Your site must be interactive and fresh
Seth Godin believes the only reason for a commercial website is to attract strangers to whom you can later market.
On the web strangers have e-mail addresses and if these can be harnessed for future marketing reasons then this is an excellent reason for having a website in the first place. This is what is meant here by interaction.
There are different ways of collecting information on e-mail addresses via a website. The best is to use a form and the second best is to use an e-mail auto responder. But why on earth would anyone want to give you their real e-mail address?
Quite simple because you are offering something of value real or perceived in return. This free offer could be a subscribe to my newsletter or download this free pdf booklet
Your commercial website should therefore have designed into the home page at least the mechanism for collecting your visitors basic e-mail addresses. The view is that this request should be close to the top of the page.
FORM AND FORM DESIGN
Front Page makes design and implementation of forms simplicity itself. However without such in-built help form design would need computer programming input beyond my capability to explain.
A word of advice is warranted however before you do your form
My advice is do not ask for too much information at first. The less detail you ask for the more the chance of a positive response. Once people trust you then maybe ask for more details.
Always include a privacy statement to assure subscribers of the fact that you will NOT and I mean NOT share this information with anyone else.
So there you are that is how simple web design can be.
A very special case of web page design and layout is the actual selling page. Thats the page to which you have finally attracted your visitor and the one where you want to make the sale. This is the subject of its own chapter later in the book.
Place your subscription form above the fold. Make it stand out. Make it appealing call it something other than Joes newsletter. Appeal to the emotions.
KEEPING YOUR SITE FRESH
You want visitors to bookmark your page, to tell their friends about your page, you want them to keep coming back. This means you must keep your site fresh. RSS is a modern method of keeping content fresh. You’ll here a lot more about RSS in future in terms of Internet Marketing and SEO.
You can accomplish this by posting regular articles, providing back copies of previous newsletters and so on. In simple terms be acutely aware of this need and watch what the experts do by looking at leading websites.