Please! I barely know you. The offense of asking for sales too soon.

By Renae Gregoire | Annoying websites

Jan 18
Low sales? Are you asking for the sale too soon?

Why, oh why, in the year 2016, would any company think it’s okay to interrupt one of its blog posts with a sales offer–even before the reader gets to read word one?

This happened to me just moments ago.​

I was so offended by the untimely interruption, that I had to stop what I was doing and capture the experience in a blog post–this post you’re reading right now.

Before the infraction, I had been happily minding my client’s business, researching content for an ebook I’m writing.​

Here’s the blog post I was trying to reach: How to use social media to amplify your brand message.​

Click the link, if you dare.​

Or, just look at this screenshot to see what the site served up to me:​

Yep. Just that.

It filled the entire screen. There was a scroll bar on the right side, and, although I could scroll up and down, the view never changed.​

I couldn’t “x” out of it, either. My only options were to select “YEAH!” or “No Thanks.”​

Dear Reader, please give us your money. K? Thanks!​

And that’s okay … except … um … may I ask:

What is the YEAH! actually for? What would I be saying No Thanks to?!?​

Honestly, I didn’t even know who owned the blog post. I simply typed a search query into Mr. Google, something related to Guy Kawasaki, actually, and then clicked through on the results that sounded most relevant.​

Result 1 — nothing good here; move on.​

Result 2 — some interesting content; take notes.​

Result 3 — this mind-boggling interruption.​

I was like, “What is this? What is L<3VE? And Get Started … get started with what?!?”

Of course at that point, I looked up at the URL bar to see which company had committed this grievous misdeed, grabbed the screenshot, and then quickly opened my blog editor.​

And here we are right now.​

The moral? Date your readers before you propose to them.​

This message does have a point; it’s not just a rant.

Here’s the point: It’s way, way, WAY too early to be asking readers to part with money when they click into a blog post–especially readers who’ve never been to your site before.​

Dear Company, it’s way too soon to be asking me to cough up $60 for some annual thing when I have no idea who you are or what the thing is.​

If you really must disrupt my experience, the least you could do is to offer me INFORMATION — something related to the topic that brought me to your site, or to the content on the page I’m trying to visit.​

Woo me a little bit.​

Hold my hand.

Let me learn who you are.​

Show me what you have to offer.​

Don’t just ask me to marry you.​

Let me get to know and love you first.​

P.S. Realizing that I may have visited the offending website before (I do a lot of online research), and that the site may have recognized me, I opened a private browser window and plopped the URL into the address bar. This time, the offending offer took three-or-so seconds to appear, giving me just enough time to quickly scroll down the page and then back up again. I still didn’t get to read anything.​

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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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