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What is the best way to use a web site to open discussion? (It’s probably not embedded chat)

I’ve just concluded a 10 week test of LeadBooster software on two of my web sites. These are the results reported by the software management console:

My small business web sites serve one purpose: to open a discussion. I do that by producing high quality timely and useful content that provides educational value to the viewer and then invite the viewer to consider a no-fee, no-commitment discussion. Pretty simple. I suspect that many other small businesses, especially professional service providers, take the same approach with their web sites.

I was excited when my software provider offered a chat box service called “Leadbooster”. Even though I had not tested it at that time, I saw it an easy way that a web page viewer could start a conversation. That was 10 weeks ago. Now, after ten weeks, I’ve learned three things:

  1. None of the approximately 10,000 web site visitors used the chat service to enter any communication. (The four users in the report below are me or my marketing adviser testing the service).
  2. The software is no longer include in my purchased subscription but will cast an additional $39 per month
  3. I used a software users group to solicit feedback from others; I was hoping to find someone who had a more favorable result than I did. I found none. All commenters echoed the same lack of results.

Based on this experience, I am ending the test of LeadBooster chat service and returning to the basic questions:

What is the best method to use a web site to open discussion?

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