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The ONLY Way to Market to Women Online

By Guest Blogger, Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter

Mary with phone number Michele Miller gave the top tip this week, which is....PUT YOUR PHONE NUMBER ON EVERY PAGE (upper right corner).  

But, be prepared - it's likely if you ask your web designer to do this - he or she will resist with every fiber of their "creative" being.  (Which is a warning sign you should be working with another designer.  You're in business for results not creative, "award-winning" web sites.)  It'll spoil the "design integrity" they will cry.  Remind them whose name is on the signature line of the check.

Four more things that aren't creative but will help your Web marketing.  (And, yes, these will also make a clueless creative type moan.)

Want people to come to you?  Put the address up there right under the phone number on every page. Want to really make it easy for your visitors?  Also link to a Google map.  The easier and quicker you make it, the more likely the viewer won 't end up at a competitors' site and location (which is likely listed right there with you in a Google search, even for "local" businesses. When was the last time you used a phone book, hmmmm?)  

Do it in large bold font. I don't want to have to find my reading glasses. (And here's where we remind everyone once again that us aging boomer women have a lot of disposable income...)

Tell me on the very first home/landing page what you do and why I should care.   Lose the cutesy flash intros and twirling graphic elements.  It's been reported time and again that we women use the Web as a tool; we don't appreciate the thrill of the chase. Tell me now and get out of my way. I'm busy...which brings me to...

Don't make me work to buy something.  Buh-Bye!   I once had a client who'd gotten snookered by the "advertising expert" to do a "progressive" sales funnel on the site (Huh?)  It was creative as all get out...and FORCED visitors to go through about five screens before they could BUY anything. It was all designed around a television commercial (that was well done), so if people were coming from that, they were already at least half-way to buying. Seems like it was a no-brainer to send them directly to the buy page from the initial "saw us on television?" text, doesn't it?  But, Oh, had to be "creative."  Do I really need to tell you that the conversion rate was terribly disappointing? Nahhh...

Bonus reminder from my "not all women are Mommies" soapbox: Don't slap stock photos of happy kids or families on your site and think you're done with the whole "marketing to women" thing, ESPECIALLY if your product isn't child or family-orientedSuch sloppy marketing is at best confusing; at worst, irritating.

You wouldn't construct an expensive store, with no signage or address, on a unmapped back road ...then hide all your stock behind a locked door...and never, ever publish your phone number.  So, how come so many web sites are built that way? Hmmm...


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Yvonne DiVita

I always recommend an 800#, Mary. We want to have easy access to someone that can answer our questions.

Another thing retailers ignore is the "share" opportunity. Women like to share. Give us options to do so. A simple "share with a friend" button is so easy to make. (I learned that lesson best from Andy Sernovitz - his Word of Mouth Marketing advice is always spot on, for both genders.)

Chuck McKay

Mary, it isn't just boomer women who need it large and bold.

Just yesterday I received an order from a company in New Jersey which said, "Acknowledge by faxing signed copy of this order." Their fax number is in 4-point type at the top of the page. I swear I had to get a magnifying glass to get the number. (Yeah... I've been carrying one these days).

If it hadn't meant money to me, I'd have tossed the thing in the trash.

PLEASE use 12-point type, or larger, and make it easy for people to get in touch with you.

Michele Miller

Bravo, Mary -- I should have known you would add great stuff to my one tip. Listen to her, business folks!

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