After tackling Google Analytics a couple of weeks ago, we couldn’t leave it there.
Not when there’s one other tool that’s essential if you want accurate data.
We’re talking about Google Tag Manager or GTM – the grand tourer of the Google tool kit. (Sorry. Could not resist.)
What makes GTM indispensable? It’s designed to help marketers set up tools, tracking and plugins, without involving developers in the process.
You can use it to track the metrics you want and to add code to your site even if you can’t code.
In this workshop, we’re diving into the top tips, techniques and best practices for using GTM to boost conversions.
Our expert guest Magda from House of Progress shares her most successful uses of GTM and show us how she sets them up in the platform.
If you haven’t started using Google Tag Manager yet, you’ll get the foundation you need to do so right after the workshop. And if you’re using it, you’ll get to see some of Magda’s advanced tips in action.
Here’s what you don’t want to miss:
How to set up GTM so your data always tells the truth,
The framework Magda uses to set up tagging (and that you can swipe!),
Five metrics you can track (and how to get the most out of them),
Watch the recording below:
Top Google Tag Manager Tips to Track and Optimize your Funnels - YouTube
Transcript and slides
This is a lightly edited transcript to make it it easier to read- just incase you’d rather read through than watch!
Here’s Magda’s wonderful workshop. Enjoy!
Before digging into the workshop details, I’m going to tell you a few words about myself.
A few years I noticed that I love specific areas that are like only marketing, data analytics, and psychology. So, I thought that the perfect job for me will be a job that brings each of these three main areas together.
So then, three years ago, I founded House of Progress where my team and I are helping businesses to increase their revenue through a few areas of expertise. We specifically help companies design and implement comprehensive data analytics measurement plans. We also conduct qualitative and quantitative research and build paid funnels from MTN.
We know that bringing data and creativity together is not “a nice thing to have” anymore, it’s a must. And that’s why we are all here.
Google Tag Manager engagement tips every marketer should use
Going back to our topic for today, we are going to show you a few GTM setups that help you get additional data into Google Analytics, and most specifically engage with metrics that are going to be very, very useful for informing your decisions.
And the way we will go about it is that I’m going to:
Explain GTM just to make sure that we are aligned and we understand it’s value,
Slowly get into the user engagement setups that I built for you and explain the reasoning behind them.
What makes Google Tag Manager great?
Why GTM? Because GTM hasn’t been on the market for the last 10 years. It’s only been around for the last few years.
But here’s why it’s such an important tool:
GTM is a tag management system. It manages tags used for tracking analytics purposes from one single place. What does that mean?
We know that when we have to implement heat maps, AB testing tools, speak cells, events, Google Analytics and all these things, you have to connect them with your website. And, before GTM, it was an old way of doing it.
You had to take a lot of code snippets and add them to the backend of your website pages. That’s not very efficient and I am going to explain you why. The new way is to simply take all of the snippets and place them in a container in Google Tag Manager.
To be more specific, before GTM, the way that marketers were doing it was to simply take each code snippet for every event or for every Facebook ad or anything you should be tracking in there and put it on each page, on the back of the website. It was beyond time consuming.
But now given that we have GTM – and this tool is very efficient – you can directly go into your GTM account and only work from here and implement all the setups you need directly from anyones’ interface. And you can do all this without asking your developer to go through and place snippets on each page.
So that’s why we are mainly using GTM, but there are also a few more additional benefits.
The benefits GTM brings to your life
1. Huge time saver
It’s a huge time saver. Let’s say that there are websites that don’t use a Content Management System like WordPress where it’s a bit easier to add custom tracking and tags, but you have like 200 pages.
If you don’t have GTM, you have to ask your developer to go in there every week and put an additional tag in the back of the website. And that’s a pretty redundant task for them. It’s not something that’s very enjoyable to do. It’s redundant and generally developers postpone it, so your tracking takes longer to implement…
2. Simple interface
GTM has a nice interface to work with. It takes a bit of time to understand the main components of GTM, but once you get that going, it’s easy to work with. And you don’t have a lot of text hard-coded snippets on the website.
3. GTM makes your website faster
It speeds up your website, because the code gets a bit lighter. It’s also down to how GTM loads every script, each script after the previous scripts were loaded. So it has a specific way that applies when it closes scripts. That’s why the website is going to load way faster. And we know this is very important.
4. It’s free!
All the other Tag Management Systems are pretty expensive. This one, it’s free.
Before going through the setup, I’d like to mention a few things about engagement metrics, because these are generally not taken very seriously, even if they are very important. I see that in my day to day job and I see it in the results.
Generally, we’re interested in the bigger goal, the bigger objective, right? To increase the revenue.
But we have to understand that we need a better understanding of the micro level behavior that’s happening on the website, because how things work impacts the main objectives from the bottom up.
The micro-actions or the engagement metrics are going to affect the macro actions and macro goals. And then so far you’re just keeping to impact the KPIs and the objectives of the business. So as you see everything starts with the micro actions that are happening on the website and they do tell you if the users are engaged or not. This is where everything starts.
These specific small setups are going to send a lot of meaningful data into your Google Analytics account that can be used for advertising purposes.
So you are going to target the most engaged audiences, and it’s going to be way cheaper to acquire those clients.
These kinds of setups help you understand behavior patterns on the website. You just have to understand what people that convert are doing on your website, so you can scale that and increase the conversion rate.
Here’s another aspect not many are aware of. Product Managers use this kind of data to come up with new product features or to optimize the features they have.
Is the data lying to you?
I want to make sure that you’re looking at the current data, because we are working with … we’re doing a lot of audits on the data analytic side and only one out of ten businesses have accurate tracking.
Most of the times it’s a duplicate code that really impacts the data accuracy. It’s the lack of cross domain tracking, lack of subdomain tracking in all the other analytic setups that should be in there, but they are not.
Sometimes the data accuracy is impacted, it’s highly impacted, but also sometimes it’s about investing loads of additional time in answering a question.
For example, I was working this weekend to answer a few questions for a client, and instead of spending 10 minutes to get their report, I spent around six hours, because we had some data limitations in their qualify parameters that were not stripped and there were so many tweaks, I had to go around to really get the correct data and answer the questions in the correct manner.
So it’s very important to accurately set everything up – it saves you a lot of time later on.
User engagement metrics and examples
Cool! We are ready to go.
We have five GTM setups we are going to go through explaining the reasoning behind them and looking at some use cases for each one.
All the setups are done in there, you can simply import them in your account and adapt them. You have to make sure that you are going to test and adapt the setups, because they vary a bit from website to website, from the website structure to another website structure.
You can easily apply them on the website and – if it’s necessarily – you can ask a colleague that’s more technical to test the tags you’re going to see after importing the container.
1. Scroll depth and time spent event
The first one we are going to look at – it’s a very interesting one – and this Scroll Depth and Time Spent Event because this is not only sending valuable data into Google Analytics, but also it sorts data accuracy issue that Google Analytics has by default.
Let me explain why.
Let’s say that we have these contexts that’s happening into different sessions on two different pages or on the same page.
A visitor lands on an article page, spends 15 minutes reading it, then exits the website without visiting a second page. So Google Analytics registers the data differently. If there’s no tags implemented or if there’s a tag implement.
So if by default there is nothing you have implemented in Google Analytics, if we are considering this specific behavior, like somebody that came on one page, spent 15 minutes in there, but didn’t go to the second page, Google Analytics is going to tell you that the visitor spent zero minutes on the website and bounced.
But if you want to really send accurate data and tell Google Analytics that the visitor spent 15 minutes, and it’s an engaged visitor, somebody that has been there for 15 minutes and scrolls at least 65% of the page is an engaged visitor.
Only by having this tag implemented can Google Analytics track the correct data. I wanted to make sure you understand that this is also a tag that has field data accuracy, but of course we also want to send an event to Google Analytics, and the event was like this.
If the event is going to be sending to Google Analytics and then these two triggers [in the screenshot above] are going to happen. The scroll depth is going to be more than 65% and the time spent on the page is going to be more than one minute.
The event is not going to be sent if only one of these triggers is achieved, but only if both of them are happening.
Why? Because if somebody simply scrolls 80% of the page but bounces within 10 seconds, they’re not an engaged visitor. Or if the user opens the webpage and simply leaves ot there without scrolling at least 10%. That’s again, it’s not gonna engage visitors, so that’s why I set up these two triggers so this is data that is going to show up in Google Analytics.
This is a very basic report, but of course you can combine the event action with multiple variables. It might be the page, it might be the source, the channel, and the device and so on.
And also it’s about how you … what are the metrics that you are adding to the report? So for example, if we’re looking at these specific reports, we can see what pages people are most engaged on, and the action that’s happened, and the event action that’s happening.
A few use cases:
You can only re-target because the Google Analytics now knows what’s happening, who is scrolling more than 65% of the page and spends more than one minute on it.
You can now only target this engaged customers through advertising, and you can show them the exact content they are interested in, like content products they visited before. Also, it’s a nice way to understand what are the topics, what are the pages? If that’s the content that gets the attention of the audience, and you have to scale more of that.
It might be that it’s about a few articles. You have them on the blog, and you want to give more content, but you don’t know … what’s getting the attention. So it’s a very useful and efficient way to do it.
2. Social sharing event
The next one, the next event or GTM engagement setup that we want to look at, is the Social Sharing Event.
So let’s say that we want to find out what content we should distribute, repurpose or advertise on specific social media channels. And then we also want to find out what the characteristics of the visitors who are sharing the content are.
The challenges are where they’re coming from, who they are, and how they are behaving on the website and so on. So we can know what kind of visitors we have to attract in the near future, so they can … they share more of all our content.
This is the GTM setup we have in there. We are going to see this kind of data in Google Analytics, and we’ll see where a specific social media share was happening on what page. And of course you can look up the data and a lot of questions by combining the event actions with different variables and metrics and so on.
3. Drop down list selection event
The next one it’s a very interesting one. I’m going to show you how we apply the hostile progress website.
So how we are going to check the drop down list selection. Let’s say that we have this kind of form [see screenshot above] on the website. It’s a sign up form and we want to understand what’s the job of the people that are interested in the content we’re offering, and the information we are putting on the website.
Let’s say that use cases are … that we want to understand where, in one specific group, the visitors fall in terms of the job role they have. Also, we want to create meaningful content for the top roles that are visiting the website according to the job challenges they have. I mean they’re not a fixed area. And then also we want to target visitors on social media channels in a personalized manner.
I’m not going to speak with an entrepreneur the way I’m speaking with a data analyst person, because it’s a different language. So that’s the way it’s possible to reach out in them in a personalized way.
So for this specific event that’s going to be sending Google Analytics, we have two tags. This is a more complex implementation, so we had to combine two GTM tags, and then this is the way we are going to see the data in Google Analytics. We can see that event category has the same name. It makes sense and then the event action is how many of the people that were engaging with the sign up for more in advertising were data analysts, entrepreneurs and so on.
Again, a lot of questions can be answered, it depends on what you want to find out.
4. Comment event
Another very interesting setup, and one especially useful for the blog section, will be to find out which blog posts have the most comments.
This is a question you can answer with Google Analytics and then you have to dig a bit more to understand why that’s happening, then analyze the types of article that are getting a very high percentage of comments, right?
So the tag that you are going to see in the container, it looks like this [screenshot above], it’s forum comments tag.
And then you are going to see this way the data is going to be shown in this way in Google Analytics.
If we want to see what pages are getting the most comments you have to simply combine a given category with a secondary dimension like page.
5. Sign up event
Last but not least, we have a signup event. This is a traditional Button Click Event.
If you are going to look at this one, you can take the tag and adapt it for more types of button clicks is not only available only for this sign up button. So this is the kind of implementation you are going to do regardless of the button you want to track.
Let’s say that you have multiple sign up buttons, sign up CTAs across the website and had their hero section, side bar, content upgrade and so on. And you want to find out which one works. To know which one you have to emphasize a bit more and which ones you have to simply give up, because they aren’t working. Like buttons that lose the attention of the visitors.
Another question – another thing we might be curious to find out – is this: if there is a signup CTA that’s placed on many pages, you want to find out which pages are bringing the most signups, and then we have this specific GTM tag. That’s also a tag that sends an event in Google tag and Google Analytics, and you really can also play with reports and see, which are the questions you wanted to ask and see where the signups are happening.
Again, digging in to see why things happening.
How do I use all this information?
Before taking a closer look at the next steps for you to leverage this kind of set-up and to extract insightful and actionable data.
I wanted to mention that after you look at this kind of report, and you want to really understand and correctly answer the questions, you have also to understand the context of the data.
So for example, I’ve seen people running a few customer interviews… if we are going to ask ourselves on what pages the people are commenting the most, is that enough of an answer to say “that’s happening on this specific page?” It’s not.
You have to understand and to look … to take a look at the pages to understand why something is happening. To understand what kind of people are visiting the webpage and dig a bit more to have a comprehensive answer to your questions. So my main idea is to give a bit more context to the data, not only looking at the numbers in there because it’s so valuable and meaningful way to do this.
You might be thinking, “Okay, we are doing a lot of implementation.” But it’s engagements at tops where being that it’s macro goals that you are tracking in Google Analytics, but there’s a lot of data.
So apart from these simple questions we are asking above, there are so many ways to look at data and to finding meaningful insights.
My recommendation will be to firstly choose the most challenging issues that your website … and the only reason has when it comes to bringing … to bring more qualified traffic or to increase the conversion rate or rates on the website. Then start building a list of the top 5 to 10 meaningful micro or macro actions to track on the website. You can start with importing the setups I presented above. Just import them and adapt it for your website, and a way for the data to come in.
It might be a few weeks, it might be two, three months. It depends on the amount of traffic your business gets monthly, and then you have to start asking questions and digging into your data. The way we are generally doing that is that we start with data segmentation strategy, and we have a framework we are following, and I’m going to share with you to give you access to a strategy framework example, so you understand how to find out those meaning meaningful questions and how to not get overwhelmed by so much data.
So you are going to see in the framework that in order to find the best questions, you have to combine the kind of micro set, micro engagement setups we have..
Every day, thousands of brands battle for your attention.
Over 3 million businesses use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and every other social media platform out there to sell us products, services, ideas.
Our brains can’t process this much data…
… And so we filter it out.
The glossy ads become white noise. Just another thing to ignore.
If you run social media for one of those 3 million businesses,
If you’re fighting for people’s attention,
You can’t rely on the same old tactics anymore.
Product-focused images, blunt sale offers… these aren’t enough. Not if your ads are missing this key conversion trigger.
The same trigger used by the biggest brands in the world. Brands like Lego, Coca Cola and Nike.
These brands don’t get through to us by talking about themselves, their products, their services…
Instead, they talk about us.
They tap into our innermost emotions and then reflect them back to us in every ad. In every post.
In today’s workshop I show you some of my favorite examples of brands using social media to attract new clients by being hard to ignore. Then I break it all down into 4 actionable tips for leveraging emotion in your social media campaigns to boost conversions.
Here’s what you don’t want to miss:
The surprising difference between how people buy and how we market to them,
The impact changing their focus from features to emotions had on one of my clients,
Examples of ads that tapped into the unbridled power of emotion-based marketing (and how you can use their lessons),
Watch the recording below:
How to boost social media conversions with emotions - YouTube
Transcript and slides
This is a lightly edited transcript to make it it easier to read- just incase you’d rather read through than watch!
And if you want to jump to specific sections, here’s your section guide:
Today’s workshop is all about using emotion to increase your social media conversions.
I’m going to show you how you can use emotion, persuasion and psychology to optimize your social media campaigns and posts.
The curious ingredient you need to effectively optimize your social media campaigns
Here’s what we’ll cover today:
Why emotion is actually the missing key,
How to tap into customers’ emotions and understand their goals,
Social media examples that attract and win customers,
Four actionable tips for leveraging emotion in your social media campaigns to boost conversions.
I’m going to show you real life examples. We’re going to analyze them. I even have some video examples, which is pretty cool because I haven’t done that in a very long time.
The numbers you need to know about
First I thought I’d talk about the numbers.
So interestingly enough, according to Social Media Examiner – this is the report from 2018 – 3 million businesses use Facebook and social media to market themselves.
Facebook ads are used by 72% of marketers. Instagram is used by 31% and so it goes on.
That’s about 3 million businesses using social media to market themselves every day. And these brands… They’re texting us, they’re calling us, they’re emailing us, they’re targeting us in their social media posts.
They are everywhere and they’re overwhelming us with all of the content now and all their offers.
In fact, we’re so used to being targeted by brands today that our brain automatically just tries to block out all that noise and ignore those ads.
Our brain tries to the max to remove all those ads from your notice, and so you don’t see anything and kind of gives you that blind spot. (Not great for marketers.)
Millions of businesses base a huge part of their revenue stream on social media. So they must be getting through to us somehow, right? I mean some of them are doing a kickass job.
So how do some brands manage to drown all that noise and reach us? What separates the successful ones from the rest?
And this is exactly what I want to talk about today because this is what you’re going to be doing right after this training.
Why people buy from you
One of the things that I love to ask, and you may have seen me ask you guys this before, is why do you think people buy from you? Very important question to think about and consider with everything that you’re doing.
Most people seem to think that it’s to do with the features that they have, the shipping, the benefits, the different pricing that they have on their product or their service. Basically, a lot of things to do with the product or the service that they’re offering. Everything is about that service or product.
However, as I’ve mentioned countless times, I truly believe that if this was the reason that people buy things, if these were the reasons that made people purchase stuff or sign contracts or hire different contractors, then the biggest brands in the world would have landing pages like this:
Coca-Cola would talk about the fact that they’re the number one soft drink in the world. And they’d be talking about the fact that they have only just 140 calories and they’d show the image of the bottle and whatever.
So it would all be about the product. However, as we all know, this is not what Coca Cola does, right?
So why do so many ads and posts and landing pages and websites focus on this, on benefits, solutions, on pricing, on features. What makes us all just say, oh, this is the right approach to do it.
So here is my 2 cents on that.
How you think you buy things
We have somehow convinced ourselves from years and years of experience that this is how people buy it, right?
So when we need to decide between a contractor or a SaaS product and we go for this elaborate part of stage of thinking and rethinking and considering the pros and the cons. And then we reach this rational decision that makes complete sense. All to do with logic.
We think people buy this way.
That’s why everyone focuses on the features that they’re offering, the pricing, the product and stuff like that.
However, the most successful brands in the world, my students, and you guys know that this isn’t how people buy.
Every single thing that we buy in life has an emotional reason to it.
We’re going to cover this a lot more during our emotional targeting month.Later on this year we’re all dive into specific emotions and how to use them. (You can also watch this workshop.)
Unfortunately, we are all irrational and all our decisions are based on emotion.
