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Mixed Messages

Growing up, my dad gave blood regularly. He has AB- blood type, which less than 1% of the population has, and it is the universal plasma donor. So, he donated blood as often as he was able (you need to wait at least 56 days between donations).

That is why I have always thought it was important to give blood. Before having children, I gave about once a quarter. Now, my time is a lot more precious, so I donate less often. I try to do it twice a year, although there are years when I have not done it at all. So a few months ago, when the Red Cross called to let me know there was shortage due to the hurricanes and fires, I agreed to donate.

Even though life is very busy, it is worth helping others, particularly when there is a blood shortage. Right? So I was surprised when I showed up at the Red Cross Donation Center and there was a sign that said: “Please be patient as we are experiencing a high number of donations.” What?

I had taken time out of my busy day to donate blood and now they are telling me they are experiencing a high number of donations? And this was after the appointment setter had told me there was a shortage. This was definitely a case of mixed messages.

While I thought about leaving at that point, I did stay. It is the Red Cross after all and they do a lot of good in the world. So, I could definitely cut them some slack. However, if it had been a for-profit business that had done that, I would have almost certainly been out the door.

Are you providing mixed messages in your business? It does not have to be directly conflicting, it can just be that something you mentioned in person is nowhere to be found on your website when a prospect comes to look for more information.

I see it frequently in advertising on Google. A company says something in its ad about “service in 1 hour” then when you click through to their website, there is no mention of it. Mixed messages like that can make you feel what they offer is not always delivered.

This is why we use landing pages for most clients’ campaigns. That way, we can be sure that the ads match up with what visitors see when they come to the landing page.

So, it is worth a review of your marketing materials, any advertising, and the way you talk about your business for consistency of message. It goes a long way towards building and maintaining trust.

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