WEB 2.0 to the Rescue

You may have heard about WEB 2.0 but perhaps you thought it was some trendy new toy that would go by the wayside like lots of them do.  Instead it represents a revolution in how the internet works.  And to an internet retailer or merchant such as you and I, it represents a solution to one of the biggest problems we face in staying in touch with our customers and that is email delivery problems.

The reason WEB 2.0 is going to come to the rescue in saving us from our email delivery problems lies in how it basically changes the way people use and view the internet and internet communications in particular.  Before WEB 2.0, if you wanted to communicate with your customers, you had to take the communication to them.  Hence you put together an email that you sent out via a mass mailing or using a service and you hoped that you would hear back from some percentage of your customers about this most recent promotion.

To a large extent under that system, you never knew if the customer got your email or if they took advantage of what you have to offer because of the email you spent money to send out.  But a bigger problem that has grown bigger and bigger with each passing year is that spam and spam filter software that is designed to protect individuals from the potentially dangerous effects of spam also have created a huge problem of email delivery verification for online merchants to contend with.

As long as the formula is that the merchant must take marketing to the customer, email delivery problems will be the bane of the internet merchant’s existence.  That is why WEB 2.0 is going to come to the rescue by changing the basic assumption of how we communicate to customers.  With WEB 2.0, you no longer have to take marketing to the customer because the way the internet now works is customers come to you where you can interact and market to them dynamically on your web site where they might “hang out” for extended periods of time.

WEB 2.0 and how it works can be seen in some of the most explosive new internet services of the last five years including YouTube, MySpace and Wikipedia.  These web sites are the first fruits of a redesign of the internet that makes cyberspace a place where the internet population create the content and how customers interact on  your web site is as important or more important than what you put on the web site yourself.

WEB 2.0 has the potential to take email out of the marketing loop entirely.  If you retrofit your web site to accommodate the interactive concepts you see used on Wikis, on YouTube and on MySpace, you can create an environment so driven by customers that it is an ideal environment for marketing, for customer communications and for sales.  You can use this kind of online community setting to place your sales force in a cyber sales room to casually interact with customers and guide them to purchase decisions in a low-key, no pressure way that is just what customers like in an online community.

One of the great innovations of the WEB 2.0 approach to web site design is that you can actually link videos or web site pages from other web sites and make them part of your own.  Get familiar with the way modern web sites work and interact with your web development gurus so they can guide you in how to use WEB 2.0 methodologies to bring customers to your sales setting rather than having to go to them with email marketing campaigns.  And when you have successfully made that transition, you may never have to worry about email delivery issues again.

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