Here’s how it works. We have some sort of issue that we’re facing or we’re trying to figure out if we should buy something or not or hire someone or not.
Our emotions kick in and we make a decision according to our emotions. Then logic kicks in and essentially we rationalize that decision.
It’s a very hard thing to people to accept. People hate admitting that they’re rational. No one believes that.
A case for emotion-based decision making
I always like to tell a story about myself, and you may have heard this before, but my biggest fear in life is flying.
I absolutely hate planes.
Now, if you know me, you know that I travel a ton. I’m speaking all over the world. I’m doing workshops at different companies. So I’m fighting a lot. And it really is a big thing for me. I have a very hard time doing that.
And even though this is my biggest fear in life, I still found myself doing this about eight years ago.
I jumped out of freaking plane.
Now I would love to say that I was doing this because I’ve always wanted to jump out of the plane. I’m an adrenaline junkie or I dunno, all sorts of weird, crazy reasons for people who want to jump out of the plane.
But I have to admit that that is far from true. In fact, the reason I jumped out of a freaking plane was because I wanted to impress a guy.
I kid you not. I wanted this guy that I met at the sky diving club to think that I was this cool adrenaline junkie person. I wanted him to be impressed by me. So I jumped out of a plane.
Funnily enough, this guy is now married to one of my friends. Nothing happened with that. But it really is an interesting concept because this is how people buy.
And I know this is an extreme example, but everything we buy is based on emotion. There’s always some underlying emotion, desired feeling, desired need that lies underneath all of our purchases.
Maybe we want to feel loved. Perhaps you want to feel part of the community. Maybe we want to feel more successful. Sometimes we just want higher self-esteem.
This is true for B2C and B2B. No matter what you’re selling, what people really care about isn’t the what. It’s the why.
What’s in it for them? What’s the value? How is this going to make them look? How’s it going to make them feel? Is this achieving their emotional goals?
Those are the questions we ask ourselves.
As I mentioned, most of us focus on the numbers, the graphs. When we think about our customers or our target audience, we think about numbers. We think about browsers, devices, geographical location. And that’s why when you look at social media posts, you see all sorts of things to do with the product. It’s pricing and many other things that have nothing to do with emotion.
Yet this is how marketers continue to sell…
Let me show you an example.
On the left, we have a company that talks about the fact that they have various colors available of this gorgeous dress and it’s 30% off. The specific focus here is on the price and the fact that the dress is gorgeous.
On the right hand side, we have the company talking about that it’s 14 days, absolutely three. So they’re talking about pricing and they talk about the fact that they’re the world number one landing page builder, absolutely free today.
Everything that you see in these ads in front of you is to do with the product itself, the service that they’re offering and how cool is.
It’s all about the features and pricing.
There’s nothing in here about emotion because – and this isn’t about shaming or saying that something that all these specific companies are wrong.
We all do this.
We forget that there are people behind the screens, people that need help from us.
Yet the most successful brands grab our attention. They convert us because they understand there are people behind the screens. They know our pain, our challenges, the outcomes we wish for.
They understand our emotions and they know how to reflect those back to us in their ads, campaigns and websites.
They’re using images and videos and text and copy and other elements in their ads or posts to essentially really influence our emotions. And these companies have really done their research.
They know what emotions influence their specific target audience, what makes them stop everything they’re doing and click on that ad.
Brands that know their audience well, understand that people buy products and services because of how they make them feel, not because of the rational benefit behind them.
They know that using emotion is the key to standing out in a crowded market and grabbing a prospect’s attention.
It’s important to remember that when someone’s on your website or when someone’s reading your ad or clicking on an ad, that’s because they have some sort of pain.
It’s our job to fix that pain.
That’s why I want to talk to you about how you can get started with the same things as the biggest brands.
You don’t need a huge amount of resources. You don’t have to have a huge budget. Anyone can use emotion to increase their conversions, especially on social media.
The emotional targeting methodology
All these issues that we face as marketers made me create the emotional targeting methodology.
If you haven’t heard of it yet – and I do speak about it a lot – it’s all about understanding people on a deeper level.
It’s about more than demographic features like gender, location, profession, income.
When I ask my students or my clients questions like Who is your target audience? or Who’s your customer? I get a list of all these behavioral elements of the devices and the browsers and their age and income and geographical location.
But this specific methodology is actually built to understand the people behind the screen.
We focus on the real challenges and the pains that prompt people to come to your website and the pains and challenges that they want to solve.
Let’s take a look at an example.
From features to emotions
This company essentially helps you create beautiful infographics and presentations for your company.
When you look at this page, you’ll actually notice that they’re making a lot of the mistakes that we’ve been speaking about today.
Their headline is “Easy to use infographic creator.” It’s about the platform.
They have six different bullet points, all of that, their features and the pricing and why this product is the best. Their main hero image is a “how to” video. Literally, a video that shows you how to drag and drop different things.
They hired Get Uplift to help them not only increase their signups. They wanted to increase people’s engagement with the product. They wanted people to create many more presentations, many more info graphics and really invest their time in this product.
But as I mentioned, there are many issues on this page. It’s focused on the product.
Nothing on this page is actually addressing anything to do with the customer. So we did our emotional targeting research and here are a few things that we realized when we were doing our research.
The people using this product are marketers and these marketers want to stand out.
Their emotional trigger was social image. They wanted to have their team, their managers and the people around them appreciate the work that they do. And they were searching for ways to highlight their hard work using a simple PowerPoint or keynote wasn’t enough for them. They wanted something that would make people remember that.
The other thing that we realized through our research was that people were really worried about the complexity of this kind of product. It was really important that we would highlight the fact that it’s simple and easy to use because the people using this product are not designers, they’re marketers just like you and I.
This was the first variation we created:
It was about make impressive infographics. Instead of easy to use infographic creator, it now says make impressive infographics. This focuses on empowering the customer.
We also reduce the stress of how complex and hard it is by saying you can create these in less than 10 minutes. And instead of showing a visual of how to drag and drop the product, you actually get a visual of what the outcome could look like. And, of course, we made various changes in many different other things like a bigger call to action button.
We removed a lot of the bullet points and we changed a lot of it. Most of it is now focused on the person behind the screen and putting those emotions upfront.
The proof is in the percentage points
We got a 24% increase in registrations and a 76% increase in creation of presentations and infographics. More people were using the product.
Interestingly enough, if you haven’t seen this one before, this is the second variation we created for them:
Again, there’s nothing in here about the product. You’ll notice there’s no image, there’s no cartoon of the product. It’s actually a rabbit in a hat. It’s a magician.
And interestingly enough, this actually increased their revenue by 74%.
So why am I telling you all this?
Because before we dive into the ideas and tips that I have for you, and I have so many today, I just wanted to once again reinforce the idea and the concept that emotion is imperative and it’s not just in social media, it’s with everything that you do.
Because emotions affect decisions, decisions affect conversions, and obviously conversions affect revenue.
How the largest brands leverage emotion on social media
Let’s dig into the ways that you can use emotion in social media. And specifically I’m going to talk a lot about Facebook ads because I know that that’s what most people have been asking me about. Specifically, how you can do that to grab your prospect’s attention and convert them.
Okay, so what I thought we’d do is start with showing you a few examples of companies who are doing it so well. And then I’ll show you how you can do it. So here’s an interesting and such a cool ad by Nike.
Time is Precious (Nike Ad 1) - YouTube
No shoes, no product, no pricing, no features.
They’re simply making it about the customer.
I think this is one of the most brilliant videos I’ve seen by Nike that is so appropriate for the channel. Remember that you can use emotion in different channels. You can use it on your landing pages, you can use it on your website.
But what’s really cool is that you can adapt emotion, you can use it to target the specific people that are on the different pages or the traffic sources and this is done so well.
Again, there’s nothing in here about the product.
It’s just about saving you time and kind of taking the minute to tell you, hey you spend so much time on your Facebook feed. So here we saved you like 45 minutes, let’s use that time to go for a run. That’s it.
Let’s look at another example.
The emotional context of ads
So Thinx is a really cool company. And they use their ads on Facebook to actually address the biggest concerns that their customers have. And I think this is brilliant.
What’s really cool is that they surveyed their target audience and their customers and they came up with the biggest questions and concerns people have before purchasing their product. Let me show you.
This product is insane, but essentially these are period-proof undies. So Thinx used their ads to answer people’s questions. So it says, I have sensitive skin. What is Thinx really made of? And the company just answer the question: cotton, nylon and magic.
Question two, how hygienic are Thinx?
Answer: Squeeky. And so it goes.
Thinx really go in depth. I just really love this because this is a phenomenal example of companies that understand their target ordinance.
They took the time to really understand what’s stopping people from buying from them, their emotional response to the products and they addressed..
If you’ve ever felt nervous when you hear the word…
Felt that twinge of panic creep up whenever you get ready to open it up, delve into its depths and see what lurks beneath the mess of numbers and goals and settings…
You’re not alone.
Google Analytics is immense.
There’s so much data you can study and use. So many different ways you can optimize your set up that it’s easy to get lost.
If want to discover how to set up your GA so you never have to fear going in again,
Or learn what visitor behavior metrics really matter to your bottom line (and how to use and interpret them),
Or see how people actually act on your site and use that information to optimize your set-up for conversions,
Then this workshop may be just what you’ve been waiting for.
In it, Dana DiTomaso – THE Google Analytics expert – walks us through the most important reports and metrics to pay attention to and shows us exactly how to use them to optimize various elements of your site, funnels and processes.
Here’s what you don’t want to miss:
What to look for when you log into GA. (It’s not what you may think…)
The specific goals you should set up and track. (The ones that actually affect your bottom line.)
Understanding your visitor behavior. (And how to avoid falling into one very particular trap…)
Watch the recording below:
The most important google analytics reports you can track - YouTube
Transcript and slides
This is a lightly edited transcript to make it it easier to read- just incase you’d rather read through than watch!
And if you want to jump to specific sections, here’s your section guide:
I’m really excited to have Dana DiTomaso with us today. She’s probably the person that I admire the most when it comes to anything to do with analytics, but also just marketing in general.
Her approach, the processes that she builds and the way she teaches is phenomenal. I learn so much every time I listen, and no doubt I’m going to learn something today, which is exciting.
A bit about Dana (and this workshop)
When Talia to me, “This is the goal of this presentation is thinking about how you can look at landing pages and analytics,” I certainly started to pull together some ideas, but then also a lot of setup stuff because I think this is what people miss.
Analytics has to be set up right from the beginning, or else you go back later and think, “Oh, if only I knew.”
So hopefully, what I’ve got in here means that you can apply it starting this week, and then a month from now, you’ll have some really good data you can use in your analysis.
So I’m Dana DiTomaso. I’m president and partner of Kick Point. We’re a digital marketing agency based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The snow is melting. It’s a very exciting time of year for us. The patio is opened on the weekend. It’s going to get up to 16 celsius today. It’s t-shirt weather. I know. I can’t even imagine. We’re going to go crazy.
Anyway, but what we do here is we work a lot with in-house teams. We also do some work with agencies, and we teach people how to do better marketing. A big part of that is Google Analytics setup.
This is why a lot of the stuff that I talk about and what I’m going to talk to you about today is a lot of the setup steps that we go into in Analytics.
What I find the biggest problem is that people don’t have their Analytics set up currently, and that’s something that I really try to emphasize with people is that if you set it up right, then you don’t have to go back and touch it later.
You can trust the data that’s coming in. It’s flowing in the way you want it to, and then you can just leave it alone. I think that’s the thing I really want you to take away from this workshop today is the idea of thinking ahead to what you’re going to need. Set up it now so that you’re not at the end of the month, looking at it and saying, “Oh, if only I’d …” I hope that’s where we can get today.
Your GA set-up: You can’t just dive into Google Analytics
One of the biggest things, and I just mentioned this, is that you really can’t just dive into Google Analytics for sure.
I think this is one of the biggest things is that I see people making that mistake. “I’m going to open Analytics. I’ve got it installed on my site. We’re just going to go in there and go for it.” But there’s a lot of setup steps involved first.
The first place that I look when people ask me to audit their Analytics account is I actually go into the admin section of the site. Usually, when you first go into Analytics, you look at the reports. I like looking at the admin because that tells me if I can trust what I’m actually looking at.
Some of the things that we look for right away is:
If you have views that are filtered, test only, or raw. Those are really the three basic types of views you should have. I’m going to cover what those are in a minute.
If your goals are event-based, which are good, or destination-based, which are bad. Again, I’ll elaborate a bit more on that.
If you’re using sub-domains, using cross sub-domain tracking. This is a huge problem for landing page platforms.
Let’s say, for example, you’re using Unbounce. With Unbounce, which is a great platform, I love it, but they have the subdomains. You’ll have info.yoursite.com or go.yoursite.com, and if you have an ability for someone to click from the landing page to your actual website, that traffic is going to show up as referral traffic unless you actually tag it properly. Then you could lose the path of, “It was an ad that brought people to the landing page, and then they went to your main site.”
Maybe if they came back later, you will have basically ruined your attribution, which means that your campaigns might not be looking as good as they actually are. You also should be tracking some additional information and custom metrics and dimensions.
I’ve been doing this for 19 years now, so I’ve working in this field longer than Google Analytics has been around. When it first came out, it was called Urchin Analytics, which is why Google Analytics’ IDs start with UA, because it’s after Urchin.
But what I find comes in a lot is that people just don’t know all the features in there because it’s enormously powerful, and Google doesn’t really do the best job of explaining it because it is a free product for them unless you’re in 360. Then they want to help you all the time.
So I think for sure, you can do a lot of analytics. There’s a lot of power in there, but something like custom metrics and dimensions, out of the hundreds of Analytics profiles I’ve looked at over the years, I have only seen maybe two or three that were using custom metrics or dimensions. By merely knowing that they exist, you’re already an Analytics power user, so congratulations.
A look at the admin section of Google Analytics
All right. This is the admin section of Analytics. You should go in here pretty regularly. You don’t necessarily want to touch things, but you want to make sure everything is set up right. What you have are these three columns.
In the left column:
The left-most column that you see on the screen is the account. The account is your account for yourself.
Now if you work with an agency, make sure that they haven’t set up your Analytics in their account. This is something I see a lot, and then that means that you don’t own your Analytics. So you want to make sure it’s in your own account.
In the middle column:
Then the second column. This is the property. The property is the individual websites or apps that you have in the account. Typically, you would have one property per website. Again, if you have multiple subdomains, so info.www., that’s also a subdomain. Those should be one property.
If you have different website URLs, that could be multiple properties, or if there are different website URLs that should all be tied together, then you could do cross-domain linking, which means you just have one property.
For example, let’s say you use a third-party shopping cart for purchases. It’s at a completely different domain that isn’t your website’s domain. You can link those two sides together with one property. It depends on how many you have.
In the right-hand side column:
Then the third column is the view. You can see here in this setup that I’ve got, Kick Point is the account, Kick Point is the property, and then the view is master. Definitely, we want you to have multiple views set up, and I’m going to show in the next slide the different options. So really, you can have one account, multiple properties to an account, multiple views to a property. That’s how it breaks down. The thing that you look at is the view on a regular basis.
Your three views
The first view
The first views that I want you to create if you haven’t already are called master … and you can call it whatever you want. We call it master. Some people call it USE THIS in all caps, whatever it might be. “Don’t touch.” I’ve seen that written there too. That’s your main view that you’re going to use for all the work that you do in Analytics.
The second view
Then the second view is called Test and Staging. This is just your internal traffic. Master is where your goals go. It doesn’t have any of your internal traffic. So if you’re testing out the website, your traffic shouldn’t be there. Your web developer’s traffic, your agency’s traffic, none of that should be in there.
The second view, test and staging, is only your internal traffic and your agency traffic. You can have goals in there if you want to test them out but normally, you shouldn’t need to. Events are probably just fine.
The third view
Then you have a third view called raw, and raw is just a view that isn’t filtered. There’s no goals. It is, as I write there, the ‘in case of emergency’ view. That’s there in case somebody accidentally deletes a view, or you’re seeing something weird and you want to compare and make sure that filters aren’t causing any problems for you. The raw view is really helpful for that.
Sometimes for views, too, you might want to segment off, say, your landing pages, or we have a client who has several business lines and so they have a view that is the subdomain for just each business line. That’s also a different way to do views, but you can have lots and lots of different views. You can have up to 25 per property.
What I say is the other thing too with views is that creating a view doesn’t affect your traffic. You could make a view just to test stuff out. The only problem you have to worry about with views is that they don’t back-date. You only get the data in there from the moment you created the view forward. It does not go backwards, which is why having a view like raw is really nice because then you can go in and look at old stuff instead of the new view you just made.
I’ve mentioned filters a couple of times here. This is where you go to manage filters.
There’s two different levels of filters.
You can see all the filters for your entire account in that left-hand column, and you can see the filters that are applied to a specific view in the right-hand column. Now one of the things I say about filters is that you can filter out things like your IP address. Typically, we’ll have an include filter. So include just this IP, and that goes on test and staging. Then we’ll have an exclude filter, which excludes your IP from, again, test and staging.
I only have so much time to go into setup for this. If you Google ‘how to set up filters’, there’s lots of great articles on how to do this. If you’re not filtering out your internal traffic from your main view, you probably should because every time you go in to test your goals … which you should do.
You should test your forms to make sure they’re working on a regular basis. You don’t want to mess up your Analytics and make it look like suddenly, direct traffic is doing really well, which it’s not. It’s just you.
Setting up (and using) goals
Now we’re going to turn to goals, which I think is a thing that a lot of people have a lot of struggle setting up. It’s really sad when I get in an Analytics property and there’s no goals because how do you know you’re making money?
Another thing that I find sad with goals is that I’ll see goals that say things like, “Five pages viewed.” Unless you’re monetizing the actual content like you’re Buzzfeed, people viewing more pages isn’t really a goal. So I try to focus on goals that are going to make you money or goals that will lead to you making money in some way.
These are the goals that we have on the Kick Point website. You can see that we have our contact form. We have if they click or tap our email address. Slow mail too. If people sign up for our newsletter, which is a really great actual traffic driver for us, and it’s a really great driver of leads for us.
It takes like two years for someone to sign up for the newsletter to contacting us, but they eventually do. It’s fantastic. So I do want to record it as a goal even though it doesn’t directly make us money. And then people who tap or click our telephone number.
You’ll also notice here that I have goal ID. So contact form is ID 1, Set 1. Email is Goal ID 2, Set 1. Telephone click is ID 3, Set 1.
Then I skipped a bunch of sets, and I put newsletter in ID 6, Set 2 because in Analytics, you can group goals together by sets. So plan ahead and think what goals belong together.
