Tuesday 14 May 2013

Getting Into the "Shut up and Take My Money" Zone

Q: If your conversion funnel has n steps to make the sale. What's the purpose of step 1?
A: to get to step 2.
Q: What's the purpose of step 2?
A: to get to step 3.
Q: What's the purpose of step n-1?
A: to get to step n.

Any well-designed conversion funnel takes the visitor on a journey, a journey from idle curiosity to what I will hitherto refer to as the "Shut up and take my money" zone, a magical place where your customers throw money at you and beg to use your product.

Getting customers to this zone is about "alignment". You are orchestrating three levers for maximum conversion effect:

  1. What your visitor thinks about you 
  2. Your copy and how it affects what your customer thinks about you.
  3. Your calls to action

What Does Your Customer Think About You?

Let's start with how your customer feels about you. Here's a handy diagram of how they should feel as they progress through your funnel.

Phase 1 "I can take it or leave it" - The customer starts from a position of mild distrust or curiosity. They're not sure you can help them but they have some time to kill so here they are.

Phase 2 - "You have my attention" -  Now, your customer is mildly interested. "What you say does make a lot of sense to me", he or she says, "It's like you know what I'm going through". Now's the time to get them to dig deeper into how your product can solve their problems. 

Phase 3 - "I can give this a spin" -   Getting a time commitment for a free trial, read about how to integrate your product into theirs or getting customers to play with your product is actually a significant deal. Congratulations, you should be proud of yourself. It's now time to take advantage of the slippery slope that will lead your users to...

Phase 4 - "Shut up and take my money" -    You've moved the customer through the funnel. Their interest in your product is at its peak. Now is the time to ask them to buy. What if you don't ask them now? Well, they end up in...

Phase 5 - "ERMAHGERD, Shiny!" -    You've lost your customer. They've been distracted by something shiny because they didn't have a call-to-action to focus on. It may be a blog post, your twitter feed that leads to someone else's twitter feed which leads to HN.... a rabbit hole from which they will not be coming back.

What's Your Copy Doing?

In order to get your customer to feel the way you want them to feel, you need the right copy and content.

Phase 1 "I can kill your pain" - It's your job to convince your customers that you know what their pain is and that you can help them kill it forever.

Phase 2 - "Look,Ma, Proof" -  Now's the time to get them to dig deeper into how your product can solve their problems. Tell them about how you were able to solve someone else's problem that's a lot like theirs. Tell them about the features that were designed with them in mind.

Phase 3 - "No Harm in trying it out" -   Your copy should focus on getting your customer to nibble. Tell them how easy it is to try out this product. Tell them it's risk-free, a no-brainer.

Phase 4 - "Money, Please" -     Tell them about all the great features they're paying for. Make it sound like they're getting the deal of the century ("unlimited bandwidth,yo!"). Then, ask for as much money as possible.

Phase 5 - "Do Not Come Here" -    Do not have anything that will distract your customer from the sale.

What's Your Call-to-Action?

The right call is what takes the user from one step to the other. Exploit their state of mind. You know what they think, you know where you want them to go. The call-to-action practically writes itself.

Phase 1 "Learn How" -  Get your customers to seek validation of your ability to kill their pain.

Phase 2 - "Free Trial" -  Get your customers to commit to a low-risk way to evaluate you.

Phase 3 - "Deal! Deal! Deal!" -   Sell, sell, sell.

Phase 4 - "Start Now" -    Get customers to start using your product now (if not sooner).

Phase 5 - "Do Not Come Here" -    You had a call-to-action that was designed to distract. Really?!!

Somewhere between Art and Science

That, in broad strokes, is how we can utilize conversion funnels to sell users. Getting down to specifics is where it gets a little tricky (else, we'd all be rich!). You probably have more questions than answers but it's a step in the right direction. You may want to answer these questions to get really strong copy:
  • What does my customer care about?
  • How can I word my copy and calls to action to maximize conversions?
  • What if what I'm saying is not matching their #1 pain? Am I saying the right thing?
  • Do they care about X feature or is it noise?
  • How is my product different from the competition?
At the end of this exercise, you'd have a list of strong candidates for copy and calls-to-action based on the key concerns of your audience. But, how to find out which ones really pop?

Wouldn't it be great if you could just put all these options into your web app and let the web app figure out which one works best and use that? 

I created SubIntent to solve this exact problem. No analysis, no statistics. Fill in the options and press go.

SubIntent will take all your calls-to-action, all your page copy variations and links and figure out which combination really works with your visitors. SubIntent will automatically optimize your pages to maximize conversion rates 24x7 for every single visitor, learning what works and optimizing conversion rates concurrently. It's conversion optimization on auto-pilot. Interested? Learn more about SubIntent and start your free trial today.

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  1. I so agree with this. But one thing we always should be sure of consistency and relevancy, a relevant content, relevant links and relevant domain.

  2. Hey Aditya,
    Informative as well helpful post.Thanks for sharing.

  3. Great info! I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have. convert money calculator


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