Everything I learnt about conversion rate optimisation I learnt from Viagra

A tongue in cheek post for Friday. Will pointed out this article from Wired talking about Placebos getting more effective and I was tickled by the striking similarities between the conclusions of the study and the best practice advice for conversion rate optimisation. The whole article is fascinating but check out these top tips from the Wired article and the corresponding CRO advice:

colour

Design changes

Design changes and page layout can make a difference! Changing the colour and shape of your call to action can often lead to dramatic effects. Notice, however, that what works for one pill doesn't work as well for another pill. It's the same with websites - don't just copy what works for your competitor, make sure you test for yourself. It's worth noting as well the different psychological needs here and how they respond to the different colours - maybe you can recognise the need in your users and use the appropriate colour to match. I love the idea of making your call to action a little ray of sunshine.

When talking about websites, it's important to remember that you have lots more options than you do when designing pills - you can play with the design of the whole site not just the call to action. Try adding more images, or moving from a two-column layout to a single-column layout. You really have a multitude of options. Test, test, test!

regular

Reinforce your message

Reinforce and repeat your message. This is something we just recently had success with in a recent CRO test, by ensuring that the same message was carried through from the product page to the contact page header and form header (rather than using generic "contact us" page and title headers) we saw a significant uplift in conversion rate. Remember that web users have an attention span of an ADHD goldfish. Tell them over and over and over again why they should be buying your product. If you have a multi-step checkout process, tell them on every page why they're buying your stuff! More is better. This can also be applied to the conversion funnel. If you're struggling to get people to make a purchase, start by getting them in the top of the funnel with a softer call to action. Is that pill too big to swallow? Try signing up for our newsletter, it's free!

trust-metrics

Trust Metrics FTW

Conversion rate optimisation 101. Trust matters. This is the physical equivalent of slapping a hackersafe logo on your site or a thawte security seal. We're all paranoid and nervous creatures - we need constant reassurance that the site they're buying from is reputable, safe and secure. Branding is a great way of doing this. If you have a strong brand then use it! Make sure that users recognise that they're buying from the brand they already know and love. If you don't have a strong brand yourself, get an endorsement from an industry governing body or a well recognised player in your industry. Alongside that, add testimonials! If they could fit testimonials on pills I'm sure they'd do wonders for the placebo effect since social-proof factors like this are so strong in persuading people to buy.

marketing

Give your products a Niagara of sexy

Clever marketing can really help sell your product. The key here is to understand the psychology of your users, why are they buying what they're buying? What need does it fill? The classic objection/counter-objection method here works very well. By understanding the biggest concerns of your users you can brand and market your products with messages which counter those objections. Even go so far as to name your products cleverly so that the products inherently overcome some of the common objections like they've done with the little blue pill here. Once again, give your products a Niagara of sexy!

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