The contact form, the email click, and the telephone click are quicker new business drivers for us, so I have them grouped together in a goal set, whereas the newsletter signup is a ‘maybe later, it’ll turn into something’ goal set. That way, I can just look at Goal Set 1 in my reports, and I don’t need to worry about newsletter signup. I can just focus on these more immediate goals. I think that that’s also something to think about are these goals sets, which I find are also really underused.
Earlier, I said you should have event-based goals, not destination goals. I’m going to click back and show you that all the goals we have in here are event.
The difference is that using something like Google Tag Manager, when someone fills out our contact form, we send an event to Google Analytics saying someone filled out our contact form. Now normally, in the good old days, you would have a thank you page you send someone to and then you would record the number of views of that thank you page as your goal. That’s called a destination goal.
Unfortunately, what happens is that people are really bad at closing tabs. I made a joke recently at a conference that you should be like Marie Kondo with your tabs. If it doesn’t bring you joy, close it. Unfortunately, people just don’t do that.
What you end up with is something like this:
This is a user report from our own website from last month’s data. This person has been viewing our blog page, and you can see that they’ve got the zero zero time here. That means that they’ve just got this tab open, and every time they launch their browser, it records a visit of zero seconds in length to our blog page.
So this person clearly just has their tab open. The problem is that they do that with your thank you pages too, particularly if you’re following good conversion rules and you have something valuable on your thank you page.
They probably are just leaving that thank you page open because they want to review what’s on there later, or they want to remind themselves that they bought that thing and are waiting for it to show up in the mail, for example. So by using destination goals, you could accidentally be recording a goal every time someone opens their browser and reloads that thank you page.
That’s why event-based goals are really important. It’s far more accurate than destination-based goals.
Tracking across sub-domains
The other part of it, too, is to make sure to track across sub-domains, particularly because I know everyone here is using landing pages, and it’s something where landing pages, unless you’re building them on your site specifically, you’re probably using a landing page software for it. It means it’s at a subdomain.
If you use HubSpot, for example, I’m pretty sure that’s info. as a subdomain by default. So you really need to make sure you’ve got cross subdomain tracking set up, and I mentioned earlier what the problem is with that.
Let’s say you have a Google Ads ad running, and they click on it. They come to your landing page. They think, “Oh, this is really interesting. I’m going to check out these guys later.”
Or they click on a link to go through to your main website because you’re giving them more information, and then at that point, they bail, but then they might come back later and actually buy something. The problem is that when they went from your landing page to your main website, your main website recorded that in-bound traffic as referral from the subdomain. So the actual ad that brought people there, that trail is now lost.
So even if they come back the next day and buy something, if you had cross subdomain tracking and they’re on the same device, your ad would get credit for the sale, but because now they’re referral traffic and you’re not tracking across subdomains properly, it’s going to show up that your referrer made the sale, not your ads. So your ads are going to look terrible and your referrals are going to look amazing, but that isn’t actually the case.
This is how you make bad marketing decisions based on incomplete data.
So it’s really important to make sure you’ve got your subdomain tracking set up. I’ve included a link here in the slides for a great article that walks you through how to do it. It is a little bit complex, but it’s not impossible for someone to do. You do not need to be a programmer to make this happen. Just follow the steps. It’s really clear in this article how to do that.
So now that I’ve talked you to death about setup, because I know we’re 17 minutes in and all I’ve done is talk about setup, I think this is the most important stuff because now you can trust your data.
You know it’s coming in. You’re filtering yourself out. You’ve got your goals set up properly. You can trust what you’re looking at is real and correct for the most part. Sometimes things like direct traffic shows up even though it’s from an organic search. I can talk more about organic issues in Analytics all day, but for the most part, if you’re following these steps, you’ve got your goals set up right.
You’ve got your filters going. You’ve got your cross-subdomain tracking happening. You can trust the data you’re looking at.So now you can turn to it and say, “Well, what visitor behavior do I need to know?”
Understanding visitor behavior: What’s your visitor doing?
Because page views really only tells you so much, and the metrics aren’t necessarily totally clear.
What I find is that there’s a lot of misconceptions about what metrics mean. For example, people will look at new visits versus returning visits as a metric to report on when that’s not really accurate because new versus returning means that I could be on my desktop and I could be on my cellphone.
If Google has no way to tie me together on these..
Heatmaps are a very important subject to me because I use them with every client and every one of our students when we work on optimizing their websites. So we’re going to dive into all the important stuff.
First of course, what is a heatmap? Why do you need it? What are some types of heatmaps that you can use? We’ll cover all of that (and more.)
Heatmaps are a great tool to analyze your website and user behavior. However, you do have to approach them with caution because you can make various mistakes.
So just to make sure that everyone’s on the same page, let’s define what a heatmap is.
What is a heatmap?
A heatmap is a visual representation of behavioral data. Its goal is to visualize how people engage with a certain page on your website, what they click on, how much they scroll, and what actions they take.
We use heatmaps to uncover usability issues, UX problems, see how people behave on certain pages and find frictions; pain points that are preventing people from performing certain actions on your page.
The different types of heatmaps
Let’s quickly review the types of heatmaps that we have.
1. Clicks and taps
Number one is probably the most well-known heatmap and that’s clicks and taps. I say taps because obviously we’re also dealing with mobile.
Clicks and taps heatmaps are maps that show you where visitors are clicking on your page. They commonly look like the one you can see above. The red dots indicate an element on the page that is most clicked and basically the color gets lighter as it records less clicks.
On the top-hand side, towards the right, is the one that’s being clicked the most. I think that’s their blog on Hotjar. But you’ll notice that as less clicks appear that we have less color on them.
That’s how you know what are the most clicked action items, call-to-action buttons and elements on your page.
Click maps can be used to identify issues like people clicking on items that aren’t clickable or elements you’re not really interested in people clicking on and people are clicking on. So ultimately you’ll want to see the most clicks on your call-to-action button. However, you can learn a lot from other elements that people are clicking on.
You can learn intent and interest of people clicking on a certain headline or stuff like that and you’ll also get into that. But we’ll elaborate on this in just a moment. But essentially these are clicks and tap heatmaps.
2. Scroll maps
Scroll maps are just as they sound, a visual representation of the scroll depth on your page. They track how far people scrolled your page and can give you a good indication of where people abandon your page, if the content on your page is laid out correctly, if it requires revisiting, optimizing, if there is something wrong. It’s a really cool thing to use.
Again, it’s always in context. I just put in a screenshot of my scroll map from my homepage and you’ll see it says 75% of people reach to where the yellow line is and yet the fold is just below the green. So it doesn’t really make much sense, but again, you have to have quite a lot of numbers in there and a very long page. My home page is quite short.
3. Engagement and movement heatmaps
I’m a huge fan of these type of heatmaps because engagement heatmaps – which by the way are sometimes referred to as hovermaps – show you how people move their mouse or their finger across the screen.
These types of maps give you a good indication of the way people take in your content. I don’t know about you, but when I read stuff, I tend to highlight different words, sentences and read that way. I don’t know why I do it, but it’s just ingrained in me. However, the primary issue with these kinds of maps is that someone hovering over some element on the page doesn’t necessarily mean they’re looking at it.
You have to remember that these types of maps aren’t 100% reliable. When you think about it, you might be hovering over this element over here, but your eyes are somewhere else. So you do have to use it with something else.
According to Google, there’s a 64% correlation between what you may see in a movement heatmap and what actual eye movement looks like. So that’s why you always want to correlate with the next type of map, which is eye tracking.
4. Eye-tracking heatmaps
This type of map is a little more advanced and it normally requires people come into a sort of a lab or an office or maybe it’s done online and they wear special goggles or glasses to be analyzed. It can also be done via a webcam, which is what most people are doing now.
This type of heatmap tracks eye movements and shows you how people look at your page. I think it’s fascinating. They can show you what people look at during a certain timeframe. So it can show you within three seconds these are the main elements that people look at. With 10 seconds or with 30 seconds on the page, they’re looking at this.
These types of maps are very helpful in identifying fixation on certain elements, showing you the parts of your page that have highest fixation points and how long people looked at a certain element. So basically helping you understand if perhaps something is too complicated or requires a lot of cognitive intake. There’s all sorts of things like that, but I just, I’m always collaborating and comparing different maps together and it really helps understand different things.
What’s interesting here by the way, is that it’s quite well known that the left hand side of website of a page is a blind spot and you can clearly see in this heatmap that most people don’t even see it. So when people add banners, popups, calls to action on the left side of the page or the right side of the page, they tend to be ignored.
5. Screen recordings
While screen recordings aren’t really heatmaps, I’d like to touch on them briefly because they help you understand how people interact with your website.
You can actively see how people use your site, what actions they performed, where they clicked on, and sometimes even identify hesitations or concerns. It’s really, really cool. But one thing to know about screen recording is that you shouldn’t go into them blindly and just watch them, because it creates, basically certain pages. What you need to do is come in and ask certain questions on pages.
You want to come into screen recordings with a certain user behavior question. So for example, you see that most people aren’t clicking on this element, but instead they’re clicking on something else via heatmaps. So you’ll go, via click heatmaps, so you’ll go into a session recording and you’ll look and see, okay, what is actually happening. So you come with a specific question, like I have a hypothesis that people get stuck on this stage of the funnel because of a particular action. Then you watch a few recordings to see if this is actually what’s going on.
If you come in blindly to recordings, you’re going to spend a whole day or two just reviewing recordings and not really knowing what to look at. There’s all sorts of biases and stuff. So make sure that when you, if you are going to use screen recordings, that you come in with some practical questions you want answers to.
So let’s talk about Heatmap biases. I mentioned that I spoke to David last year, so he said, and this is the funniest quote.
“The biggest challenge people face is that if you don’t know what you’re looking for in your Heatmaps, you’re basically screwed because you’re literally looking for a needle in a haystack.”
Heatmaps look great on paper, but they can be very deceiving. If you go in blindly, set up some maps and hope for some insights you might get them. But you could also lose focus, you can fall into subjectivity of your opinion, or you could get lost in all that data. This is with any of the five types of maps that I spoke about.
This is why it’s so important to use heatmaps as part of your research process and not as your only tool.
I’ve seen countless companies use heatmaps blindly and end up applying their own biases and feelings to the analysis of their heatmaps, which makes sense. We have different … we come in with our different opinions and ideas and we think we know something so we apply it to what we’re seeing…
To avoid these biases and misinterpretations of the data, here’s how to use a heatmap correctly and gain meaningful results.
1. Analyze Google Analytics
I would start by analyzing Google Analytics. This is the process that I use when I’m analyzing a heatmap. I look at where heatmaps actually fit in with my customer research.
I find pain points within my funnel. I find the leaks, I find problematic pages, I locate different pages that need optimization.
2. Ask questions
Then I start asking questions.
Related questions could be:
Are people given all the relevant information that they need to make a decision on this page?
Is the call-to-action button relevant?
Can it be seen easily?
All of these types of questions that are something that I would like answers to. So making a list of different questions that will help me better understand why this problem is happening on a page.
3. Set up a heatmap
Then I’m going to set up a heatmap. So then I will go into Hotjar because that’s a tool that I use. But there are many, many other tools you can use. Lucky Orange, you can use Clicktale, you can use Crazy Egg. There’s so many different ones, I just use Hotjar.
But you can set up a heatmap on the page and screen recordings. So when you have those questions, when you know what pages are the problematic pages. So let’s just say that the problematic page is our homepage just as an example, and I’ve asked some relevant questions, I’ve written down some questions that I want answers to. Then I’m going to go into Hotjar and set up that heatmap and screen recording.
4. Analyze the heatmap
Then I’m going to analyze the heatmaps according to the questions that I asked.
5. Compare your heatmap findings to other research
Then I’m going to compare it to other research. So surveys, polls, Google Analytics data, interviews, user testing, all of that good stuff. Everything that we’ve done over the past few weeks, does it correlate? So what I’m seeing in the heatmap, does it correlate with what I’ve seen in other parts of my research? So this is my go-to process when I’m using heatmaps. Never in a silo, and always as part of the bigger picture.
Getting meaningful insights from heatmaps
Let’s talk about meaningful insights from heatmaps.
What are people clicking on?
Are people clicking on elements that aren’t clickable? These are insights that are core.
This is an old client of mine. I think I worked with them almost five years ago and they were such an amazing company to work with. Here’s an interesting thing. We set up a heatmap on their homepage and this is what we saw.
If you ignore the arrow on the top and just look at these, you’ll notice very interesting things. People were clicking on these elements. Now that makes sense, right? That makes sense and we think it makes sense, but it doesn’t actually make sense because these items aren’t clickable.
They were just bullet points. But unfortunately they were designed in a way that made people think that these were buttons so people were clicking on them. So this is a core insight to get from a heatmap because then you know something in this design that needs to change. If people think that these elements are clickable, then there’s two things that I get from this.
I need to change with the designs so they don’t think they’re clickable.
I need to review what these items are that people are clicking on because apparently this is what people want to reach. This is where people want to go.
So it’s a great insight to get from a heatmap.
What path are people taking?
Another thing you can do is get a better understanding of the path people take. Now we’re definitely going to discuss Google Analytics next week much more in depth. But just to touch on it for a second and even if you’re just getting started with Google Analytics and you don’t have much experience, this is a really easy thing to do.
So, if you notice that a certain page, that a lot of people are clicking on a certain button on your page, you can actually go back to Google Analytics and go to behavior–> site content –> all pages and click on destination URL.
Basically, what you do is you open it up and you open up the navigation summary of that URL and it will show you where people came from and where they went to after clicking on that link.
So it’s actually really, really cool. So we went to get start page and you can see where people came from to get to that page and where they went to. This is really cool because you can analyze people’s behavior.
So if you’re noticing on a Heatmap that people are clicking on something specific and it might not be your call-to-action, so there’s another button there that people are constantly clicking on. You might want to understand, okay, so where do people go after they click on this button? Where are they going to? What are they doing? So this is just a really cool thing you can do and get really cool insights about the path that people take on your website.
What are your most clicked links?
So if you notice that most clicks are happening on the bottom of the page, for example, so you look at your heatmap and you notice that hardly anyone is clicking on the top of your page, but most of the people are clicking on the bottom of the page, so that may indicate that the information people want is actually to far below and you can test moving that content higher on the page to see if it converts.
For example, in this Heatmap, you can see that more people click on the play button and navigation buttons below the fold than the one above it. Then I went to look at this page live and found out that the first image isn’t even a button, but it looks like one. We now have two very interesting insights:
People are clicking on something that isn’t clickable
Even though it looks clickable – and it really does look clickable – most people click on the bottom of video on the link below. So it means that in order for them to watch the video they actually need this information. More information. So it’s a really cool way to analyze a Heatmap.
What content are people most interested in?
Another thing you can do is identify the content people are most interested in. You can use the attention map -remember the hovermap – to see which part of the page has been viewed the most. You can locate parts of the page that are getting the most engagement. This will further help you understand what content is engaging, what people care about and what content you should be highlighting on the page.
In the example above, people spend a lot of time hovering over the testimonial and the bullet points.
So in this case we could test having the testimonial higher on the page because this is kind of middle of the page. People also seem to be hovering over the logo on the top left corner which is this over here. So in this case I’d go into Google Analytics and check for a bounce rate and see if the path, and also look at the path that people take and look at a click map, ultimately. Basically understand if many people leave the page if they don’t find it relevant or if there’s something that’s missing in terms of content.
Are you losing your visitor’s attention?
So I really do like engagement maps. Again, as I mentioned, you have to use them with other maps and data. But it’s a cool way to just see how people are interacting with your page, what they’re reading and what they’re interested in.
So over here there’s a number, so most people hovered over here. A lot of people are hovering over this logo, which isn’t actually a logo trust symbol. It’s just interesting behavior.
Another thing you can do is basically find out where you’re losing visitor attention. So scroll maps can help you locate big drop offs on a page. So essentially you’ll see suddenly it goes from red to yellow and then suddenly it’s completely dark. That means that people completely dropped off from your page. Or you might see something really weird where it’s red at the top, no colors in the middle, and then goes back to colors at the bottom.
So there’s all sorts of weird things that can happen with scroll maps. But it’s really interesting to see where … I mean, it could mean two things. It could mean either that the content wasn’t relevant so I left the page, or it could mean I got everything that I needed, all the information that I needed and it was enough so I moved on to the next page. In this example of over here you can see that most people get to this part of the page, but they don’t visit these other products. So it’s just a way for you to know that if you wanted to highlight these products or these are the ones that you wanted to sell, then you might want to switch around a few things.
But again, what I would do is go into Google Analytics and see actual sales for each one of these items and then compare and see what makes sense. If it’s a regular page and on an eCommerce site. So if it’s a landing page and you see something like this, you’ll want to check the conversion rate of that learning page and see is it, does it have a high conversion rate? So is it just because people reach this part of the page and said, “Okay, we’re convinced, let’s just convert.” Or is it because people didn’t find what they were looking for and they left? So kind of always correlating and looking for things that work together.
How do your visitors interact with specific elements?
Last but not least is see how visitors interact with specific elements. So these are screen recordings.
As I mentioned at the beginning, you want to approach these recordings with specific questions in mind, for example:
What are the biggest points of friction on the page?
How do people fill out forms?
What actions are people unable to complete? You’ll notice how fast people skim for your content, which is really cool. So if you want to see how fast people are scrolling, where they pause, what interests them, it really is cool.
Now know that this takes at least half a day, if not more, so come planned and focused at the task in hand. Because again, screen..
I’m not going to give you too much background about heuristic analysis, because I’m going to dive quite deep into it today. (There are some links at the bottom of the post if you want to dive in deeper!)
Heuristic analysis is a very cool process that I believe every single website should perform. Everyone. Whether you’re just getting started with a website, or you’ve got a website that’s a live and kicking, or you have a new product that you’re launching…
Whatever it is, heuristic analysis can be an amazing way for you to discover various things that we’ll get into in just a moment. It’s also a great thing to do when you don’t have resources to do other things.
What is the purpose of heuristic evaluation?
A heuristic evaluation, or heuristic analysis is a process used to discover usability problems in any application or website.
The way it works is that one or more experts – normally between three to five – work on evaluating the website against a set of principles and heuristics.
The entire process is designed to help uncover hidden opportunities on your website, find obstacles that need fixing and prioritize your optimization stuff.
You can run a heuristic analysis on your website at any stage, whether you just have sketches on wireframes, or if you have a full blown site that needs optimizing.
So let’s talk a bit about the purpose of it.
On the one hand, it’s about discovering usability issues. Heuristic evaluation is great at that. Just finding those problematic issues that you have on the page. It uncovers hidden opportunities, it finds obstacles and key roadblocks preventing users from performing tasks on your page, and it helps you prioritize your optimization stuff.
So before we get started and talk about how you can actually perform a heuristic analysis, I definitely want to highlight the pros and the cons of running a heuristic analysis, because there are many different sides to it.
