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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

And more!

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.

Download the complete list of psychological triggers

Watch the recording below:

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.

1. Reciprocity

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.

4. Authority

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.

5. Liking

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...

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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,

And more!

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.

Download the complete list of psychological triggers

Watch the recording below:

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..

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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

Transcript 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-

Sophia: Okay.

Talia: Yeah.

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.

Talia: Yeah.

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.

[Naia 00:25:23] says, “Thank you. I missed last..

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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,

And more!

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.

Download the complete list of psychological triggers

Watch the recording below:

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..

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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

Transcript 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-

Sophia: Okay.

Talia: Yeah.

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.

Talia: Yeah.

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.

[Naia 00:25:23] says, “Thank you. I missed last..

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Ever looked at a big competitor’s site and thought:

Whoa. They sure know what they’re doing? Maybe I should try something similar…

Yeah… A lot of us have.

Truth is, you never really know what lies behind your competitors’ design, messaging and strategy. And directly comparing your features, pricing and pages to their features, pricing and pages won’t really get your that far.

But there’s a different type of competitor analysis you can do – one that will reveal the way their customers feel about the industry, the product and your competitor.

Because once you know what your (future) customer is feeling, you can design your message accordingly.

And this gives you a huge conversion advantage.

In this live training, I walked you through the 3-step process you can use to run a competitor audit that reveals how people feel about your industry and your competition so that you can craft a more compelling message.

Here’s what you don’t want to miss:

  • The three competitor research goals you want to hit
  • How to perform a strategy analysis that reveals the emotional triggers behind your competitors’ messages
  • Using message mining to discover what people are feeling (and how to use that meet them where they are)

And more!

Grab Your Free Competitor Analysis Worksheet Here

Watch the recording below:

How to leverage competitor research to increase conversions - YouTube

Transcript, slides and notes available below:

Okay, so let’s get started with competitor research and what it really means to me.The most common practice in competitive research is essentially analyzing the market, statics, numbers, and the technical parts of your competitor’s product or service.

Everyone else knows what they are doing, right?

So, if you’re going to a website, you look at the homepage, or landing pages or funnels, and you think, “Okay, I’m gonna jump in and this looks like a really cool thing. I’m sure that they know what they’re doing, so let’s kind of jump into all of that. And use all that on our website.” The funny story about that is, I was working a couple of years ago, I was working with a very, very big bank. And they were obsessed with our competitor. And they kept telling me all the time, that their competitor had a special form. They really wanted to do the same thing. And we should definitely do it because they know exactly what they’re doing.

And I went for a lot of back and forth with them because I kept saying, “I really don’t think this is a crucial point. I don’t think this is going to improve conversions, it’s not going to help in anyway. But okay, I mean, let’s test it.” We tested it a couple of times in all sorts of ways, it did not work in any way. Fast forward a couple of years, I met someone on the team of this other bank. And they were telling me, I was asking them, “I used to have a client that was really obsessed with that form.” And she said to me, “Oh that thing. It was a technical thing we could never get rid of. And we were always stuck with it on our website. And there was no way to get rid of it. And we really wanted to but there was no way.”

So, it was a really funny way to look at it, but also the right way to look at it. Because we often look at our competitors, the big competitors, and absolutely sure we know why they’re doing things, and that they’re definitely working. But we have to remember that there’s gonna be many different reasons for our competitors to do something. And I mentioned this in the email that I sent you. It could be the fact that they have a technological issue, it could be the fact that they’re just copying their competitors. So, you never really know what lies behind the design, and the messaging, and the strategy of your competitors. So, that’s why I really advise not copying from your competitors. Because it’s basically just the blind leading the blind. That’s kind of my approach to it.

Setting goals for competitor research

Now, as I was saying before, when you look at competitor research as a whole, most companies treat it as a way of identifying the differences between the two services or two products. So, you look at the markets, statistics, features, numbers, their pricing, everything that is technical, or to do with the product or the services you’re offering, and compare it. So how much do they cost? How much do I cost? What pages do they have on their website? And essentially everything that’s going on in their website in terms of, “Hey, what features do they have? Do we have these features?” Et cetera. So, when I talk about competitor research, I don’t mean that. I actually mean emotional competitor analysis. So, I’m not comparing features of the product or the pricing but I’m comparing something far more profound.

And let me show you what that looks like. There are many advantages to this type of competitor analysis but these are the three tops one.

So, the first one is understanding your prospect’s emotions towards your industry. And first, you basically get to learn and really understand how your potential customs of clients feel about your industry, how they feel about you, and how they feel about your individual competitors. So, it’s a really cool way to get an understanding of how people feel. The easiest example is the diet industry where people are trying to lose weight. How do they feel about the industry that is selling them all these solutions? How do they feel about you and your solution? How do they feel about your competitor?

And this is the same with everything. So, if Apple were to do a competitor research then, for them it would be understanding how people perceive the computer and laptop industry. Just because they wanna focus on that. And how people treat PCs. And then also how they feel about them. So, it’s just a really cool way of identifying those different emotions that people feel towards your industry, yourself, and your competitor. Number two as you can see is value proposition research. And it acts as another step in the direction of identifying that value proposition. Now, next week we have a guest speaker, an expert Momoko. She is gonna walk us through the exact process of finding your value proposition. It’s so interesting. So, I’m not gonna get into that right now. But when you understand what people are currently missing, what challenges them in existing solutions, and how they feel about the different existing solutions that are out there, it’s so much easier to identify where you can step in.

Competitor research is a key part of identifying your value proposition and it’s a great way to pave kind of to get a better understanding of where you should be, what kind of gap you should be filling. And lastly, which is probably the best of all, because it helps you mine copy messages and high converting strategies. The best copy that my team and I have ever written was taken straight out of the words of our target audience. I’ve spoken about this example a couple of weeks ago, for the online parenting program that we were working with.

One of our headlines is ‘Everyone knows being a parent isn’t easy. But no one told you it would be like this.’ That’s the headline. It’s a very successful headline. And the reason is, because we found it in a parenting Facebook group. We made a few edits to it, but we didn’t write the copy. It wasn’t us making up, we weren’t these geniuses who came up with amazing copy. We were using prospect’s words. We were using the people who actually use these types of programs who would actually be a good client, or a good fit for this kind of program. We were using their words. So, that’s why competitor research is so cool, because you get to find those messages. And those headlines. And instead of staring at that blank screen, and trying to figure out what you’re going to write, you actually find a lot of content, a lot of copy and messages that you can use; online pages, websites, emails, ads, and more.

So, let’s talk a bit about what this kind of research looks like.

The first step is actually to get started you need to choose five of your top competitors. Now, I get this a lot and I actually have this with a current client that I’m working with. Is that they’re absolutely positive that they only have three direct competitors, that’s all they have. Granted now that I’m doing visitor surveys, the visitors are mentioning completely different competitors to them. So, that’s a different thing to think about but my client is absolutely sure that they only have a certain amount of competitors and they only have to think about them. But in fact, the visitors are thinking about many other companies and many other solutions. So, even though they don’t think they are competitors, their prospects do.

