Fast or Last? 4 Ways to Stop Losing Fans Online

January 12, 2010

Most of the clients you want have money but not time. In the comedic drama Jerry Maquire, the 90s found one of its most iconic lines ‘Show me the money.” In the 2010 ‘now economy’ people are more apt to scream ‘Don’t waste my time’.

Let’s re-think e-experiences to show our fans, clients, customers, or donors that we care about what matters to them – their time.

1. Make It Easy. Friend and client Susan Jacobs, an Image Consultant who runs, is part of a makeover contest hosted in part by a radio station. Susan sent out an email inviting people to vote for the best makeover – and they are fabulous.  I happily clicked onto the radio station’s site, clicked again then faced a daunting page full of fill in the blanks. Name, email, street address, sex, and had I slept with Tiger Woods? (He might be the Player of 2009 but no). The station is data mining which is time consuming and annoying. By asking for everything they got nothing.

2. Make It Fast. A savvy financial advisor with a stellar reputation, and for good reason, sent an e-invitation to a great networking lunch. In the past I called in to register. This time I thought, I’ll save time and do it online. Isn’t that what the web is all about? Need purple pottery made by dwarves? Google and in a tenth of second you can order a teacup direct from Dumpy. Fabulous, except I couldn’t find the registration so emailed to find out what to do. A response quickly came back, which explained the three click throughs to register.

3. Make It Strategic Forgetting that 2010 is the year I resigned from General Manager of the Universe, I sent a reply email  saying here’s my website designer in case you want an email with an embedded registration. ‘No thank you’ said the gracious advisor’s email.  Site click throughs were a strategical tool to encourage people to view her services. This is an admirable concept except I noticed I didn’t notice anything except I couldn’t find what I was looking for.

4. Make it One Click and That’s It. I went back to the site to register and, out of curiosity, timed how long it took: 57 seconds, which was fast but it felt long and that’s the point. The Internet has changed our felt experience of time. When Goggle did a study and offered people twice the hits per search, people reported ‘extreme unhappiness’ when they took half a second longer to load (from Vince Poscente’s The Age of Speed).

The savvy financial advisor has such a good event and reputation that a few clicks are forgiven but what she is inadvertently doing is saying working with her requires a bit of effort.  Because she hasn’t proven to the new visitor that she is worth it, she might be creating doubt.  Time is scare so value your clients’ seconds and they’ll give you their precious minutes.

Cheers, L

P.S.  Resign from General Manager of the Universe and save yourself embarrassment (oh how I regret sending the advisor a ‘helpful’ email, and …time.


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Good is no longer good enough. The goal is perfection and the path that takes us there leads to excellence.
Louise B. Karch