Marketing Mishaps: Failing to Reply to Queries from Your "Contact" Page
You have a blog or a Web site – duh. More than likely you also have a "Contact" page on your blog or Web site. Yeah! Here's a quiz, though:
#1. How easy is your "Contact" page to find?
Why would I ask such a silly question? Have you ever had to DIG and DIG and DIG – sometimes 3 or 4 levels down – to get to someone's contact page? I have, and not just once. Let me tell you, (a) I'm not the typical Web visitor, and (b) I kept digging because after the second level, I was just curious how far this site owner was really going to make me go before they revealed their precious contact info.
W|M|D SUPER-DUPER WEB MARKETING TIP
Make your site easy to use.
If your visitors have to click through to even a second level to find your contact info, you've probably lost them.
#2. Do you use a Contact Form or an eMail Link?
Is one really better than the other? Well, according to the Flyte Web Marketing blog, the Contact Form is preferred for a number of reasons:
- Better contact information capture
- Better conversion tracking
- Easier data entry to a contact database
- Reduced spam
#3. Do you have a "catch all" address so that you can capture misspelled e-mail addresses?
Could this lead to more spam? Sure. But I have to go back to making things easy for the end user. Say they've got Clumsy Finger Syndrome and type LittleMissMuffet@gmail.com as LittleMiddMuffet@gmail.com. Do you still want to hear from them? If the answer's yes, how are you going to hear from them if you don't have your e-mail set to catch all spellings, even the goofy ones? Even the ones addressed to Info@?
#4. Who reads the messages sent via your Contact Form or contact e-mail address? How skilled are they at prioritizing?
Why is this important? Let's say you've got a summer intern who's quite green. You figure the perfect job for them is doing something that, for the most part, requires rote, standardized answers. What happens, however, if the inquiry that comes in via that contact page is not an order, a question about how to order, or some other easy topic, the answer to which can be found on your FAQ page? What if it's an invitation for you to speak or write an article or guest lecture or be interviewed? What if it's a dissatisfied client who wants options for recourse? What if it's someone who wants to reprint one of your articles or blog posts? What if it's someone looking to create a joint venture with you? None of these is a throwaway question with a standardized answer. But does your intern (or whoever reads this e-mail) know whom to forward the mail to? Are they empowered to follow up? Do you have a system in place for handling ALL queries?
#5. How quickly do you respond to these e-mail queries?
Perhaps the single biggest challenge for entrepreneurs and small businesses is follow-up - mostly because most entrepreneurs and/or small business owners have no systems in place for following up. Does this require discipline? Of course! But if you can keep a couple things in mind, perhaps you will be motivated to move this to the front burner of your marketing stove.
- When was the last time you submitted an e-mail query and received a prompt response?
- How did you feel when your question was answered right away?
- How did you feel if your question was left to languish on the vine?
- How will YOUR end user feel if you don't answer their query in a timely manner?
Here are a few tips to help ensure any e-mail YOU SEND gets read and receives a response:
- Use a good SUBJECT line.
- Be SUCCINCT.
- Indicate WHAT you want from them (e.g., a refund, an answer, a further contact, etc.)
We invite you to do 2 things next: