A typical online new visitor conversion rate is somewhere around 4-5% (source: Coremetrics Benchmark™ for Retail Q2 2010). Whilst that is interesting, the flip side is that it shows that 95% of new visitors to your websites do not convert/buy.

Regardless of why they left (which is a different discussion), once they have gone, your job is to find ways to get them back. If their questions are all answered on someone else’s website before you can get them back, then you will lose them altogether.

Tactics for Increasing Return Visitors:

There are two key tactics which good online marketers are using in parallel to increase the chance of dragging a prospect back to their website so that their conversion rate is improved.

The tactic to use depends very much whether you know the visitor’s email address or not.

Tactic 1: email

If you know the visitor’s email address, then reaching out with a contact email, personalised and including a relevant special offer (either about the product/service they were looking at or a relevant cross sell offer), will get you back in front of the visitor. Note: sending them your normal weekly email ‘product specials’ blast is not good enough – if you want to get them back, you must be personal and give them a good reason to come back.

The trick with these sorts of emails is to find a way to automate the process – you don’t have the time/resources to be doing these manually. There are many good email service providers who can help with this.

Tactic 2: behavioural targeting

But what happens if you don’t know their email address but you still want to lure them back to your website? That’s where behavioural targeting comes in to play.

Assuming you are already doing online marketing campaigns (banner ads etc) on websites where your prospects are likely to visit, you can improve your chance of success by putting in place an agreement with your advertising network or content owner to drive the best advert to your prospect.

For example, let’s say you sell shoes online. Someone comes to your website and browses for shoes and looks at your current special offer (the winter sale – 20% off shoes) and then leaves without buying. Later on, the next day or even next week, they go to one of the websites where you are advertising. If your advertising network could know that this person had been to your website and had shown interest in the winter sale, they could pop your ad with the special offer on shoes in front of the prospect.

The breadth of your ability to do this is a function of your advertising network and how many appropriate properties they can serve your ads to. Done properly, you can have your banner or ad in front of partially qualified prospects on many, many properties as they surf the net. Your chance of re-engaging them is significantly improved.

The summary of this story is that many of today’s advanced online marketers have solid remarketing and re-acquisition tactics in place to drag prospects back, time and time again. Maybe you could have a look at this for your business.