Make It Easy for Your Audience
Last week I shared my favorite quick tip on how to remember all of the pertinent information that goes into your marketing materials. This week, let’s chat about your user experience...primarily, are you removing complications and - in marketing jargon - friction to make things easy for your audience?
Recently on a day of errand-running, I had three VERY different user experiences.
At stop one, the cashier asked me if I’d like to sign up for their email list. I like the store so I said sure.
The process turned out to be completely manual.
I had to fill out a card, and at some point in the future a staff member would enter the cards into the system. When I asked about why they didn’t have a more updated system (This is a LARGE company. As easy and cheap as it is for a small business to automate this, there’s really no excuse.) I was told that “it gives us something to do when it’s slow.”
This process takes up quite a bit of staff and consumer time, neither of which is great or what you really want. (Even if the staff were completely lovely.)
Stop two I need to make a return. Returns are usually time-consuming and a bit of a pain in the ass, but this company’s processes were so easy and streamlined that the entire experience was almost joyful.
Then we get to stop three. Oooooh bless their hearts stop three.
Stop three is a locally owned business I’d followed on Instagram for awhile. They finally opened up their storefront, and I was excited to check it out in person.
Until I couldn’t find their building.
Earlier in the week they said they didn’t have their signage yet and showed a picture of the building they were in with the address. Unfortunately, those pics weren’t saved to a highlight so I was winging it.
Pro tip: Instagram highlights are where you place stories you want to keep available to your audience for longer than 24 hours. This is perfect for things like an about you, behind the scenes of upcoming productions, and even how to find your location!
I get to where I think they’re supposed to be, but can’t tell which building they’re in (industrial area, few windows) so I pull over (in sketch industrial area) to try to find their location info.
Not on their website. Not in their social media feeds.
They may as well have not had a storefront at all.
I wanted to give them money. My full intention was to show up and shop.
And they can’t even tell me where they’re located?
I tried. I *really* tried to find their location and figure out which building they were in. (And when I say I tried, I was quite the party girl in the 90s. To go to a rave, we had to go on scavenger hunts and solve riddles to find the secret locations. If I can find a rave in the middle of nowhere Texas in the 90s, surely I can find a damn boutique in an industrial park now. But not if they don’t leave any breadcrumbs real or digital.)
They left money on the table that day. And that’s with me really trying to find them.
Many people aren’t going to work that hard.
Where are you leaving money on the table because it’s too frustrating for your audience?
Note: though these weren’t performing arts related places, they’re not isolated incidents. From the major professional orchestra that doesn’t have a link to their website from Twitter (Seriously, this is the LEAST you can do) to the professional ballet company making you click through 3 different accounts to finally get to the blog post they’re trying to share to the professional opera company that doesn't tell you what the productions are when they’re trying to sell tickets, we’re not streamlining and simplifying our processes.
How can you make the experience easier on your audience:
To find shows and buy tickets?
To share you with friends and family?
Find you on social media?
Sign up for your newsletter?
Start by defining the goal. Sign up for the newsletter, buy tickets, read a blog post, find your location, etc.
Walk through the process from very beginning to end goal as though you’re a brand new person that’s never even heard of your organization before. It’s easy to lose sight of the little things when you’re “in it” every day. How does it come across to someone completely new?
Where are the snags? Where are the places it’s too manual or you click too many times? Don't rely on your audience to click around to find all the details. Don't make your audience click around to find all the details.
How can you simplify and streamline? Define how to make it easier. Is there a system or app you can use to automate the process? Then implement those systems and steps.
Rinse and repeat for every audience response/need/goal you have.
Ultimately, you’re asking people to give you their time and money. Make it easier for them to do so.
Note: You’re not just asking for the immediate time and money of going to a performance. There’s also the time to get ready and the expense to get to the performance location. Possibly sitters for the children. Dinner and drinks beforehand. Dessert and drinks after. Maybe even a hotel room and more.
Don't make them also have to work to find the information needed to get even to that point.
Evaluate all of your online presences and online and internal processes. What can be automated? Where can things be simplified and streamlined? How does it appear to a brand new person? Imagine that you’re hearing about your organization for the very first time? What impression is that giving? Are things easily maneuverable? Are all of my questions going to be answered?
Simplify and streamline. Make it easy on your audience to find the information they need, buy tickets, and donate. Don’t leave good money on the table just because you inadvertently made it too hard.
How do you make it easier for your audience to enjoy you and your productions? What apps do you use to save time and create ease?
Need help evaluating your online presence and processes? There’s an audit for that.