That’s why when you’re choosing your competitors, they don’t have to be direct ones that offer the exact same thing that you do. It could be anyone who targets your prospect, and might take their attention away from you. For example if you were a theme park and you were selling tickets to your theme park, and there was a water park on the other side of the road, then they would be obviously your competitors. But they’re not doing the exact same thing, they’re just offering another type of experience. It could be an escape room or stuff like that. So, don’t always think about just the direct competitors, think about those people, those companies that may be taking away your prospects attention, or diverting it to somewhere else.

Now, what we like to do is to look at each of our competitors and evaluate according to their strategy. Let me show you what I break this down into. So, I break it down into four different categories. One is the messaging. Number two is the strategy. Number three are the emotions. And number five is I compare the different design, layout, the images that they’re using. And just the all out design strategy. These are the four categories that I look at when I’m looking at competitors and trying to identify the differences, I look at these things. The first thing that I do is I look at the website and I think about their messaging, I think about their strategy, I think about their emotional triggers and I think about their design.

So, to give you an idea I thought I’d show you some examples of how we do this.

My favorite example is Zoom. We’re using Zoom as you probably noticed. But when you look at their website, let’s look at it from the four categories that we mentioned. So we have the messaging, which is, “Zoom: A leader in the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions.” So, they’re essentially talking about themselves and the fact that they’ve won multiple awards. Their strategy is the fact that they are very big and well known. When you look at the different images that they’re using, their hero image is basically a graph showing you how good they are.

Let’s look at a different competitor and we’ll put all this together into the table in a minute and it will make a lot more sense.

Then we have Skype. “Join the millions talking on Skype. Talk. Chat. Collaborate. We’ve got that hero image. Zoom will have to hate them, definitely. Especially when you’re paying them so much money every month. Then we have Skype and Skype uses a whole different strategy. We’ve got the whole idea of join the millions talking on Skype. So, everyone’s using Skype, you should use it too. We’ve got the image on the right, which is basically screen shots of fantastic, of how to use the product.

And then, we have BlueJeans. BlueJeans basically says, “Do your best work. Video, audio, and web conferencing that works together with the collaboration tools you use every day.” We have these really interesting competitors. Three different competitors. And I’m going to show you how I kind of look at them in that term. So, let’s talk about Zoom, Skype, and BlueJeans.In terms of messaging, Zoom focuses a lot about the rewards and their success. It’s all about how good they are, how award worthy they are. I have a feeling that it’s to do with the fact that they probably have a lot of investors and that’s a big thing for them. But that is essentially their messaging. For Skype they talk about the fact that everyone uses their software. They also mention the benefits, you can talk, and chat, and collaborate.

What are your competitor’s homepages telling you?

I always mention this, because it is important to point out that a lot of companies when they present stuff on their homepage, they immediately dive into the features and what you can do with the product versus actually talking about value and the strategy and what they can get from it. BlueJeans is business focused. They talk about doing your best work, so their value proposition is actually the fact that you focus on business and they are very business oriented. Now, when we think about their strategy, this is really interesting because Zoom basically talks about the fact that they are very big. We’ve won awards, you can use the best of the best. This sentence by the way, reminds me that yesterday I was doing competitor research for one of my clients, and one of the competitor’s website had a headline that just said, “See why we are the best.” That was the headline.

That made me laugh and also wanna throw away my laptop. Zoom is kind of leveraging that type of strategy. So, they’re not saying, “Hey, we’re the best.” But they are essentially saying that in a different way. They’re just kind of mentioning the fact that they’re big, they’ve won all these awards, they’re the best of the best, look at this graph, we are amazing. When we look at Skype, they’re actually using the bandwagon effect. And the bandwagon effect is a psychological trigger, and we’ll get to this actually next month when we start talking about “psychological triggers and how you can use them”. But the bandwagon effect is essentially a bias that we have in our mind.

What that means is that many times most people want to be like everyone else. So if everyone is using one thing we all wanna do the same. We all rush over to the same products, the same service, the same platforms, we all wanna be like everyone else.They’re actually using that bandwagon effect. Everyone uses the software “join millions of people who are already using Skype” and that’s the idea of just making you feel like everyone’s already using it So how come you’re not?

And then we have BlueJeans. So they’re dedicated to your business, they’re connecting you to existing tools, it’s one of the things that they mention there. It’s easy to setup. You can use all the different tools that you have there already and integrate with them really easily. And that’s kind of their strategy they’re very business focused as opposed to maybe Skype that tries to see it all. They’re like talk, and chat, and collaborate. So, we’re family oriented but we’re also business oriented. And we do everything.

Then if we look at the emotional triggers, the thing about emotional triggers is many times companies might not even think about how they’re making their prospect’s feel. They’re not really attentive to the emotions that they’re sending out.But when I look at these three competitors, and I’d love to hear from you guys how you kind of see this, and what you think their emotional triggers are. But these are the things that I think are kind of coming off. These are the kind of emotions that they’re portraying with their design. So, essentially Zoom is saying that ‘you will be the best if you use the best’. And I think that is a great direction, I don’t think it’s done really well.

Deb says ‘status, prestige, Skype is belonging in infinity’ I love that. And yeah, so when I’m talking about Zoom, I think you can be the best by using the best. Prestige and social and self image. And I think that’s really important too because when you use Zoom, you wanna feel good about yourself. And other people are gonna admire you for using Zoom. Because wow, they’re the best.As Deb wrote, ‘I said with Skype, belonging, accepted, part of something bigger, trust, reliable, social image. So, it’s all about how being, how you will be a part of something much bigger. Everyone’s using it, so you can trust it, it’s reliable. And everyone knows what Skype is’.

And then with BlueJeans, I look at it as simplicity. Inspiring, unique, self image, and promising.And what I mean by that is, they put a lot of emphasis on the fact that it’s unique, it’s for your business. So, it will improve and self image for its an emotional trigger that focuses a lot on how I feel about myself.I want to feel successful, I want to feel good about the way I run my business to the way I run meetings, so it’s a good way to kind of there’s different ways you can trigger self image and we’ll get to that. But it’s just another way that I think that BlueJeans is going. And I love Deb you said ‘success in getting ahead’. And I love that, I think that’s very correct. Let’s look at the design and the layout. And the images that each one of these companies are using.

Zoom’s hero image is essentially a comparison graph.It’s focused solely on the company itself. The page is only and that’s by the way, another interesting thing. There’s no sign up button. I don’t know if you noticed it, and we can go back to the pages in a minute so that you can re-evaluate them. But the page is not even about signing out. It’s about downloading a report, they’re really heavy on themselves and how amazing they are.Skype is a very interesting contradiction because on one hand, they talk about the fact that millions of people are using Skype around the world. But instead of supporting that with an image, maybe a map of the world. And showing the different pinpoints, or maybe just showing the connections between the different countries in the world they have a screenshot of their product.

