Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

FE, Education & Business Marketing: Quick, Effective, Low Cost Marketing

Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician
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Tag: website errors

Why Websites Often Fail: Some People Don’t Understand This

Some Business Owners Don’t Get It! 

Some Business Owners Don’t Understand Websites

In the run up to last Christmas I decided to order some fresh guinea fowls for Christmas lunch (it’s wonderful meat if cooked in a rich South African red wine sauce with grapes and .. sorry I digress).

So I goggled and found some locally.  I found the website of a local farm, followed the link to seasonal offers and was amazed by the value offered. 

Then I phoned them to place my order.  That’s when reality sank in.

 

The price I was quoted was way out from the website .. then I saw that the seasonal offer was five years old.   The person on the phone apologised and said they’d been really busy and not had time to change the website (in five years?).  

Sadly their prices were so much higher than what I was expecting I decided to “think about it” .. and we all know that people that think about it never come back. 

The really sad thing is that it is now late February and the 2011 price list is still there and they are never ever likely to see my money.  My guess is that lots of other prospective customers whose business they have lost simply because they haven’t kept their website up to date. 

So their website is failing to do what it was designed to do .. sell. 

I have to confess that my own site needs regular attention and I’m not saying I’ve never made a mistake (I have made plenty).  But this demonstrates how business can be lost if we don’t keep vital data like price lists and telephone numbers up to date.

 

Confession time; I recently spotted that I hadn’t changed the telephone numbers on all my website pages .. the obvious ones had been done but a few pages also had numbers on them and I had to spend a while updating them as well. 

Don’t be like me (and the above guinea fowl farmer), keep your site and literature up to date.

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Website Sin 8 ….. Not Collecting Your Website Visitors Email Addresses

There are Eight Cardinal Sins many website owners make and the eighth of these is………..

 

Not Collecting Your Website Visitors Email Addresses

Your website can be your best marketing tool and grow your business ….or it can damage your business irreparably.  This article, number eight in a series of eight, examines one of the key website sins that you must avoid if your website is to be successful.

This is the most important rule of all.  You have worked hard to get someone to visit your site and they were interested enough to do so.  Isn’t it totally ludicrous that when they leave your site you probably don’t know who they were and how to contact them again. 

It needn’t be like that.  Offer them something in return for their email address and many will respond.  It might be as easy as signing up to your newsletter.  Whatever it is a proportion of visitors will provide their email address  …… and their permission to send them more information later.

This enables you to build a relationship with website visitors that can last for years. 

So what else might they sign up for? Well the favourite is a newsletter, White Paper or Information Product. For example many people sign up to my newsletter because I offer an information product or white paper on my Top Five Marketing Strategies. This is available in several versions depending on the market niche I am targeting. For example I offer my Top Five School Marketing Strategies which is similar to the standard Top Five Marketing Strategies but has been contextualised for people marketing private and public sector schools. There are also versions for other sectors and industries with specific advice relating to that particular niche.

Why choose these niches? Simple. Because I know that people in these niches are searching specifically for the information I’m providing ….. and I have some specific useful information on the sector and can help them.

We all have specific information to impart along these principles. For example a retailer of watches might provide tips on selecting different types of watches – it might be Selecting a watch for water sports enthusiasts or Selecting a watch as a fashion accessory. Likewise you will have expertise of your own that you can use to produce a product.

The main thing is that you offer something that people will value, and are prepared to exchange their email details for, as your objective is to harvest email addresses of people you can build a relationship with.

This simple technique is very low cost – you need a piece of simple software but the weekly software costs are about the same as a one cup of coffee a week in your favourite coffee shop or restaurant. The return you can get is enormous.

One of my current customers has signed six separate contracts with me over the last two years. They have been worth over £100,000 in income to my business; but came to me after having read my newsletter for 14 months. Need I say more ……..?

Intrigued by marketing ideas like this? Then ensure you are signed up to my regular newsletter; it is free and packed with practical marketing tips that really work. 

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Website Sin 7 ….. Not Integrating On-line and Off-line Marketing

There are Eight Cardinal Sins many website owners make and the seventh of these is

 

Not Integrating On-line and Off-line Marketing

 

Your website can be your best marketing tool and grow your business ….or it can damage your business irreparably.  This article, number seven in a series of eight, examines one of the key website sins that you must avoid if your website is to be successful.


Having an online marketing strategy is not enough on its own.  It needs to be integrated with the offline strategy.  If you are running a campaign offline, say an advertising campaign to promote your newsletter, then it should also appear online in a similar form.  Certainly the same images and copy should appear in both campaigns and they should work to reinforce one another.  What you don’t want are two separate campaigns with conflicting images and copy.  This will lead to confusion and confused people take the easy way out – in this case they do nothing and don’t subscribe.

Think of it this way. We know that message repetition is good at reinforcing the ideas we are trying to get people to remember and recall. Think of the nursery rhymes and songs you learnt as a child. you heard them over and over again and they are now part of your memory and almost impossible to erase. you may have learnt them years ago, and may not have thought of them since, but hear a few words or a few notes and you can recall the whole thing.

Well our messages need to work in a similar way. We need our prospects to see or hear our message several times if they are to remember them. If they see them in several formats it will help to reinforce the message and they will retain it longer. Remember those early songs and nursery rhymes; several people probably recited or sung them to you and this helped reinforce the message. So if a prospect sees the same message on-line and off-line it will help them recall your message.

 

So how do you do this? The easiest way is to ensure that you use the same straplines, logos, catch phrases, images and sounds in all campaigns. It isn't difficult, is likely to cost you less in design and production of artwork and will significantly improve your return on investment.

Intrigued by marketing ideas like this? Then ensure you are signed up to my regular newsletter; it is free and packed with practical marketing tips that really work. 

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Website Sin 6 ….. Not Having an Emarketing Strategy

 

There are Eight Cardinal Sins many website owners make and the sixth of these is

 

Not Having An Emarketing Strategy

 

Having a well-optimised site with lots of visitors should make it quite easy for a website to "sell" an offer, services or products. This is not the case.

Many sites have poor navigation and make the "purchase" process far to cumbersome to sell anything. By purchase I mean anything from signing up to a newsletter to actually buying a product online. In all cases the process and rules are the same.

 

If you "hide" the link to the action or sales page it will be hard to find and will not sell much. One site I looked at recently had a menu bar that used orange text on a red background. It was hard to see by those with good eyesight and impossible if the visitor were colour blind.

 

The message here is to ensure your site is easy to read and navigate with clear links and buttons.

Other strategies include ensuring that "calls to actions" like an email function, newsletter subscription or shopping carts are easy to use. There is an inevitable loss of "sales" every time another page is displayed during the sales process. Therefore keep the number of pages to a minimum and make the process as easy as possible.

 

You can check to see where you have "leakage" in the process by using Google Analytics, or similar, to check bounce rates and more importantly where the visitor goes next. It is then possible to devise a tactic to "plug" the gap.

 

Having got your website working you also need to ask how visitors will find your site. Being on Page One of Google will help. If you can't do this via the natural or organic listings consider using Google Adwords, advertising on other sites or ensuring you have links from other sites as a first step.

 

Intrigued by marketing ideas like this? Then ensure you are signed up to my regular newsletter; it is free and packed with pratical marketing tips that really work. 

 

 

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