What questions should I ask when selecting a Web designer?

So many times I have heard people say "My nephew knows all about computers and can do a website for my business." or "Our neighbors daughter just took an HTML course in college and can do our website." Would you hire someone who took a course in small engine repair  
to rebuild the engine in your car? Of course not! You would hire someone with experience, training, and the proper tools to get the job done right, the first time.  

The same should hold true when deciding who will design and market your website. It is true that with a basic HTML course anyone can design a website. But not just any one can create a website that will present the image that your company is professional, trustworthy, reliable, and someone to do business with. But even beyond the basic design of the website you need someone to market the site, so people will find it, and someone you can rely on to be there when the site needs maintaining or when your email isn’t working.  

Some questions you should ask before hiring a website design firm.

Getting Your Visitors Email Address
One of the greatest things about the Internet is the ease in which you can communicate with your clients and potential clients. Email reduces the number of phone tag wars you must participate in, websites allow you to share your newest products and services faster and cheaper than ever before, and response forms give your visitors the opportunity to ask you questions.

However, a lot of businesses with a website and email are not using them effectively and maybe losing as much as 70% of their potential customers. How? They are not responding to emails within 24 hours, are not sending updates on products and services to email address, or producing on-line newsletters.  

What better prospect could you have then one who has made an effort to search out and then visit your website? They are already interested in your product or service! You just need to "rope them in". The easiest way to start an ongoing "conversation" with them is to get their email address and add it to your email list.

The best way I have found to gather email addresses is to ask them to sign up for you free newsletter.  Simply ask for their email address and tell them all the great free information they will receive. Tell then what they are signing up for and why they should sign up.  Adding a free drawing will increase the number of people who sign up.

You should also give them the assurance that their email address will not be sold or used by anyone other than your company.  .  

Don’t ask for too many details. This may scare them away and have them wondering what you are going to do with all that information. The focus here is to get their email address so that each month or so your company name appears in their email box.

June 1, 2000

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