Wednesday, February 20, 2008

To keep leads warm, add character and the voice of the customer

Web site review: In each issue of our print publication, The Internet Marketing Report, we review a company's Web site, which we then load on this internet marketing blog. If you'd like us to review yours, please e-mail

The challenge: "How can I make our site more dynamic?"

When NCR’s director of creative services, Colleen Swanger, asked for advice on Linkedin on how to make the company's Web site more dynamic, we couldn’t say no. Colleen is on to something big. Although this site has a wealth of material, it feels static and dead, like no one is home. Are there real people other than Colleen? We'd like to see and hear them when we visit the site.

Here are our tips:

  1. Use stronger calls to action. One way: Use active language instead
    of passive headings like, “NCR government solutions.” For example, “Find out how we are
    making government more efficient and saving taxpayers’ money.”

  2. Highlight contact details. Some companies get great results by
    making these details big and bold in the same spot on every page.

  3. Capture more leads. Yes, we know this company has a long lead time
    but it seems a wasted opportunity not to keep leads warm in the
    meantime. Surely, a big company like this could offer free e-zines,
    tips, solutions, trials, etc.?

  4. Use keywords to draw traffic to its solutions and products pages.

  5. Add customer and reseller reviews and testimonials.

  6. Highlight the NCR supplier store.

  7. Publicize value-added services. It offers an NCR university, but finding out what it does is difficult.

Our views: Here's a company with a great reputation, a long history and
deep product knowledge. But if technology company NCR wants to last another 100 years, it may need to lift its Web marketing game.

The problem? Without people this site is dead

The biggest problem? This site looks and feels like it was developed by a computer. Apart from a few photos, the site is devoid of the voice of the customer or the company. It has no introduction, no reviews, no links to users, no forums, no newsletters to read or download (not even an e-zine for prospects), no tips for users and no testimonials from resellers.

It doesn’t even have a warm welcome or an overview by a company exec.

If we have missed something, we're sorry.

What it does well

There are some things that it does extremely well, including:
• Displaying its product knowledge. No one can deny that this company knows its stuff. It has great material explaining how its products work.
• Optimizing its product pages. Some of the inside pages on the site are extremely well optimized. For example, use Google to search for “self check out” and NCR’s pages come right below the definition from Wikipedia. That’s valuable Web real estate.

Postscript: By the way, congratulations to Colleen. I think the way she sought feedback on her site in such an open way was very much in the spirit of the Web these days. See below for her feedback on our review.

Posted by Internet Marketing Report Online blog editor Julie Power Wednesday February 20 at 8 a.m.


1 comment:

Colleen Swanger said...

Thanks very much for this detailed review of our site. I think my team would agree with the majority of the assessment, and great news: we've already put in motion a plan to address many of the opportunities!

Using LinkedIn and being reviewed by your team has helped validate our ideas, and even gave us some new ones!

Check back with us on May 1 to see our short-term enhancements!

Networking works.

Colleen Swanger