How to piss off your visitors….

The title of the article was simply, "How to piss off your customers".  It was an evocative title that did it’s job… it got me tp click and begin reading the article.

Unfortunately, the article wasn’t about customer service or even order fulfillment but it was about spam and how the definition of spam is growing to include "anything you don’t want in your inbox".  I found the article mildly interesting with one important take away: 8 out of 10 users report using the "designate as spam" button for incoming emails. 

It was a great headline headlining a dull article that had absolutely NOTHING to do with the title.

Because of the business I’m in, I went digging further.  Was this a one time thing for this author?  Was he in the habit of writing great headlines that grabbed attention and then disappointing his readers with the article?

At the end of the article was the author’s bio which wisely included a link to his website.  I click and go there.  Located in PRIME real estate territory is a link called "One Page Marketing Piece"…. yet another compelling title and again, I’m a sucker.  I click. 

Without warning, I find my browser is opening a PDF document.

OH THE HUMANITY!  NOOOOO!!!  I have other apps running!  I’m installing an update!!!! 

ABANDON SHIP! 

Scotty’s voice, "Captain, I’m giving it all we’ve got but we just don’t have enough RAM to open that print quality PDF!"

BROWSER CRASH!!!!

I hit ctrll/alt/del… all of my other browser windows have closed except for one… the one opening that monstrous print quality PDF. 

What blows me away is this guy is a self proclaimed marketing expert AND customer service consultant.  He claims to have worked with really big companies on his web site (from what I saw before I made that fatal click).

Want to piss off your visitors?  Include a link to a print quality PDF (aka:HUGE FILE) and be sure not to warn visitors that the link leads to this massive document. 

When I include a link to a PDF document, I ALWAYS warn my visitors to download the PDF to their computer first. (I know… PDF documents are no longer the safe download they once were…. sometimes I HATE the progress hackers force upon us!)  I also provide instructions on how they can download the document and how, if they only click on the link, they will open the document in their browser which very well MAY crash their browser.

Want to piss off your visitors?  Include a link to a print quality PDF (aka:HUGE FILE) and be sure not to warn visitors that the link leads to a massive document.

Tightly targeting your blog helps increase it’s effectiveness

I love blogs because they are a boot strapping entrepreneur’s best friend.

For example, what do you do when you’ve got a concept that is "revolutionary" and therefore, by nature, NOT a topic of search on the internet?

That’s the quandry facing the web site "15 Minute Date". 

15minuteDate is a new concept in online matchmaking that combines the best of blind date and speed dating. Great concept, but the problem is twofold…

  1. No one is searching for the keywords "15 minute Date"
  2. Online dating is a HIGHLY competitive keyword term.

What’s an entrepreneur to do?  Launch a BLOG of course!!!  The 15 minute dating blog features True Dating Horror Stories and Tips from Real People.  Funny, engaging and provocative, blog entries like 20 things NOT to do on a first date are sure to catch the target audience’s eye.

I tell my clients over and over again that blogs act like bait…attracting readers AND journalists alike.  15MinuteDate.com is an outstanding example of this process in action.

Why I don’t claim to be a “web developer” anymore….

Ten years ago, I launched my own "web development" firm and called it Virtual Impax.  I left the wild and wonderful world of advertising (these were the days when the web wasn’t viewed as yet another advertising medium) to venture into the unexplored lands of the Information Highway.

greatidea.jpgAs I’ve written before, it didn’t take long for me to recognize that my clients came to me seeking a more effective way to advertise or market their businesses.  While they were ASKING for a web site, their DESIRE was for said web site to act as an effective marketing tool.   Because I had nearly 15 years of experience in the advertising arena… and because  I had learned by working with literally HUNDREDS of small businesses to create effective advertising campaigns…. I found myself providing a LOT more than just web development services.

KISS should have been my motto:  Keep It Simple, Stupid!  They ask for a web site, I should have DELIVERED exactly what they hired me to provide: a web site.  However, I just couldn’t provide JUST a web site….  I was dedicated to "Creating exceptional online marketing vehicles for your business."

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Just Do It! Defeating Perfectionism as a key to success

One of the reasons I ADORE working with clients is that by working through THEIR marketing issues, I’ve found that I get insight into my own productivity issues.

The most recent "affliction" I’m seeing: the perfectionist bug.  It’s an affliction with which I am VERY well acquainted.

I love the idea of perfection.  I even like to believe that it’s a achievable goal.  My desire for perfection delayed the publication of my book by at least a year and that’s only if you don’t count the near DECADE DELAY they played in WRITING the book.  For many, many years my upcoming book had to be perfect, or I wouldn’t write it at all.

I know that I had worked on the issue with several coaching professionals, each tried DESPERATELY to cure me of the affliction.  However, the real start to my recovery began when I picked up a book at Barnes and Noble.  I can’t even remember the name of the book or even the subject matter, I just remember finding more than one or two typos.  TYPOS!!!  (It wasn’t a self published POD type book either!)  The difference between that gentleman and myself:  his book was published and had been purchased by a total stranger.  My book was still living in my head as a fantasy and nothing more.

It’s only then that all the advice began to sink in… how launching a good marketing campaign today is infinitely better than launching a GREAT one next year.

There is so much I’d do differently if I were writing my book Beyond the Niche today.  (To begin with, I’d name it something more "compelling" like, "How to supercharge your marketing in 10 days or less")  However, had I waited to write the perfect book…. well, I’d still be tweaking the title.

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Is your WEBSITE is a waste of time?

Great post about When Is Blogging A Waste Of Time? 10 Nasty Examples. The first two are more than enough to weed out about 60% of the blogs I see.

1. When you publish a blog post that provides little or no value to your target audience.

2. When your blog has no clear target audience.

Which got me to thining that these two rules also apply to "When is your WEBSITE a waste of time?"  Because, in essences, blogs are just easy to manage web sites.

I confess.  I am guilty of putting together more than a few web sites for clients that had no clear target audience.  I tried to exorcise those demons by writing a book on the subject.  Because if you want to break through the cacophony that is modern media, you’re going to HAVE to define WHO your target audience is and provide material that the audience finds valuable.

Of course, content is only the first step in the successful web presence.  It’s truly the diamond in the box.  Sure, the presentation of an engagement ring is much more spectacular if the ring is presented in a beautifully wrapped gift box… but if the box contains a ring from a gum ball machine…. well, the pretty wrapper is soon forgotten.

I’ve always told my clients, great web sites are like a three legged stool…. there’s the content leg… the design leg and the coding leg.  Each is essential to keeping the three legged stool standing. 

There are other essential elements to web site succes, but the all have their roots in tightly targeted content that is of signficant value to your target audience.  Your NICHE MARKET, so to speak.  Once you’ve got your niche carved out, then it’s easy to fill in the gaps.