The pros of running a heuristic analysis
Let’s talk about the pros.
1. The process requires a limited budget
You’ll need about three to five UX experts to run the analysis, but that’s it.
You don’t need huge tools, you don’t need to spend a ton of money. It really is on a limited budget.
So if you don’t have a ton of money to spend now on mutuals and research, and employees or whatever the process is, then heuristic analysis is a great thing for you.
2. Running a heuristic analysis is fast
If you do it correctly, you can get a heuristic analysis done within a few hours.
That’s another thing that’s really cool because many times, a lot of these optimization processes take a ton of time to perform, and it takes a long time to get results.
So heuristic analysis or heuristic evaluation can actually be done in a few hours. So that’s a cool thing.
3. You can run a heuristic analysis before you launch
If you’re working on a new launch of a product or feature, you can run a heuristic test before people even interact with it.
That’s really cool, because then you’re actually going to discover a lot of issues you may have before people get to use it and complain, or have issues, or have problems performing certain tasks. So it’s a great way to do something before you launch.
4. A simple, repeatable way to optimize your funnel
It’s also relatively simple to repeat this process every time you want to optimize a part of your funnel, launch a new product, or evaluate something else in your customer journey.
It’s very different than running A/B tests that normally would be only set up once, and you run it for a certain amount of time, and it takes a long time to get to.
Heuristic analysis, or heuristic evaluation really can be repeated many times.
5. Perfect for low traffic sites
If you don’t have much traffic or monthly conversions to run an AB test, a heuristic analysis can be the perfect fit.
In order to run an A/B test, you will need at least 300 conversions a month on your website.
It’s not that you can’t run an A/B test without it, but if you have less than 300 conversions of the same conversion- and I don’t mean sign ups and downloads and purchases, I’m saying 300 purchases a month, or 300 signups, or 300 downloads a month – it will take you a very long time.
Sometimes it can take six months or longer to run an A/B test if you don’t have that enough traffic, or enough numbers, enough conversions a month.
Running a heuristic evaluation can fast track that process for you, and help you find the immediate things that can be changed and optimized without running a test.
So these are all the cool things, and the pros of running a heuristic analysis.
The challenges and constraints you’ll face when you run a heuristic analysis
However, there are also some constraints. There’s a few things that aren’t that good.
1. Our cognitive biases can affect the results
As we discussed last month, during February on our persuasion and psychology month, we are prone to different cognitive biases.
Our personal opinions or emotions ( and biases) actually alter the results of the test. So that’s why when you do a heuristic analysis, you do it with a few people at the same time.
There are a few other options in order to avoid biases – and we’ll get into them – but you can compare it with Heatmaps, recordings, usability testings, user testings, or even confirm it with the Google analytics data.
That is one of the things that you really need to watch out for, your cognitive biases, or the biases that you just have emotionally towards certain designs and certain products, or certain features.
That’s why when you’re doing a heuristic analysis, it’s important to have more than one person do it.
2. You need expertise
The other thing is that you require an expert:
A UI or UX expert who can truly evaluate a site from a professional point of view. Now maybe you have someone on the team, perfect. If you don’t, then it might be a little hard to find someone. It’s not impossible, but it’s something that you have to spend some time and money on.
3. It’s done without input from your target audience
Contrary to A/B testing, a heuristic analysis is done privately without the involvement of your target audience.
This can lead to some wrong assumptions and incorrect evaluations. That’s why a heuristic analysis is always done along with other elements. It’s never done alone and just depended on. You always have to do more research in order to validate all this stuff.
You do have to remember that as opposed to A/B testing, it’s only you and your experts looking at the page. It’s not real users interacting with it.
4. A heuristic analysis should never be done in a silo
A heuristic analysis by itself isn’t enough. After completing it, I always follow up with user testing, onsite surveys, customer surveys, or other methods to verify what will be found.
While heuristic analysis is important and a very, very good tool, never use it in isolation. Just remember that you are prone to biases.
How to run a meaningful, optimized heuristic analysis using Jakob Nielsen’s 10 usability principles
Now that we’ve covered the basics of what a heuristic analysis is and the different pros and cons of it, I want to talk about how to conduct a meaningful, an optimized heuristic analysis that delivers the insights you need to optimize your websites.
It’s the most used method for evaluation, and I strongly suggest using those if you’re just getting started. You can really just count on these 10, and you’ll be good to go. You don’t have to use all the rest.
Let’s review what his usability principles are. What I mean by that is that when he’s looking at a website, he’s evaluating each website or product page according to these principles, rules, and metrics.
The page should always keep people informed about their status. You must always be able to tell as a user what’s happening.
This allows people to feel in control, to take appropriate actions, to reach the goal, and ultimately to trust the brand.
Essentially for Jakob Nielsen, mapping means using the words of your audience.
The website, or the product should always speak the audience languages, the audience’s language with words, phrases, and concepts familiar to the user.
To do that, you’ll need to run different surveys on your website, to do some interviews and really get to know the language that people use.
What Jakob Nielsen says is, use those words. Don’t make up your own jargon, don’t try and invent the wheel. Use your customer’s words.
The idea is that you provide good defaults, and options to undo your previous action.
People always make mistakes on a website, or take the wrong path in your journey so freedom means allowing them to easily return to the previous state, and rethink their steps.
A back button, for example, or having breadcrumbs and being able to click on the previous breadcrumb in order to go back. Just allowing that freedom of navigating freely from one step to the next.
Your product and your website should always use the same interface and layout on all pages. You want to stay consistent with your design.
People should not have to wonder whether certain words or actions mean something else, and I’ve seen this constantly on various websites and various areas where you have different designs on different pages, different fonts, different colors, call to action buttons suddenly appear in different colors and all this is problematic.
5. Error prevention
Does your website help people avoid making mistakes?
Your website should eliminate all the screens, actions, or the words that may cause people to error, or misunderstand what’s going on. If possible, give people the option to confirm a certain action like “Are you sure you want to leave the screen?” Make sure that you know that when you leave this screen or if you log out, this information will not be saved.
The idea is to constantly give people the option to prevent the errors they’re about to take.
The idea is to minimize the cognitive load that people have, their need to remember what to do next. People should not have to remember information on their own, and you should make sure that you’re providing clear instructions.
Make sure that different tasks and actions on your site are easy to perform for both beginners and for novice users, and this is key for really getting a good customer journey.
Provide only the most necessary information on a page in the most elegant way. The idea is to remove friction.
9. Error recovery
Essentially you’re helping users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors.
The errors we make in a form, for example, should be clearly indicated and explained. So the idea is that when you’re filling out a form, and you make a mistake, don’t expect people to just understand that they made a mistake, but really tell them what that is and what mistake they made, and how they can fix it.
So it’s just a lot of the things here as you can see are about errors, about helping people move backwards and forwards, helping people prevent errors, or helping people recover from these errors that they’ve made.
10. Help and documentation
Lastly, making sure the user can find all the information that they need to perform certain tasks. Now this could be done with a help center, with a ton of resources in a knowledge base where it could just be done with tool tips or popups.
The idea is that these are Jakob Nielsen’s 10 basic principles for a heuristic evaluation. So make sure that you check out the complete guide. He really walks you through every single one of these steps and heuristics, and tells you how to notice them, how to recognize these issues and how to fix them.
The 4 goals of a thorough heuristic analysis (and the questions you should ask yourself to smash each goal!)
I would like to really get practical, and I want to talk about where you can store it and how to actually run your own heuristic analysis. So first things first, you have to reach a few goals.
1. Creating clarity
The idea is that each time you perform a heuristic analysis, your goals are to number one, provide clarity. So that’s one of the things that you will be doing while you are analyzing a website, and performing a heuristic analysis.
Your goal is to clarify the website, provide more clarity: to remove any concerns, roadblocks, or confusing elements and language from your customer journey.
That’s one of the goals of a heuristic analysis. To remove all of these issues. So people should know exactly what their next action should be, and be able to quickly find the answers to their questions. So here are a few questions that you can ask yourself while you are looking at a page.
If you are now reviewing a website, or you’re reviewing a pricing page, or landing page, there are a few questions you can ask yourself that will help you understand if the page that you’re looking at provides clarity or not:
Can people tell within five seconds of landing on your page what you provide and what the value is?
Is it clear what page they’re on, and what actions they can perform on the page?
Does the visual hierarchy on the page, both the copy and the images, help the user? Can people clearly identify what their next step in the process is?
Those are the three questions you want to ask yourself on every page when you’re doing a heuristic analysis.
2. Ensuring relevancy
Goal number two is ensuring that the page is relevant.
People should always feel that they are in the right place, and in the right direction of achieving their goals.
The information that they receive on each page should be only relevant to the page that they are on, and the next steps should be very clear. That means that it’s also relevant.
Here are a few questions you can be asking yourself when you are doing that heuristic analysis:
Does the landing page match the site, ad, or messaging people came from in terms of design and language?
Is the right information, the information they need to make a decision provided on the page without needing to navigate to another one? Now this is actually one that most websites do fall on number two, where you send people to an additional page to read more when there’s not really any need to, and you could be providing that information on the first page.
Does your copy match the target audience’s language? Does it match the words in the user’s head when they think of your product or their problem?
Do the images you use on the page reflect both the value, and the relevancy to the solution they’re searching for? Do they serve as clarification and visual aids to drive your point home?
When you’re reviewing your page, and you’re trying to reach goal number two, you want to ask yourself these four questions.
3. Removing friction
The heuristic analysis process basically helps identify elements on your website that create friction. Your goal is to find these friction points and remove them.
Go back to any surveys that you’ve done, polls, interviews, anything where you’ve really done some customer research and ask yourself:
Are there any concerns, roadblocks, or challenges that were mentioned by your audience that aren’t addressed on the page?
Do people need to perform many steps to get the information they need or perform an action?
Is there any information about your solution that’s missing on the page?
Are there any usability issues like the speed of the site, form fields that are not working, specific actions that can’t be performed on mobile, or maybe difficulty reading the copy on the page due to contrast or font size, and stuff like that.
So these are specific questions that you can be asking yourself when you’re trying to remove friction from the page.
4. Remove distractions
Any action or element on the page that isn’t directly contributing to helping people achieve their desired goal is a distraction.
Imagine trying to focus on a task at work, and being constantly called, messaged, emailed and talked to. That’s what most experiences on a website feel like. Right?
Here are some questions that you can ask yourself:
Asking people to share your page on social media. So for some reason, we see this a lot on landing pages too when people arrive on a landing page, and for some reason, these websites have added a way to share on social media. That is a distraction that isn’t called for.
Are you offering additional products before one has been chosen as an … Before one has been chosen? Do you have too many options to choose from? Reminder, we spoke, I think it was last week about analysis paralysis, a cognitive bias that basically determines that when we have too many options, our brains opt out.
Do you have too many options to choose from?
Do you have any unrelated animations, images, or banners that distract people?
Do you have any relevant information on the page that doesn’t contribute in any way?
Do you have any irrelevant popups on your page?
Now these are just some of the questions that you can ask when you’re approaching a heuristic analysis, but they’re a great place to start with and they can set you in the right direction.
So we spoke about four goals of a heuristic analysis, and the different questions that you can ask yourself. Now let’s talk about what you should be evaluating during your analysis. So how to actually do heuristic analysis.
The step-by-step guide to running a heuristic analysis (with questions!)
There’s a few things you want to be looking at.
You want to be identifying friction points, menus and navigation. You want to be looking at the clarity and consistency. That’s with functionality.
You want to be looking at the content- so that means persuasive content on each page. Clarity and readability, motivation and persuasion, category and list of pages.
You want to be looking at the layout and the design, the style, the information hierarchy, the usability and the graphics.
So these are all the things that we want to be looking at, and evaluating while we are doing a heuristic analysis.
Lastly, conversion points. Essentially, the place where the conversion happens. This can be on a checkout page, pricing page, wherever the conversion is. maybe it’s a subscription page, we want to be evaluating the customer journey, the conversion pages and forms, and post conversion.
Essentially we want to be talking about thank you pages and stuff like that, but let me dive into each one.
What really drives the way your prospects and customers make decisions?
While we may like to think of ourselves as rational, logical, data-driven people who make informed choices, there’s something else going on beneath the surface.
Something that influences everything we do and affects what we buy and who we buy it from…
Just think about the number of choices you have to make every day. What to eat. What to wear. Which side of the bed to get up from.
… And those are just the first of hundreds choices you’ll make today.
Imagine how much brain power you’d need if you had to actively think your way through every single option.
That’s why our brains have short-cuts that helps us decide fast.
And these short cuts – or cognitive biases – influence everything you do, from what car you drive and what you eat for breakfast, to what brands you buy from.
But it’s not just cognitive biases swirling around in there, leading the charge. Our emotions (and emotional triggers) play a huge role in every choice we make.
In fact… without emotions, we wouldn’t be able to make decisions.
That’s what neuroscientist Antonio Damasio discovered when he studied decision making in patients who’d lost their ability to feel emotion- they couldn’t even make the most basic decisions.
So if you want to help your prospects and customers make choices, you need to tap into what they’re feeling. This is where emotional triggers come in.
Two triggers in particular can help you stop site visitors in the tracks and make them pay attention to what you’ve got to say. In this workshop, we tackled those two triggers along with specific examples of how you can put them to work right away.
Here’s what you don’t want to miss:
How social image and self image affect the way your prospects and customers think and act,
Two headline formulas you can use to optimize your landing pages, site and sales pages for emotion,
A call to action formula to help you turn your buttons into mini conversion engines,
And if you haven’t already, grab your copy of this free worksheet. In it, you’ll find over 30 psychological triggers and cognitive biases along with examples of exactly how to use them to increase conversions and keep your customers coming back for more.
Two emotional triggers that boost conversions - YouTube
Transcript and slides
This month we’re wrapping up consumer psychology and persuasion, but don’t worry because it’s my forte, we’re going to be talking about it so much this year that there’s tons to come on that topic. Today is the last session specifically about persuasion and psychology.
Today we’re talking about two persuasion techniques, and they’re actually emotional triggers. I’ll get into them, and I’ll explain exactly what they mean. This is going to be a very actionable workshop, so I’m actually going to show you headline formulas that I use. Call to action buttons that I use and bullet points. Exact ways that I use these two persuasion techniques, how I weave them in to my headlines, calls to action and bullet points. I’m also going to show you how to use them with social proof.
Optimize your Landing Pages (and everything else…) with These Two Emotional Triggers
All right, so today we’re talking about how to optimize your landing pages with two persuasion techniques. I say landing pages, but to be honest this could be emails, and it could be any page on your website. Really what matters here is understanding the concept of these two persuasion techniques and how to use them. Then you can literally use them in anything, even in your Facebook ads.
We will get into this a lot more during the next workshops and everything that we talk about. Essentially I focus on something called emotional targeting, which means I focus on finding the emotions that drive our customers the most. The persuasions, the cognitive biases and everything that we can use to increase conversions and create a better experience for our customers.
Now I’ve been doing this for over a decade and throughout this time I’ve actually along with my team, we have found that there are 223 different emotional triggers that you can use.
When I say you can use, there are 223 emotional triggers that affect our decision making process. That means that when we are making decisions, when we’re trying to decide if we should buy something or not, when we’re thinking about the consequences of different purchases, when we’re thinking about, should we get something or not, we have many different emotions that are affecting our decisions. In the previous workshops we talked about the different biases that we have, that our brain has. There’s all these glitches in our brain that stop us from making rational decisions. We are completely irrational and so many different emotions affect us. It’s never just one, it’s never just, “Oh I really want to feel loved,” or, “I just want to feel compassion,” or, “I just want to feel more attractive.” It’s always a couple of emotions working together. When we do our emotional targeting research, then we dive into how to actually identify the specific emotions that motivate your customers. The specific emotional triggers that help your customers or your prospects is more correct, decide if they should buy from you or not.
Now today we’re going to focus on two of these and these are the two, I’m not going to say most common, because I get this question all the time. I’m dealing with emotions, I’m constantly asked, “What are the most common emotions? What should we use?”
Some of the emotions your customers and prospects feel
It’s never the same, it’s really dependent, it really depends on your target audience. It depends on your goals. It depends on your customer’s stage of awareness and where they are in a customer journey. There are two emotional triggers that I see repeat themselves over and over again with almost every project that I work on, with either my students or my clients. Two emotional triggers that actually work hand in hand, and I rarely see them alone. Usually it’s something that’s working together with them.
That means a person arrives on a landing page and there’s different emotions that are starring their decision making. Meaning they are facing some sort of challenge, concerns, hesitations. They have different concerns in life that they need to solve, and they have a desired feeling. They have this desired outcome that they’re looking for. That’s part of the research that we do to figure out, so what are the pains that people are experiencing? What are the concerns, what are the challenges and what will help them make a decision in a better way?
How Social Image affects behavior and conversions
The first emotional trigger we’re going to talk about today is called social image. Now, social image is essentially based on how I want people to perceive me. What that means is that, most people in the world are very affected and care a lot about what other people think about them. Now it’s not just the general public, but it’s the people who closest to us. It’s the people we work with. It’s the people who manage us. Essentially we really want people to like us, or we have different things we want people to think about or feel about or towards us. As social creatures, most of us really care what people think of us. Many people want to feel appreciated, admired, envied or even looked up to. As a result many of our purchasing decisions are influenced by what people think about us.
For example, a parent might purchase many more presents and games and costumes for their child’s birthday party than they were ever planning to go about. They want other parents who come to their child’s birthday party to see how good of a parent they are. Does that make sense? It’s a lot about, when we buy something we’re thinking, “Okay, so what is this person going to think about me if I’m buying a B2B product, if I’m hiring a service? Then what if I manage are going to think of me? I want them to admire me, I want them to appreciate my work. I want them to see how good I am at doing things.”
Someone may purchase an expensive car just to stand out and feel envied. Now this doesn’t mean that every single person in the world is influenced by their social image. It really isn’t a one rule tool for everyone, but even brands selling services have to consider this emotional trigger. Even if you are an agency that does PPC for different clients and different companies, you still have to consider social image as one of the emotional triggers that could be affecting your prospects decisions.
Now due to, you know what, I’ll even give you an example. If you are actually selling PPC services and that’s what you do as an agency, you have to think about the outcome that your prospect may want. They’re not buying from you because they want you to just run their ads. They might be buying from you because of the outcome they’re looking for. For example, a CMO might hire a PPC agency to make them look good in front of the board or at their employees or their team. There’s a lot of different emotional triggers at play here, and it’s never just that one thing. Oh you know I just want to have more conversions.
