Are you locking the door on your customers?

A couple of months ago I went to one of my favorite restaurants for lunch.

I showed up at 11:30 but the door was locked, even though they open at 11:00.

I saw workers inside so I knocked. I waited a couple of minutes and almost left.

Finally someone opened the door. She noticed the time and said, “Yikes, I wonder how much business we lost by accidentally keeping the door locked?!”

That’s an excellent question and one you should ask yourself regularly, even if yours is an online business.

Today I want to address two specific areas where I see a lot of marketers keeping the door locked:

Sending out teaser emails that link to a blog post instead of including the entire content in the email.

And:

Not including the entire blog post in the RSS feed. So only a snippet appears in people’s Google Reader inbox.

To me this is the equivalent of a locked door.

When I’m looking at my email inbox I’m almost always in a hurry and focused on which emails I need to reply to. I’m not usually in the mood to click on a link.

I’m also seeing which emails I can quickly delete. If there’s an email from a marketer with the complete blog post in the email there’s at least a chance I will read it right away or save it for later.

If there is only a teaser, the email gets deleted. I usually subscribe to their RSS feed instead so I can see their blog posts that way and avoid the teaser email.

But sometimes those same marketers don’t let their entire post appear in Google Reader either. Argh!

That’s too bad because when I’m in Google Reader I’m actually in the frame of mind to read more leisurely, unlike when I’m looking at my email inbox.

Google Reader doesn’t have the urgency and pressure that an email inbox has, so don’t irritate your readers there by making them have to click to read the post.

Please don’t overlook the importance of Google Reader in your email marketing. If you send out blog posts as emails (as you should, as I’ve written about before) then please check the reading setting of your blog and make sure “full text” is checked instead of “summary” in the feed section.

I know there are those that will say they get higher conversion rates by only sending teasers. That’s cool.

My recommendations are based on what I’ve seen my clients do and all the high profile bloggers I read who let their complete posts appear in Reader. In my opinion, I think this is one door you won’t want to keep locked.

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