start by studying Emotions. Watch people. Interact. Communicate. Experience. Feel. Poke. Prod. Ask different questions, look from different angles. Sound daunting? It doesn't have to be... and more tools are coming.
Think about 2002, ages ago in internet years right? Now think about 2005. Today sites are better, better technology. Faster sites. Better usability. Better web analytics. Majors sites have been redesigned since 2002. More users have broadband, and visitors are more comfortable buying online.
Here's a partial case study for Persuasion Architecture. It has a "before" scenario, but I'll leave out the after. The numbers are real, the company is real. The name of the company has been changed to protect the blind.
Company B sells one product (just one) through their web site. They are driving traffic to their site via targeted network radio. Virtually ALL of their traffic is coming directly as a result of this offline radio campaign. These visitors heard about the product, entered the url directly and have come to the site seeking more information. (Don't you wish all of your traffic was this motivated?) Not surprisingly, Company B does quite a bit better than the industry average of 2.6% conversion. Yes, they convert around 4% of their traffic and they're making money. A 4% conversion rate pays the bills (including close to $100k/month on radio) and puts some money in the owners' pockets as well. It doesn't take a math genius to figure out that each percentage increase in conversion would be worth nearly 6 figures of additional income.
Now, let's apply some Persuasion Architecture Probability Analysis Sooper Dooper Number Crunching.
FACT 1. The probability of a visitor buying the product is 24:1 Against. (4% conversion rate).
FACT 2. If I owned a brick and mortar store and I only stocked ONE simple, inexpensive product, and 24 out of 25 potential customers (who came to my store because they already knew what they wanted) left empty handed, I would be mathematically proven to be a poor shopkeeper. AND, the ONE person who managed to buy, was probably desperate and made the purchase in spite of my worst efforts.
OK, FACT 2 is laden with opinion and isn't much of a fact. I'll try to be more factual from here on out.
Here's the Persuasion Architecture Persona Probability based on the Keirsey Temperament sorter statistics: The estimated distribution of temperaments of US general population are 40-45% Guardian (we Persuasion Architects call them Methodicals), 35-40% Artisan (Spontaneous), 5-10% Idealist (Humanistic), 5-10% Rational (Competitive).
Let's assume that the visitors to Company B's web site are a normal cross-section of the general population. We have no reason to believe otherwise without analyzing the radio campaign.
Looking at the same visitors through the lens of a Personality Temperament Sorter tells us that these visitors are NOT all alike. In fact, if Company B were to redesign their site to speak directly to the desires of just the two biggest groups, I think we could throw away the math. If 25 Methodicals came to the site and found that the designers and writers had anticipated their every need and answered their many questions in the logical and linear manner that they prefer, there's no doubt in my mind that quite a few more than ONE would buy the product. Math and probability be damned...I know they would sell to more of these people!
What if we did the same thing for the Spontaneous folks? Made it easy for them to get in, pay, download, install and go on their merry way in search of their next experience? Do you think more than 1 in 25 would buy? Me too.
That accounts for up to 85% of the population and we still have some other types of people out there who would like us to accommodate their needs as well. No problem.
This is what Persuasion Architecture does. The biggest misunderstanding people have is when they see PA as a technological solution when it's really a psychological solution.
What's the math now? No way to know for sure, because Company B can still drop the ball in quite a few ways, but I'll bet you a new Vault Zero that the conversion rate would be higher than 4%. What do you think?
What do you do if you are in a dog munch dog, hyper competitive industry? What do you do if you are in an industry whose reputation is collectively toilet bound? What do you do if everyone in America is conditioned to mistrust you? How do you sell successfully in a hostile environment like that?
Answer: Have fun.
I've been watching the new A&E reality show "King of Cars" featuring a loudmouth rapper type car dealer named Chop who runs Towbin Dodge in Las Vegas. 80% of their business is a direct result of a weekly informmercial Chop produces himself . The TV informmercial is one of the single best persuasion scenario driving points I have ever seen, it drives offline traffic like crazy. (Yeah yeah, the website needs work but that's another post)
Towbin Dodge is the #1 single point dealership in the nation.
Instead of trying to market credibility, or change the public's perception of car salesmen, Chop just decided to make everything fun. To be himself.
Turns out people love him. Turns out people love having fun. Who woulda thunk?
I have to wonder how many companys can benefit from unclenching their rear ends and being a bit real. Or are you gonna make me and the public endure yet another cloned, canned, polished, boring and safe message that no one is gonna believe anyway?
Whatever your website, I think you want better traffic, not more traffic.
You want to figure out why the right people will come, not build a sideshow that attracts exactly the wrong people.
At trade shows, there's always a few booths with magicians, fire-eaters or bikini-clad models. And post-show, there's no evidence at all to indicate that the noisy attractions did very much to improve the actual metrics of the booth.
So, maybe it doesn't matter how your site does compared to a site in a different category. What matters, I think, is how your site does compared to last week or last month, and what's happening to your conversion. Read Seth's entire post.
Agreed. We've been talking about his for quite a while.
Assuming your site's conversion rate is on par with the industry average(around 2%) be careful not to come to the conclusion that 98-97% of the traffic is the wrong people just because they don't convert. Don't run out willy nilly and try to find the 'right traffic'. Most of that good traffic might be right beneath your sniffer now. No matter how much of the 'right traffic' you have, your sight has to be just as right to make sure that 'quality' traffic gets the information they need, the way they need it.
It's not just quality of traffic, and like Seth points out, it's the quality of their experience with you and your brand. The quality of your persuasion scenario planning is what bridges the gap between you and your traffic's potential.
"Push your agency out of the way," insisted John Nardone, chief client officer
at MMA, in the day's most
controversial statement. "They're your single biggest barrier to measurement."
And I thought we were harsh in our Ad:tech 1mpact presentations! Talk about impactful quotes. How about this one as well:
"I don't need to hear from you," snapped Dr. Don E. Schultz, professor
emeritus-in-service of Integrated Communications at Northwestern University.
Speaking in an ad-barraged consumer's voice, Dr. Schultz continued, "If I need
something, I'll go get it."
"It's a radically different marketplace," Schultz continued. "The supply
chain has changed to a demand chain."
It's no surprise to hear these stories coming from yesterday's Yahoo Summit- we've spent a lot of time with Yahoo over the last year, as they've been very involved in promoting Waiting For Your Cat to Bark(not to mention supplying a $50 incentive to search marketers who purchase the book). They definitely have a clearer vision of the new consumer landscape. It was perhaps a tad surprising to hear so many voices echoing the sentiments we've offered in this space, and at conferences all over the world, this past year. What can I say, it's a good time to be a Persuasion Architect.
Our GrokDotCom newsletter is also out. The martian writes about the maturity (or immaturity) of the online channel. Are you settling for poor conversion rate increases because you think this is as good as the online channel gets? Find out. The newsletter also features an article from one of our newest staff additions, Robert Gorell, who generously spills some help about online copywriting.