THE VIRTUALAF™ blog

Let’s say you’ve been assigned to build your company’s website—and you’ve definitely done your homework. You’re targeting potential customers through paid search and social ads, narrowing your audience by age, interests, and location. You’ve made sure your site is optimized for mobile and designed for hassle-free lead capture. Best of all, you’re offering customers ways to spend more time on your site—videos, infographics, and other shareable content.

And people are showing up. But they’re not doing much else.

What are you missing out on… and what are high-converting sites getting right?

 

Make a Compelling Offer

This is speed-dating: you have at most eight seconds before most of your customers will click away. High-converting sites put their most compelling offer right at the top. Know what makes you special. You may think that Uber has a pretty persuasive message for drivers—”Work that puts you first. Drive when you want, earn what you need”—but then consider Lyft’s response: “Get a $1250 bonus.”

What’s the difference? Uber’s offer is difficult to define (just how much do you need?). Lyft isn’t asking prospective drivers to define anything: it’s telling you exactly how to pocket a $1250 bonus.

 

What’s It To You?

Relevance is everything. One of a landing page’s most important tasks is to get visitors to imagine how the product applies to them. Rather than simply telling users what the product can do for them, get them to imagine what they can do with the product.

When Nest decided to launch a video doorbell, they could have taken the conventional route and simply describe its features (“you can see who’s ringing”) or its benefits (“keep your home and family safe.”). Instead, they delivered a video-enabled page that showed all of the various people who might be ringing—pizza delivery, annoying neighbors, kids playing ring-and-run. It’s fun, it’s clever, but most of all it gets the visitor imagining all the ways they can create a space for that product in their future.

 

Feel Their Pain

“Life is pain, Highness,” goes the line from The Princess Bride. “Anyone who says otherwise is selling something.” No offense to the Dread Pirate Roberts, but pain points happen to be a critical tool for conversion. Robert Cialdini’s landmark book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion describes an experiment where participants were given one of two messages. One group was told, “If you insulate your home fully, you’ll save 50 cents every day.” The other was told, “If you don’t insulate your home fully, you’ll lose 50 cents every day.” As it happened, the group receiving the “loss language” version was 150% more likely to insulate their homes.

 

Let Customers Take the Wheel

If a customer’s taken the trouble to click through to your site, chances are they know what they want and they’re looking to see if you can give it to them. Or, if they don’t know what they want, they’re hoping you’ll help them figure it out. Either way, don’t assume that the visitor is asking you to take over. Smart marketers know that the customer is always in control of the conversation—because if they don’t like what they’re seeing, they will simply click away.

How many times have you gotten two paragraphs into an interesting article, only to have it disappear behind an interstitial pop-up form? Is your first thought, “Wow. That totally interrupted what I was looking for. I guess I’d better sign up for that newsletter?” Or is it, “Get me out of here now?”

Customers need to know they’re in charge of their own screen. Sign-up forms should never take away the user’s control of the experience. By contrast, chat options at the bottom of the page are 31% more likely to get a positive response.

Above all, customers like to feel like they’re taking action. A button labeled “Compare rate plans” sounds like homework. “Choose your plan” is a decision—and people like to feel decisive.

 

A Work In Progress

Your landing page is never really done. Smart marketers A/B test their headlines, images, options, and body copy. Above all, they’re guided by the metrics. What customers say is often inconclusive, but there’s no way to misinterpret what they do. Knowing why they stay or leave is the key to keeping them where you live.

 

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