Mar 19, 2001
SUMMARY: Although many marketers love FLASH entry pages for Web sites, most site visitors think they are annoying. Here's an example of how an agency in Phoenix created a Flash entry page that's so much fun that they've gotten new business and new employees from it! Click below to learn more about the Flying Cow. || |
In the grand tradition of the cobbler's children getting no shoes, lots of agencies and design shops have sites that are not as great looking or quickly updated as the sites they create for their clients. Branding agency Santy Advertising-Communications' site fit that mold.
President Dan Santy says, "There was this mad rush to get a site there. We did a pretty straight forward site that didn't have a lot of action; and, it certainly wasn't representative of what we were telling our clients to do."
All of the agency's print collateral, such as business cards, already featured images related to the concept of branding -- such as an orange (Sunkist), a pair of men's briefs (Hanes) or a cow (literal branding.) So, when the team gathered to brainstorm the new site, they knew they wanted to use one of those images.
Santy's art directors, like art directors almost everywhere, wanted to add a Flash intro. At first Dan Santy was hesitant. He explains, "You see so many agency flash intros that are really self serving." You know the kind: a bunch of words related to marketing fly around on the screen and then the agency's name comes up and just sits there while pulsing music plays in the background. Santy's art directors had a better idea ... why not create a Flash intro that would truly engage visitors while saying something about Santy's brand?
And so the flying cow was invented.
Site visitors now see a Flash intro featuring the Santy cow flying through the air, gently waving its legs, and yes, mooing.
Once visitors enter the site, they are presented with fairly straightforward navigation so they can get on with their objective. Dan Santy says, "We don't get ridiculous and put Flash everywhere."
Santy also maximized its "Contact Us" form by using a contact management system from Touchscape. Visitors requesting any type of information are automatically funneled into Santy's contact database where their information is collected, acted-on and carefully tracked from then on.
After the revised site was launched June 2000, Dan Santy also vowed to never let it get stale again. Every new client campaign is showcased on the site in a timely fashion. In fact, site updates now take priority over all other Santy marketing collateral.
Since re-launching in June 2000, the Santy site has generated 106 new business leads from potential clients asking for more information. In addition, about 400 people have contacted Santy just to comment on how much they like the flying cow.
Plus as a great side benefit, the agency has received numerous inquiries from qualified job applicants who were initially impressed by type of corporate personality the cow revealed. Dan Santy says, "They say, 'I love your site, I love your work, who do I send my portfolio to?'"
Santy also reports that the Touchscape database has been a success, "We all get notified when a contact has been responded to and then they go on the list as a closed inquiry. It then allows us to track all inquiries and builds a database of all interested parties. I don't know how to program to save my life, but with this system I can easily create a really nice HTML message to send out to people whenever we launch a new version of the site, or we have job openings."
Dan Santy also reports that he's saving money with frequent site updates because the agency doesn't have to prepare and print as much collateral material. He says, "It's by far the most active self-promotional tool we have. I can call somebody and leave a message and not say, 'Gee can I mail you something?' I can just tell them to hit the site instead."
He also notes keeping the site updated has helped client-relations. "Clients love that we showcase their work. They also keep watch on our other clients this way. I've had clients write me to say they're glad to see how successful we are. Everybody wants to be around success."