I was reading a great blog on how to write good copy, today. Over at CopyBlogger, I learned "How to Get 53% More Readers for Every Blog Post You Write." Not really. The tutorial, which I highly recommend, is all about writing compelling headlines. I'm all for compelling headlines, but...I can tell you up front that, as a woman, if you lead me on...and let me down - you've lost me forever. Brian Clark talks a good game, but - he admits that he made the stat above up, so...I'm left figuring that he's like all the other copywriters who think a strong come-on will get the sale.
When I first started using the Internet, I thought a great headline was the be-all and end-all of success. I read all the right folks - from ClickZ to Marketing Profs, and more. I devoured books on marketing and branding, and talked to professionals to get the inside scoop. In the end, I learned that few of the so-called experts understood marketing to women, let alone marketing to women online. Hence, my book, Dickless Marketing - and this blog about marketing to women online.
I don't want to diss Brian Clark - I like what he writes, and I think he writes well. I agree that eye-catching headlines rock, but I want to caution you to be selective about the language you use to lure women into your blog or website. Jane is all grown-up now. She doesn't let Dick tell her what to do (or buy) and she isn't fooled by headlines such as the one Brian wrote on May 24th, then admitted was not completely true. (fact is - according to further research by Brian - he underestimated the number of increased readers you can get with a compelling headline; it's more like 73%, according to this Marketing Experiment.)
If you're hoping to get Jane, and all her friends and family, to buy - because, after all, Jane never shops alone, you'd better make sure you have your stats right, your descriptions correct, and are prepared to back up your shipping arrangements. Being aware of how women shop, what they want, and how they react when they don't get what they want is more important today than it was two years ago when I wrote my book. Why? Because today, Jane blogs. She blogs about you, about your products and services, and about your customer service. She blogs about how good her Starbucks' latte' was this morning, and about what she hopes her significant other is planning for her anniversary. She blogs about her kids and her pets and the latest great blog about her gender.
Not all of that blogging is sunshine and gumdrops, folks. If you tell Jane she can get two for the price of one, or half-off of everything over $100 - you'd better be prepared to include everything in those offers. Because - although new reports say good news spreads faster than bad news - trust me, Jane has a long memory for disappointment. She is not going to fume about mistreatment the way she did in that old Dick and Jane world of the 20th century. She's going to share her bad experiences with all her blog buddies - all over the world.
I guess it's one way to become famous.
Tomorrow I'm heading north to Toronto. I'll be talking marketing to women online, and branding with blogs, to some good folks at Open Dialogue. You can see their logo on the right-hand side of this blog. I'll be quoting Jackie Hubba of Church of the Customer, saying product bloggers "feel like they own the brand, that it's theirs. They feel like they're doing the world a service." My point: that by being good citizen journalists - reporting on - oh, everything and everyone, product bloggers like Jane can elevate you like a guest on Oprah, or drag you down like a screaming two-year-old, all with a few clicks of her mouse.
Don't offer her 53% when she knows she can get 73%. Don't restrict her shopping with poor navigation. Don't display your items on fashion models that need a good breakfast. Do offer her bargains, real sales, gifts with purchase, and respect. Then, keep her coming back by helping her kids remember her birthday - for heaven's sake, they're online all day and night!
More on the kids another time...