So I am on Seth Godin’s email list and receive daily blog posts from him. By the way, if you aren’t on his list, get on it, today! He is full of great information. So anyway, today he was talking about websites that hide their email address or even worse, make a visitor fill out some form with multiple questions to get the additional information that is needed. Gimme a break! That is a BIG web marketing n0-no. If your website marketing plan calls for hiding your email address from your customers, make a new website marketing plan, because chances are your plan was created by someone whose knowledge is severely lacking.
First of all, the only reason a company would remove their email from their site is because of spam and as Seth Godin points out “deleting spam is a lot easier than finding customers” and I couldn’t agree with him more. And forms are so old school; just put your email address for crying out loud. Get a little creative if you want to collect information from web visitors without having them fill out a huge form just to connect with you.
So what do you do to get visitors to engage with your website without making them jump through too many hoops? One of the things that you can do is offer them something of great worth like a white paper and in order for them to get it, they have to hand over their name and email, yes, just those two things and nothing more. Studies show that you may be able to get away with asking the visitor for up to 4 pieces of information but at a first “meeting” I think you are pushing it. Another thing to do is get rid of ALL those lengthy online forms. The visitor isn’t dumb, they know that you are trying to profile them and see how serious they are. And because of this fact, they may return to their initial Google search and look elsewhere. And you are left with…NOTHING. Forms just create an additional wall for them to get a hold of you. Freely give out your email address, phone numbers, etc. so that they can choose to make the next step easily. You know, if they email you, you still get their email address, and that is enough to be able to followup with them at a later date. Bottom line is that most people won’t purchase from you on the spot, the relationship will need to be built upon over time, but if you get their email address, you can continue to build that relationship.