Now that you’ve seen Parts 1 and 2, where we found that the smartest way to persuade early-stage customers is to educate them, let’s focus on how to provide a consistent experience for them.
As we look at how Cabelas.com and BassProShops.com prepare to catch the Early Bird customer, consider the following:
- Relevance — If they’re not ready yet, don’t get carried away. (Is your website proposing marriage on the first date?)
- Screen Space — Early Birds need to know that they’re welcome, right from the homepage. Give them enough space, and combine relevance with scent to lead them in the right direction. (Use the battleship grid to protect the Early Bird from winding up in irrelevant worm holes.)
- Scent Trails — Not even the brightest of basset hounds can help you with this one, but creating the right scent for the customer to follow is key; particularly when they’re early in the buying process, and may not even have the vocabulary to know what they should be asking. If they come in with the wrong questions, and don’t buy, they should at least leave with the right ones. Help them find their way.
- AIDAS — Awareness. Interest. Desire. Action. Satisfaction. If customers aren’t aware of you, there’s no place to move forward. If you haven’t grabbed their interest, forget it. If there’s no emotional desire to lure them in, they won’t bite. If it’s difficult for them to take action, they’ll run away. And if they’re not satisfied, they won’t return.
- Inside-the-Bottle Syndrome (the other “IBS”) — “When you’re inside the bottle, you can’t read the label.” This is the biggest challenge marketers face. They know too much about their own products, too much about their own companies. It’s the “Curse of Knowledge” and you must overcome it to persuade.
Once again, it’s time to go huntin’ for Early Birds…
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If you have a moment, share one of your early-stage buying experiences with us in the comments. Which sites have done a particularly good job of persuading you to buy, or turning you off, when you were only pecking around?