The perfect moment to market and/or communicate with a customer is just after they have successfully completed a task.
The customer is happiest just after they have quickly and easily completed their task. The faster and easier you have made it for them to complete their task, the happier they are. That is the perfect moment to communicate and market to them.
“People are generally more open to trying out new stuff after completing a successful transaction,” Tom Loosemore, deputy director at the UK Government Digital Service stated. In January 2013, on the "Thank You" page published after people had bought their tax disc, a request for organ donors would appear. “Over 350,000 people have now registered for organ donation via this one link on GOV.UK,” Tom explains.
A range of ways of asking people to donate were tested by the GOV.UK web team. The least effective way involved placing a picture of one of those happy smiling, enthusiastic, totally cliché groups of shiny people.
Tom explains that the “most successful variant introduced concepts of reciprocity and fairness by asking people: 'If you needed an organ transplant, would you have one? If so please help others.'” No shiny, happy people; but then it’s been known for years that well written text is what converts most on the Web.
As a result of testing, they got an extra 96,000 more people to register compared with the original call to action. Who says they don’t have the time or money to test?
Sparebanken Sogn og Fjordane in Norway used to have a very traditional banking homepage. It was full of expensive, beautifully shot pictures of make-believe customers thoroughly enjoying themselves as a direct result of being Sparebanken customers. Marketing nirvana.
However, the page was so cluttered and full of jargon that real customers were having problems logging into their accounts. So, the bank did something radical. It removed all traditional marketing from the homepage and focused on the login process. The end result? Happier customers and a 500 percent increase in visits to the product pages whose ads had been removed from the homepage.
The simple homepage was the very best marketing. Also, on the page customers saw when they logged out they were presented with appropriate offers. That proved very effective. Help people do what they came to do quickly and easily. Go on the journey they have decided to go on. Simplify it, and then at the end of that successful journey communicate something to them that is appropriate and useful. They will be much more open to your message.
The end of the task is not the only place to communicate. There are often logical progression points in tasks where appropriate communication can be very effective. We once worked for a retailer and noticed that they didn’t have a clear “Buy” button at the bottom of their product pages. They had the Buy button at the top of the page but the product pages were often long. We got them to add the Buy button at the bottom of the page and sales doubled.
Don’t disrupt the customer's journey. Support it, enhance it, expand it.
About the Author
Gerry McGovern, a content management author and consultant, has spoken, written and consulted extensively on writing for the web and web content management issues since 1994. His latest book is titled The Stranger's Long Neck: How to Deliver What Your Customers Really Want Online.
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