Make Your Website Interactive
Why is the internet a revolutionary medium? Because among many it has one big advantage over any other modern mass medium: it is interactive which means it allows you to engage in a dialogue with your customers and visitors. One of the success factors of english-test.net is its interactivity: As we have illustrated before our website is a web based preparation and training centre for the TOEIC and TOEFL test. Like in the real exam all our tests created by Alan are multiple-choice, this means you are to choose the correct answer out of four or three given options. Instead of using paper based tests which you have to check afterwards by yourself, you can go to our website and select the answers to each test question by clicking on one of the four given choices. This is much faster than using a pencil because you get the result instantly and in addition this method is more reliable because the computer checks your answers against the correct results.
The second most interactive feature on our website is the subscription form for our newsletter which Alan writes on a regular basis. In further sections of this manual you will read more on the importance of email based newsletters. We have been receiving various electronic publications via email ever since we went online first in 1995 and so we know that you can only run a newsletter successfully if it meets at least these technical requirements of our english-test.net newsletter:
Do it In-House
- Easy automated subscription (via implemented online form on our startpage as well as on the archive page).
- Personalized subject line (the recipient's first name appears in the subject line automatically (for example: «Dear Frank — Here are Head Expressions for You»).
- Personalized newsletter (each message starts with the first name of each individual reader and depending on the context it also appears up to several times throughout the letter).
- Automated archive (every time an issue of a newsletter is sent to the readers a copy automatically goes into the electronic archive on our website).
- Easy to unsubscribe (this is as important as the subscription function — it takes just one single click to leave our newsletter).
- The newsletter is sent from our own server so that «www.english-test.net» appears as the sender.
Slava has programmed all these features himself so we that we can send, administer and track all vital data of our newsletter. You might already guess why this is so important.
In addition to the interactive tests we also provide a forum on our website. This is a place where students can ask questions about the tests and share their experiences and ideas with other students. It's also the ideal medium for us to get in direct contact with our visitors, students and partners to collect feedback on our website. And of course it's also a good opportunity to simply engage in a conversation with another person or initiate a discussion on specific topics. A very effective tool to collect information as to what our visitors think, what they like and dislike, what they know and don't know etc. is the implemented poll function. For instance if we want to know what type of internet connection our users have we can create a poll question such as «How do you access the internet» and give the appropriate options (for example: dial-up connection (modem), ISDN, DSL/broadband, other).
Sure, you can only start a forum if your website is reaching a fair amount of traffic — otherwise there won't be any activity.
In the beginning stage of your website it will be sufficient to offer a contact form — an interactive spreadsheet that allows users to enter and submit their name, email address and a message (these are the most appropriate lines). We recommend you to use a contact form rather than your email address for these reasons:
- When someone enters your website from a public server (internet caf? or town library) they often are not able to use an email client.
- Using a contact form you don't have to reveal your email address — this is the best method to avoid «Spam» (unsolicited email).
- a contact form is easier to use than an external email application (remember that there are millions of «newbies»).
You can download the e-book here:
Free Internet Marketing e-Book
If you have any English grammar or vocabulary questions,
please post them on this English Grammar Forum.
Author: Torsten Daerr & Alan Townend