Why are you running a website based on marketing tricks instead of transparency?

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I had a semi-deep thought this morning and decided to write a post about it. It won’t be anything remarkable or even that nuanced, but I think people might be missing the boat when it comes to how to design/structure a website where the ultimate goal is sales. (I don’t mean e-commerce. That’s a different boat.) What I’m talking about here are company websites where the company sells a service/product, but it requires some form of implementation — i.e. it’s not something you can “Add To Cart” or buy with one click. Rather, you need to connect with a member of the company and walk through problems/solutions.

Following the bouncing ball:

Point is: there’s more ways to get into “the funnel.” To borrow from baseball, it’s not as simple as getting a hit or drawing a walk and getting to first base. There are a bunch of ways to “sneak” through the process, and a bunch of ways to make companies ID you as a lead when in fact you’re just messing around on their website. B2B marketing, especially, can fall for this and be akin to stalking in the process.

So here’s a new idea. Not revolutionary, but new.

Instead of putting up a landing page where you give away something in exchange for an e-mail, or whatever — or instead of any number of marketing tricks and tips bullshit — what if you just did this?

Make a landing page.

It’s a form.

Ask people two questions.

1. Why did you end up on this website?

2. Is your business facing a problem that maybe we could help you with?

Then:

If so, give us your e-mail address. We’ll be in touch to start the conversation.

That’s it.

Three lines.

How/why did you get here?

What’s the issue you need help with?

Let’s start a conversation.

Simple. No sales shit. No marketing shit. No offers. No e-mail capture that leads to 20 e-mails across a week with titles like “The ONE Marketing Metric You Need To Know!”

No bullshit at all. Just a question, an offer of a solution, and an e-mail address.

No drip campaigns or content marketing approaches. Nothing.

Why are you here?

What’s your problem?

Let’s talk.

Done and done.

Transparency should be a goal of organizations with their employees — although that’s hard — but it should even more be a goal with customers.

Who wants to get in bed with someone they don’t trust or understand, right?

So why can’t we eliminate the idea of “lead scoring” / “lead capture” / “lead generation” and replace it with “Creating Solutions And Starting Conversations?”

Am I on crack for thinking this?

My name’s Ted Bauer; I blog here regularly and I’m a member of the BlogPoets network. I try to think differently about work, the future of work, leadership, management, marketing, organizational development, customer experience, and more. I was also recently (unfortunately) laid off from the job I moved to Texas for, so I’m looking for new opportunities. If you can help at all in that regard, I’d love to talk. Connections, ahoy!

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Blogging, largely about work and how to improve it. How I make (some) money: http://thecontextofthings.com/hire-freelance-writer-ted-bauer/

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