When it comes to conversions, your goal is a behavior. You can’t force or buy behavior (at least, not without violating some basic principles of marketing), but you sure can influence it. In order to be successful in your conversion optimization strategy, you need to be able and willing to get inside the mind of your user and guide them to convert.
This isn’t an easy process. Users prefer inaction to action, and when it comes to spending money, people are naturally stingy. It takes a lot of effort to persuade someone to act on one of your calls-to-action, but leveraging these five important psychological principles is a good start.
You can take advantage of this by asking your users to commit to something small at first—such as a newsletter signup—before moving on to something bigger. As an entry-level idea, consider making your conversion an email signup, and then hit your email audience harder with more serious CTA asks.
In practice, this can manifest itself in a number of ways. You might offer a simple chart that compares your product to a competitor’s. You might use a calculator to estimate cost savings. You might just offer a short bulleted list of advantages. Whatever you do, remember—you have to keep it simple. It’s tempting to add more bells and whistles to convince your audience of your product’s worth, but minimalism is a better strategy in nearly all cases.
Online conversions can work the same way. If you can give your users something valuable, they’ll be far more open to giving you something in return. For example, let’s say you offer a free sample of your product. In exchange, all you ask is for users to give you their name and email address. The average user, if interested in your sample, will be far more willing to give you their information than if you asked for it point-blank.
In a digital marketing context, this means people are far more willing to convert if they see others who have done the same thing. How can you demonstrate this? The best way is through customer reviews and testimonials, which you include next to your CTA—and the images of real human faces don’t hurt either.
Remember this when you create your CTA message. Treat the situation as positively as possible, with an emphasis on earning a benefit rather than losing or paying something.
Put the lessons learned from these psychological principles to good use in your own conversion strategy, but don’t forget the most important conversion tactic of all: experimentation. Even with these psychological predispositions in mind, it’s nearly impossible to predict exactly how your audience is going to react to a certain call-to-action or conversion opportunity. The only way to know for sure is to test two variants against each other, and measure which was more effective (then repeat this process ad infinitum).
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