Irv Brechner

In thinking about this issue, the notion of "bait and switch" comes to mind. Online consumers these days are very savvy, and they can easily leave your web site for greener pastures when they smell something that's inconsistent. It's human nature to become cynical when the infomercial says one thing and the site says another, especially if it results in more money coming out of the consumers' pocket.

There are pretty much only two reasons why price, offer and/or other details would not be the same on the site as they are in the commercial:

* You've done that on purpose.

* It's an accidental oversight.

Because consumers have the ability to compare products, prices and offers quickly and easily with a wide range of online tools, it's pretty risky to deliberately have a difference between the commercial and online, especially if there's no good reason. Why risk turning off hundreds or even thousands of consumers, all of whom could post negative comments on sites about an experience like this. Why have an online price that's higher, unless the offer is different and has greater value, and you've identified that in the copy?

Irv+Brechner

Get your site design people to communicate with the scriptwriters and production people, so that there are no inconsistencies.

If there is a difference due to testing different offers and price points, for example, the ideal scenario is to make a copy of your web site for each offer/price test, and change that information accordingly. If you do that, make sure the URL in the infomercial goes to the correct landing page.

We advise not using "suffix" web URLs such as www.domain.com/TV/32 because most consumers do not type in what comes after the ".com" and if they do and make a typo, the consumer will see a "page not found error."

An easy way to test different offers is by using "prefix" URLs, such as:

*Buy.Domain.com

*Get.Domain.com

*Try.Domain.com

The "buy" URL goes to one landing page, while the "Get" and "Try" domains go to other pages. Therefore, each offer/price is consistent both in the commercial and online.

You can download the entire ebook at any time at: http://DD111.acquirgy.net

Irv Brechner has written over 100 published direct marketing articles and 13 books on a variety of topics. He's been a pioneer in online customer acquisition since 1996 and offline for his 35-year career. He has developed Acquirgy.com's "Customer Acquisition Intel Center" (acquirgy.com/intel ) he evangelizes best-of-breed tactics to help companies acquire customers in the digital age. He can be reached at: irv@acquirgy.com .

Read all Irv's MediaBizBloggers commentaries at Customer Acquisition Intel.

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