Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Keeping Incentives in front of the Customer

I see it all the time… especially with retail sites. Landing pages that may be optimized for the keyword, but are not thought through as entry pages to the site. That is, the product is there, with an engaging, keyword-rich description. The price is there, and a button to click to buy the product. But the page is missing the incentives that are advertised on the index page.

Incentives – whether free shipping, or a sale, or a free gift with purchase – often make the difference between a conversion and a bounce. When I was at Yahoo!, they presented us a study that showed free shipping as the number one reason why a customer would choose one online retailer over another. But it’s not enough to put the offer in the PPC copy.

Some sites bury their incentives, mentioning free shipping only on the shipping info page. Or mentioning a sale only on a category page. But most of our clients do better than that… even if it’s only at our recommendation… and make special offers a bold presence on their index page. This does no good, however, when the potential customer is entering on a product page.

If you have an incentive – make sure it’s visible on every page of the site. Look at every possible landing page as the entryway to your site, and remember most people will not go any further than that page. Keep those incentives in front of your visitors, no matter where they go on your site. Catch ‘em, convert ‘em and keep ‘em – even if they walk in through a side door.


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