37 Ways You Are Confusing Your Customers


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Ever consider that what you are doing might be the reason your conversions aren't happening? Take a quick look at these no-nos...

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37 Ways You Are Confusing Your Customers

  1. 1. When  you  do  business  online,  communica2on  is   everything.  If  your  marke2ng  isn’t  clear,  poten2al   customers  get  confused,  and  when  customers  get  Intro confused,  they  leave  before  they  ever  know  what  it  is   you  offer.   Here  is  a  comprehensive  list  of  37  different  ways   marketers  and  businesspeople  confuse  their   customers,  and  how  you  can  avoid  making  the  same   mistakes.  
  2. 2. Social Media: Twitter
  3. 3. Inactive Twitter Accounts Fruit  of  the  Loom’s  TwiEer  account  has  three  tweets  #1 posted  in  a  three-­‐minute  2meframe  from  2011.  They   aren’t  exactly  gaining  social  momentum  with  this   account.  If  a  service  isn’t  part  of  your  strategy,  don’t   sign  up.  
  4. 4. Hashtag Overuse If  every  other  word  in  your  social  media  message  is  a  #2 hashtag,  maybe  you  don’t  know  how  these  work— that’s  what  customers  think.  If  your  hashtags  aren’t   deliberate  or  meaningful,  you  aren’t  using  them  right.  
  5. 5. Forcing a Hashtag#3 McDonalds  tried  their  hand  at  forcing  a  popular   hashtag  this  past  January  when  they  started   encouraging  people  to  share  #McDStories.  Their  plan   backfired,  and  gross  stories  of  fast  food  nightmares   began  filling  the  hashtag.  Forcing  posi2ve  customer   sen2ment  can  backfire  and  do  more  harm  than  good.  
  6. 6. Avoid the Egg#4 New  TwiEer  users  have  a  randomly  generated  “egg”   user  picture  when  they  sign  up.  This  should  be   obvious,  but  your  user  picture  is  a  branding   opportunity.  If  you  interact  with  users  without   changing  your  user  picture  to  something  that   represents  you,  you’ll  be  ignored  in  a  heartbeat.  
  7. 7. Hyperactive Brand Name Tracking#5 Businesses  should  ac2vely  track  men2ons  of  their   name  brand  on  social  networking  services,  and   interac2ng  with  users  that  men2on  you  is  a  great   strategy.  That  doesn’t  mean  you  should  act  on  every   single  men2on,  though:  replying  to  any  and  every   men2on  of  your  brand  can  come  off  as  obsessive  and   creepy.  
  8. 8. Automatic Social Sharing#6 Does  your  content  translate  across  mul2ple   mediums?  Automa2c  share  systems  that  distribute   your  new  content  across  all  of  your  social  networking   profiles  can  oYen  botch  the  sharing  ac2on  by   including  too  much  unnecessary  text  or  parsing   content  in  a  way  that  doesn’t  seem  natural.   Customers  pick  up  on  this  as  a  sign  of  laziness,  and   will  respond  to  it  accordingly.  
  9. 9. Unlock Twitter#7 Another  pet  peeve  of  mine:  locked  TwiEer  accounts.   TwiEer  is  about  social  sharing  and  interac2on.  If  you   aren’t  willing  to  unlock  your  TwiEer  profile  and  make   your  content  public,  there’s  no  reason  to  use  the   service—unless  you’re  trying  to  look  like  a  weird   social  media  stalker  business  on  purpose.  
  10. 10. Understand the Service#8 Poten2al  customers  can  tell  if  you  don’t  understand  a   social  media  service  or  you  aren’t  familiar  with  how   the  site  “works.”  If  you  join  TwiEer  to  promote   yourself  and  never  share  anything  or  interact  with   others,  people  will  avoid  you  on  principal.  Learn  how   to  be  a  social  media  user  before  you  start  promo2ng.  
