Could your message be suffering from TMI (too much information)?

We’ve all experienced those awkward moments when a friend shares a little more information than we really want to know, but can a marketing message do the same?  Is it possible to provide your audience with too much information, even if you are marketing a technical product?  Well, it depends on your objectives.  If lead generation is your goal, too much information absolutely can diminish your results.

Not long ago, we were running some e-newsletter spots with GlobalSpec to promote a new line of affordable industrial Ethernet switches for one of our clients.  We selected a variety of their newsletters to balance our reach, from Specs & Techs (which provides their broadest market coverage) to others targeting specific verticals.  Prior GlobalSpec spots had generated very strong response, so our expectations were high.  But when the first sponsorship ran in their Alternative and Renewable Energy newsletter, just a trickle of leads came though.  More than a little surprised, we thought maybe the market wasn’t quite right for this product, which is a little more appropriate for OEM applications.  But then we ran in Specs & Tech.  With a total reach of 1.2 million subscribers across a host of manufacturing and processing industries, surely it would pull big numbers.  Well, not so much.

Quickly, we put our heads together with the client and our GlobalSpec sales rep to see if we could identify the problem.  We reviewed past issues to see how similar product categories performed, and while an industrial Ethernet switch does have a fairly limited user base when compared to other industrial products, past history of GlobalSpec advertisers indicated it still should have garnered more response than what we received.  So we shifted our focus to the message.  Reviewing the copy, we tried to think of what we missed.  All the technical specs and performance data was there.  Available options and configurations – check. Application info – yep!  We even included pricing information to demonstrate how affordable the switch was.  Everything was there!

And therein laid the problem.  Everything was there.  So much, in fact, there was no reason for the reader to click through to learn more.  We had hoped readers would submit RFQs through GlobalSpec, but why would they when we’ve already given them the information they need?  So we revised the copy – removing some of the technical details and the pricing – and tried again.  The result?  The new copy produced a 327% increase in leads generated.
As technical marketers, sometimes we assume the audience wants everything we have to give them all at once.  Technical papers.  Data sheets.  Performance and testing information.  Case studies.  Give it all to them – now!

It’s vital to match the information we provide to where the prospect is in their buying cycle, not our selling cycle.  We’ve outlined eight steps to help you do this and integrate it into a highly effective lead development process.  And when you’re ready, you can also download our white paper on Lead Nurturing and the Role it Plays in Sales Development.  

Did I mention it’s free?


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