Surprising Conversion Test Results

During the recording sessions for the final modules of The Total Conversion Code, Terry and I reviewed results from our testing diaries.  I’ll save the juiciest morsels for the product, but there was one surprising  finding which should have an immediate impact on YOUR tests and your conversion …

And this finding rather perplexed me at first, until Terry and I had a chance to talk it through and come up with a reasonable explanation…

You see…

I’ve always been a rather hard core direct response marketer of the mindset that WHAT you say to your prospect is more important than how you say it.  Which is why I’ve always agreed with marketers who say to be very careful with your DESIGN… because attractive designs online have the potential to distract people from the sales conversation…

Essentially, I’ve always screamed from the rooftops –  “CONVERSATION CONVERTS, NOT PICTURES”.

Which is why, for example, the design on this blog is Plain Vanilla boring.  (To avoid distracting people from well-researched–and often carefully crafted–words on the page)

Now… my most ardent fans will note that in recent years I HAVE begun integrating fancy design on my salesletters… but you’ll also recall I did this begrudgingly, all the while chastising Google for forcing this unpleasant course of events  so they could “kiss the big brands’ shiny little behinds”

But today I’m going to tell you something surprisingly different…

The test results we reviewed suggest that rather than distracting from the headline… the graphical design of your page–and in particular the pictures which appear above the fold–may very well be equal in importance to your headline when it comes to SALES conversion!

Here’s what we think is going on…

People are so incredibly overwhelmed with information and choices in today’s modern online environment, that before they’ll even expend the effort necessary to even scan your headline, they take a nano-second visual imprint of your site and ask themselves “does this site FEEL worth exploring?”

It’s almost like you’ve got to visually encapsulate the emotional benefit of your headline in graphical form… to SHOW the prospect how your solution is going to make them feel…BEFORE you can start talking to them.

Searchers now need to be instantly transported to another world…

Where all their problems evaporate…

And where a skilled copywriter used to paint the picture for them in words…

Now you’ve gotta actually paint that picture with—uh–pictures—before your words can do their magic!

Of course, you know I’m going to tell you you’ve gotta choose the RIGHT picture, and know the right emotional mood and tone to convey…

Which makes research more important than ever (especially the post-survey interviews and groups… and any other form of actual person to person communication designed to teach you what your prospect smells like!)

But even without extensive research, you probably have a modest guess about the kind of world you need to paint for your prospect…

And I’m here to tell you…

It’s time to test those pictures.  Above the fold.  And (God forbid!) right next to the headlines.

For what it’s worth,

Dr. Glenn 🙂

PS – We have The Total Conversion Code in stock now and will begin releasing it to the early bird list (at an extra discount) next week.  But you’ve gotta be on the list to get it.

PPS – If you haven’t done anything for the Tsunami victims yet and you’re feeling charitable, there’s a cool little project one of my customers is involved with called “Beats for Change” – get a $5 mp3 of unreleased music and 100% goes to the Red Cross Japanese Earthquake/Tsunami Response.


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