Cajoling vs. Enrolling

Taking a guided tour of a website earlier this week, I finally saw something.

The site is created for a specific group of people with shared interests, and it addresses them as such. It doesn’t spend any time selling them on joining the tribe — recognizing that they’re already enrolled, it merely picks up the conversation midstream.

The whole point of good marketing is to enroll the right people on the right journey. Other than an introduction to help orient people who might find your site by accident (how?), the audience should feel like they’ve just settled back in at the dinner table.

If you keep insisting “we are family!” before getting to the lighthearted (though purposeful) conversation of the day, it’s bound to get stuffy.

Enrolling new people is one thing. Continuing the conversation with people is another. It’s best not to cross the streams.