Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bad web marketing: Fidelity HR/Payroll

Something caught my eye yesterday in the Wall Street Journal. It was an ad for Fidelity's HR/Payroll service. We use an online payroll service now. I'm happy with it, but I've always liked Fidelity and figured it might be a better option because of the potential linkage with retirement accounts.

The ad referenced a website: http://www.fidelitypayroll.com/think

It's an attractive website, but it defies some commonly accepted principles of web marketing. The main content of the site is some very slow "videos."

I think it's supposed to provide an overview of the service. After looking at it, I have no idea why I'd choose Fidelity over my current provider. I couldn't find any information on pricing, which is one of the first questions on the mind of most prospective customers. But it also failed to show me the benefit I expected - linkage to retirement accounts.

The main flaw is that the site focuses on these videos. Looking at the page source, they appear to be running Flash through Javascript. Most web users are looking for text content. You can dress it up in pretty design, but we want to read more information. And we want interactivity. Where are the links to more information?

Of course there is a web form for the user to give them information. That's backwards. I came to your website to get more information from you. They do provide a phone number. I called - a bit after 7 am in the morning. They have a very pleasant recording with a woman's voice telling me that I called outside their business hours (which, of course, were not listed on the site) but my call is very important to them.

Instead of me clicking for more information, Fidelity got one final click - me hanging up the phone. That's bad web marketing.
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