online sales conversion

Levitation 3I’ve written about being the “Cheerios Guy” of your organization; that is, running around talking up what you’ve learned as you’ve tested things on your Web site. Yes, it’s can be irritating, but it is VERY necessary.
The real question is, how do you equip your CMO to be the Cheerios Guy? You can’t show him or her the charts, spreadsheets and test results. When they get button-holed by the water cooler or broad-sided in the board room, they need a little swagger. You need to tell the story that lies in the data.
You need to give them a Book of Swagger.
Rose Holston takes us through the Book of Swagger, a device invented by digital communications guru Korye Logan in The Agile Marketer and the Book of Swagger.

The aim of the “Book of Swagger” is to be simple:

  • A prologue. A short narrative that sets the stage for the story. Statistics and web analytics define a baseline from whence we came (the past) and where we are today (the present).
  • Conflict and resolution. Talk about the drama of “wins” and “revelations” as the team completes scrum after scrum.
  • The future. Your communications toolkit becomes the basis for looking to the future. This is where your “Book of Swagger” illustrates the wins and losses that feed our mid-management and C-suite folks with information that helps to set the agenda.

Read the entire article
Photo courtesy bizior.

The common wisdom among social media marketers is “put links to your social media everywhere.” The idea is that you should build as big a social media “tribe” as possible.
As it turns out, this isn’t always a good plan.
If you’re paying for traffic to your Web site – and what traffic doesn’t require some cash, blood, sweat or tears to earn – then why would you send it off to Facebook or YouTube or LinkedIn to disappear forever?
You wouldn’t. But you might be.
In my Search Engine Land article How Mark Zuckerberg Stole Your Search Traffic & What To Do About It, I show you how your social media advertisements may be costing you conversions.
I also show you how to use social media in a conversion-safe way.
Read the entire article
Brian Massey, The Conversion Scientist teaches businesses of all sizes how to get more leads and sales from the traffic coming to their Web site.
Contact Brian Massey

We have a little fun with Copywriters in my newest Content Marketing Institute post, How to Find the Right Copywriter for your Landing Pages.
Pencil-pusherIf you could only hire one professional that would increase the number of people who buy or become a lead on your site, it would be a copywriter.
They can paint more detailed pictures than a photographer.
They can use more colorful language than a designer.
Communicate with humans and search engines.
If you’re going to dominate your competition online, it is because they write their copy themselves. I suggest you find a good direct response copywriter and let them do their work.
To help you get familiar with the kinds of copywriters you might meet in a dark alley, I’ve described five that I’ve run into on a regular basis.

  1. The Styrofoam Sandwich Writer

  2. The SEO Substituter

  3. The Frustrated Novelist

  4. The Soviet-era Propagandist

  5. The Persuader

Most copywriters you meet will be a combination of some of these.
Tell me about your favorite copywriter in the comments. Let us know what combination of the above he or she exhibits.
Brian Massey, The Conversion Scientist teaches businesses of all sizes how to get more leads and sales from the traffic coming to their Web site.
Contact Brian Massey
 
Photo courtesy nkzs.

Ezytire landing page markup Content marketers sometimes focus on the content and forget about the marketing.
Yes, we want to inform.
Yes, we want to educate.
Yes, we want to be seen as the thought leader in our space.
But, we also want more traffic to our Web site, more leads and more sales. Don’t let your content go out without a strategy to draw readers back to your site and a landing page to get them to take action – even if that action is to get your next content offering.
In Landing Page Basics: Making Your Content Marketing Convert I show you an example of how content can drive a reader to action.
I also talk about these five important landing page strategies:

Pitch the offer, not your company
Remove distractions
Let the visitor know where they are in the process
Make forms the right length
Only ask for information you will use

Online services are making things so easy for online marketers, but they’re also creating an enormous number of blind spots. These are the services that host our webinars, sell tickets to our events, let people buy our products, manage our appointments and almost everything else we do as online marketers.

Sometimes, these services behave as if they don’t want us to know the conversion rates of their services. They are unmeasurable, opaque to analytics.

I wrote an open letter to them at Search Engine Land.

 

Dear Service Provider:

 

I expect to be able to measure you. I expect to have transparency into what my visitors are experiencing inside your systems. I pay good money to bring prospects to my site and I don’t want to send them off to a black box when they buy my products or sign up for an event.

 

It’s time for you to prioritize measurement and to give me control of the signup, subscription, or purchase process.

 

Here’s what you need to do if you want me to use your service. These features are going to appeal to the largest users, those customers that you really want because they will pay for a lot of your services.

Read the rest of the letter.

We are well into the digital publishing world. I am fortunate to have my work appear several times a month in a variety of places.
Yet, I still love to see my mug in print, I don’t know why.
So, my digital friend, I thought I would share my mention from Chief Content Officer Magazine (free subscription) and fill in a few more details on the method to my headshot madness.

The Conversion Scientist’s Social Media Avatar Tips

1. Include something unusual in the image, something representative of your personal brand.

I wear the lab coat in every shot, even if it isn’t showing much. The human mind remembers such things.

2. Control the viewer’s eyes with your eyes.

Eye-tracking studies have shown that our gaze is drawn to faces that are looking at us. In fact, we may stare at a pretty girl long enough to forget why we came to your page in the first place. Have several versions of your headshot and aim your eyes at things you want people to see: calls to action, content, headlines, etc.