Now, this is a very, very go to strategy by most product companies. They just kind of throw a picture or a screen shot of what their product looks like on a Mac, on a tablet, and on a mobile phone and they call it a day. But it’s actually a very focused, a very product focused approach. And I actually kind of, In emotion cell[inaudible 00:19:48] in my course, I talk a lot about this. And how I think it’s from what I’ve seen, and from what I’ve tested, it’s a very wrong approach.Because when someone lands on your homepage specifically, and even on your learning page, they’re not interested in what your product looks like, Or how it works. First they need to feel the value, they need to understand it. And if Skype is going for the value of everyone’s using it, and you wanna join the revolution, and join use the tool that everyone else is using. They should support that with an image strategy that makes sense.

That kind of really does connect to that message. When you kind of put that image of a Mac with a screenshot of what every single communication platform looks like essentially, you’re basically taking away from that message.So I always advocate for testing images in the strategy of your images.Essentially if you’re gonna be product focused, and if everyone on your team is really product focused and they wanna show an image of the product then great, but let’s test that against a strategic image.

Blue jeans kind of does it all so they are showing an image of a woman and we’ll go back to that in a second, Who is using her phone to talk to her team back in the office.They are kind of connecting people in and out of the office, they’re very business focused.let’s go back to these pages. Here’s the zoom again so you can see that and how focused they are on themselves and product and how good they are. There you can see that orange beautiful button that says ‘read the report”.And Skype so we have ‘join millions of people who are already talking on Skype’ and we have ‘blue jeans’ just as a reminder of what these pages look like.

It really is interesting to look at websites, competitors’ websites in a different way. I don’t know if any of you have done this before, but it does give you a different look on companies versus what feature do they have? How much do they cost? What sections do they have on their homepage? Just doing a strategic evaluation of what’s going on on the page, what message are they actually sending? Is their image supporting that message? And where do I fit in? So this is the first step of doing a competitor research.Now, once you’ve actually filled this in, now for my students by the way in the course, I actually urge them to do it for 10 different competitors. And I also like to look at mobile versus desktop because it’s always an interesting look and an approach because mobile is very different than desktop and you want to treat it very differently.

Granted you can look at Google analytics and see how much mobile traffic you’re getting. If you’re getting 90% mobile traffic, then when you’re looking at these websites, don’t bother looking at desktop. Look at their mobile variations. Okay. So after we filled this end, we’re going to ask ourselves, do we see any common themes? Are there any common directions, common messages? We don’t really want to blindly copy our competitors. So what we can do is, and this is really cool if you’re looking for a core A/B testing my dear.What you can do is after you’ve kind of reviewed all of these competitors of yours and you’ve started seeing these common themes and messages, what you can do is create a new variation for your website, for your homepage, for your landing page that is similar in the strategy to your competitors one.

Message mining

So you want to create something that’s very different plus something that’s very similar to your competitors and test it to see what works better. It’s a really cool way to just run strategic A/B tests and actually have a hypothesis behind it.let’s move on to the second and the next step is Essentially competitor analysis,That is message mining. This is so simple and so easy to do that it baffles me that so many companies don’t do this. People that are similar to your prospects or actually people who should be your clients are reviewing and talking about your products, your services, and your solutions, your ideas… online. Everyone talking without anyone being involved, they’re chatting,..

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I’m not gonna pumpkin-spice coat it: interviewing customers is hard.

Prompting vulnerable sharing from complete strangers is not something most people consider fun…

Which is why I’ve heard just about every excuse for not interviewing customers:

I don’t have any customers.

I don’t want to bother my customers.

No one has any time to talk to us.

Customer interviews don’t give quantitative data.

We don’t even get any good qualitative data from interviews. Just a bunch of whining.

And my personal favorite: I know what my customers need.

There are hurdles. There’s that discomfort. There’s technical set up.

But if you get past that, there are big rewards waiting for you. 

Because when Alex Turnball of GrooveHQ impromptu interviewed over 500 customers, he discovered so much. He also doubled his conversions. #nobiggie

And he’s far from the only one to get results like these. 

When you talk to your best (and worst) customers, you can optimize all of this:

  • Your product >> Customer feedback helps you fix your flaws or develop new angles
  • Your audience >> You’ll develop new personas or refine existing personas based on use cases
  • Your relationships >> If you do a good job, you can actually build more brand loyalty (people love talking about themselves. And if you give them the chance, well…<3)
  • Your social proof >> You’ll get authentic testimonials, stories, even case studies… But best of all, you’ll optimize your messaging. And that means you can optimize everything.
Want a conversion lift? You need to get to the root of the customer experience

If you’ve learned anything from Talia, it’s probably this: your customer is not a data point. Your customer is a living, breathing person.

And that means demographic data, like age or income level, just can’t stack up against more holistic data like motivations, triggers or emotional state.

Once you’ve identified the emotional drivers of your customers, you can apply them to your copy, design, and messaging to drive up conversions.

A platform for creating birthday invitations was doing everything they could think of to boost conversions. Button colors, button copy, button placement…all the “best practices.”

Nothing was working. So they engaged GetUplift.

Talia did her emotional targeting research and understood their problem: their messaging was all off. It wasn’t appealing enough or relatable enough for their target audience: parents.

With that piece of information, the team created a new landing page using the words of their true customers– and bam – saw a 42% uplift in revenue.

You can tweak the copy. You can tweak the design. But if you’re not communicating how you can solve the customer’s needs, conversions will stay stagnant.

Often the most effective way to discover what makes your people buy from you is – of course – customer interviews. 

But how can you run interviews that help your conversion goals? And how can you separate the golden nuggets from the other stuff? It all starts with a single step.

What’s your goal?  

Before you invite a single customer for a chat, you need to set a goal for your interviews. By setting your goal first, you can match your interview questions to fit your goal, choose the best customer segments and collect better data. 

This way, if you’re on budget, you can cut a customer group type and still accomplish your goal. And if you’re not getting good answers, you can ask different questions and still uncover the answers you need.

Point is, if you’ve got your destination set, you can get there via the best possible route.

Talia has a great goal setting system that includes a doc called the The Four Helpful Lists – and it’s a fabulous doc for trouble-shooting any issue.

The Four Helpful Lists is like a SWOT analysis on steroids, even though it’s just four questions:

  1. What’s right?
  2. What’s wrong?
  3. What’s missing?
  4. What’s confusing?

Sit down with your team and answer these questions. Allow yourself to free-think, brainstorm, and address every possible problem.

Pro tip: Don’t stress if you can’t fill out “what’s missing.” Once you fill out the other columns, you’ll uncover hypotheses that can get you there.

Here’s what your sheet may end up looking like:

What’s right?What’s wrong?What’s missing?What’s confusing?
- Last month’s trial ads resulted in 716 new accounts

- Customer service ratings are 83% positive

- Customer lifetime is 3 years longer than industry average
- Only 4% of trial users are upgrading

- Trial users are only active in the software for an average of 3 days

- Trial users aren’t reaching out for help
- A lower priced tier
onboarding sequence to clarify why trial users should upgrade

- Available support during trial
- Why are trial users not upgrading?

