Most magazines have a “letters to the editor” section. Here, readers are encouraged to voice their opinion on the latest topics and the content of the magazine – good or bad. They should be paid attention to and published, especially the bad ones. And this is every bit as valuable for an online business or publication.
Why would you want to publish a letter that says bad things about your publication, website or business? There are several answers to this question, most importantly: trust, confidence and community.
When a negative response is published, your readers will be assured that you’re not hiding anything. The credibility of the magazine, business, website or blog instantly rises.
Letters that may seem damaging can build a tremendous amount of confidence in your readers, clients or potential customers. Publishing a negative letter or review tells your customers that you recognize the problem and are taking steps to correct it. It goes without saying that correcting the issue in a timely matter is paramount – if indeed a correction is needed.
People love seeing their name in print. When a customer or reader submits a letter or a review, you can be assured that they will visit your site repeatedly to check if it’s been published yet. That’s not to say that you should publish everything in your inbox. But those that are published will refer their friends, relatives and colleagues. Your traffic will rise and the individual that wrote to you will feel that they now belong to a part of a community. They will keep closer tabs on your site or publication in the future.
Encourage feedback. Keeping an open mind to your critics will go a long way in developing your online standing and, ultimately, your online business.
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