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Does your website have a voice?

Does your product have a personality that your users like and know? Emma does. I’m not talking about my favorite barista; I’m referring to the hot new email marketing self-service tool from Cold Feet Creative. No matter how you feel about email marketing, I’m sure you don’t associate a young creative looking brunette in wire frame glasses with spam, bouncebacks, privacy laws and all of the other negative aspects that pop into my mind. The idea is easy: take a highly powerful service that is usually unsexy and difficult to use, and make it easy and fun. Much more difficult is clearly and effectively communicating that idea through only a website.

Emma’s done a lot of things right on their site, not the least of which is presenting an effective message in a fun and unique way. This voice wouldn’t be appropriate for an aero defense company, but it is spot on for this lovely piece of software. All through the site (many times smaller than its competitors) Emma is discussed in a consistently playful manner. An excerpt:

The best way to get to know Emma is to see her in action. To request a tour, or to ask a few pre-tour questions like, "When does the tour begin?" or "Will there be snacks?" click below to launch our inquiry screen, which we feel rivals any inquiry screen in the hotly competitive inquiry-screen market.

This works on a lot of levels. Cold Feet is targeting smaller organizations and those who prefer The New Yorker to debating the future of open source software in emerging free markets. Do you think this would work if they were marketing the service to network administrators at large corporations (lots of solutions for those guys out there anyway)? Probably not… but, maybe. I can, however, assure you that Emma’s vocabulary is much more difficult to ignore than that of its competitors (Constant Contact, Email Labs).

That voice extends far beyond the web site. You can’t even sign up online – you have to call and introduce yourself first. Gasp! I can hear my clients now, “We built a web site to reduce the number of sales calls.” Not for this type of service. Cold Feet is differentiating itself beautifully here, and living its position of friendly, personal service. When you inquire about the product, you receive an email thanking you for your interest - claiming “Emma is flattered.” The demo is equally personal and friendly.

Emma is priced at a premium, but over the 1,000 customers who signed up in just two years seem to think she’s worth it. Instead of laying in bed at night worrying about your email campaigns… you can dream about Emma. Yes, beautiful Emma.

Does one person or group own all of the content on your site? Web sites are like heads – any more than one voice in them, and you’re going to get distracted.

May 28, 2005 in web strategy | Permalink

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© 2005 pound interactive, jeremy pound