If you run an online business, you need your traffic to convert into customers. If the traffic to customer ratio is too low, you won’t have a business for long.
The struggle to bring in traffic and convert those visitors into the customers you need is one that many businesses have to face. It’s not always easy and it’s not always cheap. Polar Design took notice of the struggle some businesses went through and decided to create a solution: VisitorCamp.com. For the business on a budget, their services are priced just right.
What will someone find when they visit VisitorCamp?
We created VisitorCamp.com to help small businesses relax a bit in 2009 and take a vacation from stressing about how they will generate sales as they face the dual challenges of the recession and the credit crunch, which is preventing a lot of perfectly healthy businesses from investing in their future. Everything on the site, from the design, to the types of packages we offer is meant to convey this philosophy. When you choose a VisitorCamp.com solution, you don’t simply buy a set of templates with hosting that doesn’t take your business very far — at VistorCamp.com you find complete solution to attracting visitors and converting them to customers that can fit into a modest budget and are aligned with your goals due to our marketing guarantees.
What separates your service from the competition?
There are a lot of companies offering web site packages, with hosting, web design, and so forth. What makes our packages unique is that we also combine ongoing search engine marketing as part of the price, which is shown to drive customers to a site at the lowest cost. We also provide a rather expensive custom design in the package instead making clients choose from a library of canned templates. Finally, we offer a guarantee of results — clients who don’t see the results promised can use our package at no cost until they get those results. These three features combined with a content management solution, optional shopping carts, and lots of other tools make VisitorCamp.com packages a different kind of solution that is more closely aligned with our clients success while still affordable.
Do you have any goals that you hope to reach with VisitorCamp over the next year?
We’re aiming for 500 clients in 2009 and hope to deliver over 500,000 unique visitors to those clients in the same time frame.
What services do you currently have available through your website?
Our solutions fall into two areas: traffic “generators” which are complete web site packages that provide clients everything they need to manage their site, attract visitors, convert them to customers and measure the effectiveness. Specifically that can include custom web design, use of content management software, analytics and web statistics, search engine marketing and a shopping cart. Generator packages are great ways to start a new web site on a bootstrap budget, or to test marketing ideas without impacting existing web sites and branding. Each generator package includes a marketing guarantee.
We also provide existing site “accelerators” that are designed to improve the functioning of existing sites or marketing programs that just need some retuning in order to attract visitors.
Could you tell us a little bit about your main business, Polar Design?
Polar Design was founded in 1999 by myself and three other partners with some seed capital from International Marketing Services (IMS), and international marketing company that has been promoting import/export trade with Europe since 1986. The original business was intended to serve as a partner for a B2B trading portal that IMS planned but that fell through. Polar Design, however, took off as business due to two things: the compelling Flash design that we provided, but more so due to strong search engine positioning in all major search engines as far back as 2000 — in fact, in the early years, we attracted 80% of new business through that channel.
Realizing that search engine marketing was a core competency, we started to offer it to clients in 2005. Now that we have had success and refined our experience as we’ve applied it to other industries, we know that we can help the 99% of businesses on the web that have little or no SEO.
What changes has your business gone through as it has grown over the last 9, almost 10 years?
Interactive design is a difficult business. The barriers to entry are relatively low, so you have to constantly innovate and find ways to provide a higher level of service or more efficient production than new companies starting out. Fortunately we’ve been at this for nearly 10 years, so we’ve seen what works and have learned through our competitors’ and our own mistakes. It helps that we align ourselves with our clients’ success, as well, by tying our fees in some cases to our clients’ results.
There is definitely a shake out going on right now and the firms that are going to survive will either have some niche expertise, high end design, tremendous efficiency or a new business model. I believe Polar design has made progress in all four of those areas although we still have a lot of work to do. Its not going to be as bad as 2001 — 2003, but it will be challenging.
What has your business taught you?
Patience, humility and openness. There are always hundreds of people out there that know more than you do about any given topic. The clichÃ© “networked world” has come true as more people realize the constantly complexity of society and our need to work together to harness that for good.
Do you think you are done with this business or do you have plans to launch anything else in the future?
We plan to operate Polar Design for a while, but will create and spin off new businesses that partners and employees can participate in.