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Don’t rush your prospects

One of the things you’d hope to get from most advertising campaigns is a lot of people who hadn’t previously had your company on their radar. That’s great, but these prospects are often thrown away by sending them to a website page which either fails to deliver on the offer, or (at the other extreme) jumps straight to the end of the enquiry-making process.

An analogy for the first of these is that you spend money persuading people to visit you at your premises …then don’t meet them at the door, but leave them to find their own way to your office! This is a scenario I’ve mentioned before.

It’s the same thing when you advertise a faster blue widget, then send people to your website’s home page where there’s no mention of a faster blue widget (unless they’re prepared to use their initiative and burrow down through various menus and index pages to find it).

The second scenario, where responders to advertisements are rushed straight to the end of the enquiry-making process, often happens with web and email ads. As advertisers, we’re so pleased to be able to whisk responders to any web page of their choice, that we miss out all of the boring old sales story, and just link straight to a “give us your name and telephone number!” form. This is the equivalent of greeting a potential customer visiting your premises with a salesman holding a clipboard, who asks for the prospect’s details but isn’t interested in demonstrating the product.

Tomorrow I’ll look at how to avoid these unproductive extremes.

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