A Web Marketing Tool with Great ROI


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Have you ever wondered how much baristas would make in tips if there wasn’t a tip jar on the counter? That’s right, not much.

As customers, we sometimes need a little visual cue that motivates us to donate to the “counter intelligence.”

The same is true with your Web site. Someone reads one of your well-written articles or watches a how-to video on your site. They know that Mike from accounting or Jennifer from around the corner would find it interesting, helpful or funny. Or maybe–if they’re wired in enough–they’d like to add it to their Facebook page, or post it to the popular news site, Digg.

But they don’t.

They’re busy, and you haven’t made it any easier for them to share your knowledge.

Why Share?

What you learned in kindergarten is still true now: it’s good to share. By making it easier for your visitors to share your content you’re extending your reach, getting in front of hand-selected, qualified prospects, and getting an implied recommendation from a trusted friend as well.

Over the last couple of months, we here at flyte have been using a tool called Siphs. Siphs allows you to quickly add sharing tags to any and all Web pages at your site. If you have a template-driven site you may only need to add it once. Then you’re ready to share.

How Siphs Works

Once a visitor clicks on the share link on your page they’re taken to an intermediary page with different sharing options. They can choose to send an email to a friend or share the page at a number of popular social media sites.

The email arrives in their friend’s inbox with your branding and messaging. If your visitor chooses to share at social media sites she has several popular choices such as MySpace, StumbleUpon and Twitter.

Is It Worth It?

There’s a version of Siphs that doesn’t cost anything, but if you really want to brand the tool as your own you’ll need to step up to the Plus or Premium version for $100 or $200/year, respectively. That’s about 27 or 54 cents a day, less than a cup of coffee…in 1985.

Although comparing sharing tools to pay-per-click ads is kind of like comparing apples to Orange Julius, let’s try anyway.

The cost of a click-through on Google Adwords is highly dependent on your niche and targeted keywords, but could range from under a dollar per lead to close to $70 per lead (“school loan consolidation”). The cost of a Siphs click-through is dependent on your choice of plan and visitor usage, but even one click-through a day on the Premium plan works out to 54 cents a lead.

Plus, the lead from an email or social bookmark comes from a friend or trusted resource, as opposed to just a contextual ad served up by a search engine.

How to Make the Most of Siphs

I would recommend customizing the design of the template and truly branding it as your own. Colors, imagery and fonts can go a long way towards presenting a professional appearance.

With the premium membership you can also have one message on the intermediary page and a different message appear when the email arrives in the friend’s email box. I found this to be the best feature because you want to have one conversation with the site visitor and a different one with the friend who may have never been to your site.

Siphs also serves up reports on how your site has been shared: which pages, how often, and through what method (i.e., emailed vs. posted at Digg.) Taken in conjunction with your site’s traffic report, you can get a better understanding of how people are using your site, and how engaging they find different topics.

What’s the Next Step?

Set up a trial version of Siphs and add it to your own site. Even with the free version you can look at your stats and see how people have been using your site. However, I think you’ll see better results when you can brand the experience as your own.

If you’d like help setting it up, or customizing Siphs to make the most of it, contact flyte today.

–Rich Brooks
President, flyte new media