Many Web sites, particularly those involved in the Internet marketing niche, have used audio very effectively as a tool for boosting sales.
You’ve probably arrived at sites yourself where, as soon as the page has loaded a voice starts extolling you on the virtues of the product or service on offer. They usually start along the lines of:
“Thank you for XYZ Incs new sales page, etc, etc”
“Before reading the ground-breaking news below, etc, etc”
“Hi. My names Gary Chan and I’d like to tell you about my amazing new, etc, etc”
Sometimes this can be incredibly effective and other times it can, let’s be honest, be a complete annoyance. It all depends on several factors.
First, you must take into account where the person is going to be when listening to the message. If your typical visitor is going to be viewing your site while sat at their desk next to all their work colleagues it’s not going to be appropriate if, as soon as they load your site a voice starts saying:
“Hey! Why not quit your day job now and start your very own business selling, etc, etc”.
Not only could this be incredibly embarrassing, it could actually make that person really hate your site. It’s not exactly going to get them to read on if there’s a voice in the background running through all the benefits of quitting your job and starting up on your own.
Secondly, you need to think about the product. It’s absolutely true that in many cases you have less than ten seconds to capture someone’s attention before they click on the back button on their browser and return to the search results in Google. Audio can be incredibly effective during that ten seconds, but not for all products and services. Just because it can be effective doesn’t mean you have to use it all the time.
If you’re selling fan belts for classic cars then it is unlikely that having a sales message playing as soon as people land on your site is going to make any difference at all.
Also, if your site is primarily an information site then having an introductory message of any kind is unlikely to do anything other than annoy your visitors. If your site looks as though it will contain the information the visitor is looking for that is what will keep them on the site and not a sales message in the background.
Thirdly, if you do decide to have an audio sales message on your site make sure that the voice is right. If you have a good voice yourself or even a reasonably good voice it’s well worth trying to use your own rather than someone else’s as it adds extra sincerity and can be the first step in building an online relationship with the visitor.
If on the other hand you lack confidence in your own voice or your voice is simply not suited to the product or service you are offering make sure hire a voice-over artist. There are many excellent voice over artists promoting themselves on the web and their prices are often incredibly reasonable. A one minute audio piece will cost you anything from $10 to $200 depending on who you get to read it.
Lastly, don’t forget to test to see whether the audio really does work. If you find that by adding the audio your sales go through the roof then wonderful, but should you find the opposite is true then ditch the audio immediately or run more tests with different audio messages or different voices.