- What solution are they finding to replace us?

These insights can help kick off your customer interview process because, based on the questions that came up, you’ll be able to identify:

  • Who you need to talk to
  • The core question you’re trying to answer
  • The umbrella goal you’re trying to accomplish

Here’s what that’d look like using the previous example:

Umbrella goal: Fix the trial/upgrade funnel  

Customer group 1: Happy customers Customer group 2: Trial sign ups
You’ve got great customer service and lifetime. You’re doing something right – once the customer signs up. Something is broken in the trial > upgrade funnel. There are too many questions here, too many angles. You need to get the current perspective before you can fix it.
Core question 1: Why did they sign up?

Core question 2: Why are they sticking around?
Core question 3: Why are they not signing up?
Start off on the right foot: talk to the right people

Even once you have your persona groups to interview, you still have a wide pool to choose from. Which happy customers should you talk to? Which trial users?

Some of these decisions will be dictated by your Four Helpful Lists. If most users are only using the software for 3 days, you’ll want to talk to 3-day users and find out why.

But which 3-day users should you talk to?

The most effective way to find your perfect interviewees (and also Talia’s favorite!) is sending out a customer survey. 

A survey gives you an immediate sense of who will be helpful (and who won’t).

One word answers? Skip that guy. Interesting use case: Sign her up.

Surveys are awesome because they give you so much more than great interview candidates. You’ll also get initial answers which can help you form a hypothesis to base your interviews around. And you’ll get qualitative data. And you may even be able to knock some questions off your interview question list.

It’s a no brainer way to start your interviews.

Setting up your interviews

Time to get into the fun part: running the interview!

#1: Start with the basics

Where are you hosting your calls?

Phone calls are easier – for you and the customer – but I recommend using a video conference software.

Seeing your customer’s body language is invaluable. A lot of the digging you’ll need to do will be cued by non-verbal language.

You’ll also need to record the calls for two reasons:

  1. Your customers’ exact language is priceless. Speaking in the words your customers use is a copywriting must. Getting a transcript of the recording will give you the word-for-word, without the stress of anxiously scribbling down the exact phrases during the interview.   
  2. You need to focus and drive the conversation. Taking notes is distracting – to you and the interviewee – and recording frees you from that obligation. When you only take margin notes – notes for immediate prompts, not notes that you’ll use for future reference – you stay present and available.
#2: Send out the call

To get people to show up, your interview invite needs to be:

  1. Compelling
  2. Clear
  3. A no-brainer

Let’s take a quick look at how you can make that happen.

Step 1: Crafting an invite they can’t wait to answer

You’re asking for a favor so give recipients an incentive to help you. 

You don’t need to bribe them. You definitely can, but you don’t have to. If you appeal to a motivation or emotion, you may be able to forego the monetary incentive.

This is really easy to do if you’re building something new. Just appeal to the human interest of developing new things, of contributing, of networking or of making their lives easier with a cool new product.

Here’s an excerpt from an email I got from Avraham Byers of avrahambyers.com

“Coaching with Seth and his team has inspired me to start a brand new project (it’s still a secret and under wraps.) 

Here’s where you come in…

I need you to help me develop my idea further. I’m looking for a few people to jump on a 15-minute Zoom call (like Skype) with me to do some brainstorming.”

This worked really well because it appealed to my desire to help and made me feel valuable and important.

Here’s another example of making it about the customer’s needs done really well. This one is from Forget the Funnel:

“PRE-S: We’re in early talks about building a private network for Forget The Funnel members. But right now, we’re stuck in our own heads about the whole thing. To figure out how to do this right, we need to hear from “you.”

Could we meet with you for a short call, so we can get to know you better? It’d be 30-minutes, max. If you’re intrigued, name a time that works for you here, and we’ll meet you then. Thanks!”

It is harder to motivate others if the cause is just you refining your own messaging to get more customers. But it’s not impossible – especially if you have a loyal customer base that wants to help you spread the word. You just need to show them how that update will help them. 

And if that’s just not working for you, there are always tangible incentives to throw around.

Step 2: Being clear about your intentions

The last thing you want from a customer is for them to drive the interview. And if you’re unclear, she’ll think you just want feedback. And then she’ll fill the time with all her thoughts, opinions, speculations and suggestions. Which is good stuff (sometimes), but may not answer that core question that will help you solve your goal.

So make sure you clearly outline expectations and outcomes for the call at the start.

Step 3: Make jumping on a call with you a no-brainer

Make it absurdly easy for your potential interviewee to say yes.

Using motivation and maintaining clarity will help get the emotional yes, but you also need to get the technical yes. Use a scheduling software so your customer can pick their preferred time in a couple of clicks.

You should also manage expectations with information like:

  • How long the call will be
  • Who will be on it
  • What types of questions you’ll ask

Don’t forget to send follow-up reminders that are also clear, compelling, and enticing to answer. Don’t underestimate the need to sell yourself again. People are busy and may have even forgotten what they agreed to talk to you about.

Finally, while you’re writing up email templates, write up a thank you email and schedule it to send post-call.

#3: Write the questions you’d like to ask

Working off your Four Helpful Lists, write up a series of questions you want to ask your interviewees. Every question should support your overarching goal. 

Remember: interviews are never black and white, and it’s a rare (and usually poor) interview that hits all your questions.

Use your goal to guide the interview. Keep the call focused, but expect to veer from your script, especially if an interesting use case or story comes up.

How to get the golden nuggets

You’ve sent the interview invites. You’ve got a list lined up and your questions are ready. But what can you do to ensure you get the best possible responses?

#1: Establish rapport

There are a million and one sales tricks for establishing rapport. And you should try them… Well, at least the great ones: 

Give genuine compliments, mirror your interviewees, smile more. All these are a great start. 

But there’s an even more effective way to establish rapport – and it’s directly aligned with your interview goals:

Be authentic.

In America, trust is declining. But if you show authenticity, you can establish rapport even with skeptics.

“Be authentic” is kinda fuzzy so here are three specific things you can do to ooze authenticity:  

1. Be curious

Curiosity is the driving force behind discovery, says Carol Gilligan, research psychologist and author of In a Different Voice.

Gilliban found that her initially resistant research subjects began to collaborate and trust her once they felt her authentic curiosity.

Curiosity doesn’t just help you discover more. It also connects you to the person you’re curious about. In The Tipping PointMalcolm Gladwell identifies trendsetters and change agents as ‘Connectors’, and theorizes that they’re so connected – and thus influential – because they’re insatiably curious:

” Connectors…ability to span many different worlds is a function of something intrinsic to their personality, some combination of curiosity, self-confidence, sociability, energy.”

So let your natural interest in your customer’s experience come through and you’ll be well on your way to getting business-changing answers.

