Evict the Devils in Your Details

Creating a mean, green conversion system based on the principles of Persuasion Architecture requires looking at your project from every angle: the big picture that shapes how you approach your project to the nuts-and-bolts picture that influences your tactical choices.

In our just-released Call to Action, we organize the big picture into the key categories that make up persuasive design: planning, structure, momentum, communication and value. Within these categories, we expand on perspectives and tactics that will help you make a difference in your bottom line.

From the repository of tips that industry specialists gave us (you’ll find them woven throughout the book), I offer, for your reading delectation, these tactics from our own Dave Cadoff, a big-picture dude who wants to make sure you aren’t undermining your carefully crafted persuasive momentum.

Time to send the devils who reside in your details packing!

Tell your prospects what they’ll get

Folks aren’t coming to your site to do you a favor; they are there to meet their own needs and accomplish their own goal. Remember, your visitors are tuned in to their favorite radio station, WIIFM, and when they’re on your site, the volume is cranked. Dave writes,

Tell your prospects what they’ll get – not what you’ll get – if they click on a link. Rather than tell a prospect to “Register Here” (via a hyperlink), tell them what they’ll get if they register. Change the link to read “Download Kit” or “Read Whitepaper.”

Word your call-to-action hyperlinks – the links that provide momentum for your sales process – so they communicate the benefit of clicking. Not the benefit to you … the benefit to your visitor!

Stop Pre-checking checkboxes

I absolutely hate it when I get to a “submit” place on a Web site and discover the business has made my opt-in choices for me. I hate it so much that I routinely uncheck every box – I don’t even bother to read what I’m unchecking (and I rarely revisit the option to see if I want to change my mind). Dave cautions,

If you check the box for your visitors, then you are really forcing the prospect to opt-out. You’ve now put them in a “no” mindset. Just leave the checkbox unchecked and make the prospect do the “work.” Why? ‘Cause it’s a major buying signal – it signifies commitment. Get them in a “yes” mindset and they are much more likely to act or transact.

Maybe you’re hoping folks won’t notice you’ve opted them in to all your other online marketing vehicles? Don’t count on it. Inciting rebellion is not conducive to persuasion!

Reiterate your value proposition on your forms

Pages with forms are often massive bail points in the conversion process. Devastating to you, but understandable. In theory, submitting the form is how your visitor satisfies her goals, but in practice, forms are generally about you getting what you want. Consequently, form pages don’t tend to honor the visitor’s perspective or reinforce value. Dave suggests,

When prospects arrive at an order or lead generation form, few are100% committed to filling it out. Don’t make them click away to “remind” themselves why they got there. Instead:

  • At the top of the order form, reiterate your value proposition and what the prospect will receive.

  • Make sure your very first sentence starts with a checkbox with the word “Yes” next to it.

  • Put a check box next to every “I want to receive...” Put a border around this statement too.

Each time they reread a benefit or check a box, they’re further developing their commitment to the task of filling out the form ... and pressing submit.

It’s Always About Them

For you to achieve your goals, your visitors must first achieve their goals. You don’t accomplish this by making your goals apparent in the details of your conversion system. You can’t push your visitors, but you can gently pull them. That’s what persuasion is all about.

Are you ready to evict a few more devils? Then read more – much more – in Call-to-Action.

Volume 111:5/15/05


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