Giles Thomas, Author at Acquire Convert - Page 37 of 39
Categories
CRO Ecommerce UX

Shopify Landing Page Optimization with Exit Intent Technology

What you’ll learn:

  1. How customer research fits into a complete conversions process
  2. How to use Google Analytics content reports to inform customer research
  3. How to collect qualitative customer data with website and exit intent technology
  4. How to analyse qualitative data and create test hypothesis
  5. Customer research toolkit: 25 conversion rate best practices to consider in your next landing pages design or optimization process

A complete conversion rate optimization process

As with any business task, when you are optimizing your landing pages conversion rates you need a process.

In this article you are going to focus on using customer research methodology to help increase conversions, but to better understand your workflow first I’ll show you how this type of data collection fits into a complete conversion rate optimization process.

Customer research definition

Customer research is a very broad term and encapsulates more traditional processes such as market research as well as more modern optimization processes.

In our case customer research means a study of your customers behaviours.

How not to run landing page tests

Many marketers blindly test ideas. They change something on their landing page, a headline, some button copy and see if it increases conversions.

Does this ring any bells?

This type of testing rarely results in sustainable improvements.

It also does not help you learn and develop your understanding of your customer over time, which should be one of your two main focuses in a conversion optimization process.

The other is increasing profits, not conversions but profits.

Increasing conversion is easy, lower the price, make it free. Increasing conversions profitably is another story altogether!

What your conversion process should look like

conversion-rate-optimization-process

Here is a diagram of your new conversion optimization process:

Step One: Business Goals

The first step is to decide on your business goals, in this case it may be to increase your landing page conversion rate by 5% month over month for example. As with all growth efforts you need a marketing plan.

Step Two: Data Collection

Secondly you need to collect data. Now when you think of data to collect you instinctively think about digital analytics, this is the first type of data, quantitative data.

Quantitative data tells us what, which page, how much.

The second type is qualitative data and this is collected through an exploration of user behaviour.

This customer research process helps you gain an understanding of the reservations and motivations your customers have throughout their path to conversion along your sales funnel.

The qualitative data you will collect in this process is website and exit intent surveys.

The amount of different data sources and types of data you collect can vary depending on the type of conversion project, budget and timescales.

Step Three: Data Analysis

In this step you analyse the data you have collected, in your case from your website and exit intent surveys.

Step Four: Hypotheses Creation

The data informs ideas for ab and multivariate tests to run on your landing page. You prioritize the tests based on a number of factors and decide which tests to run first.

Step Five/Six: Implementation

Here you design and code your new landing page variation ready for testing.

Step Seven: Testing

You run tests, with your original landing page design as a control and measure for improvements in conversion rate and most importantly profit.

Step Eight: Learning and Improvement

In this step you analyse the test results, looking for a winning variation (with statistical significance). You learn from the results and start the process all over again with new ideas for data collection and testing.

Remember, conversion optimization is not one and done.


How to use Google Analytics content reports to inform customer research

With the entire process for optimizing your landing page covered and your business goals set, it is time to start collecting data.

You are going to collect qualitative data in the form of website and exit intent surveys.

In my experience this is one of the most effective customer research methods.

Website and exit intent surveys are also referred to as pop up surveys, you may recognise them in this form:

qualaroo-sample-survey

They allow you to survey your website visitors, the surveys show up after a specific period of time (like after the visitor has been on the page for 30 seconds) or using exit intent technology.

What is Exit Intent Technology?

Exit intent basically means that the survey is shown when the user tries to leave the page or moves their mouse towards the browser window cross to close the window.

To help us decide what surveys to run and on which pages you are going to dig into your Google Analytics accounts, specifically your content reports.

How to segment your Google Analytics content reports

In order to increase the conversion rate of your landing pages you first need to learn which landing pages are performing the worst.

Poor landing page performance can be defined as high traffic pages with high bounce rates or high exit rates. This means the pages that a lot of your visitors land on when entering your website where they also leave instantly or bounce.

You specifically want to find pages with bounce rates that are higher than your websites average bounce rate.

Let’s dig into your google analytics and find your problem landing pages.