3. Be unexpected.

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One of the things we want to do is engage the mind of the viewer. Things that will light up someone’s brain activity are the unexpected, off-center and the need to “fill in” an image.

4. Consider integrating action.

You can tell a story with a one-frame headshot. So, tell it. What am I doing in this shot?
I’m talking to an audience. I must be a presenter. Why, yes, I am! But, what am I holding (unexpected)?
I’m going in for the hug! That means I’m a connector, right??
Other avatar actions: Being passionate, banging a table, thinking deeply, contributing at a homeless shelter.
Our avatars don’t have to be boring, and in fact they can be quite instrumental in engaging with visitors to our Web site, Facebook profile, Twitter stream and more.
Hand-drawn avatar courtesy Kathleen McElwaine.
Headshot logo by David Holston.
Headshots by Korey Howell Photography.
Image with mic courtesy Eugene Hsu.
Contact Brian Massey

Did you know that all of the changes you’re making to your Web site are largely wasted? Really.

If you were to put just a little discipline behind your site changes, you could learn scads about what your visitors like and what makes the cash register ring online.

I address the power of Serial Testing in my Conversion Sciences column on Search Engine Land.

 

Gather close, dear friends and hear my words of warning. Gird yourself, for my tale would make any enlightened man or woman stagger back in disbelief. I do not share such news with you lightly. It is not my errand to harm or discomfort your mental or psychological well-being.

 

Resist the urge to sever the very Internet connection with which you receive my message. I shall soon relieve your stress with a simple technique that will counter the malevolence that I describe.

 

I reveal my knowledge only because you may in fact be a person possessing an enterprising mind. If this is true, I know you will see in my tale of woe and tragedy the shadow of immense opportunity.

Read my Search Engine Land Conversion Science column…

As you might expect, I work with a number of eCommerce sites. Companies that sell things online is a faaaaaast moving target, so I’m glad to have folks like Willo O’Brien to keep me up to date on best practices.

Warning: You’re being left behind by some very innovative companies.

Which companies? Check out my notes form her SXSW presentation Social Shopping: The Future of Selling Online.

Click to Enlarge
 

INFOGRAPH-Social Shopping: The Future of Selling Online
 

Click to Enlarge

Also from SXSW: 63 Great Subject Lines from the SXSW Catalog

Get more sales from the traffic you’re getting today. Sign up for a free consultation with The Conversion Scientist.

Brian

Perhaps the hardest thing to do in Conversion Science is getting the art right.
Your value proposition, value statement, unique selling proposition or offer are critical to getting seen, heard or read.
At Enviromedia the art works, but the science keeps them from capitalizing on their genius.

Enviromedia's Great Value Proposition
Enviromedia Value Prop Enviromedia has a great value proposition but their implementation is not conversion friendly

Good Art

I love bold value propositions. “Business-savvy Tree-hugger” and “Capitalist pigs with a social conscious” communicate the value system of this company much better than something like “An environmentally-focused communications company.”
It will totally turn off businesses that aren’t concerned with environmental issues. Conservative republicans will leave the site quickly. This company has staked it’s claim and isn’t worried about losing the wrong business as it enchants the right clients.

Bad Science

For some reason, this fabulous value proposition was implemented as a flash panel. It took close to five seconds to load on a very fast broadband connection.
I almost didn’t see it.
Search engines won’t see it.
Why? So that the words can shimmer.
Why is this bad science?
Slow load times increase bounce rates and reduce conversion rates.
The human brain is hard-wired look at movement. Movement draws the eye.
In this case the eye is constantly drawn away from the page content. Doesn’t Enviromedia want me to click on “Who we are” and “What we do?” If not, why put them on the page.
The coup de tat? This big attention-drawing graphic isn’t clickable.
DOH!

Good Science

Rip out the flash. Put the exact same words in an image. Make the image clickable so that I can see what you mean by “business-savvy tree-hugger” and “capitalist pigs with a social conscience.”
Now I’m engaged. I’m into the site. I’m vulnerable to offers to start a conversation.
I’d hire Enviromedia.  I like and understand their value proposition. Of course, they could make it easier for me to hire them with a little conversion science in the mix.

Your Turn

Would you like us to look at your site? Sign up for a free conversion consultation with The Conversion Scientist™.

Readers may be involved in your content, like the chicken is involved in breakfast. How do you find the readers that are committed to your content, like the pig who is providing the bacon?

An excerpt from 12 Ways to Get Readers to Take Action:

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Press Button. Collect Bacon.
Looking for committed readers.

If you were to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to advertise on someone else’s Web site, you wouldn’t create a call to action that said “For more information on our company call….” You’d create an ad that:

        

  • Gets the reader’s attention visually
  •     

  • Offers something of value (“learn more about our company” is not a valuable offer)
  •     

  • Includes a clear action for them to take: Call or click
  •     

  • Shows up in the part of the page that contains Grade “A” Choice cuts, the best placement that you can afford.

Since you’re probably spending hundreds or thousands of dollars creating reports, white papers, webinars, seminars, articles and videos, you should be using this same approach to point the reader/viewer/attendee to the next exciting thing on your content menu.
Read the 12 ways to Get Readers to Take Action at the Content Marketing Institute.
Be bold. Be inline. Be shameless. Be frequent. Incentivize. Merchandize. Be mobile. Be creative. Be generous. Be miserly. Be a tease. Be exclusive.
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