The more ads I write, the more I realize that there may not be a need for contact information these days. Sacrilege!
Believe me, I know, I’m a little worried that a group of business owners are going to chase me with pitchforks & torches, burning me alive in an old windmill. Long ago I denounced the use of phone numbers and physical addresses. I still get to see “eye rolls” on a weekly basis when I deal that card. It’s a tough thing to explain to someone who’s about to spend a small fortune on an advertising campaign.
“What do you mean we’re not going to put my phone number in the ad? Are you insane?”
I’m going to assume you’ve never read my blog before. So, I’ll give a quick reason as to why I don’t condone the use (or misuse) of phone numbers. Quite simply...
They don’t work!
Unless you have a very memorable phone number with an extensive advertising campaign to back it up, a phone number is worthless. Seriously, when was the last time you actually remembered a business’s number? How many times have you needed to remember an important number for even 10 seconds? Usually, you’ll repeat it in your head a dozen times just to keep it in there long enough to jot it down on paper. So, no, the average radio listener is not going to remember your phone number; no matter how enticing the previous 25 seconds of commercial was. But, thankfully for all of us, Al Gore invented the internet. The internet quickly made traditional contact info obsolete. If you made a solid enough statement in your advertisement people find you themselves.
This is where we all got excited about websites as a form of contact.
Listen to any commercial break, anywhere and you’ll be hard pressed to find an ad that doesn’t end with a website. So, just imagine the looks on my clients faces when I tell them not to include their beautiful new website in their commercials. Half of them still want the phone number as well! Needless today, I have a lot of “splainin’ to do.”
Either you’re following my thought process by now, or you think I have a few extra chromosomes. You may be screaming at your computer “you fool! All business runs through the internet now! You classless charlatan! Stop hocking your baseless wares on the internet!!” Firstly, I’d say, calm down a touch. Secondly, here’s my explanation.
Yes, I agree. The internet is king for business. Almost everyone these days auditions you by visiting your website first. But, does anyone really go directly to your website on the first try?
The answer is no. They find you with Google (or another search engine.) They don’t go directly to jeffsbananahut.com. They type “Jeff’s Banana Hut” into Google and it takes them there. We all do this. It’s second nature.
People know how to find you. Your job is to make them WANT to find you. You have 30 seconds to do that. If you’ve ever tried your hand at writing a radio commercial, you’ll know that that is not a very long time. That’s why I recommend that you don’t waste even one precious second on contact information. Use every second to solidify why your business/service/event is relevant to the listener. If you’re able to win them over, they will find you. Website contact information (in general) is officially extraneous. Let’s throw it on the fire with phone numbers. We do however have a new important piece of contact information.
It is quite simply, your business name. They will find you if you’ve done your job well.
You’re lucky actually. Think of it this way. The advancement in how people find you has just bought you 3 – 8 seconds of time to convince them to do it. Business owners couldn’t do that in the past, but you can now. Here’s the best part. If you start now, you’re at the beginning of the trend. Very few are taking advantage of this. Put it in your toolbox!
As always, I’m here to help you when you need to find your message.