Step 1:

First click on the profile of the domain name you want export reports from in your google analytics account, this is called ‘All Web Site Data’ more often than not.

For example:

ga-reporting

Step 2:

Next click on the ‘Behaviour’ > ‘Site Content’ > ‘All Pages’ tab.

all-pages-report-google-analytics

Step 3:

Click on the advanced tab and filter out all pages with less than 1000 pageviews.

google-analytics-all-pages-advanced

unique-page-views-google-analytics

Choose an appropriate length of time in the date range to select a big enough sample size (dependant on your sites traffic) then sort the table by bounce rate with the highest bounce rates at the top.

google-analytics-all-pages-report

Export this report to PDF, this will show you the pages with high traffic and high bounce rate, the real problem landing pages on your website.

Step 4:

Next click on the ‘Landing Pages’ tab

landing-pages-tab

Step 5:

This time exclude new users less than 1000

new-users

Step 6:

Select the comparison view, the second tab from the right that is shown as selected in the image below.

comparison-google-analytics

Step 7:

In the first column select ‘New Users’ and in the second column select ‘Bounce Rate’

landing-page-report

Export this report to PDF, this will show you the high traffic pages with higher than average bounce rates for your website (the ones with the longest red lines). These pages need the most optimization work.

Step 8:

In the second column, change the selection to ‘Goal Conversion Rate’

goal-conversion-rate

Export this report to PDF, this will show you the high traffic pages with lower than average conversion rates! Bingo. These are the landing pages where you need to improve your conversion rate.

Of course you do not have to optimize pages based on your Google Analytics reports, if you have specific landing pages from current campaigns or business critical landing pages that require conversion optimization then you can simply choose to optimize those pages in this process.


Qualitative research: Creating your survey questions

Now you know which landing pages you are going to optimize based on your Google Analytics data or current campaigns, you need to set up website and exit intent surveys on those pages.

The next step in the process is to decide:

  • How many pages to run surveys on
  • What questions to ask / what question formats to use
  • Whether the survey should show based on time on page or intent to exit
  • How long to capture data for

How many pages to run surveys on

The number of surveys you run does not correlate to the number of pages you intend to optimize, you can run surveys on pages you don’t intend to change and use the data to strengthen your core customer theory and customer personas.

It does however make sense that the page you are optimizing has at least one survey running on it.

What questions to ask / what question format to use

As with all customer questioning the greatest learnings come from asking open ended questions.

The format of the questions can affect this greatly.

Having a question with multiple choice answers assumes you know what the options should be.

Having a questions with an a text input answer allows for learning outside your assumptions, therefore new learning.

customer-development-question-formats-website-exit-intent-survey

Unfortunately in my experience the conversion rate of text input questions is much lower than multiple choice as the perceived friction to complete is much higher for the user.

Basically, when you look at the form on the left it looks like a lot more effort to complete than the form on the right! right?

The way you write your questions will also impact the learning, again make sure not only the question format is open but the questions are open ended too.

Should your survey show based on time on page or intent to exit

Deciding on whether to show your survey based on time or exit intent often comes down to the type of page in question.

Exit intent

If the page is a key or final step in your sales funnel that would naturally see high abandonment e.g. a cart page on an ecommerce website or the checkout page for an information product.

Then I suggest you use exit intent, that way when the user goes to abandon the page you can try to learn why they leave. Helping you learn the barriers to conversion that need addressing in your redesign and testing.

For example:

Bfyne.com is a new ecommerce shop (10 months old) we created at Whole Design Studios, they were seeing adandonement on their cart page (as all shops have a percentage of) so we decided to investigate why to try to increase conversion in this step of their checkout sales funnel.

We asked visitors in an exit intent pop up that showed as they were about to leave the cart page and abandon:

“What is stopping you from checking out today?”

Here are a selection of the most common answers we received in the customers exact words:

  • I want to be sure I can get this before the 30th with express shipping (sent on the 20th)
  • How long does it take for my shipment to come if I order my shoes tonight
  • When will I receive the item is I use standard shipping and I live in NYC (sent on 28th jan)
  • Not sure if it will get to me by the time I need it
  • Hello I am living in France and want to know if you send other country and if yes how

From these answers we can clearly see a huge problem with the cart page is communicating to the visitor when they would receive their product.

