E-Commerce Insights: Get to ‘Yes’
If you can’t get your prospects to say yes to coffee … err … e-mail, what are the chances you’ll persuade them to show you credit cards and place orders?
Your Web site users are real people. They know you don’t need their street addresses to send e-mail. They know you don’t need billing and shipping addresses to set up a wish list.
Your users decide when and what information they want to give you based on the relevance of your requests to their immediate goals and the value you’re offering in exchange. That’s why you don’t bring a diamond ring to that first date or ask for much more than an e-mail address to send someone an e-mail on a sign-up form.
Scoring on a Date
Success in online marketing is like dating. You get to move forward based on gaining assent to your series of well-timed yes/no questions.
In his classic text, “Permission Marketing,” Internet marketing guru Seth Godin writes, “permission is a process, not a moment.” In other words, “yes” to coffee leads to “yes” to dinner leads to … Before you know it, you’re cosigning the mortgage.
Embrace Godin’s notion of drip irrigation marketing. Online sign-up forms should be short, simple and ask only for truly relevant information. Get someone to say, “Yes!” Then calmly ask your next question.
Take another look at your site’s four key sign-up processes. Each ends with a confirmation page. How well are you using this valuable Web real estate? Use these pages to say thanks, and then gather more marketing information.
4 Thanks for your e-mail address! Would you like a catalog?
4 Thanks for the catalog sign-up! Would you like to create an account?
4 Thanks for the account sign-up! Here’s your first, relevant, special offer.