2. Validate your customer’s emotions and experiences

Empathic listening is especially important if you’re digging into the customer’s pain. If the customer is getting vulnerable with you, validating that emotional experience encourages more sharing. That’s an instant rapport creator.

Bonus points: Backing up your validation with brief personal experiences makes the validation more authentic.

Validation also helps you uncover more authentic truths. When you agree with someone, you encourage vulnerability. This can help bring down the walls we all build around ourselves and encourage your interviewee to reassess what he just said and give you a more raw answer.

David Burns presents a method for diffusing critical attacks in Feeling Good:

…if I respond with empathy and disarm your hostility, more often than not, you will feel I am listening to you and respecting you. As a result, you lose your ardor to do battle and quiet down. This paves the way for…feedback and negotiation.

If empathy works in disarming the angry, critical people in our lives, it sure works in opening up composed but recalcitrant interviewers.  

3. Listen. Really listen.

One of the tools our brain uses to process conversation is anticipation. In plainspeak: we don’t actually listen to what people will say, we predict what they’ll say before they say it. And it usually works out well for us.

But in an interview, we’re digging for new material. We want to be completely open to the customer experience. We need to let go of our assumptions and actually listen to what the customer is saying, as she’s saying it.

That means listening with an open mind, but it also means not jumping into the conversation often. Allowing a silence will typically uncover more than you’d learn if you ask another question immediately.

In the Coaching Habit, Michael Bungay, says this of allowing silence:

Silence is often a measure of success… it means he’s thinking, searching for the answer. He’s creating new neural pathways , and in doing so literally increasing his potential and capacity. Bite your tongue, and don’t fill the silence. I know it will be uncomfortable, and I know it creates space for learning and insight.”

#2: Tap into the subconscious

Know anyone that loves making decisions? I don’t either.

We’re faced with infinite choices every day, and because of this, we routinely choose instinctively – or with what David Kahneman calls our System 1 – with emotion coloring our decision. The trouble with this though, is that even when we do need to take time to manually decide – and activate our more rational System 2 – we don’t.

Kahneman tells a story of the chief investment officer of a large financial firm who invested tens of millions in Ford Motor stock because he’d seen their cars at an auto show and liked them.

But you wouldn’t buy stock based on your gut, right!? You’d be surprised…

The question that executive faced (should I invest in Ford stock?) was difficult, but the answer to an easier and related question (do I like Ford cars?) came readily to his mind and determined his choice…when faced with a difficult question, we often answer an easier one instead, usually without noticing the substitution.

“Boy do they make good cars!” was the executive’s reasoning for choosing to add the stock to his portfolio. Instead of relying on the stock’s price – and whether it was under or over valued- or on market projections, he ultimately chose it because he liked the cars. 

Notice how he rationalized his irrational decision? The executive actually noticed he made an emotional decision, but he still swept it under the rug. We all do that too – we assign fabricated logical sounding reasons to our emotional decisions.

The takeaway from all this neuroscience: Don’t ask your customer why. Why he chose X. Why he didn’t choose Y. Why he did or didn’t take action Z.

You need those answers, but you won’t get them with direct questioning.

Steer away from speculative questioning and instead prompt the customer to re-live the experience.

Police investigators use a method called context reinstatement which mentally moves the interviewee back into the scenario she’s trying to describe.

Jobs to Be Done – the interviewing framework that’s proven effective for both product development and messaging interviews – uses a line of questioning that simulates context reinstatement:

  • Were you sitting or standing?
  • What was the weather like?
  • Who was with you?

Once the interviewee is “back” in the decision making moment, she’s more able to answer questions on her emotional state or purchase rationale.

Even “within” that moment, still keep away from speculation and turn why questions into what questions.

“Why…does two things very quickly, immediately in fact; two things you want to avoid: 1) it sends people straight to the word ‘because’ which is justifying their actions or decisions; and 2) it closes down information-gathering in the request for ‘the reason’.” – Kay White

This is where the running joke of “how does that make you feel” from therapists comes into play.

Source

Therapists studiously avoid “why” in favor of more explorative questions that uncover the driving emotion. Take a leaf from their book and instead of speculative questions like:

  • Why did you buy X?
  • Were you concerned about price when you choose tier Y?
  • Why didn’t you do action Z after you signed up?

Ask “what” questions like:

  • What was the business impact of purchasing X?
  • What were the factors involved in choosing tier Y?
  • What were you hoping to achieve with action Z?

As for follow up and clarification, Jeff Pruitt suggests looking for verbal and nonverbal cues for direction:

“To turn an introductory question into a meaningful conversation, pay attention to moments when the person you’re talking..

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Do you want to learn how to uncover the words your visitors need to see before they convert?

Would you like to discover exactly how your customers feel about you, your products and your services and use that knowledge to write compelling copy, craft irresistible designs and create a delightful user experience?

Because if you’re going to get people to do anything, you need to help them see themselves on the page.

And there’s no simpler way to do this than by running visitor and customer surveys.

A survey helps you get to know the real reasons people take action and dig into their actual experience.

Then you can use these insights to optimize everything you do.

In this live training, I shared the reasons I love customer surveys (and won’t take on a client unless they agree to run them). Then we walked through everything you need to know to set up your first one: from the tools to use to the exact process you can use to collate and analyze your survey data.

Here’s what you don’t want to miss:

  • Discovering how to use customer surveys to increase conversions
  • The different types of customer surveys you can run
  • How to analyze survey responses to uncover compelling insights you can use to create better copy and design
  • My go-to questions for visitor and customer surveys…

And more!

Grab Your Free Survey Worksheet Here

Watch the recording below:

Workshop: How to use customer surveys to create high-converting websites - YouTube

Transcript, slides and notes available below:

So, the cool thing is that we are talking today about customer surveys, and I’ll get into it real soon, but customer surveys are probably one of the biggest tools that I use today to increase conversions for my clients. It’s something that I will not…I will not take any project on without being able to do a customer survey or a visitor survey on my clients’ websites. And my students also know it’s a must, you have to conduct them. And what I want to do today is tell you about the ways I use customer surveys or visitor surveys, and I’m gonna give you the exact roadmap and a template for using them yourself. So, we also have a free worksheet you can use with all the questions that we ask and all the rules and stuff like that. Okay, so let’s get started.

Two Types of Surveys You Need to Run

Okay. So, when I talk about surveys, I don’t mean surveys to discover the age of your customers or their geographical location, their gender, their household income, or if they like the design of your website. Those are not the type of surveys that I’m referring to. My goal, when I run surveys, is to go deeper. It’s to identify the reasons behind your customers’ or your clients’ decision-making process. So, when I talk about surveys, I mean conducting a survey solely to find the messages, the messages that you should be using on your website, or your landing pages, or your emails for that matter. Surveys that will reveal what to say and how to say it on your page. So, we’re talking about surveys to reveal what hesitations people have about your solution, what pains they’re experiencing on a daily basis, what features users love the most or what features visitors are most excited about. I use surveys to find out what the messaging hierarchy should be on a page, the order of what we should say on a page, what objections need to be addressed, what anxieties people had before converting.

