Money bonfire

Make it easy on your visitors

The Messagery's two Davids look at timely delivery of information

Despite all our efforts to be clear in our website descriptions and workshop briefings, it was interesting to discover how the same words have different meanings to website visitors and our workshop participants.

In our quest to minimise the reading burden (out of respect for the reader's time) we use generic terms like 'strategic', 'core', 'product' and 'issue' where we assume the reader would share our understanding.

In a recent workshop, the divergence in understanding didn't matter too much because it led to some very constructive discussions. We asked for ‘strategic core messages’ and we got way more than we bargained for. We ended up separating the client's suggested messages into strategic and tactical and prioritising benefits over features in the message creation.

During workshops, we’ve found ourselves straying beyond the boundaries of the planned engagement. In the event, it wasn't a major problem, but it did suggest that we needed to set expectations more clearly. And we had to do this in a quick and focused way which would put the minimum burden on our website visitor.

Our set of five services seemed clear enough to us and we describe them fairly eloquently (we think). But, in real life, the readers don't want to read our whole home page (1400) words to divine what bits of our offerings would best suit them.

Our solution was to create a quick quiz. It simply asks participants to click on up to four things they feel they're good at. A short 80-word description appears immediately of how we might be able to help them further. If we can’t, we say so.

Depending on their reaction to this, they can contact us, read more or make their escape.

This approach provides a degree of personal service without demanding personal information. We strongly believe that if people want to come to us, they will. That's the time to start getting to know each other properly.