Even if you’ve got a great service with great features on your website, you aren’t guaranteed that everyone will use those features or even know what they are. So when it comes to engaging your users, you have to be proactive. Remind them of different things they can do. Suggest next steps and hold their hands. It’s another click, another feature, another pageview – more interaction and more use will keep people coming back to your site. Another benefit is that it can make your website or application seem smart; it knows what you might want, OR it knows what you don’t know you want 🙂
Gmail, for example, will alert email senders that the recipient isn’t using Gmail and offers them a quick link to invite them.
Another application I favor is Freshbooks. A very useful feature they’ve implemented is drop-dead simple. When users log out they display the usual log out stuff, but in addition, they add a support form and contact information. A lot of times people have feedback to give, but are too lazy to give it. Often it requires more clicks or hunting down the right page or right email address. Why not enhance interaction and improve your product at the same time by displaying a contact form after users navigate to a page they almost will always choose to view (the “logged off” page)?