Inbound Marketing Making the Web BetterI spend a large amount of time online, both for work and fun. And not a day goes by that I don’t witness some hideous website, terrible user experience, or incredibly annoying marketing.

For example, I log into my personal email and I have 104 emails in my spam folder that only date back 2 weeks. Within that folder I find emails like ‘find printable dog food coupons.’ Perfect. I’m so glad that you got my email somehow so that I can now get coupons for my imaginary dog.

This just goes to show that people are screwing up the internet. And I’m tired of it!

I spend my week working hard to make the web a better place and here people are doing things like:

  • Buying pop-up banner ads
  • Sending email spam
  • Purchasing or renting email lists
  • Adding a talking head on their website
  • Autoplaying music on their website
  • Purchasing links or mass link building
  • Stuffing content with unnatural keywords
  • Copying other companies’ content
  • And the list goes on…

If you are actively doing any of these things, WHY?! Do you enjoy it when you are at the receiving end of it?

You’re wasting money, annoying everyone, and making a bad name for marketers everywhere. And worse, you’re making all of our jobs that much harder because people are now ignoring our messaging and are less likely to trust us.

Long term, you will see your email list dwindle due to unsubscribes and spam reports, alienate your  customers, and probably see sales decrease. Not a great future.

The truth is, it isn’t very difficult to make the web a better place. And it really comes down to these 4 things:

  1. Be Helpful. No matter what it is you are doing, make sure you are being helpful. You can ensure you are doing this by doing buyer persona research. This research will teach you what problems your buyers face, what they find helpful, and how they like to digest that information. From all your research you can provide tips, insight, and entertainment that will delight your visitors, leads and customers.
  2. Be Relevant. Just because the content is helpful to one of your buyer personas, doesn’t mean it is helpful or relevant to all. If you’re sending an email, make sure that everyone on that list would find your content relevant and helpful. Segment your email lists to help make your message more relevant to your leads and customers.
  3. Make it Easy and Intuitive. Tell the user what they should do and provide them with a link to go do that (aka provide a CTA). Don’t make them go out of their way to find something, just give it to them. Keep it simple and straightforward.
  4. Make it Pretty. Don’t clutter up your site with too much content. Use pleasant color combos. And be consistent with your brand’s look and feel.

And if remembering those 4 things is too much just ask yourself, “would I find this helpful, interesting, or entertaining if I was the buyer?” If the answer is honestly no - then go back to the drawing board and try again.

If you’re practicing inbound marketing correctly and fully, then always applying these 4 things should already be happening anyway. So, how are you making the web a better place?

Photo Credit: Lotus Carroll via Compfight cc