We are now running a test with a variation of the cart page with an expected delivery date calculator added.

Our hypothesis is that many of the visitors would have had their reservation around purchase removed if they had been able to calculate the expected delivery date.

We will then run a test using a javascript location detection plugin, so we can find a visitors location and update a dynamic banner that says:

“We ship to [location of visitor]”

E.g. If you are in France.

“We ship to France.”

With any detailed information around price changes inline alongside the message.

Time on page

If the page is not a final step in a sales or lead funnel but still receives high traffic and potentially high bounce rates like a homepage or product feature page for example then you should show the survey based on time on page.

To determine at which point to show the survey you should look at the pages time data in Google Analytics, let’s learn how:

Step 1:

Go to your Google analytics account and navigate to the ‘All Pages’ report.

all-pages-report-google-analytics

Step 2:

Search for the name of the page you are optimizing

search

Step 3:

Look at the ‘Avg. Time on Page’ column for your page

google-analytics-average-time-on-page

If your average time on page is high then do not show the survey too early, the longer a person stays on the page the more aligned they are with the content, the higher quality they are as a lead and the more relevant their data will be to help build your customer theory.

I suggest to show the survey after 20% of the average time on page, so for row one in this instance you would show the survey after around 50 seconds.

However if your traffic is very low then show the survey earlier or you will not capture enough data, don’t forget only a small percentage of those that see the survey will complete it.

How long should I capture data for

The amount of data you collect depends on the format of your question.

If you are collecting multiple choice question data then you want to reach statistical significance.

This is calculated using Pearson’s chi-squared test, this is a chi-square goodness of fit test, with the null hypothesis being equal probability for all of the possible answers.

If you are collecting text answers then there is no right or wrong amount, normally you will start to see repetition after only 20 or so form submissions.

Once you are confident that the visitors answers are repetitive you can stop collecting data.


Implementing surveys

To make collecting survey data technically easy you can use tool such as Qualaroo or Hotjar which enable website and exit intent surveys.

The cheap alternative is for you to code it yourself or get your developer to set it up.

The easiest and quickest way to do this is using a free form app like Wufoo and a pop up plugin like Reveal.

Wufoo is better than simply submitting the form to an email address as it allow you to export the data into a report without having to manually trawl through the emails.

For the exit intent technology you can use this Ouibounce which is free.

To trigger the form after a period of time you can use jQuery .delay() method.


 

Analysing your qualitative data for hypothesis ideas

Now you have discovered your problem landing pages and run and collected survey data, it is time to analyse and interpret that data.

Analysing Multiple Choice Data

To analyse multiple choice data you need to dig into statistics and the previously mentioned chi-square goodness of fit test. However this is complicated enough to warrant an entire article, here is a step by step if you’re into maths.

Example:

Here is some sample data we collected at Whole Design Studios when optimizing landing pages for Berlin based ed tech start up CareerFoundry.

We were trying to understand the core motivation behind why their visitors were interested in user experience design as an input to their customer theory and course value proposition.

wufoo-exit-intent-data

To analyse this data we used the chi-square goodness-of-fit test as mentioned earlier.

One test idea to take from this test is that expanding their skillset is the most important motivator for visitors. You could test this in a value proposition.

At this point you would add this idea or hypothesis to a spreadsheet in order to rank your test ideas after you’ve analysed all your data (more on this later).

Analysing Single Text Input Data

There are a number of ways to analyse the text input question data.

Word Cloud

My favourite and the first exercise I always perform is to grab all the text answers and place them into a word cloud.

This way you can see the most common and recurring words and learn about the customers behaviour and mind set.

For example:

We ran a survey for Career Foundry to learn why visitors didn’t want to sign up, asking:

“What’s stopping you from signing up?”

word-cloud

After placing the raw text input answer data into a word cloud we found recurring words such as:

  • sure
  • looking
  • comparing
  • concerns
  • money
  • price
  • expensive
  • location

This told us the visitors decision was a very considered one, with comparison shopping as part of their process. Also that price point and therefore perceived value was crucial in their decision making process.

