Last week, we created a poll which asked our readers to provide their opinion on the most effective way to provide incentives to website visitors. Many of us own or manage WordPress sites that range from personal blogs to e-Commerce, which means the decision to grant some form of “cash” prize to visitors is often based on one’s specific budget and overall traffic demographics.
In our official poll-type article, WPHub.com visitors were asked to place themselves in a hypothetical or real-life situation in which a $500 stipend was set aside for promotions that focused on visitor participation. Given the outlined information, we then put the best method of prize distribution to a vote. Possible selections included offering a broad distribution of payouts, top-heavy prizes, and dividing the budget into multiple promotions.
The main points of discussion apparently focused on a topic that the vast majority of our readers felt was unrelated. Unfortunately only one total vote was cast, which is significantly below average when it comes to our weekly polls here on the site.
However, valuable information can be obtained from last week’s article despite the general lack of participation. One could logically conclude that many WordPress website owners and managers are more intently focused on revenue generation and controlling expenses instead of the proposal to gain user loyalty via cash incentives. This theory can be supported by the minute percentage of actual working WP websites that place any sort of priority on monetary distributions to visitors, and also leads us to the conclusion that many involved in WordPress see a negligent or negative potential net gain associated with “giving” currency to visitors.
In fact, the websites that currently DO participate in fund giveaways fall almost exclusively in to one or more of the following categories: affiliate marketers, high-traffic sites, and heavy front-end user loyalty levels.
The Search Engine Equation
Like it or not, a large percentage of users arrive at a website for the first time because they are searching for something in particular, and not through the antiquated “word of mouth” method. In today’s environment, paper business cards (even those with domain names printed on them) are used more for corporate email, address and email information rather than attracting someone to a site. When it comes to distribution centers and businesses that depend on an online source to enhance logistics, the ratio of paper business card to search engine query new visitors can often be higher than 1,000 to 1.
Thought keyword search, readers may arrive at a website and find its content appropriate and/or useful, and only then decide on whether they will retain a certain level of personal loyalty. Knowledge bases and forums are frequently used to keep a front-end user coming back, but there is little to be earned by “rewarding” readers with prizes unless a particular site already falls into one of the categories mentioned above.
With a growing amount of tablet computer and mobile device users entering the fray, this trend will logically continue in the foreseeable future. Product discounts can be one way of capturing a customer’s business, but this was not one of the options provided in our poll published on Monday, January 14th.
Are Cash Prizes A Part Of Our Future?
The answer to this question is difficult to predict and depends on a number of variables. Will a wider variety of WordPress websites be accessible in the years to come? Will general profit levels justify cash reward systems? The most probably conclusion is that the decisions to offer prize money to visitors will continue to be made based on a site’s specific needs.
This Week’s Poll
In this week’s poll (which has already received over ten votes), we would like to know which premium theme purchase option you consider to be the best: yearly, monthly, or one-time fees. We encourage our readers to submit a vote for our most recent poll, which we will follow up on next week.