Checking it out or checking out?

Internet marketing needs to learn lessons from already extablished bricks and mortar industries so they can draw upon decades of experience and not have to make unnecessary mistakes.

Data snatchers

This email newsletter caught me eye this morning. I subscribe to a lot of newsletters and it’s great to see something come in that is pitched perfectly at their audience and has a creative theme applied to this message. I love the what they’ve done with the main banner (above). It’s creative, well executed, appeals to their audience and is refreshingly humorous.
But there’s one big problem…

  1. I click on the email and it brings me to the rackspace web site (good!)
  2. I have a look around their very infomative hosting services site (very informative)
  3. Overall I get a good impression from them (becoming more interested)
  4. I decide to look at SLAs and benefits of using Racksapce (very good!)
  5. I decide I’m interested and look for pricing and order information. There’s none!

Or at least there appears to be none. Please have a look – am i missing something? I can’t see an ‘Order now’ button or any way of buying their products and services other than emailing them. Directly. Now this only takes two seconds but this is unecessary.

On a related note and to use a bricks and mortar example…

I took a trip to the supermarket last week to grab some ingredients. I was trying out a new Ainsley Harriott recipie ( i love that guy!) and since everyone had exceeded their yearly quota of his fish cakes or spaghetti bolognaise recipie it was time to do something different. While I was in the shops I saw at least three couples eye up the checkout ques, ditch their baskets and walk away with brass in pocket. I have to confess I did the same after i’d left everything back. I just didn’t have the patience. It was busy, everyone was rushing to do the Lottery and nobody was smiling. But at least next time I go down to the shops I know where the checkouts are are will probably actually hand over my money.

Now we all know how to buy groceries. We all know that the checkouts are usually at the end of the shop and they’ll even have big helpful arrows hanging from the cieling instructing us to ‘PAY HERE’. The groceries industry is an established one and these guys know their stuff. They know why we shop, when we shop, how we shop, what we want while they shop, how to get us to shop with them more often and how to get us to the checkout so they can make a sale.

If everyone in that shop were to fill their baskets, take out their wallets and then leave because they could not find the checkouts, I’d say the groceries industry would be in big trouble.

Fortunately for us the groceries industry solved this problem years ago. Just to emphasis the point, they now have even bigger arrows hanging from the celing and even more checkouts for bigger baskets. In fact even if i wanted to I don’t think I could leave their store without paying (and I do frequently want to!).

So my point is that your web site must make it easy for customers to purchase your products. Sounds simple? It is thankfully. Internet marketing is a very new discipline but fundamentals still apply. Think about how people use your web site, why they use it, what they are looking for while they use it and how to get them to come back more often. But unlimately, let them know HOW to buy something.