After digging further into the recurring word location we learned in visitors answers that they were unsure if the online course could be accessed from anywhere in the world.

What we learn here is to segment and dig deeper into our data to find more insightful answers.

Again you would add any test hypothesis or ideas to your spreadsheet from these analysis exercises for ranking after you complete all analysis.

Categorization

The second analysis exercise is to export your data into a google doc via a .csv in order to read and categorize answers.

This highlights what the biggest conversion barriers on your landing pages are and the main sections that need addressing in the redesign and build.

Add four columns next to your text input data, one for:

  • General take aways or comments – e.g. they didn’t like X feature
  • Categorization – e.g. feature 1, feature 2, pricing, to help spot trends re: what’s most important to your customers.
  • To Do’s – e.g. Answer actions or additions to your hypothesis spreadsheet (we’ll cover this in detail later)
  • Logged – Have the to do’s been assigned to a task list

customer-research-data-analysis

NB: You can get a copy of this spreadsheet as a google doc in the toolkit at the end of the article.


Prioritise Your Test Ideas

Now you’ve collected and analysed all your data you have a lot of ideas for testing.

You’ve added them all to a spreadsheet and now it is time to rank them based on a number of factors in order to decide what to test first.

When choosing which tests to perform you must first understand the time and cost implications of running each test and their resultant value. You can then choose first the tests with the least cost and highest return.

Here is a test score sheet you can use. Get the spreadsheet again in the toolkit.

optimization-priority-framework

I’ll explain each column:

Test Duration

How long it takes for the test to reach statistical significance, shorter tests score higher.

Ease of Execution

The easier a test is to implement the higher it should score.

Business Impact

How much will this test change the business. The business! Not the conversion rate, not the revenue but the profit, the business. Big changes score high.

Cost of Advertising

How much will it cost to drive traffic to this page. If it is all organic traffic then a higher score is more appropriate, if it is expensive high competition keywords score it lower.

Overall the task or idea that scores highest is first in line to be implemented.

Now you have a framework to rank and prioritise your tests.


Building and testing your new landing page variation

After prioritizing your test ideas you know which test you will run first.

To run the test you must first update the design and build of the landing page and then test it against the original variation as a control.

Avoid sequential testing

Make sure to test your landing page variations at the same time using ab testing or multivariant testing software.

I’ve seen people collect data from one version for one week with 100% of the traffic and then swap to the new variation for one week with 100% of the traffic.

Ultimately then comparing the two different weeks results.

This is called sequential testing and is a bad ideas.

It’s not a fair comparison as it’s not the same traffic source or the same industry conditions.

Your conversion rate is not a fixed number, it can change between days of the week or from season to season.

You have to split the traffic and test at the same time, hence why ab testing is also referred to as split testing.

You should never trust the results of sequential testing.


Learn and iterate

Once you have a winning variation it is time to update your customer theory and customer personas with your learning and start the data collection process again.

Try to track the revenue change as well as the conversion rate change as this is ultimately what you are trying to improve.

Remember conversion optimization is not one and done so keep iterating and developing your customer.

Categories
CRO Ecommerce UX

A Practical Guide to Optimizing your Value Proposition and Increasing Conversions

In this in-depth guide to value propositions we’ll explore:

  • Value proposition definition
  • What a value proposition is not
  • Why you should be optimizing your value proposition
  • Reducing your bounce rate
  • A practical step by step process for optimizing your value proposition

Value proposition definition

A value proposition is everything a potential buyers finds value in on your site, it is often the first thing visitors see on the main landing pages of your website and typically will be made up of a number of elements:

  • Headline
  • Subheadline
  • Bullet point list
  • Image / Video
  • Call to action
  • Proof
  • Guarantee

All these elements are not mandatory but they form a good framework for creating or improving your existing value added proposition.

Your value proposition should explain the outcome of using your product, who it is for and how it solves their biggest pain points specifically.

Think of it as an elevator pitch to your new visitors that focusses on the benefits and the outcomes of using your product or services over your competition.

