Last time on this blog I talked about acquiring, converting and nurturing customers. Today, I’d like to focus on one aspect of this process: Conversion. Now, I understand everybody would like to wave a magic wand and watch users convert to buyers across the digital marketing spectrum. If such a method existed, all of us marketers would be using it. Regardless, we can still design our websites, emails and other messages with conversion in mind. Here’s how…
One of the first things to remember about conversion is the power of an actual call-to-action. Yes, it’s bold. Yes, it’s direct. Sometimes, users need to be shown exactly what to do, and it’s your job as a marketer to tell them loudly and clearly. This call can be either a verbal or visual command … sometimes both, like a colorful button with a direct message:
- Sign up
- Get it now
- Contact us
This one takes advantage of classic behavioral psychology, namely, the idea that people respond on a gut level to fear or other emotions before the rational part of their brains kicks in. Advertisers have known this for a long time, and marketing on the Web is no different from traditional media in this way. Another way to work with human psychology is to appeal to the reptilian brain to inspire immediate trust in your users.
Sometimes, the way to conversion is as simple as better copy. That’s right: What you say, and where/how you say it can have a great impact on your conversion rate. Also, considering the fundamentals of how people read on the Web is extremely important.
In general, on the Web, in order to get more business, you need to simplify, simplify, simplify. This is seldom less true than with forms. Any time you can eliminate unnecessary data from a form (and/or make it easier to use), you are probably going to increase your chances of the user completing it.
A case where copy and forms collide involves the word “submit.” As a rule, you don’t want to be sending users any negative messages, and the word “submit” can create unconscious friction with its connotations of power and weakness. In these cases, neutral or positive language is more desirable.
Put the most important information at the top left of the page. English-language readers typically scan Web pages left-to-right and top-to-bottom. Therefore, the most commonly viewed spot on any Web page is the top left. In other words, don’t bury your most important information somewhere deep on the page where people are less likely to even see it. Start signaling conversion paths early and often!