Let’s Cut To The Chase

Estelle Weyl’s tweet today:

Stop asking me for my location. Stop asking me about push notifications. Stop asking for my email. Especially on my 1st visit to your site!

is especially compelling to me today because I was earlier managing a customer support issue around embedding MailChimp technology on one their sites. Our current system only lets you install the famous MailChimp popup — and not the more quiet version of the email address ask.

You know what I am referring to — that “proven” way to get your visitors to sign up and join your mailing list and become your customer forever! Take over the entire screen and give your new visitor the opportunity of a lifetime. Do it now!

But why? Why would I do it when I know so little about the site I am visiting? That thought was bothering me, so I was happy to read the same conundrum happening with Estelle today.

What was my response to my customer struggling with our technology to more aggressively embed the signup form on their site? To table the technical issues, and to instead step back and ask why a complete stranger would sign up for their site. I asked the customer to ask what their customer is thinking. Which is: “What’s in it for me?”

So we rewrote the copy of their Contact form to change from, “I would love to hear from you and get ideas about what you want to hear …”, to the more transaction-oriented “I will send you my list of ten proven tips for XYZ to print out and hang on your refrigerator door to ….” You know that I’m not talking rocket science here, and this is not a new revolutionary way of thinking.

These days I find that we have all the technology to do almost anything. But technology alone often doesn’t get other people to do things. So remaining empathetic to what your customer or, in the case of a sitebuilding business like ours, what your customer’s customers needs are can never be swept aside.

Relationships matter — and technology can either help you build relationships or destroy them — even when delivered with an emoji smile 😀. So I work to always remember to not just cut to the chase. I try to remember that it’s about you, and it’s never about me. Thanks so much for visiting our blog!

By John Maeda

I'm a learner. By training.