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Sell More Software with Good Website Signs

August 11th, 2011

software marketing and selling more softwareYou can sell more software on the Internet if you study how people buy merchandise in retail stores.

Paco Underhill’s book “Why We Buy – The Science of Shopping” is about how people buy items in retail stores. But the lessons that he teaches us apply to software marketing on the Internet, too. Tiny changes to a store’s layout can make huge differences in sales. Changing signs can increase or decrease sales. Lots! It stands to reason that the same principles apply to software developers’ website layouts, and to software marketing results.

“First you have to get your audience’s attention,” Underhill tells us. “Once you’ve done that, you have to present your message in a clear, logical fashion.”

If you don’t start by getting their attention, your message won’t be absorbed and acted upon. If you give them too much information, you’ll overload them.

In the old days (whenever that was), many buying decisions were made at home because people were loyal to particular brands. More and more, decisions are being made after people arrive at the store – or after they arrive at your site, if they’re buying software like yours.

Shoppers are busier than ever. You can’t waste their time on your store floor. Or on your website.

Underhill explains, “Putting a sign that requires twelve seconds to read in a place where customers spend four seconds is just slightly more effective than putting it in your garage.”

On the Internet, you can do things to control how much time people spend on your site. Write well, and they’ll absorb your message more easily, and feel more comfortable about it. Write poorly, and your prospects will struggle to understand what you’re saying. Copywriting is a critical part of software marketing.

Smart sign placement in a store is designed to grab shoppers’ attention. The same is true on your web site. Learn how people scan web pages and you’ll sell more software.

Underhill ends his “How to Read a Sign” chapter by describing a sign that he particularly liked. It was in a hotel elevator, and it said, “You Look Famished.” Below the sign were the menus of several of the hotel’s cafes and restaurants.

– Al Harberg, the Software Marketing Glossary guy from DP Directory, Inc.

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