In business, the mantra is “give people choices.”  

But hold on a second. Are more choices still a good idea?  

My experience as a business owner and direct marketing geek, I know that sometimes less is more when it comes to choosing. In other words, choice comes with a cost. 

For example, if you are selling a new app every mother would want, you may be tempted to offer a variety of response avenues: email, contact us page on your website or a landing page, social media, and even a tollfree phone number. Just like my direct2customers marketing community. The logic is that everyone prefers a different method, so if you offer them all you increase the number of orders you get. Right? 

Not always. Sometimes, all those choices work against you because choosing between them may take an extra split second, which is enough to cause someone to put off responding until later. Once that happens, you may never get the answer at all. 

It may seem like a subtle distinction, but there is a difference between offering choices and introducing extra decisions. If the “choice” of response method becomes a “decision,” you can reduce the number of buyers and even orders. 

 For a reader-oriented medium such as a blog or content marketing, it is often best to offer a reader-oriented response and nothing else. That means forcing people to respond and provide no other avenue for response. Since there is only one way to reply, there is no decision to make.  However, your copywriting must be crisp and to the point of what you want them to do. 

If you own or work for a company that does most of its business online, driving people to a single contact link in your copy, makes the most sense. Again, there is no decision on how to respond, so there is one less hurdle for prospects to jump.  

Is this always the best approach? Yes and no, depending on what your marketing contacts prefer. The only way to be sure whether to offer one or multiple response methods, is to test. If you offer several ways now, look at your data tracking to see how many answers come in through each type. 

You might be surprised to find that one is favored to a much greater extent than the others. This could be the basis for testing whether one type of response can increase or decrease your total response. 

Thanks for reading and please share with others – except your competition! Your time is truly appreciated.

Learning and doing, marketing and selling ideas, is what you’ll find at Direct2Customers community.

It’s what we do. It’s what we love to do.

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