web design

Flash will usually decrease your conversion rates

Executives love their sites to have flash headers. It looks cool. It looks like marketing is doing something. The problem is, a flash header can hurt engagement and conversion more than it helps.

The Triple Threat of Flash Headers

Flash banners are usually no more than cool images with “poser” slogans riding on top of them. They tend to focus on what’s good about the company and very little on solving the visitors’ problems.

Flash does draw the eye, and will be looked at by visitors. But, if the meat of your message is in the body of the page, this actually draws the reader away from the important stuff.

Tall flash banners also push your body content down, obscuring much of it below the fold.

This is the triple threat: irrelevance, distraction and obfuscation.

Proper Use of Flash

Flash is a great tool for communicating your message in seconds. It will appeal to short-attention-span visitors such as your Spontaneous and Competitive visitors. Images can reinforce brands quickly.

If you’re going to use flash on a page, it basically has to do the work of the whole page. This means you need to spend considerable time making sure that it will:

  • Explain your value to the visitor efficiently and completely
  • Provide a way to take action
  • Support the brand image that the rest of the site presents

Flash that Works

I’ve seen few flash headers that do this well. The Tumri home page is an exception. The motion in the flash presentation draws the eye. With just a few moments of watching, you get how their offering works at a high level. To the right of the “action” is a button enticing you to “Learn More.” This is a weak call to action, but at least it’s there. The flash presentation is tasteful and probably highlights products sold by Tumri’s target customers.

The proper use of flash headers

Tumri Flash Header.

Yes, their flash header pushes down the content, but there’s not much there of value to visitors below, just brochure copy, self-promoting icons and news about the company. In short, if it wasn’t for the flash header, this page would be an engagement disaster.

It takes time to use Flash as the super-communicating tool it can be. Don’t use it for “effect” or “image building.” When you do, you unleash the triple threat that will make Flash work against you.

If you are building a site as a service website, you have some important advantages when converting visitors to subscribers.

ConversionCast: Spinscape.com Site as a Service

ConversionCast: Spinscape.com Site as a Service

Editor’s Note: While Spinscape is no longer in business, there is something to be learned from my critique of the site.
In this ConversionCast™ we review the conversion strategy for online application Spinscape.com. I am a big fan of mind-mapping software.

The Site as a Service Pattern

This site follows the Site as a Service Web pattern. You can identify your Web pattern by listening to my presentation at Innotech.

The key strategies for a SaaS pattern are:

  • Trial or Demo and a Home Page that encourages the trial
  • Effective signup Process
  • E-mail notifications that encourage use and subscription

Yes, there are more things you could do to increase conversion, but if you don’t get these right, the rest is not going to help much.

If you can delivery what you offer online, you have some marked advantages over other patterns.

  • You can move a visitor quickly through the conversion funnel, from awareness to action.
  • You can use a trial or demo to begin a relationship with your visitors
  • You can find new reasons to email your subscribers using notifications and updates

Enjoy this 15 minute review.

Tell us what your Site as a Service offers in the comments below.

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks to Skyrocket Conversions

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks

Keep these proven copywriting hacks in mind to make your copy convert.

  • 43 Pages with Examples
  • Assumptive Phrasing
  • "We" vs. "You"
  • Pattern Interrupts
  • The Power of Three
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