A Site for Sore I

“No, honey, the kids and I were thinking more about something with a salty breeze than the Bonneville Salt Flats.” My wife smiled, and sent me back to the computer in search of the perfect, affordable vacation getaway for our cabin-feverish, landlocked family.

“(We) offer luxurious, oceanfront vacation rentals; great rates online!” the ad copy virtually screamed at me.

The bait was meant to tempt, and I was hooked. I bit on the lure like an aggressive brook trout, and was reeled into a hospitality company’s website that ended up being, well … less than hospitable. Here are seven reasons why:

  1. Landed on the Home Page, which scrolled on forever. The company absolutely had to feature all fifteen locations, 350 properties, and eight resorts that they manage, complete with text and photos. Didn’t they?
  2. Prominently featured were locations in Arizona. I may be wrong, but there is no oceanfront property – luxurious or otherwise – in Phoenix or Tucson. Maybe these folks went to the Lex Luthor School of Real Estate. Otisburg … Otisburg?
  3. The site was designed to appeal to a number of target audiences, including Travel Agents, Real Estate Agents, Owner Agents, Time Share Owners, Vacationers (Families and Singles), and Current Clients.
  4. I was lured to the site to check out great deals on vacation rentals, not evaluate investment opportunities.
  5. View Our Video. Okay. But instead of letting me view their promotional video from the site, the company insisted that I pay to own their advertisement on DVD. Only $15.95, including S&H. If I’m interested enough to learn more about their properties, don’t make me shell out real dollars American for the privilege! Let me see it for FREE. Maybe I’ll even Forward to a Friend or six …
  6. Visitors are asked to Add to Cart before receiving any information on pricing. I’m thinking they have some real (cart) abandonment issues.
  7. The company has a number of Catalogs. None are available for download. Why make visitors order a catalog and then send via snail mail? Most, like me, would want to see the information immediately rather than wait days or weeks to receive it.

To recap: I was enticed to the site under false pretenses; there was an overwhelming amount of content, and a huge amount of it was irrelevant to me personally; the content that I was interested in was hard to find, and the company wanted me to wait to receive it, or worse, pay them to get it.

This fish got away. How many other visitors does this site fail to catch (convert)?

Does your website keep the promises your online campaigns make? If not, you could overly frustrate someone by creating an experience that is a site for a sore I!

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