Seth Godin offers up privy online marketing advise in The Big Red Fez: How to Make Any Web Site Better. Godin sees web surfers as monkeys scouring the internet for their next banana or incentive. The sites that allow the monkeys to find their banana the quickest and the easiest are the most effective. There are ten key points that Godin offers up to online marketers.
1. Simple web pages for simple people- Possibly the most important rule in internet marketing is to keep your landing page simple. People, as much as we would like to think otherwise, are simple so confronting them with an unfamiliar and complex web page will deter them from whatever you are selling. Not only are flash based websites costly, many times they are also unnecessary and ineffective.
2. Make your “banana “easily attainable- Not only are people incredibly simple, they are also remarkably lazy. They may want something but in most circumstances they are unwilling to work for it. Don’t drop off your web traffic in the middle of the jungle and leave it up to them to search (because they won’t). Instead, place them right in front of the tree with the banana in plain sight.
3. Make your “banana” easily attainable pt.2- So now you have your web traffic right where you want them- don’t blow it. Remember people are not just lazy they are remarkably lazy. Not only do you have to place the banana right in front of them you have to hand feed it to them. Don’t make them jump through hoops to get their banana just give them what they want.
Ex. Godin makes an example out of Epson. A prospective online customer cannot even see the prices of its products without registering first. If a an online shopper is going to Epson just to compare prices chances are the shopper won’t both registering and then checking his or her email for a confirmation.
4. Guilt Free Indulgence- I’m willing to venture a guess that most online transaction are a far from a necessity. That being said, you want to make your online transactions go as smoothly as possible. That means making them quick and making them easy. By doing this your customers can make their purchases before they can second guess it. Not only are we incredibly simple and remarkably lazy we are also very easily guilt stricken- isn’t it great to be human!
Ex. Again Epson is Godin’s sacrificial lamb. After nearly completing a transaction at their online store an error page appears. If people cannot spend money on your website then you will quickly be out on the street so test and monitor your transactions to ensure an optimal experience for your customers.
5. We all make mistakes- No matter how good you think you are you will screw up along the way. This is even true with online marketers. Whether it’s a faulty link or botched transaction it is important to confront the mistake head on in a timely fashion. Chances are if you make things right your customers will forgive you (at least us human beings have one endearing quality amongst are laziness, simplicity and mistake prone nature).
Ex. Even the online shopping mecca that is Amazon makes mistakes from time to time. Godin shows us an example of how he was sent the wrong email from the online retailer. Amazon then responded with a playful email apologizing for the mistake. Godin believes in using humor to atone for your mistakes.
6. Tailor made- You go to a men’s shop and get fitted for a suit. The tailor doesn’t just start hacking away at the fabric. He makes precise measurements to ensure the best fit possible. The same approach should be used with internet marketing. Web analytics are a very useful tool and should be leveraged to your advantage. Test things before you roll them out and then continue to track them so you can fine tune your web page to perfection.
7. We’re all frugal at heart- In most circumstances you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have an effective website but so many of us fall prey to the idea of the more we spend on a website the better it will be. No one likes to spend more money than we have to so be smart and only buy what you need to buy and watch your profits rise and see even the tightest penny pincher smile.
Ex. According to The Vermont Teddy Bear Company’s webmaster they gross $20 million a year in sales and their site only cost $4,000.
8. I’m the center of my own universe- All too often we get caught only considering ourselves. Unfortunately, this also holds true for web marketers. We lose track of the golden rule of sales and marketing- keep it about the customer. If you think from the perspective of your customers you should have a quality internet marketing campaign.
9. What’s in it for me?- So you’ve got them to land on your squeeze page but why should they give you their information? Give them a worthwhile banana such as premium content or professional newsletters via email.People won’t give you something unless they get something in return.
10. My mother told me never to talk to strangers- Someone has just met your web page for the first time and you are already demanding personal information. If that isn’t intrusive, I don’t know what is. Instead of asking for everything all at once just ask for an email address. Take the time to build a relationship and slowly get them to disclose other information.