Now I found that social image is a very strong emotional trigger. If you use it correctly on a page, it can do wonders to form a deeper connection with your prospects or your customers or clients. It of course can increase revenue. When we think about social image, what I want you to remember is that, it’s how people want others to perceive them. That can mean a million different things. Carl says, “What you think other people think about you is always as powerful and motivated as what you think about yourself.” That is such a great comment, and it’s also a great segment into the second emotional trigger, which is self image.
How Self-Image affects behavior and conversions
It goes hand in hand with social image. It’s how I feel about myself and essentially it dictates many of our buying decisions. People buy gym memberships to feel good about themselves, to feel like they’re taking some sort of action, even if they never go. How many of you have purchased a gym membership and never have gone? We buy books that we never read just so we can feel smarter and maybe also, here’s the social image of it, have it in the background, so it’s in our library. When people come over they think how smart we are, so it’s also making us feel smart. It’s also getting other people to think that we’re smart or perceive us as smart people. We hire business coaches to help push us forward to the next level. We purchase clothes because we want a higher self esteem. There’s so many different things in action here.
Self image and social image go hand in hand. Today we’re going to use these two emotional triggers in our landing pages. I’m going to walk you through a few templates, and we’re actually going to write the different headlines, call to action buttons, bullet points and everything that goes together. You can either do this live, so you can open a Google Doc and just start writing. Or what you can do is, after we go through all the formulas and everything and I teach you, you can just look at one of your landing pages and ask yourself if you’re doing these things, and if you can use self image or social image.
Now, again self image and social image go hand in hand. It doesn’t necessarily mean that every single person is influenced by their social image or by their self image. I have to say that it is a repeating theme. I’ve seen it everywhere, and I also have to say that when we do add these to our landing pages, we see huge increases in conversion rates.
Two headline formulas that trigger these emotional triggers
Let’s get started with headline formulas.
First we’ll start with writing the landing pages headline. Now this is the main message on the landing page, and it’s usually the first thing that people see and read. Now the one thing that I love about writing copy because I don’t consider myself as a copywriter, is that you do not need to invent the will. There are countless of writing formulas to help you write and instead of just sitting there in your room, hoping for the words to just come … I used to do this a lot. I used to have to write a landing page out, and I just sit there, I go, “What should I write? What should I do?” Just hope that something would come to mind. When I discovered all these writing formulas, it made my life so much easier. You can simply use one of the already proven and tested formulas. There are so many for headlines. I think there are dozens of headline formulas that you can use for your landing page. Today I’m just going to show my two go to formulas. The ones that I use to write headlines for landing pages. Of course, I use different ones, but I’m going to share the ones with you that I use to add social image and self image to them. Let me show you the first formula.
The first formula is for self image, and the headline is, “Have a/become a desirable thing that you can be proud of.”
Now, these aren’t my formulas. These have been written by far greater copywriters than I, but I’ve adapted them for the emotional triggers. “Have a/become a desirable thing you can be proud of.” Now let me show you a few examples. For example, a nutritionist would say, “Finally, have a routine and the lifestyle you can be proud of.” This is a headline formula that really plays on that self image trigger of making people, of showing people the outcome. That outcome is that you will feel better about yourself. You will be proud of the routine, and the lifestyle that you need.
An online parenting program can say, “Become the parent you’ve always wanted to be, one you can be proud of.” Now I did a really cool project with an online parenting program recently, and this is definitely one of the things, one of the emotional triggers that really influences people’s decisions. Parents not only want to be better parents for their kids, they also want to feel really good about themselves. They want to feel good about their parenting style and of course there’s also social stuff towards it, but we’ll get to that. Another example is, “Hey, write and send emails that make you money and proud.”
As you can see this is one formula that just talks about the end feeling that you get when you use one of these products, when you buy one of these services. When you hire this type of person. It’s all about that desirable thing and that desirable thing is whatever you’re selling, but the results of it is you being proud of who you are. Feeling good about the decision that you’ve made. That’s formula number one.
The next one is for social image, so again this is a formula that will make people see the outcome. The outcome would be how other people will perceive you. The only solution made exclusively to the most desirable social image outcome. What that means is that you, the only solutions, word says solutions in brackets is basically the service that you’re offering, made exclusively to whatever the most desirable social image outcome is. Let me show you an example.
A presentation software, so if you Prezi for example or any company that sells an online presentation software. They could say, “The only presentation software that will make you look like a pro designer.” Now this is actually really smart. I’ve worked extensively with an online presentation platform and one of the things that we found out is that the vast majority of people that use these presentation softwares are marketers with no designing skills. Think about that end result that they’re getting. It’s the only presentation software that will make you look like a pro designer. The solution in brackets is presentation software, and the most desirable social image outcome is looking like a pro designer to other people.
A VA, a virtual assistant services could say, “The only virtual assistance service,” so that’s a solution, “that will make people ask, “How did she get all that done?”” Now when you think about it, when you hire a virtual assistant, their whole job is to make your life easier so that you can get much more stuff done. What they’re saying here is, the only solution that will make people ask, “How did she get all that done?” People will look at you from outside and say, “Damn that person does so much, how do they have the time?”
An online cooking course can say, “The only online program to help you become the brilliant cook you’ve always wanted to be.” Actually that example is self image, because it’s what you want to be. I guess it would say, “It will be the only online program, the only online cooking program that will make people ask, “What’s the recipe?”” Again, for some reason the example here is for self image, but the social image example is always about how people are going to respond to your cooking. “Wow, did you hire a chef? Wow, where did you learn to cook so well?” Or, “Wow, can I have that recipe?” Those are the desirable social image outcomes that people might want. That’s what you weave into the formula.
We reviewed two headline formulas, one for self image and one for social image. Each of them really touches on that point of introducing those emotional triggers into your copy.
Now let me know in the comments how you feel about these formulas, because they’re really there to make your life easier. All you have to do is copy and paste it into your Google Doc and add them. It’s really simple to do. Barbara says, “Super handy.” Sandra says, “Emotional,” which is awesome. Yeah, we’ve reviewed two headline formulas. Now let’s talk about call to action buttons. Now, wait let me answer one question. Taylor says, “Is the headline that addresses the clients pain point just as effective for hooking people in?” Definitely yes, it’s something you need to test. I would definitely say that you want to not just have a headline, you have to have the subtitle, the sub-headline that completes that headline. You can still grab people’s attention with the most desirable outcome that they have, which is either self image or social image and then close the deal with your sub-headline. Clint says, “The formulas really help prevent righteous look, nice to have proven methods to use, really happy to see that.” Mary asks, “Does saying, “The only,” ever raise the objection of you’re not the only one, there are tons of presentation softwares?”
Yes, I completely agree and when I use this formula, I try to avoid the only and just say, “The end result.” Just because I also do not like self proclaimed companies. That’s a formula as I said, it’s not something that I invented. I just added the emotional triggers in there to make it far more desirable and emotional. You could leave out the only and just say, whoops where I’m I? You could just say, “The presentation software that will make you look like a pro designer.” Or, “Finally design presentations that will make you look like a pro designer.” Or you could just say, “After hiring us everyone will be asking, “How does she get all that done?”” The key is really introducing that emotional trigger, which is social image or self image. You don’t have to go exactly by the book and use this formula. Again, there are countless of formulas. If you’re looking for really good headline formulas, I would suggest looking into Copy Hackers, she has an entire list of these amazing headline formulas and many more.
Okay, so let’s move in and Juan or Juan depending on how you would say it, asks if this would work in any language. Yes it does work in any language. One thing I would suggest is definitely understanding your target audience in terms of localization and making sure you’re not hitting any negative pain points. Not every single culture has the same emotional triggers. Not everyone feels the same way, and it goes it’s not just about culture or country or language. It’s everywhere, but these do definitely tend to work in every language. I’ve used these headlines in German, in Dutch, in Chinese, in English, in Spanish and they’ve worked, so there you go.
Copywriting Formulas for Call to Action Buttons
Okay, so let’s talk about call to action buttons, because the call to action button is an extremely important element on your page. Before we dive into that formula that I’m going to give you, I want to remind you of the few rules about call to action buttons.
The call to action button should only have one goal, only one, meaning you ask for one thing and one thing only. Now they also, the call to action also has to be very, very clear, so people should be able to look at your button and know instantly what will happen when they click on it. When you have call to action buttons like let’s say, “Get started,” that’s kind of, unless it’s really clear what that means, many of the call to action buttons that I’ve seen are very kind of vague. Try and be very, very clear about the outcome.
Now, the last rule I’ll tell you is that length doesn’t matter only value. Now I know that we’re constantly told to reduce the amount of copy that we use because people don’t read, but I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to have long copy. It’s okay to have an entire sentence even on your call to action button, because if it has value, it will work. Really stop thinking about how many words should I have on my call to action button or should it be really, really short or just one word. You can have an entire sentence, and I’ve done this before and it can convert. The important is really the idea of adding the value that’s important. I’m going to introduce you to one formula that I use the most. It’s a formula that I got from my friend
Visitors don’t just stumble on your site by accident.
They find you through the content marketing plan you painstakingly designed, the comprehensive SEO and linking strategy you built, the paid ads…
… And all the other marketing you put in place.
So while discovering you may feel like a stroke of fortune to your visitor, you know just how much work went into making that serendipitous encounter happen in the first place.
But getting found is just the first step. Now you need to grab that visitor’s attention and show them why they should stick around and buy.
To do that, you need to understand the different forces that influence the buying process. Because everything we do – from choosing where to go on holiday to what project management software to use or what kind of coffee to drink – is affected by a series of cognitive biases.
These subconscious triggers work away in the back of our brains and affect the way we make decisions a lot more than you’d think…
Three of these psychological triggers are particularly useful when it comes to turning visitors into customers. In this workshop, we looked at all three and examined the different ways you can use them to increase conversions. (With real-life examples and practical takeaways of course!)
Here’s what you don’t want to miss:
How the bandwagon effect makes us pick the already popular choices (and how you can use social proof to make it work for you),
The unusual power of loss aversion,
The one trigger you must avoid at all costs,
And if you haven’t already, grab your copy of this free worksheet. In it, you’ll find over 30 psychological triggers and cognitive biases along with examples of exactly how to use them to increase conversions and keep your customers coming back for more. (Including the three we talk about here.)
3 Psychological triggers that turn more visitors into customers - YouTube
Transcript and slides
We’re gonna be talking about cognitive biases. We’re gonna really dive into the three … not the three, but top three cognitive biases that you can use in optimization. You can use them on landing pages, you can use them on emails, you can use them on your website.
In fact, we’re gonna be talking about two cognitive biases that you should be using and one cognitive bias that you should be aware of, that you should, when you’re looking at your stuff, make sure that you’re not kind of triggering it. I’ll explain everything about what this actually means, what are cognitive biases in just a moment, ’cause we’ll be starting in one minute. I’ll be sharing my screen, and I’ll just walk you through everything.
Today we’re talking about three psychological triggers that turn more visitors into customers.
What’s a cognitive bias?
Okay, so let’s start talking about cognitive biases. I guess in simple words, cognitive bias, or psychological triggers, depending on how you wanna call them, are a brain’s tendency to think in certain ways.
Our brain uses these biases to make decisions more easily. Essentially, our brain’s really lazy. If you haven’t watched the first workshop from February, I advise you to watch that one. I talk about how our brain makes decisions, the slow brain, the fast-thinking brain, and I kind of break it down into how the brain makes decisions. It’s very helpful.
But, essentially, these biases determine how we make decisions, what actions we take, who we become friends with, what we eat, how we feel in every given moment, who we believe, who we don’t. Essentially, as Wikipedia explains, cognitive biases are systematic patterns of deviations from norm or rationality and judgment.
This means that these biases, they tend to deviate us from rational and logical decision making. What this means is that they affect us in a way that we’re normally unaware of, and they affect our decision-making process. Normally, we’ll just make these decisions, we’ll think that they were completely rational, completely logical, but our decisions are affected by these biases, and we’re normally unaware of them.
Now, why does this matter to you other than know how your brain makes decisions? Because every single element on your page, from your headline to your chosen colors to the images that you choose, your fonts and the story that you tell, every element on your page has an impact and can trigger some sort of bias in your target audience.
Thousands of biases affect our decisions every single day. Some are more common than others, and it’s important to know what they are, how they work, and what the most common ones are so that you can either avoid them, as I mentioned at the beginning, or make use of them to increase conversions.
One thing is very clear, though, is that most of the time, we’re completely unaware of these biases and have no idea which one is at play. As you know, and if you don’t know, here’s an update, we have a very, very long list and guide for cognitive biases on our site. It’s one of our blog posts. You can either read it on our blog, or you can download the PDF, and it has a list of, I think, about 50 different cognitive biases. It gives you exact explanations on different cognitive biases, how you can use them, what they mean, and how to avoid them, or stuff like that, and examples, of course.
Today I’m going to dive further into three of these biases and give you some tips, tactics, and ideas on how you can leverage them starting right now.
1. The Bandwagon Effect: What it is and how it works
Without further ado, let’s get started with the first cognitive bias. That is the bandwagon effect. Let me know in chat, guys, if you have heard of this effect. I just love to hear it, ’cause as we go through these biases, they’re very common, and I’d love to know if you’ve heard of it, if you’ve used it before and stuff like that.
Here we have, the bandwagon effect, essentially, it’s a bias that focuses on our tendency to change our opinions, our decisions, our beliefs, and even our ideas, according to the amount of people who think in a certain way. So, think about it, it’s really interesting. In our most inner deep selves, I guess, most of us just want to be like everybody else. We want to conform, we want to feel like we’re apart of a larger group. So, the bandwagon effect states that there’s, essentially, power in numbers. The more amount of people think in a certain way, the more likely it is to grow in popularity and be trusted by others.
For example, let’s say that our political views may change according to the amount of people who we see on our Facebook feed support a certain candidate, or if we’re comparing between two products, we’ll tend to choose the more popular one, the one we’ve heard more about and see more people use. At the end of the day, what we want is to be like other people, it’s to adapt and think in the same way. As I mentioned, most of us aren’t aware, we don’t think that our opinions change according to the numbers, but they do. Even more interestingly is that when it’s people who are close to you, so family and friends, the more family and friends think the same way, the more, obviously, you’re prone to thinking the same way too, but it’s not just people you know.
How to leverage the bandwagon effect
Highlight numbers, amounts and groups of people who choose your solution. We’ve all seen these around, I guess, statements like “Thousands of customers are already enjoying their music like never before.” These are great ways to highlight the popularity of your solution. At the end of the day, your goal is to emphasize your popularity and show potential customers that you are a safe choice, the one everyone chooses. Here’s a few examples. There’s “Grow boldly. Join 45,000 businesses that trust Leadpages every day to grow their business online,” is a great way to leverage the bandwagon effect.
Another way, GetResponse uses “Over 350,000 happy customers and counting.” It says, “Don’t take our word for it. See what all the buzz is about.” Then, they have all the testimonials and stuff, but it comes together. Now, there’s other ways you can do it. For example, this is from Basecamp. Basecamp is a competitor to Trello and Asana. They do something really cool. They say, “3716 businesses signed up last week to get results like these,” and they kind of highlight the … “89% have had a better handle on their business. 84% report more self-sufficient teams. 59% have fewer weekly meetings.” All of this is about numbers, and it shows you kind of the emphasis on the amount of people, even in percentage, that agree to a certain thing, think in a certain way, that believe something.
Another thing you can do is feature reviews of your product and your solutions. Showing not the actual reviews but how many you’ve been given is a great way to show popularity. The more reviews you have, the more you succeed in showing yourself as a common chosen solution by customers. Over here on the right, this is from YotPo. You’ll see an e-commerce site featuring their reviews. That’s just kind of like, hey, you know, these are the people who have been reviewing this, and you can go in and see.
On the left we have G2 Crowd, which is a popular platform for rating SaaS products. I’ve chosen Zendesk as an example because they have 1400 reviews with a great score, 4.2. So, something as simple as this could be added to their site, and they could mention, “Hey, we’re rated 4.2 on G Crowd.” Thousands of customers. So, it’s just a cool way of using the bandwagon effect, not just by saying how many people use you, but even just say, you know, “These amount of people have reviewed us.” “These are the amount of people have bought our product.” “These are the mat of people who trust us,” and so on and so on. All that is just a quick way of leveraging the bandwagon effect.
By the way, another very popular way of using bandwagon effect, you’ve probably seen used countless times is on pricing pages, where you highlight one specific plan, and it just says, “most popular” or “plan of the month”, or stuff like that, and probably have seen examples like that. It’s a really cool way, and I’ll show you an example of that when we move on.
2. Loss Aversion: What it is (and how you can use it)
Let’s talk about the next cognitive bias and that is loss aversion. Loss aversion is … we actually spoke about this bias a little last week when we talked about Cialdini. We talked about Cialdini’s seven principles of persuasion to increase conversion, so if you haven’t seen that one, strongly recommend watching it.
Loss aversion is our tendency to avoid loss, or losing out at all costs. According to psychologists, the sense of losing our, or missing something, is so hard for us that we feel more towards it than when we gain something. What that means is that most people will consider the loss of $50 far more significant than the excitement of gaining $200. It’s really interesting because we just try to avoid feeling that loss at all costs. We would rather avoid a loss than gain something.
Loss aversion in action
Now, this is actually where scarcity comes into play. Let’s talk about it. We have the most common way of using loss aversion is by letting people know that something is running out. A sale is about to end or there are a limited amount of products to be purchased or services to be delivered. You’ll see these tactics in emails or on sales pages, in popups, on pricing pages and many other places on websites. Now, on the right you can see Melyssa Griffin. If you don’t know her, you should definitely follow her. She’s awesome. She’s a Pinterest influencer, and she teaches people how to use Pinterest to grow their business. Melyssa Griffin is using loss aversion in her email to sell her course. You’ll notice it says, “Early bird bonuses expiring in four hours. Detail inside.” Then, inside the email it says, “This is your last chance.” Then, they have this kind of countdown timer. It’s a really well known way of using loss aversion and just letting people know that something’s running out. On the left, I think this is Macy’s, when it says, “It’s in-store only. It’s from September 27th to 30. This is the only time you can do this.”
Social Media Examiner, I’ve worked with them now for a couple of months on helping them promote their conference. It’s in San Diego. It’s probably the biggest and most interesting and most actionable social media marketing conference you will ever attend, and I had a great time working with them. One of our goals was to increase the sales of the tickets to get more people to come. It was interesting because what you can see here is just their use of loss aversion in a popup. “Save on your Social Media Marketing World tickets.” There’s a countdown timer, and you can kind of just decide what you want to do. Notice how they’re using this call to action button here. I don’t know if you can see my mouse, but it says, “Yes, I want to save.” “I don’t want to save.” That’s just a cool way of using loss aversion in terms of, most people would have a hard time clicking on “I don’t want to save”, because that kind of symbolizes the fact that you’re going to lose out on something, right?
