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The Through-A-Goose School of Internet Marketing


Yesterday you were a vacuum bag salesman in South Piddleville. Today you're the Vacuum Bag King of the Internet!

And me? I'm your customer. Maybe.

The Through-A-Goose School of Internet Marketing holds that certain e-commerce websites would be better off streamlining their designs so they can fast-track visitors through the sales process and send them on their way rather than befuddling them with a dizzying array of branding gimmicks and sticky-site gadgets... and sending them on their way.

Once you're in a goose's system, the thinking goes, there's only one way out. There are no options or choices, no weighty decisions, no wrong turns, no time for doubt, no chance of error. In and out. Zip zam zooey.

A goosed website should be just as slick. The process should be so smooth and fast that the actual purchase practically precedes the decision to purchase.

In this light, here are ten thoughts about your vacuum bag website that threaten to keep our relationship from blossoming into a completed transaction:



It's not ~really~ a mall or a store or even a kiosk. If anything, it's an interactive brochure. If it starts talking or playing music, I get scared and run away. And that off-the-shelf flash intro doesn't really get my vacuum bag juices flowing either.



Do I follow that online casino banner after I buy my vacuum bags? Or shall I risk blowing my entire twelve dollar vacuum bag budget there?



You seem a little too happy to see me. I'm worried that if I buy something from you, you'll invite me home for supper with the wife and kids. That's more commitment than I care to make for vacuum bags.



You're assaulting me with pop-up windows because you want my email address so you can inform me when you make changes to your vacuum bag website. Do I have that right?



Google informs me that I can buy vacuum bags from any of one hundred eighty-three thousand, six hundred and seventy-five sites. Your Unique Selling Proposition is why I'm gonna pick yours. If your USP is a Free Vacuum Bag Industry Update Newsletter, then maybe I'll click over to one of those gazillion other sites where the USP might be guaranteed lowest price or free overnight delivery.



If I came to buy vacuum bags, do you really think the black and red porn-palace motif is appropriate? Do vacuum bags have another use I'm not aware of? (Don't answer that!)



Vacuum bags may be your life, but to us normal people they're... well, vacuum bags. We don't want a huge selection. We don't want to think. We don't want colors, sizes, scents, textures, or frequent flier miles. We just want some zero-hassle, reasonably priced, work-like-they're-s'posta vacuum bags. Got any of those?



o Wrap some chains around your "Vacuum Bag Buyers' Forum" and toss it overboard. Ditto the headline news feed, the search engine access, and the design award from the from someone who can't even design an award.

o That blinking "Recommend This Website To Your Friends" button might be more effective as a blinking "Order Some Vacuum Bags And Get On With Your Life" button.

o Oh, and thanks for the free email account offer, but is a tad clunky for my needs.



Thank you for letting me know the best monitor resolution for viewing your vacuum bag site. That'll come in real handy when I'm trying to think of the ninth dumb annoying thing about it.



Whoever told you it was important to be chatty and clever with your visitors was yanking your mouse. If you wanna build rapport, go stick your tongue in someone's ear. If you wanna make a sale, sell.


So there it is... a few friendly insights from Linda's Through-A-Goose School of Internet Marketing.

It only applies to certain businesses, of course, but don't be too hasty in assuming that yours isn't one of them. If your stats show that most of your hard-won visitors are heading out through the in door, it might be time for a little stream- lining.

Maybe then, through the mysterious forces of cyber- alchemy, your website will be able to convert vacuum bags into golden eggs!

Linda Cox, J.A.M.G., went to sleep and dreamed she was a butterfly. Now she wonders whether she's a woman who dreamed she was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming that it's Just Another Marketing Guru.
More Linda:

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