Whenever I visit a Best Buy and a salesman asks if I need help, I instinctively respond “Just looking!”. This happens even when I could use a hand. I then end up taking a look around on my own, picking up a few brochures, then leaving to “go home and think about it.” I might come back. Or I might not.
The same thing happens online day in and day out.
Websites can be passive or engaging.
- Passive sites (which are most sites): You visit the site, which talks about all the great services they offer. You are then shown pricing plans and asked to choose one. There is a free version, but it seems quite limited. After reading some testimonials about how great the product or service is, you decide to think about it and wander off.
- Engaging sites: You are drawn to the site by some great content that is being given to you for free. You are encouraged to subscribe to get more of this content (still free). At this point, you are not sure whether you trust the site or not, but hey, you like what you’ve seen of the content so far. And it’s free, so what could go wrong? You sign up. During the trial, you enjoy the content you’re receiving. You comment on some of the material, and hear back from others in the community. You decide that if so many others like it, then it can’t be all that bad. So you end up signing up for it.
Is your website more like the first website or the second? If it’s more like the first, is there anything you can do to make it more like the second?