Let’s also look at another example of how companies use loss aversion. Hotjar, this is another great way to use it. You don’t have to be as direct and alarming as the first different options that I’ve showed you. In this kind of situation, you could say … Okay, so you could do it in to ways. You could either say, “Hey, stop throwing money down the drain,” which is what most people do, right? You can do that with copy, even with your subject line you could have in an email, like, “Stop throwing your money away,” or you could say that on a headline on a landing page. That would be a great way to leverage loss aversion. Or, you could say, “How many hours have you wasted searching for a solution?” Or, “The solution you’re using is holding you back from achieving X.” All of these sentences are just implying that someone is losing out by not taking action, by taking the wrong action. It’s enough to trigger that bias.
My favorite example, as I was saying before, is Hotjar. What they’re doing is, without using actual words, they’re implying that you’re wasting a ton of money. They’re saying, on the left-hand side, you’re probably using these five tools, similar five tools, ClickTale, Crazy Egg, Qualaroo, SurveyMonkey, Ethnio, which I don’t really know, and you’re spending a ton of money. Or, you could be using the new way and spend far less. It’s a cool way of doing this, of kind of leveraging that loss aversion and saying, “Hey, dudes, you are losing out by using all of these products here on the left. You could actually …” And it’s actually quite true, because Hotjar only costs $29 a month, and each of these products on the left gets you to a couple of hundred dollars a month, if not more. Hotjar’s simply saying, instead of saying, “Stop throwing your money away,” or instead of saying, “You’re losing out,” they just show you and make you feel like you’re losing, and if you want to avoid that pain of losing, then you would choose Hotjar.
How others use loss aversion
Let me know, guys, in the chat, if you have seen some cool ways of people using loss aversion on their website. We spoke about a few different ways you can do that, whether if it’s in your emails by just letting people know that something’s coming to an end, or there’s only a certain amount of product that you can purchase, or even if we’re talking about something’s coming to an end now, so it’s only three days left, and stuff like that. Or, we spoke about how you can use it in copy or in visuals. But yeah, you’re right, [Netta 00:19:00] says, “Every course ever has used loss aversion.” I think it’s a really cool way of doing it. Just one thing about loss aversion, though, is you don’t want it to be sleazy, you don’t want it to be incorrect, you don’t want it to be a blatant lie. I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this, but many websites do have the, you know, when you have a countdown timer, and then you arrive on the website the following day, and it’s restarted or something. Just make sure that you are definitely, kind of following being authentic.
Craig says, “I signed up with ConvertBox this week, and they did it omni-brilliantly.” Oh, that’s cool. You should tell us how they did that. Stephanie says, “I really like this Hotjar one because it’s more subtle. The countdown timers are everywhere, and I hate them along with the ‘No, I don’t want to get this benefit’ button.” I definitely agree, and I think I showed one of these examples last week that was done by Social Media Examiner too. I think it’s all about how you place them on the website, where they are, where these countdown timers come in play, and how you do them. If you do them in an authentic way and you tell the customer’s story through it, and it’s not just a “Warning! Warning! Time’s running out! Something’s gonna blow up,” then it can work really well.
[Montrel 00:20:22] says, “Unbounce did this with their partnership program.” That’s true. Nikki says, “I just got suckered into a flash sale that had 70% off the first hour, 60% off the second. That 10% was not appealing in comparison.” That’s a really interesting thing. By the way, Nikki, you’re sending your replies to all panelists. If you wanna get everyone to see your answers, you should see all panelists and attendees.
Yeah, so there’s all the … Maria Thompson, hi, Maria, says that, “The other buttons that say ‘I’m an idiot for not doing what you say’.” Agreed completely. Loss aversion is definitely a technique you need to master, and you need to make people feel comfortable with what you’re saying and not overuse it or create something that isn’t real.
3. Analysis Paralysis: What it is and how to avoid it
Okay, let’s move into the third cognitive bias, which is analysis paralysis. Now, this is one of the biases that many marketers know about or talk about, but seem to forget almost immediately when they’re planning landing pages, websites, pricing pages and stuff like that. Analysis paralysis is as simple as it sounds. When we’re given too many options, our brain goes into a state of confusion or overthinking, and it just chooses not to choose, so think about that. This means that if you give your audience too many options, they will have a very difficult time making a decision, and they’ll simply opt out of making that decision. Where do we actually see this happen most commonly? This happens in pricing pages. When you have too many plans, you’re confusing people. It’s problematic.
A few people just wrote to me, “Oh my god, is that a real pricing plan?” Yes, that is a real pricing page that I found. The thing about it is that it’s not just about the amount of pricing plans that you have on your design, it’s also to do with helping people choose, making it easier to compares. It’s not just about, oh, you should only have free pricing plans, but, also, thinking about how even when you do have free pricing plans, how can you help people make the right decision?
Analysis paralysis in action
Notice the example on the left side, the names of each plan are general, quite common, but on the right, we have multiple techniques, helping prospects compare their offerings. So, the names, free, one month, one year, the highlighted plan, and even the call to action buttons that explain the exact meaning of each plan. So, when you click on a button, you know what’s going to happen, you know what you’re going to get. You can clearly see that their favoring the one on the right, the one year, and it says “most popular”. So, there’s the bandwagon effect.
Then, I guess, there’s Hotjar. I just love their website, and I also love all the examples that I can use from them. Here’s another way that they avoid analysis paralysis and they help people make decisions. They allow you to choose a plan, firstly, according to your need. Is it personal, business, or is it an agency? Then, according to the amount of page views that you have. So, all these contribute to reducing analysis paralysis and helping people make a choice easily. You can see that they’ve taken away that kind of stress of “What plan should I choose? What should I do? How should I do it,” and kind of really walking you through your options, and, essentially, helping you identify the right pricing plan for yourself.
Let’s move on to another example. Another important thing that you can do is reduce the fear of making a huge decision. The lighter the consequences are to a decision, the easier it is to make. Make it easy in both a user experience perspective and a psychological perspective to make a decision. For example, allow people to immediately see the value of paying that yearly fee versus the monthly fee by highlighting the cost and the value. It’s just an important thing to do. Focus on the end result, the most desired need of your prospect versus the pricing of the features, so that they can see the value easily and find less reasons to persuade themselves against that action.
So, when someone’s coming to your pricing page and they’re trying evaluate stuff, don’t only think about, okay, how many plans should I have or how can I highlight the one plan that I want people to take, but how can you reduce that friction by highlighting the end result, the value of it? It’s really cool because when you do that, when you highlight the outcomes for people, it really helps us justify our decisions and to feel the gain versus the pain of what it is.
Now, Amplitude, over here, explains the value of their product, how easy it is to..
How can you persuade visitors to your site to sign up for your newsletter or download that resource you painstakingly put together?
How can you convince potential customers to buy your products and services?
Or urge people to show up to your events or log into your software?
Converting is about so much more than the quality of your product.
It’s about the way you make people feel and just how persuasive you can be…
That’s why marketers, conversion optimizers and copywriters use specific persuasion principles. These principles let you tap into your lead’s psyche and gently encourage them to take action.
Because let’s face it. Most of us are master procrastinators. We put off doing things until the last possible second…
But when you leverage persuasion correctly, you can get past that and inspire the person on the other side of the screen to take action.
In this workshop, we examined Cialdini’s 7 principles of persuasion. We looked at each one in turn (with specific examples!) and discussed how you can apply them to get your leads and customers to act.
Here’s what you don’t want to miss:
A thorough breakdown of each of the six key principles of persuasion
Specific examples that highlight how The Principles work in the wild – along with practical applications
An intro to Cialdini’s 7th principle
If you haven’t already, grab the worksheet below. In it, you’ll find over 30 psychological triggers and cognitive biases along with examples of exactly how to use them to increase conversions and keep your customers coming back for more. It can help you apply the principles of persuasion we are about to discuss.
Boost conversions with these 7 persuasion principles - YouTube
Transcript and slides:
Today, we’re talking about how to use Cialdini’s six principles which … actually, seven principles of persuasion to boost conversions.
I have been using these techniques for many years now. I think they’ve become a real big part of most of the marketers that I know. You actually might be using some of these techniques and some of these principles in your marketing without knowing. Today, we’re going to cover these six different principles and see how you can use them to increase conversions on your landing pages, your websites and everything, so it should be pretty interesting.
Meet Dr. Robert Cialdini
Now, the reason we’re talking about him is pretty simple. As I mentioned in my previous workshop, if we want to increase conversions and grow our business, we have to understand how our audience makes decisions, what influences them, what their real intent is, and their desired outcomes. Scientists and psychologists have been researching the art of influence and persuasion for decades. One of the most famous researchers in this area is Dr. Robert Cialdini. He’s known mostly for his book Influence, which you can see here on the screen.
In his original book, he actually maps out the six most important factors that influence us to say yes to the requests of others, so what actually moves us towards a yes versus a no when we’re considering products, when we’re considering services. These principles have been written about in almost every marketing blog you could think of. They’ve been tested by many companies, and they are referenced by some of the top scientists in the world. Now, as I said recently, he added a seventh principle to his list so, hopefully, we’ll also have enough time to cover that one.
Let’s just get started with the first one. The first one is reciprocity, which I can never say correctly. It’s so annoying. It’s the first principle, and it’s to do with our fundamental need and obligation to repay or return favors, so essentially perform certain actions for people who gave us a certain service first. In short, we basically feel obligated to treat others the way they treat us, which is a good thing, right? Someone does you a favor, and then you actually owe them a favor. If someone invites you to a party, you’re more inclined to invite them to your own. In that context, I guess, people are more likely to say yes to those who have helped them in the past.
Now, how do you actually use this online? Here are two ways you can do that. Basically, you can offer free webinars, resources, ebooks, articles, and workshops, and many other things … thank you, Rick … to help people out. I gave two examples here. On the right you can see Forget the Funnel, and they do a wonderful job creating free content, workshops, and webinars for SaaS marketers. Now, if any of you are SaaS marketers and you haven’t heard of Forget the Funnel, I would urge you to definitely check them out after our workshop today. They are brilliant. It’s run by Gia and Claire, two fabulous women who have run entire marketing departments in very big companies, in very interesting startups, and they’re now helping SaaS marketers become better marketers. It’s a really cool service. What’s cool about them is that they’re so informative. They’re so actionable. They have such amazing free content that people are far more likely to enroll into their paid courses later.
Now, other options include offering a free trial of your product, giving pre-customers, prospects different vouchers or coupons for their first purchase, creating free tools for your visitors. For example, HubSpot, I think, has a free keyword tool. You first would use that tool. You get it for free, and then you’re more inclined to try out the paid product. You want to recognize the challenges your visitors and your customers are facing and offer assistance. Also, even if it’s in chat, by just allowing them to tell you their problems, what’s challenging them, you can always … Yeah, I will definitely give you the names. You can always help them out first.
Now, on the left-hand side, I’ve put the example from my website, which is an entire page dedicated to free conversion optimization resources. I did that because I think that too many resources and information is paid for or requires a lot in order to get it, so every single piece of resource or worksheet that we have is on this page, and it’s given to people for free. It’s just another way to kind of help people out before asking them for anything. I think that’s always been a guideline for me. Even now when we’re setting up our courses and the things that we’re doing, I try to never ever promote things too soon. I want people to feel the value, to get value from me before I ask them or offer to take it to the next level and try our paid content, our paid courses and stuff like that.
Let’s just recap. In marketing, like in life, remember to give first and provide people with meaningful, valuable solutions that they can use. All these really contribute to people feeling the need to reciprocate and create a meaningful connection with your brand. It really is a great one to start with thinking about what you can offer for free, and I don’t think it means that you have to give away your product or your solution for free. That’s not what I’m saying. It’s just taking that step back and thinking about the initial ways that you can help people before asking them to take action because, again, we’re far more likely to help people out after they’ve helped us.
2. Consistency and commitment
Number two is consistency, commitment. This principle is based on the fact that people like to be consistent with the things they have previously said or done. We want to be ourselves and to be seen as consistent. Cialdini once said that his behavior tells him about himself. It’s a primary source of information about his beliefs and values and attitudes. Essentially, this is very similar to foot-in-the-door technique if you’ve heard of it before. We’ll talk about it later on this month too and the different cognitive biases, but once people have taken one step with you, as small as it is, they’re far more likely to perform another step. People want to feel good about their decisions, and they want to feel consistent, so when they make a decision they try to follow through because it basically helps with their self-image and their social image.
There’s a few ways that you can actually leverage the principle of consistency. The goal is to essentially get prospects to voluntarily and publicly commit to certain actions with you. Yes, ideally get those commitments in writing. For example, when inviting people to a webinar, provide them with an easy way to add it to their calendar.
This is a very simple tip, right, first making them essentially commit to showing up because they’re adding it to their webinar. You can see this with Kissmetrics. In their email, when someone kind of signs up to one of their webinars, one of the first things they do is offer a way to add the webinar to your calendar. That is them making them essentially take the first step in commitment and wanting them to follow through. I love that quote [inaudible 00:08:58], “It is easier to resist in the beginning than at the end.” I definitely agree, and it definitely also applies to this principle.
Another cool way which is cool looking at is HeForShe, so getting people to essentially publicly commit to things and take certain actions is another great way to get people to follow through. You can see over here they’ve tweeted that this person has committed to doing something. They’re out there. They’re showing themselves. Getting people to even commit in comments, and sharing, and all these different little ways is a great way to get people to take a next step with you because they want to feel consistent, because they want to feel that. They want to commit to things.
Now, you can also get people to take small steps at first. I mentioned this before. It’s called foot-in-the-door technique.
Essentially, you get people to agree to something simple. For example, here, Social Media Examiner has a popup on their website, and they say, “Send me a free copy of the Social Media Marketing Industry Report.” What they’ve done here is they’ve divided it into two. The first part is where you commit to saying, “Yes, of course I want to improve my social media skills,” or, “I don’t want the research.” That’s kind of the first commitment that you make. Once you click on that button, it says, “Okay, so send me the free copy. Now enter your details.” It’s a small thing. You’re asking them to choose something simple, to make a decision, to commit to improving themselves, and then asking them to perform a bigger task, which is adding their details.
There’s millions of ways of doing this, of kind of getting people to take the first step, so whether if it’s you want them to perhaps subscribe to your list, to your email marketing list, then maybe you first ask them what they’re interested in, what content they would like to receive, and then you ask for their email. There’s all sorts of cool ways to use the foot-in-the-door technique to essentially use this principle and increase conversions.
3. Social Proof
Next, we have social proof. As the old quote goes, “I’ll have what she’s having.” That’s basically the basic of social proof. It’s one of the most famous and well-known principles that … It’s essentially people’s tendency to want and choose products and solutions that other people like, other people recommend, or other people promote. There’s an art to social proof. It’s not just any person who recommends or any person who promotes a certain product, and we’ll get to that but, essentially, the most important thing is … The simplest way to explain this is you’re searching …
For example, let’s say that you’re searching for a place to eat, so you’re looking for somewhere. You’re walking in the street, and you’re looking for a place to have lunch. You see two restaurants one after the other. One has a very long queue of people standing outside waiting to be seated, and the other one is completely empty. Now, assuming you have all the time in the world, which one would you choose? Let me know in the comments, by the way. I’d be really interested to know. Would you choose the one that has a queue of people standing outside to be seated or the empty restaurant that has no one in it? What would be your move?
Most people are going to say, “Always choose the busy one,” right, where the queue is either … [Shia 00:12:46] says the same, Sophia, [Nedza 00:12:49], Allison. Everyone’s saying, “Yes, we will go for the one that is the most busy that has the biggest queue outside,” because it tells you something. It tells you, oh, okay a lot of people really like this place and favor it over the other one. That’s kind of a way of looking at social proof.
Here’s a few ways you can do it. Now, the one thing that I do want to say, and I think it’s probably the most important thing, is that, many times, social proof is used as a way to just say, “Hey, we’re really cool. We’re amazing.”
I have an entire blog post on this, and I really recommend you read it because social proof isn’t meant to just act as self praise. It’s not just about you saying … getting people to say that you’re amazing, but it’s about addressing people’s specific roadblocks. I think Andy Crestodina, who is the guru of content marketing, once said, “Everything you say is marketing, and everything they say is social proof.” When someone else says it about you, it definitely makes it more authentic, and that is social proof.
However, the reason you use social proof is to actually address specific problems that people have. If you’ve done your customer research from the first month that we went through these workshops and you’ve realized that one of the biggest issues people have is they’re really worried about, let’s say, the durability of your product or if they’re going to have support to help set up the product that they’re getting from you, let’s say that that’s what you found out. What you want to do with your social proof is get people to talk about the fact that you help them set up, that you help them with customer service, that customer service is around 24/7, that we help with onboarding or whatever it is. It isn’t just saying, “Oh, this company rocks,” or, “This company changed my life.” It really is addressing specific roadblocks of people. I see Sophia has already pasted the link to our blog post. That is amazing.
Okay, so let’s look at the different ways that you can leverage the principle of social proof. Number one, and I think this is a really cool one, so you’re in good company. I think this is by Slack. “Millions of people around the world have …” Yeah, it’s Slack. “Millions of people around the world have already made Slack the place where their work happens.” They have testimonials. Actually, when you open them up, they’re video testimonials, and there’s a whole case study in there on how each company uses Slack. I think it’s a brilliant approach. I actually really suggest you go into Slack’s website after the workshop, and you’ll see that, when you click on one of these, you’ll get an entire drill-down of the different channels they’re using, how they use it, who’s using it. It really is a very cool way to use social proof.
What you can see here is a few things. A, they’ve got the logos of very well-known companies. Plus, they’re showing you how people use it. Plus, they’re saying, “Millions of people around the world have already made Slack the place where their work happens.” They’re saying two things here, millions of people are using Slack, and they’re saying that Slack is the place where work happens. It’s a great way to not just say, “Hey, you know, all these amazing companies are using us,” but, this is why. “21st Century Fox uses us for faster, real-time coverage from the field to the fans.” Autodesk uses it to driving Open Source principles in product and at home. It really is very specific to pains and challenges that people are facing on the day to day.
Another way is obviously test and [inaudible 00:16:54] with those images so you have the different people kind of saying, “Hey, you know, this is how Copyblogger has helped me,” or, “This is how this company has really contributed to my work and my day to day.”
Another cool way to leverage social proof, by the way, is to talk about numbers. “In 13 years, we have created five amazing products used by 16,000 companies. We’ve tracked more than five million transactions worth over $1 billion.” It’s a way of using numbers and leveraging them to your assistance. Last but not least, of course, “Our customers have been featured in …” and we’ve got all these amazing logos.
