Decision Paralysis: Helping Your Customers Commit

I like to think of myself as a decisive person but I once took so long to decide between rolls of linoleum that I was accidentally locked into the shop at closing. That’s decision paralysis.

Your printed and online marketing materials play a major role in reducing decision paralysis and helping your customers commit:

  • Reduce the number of decisions that have to be made. On a website, that might be as simple as reducing the number clicks to move from one topic to the next. But more important is to clearly direct customers to the page that addresses their main problem/pain point. If Amazon can do it, you can.
  • Give clear, concise, and accurate information. I become really annoyed when a letter tells me to visit a business’ So-and-So promotion which is actually labeled online as the This-and-That promotion. Or I am directed to a telephone line with 49 million choices, half of them using jargon I don’t recognize and none of which match my problem. Try out your directions, following them exactly as given, and make sure you get where you want to go.
  • Confirm customers in their decision-making abilities. Post success stories and testimonials from customers who have already chosen your business. Provide potential customers with decision trees, comparison tables, or infographics that aid them in evaluating their own needs and help reduce decision paralysis.
  • Concentrate on value. If you can provide (and regularly update) prices, do so–but even then, explain in concrete terms (not vague adjectives) why your product or service is worth paying for. What standards do you meet or exceed, what options do you offer, what different techniques do you use? If you cannot provide current prices, explain instead how you determine price and the ways you ensure that the client receives full value for moneys spent.
  • Give customers something to remember you by. Informative blog posts, newsletters, sales events, downloads–do whatever you can to keep your business in the forefront of customer attention. I finally picked flooring and a flooring provider because he followed up with an email simply asking what was making the decision difficult and if he could help. That followup email, with its attention to my needs, was what turned me from decision paralysis into his committed, happy customer.

By addressing decision paralysis, you are helping your customers commit to your business–and improving your own bottom line. I have the words you need for website content, blog posts, insight papers, and other marketing materials that help your customers commit. Contact me today to find out more.

5 Signs of Great Content

Your marketing materials may consist of a website, blog, newsletter, brochure, data sheet, case studies or any combination. Regardless of the method you choose to deliver your message to customers, great content always has these five characteristics:

  1. It uses everyday language. Yes, some technical terms have no substitute (fractionation by any other name is simply confusing), but the words surrounding the technical words should be easy to read. No reason to write “utilize” when “use” will do; no reason to write “capability” when “ability” is available or the word can be avoided entirely. (“We have the capability of manufacturing…” versus “We manufacture….”)
  2. It speaks to the customer. The customer has a pain point; great marketing content offers a solution to that pain. The issue is not how wonderful the company is but how much confidence the customer has in the specific solution you are writing about.
  3. It is easy to navigate. Whether online or in print, the content should allow the customer to quickly find information. Huge blocks of print, for example, should either be edited or broken up by headings or preferably both. The relationships between your different products and services should be easy to figure out. The directions to next steps should be clear. Contact and/or signup information should appear on every page.
  4. It highlights your value. No matter how identical your company is to every other in the field, there is something you can do better or some problem you are more interested in or some other aspect of your company that sets you apart–or you better find another business to run. Keep that value in mind with every word you write.
  5. It tells a story. Not every word in every piece of marketing material needs that story-telling quality, but some of your marketing should be story based, perhaps the story of how you chose this business, a recent success with a customer, an award you won or an interesting fact you discovered. Stories engage customers and keep them reading.

If your marketing materials hit those five aspects of great content, you are well on your way to making a strong connection with your customers.