One of the key nuggets that I got from the Website Clinic with Dean Jackson last week was the purpose of a website – get your visitors email address so that you can “engage” with them and start to build a relationship.
And it clicked for me today that you can *not* actually create a relationship with someone on your website.
The relationship doesn’t actually start until there is a little bit of “back and forth”… each party must give something to the other. You give some value in the form of a special report or a newsletter or such, and your visitor gives you their email address in exchange for the value. Voila! At that point the relationship has begun.
So a relationship is not started (or continued) on your website alone. If someone comes to visit, takes a peek around and leaves without giving their email address then the relationship is lost before it has even begun.
What does this mean?
Simple. The ONLY purpose of your website should be to give something of value to your visitors in exchange for their email address. Nothing more, nothing less (yes, im being extreme).
Most of us have a tendency to throw everything up on our site – we tell them all about our services, products, articles we’ve written, bios, etc. This “info overload” approach can be an issue for a couple of reasons.
1. A confused mind doesn’t buy (or take the next step). If you have too much information on your website, particularly your homepage, your request to capture their email address can get buried and missed.
2. You may lose the opportunity to start a relationship with that person. If they can find out everything they need to know on your website, why would they bother to give you their email address to find out more?
Keep your website clean and focused, so the only thing a person can do at your site is give you their email address. Then, once you have their email address you can tell them all about your other offerings in a series of autoresponders (there is an art to doing a great autoresponder, but that’s another story).
Take a look at this webpage:
The page is short, simple and compelling… you better believe that i’m going to sign up if i’m getting married anytime soon! (We need to be interested in what is being offered of course.)
You will also notice that she is not signing you up for a newsletter. She is offering a “wedding planning ecourse” and “free instant access to wedding saving secrets” – which is actually another sales page to buy her ebook!
I also love this “no newsletter” approach as it takes away that obligation to keep churning out a newsletter every week or so (for those of us who don’t want to work that hard ;). But, having captured my email address she can still contact me down the road.
Great stuff, I love it. And of course, fits my mantra of being “super simple”!
Curious, what do you think? How do you see this applying to your website? Post a comment below.