A buying decision is usually a long one. Think about entering a shoe store. Do you grab the first pair off the shelf in the front of the store and proceed to checkout? Probably not. So why do we continually see websites present us with their product or service and expect us to buy right away?
Fortunately, this is a trend that is in decline. More and more, companies are realizing that they need time to inform their potential customers of the value of their good or service. And in the world of the web, that means getting email addresses.
At my current job, we implemented a dramatic change to our website. We added an email submission field, just above the fold. None of our other content changed. We still had information about our product, testimonials from previous customers, and a section about price. But now, we have an option for a visitor to give us his or her email address to learn more and join our mailing list. And given that the price of our product starts at five thousand dollars, we decided that asking for an email address would yield better results than asking for five grand.
In the past, before our simple email form, we would see about two to three new signups a week. With the email form, we are still seeing that rate, but now we are also adding about ten to fifteen additional email addresses every day. Within a week, that’s about 100 more people with whom we now have the opportunity to communicate. That’s equivalent to all the folks that walked into that shoe store and didn’t buy anything. Except now we can contact them later and tell them more about our product. Or better yet, give them a discount if they try us out.
So if you’re company is selling something online, please, focus first on capturing your visitor’s email. Go for the soft touch, as they say. But remember, you have to give your visitor something in return. Maybe it’s a discount, or more information about what you do, or industry insider secrets. People value good information, and giving up an email address is often worth just that.