Online Marketing Lessons from Dr. Seuss

Cat in the hatToday, simplicity in online marketing is more important than ever. You only have seconds to influence a potential customer. Businesses need to realize how distracted and over caffeinated their potential customers are. As I am writing this I have eight tabs open in Firefox, four in Chrome and my Skype is flashing. I was just notified that someone liked the picture of the enchilada I posted on Instagram. The notifications I am not getting are distracting me too.  Why haven’t I received a notification from in a few days? I thought the profile picture of me with the puppy would convert better.

People are distracted. Patience is a dead virtue. A lot can happen in just 60 seconds online  but when it comes to your website, you need to make something happen within 3 seconds. Today, people want their information fast and simple. Businesses need their marketing messages to be clear, simple, and entertaining.  Dr. Seuss understood this valuable principle of clever, yet clear messaging.  Some of his quotes provide us great insight for improving our online marketing:

  1.  “How did it get so late so soon?”

Speed kills. If your website is not lightning fast with the most important information and call to actions above the fold, your customers will leave you website before the page is fully done loading. How fast is your website? You can test your speed here. If you do not have A grade, get one. Get it fast. Make sure your inner pages are loading fast too. And since many of your potential consumers will be landing on your site via their cell phones or tablets, make sure your website’s mobile version, and any emails you send out, loads quickly, as well.


  1. “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

 It goes without saying that we have to value everybody, no matter who they are or what they perceive to be. When communicating and dealing with customers through emails or social media, you have to treat all people fairly and with kindness. You simply don’t know who the person behind the avatar is and that person has access to review sites that can make or break a business.

  1. “It has often been said there’s so much to be read, you never can cram all those words in your head.”

The content related to your business and it’s services should be concise and informative. Especially on your home page, landing pages and email campaigns. Too much content will scare people away. Like the person giving out samples at Costco, give them a taste and smile. If they want more, make them click for more. It will lead to increased conversions, time on site and higher click rates.

  1. “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Pay attention, listen, read, engage, watch your competition and other brands and learn from them. You do not have to spend too much time doing research. There are organizations who have already done all the work for you. The Webby Awards spend a lot of time nominating businesses who have done it right. Check them out. You can learn a lot from them. Also learn from Epic marketing fails.  A good recipe for success is to duplicate it.

  1. “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

Relax and be yourself when communicating online and with social media platforms. Besides being yourself, don’t try to hide behind a company logo and excessive professionalism. Of course your brand and its message should be professional, but be human too. This will build trust and long term loyalty.

  1. “So, open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts!”

Your voice is important and you must use it correctly, so your brand can be heard. Expressing your opinion truthfully through web content can build a good rapport with your online visitors. If you want to rank higher in Google, you need to be recognized as an authority. Google has told businesses how they want this done. Does your website have the proper Google publisher and authorship markup?

  1. “Step with care and great tact, and remember that life’s a great balancing act.”

Getting new customers has to be done gracefully. From the marketing campaigns to the final landing page of your website you need to find the perfect balance of information and marketing elements to display, and nothing more. You need to make it simple. You need to direct visitors but not push them. So how does one accomplish this? Split testing. A simple button change on your website could mean a huge increase in conversions. During the Obama campaign his digital team split test a button and graphic and it lead to $60 million more in contributions.

8.“You’re in pretty good shape for the shape you are in.”

Your marketing might be in good shape but it’s good to analyze and scrutinize from time to time. The shape your marketing is in might not be as good as you think or you are told. Have someone outside your business, who is not afraid to tell you the harsh truth, to check it out and explain it to you. If they cannot, it’s too complicated.

Dr Seuss was a perfectionist and would spend up to a year on a single book. Improved online marketing does not happen overnight. The main goal should always be to provide the best service and experience to your customer. Take your time, make it simple, and then test it out.


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