  11. 11. Social Media: Facebook
  12. 12. Don’t Be a Ghost#9 Social  media  profiles  provide  space  to  share   informa2on  about  you  and  your  business  with  other   people.  Again,  this  is  another  branding  opportunity— fill  these  out!  A  blank  About  Me  sec2on  makes  you   look  untrustworthy  and  unworthy  of  new  business.  
  13. 13. Facebook Disengagement#10 Do  you  interact  with  your  Facebook  fans?  They’re   interac2ng  with  you,  and  if  you  aren’t  willing  to  return   the  favor,  you’re  chasing  poten2al  customers  away.  
  14. 14. Being Annoying#11 There  is  actually  a  content  strategy  called  “annoyance   marke2ng,”  and  it  can  work  some2mes—if  you’re   careful.  Social  media  is  not  the  best  place  to  make  this   strategy  work:  consider  that  with  each  post  you  make,   you’re  interrup2ng  your  customers’  personal  space   with  marke2ng  efforts.  Customers  are  generally  not   recep2ve  to  that,  so  make  sure  you  provide  some   value  with  each  post,  instead  of  chasing  them  away   with  annoying  disrup2ons.  
  15. 15. No Show, All Tell#12 Images  and  visual  content  go  a  long  way  online.   WriEen  content  for  social  media  without  a  visual   component  is  basically  throwing  away  a  good   exposure  opportunity.  Even  if  you  have  to  spend  extra   2me  finding  some  sort  of  relevant  image,  the   poten2al  reach  you  earn  by  calling  out  your  content   with  a  visual  cue  is  worth  the  effort.  
  16. 16. Keywords Galore#13 Consumers  spend  maybe  two  seconds  deciding  if  a   promo2onal  post  is  worth  reading.  Stuffing  your  social   content  with  keywords  like  you  would  write  longer-­‐ form  content  is  a  great  way  to  make  your  posts  look   like  a  fishy  sales  pitch  to  poten2al  customers.  
  17. 17. Open Your Privacy Settings#14 Don’t  send  customers  to  your  social  profiles  if  they   can’t  see  any  of  your  informa2on.  If  your  Facebook   profile  is  completely  locked  down,  people  will  leave   without  ever  looking  further  into  contac2ng  you.  
  18. 18. Web Content
  19. 19. Writing Over Your Customer’s Heads#15 I’ve  wriEen  about  this  extensively  before:  there’s   nothing  I  hate  more  as  a  consumer  than  content  that   isn’t  accessible.   There’s  no  reason  to  write  over  customers’  heads   unless  you’re  qualifying  your  customers  by  scaring   away  anyone  that  doesn’t  understand  what  you’re   wri2ng  about.    Writer’s  oYen  don’t  realize  they’re   doing  this  un2l  somebody  else  points  it  out,  so  be   careful.  
  20. 20. Vague Headlines#16 Just  like  your  menu  should  express  clear,  immediately   recognizable  intent,  your  2tle  lines  should  be  clear  as   well.  Is  your  product  the  best  in  the  market?  Then  say   so,  don’t  hint  at  it.  Vague  headlines  are  a  major  point   of  frustra2on  for  poten2al  customers  because  they   can  be  misleading.  
  21. 21. 6   Making Assumptions#17 Don’t  write  content  based  on  assump2ons  about  your   target  market.  Customers  start  to  scratch  their  heads   when  they  read  content  that  is  obviously  directed  at   them,  but  doesn’t  actually  apply  to  them.  
  22. 22. e Rhetorical Question#18 Marketers  like  to  use  “do  you  need  this?”  taglines  and   have  worn  them  out  for  years.  It’s  supposed  to  make   the  customer  tell  themselves  “oh,  I  guess  I  do!”  We’re   smarter  than  this  now.  Once  in  a  while  these  are  okay,   but  don’t  hinge  your  en2re  conversion  on  a  2red   marke2ng  gag.  