There’s lots and lots of ways you can use social proof. Social proof is not just that line that says, “As seen on …” with the logos like I have on my website, unfortunately. It really can be used in so many brilliant ways. As I said, Sophia has already posted that article in there. If you really want to nail social proof, I suggest you go into that and you spend some time reading and learning how you can create really awesome social proof on your website, landing pages, and emails.
Okay. Principle number four is authority. Now, this principle is all about our tendency to believe and feel more comfortable with authoritative figures. In short, basically, we tend to follow people with authority even if they ask us to perform actions we don’t necessarily feel comfortable with. When I talk about this, the example that I give that I always imagine is this. Imagine you’re at a crossroad, at a zebra crossing if you’re British, and you’re waiting for the light to turn green. Now, while the light is still red, a kid in front of you on roller blades starts crossing. Do you cross too? That’s my question for you. Most people will say, “Heck, no. Of course not.”
However, what if it were a man in a business suit, or a woman wearing a doctor’s robe, or anyone who looks more authoritative? Good for you, [Neha 00:19:26]. Anyone who looks more authoritative. Research actually shows that most people would cross, so when you see someone that looks to you like an authoritative figure, you would actually cross after them, so not Neha and many other people here who are very responsible. I probably wouldn’t because my toddler would follow me, and I don’t want him to learn to cross at red lights, but most people would cross. Yeah, that makes sense. We trust with people with authority more easily.
I want to show you how you can use authority in your website to increase conversion. There’s a couple of ways. Here is an example of GenXtreme, a great … We were just talking about Germany, so this is a German website that sells clothing for work men and work women, all sorts of different things. They’re using phots and images of authoritative figures. What I mean by that is people wearing the uniforms, like soldiers, doctors, policemen, celebrities. The use of images of people who have an authority to them is great. Because this company is selling work wear, so it’s working clothes for people that actually work, that’s their whole thing, their images are of people working, using these clothes, and showing them, giving them that feeling of authority.
Another thing you can do is quote and testimonials by people who have high authority titles like doctor, professor, PhD, president, CEO, founder, industry expert, whatever. This is another screenshot from Slack. It says, “Faster real-time coverage from the field to the fans.” At the end, it says, “Paul, CTO, 21st Century Fox.” They’re using his title in order to show you the authority that you should feel from this.
Now, another thing that you is you can maybe mention the authority figure’s resume. For example, you could say, “X company was founded by two previous Facebook employees,” or, “David Sacks, former PayPal COO who is now the founder of Geni.com and Yammer.” Everything you use in your copy, that could be in an email, or if you’re using images, or if you’re using the titles and their job as kind of an authoritative figure. You don’t have to have Kim Kardashian or Barack Obama on your website to have that authority. You don’t have to have someone who’s a celebrity to do that. Just by placing the people who are authoritative in your industry, not necessarily even famous, but people that project that in terms of their images, or their name, or their title is a great way to do that. Yeah, Obama wouldn’t hurt. Plus, he would never cross a red light. Okay.
Number five is liking. I think someone mentioned this in the chat before, but it was going a bit quickly so I couldn’t … I didn’t pay attention to it, but I think someone mentioned liking a few minutes ago. Liking, simply put, is the more you like someone, the more prone you are to say yes to them. It’s that simple. What people do we like when we think about it? We like people who are similar to us, right? We like people who compliment us, and we also like people who like us, right? Think about the immediate reaction you have when you find out someone doesn’t like you. We tend to, almost immediately, find reasons not to like them back, right? I mean it’s just kind of this automatic thing that happens. We also like people who work with us towards achieving certain goals.
We like people who are similar to us. We like people who compliment us, and we like people who work with us towards a certain goal. Liking is actually one of the coolest principles that you can use to increase conversions, and I really like using it. Here’s a couple of ways you can do it.
Number one, introduce yourself, not your business or its goals. Just introduce you, the people behind the screen. If you can share some personal stuff, that’s even better. Simple As Milk, this is the company in front of you. They introduce their agency, their team in a fun way and what they do after work. They also end every sentence with, “But we still love them,” or, “We still love her.” It’s just a cool way of introducing the people behind the scenes.
Now, I actually have a blog post about how to write a high-converting About Us page...
What makes your customers choose your solution over your competitors’?
Is it just down to the quality of your product?
Back in 80s, as Coca Cola kept losing market share to Pepsi, they thought the problem had to be the product. Clearly Pepsi were making a better tasting soda…
What else could explain the drop in sales?
So they invested 4 million dollars (about $10 mil in today’s money) updating Coke’s flavor and…
It was a complete disaster.
Their sales plummeted.
Turns out, people bought Coke for a lot more than just the taste.
Just like Coca Cola’s customers, yours buy from you for a lot of different reasons. When you understand why people buy – when you understand how they feel about you and what makes them choose you – you’ll have an incredible advantage on your hands.
That’s why this workshop is all about decision making. In it, I walk you through the psychological triggers that affect everything we do. We talk about how the brain works and look at the hidden drivers that influence us (aka cognitive biases.)
Because when you know how we make decisions, you can leverage the power of psychology and persuasion to gently nudge your customers in the right direction and increase conversions.
Here’s what you don’t want to miss:
How the Coca Cola marketing disaster ended (and what the marketing team discovered in the process!)
The real driving forces behind decision making (according to research done by Nobel Prize Winner Daniel Kahneman)
How to start using common cognitive biases and psychological triggers in your marketing,
Before you watch the recording, grab the worksheet below. In it, you’ll find over 30 psychological triggers and cognitive biases along with examples of exactly how to use them to increase conversions and keep your customers coming back for more.
Intro: How to leverage psychology to increase conversions - YouTube
Transcript and slides
Hey there, guys. As you know, this week’s workshop is being prerecorded as I won’t be able to be there live. We will be back with our live workshops next Wednesday as usual. But I really didn’t want you guys to miss out on one our workshops. So I have prepared everything so that you can learn as much as possible within this week so that next week and for the weeks to come in February, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to leverage this information. So this month, in February, we’re going to be talking about psychology and persuasion and their key role in growing an online business.
When I started out with optimization, I didn’t pay enough … Maybe I didn’t pay any attention to this aspect of optimization or AB testing, and it cost me a lot in results, in conversions, in clients. These days, I know … And when I say these days, like for a decade now, I’ve known that without psychology, without understanding my target audience sake, it’s almost impossible to scale and grow as a brand. You can make small iterations. You can make changes and optimize different things. But if you don’t go deep enough and you don’t start to get to know your audience on the psychological, emotional level, you’re essentially missing out on a huge part of optimization.
Coca Cola’s Mistake: The price you pay when you don’t understand how your customers think
Now, to give you some context and explain how important psychology is for the growth of your business, I thought I’d tell you about a funny story, which it’s funny now because it’s 30-something years after. But a really critical story that happened to Coca-Cola. So the most popular soft drink product, original Coca-Cola, had claimed … I think they had about roughly 60% of the U.S. market in 1948. But what happened was that towards 1984, it almost went down to 22%. And this is from the New York Times, so I will definitely link to that in the show notes of this workshop. But essentially, it went down to almost 22% and was head-to-head with its competition, Pepsi.
Now, it’s dropped so significantly that the new CEO decided to change Coke’s flavor. The New Coke would have smoother, sweeter taste, similar to Pepsi I guess. Basically, what they did is they sweetened it up with corn syrup. Now, his goal was essentially to change the taste as he was sure that that was the problem, and it was going to be a lot more like Pepsi. The company spent over $4 million creating this type of Coke. And it gave it the name, New Coke. This new taste was set to replace the old Coca-Cola, so the original, classic Coca-Cola taste, meaning no more century-old Coca-Cola recipe. Only the new one was going to be in the stores. The bottles and the cans would look exactly the same as before. No change will be made to them, except for one little strip that said, “New,” as you can see here in the picture.
That was the difference in terms of design. It was a very bold move by Coca-Cola and it was the wrong one. Here’s what happened. So the sales tanked. People hated the New Coke. This was an outrage. So this happened in 1985 in April about a month before I was born. People really hated it. There was a huge protesting group called, Old Coca-Cola Drinkers of America. Funny and interesting. They started protesting and they were relentless at their pursuit to have the original Coca-Cola returned. Their protest actually include pouring New Coke down the drain, which I think is kind of funny because they were buying the drink but they were throwing it down the drain. So the protestors were actually carrying signs that said stuff like, “Our children will never know what real refreshment is.” So publicity was really bad and sales dropped dramatically.
Now, here’s the interesting thing. Coca-Cola hired a psychologist to listen in to the 1500 calls they were receiving every single day to try and analyze why this was happening. The psychologist concluded the people that were calling, they weren’t mad. They weren’t just upset about the taste. They were hurting as if they lost a loved one. Their agony, the way they spoke, everything in their demeanor, everything the way they were speaking on the phone psychologically compared to someone who was grieving a lost one. Can you imagine?
Now, just 77 days later, and $4 million down the drain, the old Coca-Cola, now known as the classic Coca-Cola, was back. Can you imagine this? They spent so long planning this product, spending $4 million on it, and within 77 days … So April, it went live, and in August, they brought back the original Coca-Cola. It was back. Now, here’s the funny thing, and I think probably the most critical thing I’ll be telling you about this story. These protestors later participated in a test, a blind tasting test. And guess what? They couldn’t recognize what was Coca-Cola, what was RC, what was Pepsi. Everything tasted the same. And even when they said, “Oh, that’s definitely Coca-Cola,” it was a Pepsi. It was an RC Cola. It was a different cola. They could not tell the difference. So why did this happen?
Your customer’s reactions won’t always be about the product…
Everyone was protesting the taste. It was horrible. Everyone was saying it was terrible. They wanted old Coke back. Terrible three months of countless protesting. So why did this happen? Well, to put it in simple words, people don’t buy products. They don’t buy taste. They don’t buy pricing or features. They buy on emotion. So much of our everyday shopping and eCommerce revolves around our loyalty to brands, our habit, and our unconscious decisions. So even though people could not really taste the difference or maybe they convinced themselves that they could, it wasn’t about that. It was about taking their brand. It was about changing them. It was about not consulting them as consumers. 22% of the U.S. market is huge. That’s a lot of people to disrespect. Coca-Cola didn’t take into account any of these people. They just launched this new taste and said, “This was going to work.” And they didn’t really think about the psychological aspect of doing that to existing customers.
Now, let’s take a look at how our brain makes decisions and why this actually matters to you. Why this story, though funny, is actually such an important lesson to us, to anyone. And seriously, this is a story about a huge brand, but it matters to everyone. The vet, who has a website, or the ecommerce site, or the B2B products, whatever it is you’re selling, this matters to you.
How we make decisions
So Daniel Kahneman once said, “Thinking is to humans as swimming is to cats. They can do it, but they prefer not to.” So here’s the thing. Daniel Kahneman essentially divided our brain into two systems: System 1 and System 2. System 1 is based on intuition and instinct. It’s fast. It’s unconscious. It does things on autopilot. And then we have System 2, rational thinking. This is what everyone thinks their brain is based on. So when we ask people why they made a decision, most of us are going to say, “Oh, System 2. It’s logical. It’s rational. We know what we’re doing.” But System 2 is actually very slow. It’s lazy and it’s very indecisive.
And here’s the thing. The way Kahneman says is System 1 is the brain’s fast, automatic, intuitive approach. System 2 refers to the mind’s slower, analytical mode where reason dominates. But the first often dictates the second. The idea is that System 1 is really the one that is more influential. It is the one that’s guiding System 2 and it’s steering System 2 to a very large extent. So even when System 2 does kick in to make decisions, System 1 is actually affecting it. So Kahneman’s entire book is based on the fact that people place too much confidence in human judgment and rationality. When in fact, many psychological triggers and biases affect us in every decision that we make.
So I like to compare this to Sheldon and Phil Dunphy. So Sheldon has always been considered the character who’s very rational and would love to never have any emotion at all, while Phil Dunphy is obviously only persuaded by emotion. But it’s a really interesting thing because what Kahneman is basically saying is that we aren’t rational beings. We place too much confidence in the fact that we’re rational. When in fact, 95% of our decisions are based irrationally. Now, it’s not that we are irrational beings that have no idea what we’re doing, but we’re basing most of our decisions in life … And these are every decisions. I’m not just talking about buying a cart of milk or if I should go with this car or the other. I’m talking about serious important decisions in life, like what kind of insurance shall I get, what house should I buy, what system should I use, what CRM system should I use. All these hard, cognitive decisions, our brain is lazy and it looks for shortcuts and it uses System 1 to actually make those decisions. And then later on, we rationalize them.
Our emotions affect our decisions
So why does this actually matter to you? Well, simply put, because emotions affect decisions. Decision affect our conversions. And conversion affect our revenue. So by understanding why people act the way they do, you’ll be able to predict their future behavior better and create high-converting experiences to them. Only when you understand what influences your prospect’s decision, you’ll be able to increase conversions and grow your company. It’s a way of figuring out why people really … what they care about, why they’re really buying through you, what they really want, and what your website or funnel needs to include. So when you understand why people buy things, when you understand the decision-making process and how people make decisions, it will actually be easier for you to choose the right colors, choose the right images, choose the right copy for your pages, know even how to build the flow and funnel so that it caters to that decision-making process.
However, finding out what people really want becomes really harder now in our increasingly complex and fast-paced world. It requires cracking a code of psychology, the psychology of people’s decision-making. And one of the biggest challenges is that most people just don’t know or have a clue how they make decisions.
The hero in your customer story
I have shown you guys this before I think. It’s one of my favorite visuals by User Onboard. And how do we actually figure out why people buy from us? So the more tests you run, you’re definitely going to learn more. So you definitely want to run as many AB tests and optimization tests as possible. It’s time to basically stop targeting the rational brain and start targeting the emotional one. So right now, most of us target System 2. But what I’m saying here is that if we want to get more conversions and we want to grow our business, we need to start targeting System 1. So we need to become a lot more human-driven instead of data-driven.
So we do need the numbers and the data. Really, we have to have them. But more importantly, we need to start digging into our prospect’s intent. Why they come to our funnel, what challenges they’re facing, how they currently face these challenges, what scares them, and what their best-imagined outcome looks like. And this is what this image that you’re seeing in front of you actually focuses on. So the person on the left, Mario on the left, is the person … your prospect. And your product is this flower. But it’s so important to understand that when people are buying something, they’re not buying that product. They’re buying the guy on the right. They’re buying an awesome person who can do rad stuff thanks to your product.
How to target System 1 (the real decision maker) with your marketing
So it really is about starting to utilize System 1 and focusing more on System 1 within in your emails, your funnels. Funnels can be your homepage, your pricing page. It could be a landing page leading to a signup for your newsletter, in an email sequence that you’re sending. But all of this stuff has to start focusing on System 1 more. And I want to give you a few examples of how you can start utilizing System 1. I’m not going to get into specific actions, but just generally for you to critique what you have in place right now. Because our next few workshops are going to get into specific ways you can start using System 1 to increase conversions.
Right now, what I’d like you to do is take a look at your funnels that are in place. So if you’re thinking about an onboarding sequence, if you’re thinking about a landing page, your website, whatever it is, and to look at these three things I’m going to mention. Number one … You know what? First, I’ll say that you don’t need to start changing everything about your brand and marketing. But there are small things that you can start looking into and optimizing. So number one is forming habits within your experience. So as we said before, System 1 is automatic. It runs on autopilot. For example, when you’re driving to a friend’s house, you’re on autopilot. How many times have you got in the car, started the engine, and suddenly realized you’ve arrived at your parents’ house? This is not an operation that demands strategic thinking. You’ve taken this route previously and you’re just doing it automatically. Same goes for riding a bike, purchasing certain types of brands. Like you go into the supermarket, and you’re buying the same type of milk and the same type and brand of cheese, not necessarily because you have some affinity to their brand but it’s a force of habit.
So your goal is to form habits within your experience. Now, what this means … Before we even talk about if you have a product, for example, how that looks like. Even before someone converts, for pre-customers, pre-clients, you have to make sure that they don’t have to work hard to understand your websites. We have to conform to their habits. So for example, you need to make sure that your colors on your website are consistent, that the font is the same, that you’re placing certain buttons in the same places on every page, that the size … And of course, the size of different symbols and icons on your website are the same, but there’s a consistency within your navigations and menu. And of course, that the information hierarchy is incredibly, incredibly important here. It means that people can go on to your website, never being on it before, but know exactly what step they need to take next, what to look at, what to read, and what to click on.
New isn’t always better
So these sound very straightforward; however, so many brands try to reinvent the wheel. We try to create new experiences. We try to follow these trends, like these design trends. Or so many brands want to do a complete redesign, changing the most basic steps in their flow and confusing people. Because we want to look better, we want it to be great. And then what we do is we start creating these new ideas we want to look better, and people get really confused. So what you want to do is create a consistent flow for people so that when they arrive on your website or if they’re looking at a landing page, the different objects that they see are similar. They can recognize them and they know what to look at and where to click.
Obviously, for existing customers or users, you want to make sure that every time they come back to your site, whether if it’s an ecommerce site or product, they can perform certain actions within seconds without so much of a thought. So they’ll know exactly where the login button is or they’ll know exactly how to add an item to their cart or they’ll know exactly, “Oh, blue means call to action button.” That means that there’s no other button on the website that’s blue. There’s nothing competing with it. Now, again, this all sounds so straightforward, but I have seen this on countless websites. Calls to action that are in multiple colors, multiple fonts, multiple sizes, on the same page. All sorts of things that move around all the time. So it’s important to create a consistent experience that forms some sort of habit and helps that System 1 not think, not need to process anything, but just intuitively do things quickly. So that’s number one.
Number two, and we’ve spoken about this quite a bit and we will talk about this a lot during this month of psychology and persuasion, you want to start highlighting the emotional value. So System 1 is triggered largely by our emotions and how quickly we see value. So today’s search for solutions online involve opening multiple tabs of competitors and “evaluating them.” And I say this because we spend about three to five seconds evaluating each tab before jumping to the next one. But that’s hardly enough time to really evaluate something. However, this is the world that we live in right now. It’s fast-paced, it’s quick. We don’t have time. Very, very similar to System 1.
So your goal is to appeal to that quick intuitive brain and to hit it with that emotion. So how do you do this? Basically, you need to capture people’s attention within those three, five seconds or they’re gone. Now, you do that by making it about them, not about your product or solution. You do that by highlighting their value. So your goal is that when they land on your landing page or your website, they can immediately say, “Whoa, that’s exactly the outcome I’m looking for.” And then they’ll stay on your website and they’ll start scrolling and reading and going down that rabbit hole. So it’s the difference between saying in a headline, “The best task management or project management platform,” versus saying, “Make more time for the work that matters most.” And that’s Asana’s headline on their homepage. Because it highlights the end result. Remember when we said that what people really care about is the end result, the value that’s in it for them. It’s not the product.
