The Nasty, Ugly Truth About Websites

Every single piece of advice, even from the so-called “experts” I’ve read, listened to, and watched has told me, you, and anyone else that uses websites, that we must, without fail,

PUT OUR WEBSITE ADDRESS ON EVERYTHING, AND TATTOO IT

ON OUR FOREHEAD, TOO, IF WE THINK THAT WILL HELP.

 

Listen, you know I ALWAYS give you the straight scoop. I don’t beat around the bush when I give advice, but my own, too, since I follow my own advice very carefully on a regular, daily basis.

This time’s no different.

If you ignore everything I tell you for the next year and you’ve ignored everything I’ve said if you absorb this message and this message only (unless you don’t have a website),I will be happy.

We recently tested a number of postcards for clients.

Here’s what we found in our Simple Green Postcard testing results:

If a website is mentioned on the postcards, it’s very likely to KILL response by as much as 50% OR MORE.

That’s right. By putting your website on your postcard, as we’ve all been led to believe is a GOOD thing, could really hurt results. Imagine: It’s like spending twice the money you need to get the same ROI. Yuck!

Here’s my theory, and, I think it’s a good one:

Listing a website on the media (in this case, a postcard), detracts from the impact and urgency the postcard implies. It allows the recipient, your potential patient, to GET DISTRACTED and PUT OFF calling your practice and making an appointment.

 

In a very informal, yet highly reliable survey (no, it was not conducted by an accounting firm thank goodness), respondents clearly indicated they would VISIT THE SITE FIRST, then, based on the “look and feel” of the site and what the people on it looked like, they would then MAYBE call the office to make an appointment.

Gary Halbert. Like him or hate him (he’s controversial in his own right, but an incredible copywriter and “salesman in print”), Gary talks at length about what he refers to as the Greased Slide effect.

What he means is that when you grab someone’s attention by the throat and DEMAND your advertising piece is paid attention to, the last thing you want them to do is put the piece down and surf the net or worse, NEVER act on it! You want them to CALL YOU RIGHT NOW! You want that person to be seduced by the promise or benefit in the headline, get them to read the first line, the second line and so on, all the while identifying their “problem,” agitating the daylights out of them, identifying with them and THEN, while their guard is down, GIVE THEM THE SOLUTION to their problem.

I believe NOTHING in dental advertising works like my Simple Green Postcard to do that.

Our “failures,” where we’ve had less than a 5-10 NP return on 1,000 postcards has been when we let the prospect fall off the greased slide, or worse, get them on it and then ask them to get off and go surf the internet.

Now, I’m speaking very specifically in terms of PRINT advertising where you are trying to get the prospect to take IMMEDIATE action and call…not dilly dally around and go visit a crazy website (that may be down at the time they try it! It’s happened to me many, MANY times!). Please DO NOT misinterpret what I am saying and go have your letterhead, business cards, envelopes, and so on re-printed because you think I believe it’s bad to have your website address on these items. I think they should be.

When you want to get people to focus, you have to give them one thing and one thing only to focus on!

If you want ACTION on the part of the prospect, don’t let them get de-railed and screw around and surf on the Internet. You’ve not put yourself in a VERY precarious position. Cause then, all the surfer geek has to do is punch in a search on Yahoo! for another office in the area and VIOLA, he’s been sucked into another void on the ‘net and your advertising is responsible for taking him there!

Anyway, this is my BIG LESSON of the year…I believe it’s VERY significant and one you simply cannot afford to ignore!

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