  23. 23. Print and Online Are Different#19 Businesses  will  oYen  repurpose  their  printed   marke2ng  materials  for  online  use  by  simply  throwing   the  image  or  raw  content  online,  without  changing  it   or  op2mizing  it  for  the  web.  This  is  a  big  no-­‐no:  large   images  (like  print  ads)  are  difficult  to  navigate  online,   and  consumers  are  very  frustrated  when  there  aren’t   interac2ve  elements  where  they  should  be   an2cipated.  Repurposing  print  content  for  the  web  is   fine,  but  be  smart  about  it.  
  24. 24. QR Codes Can Backfire#20 Marketers  oYen  throw  QR  codes  into  their   promo2onal  material  because  it’s  cheap  and  easy.  QR   codes  have  a  bad  reputa2on  for  requiring  lots  of  effort   to  produce  minimal  value.  Don’t  use  a  QR  code   without  making  the  value  of  a  scan  immediately   apparent  and  worthwhile.  
  25. 25. Mystery Links#21 Hyperlinks  are  a  major  distrac2on.  If  you  fill  your  page   design  and  content  up  with  them,  it’s  tough  to  focus   on  the  actual  content.  Make  every  link  count,  don’t   load  up  content  with  links  to  every  liEle  relevant  thing   you  can  think  of.  
  26. 26. Over Anchoring#22 I  was  reading  an  ar2cle  today  about  a  service  that   checked  if  your  password  had  been  stolen  aYer  a   recent  hack,  and  I  counted  14  anchor  text  links  in  the   content  of  the  ar2cle.  The  actual  service  was  one  of   the  last  links  on  the  page.  The  rest  were  links  poin2ng   directly  to  other  ar2cles  wriEen  by  the  same  news   site.  Ugh!  If  your  link  content  is  important,  make  sure   customers  can  find  it  easily.  
  27. 27. Link-Bating is Old News#23 Pos2ng  anchor  text  or  a  link  promising  something   incredible  or  valuable,  then  having  it  link  directly  to   one  of  your  conversion  pages  is  decep2ve.  Customers   don’t  appreciate  this,  and  although  it  used  to  be  a   popular  content  strategy,  now  it  just  makes  customers   lose  trust  in  your  brand.  
  28. 28. Appreciate Customer Needs#25 Your  web  content  shouldn’t  be  designed  solely  to  sell   your  products  or  services.  You’ll  earn  more   conversions  from  content  that  empathizes  with   customers’  problems  and  needs.  Emphasize  that  you   are  providing  a  valuable  service  instead  of  just   cour2ng  a  sale.  
  29. 29. Website Design
  30. 30. Overloading Your Site Navigation#26 Small  businesses  oYen  design  their  websites  so  that   everything  they  possibly  offer  is  crammed  into  an   overly  busy  homepage  menu.  Don’t  throw  your  en2re   business  at  customers  when  they  first  arrive.  Use  your   head  and  guide  users  through  your  services  with   call  to  ac2on  cues  and  deliberately  designed  paths   through  your  content.  
  31. 31. Vague Navigation#26 Another  mistake  small  businesses  oYen  make  is   pulng  2tles  on  their  naviga2on  page  that  aren’t   specific.  Making  a  menu  item  that  simply  reads   “Lovelies”  instead  of  a  buEon  that  says  “My  Products”   is  a  great  way  to  lose  poten2al  sales.  Your  naviga2on   needs  to  make  it  absolutely  clear  what  customers  can   click  on  and  what  they  can  expect  on  the  other  side.  
  32. 32. Aiming Big#27 Many  small  businesses  make  the  mistake  of  trying  to   align  themselves  with  massive,  mul2million-­‐dollar   corpora2ons  right  from  the  start.  Most  of  your   poten2al  customers  aren’t  members  of  Fortune  500   companies,  especially  in  the  B2B  market.  If  your   services  rival  large  corpora2ons’  abili2es,  that’s  a   great  sales  point.  Make  sure  that  your  bold  claims   aren’t  making  your  services  seem  inaccessible  to   everyone  else,  though.  