So when we highlight that, and we don’t say, “Hey, this is the company or this is the price or this is the product. This is what we do,” and instead we say, “Hey, using this product, you could end up looking like this, doing this, performing this, feeling like this,” you’re essentially appealing to System 1. And again, we’ll get into practical ways of how to do this over the next few weeks.
Our psychological triggers and cognitive biases
Number three is essentially leveraging or avoiding psychological triggers. Now, what you need to do here is basically get the [inaudible 00:23:05] with cognitive biases and psychological triggers. And here’s what I mean by that. So this is a very scary image that you can see right now. But this is our brain on biases and psychological triggers. It’s so phenomenal. Different biases and psychological triggers affect our decision-making process. So cognitive biases, that’s the big name for it. That’s the scientific name for it. But a lot of people call it psychological triggers. They’re different, unconscious triggers that affect our decisions. They’re basically shortcuts that our lazy brain takes to make a decision and to make us also feel comfortable with it when we look back at it. So it’s all sorts of these glitches that happen in our brain based on how things are presented to us, based on how we see things, or things that have happened to us in the past that make it easier for us to make a decision.
So System 1 will kick in and say, “Oh, this bias goes in here. This bias affects that. And then System 2 will say, “Oh, okay. I know the answer to this.” Now, as you can see in this image, there are hundreds of triggers and unconscious psychological triggers that affect our decision-making process. Essentially, we make irrational decisions all the time, but we have no idea that we’re actually doing them. And we immediately afterwards justify those with logical “reasons.” For example, say you’re buying an expensive car that you don’t need or maybe you’re making excuses for purchasing, like an expensive top because you have an event. Or maybe you have rational reasons to why you’re smoking, why you text and drive, why you’re overeating. Like maybe you’re having a rough day, maybe you’re nervous, maybe you just went for a breakup. All these things are System 1 kicking in and saying, “It’s okay to text and drive. I just really need to answer this text message.” And later, you’re justifying it by saying, “Well, I just have to really … The babysitter is waiting at home. She’s really..
Who doesn’t want to make more sales? To create a customer experience so smooth, people can’t help but fall for your product?
That’s what conversion optimization really is.
It’s taking every asset you use – whether that’s an email, a landing page or your home page – and transforming it into something your visitors and customers can’t help but click, engage and buy from.
But this is a pretty tall order.
That’s why in this workshop, we focused on answering all your questions about conversion optimization.
We talked about B2B personas and whether they still have a place in marketing.
We tackled customer research, creating engagement and tracking people’s responses to the changes you make…
… And we discussed how to optimize the images you use for conversion. Plus a few other things you don’t want to miss.
Watch the recording below:
Ask me anything about optimization - YouTube
Buyer personas in B2B
Talia: … question from Stephanie who wants to know about bias personas in the B to B space. Sophia, how do you feel about bia personas? ‘Cause you’ve done a lot of work with B to B companies. And I didn’t introduce you today as I usually do. This is Sophia. She’s the awesome addition to get up [inaudible 00:00:26] and she’s helping us out with all these workshops. Bia personas, that is a very good question Stephanie.
Sophia: Yeah. I think it really depends. Like I feel good about them if they’re really well researched, but I find that a lot of my clients have really, really detailed personas where it tells you where they went to school and how old they are and what gender they are and all these kind of very, very specific things, but I feel like lots of them kinda come from guesses versus like what the customers are actually thinking and feeling and what they need to see in order to convert.
And so you have these very detailed [inaudible 00:01:08], but I find they’re not always an accurate representation. So sometimes when you’re getting [inaudible 00:01:13]. It’s human nature to fill in the gaps and [inaudible 00:01:18] like this. Because somebody I know whose kind of like this, like these things. And so I think it can work as long as you actually use customer interviews and customer surveys to inform those personas and you don’t get to attached to them. What do you think?
Talia: Yeah. We’re getting some chat saying that we can’t hear you to well. So maybe, you might actually have to pick up the phone and talk.
Sophia: Yeah. My zoom has been working awesomely and by that I mean it’s been breaking [inaudible 00:01:52] all the time. Is that better?
Talia: While Sophia tried to fix that, ’cause unfortunately that didn’t fix it. We can still hear you weirdly. Here’s my take on personas.
So I do love the fact that B to B companies, and companies in general, are looking at profiling customers and building those personas because it’s a step in the right direction. My problem with persona is similar to what you just said Sophia, is that a lot of it is kinda divided into two, you’re either gonna get the technical persona, which is this device with geographical location, this is how old they are, this is how much they’re making, so it’s a lot of behavioral data.
And on the other side it really is a lot of guessing, it’s storytelling that we’re kinda telling ourselves or we know one customer or one client, so we kind of paint a whole thing around them, but it’s not really based on real research. So it’s a good direction, but I normally don’t suggest building personas. What I do love to do is what we’ve been talking about this whole month, which is really a lot of customer research. And by doing surveys, by conducting interviews, by message mining, all the things we’ve been talking about and guys if you haven’t had the chance then on our blog we have the recordings for all of that including the transcripts and the worksheets.
But that really helps optimize those personas or profiles of customers. Because you start to see patterns. And in the emotional targeting methodology, which is the methodology that I work with to optimize, it’s less about targeting people who are 25 to 34 or women who are 52 plus, but more about targeting emotional profiles. And to me that makes a lot more sense than actually profiling people according to segments of their age or their geographical location. Because I am right now in Israel, Sophia’s in Texas, and maybe there’s a 10 year old in London that might be feeling the same kind of emotions that we’re feeling or has the same kind of intent or is feeling the same pain and the fact that we’re in different geographical locations or different ages doesn’t actually impact that, doesn’t mean that we need different landing pages.
So I like to profile people according to an emotional profile, what emotions are triggering them, what kind of intent do they have, what is the value proposition that they’re looking for rather than profiles. Hopefully that answered the question. I don’t know. Let me know Stephanie if that made sense. Okay. Sophia, there’s starting to get a lot of questions. So why don’t you filter them through for me.
Sophia: You want me to read them?
Talia: [crosstalk 00:05:05] so I know what to [crosstalk 00:05:06]
Sophia: So the next one we got was from an anonymous attendee. And that one is saying, “So for most of my staff specific to identify emotions. Have you a way better than mine to make them understand what their emotions really are. Sadly she said it’s a cultural issue [inaudible 00:05:24]
Talia: Yeah. I’m just looking at the question ’cause I’m still having a hard time hearing you Sophia. Sorry.
For most of my staff it’s difficult to identify emotions. Have you a way better than mine to make them understand what really emotions are?
I think I’m gonna need a little more clarification. Are you saying that you’re having a hard time to sell emotional targeting to your team or are you having a hard time identifying those emotions, ’cause those are two different answers. So if you can clarify, that would be great and then we’ll get back to your question soon.
Where do you mine messages for primary customer research?
I see we have a question from [Niha 00:06:14]. Hopefully I pronounced that correctly. Please let me know if I didn’t. Where do you mine messages for primary customer research? So this is a really cool question because we spoke a lot about this last week so if you didn’t have the opportunity yet, definitely go back to last week’s session on the blog and you’ll see the recording for it. But here’s a cool thing about message mining. The most important thing about it is that you are trying to go to places which are neutral, as in they’re not on your website and they’re probably not on your competitors website.
They’re on different communities. So like Facebook groups or maybe they’re in Yelp or maybe they’re on Amazon writing a review or maybe they are, if you’re an e-commerce site then you are going to your competitors websites to see the reviews that people are giving to specific products. So the idea is to go to websites like Quora or different communities that you have or even Twitter and looking for those organic conversations. So people are having conversations about your serve, your solution, your product on the web everywhere. People are comparing you to other people or maybe they’re not even comparing you, maybe you’re completely new to the business or to the industry, but people are talking about this.
And this is where I would go, obviously depending if you’re B to B, if you’re B to C, and what your focus is, but you have different communities and groups. I mean, Facebook groups is the first place you would go to, but also as I said Yelp is a great place to go to. We also have, I don’t know why the name has completely escaped me, but I don’t know. It’s gone. I had an idea. But Amazon is also a great place. So you maybe wanna go to those organic places where the organic conversations are being held. Quora by the way is really good one. It’s just I’m getting … Reddit is also a great, great place.
Quora is really good. I’m just getting a little frustrated because a lot of the people that go into Quora are answering to promote themselves. So it’s very hard to find those real answers, but that’s where I would start. So try and go to those. If it’s a B to B company than websites that review different SASS products and see what people are saying. That’s kind of where I would focus. Okay. Just to answer Gomez’s question. So if you were late, you’re joining us late, unfortunately [inaudible 00:08:57] cannot do the presentation today, even though we have an awesome worksheet, but we will be rescheduling with her redoing it and I will let you know as soon as that is available.
Sophia, do you want … We have a few questions in chat and we have a few questions in Q&A. Do you have-
Tracking your forms
Sophia: So hopefully you guys can hear me better now. If not, [inaudible 00:09:25] Not really. I will speak clearly. Okay. So DJ asks, “The best way to track forms. Want to know at what step users drop off.” So apparently they tried [Hotjar 00:09:38], but it doesn’t work with a form of multiple pages. And so he’s just wondering what the best way is.
Talia: That’s a tricky question. It really depends on the technology that you’re using and what you’re using … Is it a full blown funnel? Are you using a landing page builder like lead pages or unbounce or if you’re doing it on your own website? There’s different ways to actually use Google Tag Manager to do it. You’re just gonna need a developer to actually follow you on that. My analyst recently wrote an article just about that. So I’m gonna reach out to her and ask her to send me the link for it and I’ll post it in the show notes when we post this recording.
But you’re right. When you have a form that is over multiple pages, it’s a little hard to kind of track in that type of way. The only way I can currently think about is building a funnel within Google Analytics and then like an e-commerce funnel and then tracking that in terms of drop offs. Plus another way is that every time they move to the next step they submit a part of information so you can go to your backend and look at what is the least field, what’s the field that’s getting the least replies. It’s not a really go to solution, but it’s just a work around.
But it really just depend on your technology. I’m sure there is some really cool tools out there, but you need to kind of know what, if you’re using WordPress or what you’re kind of using, there’s different plug-ins and stuff that you could use. Okay.
How does “Stage of Awareness” change the emotional profile idea?
Sophia: Okay. Great. So next question is from [Netta 00:11:28] and she says, “How does stage of awareness see the emotional [inaudible 00:11:33] Would the two of you and the 10 year old also have the same stage of awareness or would the emotion override differences between pain aware and solution aware?
Talia: That is such a fantastic question. Okay. So stages of awareness to anyone who hasn’t heard of them before, is a way of segmenting people into the different stages that they are in the customer journey. So some people are unaware, for example. They have no idea that they even have a pain or that they are experiencing any issue. And it’s our goal to kind of nudge that pain and make sure … Did your cat just jump behind you? That was so cool. Everyone else saw that, right?
So you’ve got unaware and you’ve pain aware, which are people who are aware that they have a problem or a pain that they need solving, but they don’t really know that it can be solved. You have solution aware people are people who are actively starting to kind of research and find out what solutions are out there. Product aware people are people who are comparing different products. And lastly most aware, which are people who are ready to convert. So to answer your question there [inaudible 00:12:53], it works together.
So if I, myself and the 10 year old, are in different stages of the [inaudible 00:13:01], so I’m product aware and he’s solution aware, the value proposition is still the same. So I am still buying from a certain intent and so is she, the 10 year old. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to change your profiles. It means you have to change your value proposition on the page. So obviously if someone is solution aware, you’re not gonna start talking about the pricing that you have or the different modules that they can choose from. The pricing modules, but you can still talk about what matters to them, their intent.
Someone like me who might be most aware or product aware, I still need to get that value proposition that is the same for me and that 10 year old, but the page would be more CTA, more direct into leading you into that conversion. What do you think Sophia? Do you agree or do you have a different take on it?
Sophia: Well I think it is that. I think the emotional thing really overrides the things like age and the other things. Because if you’re hearing the same thing and you’re feeling that same thing from the same place, and that’s what you speak to. I mean, that’s what you buy from in the first place. Not the average [inaudible 00:14:16] But yeah.
Evaluating your images to increase conversions
Talia: All right. Cool. I see we have a question from Steve. Can you talk about images on web landing pages? How should we evaluate them to increase conversions? Okay. This is actually one of my favorite topics. So I don’t know if Steve, if you mean B to B or B to C, but here’s my take. The big thing about images that everyone needs to know is that the hero images sole purpose in its life is to support the copy and the message on the page. So it’s not there to just entertain, it’s not there to look good, it’s not there to promote the product, it’s there to connect people with the message.
Now if you’ve done the work and you have a value proposition up there on your page, the hero image should support that message. So why am I saying this? Because mostly when you look at landing pages and websites, specifically for B to B, but also for B to C, most companies have an image of their product or there solution up front. That’s the focus of it. They have a very hard time choosing different images and we might have sliding images and carousels, but it’s always gonna be photos and images of the product itself or someone using the product.
Unfortunately that doesn’t really help with promoting your message. So when I look at a landing page or when I’m evaluating it and auditing it, I’m really looking at the connection between the image and the messaging. Because if you’re trying to say, and Skype is the first example that I have in mind just because they’ve recently done a redesign. But just a few weeks ago, the main message and we talked about this last week was join millions of people already using Skype. So their entire messaging is about the whole world is using us, everyone’s using Skype, join the community. But their image was a screenshot of what Skype looks like.
And that to me is a message mismatch. Because what you want to do is have an image that supports that message. So maybe a map of the world, maybe showing people from all over the world connecting with each other. So when you’re thinking about increasing conversions for your images, I would run some tests on strategic images versus product centered images. So if you currently have a very product centered or solution centered image on your page, you would want to test that versus a strategic image, which is more trying to portray that emotion, that strategy, and that messaging of yours.
I have an entire session on the, actually we’re gonna do it later on in the year ’cause we’re gonna be talking very extensively about images and colors, but hopefully that gave you a sneak peek into how I look at images and I think it really is important. I’m not saying you don’t have to use images of your products on the website, it is important, but that’s not the first thing. I’ll say this, bottom line is when people land on your landing page or your homepage, you have about three seconds to convince them to stay and start scrolling. So within those three seconds, you have to use your image very wisely, not to show them hey, look, the product looks really cool, but hey, this is the value, this is the essence of what you will be getting.
And that’s why you see a lot of these websites who have couples and people partying and all sorts of stuff. So I’m not saying you have to go all the way to stock photo direction, but do have that in mind that first people see the value, you convince them to stay on the page, “Oh, this sounds interesting.” It connects with your copy and then people start scrolling. Hopefully that answered your question. Okay. So there’s loads of more questions. Sophia, do you want to guide me through some of them?
Creating engagement and retention for your product
Sophia: Yeah. Okay. So we have the next one is from Gabriel. And he says, “I’m about to launch a new version of a product and website. I’m all [inaudible 00:18:58] direct sales people. Sell more and control there micro-businesses. They have around 6,000 users. But very few subscribers, around the world and three languages. And they got this organically. So the question is, how do I touch their hearts and create engagement and retention?”
Talia: I don’t know enough about the product to really give you an answer to that. So you have a mobile app that’s helping sales people really sell more basically. So here’s what I’m gonna advise you to do. I’m gonna ask you to look deeper than there KPI. So salesperson that sits in an office, there KPI might be to make five sales a month, 10, 100, whatever. But go deeper and start thinking about why they care about the sales, why they’re trying to make them. I have done a lot of research around, and I’ve worked with many companies that sell to salespeople. And many times there is an underlying emotion in there of either trying to prove something to themselves that they can be the best, that they can do better than others, that they’re good salespeople, that they can reach targets and even surpass them.
Sometimes it’s an external motivation. Social image, which is what are other people going to think, I want other people to admire me for my skills, I want my managers to admire me. What is it that they’re looking for? Are they salespeople because they want to feel good about themselves? Are they salespeople because they’re trying to live a certain type of life? Go deeper than the, “Oh, we just need to help them,” ’cause many times these kind of apps, what you’ll see, or websites, is like, “Make more money in less time.” Or, “Reach your goals really quickly.” Everyone’s saying that. Everyone. So go deeper into that intent, into why they wanna make those sales, why they care, what struggles do they have in the day-to-day as salespeople, and I’m not talking about getting leads or closing the deal, it’s those struggles that they have internally.
Do they maybe feel insecure? Do they have a good team around them? Who are these people? And then start building those different messages around that and start testing them. That would be my kind of go to. Okay.
Sophia: Yes. I would agree. I think understand that stress is … Because salespeople tend to be so stressed and nobody really shows that much empathy for them and they have to work really hard, their hours are crazy, they go through … It’s a really tough field to be in. Finding that, you got them.
Talia: Yeah. When I think about myself, by the way, ’cause I was a salesperson years and years ago, and it was always interesting because my managers would always say, “What if you hit this target, you’ll get X amount of bonus and you’ll make more money.” And that never, ever motivated me. It was other things. It was just other things that I had in my life that I was motivated by and specifically we were selling something that was really good and I felt proud of. So it made me feel like I was helping people and that was kinda the achievement.
Yeah. As you say, I guess it really is important to just kind of understand the intent behind it and why people are actually making those sales. Okay.
Using emotional targeting when you don’t have a website
Sophia: Cool. We have an awesome question from Nicole.
Sophia: So she says, “I’d like to know how to target people and find their emotions if the brand doesn’t have a website. They’re doing all their targeting through social media.”
Talia: Oh. Well okay. It’s two different things. There’s finding those emotions and there’s showing those emotions. So finding those emotions and so basically they only have ads, which means I guess they have a landing page on Facebook that’s collecting leads and people are calling them back. I’m gonna take a wild guess there. Please correct me if I’m wrong Nicole. But here’s what I would do. A, there’s a thing called social listening, which is amazing. We actually have an article about this on our blog. I’ll search for it and I’ll throw the link into the chat.
But what’s really cool about it is that there are so many reports and so many things that are happening in social media that you can use to listen and understand. So we spoke about message mining before. Going in Facebook groups, going on Twitter, going into Pinterest, going into all these spaces where people are having organic conversations and listening to them, pinpointing people, and still having interviews with them. Plus I would reach out to all your past clients, people who have already converted and survey them, in order to get a better idea of those emotions. So that’s the research part.
And competitor research, of course. The second part is how to show those emotions and in social media it’s just another place to use. So everything that you do with your ads in terms of messaging, images, and colors and of course the landing page, the messaging that you have on the landing page is what you’re going to use. So I recently did an article slash interview for social media examiner. Will also look for that link somewhere and post that in there, ’cause I give a really, really big drill down into how I use emotion in social media. And I think it will give you all the information that you need. Hopefully.
And I see Sophia is running around and getting all those links. Thank you so much. Okay.