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The Pitfall of Shouting “I’m Gorgeous Inside!”


DATA-DRIVEN CMO is an ongoing series on the Brooks Bell Blog that focuses on topics for the modern day data-driven CMO.

There is a house in my neighborhood that is up for sale. It’s been on the market for over three months now. This is an issue because other houses in the same neighborhood have been sold within 24 hours of entering the market. Last month, an additional plaque was added under the realtor sign that reads, “I’m gorgeous inside!”

house on the inside

A whole month after the message was added, the house is still on the market. And I’m not surprised. Conventional wisdom might suggest that the claim would make potential homebuyers curious about how gorgeous the house really is inside. But what most people forget is that by drawing attention to the gorgeous inside of the house, the sellers are also prompting scrutiny of the outside. You see, by calling out a feature that can’t be seen until prospects walk through the door, it draws more intense focus to what can be seen.

The exterior of the house is pretty awesome looking. But next to brand new houses, it shows some minor evidence of wear and tear. These are things that wouldn’t ordinarily be considered if not for the emphasis on the gorgeousness of the interior.

This happens with websites, too. There are many great online services, deal sites, and premium content sites that prevent potential users from getting a true taste without registering first—sites like Angieslist.com and Livingsocial.com, to name a few. To draw a comparison, it is as if you can’t see what’s gorgeous inside (the value of the website and membership) until you walk through the door (the registration process).

It’s an excellent illustration of why your value proposition needs to be clear, your anxiety points must be addressed, and your credibility must be built up in any way it can be. The entire experience needs to be extremely well thought out, including the design, functionality, and email confirmations.

Creating a block page that requires signup to pass while pitching the product on the other side is a great marketing strategy. Just make sure that the outside looks as good as the inside.