And basically, there’s just so much you can find out, like how your solutions impact people’s lives and much, much more. So, when we get started with surveys, there’s really two types of…well, there’s actually many types of surveys that you can run. But you can and should run surveys on two types of people: your website visitors, and your existing customers or your clients. You can definitely create surveys for customers who are more long-term paying customers and people that just converted, but I’d start with the first two. Visitors who haven’t taken any action with you yet and customers who have been…who are either new customers or who have been with you for a long time, the more the merrier. Now, when I do visitor surveys, that means I’m doing a survey on the website, and I like to use Hotjar. It’s really easy to set up and launch, and you can actually do it for free, even with the free version. It will just say that it’s promoted, that it’s by HotJar on the bottom. But it’s just a really cool tool to use.

Now, the goal of surveying your visitors is to find out their intent, what motivates them to come to your website, what their biggest pain is, what their hesitations are right now, you know, from taking action with you, and what they’re missing from your page. Now, it’s a really cool way to just kind of really identify what people are looking for. And I think it’s so imperative to understand this because most companies, most brands when they run a survey on a website, they focus solely on, “Do you like the website?” or “What almost stopped you from buying today?” All sorts of questions that don’t really give you enough information. So, my goal is to use surveys to really understand who these people are. Now, one thing that I’d suggest with a visitor survey, is to segment it. Because if you don’t have a lot of traffic, that’s one thing. But when you have quite a lot of traffic, we don’t want to interrupt their journey or be too intrusive.

Segmenting Your Surveys

So, I like to set these visitor surveys in a way that either only appears to people who are visiting the website for the second time, which means I’m giving people who are on the website for the first time a minute to process what’s going on, or people who have scrolled a certain amount of the page or that they’ve been a certain amount on the page or they’ve seen certain amount of pages. So, this is a screenshot of Hotjar, which is what I use to run visitor surveys on my website, to answer your question, Christie. And you can see here this is just a screenshot of how they…how you can segment these surveys on your website. So, you can decide what devices to show it on, you can, of course, decide what page to show it on. And what’s really cool is you can also decide when to show it. So, does it show immediately after the page loads? Is it after a delay of a certain amount of seconds?

So, for example, if you know that the majority of people spend 30 seconds on your homepage, you might want to set the survey to appear after 40 seconds, for example, just because you know that the people that stay longer are probably more interested in the website. You can decide to show it to someone only when they’re about to leave the page, or you can decide to show it when someone scrolls halfway down the page. To me, I usually go for when someone scrolls halfway down the page, just because I know that that usually means that someone is more interested, he’s more engaged or she’s more interested in what I have to offer. So, for me, those are kind of my go-to’s when it comes to visitor surveys.

Now, with customer surveys, the goal is to reveal the outcomes, the big changes people experience with your solution and the value that they get. You can discover your value proposition, the most…basically, the most valuable part of your offer, and so much more.

Now, we’re just scratching the surface here, but it’s a beginning, it’s something to start with. Now, what you see on the screen right now is a screenshot from Typeform. It’s the tool that I like to use to run surveys for my customers. This means that we’re essentially sending an email out to people and inviting them to answer a survey. And this means that we’re not doing it on the website, so I like to use Typeform. You can also use SurveyMonkey. It’s a great tool and offers great reporting. I use Typeform just because I feel like it’s the easiest way for people to answer, and it’s really simple and it works really well on mobile too. Now, because you can do so much with surveys, let me give you an example of how we’ve used them recently. We recently did some work for an online parenting program, and they have a very big list of students who have taken that course or are currently taking it. And they’ve also got many, many people coming to their website on a daily basis to learn more about their services or read their blog posts or take the tutorials.

How I use Customer Surveys to Increase Conversions

So, we created two surveys. The survey we conducted for the website visitors was segmented to people who aren’t customers, obviously, and that they visited the website more than once. And here are some of the questions that we asked them. So, one of the questions we asked is, which of these describes you?

We had multiple different options, but these are the options we actually offered. So, “I know I need help. I’m just looking for the best solution,” “I’m considering this company for the first time, not sure if I need it,” or “I know I need this company’s program, I’m just here to enroll.” Those are the three main answers we got. We got additional ones, but those are the three ones, the ones that people answered the most. Now, we used the answers here to identify where people are in the buyer journey. I’ve spoken about this before, but it’s called stages of awareness. And what’s really cool is that when you understand where a person is in the buyer journey, it helps you understand what type of messaging you should be showing on your page.

So, for this company, we’re actually working on their homepage. And what’s really cool here is that it helped us understand that most people are problem aware. They know they have a problem, they know they need help, they’re just not sure what would work best for them. And other people felt…were saying that they do know of other options out there and now they’re trying to figure out if this is the right solution for them. So, it helped us craft the right message for the people that were coming to the website according to their user journey.

Now, another question we asked is, what one problem are you hoping to solve with this company?

So, we got multiple answers, “My child isn’t listening,” “Yelling,” “Sibling conflict,” “Back talk,” “Power struggles,” “Difficult behavior,” “Tantrums,” and etc. But we used the answers to basically rank the pains, the daily struggles and the challenges that prospects deal with so that we could craft a more meaningful message on the homepage.

So, we wanted to show empathy to their situation and show prospects that we understand them and their specific challenges. So, it’s a really cool way of just, you know, telling someone, “Hey, we know what you’re dealing with on a daily basis, we know how hard life is, and we know that you’re dealing constantly with children that are not listening or that you’re constantly yelling or that your kids are constantly fighting.” And that really does make people feel like you understand them and know them really well. So, another question that we asked people, again, visitors off the website, “How do you currently deal with parenting problems?”

So, many people said they were yelling. A lot of people were saying they don’t, they just don’t know what to do. Time outs, consequences, asking repeatedly and such and such. So, this is a great way to identify what people have tried so far to solve their problem. And it’s really cool because with the answers to these questions we could craft more relatable messaging on their homepage.

We could build a sense of trust and we can emphasize the different solutions they’ve already tried that aren’t working, showing prospects that they need a better system to deal with these issues. So, essentially, when someone comes on to the website, I’m gonna show you how we actually did this, and what copy and what design we did. But essentially when someone comes to this page, they will now see themselves in there. They will be able to see, all right, I did…I have been trying X, Y, and Zed. These are the methods that I’ve been trying and they really aren’t working, you’re right. So I do need a different solution. Now, in addition, and these are just a few examples, we asked five questions on the homepage. These are just examples of three questions. But in addition to this visitor survey, we also ran a customer survey.

Now, we reached out to the huge Facebook group and we asked people to help us out and answer a few questions, and the answers were amazing. It was really cool to see how many people were so interested in helping out and giving us their take on everything. So, here’s some of the questions that we asked. The first question was, what’s the number one pain that has been eliminated by this program?

