‘Just Be Creative’.
Marketers, web developers, and graphic designers shudder at this commonly-delivered phrase in meetings with clients. There’s nothing wrong with creativity in design of course, and you want your website to stand out from the sea of other similar companies and organizations. The problem is not with the idea of being creative, it’s in the focus on uniqueness and creativity over strategy and user experience. ‘Just be creative’ leads the web development team and the client down a path that has no strategic goal, and is one of the biggest website redesign mistakes you can make.
Before undertaking a website redesign, there are many factors that your organization should consider. Notice that the actual design is at the end of this list for a reason: the design should work toward achieving the strategic plan that you’ve laid out and should support your goals. If you focus first on the ‘pretty pictures’, you’ll end up trying to fit your strategy into a specific design, and you’ll lose sight of the path to reach your goals.
Before you start considering new designs, take some time to answer these questions: Continue reading
If you own a physical location such as a restaurant or retail shop, it’s pretty easy to see how prospective customers interact with your products and services. They walk in, pay attention to certain items, ignore or don’t notice others, and over time, show you the path that the majority of people will take toward purchasing (or not purchasing) from you. In a coffee shop, for example, it’s pretty easy to watch customers and notice if they are more drawn to high cocktail style tables or comfy armchairs. You can see if they’re searching under the tables for outlets to power their laptops or asking for the WiFi password. You know which drinks they are most interested in (mmm… pumpkin spice!) or which they are turned off by (was it the name or the ingredients that they hated?).
But how can you gather that same information from digital customers – those who check out your website but never make a purchase? How can you learn what brought them in, got them to click through, or ultimately turned them off before they completed their purchase?
There are many ways to get this information. All you need to know is how to ask. Continue reading
Now that you know how an email address can help you see what prospective customers are interested in and looking for on your website, and how it can help you build relationships with prospects and lead you to future clients, you’re probably wondering how to best ask for those email addresses. After all, asking someone for their email address immediately tells them ‘I’m probably going to start sending you a bunch of stuff you may not want, which will clutter up your inbox and cost you time in sorting through and deleting it.’ So how do you ensure prospective clients that not only will you send them high-value information that they’ll appreciate and enjoy, but that you’ll do it on a schedule that doesn’t overwhelm them? Essentially, that you’re ‘not like every other company sending out unsolicited email’? The key is how you collect the information from at the very beginning. Continue reading
In most customer interactions, such as when a prospect is visiting your website, chatting with a store employee, sampling your items at a market, or calling to ask a question, there is an opportunity for your business or organization to collect a single piece of information that will allow you to learn more about their needs and interests and how to serve them better. It can help you to find other people with similar needs and interests whom you can market to. Over time, this single piece of information can show you where to find your best customers, and you can learn where your limited marketing and advertising budget is best spent. Continue reading
The key to selling is to get into your prospective customers’ heads and give them exactly what they have been waiting for, before they ever think to ask for it, or even know what it is that they want. Sound crazy? This is the theory that turned ordinary CEO’s Henry Ford and Steve Jobs into business celebrities and two of the most successful entrepreneurs in history.
Henry Ford famously stated “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” When Steve Jobs launched the first iPhone, he didn’t have hordes of customers asking for a phone that could hold an entire music library and replace your music player, or one that you could watch movies and download audio books on. Nobody was asking for it, because no one had considered that it could be done – but now it’s hard to remember a time when we didn’t have immediate access to all of the information in the world right in our back pockets. Continue reading