same business to the same customers, and also where products of affiliate partners are promoted to customers so that they can be kept within the loop for more business later on.

All this is because of the Internet marketer’s tendency to build a customer base. With the means of various resources such as autoresponders and wonderful aftersales services, etc., Internet marketers always try to retain their customers. This is what helps them subsist in this highly competitive world.
To understand this better, let us look at a few new-age theories that Internet marketers keep at the core of their businesses.
Customers should come to the sellers, not the other way round.”
If you have been fed on the old-age strategies of marketing, then you will find it very difficult to digest it. In olden days, reaching out to customers meant cold-calling or door-to-door sales or advertising into their living rooms through television sets and newspapers, regardless of whether they wanted such intrusions or not.
Naturally, this kind of advertising was abhorred. People did not like being sold to, and most businesses found it very difficult to rise above the level of mediocrity.
Today, the concept of marketing has undergone a volte-face. The reason behind this is that now marketers do not go out to the customers; the customers come to them. The Internet has made it possible. Internet marketers will now submit an article to a directory or write a blog post or submit a video or post a comment on a social networking website. In none of these ways are the people advertising their product or service blatantly. There is no intrusion of any sort. No one’s privacy is invaded.
People who are looking for information will automatically find all these contents. They will search using a keyword and they will find these things in the search engine results, where they will visit.
So, in effect, the seller hasn’t called upon the customer in any manner directly, but the customer has come to the seller. This is a very dignified manner of advertising, and the results are better too. If people come looking for a product, they are more likely to buy it. There is no feeling of being sold to; hence, even the customer feels dignified about making the purchase.
“Customers should get the best value.”
This is the mantra of every Internet marketer right now. Every marketer is making it an important point on their agenda to give their customers the best they can. This has become all the more important in the wake of all the competition that prevails on the Internet. Just look for any random product—such as leather boots, for instance—and you are sure to find hundreds of options. What is it that will make a customer come to you then?
There are many ways to do that, and we have already discussed many of the promotional methods that can work for you in this time and age, but the most important thing is still the most traditional belief—“If you give customers a good value for their money, then they will come knocking at your door more than once.”
This is what modern Internet marketers have definitely understood right now. They have understood that they should stretch their limits so that they can give their customers the best they can. They are using high quality products, and the most important thing is that they are spending on the creativity factor to make new things so that they can entice the attention of the fickle-minded customer of today.
So, this is one thing that you have to remember throughout your Internet marketing life. You have to remember to give people their money’s worth and possibly give them more than that. It will always pay off in the world of Internet marketing.
An Ounce of Support Is Worth a Ton of Business.”
Another very important theory that Internet marketers abide by in present times is that they need to provide the best level of aftersales service and other kinds of support to their customers. They need to be with their customers whenever they need them, even after the sale has been done.
This is definitely much more important in the world of Internet marketing because the customer cannot actually see the product before they buy it. They do not know of the small things that might be associated with the product and because of that they may find things a bit difficult when they buy the product and try to use it. At such times, it is important to guarantee them an aftersales support. Customers are slowly coming out of their inhibitions and are beginning to buy more and more products online, but they require the assurance that they will be given good support.
When the support is good, it becomes easier for an Internet marketer to upsell. If they have any other product in the future, they can try to interest their customer in that product as well. However, if the aftersales support after the first product has been shoddy, then it is quite unlikely that the customer would want to use them for a second time round.
There are many ways in which such support can be provided to the customers, even without physical presence. A lot of Internet marketers are significantly investing in autoresponder software applications. These are automated messages that are sent to a customer’s email address. These automated messages could have any kind of content, and they can be planned in such a way that particular queries attract particular kinds of responses. By using autoresponders, customers get the impression that there is someone looking after their needs.
Give Them a Chance to Say Something.”
With the way Internet marketing is going, there is another very special thought that marketers have begun to believe. This is the idea of letting the customers speak out their mind. In earlier days, marketers were quite skeptical about what their customers might say about them. But this is definitely not the case today. Today, customers are given the chance to speak out their mind. In fact, there are few online businesses that will ask customers to give their valuable feedback once they have made their purchase.
There are many ways to let customers speak out their mind. Two of the biggest online stores in the world today—Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/) and eBay (http://www.ebay.com/)--actually have options where buyers can post their comments about the product and the quality of service that they dealt with. These reviews become a revelation for other people who are contemplating on buying the same product.

You will find the same mentality in several of the Internet marketing websites that we spoke about. Each of these places can be considered as a Mecca for Internet marketers because this is where they can get into the very groove of their customer base and ask them what they need. Their reviews can certainly help them beef up the popularity of their own business and they can enhance the scope of their business.
Internet marketers have to be wary about the nature of their businesses and what they are promoting. The legality of the product has to be ensured. As it is mandatory by law to give all information they can about their products, this becomes something that’s essential to do as well.
Customers Can Bring More Customers.”
This is a very important belief of the current generation. Internet marketers believe to the hilt that once they have a steady group of customers, then they will be able to bring more customers.
Once again, this has its roots in the concept of viral marketing. When someone over the Internet likes something, they are so much more likely to recommend it to their friends than if they were liking it in the offline world. For example, when someone likes a video, it is just a matter of a couple of clicks to share that video with a whole social networking group that they are part of. There are so many times that people like things on YouTube and then with just a few clicks share that entire video through their Facebook profile.
There are many more aspects to this. It is possible that someone who likes a product that they have used—even in the offline world—will write a review about it, or post something about it on the Facebook wall or tweet about it. By doing all these things, the posters may be acting on their enthusiasm of liking something, but unknown to them, they are acting as mouthpieces for the product itself.
This is what Internet marketers rely on. They know that their products can be taken to greater shores by the customers that they get. Hence, they try to bowl their customers over with great quality and service, and then these customers carry their name forward. With minimal advertising, and advertising that sustains, Internet marketers can really keep their business going, and focus on growing it all the time.

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Chapter 7 - Final Words
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Article ID: 299
Category: Internet Marketing A to Z
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