So, two, you know, two biggest things people said, it has eliminated power struggles between my child and I, and it’s eliminated yelling. Now, this question has helped me…it basically helped me understand the biggest pain that our customers struggled with before enrolling in this program. And it helped us shape the messaging hierarchy. It helped us understand the value that we can offer. Our goal is to use a copy formula called PAS, which means pain, agitation and solution. And for that, we need to understand what the pain is. So, these are the pains that people experienced beforehand, and we know for a fact that they were eliminated by this company’s program. So, it’s a great way to understand the value proposition that we have and the emotional triggers of people of what they really cared about at the end.

Another question we asked is, what’s the number one benefit that you’ve achieved from this program?

So, we got all sorts of answers: a calmer home, less yelling, better relationships. And this was basically our way to be able to highlight the specific values that parents can gain from taking this program, and highlight the positive outcomes they can achieve. Another question that we asked is, what, if anything, convinced you to purchase this course? This was a really important thing for us because we were debating what type of call to action we should have on the homepage. Should we ask people to take a webinar, to see a free webinar and a free class, or should we just send them immediately to the course information? Most people said that what really convinced them was the free webinar, the video, that free session that they watched. So it was a no-brainer for us to know what CTA we should be adding to the website. So, instead of sending them to the pricing or the course curriculum, we can feature that free class.

Uncovering your customers’ hesitations

Now, we also asked customers what their biggest hesitations were going into the course and what almost stopped them from enrolling.

The answers to these questions helped us focus on what really needed to be addressed and answered on the homepage. Because many times we create websites and we just put in the information we think people care about. But when you understand the hesitations people had beforehand or their concerns, you can then address them with your design, with your copy and other ways. Finally, we also ask people what one word they would use to describe the program, which gave us loads of high-converting, relatable adjectives and nouns to describe the service. Now, one of my favorite outcomes of these surveys is that after you identify these biggest concerns and these hesitations customers had before enrolling, we could turn to these surveys and grab word-by-word testimonials, addressing these pains and how the course helped them overcome them.

So, essentially, I didn’t need to worry about certain…of how we would explain certain things about the program because the customers were already telling me everything, they were giving me all the answers. And then this way, it wasn’t just us trying to sell the program, it was the students who were actually selling the program that were addressing specific challenges. That’s called social proof. So, it’s really cool to use your customer surveys for writing better copy and for choosing the right words and even the entire messaging on your website. So, what do you actually do with all this information? So, let’s say that you have asked a bunch of questions. And by the way, for the customer surveys, I think we asked about 10 or 12 different questions. So, they’re longer because people agreed to answer them in advance.

How to Analyze Survey Responses

And what I like to do, and this is my personal thing. So what I like to do is, I create a Google sheet or an Excel file, and on the left-hand corner on the top, you’ll see there’s Master, and then I create different tabs.

So, Master has all the answers essentially downloaded from Typeform, everything that everyone’s saying. And then I create different tabs for the different questions that we asked. Now, it’s really cool because you can start reading through everything to start finding common patterns and themes between things. So, you’ll see that this is a different client. But the question that we asked is, what’s the number one thing you’d mention to a friend if you wanted to convince them to attend the conference? So, here all the answers are on the left, and on the right are all the themes that we found. And we aggregate them into groups, and that way we can start seeing numbers, we can start seeing percentage.

So, most people would recommend the content, most people would recommend the ROI or the atmosphere. This is just a snippet of it, we had 500 answers. But what’s really cool here is that you start to see these patterns. It’s easy to kind of sort out in Google Docs. And what’s really cool is you actually learn a lot by going through all the answers. Now, I know that this sounds crazy, but the best way to do this is actually manually, and I say this for two reasons. One is that rather than getting a tool to do it for you, and there are different tools that can aggregate all these answers for you, you actually get to see all the raw answers people give you and learn a lot from them. And the other thing is that you’ll be able to identify patterns you can use later, plus you’ll also get quotes and testimonials to use. So, for example, I highlighted here in blue and in grey some really powerful messages and things that people were saying that I could use on the website. And also, you know, finding people that I may want to interview and all sorts of stuff.

How to Turn Customer Survey Insights Into High-Converting Design and Copy

So, this is a really cool way of doing it. Now, let me show you what the outcome of something like this looks like.

So, if we go back to the parenting program company, we did all of these surveys and we tried to figure out the messaging behind it. Now we understand the highest value that customers find, we understand the pains, we understand what people struggled with, and what people are struggling with. And we start crafting our new homepage or a new variation, or a new AB test. So, for one thing, we said, “Get your kids to listen without yelling, nagging, or losing control. This company gives you the tools you need to finally put an end to exhausting power struggles with your children. No more tantrums, no more knockdowns, no more guilt. Become the parent you’ve always wanted to be. Take a free class. Start seeing results and feeling relief within days.” Here’s another one, “Everyone knows being a parent isn’t easy, but no one told you it would be like this.”

Or “You’ve tried everything: timeouts, reward charts, counting to three, punishments. Nothing works.” Now, all of this content, the images that you’re seeing here, the colors that we’re using, everything is all thanks to the customer surveys. Because we were able to really understand what people are going through on their daily basis and their struggles and how hard life is for them with this specific pain, we were able to really stand out. We were able to really trigger those emotions that they feel the most and show them to them on the page. And it really is such a cool way because at the end of the day, when you sit there and you’re thinking, “What should I write on my page?” or “What images should I choose?” or “What color should I use in my page?”, we sort of hope that things are just gonna fall on us and somehow we’re gonna come up with these amazing ideas. But when you run customer surveys or visitor surveys, you don’t have to make anything up. It’s all there in front of you. So, it’s a great way to actually reduce the amount of work you’ll be doing later.

My Favorite Survey Questions

So, let me share my favorite survey questions that I like to ask visitors on the website.

  • Which of these best describes you?
  • What do you currently use to accomplish a task or a goal?
  • Is there anything you dislike or want to change about how you currently accomplish product or this task or the goal?
  • What matters the most to you when you’re choosing this type of solution, like… The name of the service.
  • Is there anything holding you back from trying this company or this product right now?

These are my favorite go-to questions with visitor surveys.

With customer surveys, I have other questions.

  • How did you first hear about us? Because we want to understand where most of our people are coming from. Is it word of mouth? Is it a certain type of traffic? A medium?
  • When did you realize you needed a product like X?
  • What was going on in your world that caused you to come looking for it?
  • What one problem would you say this product or company eliminates or lessens for you?
  • What one benefit would you say you’ve gotten and valued most from using this company?
  • Why did you choose this product over others or this service over others?
  • And one of my favorites, if this company was gone tomorrow, so if our..
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How many Facebook ads do you see in your news feed a day?

According to Social Media Examiner, 93% of marketers use Facebook advertising regularly. That’s about 3 million businesses using Facebook to market themselves. Every day these brands text, call, email and target us with their Facebook ads, overwhelming us with offers.

