What are you selling?

I liked the school. I wanted to enroll in their classes. But after fifteen minutes, I realized they were too busy telling me how wonderful the place was, and I’d wasted a quarter-hour clicking through pages without being able to figure out what classes they have.

My friend was talking about summer college programs, but this is a problem I’ve seen on hotel websites, restaurant sites, and many others lately.

Maybe yours?

While I hope you’ve done plenty of research to figure out what the Ideal Customer comes to your website for—and designed the user experience with that Ideal Customer’s needs in mind—don’t forget that people come to your website at different stages in the buying process.

Too many sites seem to be very busy telling someone who’s new to the site why they should love the company—so busy that they’ve forgotten to tell someone who’s already sold, how to buy.

Sure, sometimes, you are selling the company to new visitors.

But sometimes, you’re just selling your darned stuff.

Don’t frustrate “pre-sold” customers with all the fluffy copy so much that they run away.

(And yes, my friend did enroll in the classes he needed at another university. One with a website that let him get right to the point.)

Are you selling what your customers are buying, at whatever point they’re at in the buying process? Or trying to force them to buy at your predetermined (and to the customer, arbitrary) pace?


Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson


P.S. re: Debugging—Hopefully the problems this site has been experiencing for the past couple of weeks with the footer floating in odd locations, and particularly in the past week with categories going screwy, posts being occasionally unavailable, and the site randomly crashing (!), are settled now. Thanks for your patience.

P.P.S. re: Debugging—I rarely get all techy on you here, but if you’re thinking of upgrading to WordPress 3.1, give them a little time. To sort out the bugs. So you don’t have to tear all your hair out (as happened here at MCE). (And that’s as “all techy” as I’ll go.)