Whether you are a pure online business, or your business has both on- and off-line components, by learning more about your online customers, you can improve your online sales by better focusing your marketing efforts on their needs.
By offering a feedback form on your website, you provide an opportunity for site visitors to share their comments. Often, the feedback form is combined with a contact form on the “Contact Us” or similar page. Consider, though, having a specific feedback form, either specific to your products, or even for your website. The best feedback form has only a few questions with multiple choice responses, if possible. By limiting the answers to those provided, you can better aggregate the information obtained and apply it as appropriate.
A survey takes the online feedback form one step further. Again, it’s best to include multiple choice style questions, or other types of questions where the possible answers have been pre-determined. Try to make them as concise as possible, and make sure you have an incentive for completing the survey, such as a special survey-only coupon, free products, or a information product, such as a 5-10 page report. Another incentive option is to have a contest. All completed surveys have the chance of winning a $50 gift certificate, for example.
Lastly, hang out online where your customers are. Whether that’s in topic-related forums, on popular blogs, or social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace. Take part in the conversations that are occurring about your topic, and you’ll become better acquainted with the needs and desired of your target online customers.