When you run a website for a while, you’ll surely receive an unsolicited website design proposal. But some ‘cold call’ emails miss the mark.
I hate receiving an unsolicited website design proposal. For one thing, if I didn’t reach out to the designer, I’m obviously not looking for a new design. Second, the designers invariably start pointing out “flaws” they can fix.
I never said my website is perfect. But if you think it’s so full of flaws that you need to point them out, I’d politely suggest you visit one of the millions of other sites out there. One of them will surely strike your fancy.
In this case, of course, it’s a web designer looking to make a buck. Still, I would expect politeness from someone looking to score a winning bid.
Would you hire someone with this approach?
This particular person, whom I’ll call Nancy, started her note with “Greetings of the day!!!” I suppose the three exclamation points should make me believe she’s really happy to be saying hello to me.
But then Nancy gets right to the point, telling me that while visiting my website, she found “a completely outdated look and feel.”
Well, my website’s design is similar to plenty of current, modern magazine-style blog layouts, both old and new. Mine has a handful of features, some of them small, that others do not offer.
She then adds the look and feel is “the primary point to attract any new users.” I get new users year after year. New users isn’t the problem, Nancy. Returning users can sometimes be a challenge.
She says a website “should be professional and modernized” and should reflect “the latest design and technology standards.” I guess we don’t share the same definitions here.
Then comes her big blunder.
She tells me she performed “an initial analysis” of my website. Well, who asked her to do so? I hope she didn’t spend a great deal of her time on that. She should have been spending it working on a design for a paying customer. What she said next guaranteed that I won’t be one of them.
She then lists the faults she determined my website has, “which should be taken care of at an urgent basis:”
- Website look and feel is outdated
- Website is not compatible on mobile devices; you are losing potentials mobile customers
- Different fonts have been used throughout the website with different colors
- Lack of moving objects on the landing page, which is required to attract customers
- Contact form is not user interactive
- Absence of prominent Call to Action
- Website is not optimized as per Google algorithm standards
My website actually is compatible on mobile devices. I purchased a theme that I confirmed was mobile-friendly before I paid for it. I wonder what kind of “potentials [sic] mobile customers” she means. If you haven’t figured it out, I sell nothing here.
Yes, I do use a few different typefaces on this site. Almost every other website in the world also uses different typefaces. Headlines are a different font than the body text. Headings and menus also use different typefaces. I don’t choose typefaces to be distracting. In fact, I choose them to complement each other and make the best use of the space they have. Links have different color text than regular text.
I feel confident that this is what everyone else does, too.
I have no idea what sort of “moving objects” she thinks are necessary. But on the other hand, I don’t care to know.
When she said the contact form is not user-interactive, I chuckled a bit. I don’t know what kind of “interaction” she needs. But she was able to use it to send me her message just fine.
Then we come to the absence of a prominent Call to Action. This is a blog. The “action” inherent that I ask you to take is to read my content. If you’re reading this sentence, this far down the page, you’re obviously already doing that.
I’d love for you to subscribe to my blog. There’s a Subscribe button on every page of the website.
No, I don’t have pop-up boxes and sliding windows that zoom across the screen and demand your email address. If you need that to acquire subscribers, I will feel satisfied with the few I have, thank you very much.
I’ll give her credit for one point of her website design proposal: she does come up with one useful critique. That’s the Google point. That’s a work in progress. I always consider SEO to be a work in progress. I doubt most of us who blog ever really, truly become masters of it.
And let’s face facts: Google doesn’t really want us to master it. They have a vested interest in our failures to figure it out so we’ll pay Google AdSense for advertising.
She wraps up her proposal by suggesting “a complete revamp” of the website.
If and when I ever decide to order one, guess who I won’t be choosing. It’s not that I wouldn’t want a fair critique if that time were to arrive. But I’d want it from someone I asked, not someone just looking to make a buck.
Sorry, Nancy. Your email failed to attract a new customer.
Maybe you should soften your approach next time.
And by the way: if you really want me to believe you work for “a complete web /mobile development and 360 degree digital marketing services providing company,” don’t email me from a Gmail account! That raises both eyebrows!