A recent trip to the grocery store reminded me of a valuable Internet marketing tip I learned years ago.

When I was headed out the door with my cartful of groceries, the greeter -- an elderly man who always welcomes me with a big smile and friendly "hello" -- flagged me down. His job that day was to hand out fliers directing customers to the store's web site to take a customer satisfaction survey.

I like George. So I went to the site to share my rave reviews about the store's customer service.

Unfortunately, the flier directed me to the superstore's home page, which featured dozens of links and buttons. Even after some persistent digging around, I couldn't find the survey. So I left without sharing my input.

Contrast this experience with the survey offered by a local pizza franchise -- their coupon takes you directly to the survey form. And when you're done, you get a discount coupon as a thank you.

I firmly believe that you can learn a lot about marketing simply by paying attention to what annoys you, as well as what wows you. From these two experiences come the following lessons:

  1. Direct visitors to exactly the page you want them to visit. Depending on how your site is organized, dropping visitors off at your home page in hopes that they'll find their way to your seminar page can be like kicking someone out of your car miles from nowhere with a hearty "Good luck!" They might be persistent enough to find a trail; they could easily get lost in the forest. If seminar registrations are your goal, take visitors by the hand and lead them to exactly the page you want them to go.
  2. If the URL of the page you want prospects to visit is long and convoluted, set up an abbreviated URL that redirects to the target page. For example, a client of mine runs advertising to promote its personal development seminars. Rather than including their web page's full address http://www.foundations1.com/personal-success/cornerstone/ which would be too long and clunky for a print ad, their webmaster provides shortened URLs that point to this page (foundations1.com/publicationname) Tip: This strategy allows you the ability to track web traffic. In this case, setting up a unique URL for each publication allows us to see how many visitors come to the site from each ad placed.
  3. Continue the conversation. When prospects are motivated by a promotion to visit your web site, it can be jarring to land on a web page that doesn't relate to what was presented in the original promotion. Some will be confused and leave. Others may find their way to the seminar page, but by the time they do, they've lost their interest in what you were saying.

Continuing the conversation can be as simple as making sure that your landing page promotes the same thing that was offered in the original promotion. In other cases, you may want to go deeper. For example, if one ad plays up your seminar's ability to boost revenue, make sure that copy on your landing page also plays up this benefit. Ads that highlight a different benefit should point to a different landing page with matching copy.

If you're working with a finite budget, you want to make sure that every dollar counts. By using these three tips to create a more seamless customer experience, you'll eliminate the unnecessary loss of web site visitors, as well as increase your chances of seminar success.

Author's Bio: 

Jenny Hamby is a Certified Guerrilla Marketer and copywriter who helps consultants, speakers, and coaches promote their own seminars, workshops, teleseminars and webinars. Get your free copy of her e-course, 31 Secrets to Jumpstart Your Seminar Promotions.