How to help prospects self-qualify early on

By Renae Gregoire | Customer experience

Jan 18
How to find people interested in your product or service

How do you help prospects self-qualify when they click through on a link of yours? 

Maybe it's a link on your website, a link in a blog post, or a link in a social share. Maybe the link takes a prospect to a special landing page, a form, a download, or a static page on your site.

Ask yourself: Who is that prospect? Why is she there? Why did he click? What did she hope to find?​

Answering those questions is crucial if you want to avoid a common content mistake: Presenting major self-qualifying information too late, leaving the reader feeling annoyed and let down because she wasted her time.​

An example: How a company led me on a dead-end journey​

If you know anything about me, then you know I'm writing this post because I am that "she"; I just experienced this frustration myself, and am sharing it with you so you can spare your website visitors and content readers the same frustration.

Here's the story.​

As a freelancer, I'm always on the lookout for new opportunities. I apply for online gigs all the time so I can keep my pipeline full and my cash flow ... flowing.

One ad in particular, for a company looking for a freelance writer, sounded as if it might be a good fit. So I clicked the link, which took me to the job description on the company's website.

It was a pretty long description, taking me six full scrolls to get to the end.​

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Scroll.

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Scroll.​

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​Now mentally multiply that distance by three to get an idea of how long the job description was.

And then, consider this: I eagerly read all of the text presented during those scrolls, getting more and more excited about the gig as I went.​

Until finally, I reached the end of the post to find this CRUCIAL, decision-turning information, highlighted in yellow.

"Well," I thought, frustrated. "That means I'm out of the running." (Yes, the ad says "primarily," but Frederick, MD is located in the Washington D.C. area, so I knew from experience the ad would likely pull lots of responses from local people.)​

The trouble here is that I discovered this information far too late. I had invested myself in the reading of the ad. I started to get excited. I started to imagine myself working for such a company, doing valuable work that mattered.​

And then, after all of that, I found out that they were looking for someone within driving distance. And that someone was not me.​

It was a real letdown.​

And this is not the first time I've had that experience. Not by a long shot.​

The moral of the story is: To keep your readers from experiencing the same, provide important information that helps them self-qualify early in the game.​

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About the Author

Renae Gregoire is a marketing writer, editor, critical thinker, obsessive questioner, and excellent-results deliverer. Although writing is her talent, empathy is her Super Power; she combines both into a potent formula for creating content experiences that lead more people to YES!

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