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Content – The Pros and Cons of Automatic vs. Responsive

Depending on your particular business and your particular target audience(s); you may find that either automatic or responsive content is the right fit for you. As technology progresses, many aspect of online activity can be completed automatically (i.e. automation) whereas some aspects are better suited to responding to certain criteria before occurring (i.e. a lightbox as part of a website exit strategy). Here we take a look at some of the applications, pros and cons of automatic and responsive content.

What is Automatic Content?
Automatic content relates to content that works and exists by itself automatically. While it may need a trigger to generate or appear, it does not rely on website visitors to click/tap somewhere for it to activate. An example of automatic content is that of a video. This may be set to play on the homepage of your website as soon as somebody lands on the page – their simple arrival signals the video to start playing by itself.

Pros and Cons of Automatic Content
The stellar pro related to automatic content is that there is little to no manpower work required for things to happen. Think of newsletter automation and mail-flows for example. Once setup and put into place, you can leave most newsletter software alone to send the relevant newsletters to people who sign-up to your newsletter for the first time (“Welcome!”) or have not purchased from your site in over three months (“We Miss You! Here’s a £20.00 Voucher to use in our Store!”). On the flipside however, some automatic content can be obtrusive as it carries out actions that your website visitors and customers did not specifically ask for. A video playing by itself for example could cause embarrassment to those viewing it on public transport or with people nearby as it may play loudly and draw attention. Likewise for those who are browsing privately, they would not want to broadcast their browsing habits to the world around them.

What is Responsive Content?
As the name implies, responsive content is that which comes into play by responding to an action carried out by your website visitors. An example of this is commonly seen in exit strategies – if a visitor navigates to the top of the webpage (where they could close the tab, exit the browser or search online for something else); a lightbox appears trying to entice them to stay e.g. “Leaving so soon? Click here to be taken to our online shop to avail of a 20% discount instead!”

Pros and Cons of Responsive Content
One of the greatest things about responsive content is that it portrays your business as extremely professional and optimised for customer and potential customer interaction. This is because it (your business) reacts accordingly to what is being asked of it. From as simple as a menu opening when hovered over or a customer care agent calling after an online form is filled out; responsive content is attentive, intuitive and accommodating. However there are also drawbacks to responsive content. Those visiting your website may want a readily available online chat option for example and not want to navigate to a contact page to find it. Likewise there are those who would appreciate random goodwill gestures in the form of discount codes and coupons as opposed to offers only designed to win customers back. As many as there are fish in the ocean, your business will no doubt run into customers who would like A,B and C to be automatic, but X, Y and Z to be responsive.

So what works for your Business?
In reality, most businesses benefit from a mixture of both automatic and responsive content. It comes down to your individual business and customer base to decide what should be the former and what should be the latter. The SaaS industry may send automatic e-mails to their clients regardless of the time of day when a server goes down for example. Yet other elements may only come about upon request from a client. The team at Webheads are experts at both website design and marketing online content. Get in touch with us if you are unsure of any of your website and/or online presence elements and we can get to work optimising them to propel sales and conversions to your business.