Are you Green Washing
Your Internet Marketing?
“More and more “green” products are entering the marketplace claiming eco friendly benefits or stating other environmentally friendly “marketing pitches”. “And more and more, the labels claiming that a product is green, eco-friendly, or otherwise good for the environment are fairly meaningless” said Brad Tuttle in a Time Magazine mini story.
In a TerraChoice study from last fall, retailers increased the number of products sold by 73% that had claims of green friendly products. Researchers found that 95% of these products committed at least one “greenwashing” sin.
That means that 95% of the products studied either overstated or mislead shoppers on the true benefits of the green products.
Here are some very common Marketing Sins that plague Online Advertisers:
- Free offers that aren’t really free
- Signup forms that take your info and sell it or spam it
- Stating something as fact with no proof or evidence to back it up
- Using “Sales Pitch” in the content of your webpage
Industry Targeted by Feds
In 2009, the debt consolidation industry found themselves in hot water with rampant marketing abuses in the industry. The Federal Trade Commission coordinated with all 50 states Attorneys General launching “Operation Short Change” to rein in on the industries bad practices.
One by one, the federal and state governments sued debt consolidation companies for overstating and misleading consumers on the effects and benefits of consolidating debt.
Realtor Busted for Deceptive Email Marketing
Because of the rampant abuses, states enacted new laws to prevent businesses from misleading marketing and advertisements. In Barlow v. Ohio State DOC, 2010 Ohio 3842 (10th App. Dist. Ct. of App.), courts ruled against an Ohio realtor for deceptive online advertising.
In this example, the realtor registered several domain names with slight variations of a competitor’s name. Then he engaged an email marketing campaign targeting 700 potential customers who thought they were going to the competitor’s site.
The competitor, REC, sued and obtained an injunction from an Ohio court preventing the realtor from continuing to register the domain names. Then a complaint was filed against the realtor with the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing.
The Division found that the realtor incurred in misconduct by practicing misleading advertising. The realtor lost the case, was enjoined from the practice, and received sanctions by the state.
Why SEO Does Not Work
One of the most common online marketing methods is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is a practice of manipulating websites to try and influence the search engines like Google to get your website to the top of the search rankings.
SEO companies constantly overstate the value and benefits of optimizing your website.
One online shopper stated “I think almost all advertisers and marketers are liars”
Another stated “Lying is rampant, and is the natural consequence of organizations motivated, measured by, and rewarded by profit.”
Businesses selling online often use SEO in an attempt to increase lead generation or E-Commerce Sales. What the businesses fail to realize is SEO rarely increases sales because the shoppers do not believe it.
The Heart of the Issue is Credibility
Creditability will always be the first consideration when a shopper is evaluating whether or not to make a purchase from your website. When you “Green Wash” your marketing, your customers are quick to pick up on the deceptive and unbelievable marketing claims. They will even research your claims and look for online reviews to validate what you are stating.
Instead of increasing website sales, you actually cause your users to hit the back button because they have lost confidence in you because of the claims on your website.
Once a user hits the back button leaving your website, they rarely if ever return.
Why would they, they no longer Trust You
This is most apparent when you are tracking visitor’s actions into your website. Analytic Software such as Google Analytics has a conversion metric called the bounce rate. Bounce rate is how quickly someone lands on your website, and then hits the back button to leave the site.
If your websites has a bounce rate of higher than 40%, your customers are telling you that don’t like what they see. Through a process of Conversion Testing, you can test what your customers are doing when visiting your website.
Conversion Testing can also determine other actions such as what causes a shopper to place a product in your sites shopping cart, but only to abandon the purchase when checking out.
If you would like to know more about how to increase online lead generation and ecommerce sales, Funnel Science can help. Funnel Science can test your website to determine what your visitors are doing and how to increase positive actions such as sign ups or online purchases.
If you would like an internet marketing expert to review your site first, complete the form below.
If you would like help now, call 877-301-0001