  33. 33. Hiding Your Contact Info#28 If  you  aren’t  providing  an  anchor  link  to  your  info   every  single  2me  you  say  “Contact  Us,”  you’d  beEer   make  your  contact  page  absolutely  visible  somewhere   nearby.  Users  that  want  to  contact  you  will  get   confused  and  leave  if  they  can’t  find  your  contact   informa2on,  and  it  is  typically  an  aYerthought  in  site   design.  
  34. 34. One Size Doesn’t Fit All#29 If  you  have  mul2ple  customer  targets  you’re  trying  to   market  to,  you  should  offer  different  pages  that  offer   content  specifically  tailored  to  them.  “Universal”   content  marke2ng  doesn’t  exist,  and  is  usually  just  a   way  to  make  “vague  content”  sound  beEer.  
  35. 35. Tighten Your Focus#30 It’s  okay  to  cater  to  mul2ple  target  markets,  but  you   can’t  provide  everything  for  everyone.  Content  and   naviga2on  design  that  appeals  to  the  broadest   demographic  truly  targets  no  one,  and  your   conversions  will  reflect  your  confusing  targe2ng   tac2cs.  
  36. 36. Be Considerate in Your Followup#31 Not  all  customers  will  convert  as  soon  as  they  land  on   your  page.  Having  an  automa2c  follow-­‐up  built  in  to   your  page,  like  a  newsleEer  opt-­‐in  or  a  “Get  More   Informa2on”  link,  is  a  great  tool,  but  only  if  you  don’t   slam  your  conversions  with  too  much  follow-­‐up,  too   fast.  
  37. 37. Offers and Discounts
  38. 38. Provide Adequate Information#32 It’s  all  too  common  for  products  to  be  listed  on   business  websites  with  absolutely  zero  descrip2ve   content  provided.  Give  customers  more  than  a  name   and  a  price,  or  they’ll  start  to  wonder  why  exactly   they  should  buy  it.  
  39. 39. Don’t Offer False Value#33 I  recently  saw  an  awful  discount  for  a  digital   entertainment  product  online:  pre-­‐purchase  four   unreleased  pieces  of  soYware  and  get  them  the  day   they  come  out.  The  “premium”  price  was  $50,  and   each  piece  of  soYware  was  $15  each.  Great,  so  I’m   saving  $10  on  one  piece  of  soYware,  and  that’s  only  if   I  even  want  to  purchase  all  four,  which  I  don’t.  If   you’re  going  to  offer  a  deal,  offer  a  good  one.  
  40. 40. Nobody Likes to Jump rough Hoops#34 Scan  this  QR  code  and  check  in  on  Foursquare  and   leave  a  review  on  Yelp  and  print  this  Groupon  offer   and  THEN  you  can  have  your  15%  off?  No  thank  you.   You  can  provide  condi2onal  discounts,  but  don’t  lock   customers  out  by  making  it  unnecessarily  difficult.  
  41. 41. Tiered Rewards Can Discourage Customers#35 If  you  have  a  2ered  customer  rewards  system,  don’t   set  the  bar  for  joining  a  higher  level  too  high,  and   make  sure  the  increased  value  is  worth  the  price  of   reaching  that  point.  If  your  2ered  reward  system   doesn’t  provide  value  that  is  immediately  apparent,   it’s  probably  underwhelming  or  confusing.  
  42. 42. Offers Must Be Timely#36 I  can’t  even  count  how  many  2mes  I’ve  received  email   offers  that  expire  by  the  2me  I  see  them.  Don’t  send   out  email  offers  that  expire  24  hours  aYer  the  email   goes  out—give  your  customers  some  lead  2me  to  act   on  your  deals.  
  43. 43. Offer Repeat Business Incentives#37 There  are  a  few  online  shops  I  am  happy  to  be  a   repeat  customer  on.  I  just  wish  that  every  now  and   then,  I  could  get  a  10%  or  15%  discount  for  my  next   visit  aYer  I  check  out.  Don’t  let  customers  think  that   you  don’t  want  their  business  again  in  the  future.  
  44. 44. Conclusion Helpful?  Have  anything  else  to  add?    Leave  a   comment  for  us  below!