In fact, we’re so used to being targeted by brands everywhere on the web that our brain automatically tries to block out all the noise and ignore those ads. Yet millions of businesses base a huge part of their revenue stream on Facebook ads, so they must be getting through to us somehow, right?

How do some brands manage to drown out all the noise and reach us? What separates the successful ads from the rest?


There’s actually a pretty simple answer to that: The brands that grab our attention and convert us on Facebook, are those that understand us best. They know our pain, our needs and understand our emotions and they know how to reflect those back to us in their ads.

Whether we care to admit it or not, humans are emotional creatures and our purchasing decisions are very much based on our emotions. Using images, videos, text and other elements in their ads, the most successful brands have done their research and 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 rather than the rational benefit they gain. They know that using emotion is key to standing out in a crowded market and grabbing your prospect’s attention.

Let’s dig into the ways you can use emotion in Facebook ads to grab your prospects attention:

4 Ways to leverage emotion in your Facebook ads #1: Emotional value > Benefit

Rather than focusing on the service or product you’re selling, focus on the outcome.

To grab people’s attention you need to make a promise, what is the one thing people will walk away with after buying your product? Or hiring your services?

For example: A task management platform isn’t selling the ability to get a task done, it’s selling the opportunity to sort out all that mess you have in your head, reduce stress and perhaps even impressing your manager with your efficiency.

Putting theory into action:

In her ad, Mel Robbins speaks directly to the camera and says: ”Imagine for just one second how awesome it would be if you could stop holding yourself back”.

Introducing her online course for building self-confidence, she jumps straight into the emotional turmoil of self-doubt and holding yourself back. She shows segments of videos of people hugging her and thanking her for “saving” them and taps into the real desire her target audience has. She doesn’t talk about what you get in the course, what you actually learn or how much it costs, just the emotional result: the promise for a better life and higher self-esteem.

#2: Telling a story

We’ve all seen this happen; huge causes with hundreds, sometimes thousands of casualties in need of urgent donations and resources struggling to get the help they need. Suddenly a compelling story about one person’s journey, their struggle, and challenges turn everything around and donations coming flooding through.

This hero’s journey can be seen in every film and book you read too; a single person’s journey can move us to tears, laughter, empathy and change our behaviors, even our beliefs. That is the power of storytelling. Personal stories that resonate and spark emotions within us, causing us to take action.

“Stories that are personal and emotionally compelling engage more of the brain, and thus are better remembered, than simply stating a set of facts.” Paul J. Zak Founding director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies

Simply put, we don’t remember numbers, statistics, features or even pricing, we remember how something or someone made us feel. The more compelling the story, the more personal and similar it is to your customer’s story, the better it will resonate and inspire action.

Putting theory into action:
Use video ads and copy to tell a compelling story. The best stories are those that resonate with your prospects and make them say: “Hey, that happened to me!”, “OMG, that’s me”, or “Damn, that could happen to me”.

Once you know what emotions drive your customers into action, you can tell their story, focus on intriguing them, getting them to click on that the “read more” button or click through to your site to hear more.

You might have also noticed that most ads are short and don’t have much text, but I’ve found many times that when the story is compelling, people want to read the content and have no problem with the long copy at all.

In fact, I have consistently found that our Facebook ads with longer copy, work significantly better than ads with short copy:

The ad with the longer copy had almost 200% more conversions than the shorter one.

As Asia Matos, Founder of DemandMaven adds:

“How many times a day do you scroll right past incredibly boring and not-that-insightful ads on Facebook? It’s because they haven’t done the psychological or emotional work of driving demand.

The thing that gets people to move on an ad (i.e. click-through, complete a form, or watch a video), has 100% to do with what they believe they’ll gain. It’s the psychology of “you have this and I don’t” and the emotional state of “I believe I need this, and you can provide it to me”.

Tactically, this manifests in dozens of ways — my personal favorite being writing long-form (yes, long-form) copy for the ads and approaching it with a conversion copywriter mindset. You’re essentially using the classic framework PAS when writing the ads: problem, agitation, solution. Why? Because people actually read that copy because they want to know what you have that they don’t and what they’re going to get out of it.”

#3: Choosing your Images

One of the most important rule I follow with every landing page, email and ad I write, is “Don’t just say it, make em’ feel it”. It’s one of the pillars of my Emotional Targeting Framework and it’s based on the emotional effect images have on us.

The images and colors you use in your Facebook ads will determine if people see your ad AND if they think it’s worth giving it a moment to consider (check out this guide on choosing high-converting images).

When it comes to choosing images, most ads (similarly to landing pages and websites) tend to use an image of the product their selling or something to represent it:

Google illustrates someone sitting in front of a computer writing code and retailers use photos of the items they’re selling.

However both Lego and Slack highlight the value of their product vs. what it is.

Lego highlights the pride and happiness kids feel when playing with Lego and imply the kind of future kids who play with Lego have in store for them. 

Slack focuses on the relief you’ll feel and the fun you can have, without all those meetings you will now be spared from by using Slack. 

Color plays a big part here too, it determines what our eye will focus on when we look at the ad and how we feel. Yes, colors have an emotional effect on us, but not necessarily the way you may think, check out this guide to choosing the right colors for your audience.

Putting theory into practice

Try AB testing a few different visuals for your ads. Videos work really well but images go a long way too.

Brainstorm with your team about the possible outcomes and value you get when using your product/service (e.g taking that dream vaca) AND most importantly ask your customers and clients what their dream outcome is and what jobs they’re trying to get done (this is where surveys and interviews come in very handy, here’s a list of questions you can use to get started with).

#4: Using social proof

Social proof is one of the most powerful tools you can use on any page, let alone Facebook. There is power in numbers and the more people we see going in a certain direction, the more appealing it is to us.

Social proof isn’t just there to tell people how amazing your product is, it’s there to remove roadblocks. Testimonials and reviews can be used to reduce common concerns people have, hesitations and address specific questions that come up.

For example, rather than people having to take your word that your service includes round-the-clock customer service, place a customer’s story on your site detailing how a specific representative of the company helped her at 2 in the morning with the issue.

Putting theory into action

There are many ways you can use social proof to increase conversions. For example, Christmas Abbott mentions the number of people who are already participating in her program AND features videos snipets of people explaining how she changed their life:

You can also use a written testimonial as your ad copy, or even in the text below your images, like BetterBack does:

You can even include screenshots of mentions on social media, reviews you’ve received and emails:

It’s all about the process

With optimization, it’s all about the process. If you want to start using emotion in the best kind of way to increase your Facebook Ads conversions, you’ll need to continuously hypothesize, test, analyze and keep going. If you want to truly get this right, there’s only one way to go about it: get to know your customers better, look beyond the behavioral elements (e.g geographical location and age) and understand them. What emotions motivate them, what they care about and what they’re biggest outcomes are.

The post How to Leverage the Power of Emotion in Facebook Ads appeared first on GetUplift.

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