A potential customers motivation to buy your product or services can be calculated as follows:

motivation = perceived benefits – perceived costs

It is all about perception, understanding what your customers perceive as high value. Your customer value proposition.

And let’s not forget humans are very complex, what is valuable for some maybe be unimportant to others. So you need to position your product within your industry.

For example Dolce & Gabbana do not sell the cheapest clothes and Ikea does not make the most luxurious furniture.

You need to pick a niche within your market, learn what really matters to the people within that niche when buying and position your product or service towards them.

Al Ries and Jack Trout in the classic marketing book Positioning: A battle for your mind explain that while positioning begins with the product, your focus should be positioning that product in the mind of the consumer.

You need to present a simple message that is consistent with what the consumer believes by focussing on the prospects perception of your product rather than the realities and features of it.

What a value proposition is not

The point of your value proposition is not to list every features or benefit, you need to test which benefits are the most important to your audience using conversion optimization. Then focus your value proposition on communicating those benefits.

And stay away from technical jargon, if your value proposition sounds like you need a degree in nuclear science to decode it you’ve got it wrong.

Write for your audience and make sure you use simple language. Copywriting is not about using technical vocabulary to sound smart, it’s about communicating your company’s value in the most clear and concise way possible.

And while we are on the subject of poor value propositions, please don’t make unbelievable comments. Like “The best burgers in the world”, people are not stupid and simply won’t trust remarks like these.

Some people also confuse a value proposition with a number of other marketing frameworks.

For example:

USP/UVP

Your unique selling point or unique value proposition is similar to a value proposition but different as it focusses only on the part that is unique, not the whole value.

FAB

Your features, advantages and benefits model is an explanation of your features as outcomes or benefits. Again only a part of the whole value proposition.

Your value proposition is also not a slogan.

For example:

“I’m loving it” from Mcdonalds.

or

“Just do it” from Nike.

It is also not a positioning statement which again is only a part of a complete value proposition.

For example:

“For World Wide Web users who enjoy books, Amazon.com is a retail bookseller that provides instant access to over 1.1 million books. Unlike traditional book retailers, Amazon.com provides a combination of extraordinary convenience, low prices, and comprehensive selection.” Amazon 2001.

Why you should be optimizing your value proposition

Optimizing your value proposition helps focus your business and marketing efforts in one direction or on one core pain point within your market.

It stops you from wasting time trying to acquire the wrong customers with the wrong marketing message. Demonstrating to your prospects you understand their needs and what they value in a product or service of that kind.

It also helps you align your product with your prospects goals, clearly and concisely communicating to them the outcome of spending money with you.

It improves your sales process, giving you a clear and simple way to communicate your offering to potential buyers confidently.

Creating a value proposition is also a great way to validate a new company or product idea for startups.

Charles Kettering a famous inventor once said:

A problem well stated is a problem half-solved

So if you’re reading this and about to start a new project, consider creating a value proposition to validate your product / market fit.

Reducing your bounce rate

Your landing pages, the main pages by which someone enters your site are a great place to start optimizing your value proposition.

This is the beginning of the sales funnel within your site and where a visitors will decide whether to stick around or leave.

This is referred to as bounce rate in digital analytics, or the percentage of people who instantly leave your site on entry.

You want to have the lowest possible bounce rate percentage and therefore the highest potential conversion rate.

But to get people to stick around you need to clearly communicate your product or services value as soon as they land on your site. You communicate the value through your value proposition.

In fact typically you only have a few seconds to persuade each person to continue reading before they leave your site, maybe forever.

This can be expensive whether you drive traffic from referral or paid sources and can make for a poorly optimized marketing expenditure. Basically you’re leaving dollars on the table.

A practical step by step process for optimizing your value proposition

There are 6 steps in creating or optimizing your value proposition. Let’s walk through them with examples to help you create or iterate on yours.

Step 1: Define success metrics or business goals

As with all marketing initiatives it is important to first define what metrics you are trying to improve and what success looks like.

When optimizing your value proposition there are often two primary goals.

The first is to improve the micro conversion rate. This may be an email opt in on your landing page or a free trial signup conversion rate, but this can be whatever the one main task is you want the user to complete on the landing page.

