Why Limiting Choices is a Good Thing

by | Apr 14, 2009 | Book Marketing Basics

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When you walk into a store these days, it seems the choices overwhelm you. There seem to be nine different kinds of everything. How to you pick the right one? How do you know which one is the best choice for you? Regardless of what you’re getting, whether it’s a new Blackberry or the choice of cereal. The options seem endless. Options are great, we certainly want to know that we don’t have to stick with one brand or item if we don’t want to but in the web world, too many choices can be a bad thing. The reality is this, the average author has at least a half a dozen links on their home page. A new reader landing on this site is wondering where to go first, out of frustration they may not go anywhere, become confused and leave. Haven’t you ever done this? Thinking to yourself “oh, I’ll be back when I have time” but you never are. So how can you avoid this? Well, a couple of things. First off, this is why a sign up for a free newsletter or mailing list is so important. Also, that ethical bribe I am always referring to (give them something to get something). There’s also the idea of sending folks to a “free stuff” page. We have that on the AME site. But guess what? The free stuff page won’t give you your free stuff unless you give us your email address. So why is an email address so important? Because studies show that less than 14% of surfers actually buy the first time they land on a site (frankly I think that number should be much lower). If you’re going to get them back, you’ll need to be able to market to them again.

Giving your web visitors too many options can be a fatal flaw in your marketing. Go to your home page right now and count the links you have. When I’ve done this in a class setting authors are often surprised how many different places they are trying to send people. Limiting choices can increase your conversion and in the end, isn’t that what you want your web site to do?


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