It happened again…
The other day, I was getting ready to try this little Thai restaurant in my neighborhood. I’d picked up a copy of their to-go menu a few weeks ago, and finally decided to give them a shot.
I fished their menu out of my junk drawer, picked out some tasty-sounding dishes and grabbed the phone. It was quite a bit later than I normally eat dinner, so I was practically drooling as I thought about the saucy noodle dishes and spicy curries.
Then it happened.
I could not find their phone number.
I looked all over the menu. Twice. I even began to get a little bit frantic and twitchy thanks to the combination of hunger and frustration.
But there simply was no phone number anywhere. Just their address tucked way down at the bottom of back panel.
There I was, standing credit card in hand. I was ready to buy, but it was not going to happen. Why? Because I could not find their phone number!
I was more than a bit bummed, because I really had wanted to try this restaurant. But at this point I just wanted to eat as soon as possible.
So rather than calling information or getting on the Internet, I just reached back into the junk drawer and grabbed the menu for another local restaurant instead.
Fast. Easy. Done.
Now I have to admit that this may sound like a pretty rare example. But I bet you’d be surprised how often I see marketing materials with important contact info missing.
Thankfully, most folks do manage to at least get their phone number on their marketing material somewhere. But a lot of the time it’s buried in some out of the way spot—and that can be just as bad as not having it there at all.
The day after my dinner ordering incident I was reading an email advertisement one of my clients had written.
Now I’d been working with this client for a couple years consulting, editing and helping her develop her own copywriting skills. And from enticing headlines to juicy benefits and solid calls to action, her writing skills had undergone a miraculous change.
In fact, her copywriting had gotten so good I often opened her emails and got sucked right in without realizing who it was from. Then suddenly it’d dawn on me, “Hey wait a minute, I recognize this…” :-)
So there I was reading my client’s latest email, and the event sounded so interesting I was tempted to sign up. I quickly scanned through the rest of the details until I hit the call to action, “Call today to register!”
“Okay,” I thought. “I will”.
But guess what? Yep. No phone number.
I couldn’t believe this was happening twice in two days!
So I scrolled down to see if the number was at the bottom. No luck.
Then I scrolled up thinking, “Maybe it was right at the beginning.” Nope, not there either.
Finally I realized it was buried in the long list of details, all in the same black font, above the call to action.
Whew! I was glad she hadn’t missed the boat entirely.
But how many potential customers did she lose because her phone number wasn’t front and center? Probably quite a few.
After all, what happens when the reader is searching for the phone number and their doorbell rings, or their kids barge in? They are on to other things instead.
And the sale—one that was already in the bag—has suddenly been lost.
The moral of the story? If you are going to ask people to take action (whether it is call you, visit your Website, buy something, or send an email) don’t make them look for the information they need to do it.
Even if you think it is already in an obvious spot, always give them the phone number, URL or email address they need to take action right then and there. Your customers will thank you, and your business will be better off for it.