The second as with any conversion rate optimization work is improving profits through increased conversions.

Step 2: Data Collection

To create or iterate on an existing value proposition you need to collect data as an input to your copywriting and design.

A great source of data to collect is qualitative data in the form of customer interviews.

Your customer interviews should be focussed on learning how your prospects perceive their problems and how they define them.

You should schedule at least 10 interviews of around 15 minutes. Make sure to record the audio of the interviews, if they are over Skype you can use Piezo.

I have included a handy spreadsheet to record your call data in the bonus area at the end of the guide.

Make sure to record the exact word the prospects use during the interview, not your interpretation of them. We will use these as input into your copywriting later on in the process.

Keep these below points in mind when creating open ended questions to ask your prospects during the interviews:

  • What is their end goal or outcome from your product or service?
  • Who is the target customer? Think about psychographics as well as demographics.
  • What improvements do they look for compared with their current service?
  • What hard or tried and tested results do people expect?
  • What do they think makes you unique?

An example open ended question would:

“What is your biggest frustration with [your topic] at the moment?”

You are not asking them about your product, but about their problems.

Step 3: Analyse your data

Once you have completed the interviews, recorded the audio and filled in the spreadsheet it is time to analyze the data.

Look for improvements prospects seek or outcomes they desire that are common or recurring.

You are trying to understand how they perceive their problems so you can position your product towards them.

Write a list of the common words or phrases people use as input for your copywriting in the next step.

You can do this easily by pasting all the transcribed interview text into a word cloud app.

word-cloud

Step 4: Hypothesis Creation

Now it is time to draft a number of value propositions based on your analysed data. Write out a lot of variations and boil them down to the three strongest ones keeping these guidelines in mind:

  • Does the value proposition describe what product or service your company selling?
  • Does it communicate the benefit or outcome of using it?
  • Does it show how you enable the outcome?
  • Does it describe who the target customer for this product or service is?
  • Does it highlight what makes your offering unique and different?
  • Does it avoid hype or inflammatory remarks, e.g. “Best coffee in the world!”

Value proposition example structure

All this information is really useful, but you are probably wondering how to write a value proposition.

Here are the elements you will need to create your value proposition and a content structure for what to write within each element.

Headline

First is your headline or H1, this should focus on the outcome or benefit of using your product or service. Ask yourself what result the prospect wants.

For example:

Hubspot has a very simple and clear headline, “Grow your business”. As a marketing software suite this perfectly captures in the easiest to understand language what prospects are looking for as their core result.

d

Use the word list you created when interviewing prospects to help write this section. If your product deals with ‘sales funnels’ but the prospects refer to it as a ‘pipeline’ then which word should you use in your headline? (It’s ‘pipeline’)

When writing this sentence keep asking yourself how? be more specific!

For example:

  1. Increase your sales
  2. Increase your sales by 10%
  3. Increase your sales online by more than 9%
Subheadline

Second is your sub headline, this is often a H2 or a two to three sentence paragraph. This should focus on how your product or service enables the outcomes and what makes it unique.

For example:

Crazyegg’s headline and subheadline reads:

Headline: “What’s making your visitors leave?”

Subheadline: “Find out by seeing how users click and scroll through your website”.

crazyegg

Their subheadine describes how the product enables the desired outcome or benefit clearly and uniquely.

Ensure you write specific facts too. For example, “The largest online shoe store” has little meaning and can be considered marketing mumbo jumbo. But “Selection of 56,487+ pairs of shoes” is specific enough to have an impact.

Bullet points list

This list should further communicate the benefits and unique value your product offers. The easiest way to create this list is to take your top three features that are perceived as high value by your prospects and write their outcome or benefits.

For example if you are a marketing software company and offer a landing page creation tool then the benefit of this feature or tool would be lead generation.

Don’t forget to ask yourself how or how you uniquely enable lead generation. Does your tool work out of the box and is therefore fast, does it allow complex customization or integrations?

Turn your features into benefits and position them to what your prospects value.

For example:

Infusionsoft lists three benefits of using it’s sales and marketing software.

  • Get organized
  • Grow sales
  • Save time

infusionsoft

Images or Video

The images or video that support your copywriting should illustrate the product or service further. Shopify makes good use of two images in it’s value proposition to showcase it’s two core products, ecommerce websites and point of sale systems.

The benefit communicated here is that you can sell online and in store using an integrated system.

shopify

Call to Action

When it comes to designing your website for higher conversions you need to pick one main task for the user to complete on each page. Then focus the visual hierarchy of the design on that task to help push your user down your sales funnel.

Kissmetrics does a great job of this by using a contrasting red call to action button surrounded by whitespace in their landing page. Your eye is drawn to the headline which is benefit driven and then the call to action which asks you to ‘log in with google’.

kissmetrics

Proof

As we know people are skeptical when making purchasing decisions and often need proof to push them over the conversion line.

Basecamp uses metrics here to highlight how many people it’s software helped with project management in just one year, this alleviates reservation people have like “Will it work for me”.

basecamp

Other forms of proof you can use are:

  • Customer testimonials or stories
  • Case studies with hard facts or data
Guarantee

Even when you have amazing metrics like Basecamp to show off your product people want and often need guarantees in order to convert. This can be in the form of a free trial or a money back guarantee.

People want the risk of working with you to be removed, remember our motivation equation?

motivation = perceived benefits – perceived costs

By removing risk you reduce the perceived cost of buying from you and increase the motivation to buy!

Visual website optimizer offer a free trial and even highlights below their call to action (which is nicely contrasted!) that you don’t need a credit card to get started.

vwo

Examples differentiators

Now while it is easy to say, “be unique” with all the competition out there it is not that simple.

To help out I’ve put together a list of differentiators you can consider to help you understand what makes your product or service unique.

  • Newness, e.g. ipod, segway
  • Customization, e.g. vans vs converse
  • Lifestyle marketing or status symbol, e.g. Ray bans vs unbranded sunglasses
  • Usability and design aesthetic, e.g. Nest
  • A discounted price
  • Free shipping
  • Fast shipping / Next day shipping
  • Free bonus with a purchase
  • Free setup / installation
  • No long-term contract, cancel any time, e.g. month by month contract
  • License for multiple users vs 1
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Peer or social endorsement, e.g. Celebrity association
  • Performance
  • Convenience, e.g. An online course vs finding and compiling learning materials
How to create positioning ideas

Kevin Keller in an article on Harvard Business Review discussed the use of POPs, PODs and POIs when positioning products. Points of parity, points of difference and points of irrelevance.

If you are more visually minded this framework and venn diagram from Wilder Funnel will help you come up with new ideas for positioning and differentiation.

POPs-PODs-POIs-600x350 (1)

Points of Parity (POPs)

Your POPs are features with important benefits that are shared with your competition. They are like the must have tools in your suite if you were a software company. Your prospects need to know you’ve got these bases covered but won’t see them as important factors in their decision making process.

Points of Difference (PODs)

These are the features that your prospects have told you are high value that your competitors do not offer. This is the gold and what your value proposition should focus on. These are your differentiators and what makes your offer unique.

Points of Irrelevance (POIs) 

These are all the extra features that you offer that your prospects do not value are Points of Irrelevance.

Putting it all together 

By now you should have an understanding of what elements make up your value proposition and what content belongs within each element. 

The next step is to test which of your new value propositions work and increase conversions.

Step 5: Testing

Once you’ve created three strong value propositions it is time to test them. You can do this with split testing using software such as Optimizely or Visual Website Optimizer.

Don’t forget, if you are iterating on an existing value proposition, this should be retained as a control against your new variations in the test.

Make sure to test your new value propositions with new visitors only, this will reduce your exposure to existing customers already further along the buying process.

Step 6: Learning & Improvement

Once you’ve tested and validated your most effective value proposition it is time to start the process all over again.

Remember conversion optimization is not one and done.

You must continue to test and improve the effectiveness of your website as the market landscape and prospects needs change and evolve over time.

This is the only way you can dominate your market.

You can optimize your value proposition too 

…but you must put what you’ve learned here today into action. 

So I’ve put together an actionable bonus area for you to download and get started on improving your value proposition and conversion rates.