The 5 Best Marketing Principles From 2012
Key Marketing Principles From Experiments In 2012 And How To Apply Them To Your Own Business
Your business will live or die by your click-through and conversion rates.
Sometimes it seems that there is no rhyme or reason to which of your web pages succeed and which ones fail.
And marketing your page seems to be a crossroads of psychology, philosophy, technology and blind luck.
But, by applying scientific principles you can take a large amount of the guesswork out of this process.
Several marketing experiments were conducted in 2012, 5 of these experiments had profound effects and have shed light on key marketing principles that you can use to improve the quality of your web pages.
Apply these principles and see a dramatic increase in clicks and conversions.
Principle 1: Prospects Can Be Motivated By The Negative As Well As The Positive
Experiments run on the performance of short ads such as Google Adwords found something surprising, prospects were more likely to convert from ads copy that focused on the negative effects rather than the positive benefits.
Three ads were used:
- Control ad with no call to action
- An ad which made a procedure sound quick and easy, benefit focused
- An ad which made a procedure sound more painful, negative effect focused
The ad focusing on the painful procedure had less clickthrough, but a higher conversion rate.
The success presumably stems from the fact that a higher number of people who clicked on the ad were those that really needed the procedure and could relate personally to the pain, rather than just those who suffered from the symptoms that the procedure could correct.
Try this one out. By implementing this principle on a campaign where it is appropriate, you will accomplish the following:
- Save money by eliminating clicks by those “just curious”
- Increase your ad CTR and Relevance factor in the network which will lower your CPC (cost per click)
- Increase conversion rates. If you are running CPA ads this can be used to negotiate higher payouts with your CPA manager
Here is how to use this finding to improve your business:
- Use A Few Word Changes - Changing a few words can influence perception significantly. Focus on pain or negative words which are specific to the problem that the customer wishes to have solved.
- Don’t Say Too Much – Although limited in length, Adwords and tweets can often say too much. Limit the ad to the most pertinent information.
- Keep It Specific - An ad that is specific to who you want to sell to is more useful than an ad that people click out of curiosity.
Principle 2: Color Of The Page Can Have A Colossal Impact On The Message
There are five basic design elements to consider for any landing page:
Of the 5, color is the most powerful and least understood of these elements.
Color is often misused and is capable of an incredible decrease in the effectiveness of the page.
Here are some ways to use color to your advantage in your page:
- Go Lighter – It was found that a color with a light background had a higher conversion than that with a dark background. Beware of visually seductive dark backgrounds.
- Pick The Right Foundation – Match the color of your page to the product you are selling; greens and blues for water-based products for example. This puts an association in the customer’s imagination that impacts them at an implicit or subconscious level. Follow the original product colors.
- Optimize The Thought Sequence – The choice of colors should follow the thought sequence from discovery to purchase. Be careful of too many colors or clashing colors as they may cause dissonance and hinder the customer’s progress.
In other words, the colors on your landing page should be in tune with those of the product. If you are collecting an email address, the email opt-in form and thank you page should match as well.
If you are CPA marketing, match your landing page to the color of the final (products) landing page.
Principle 3: The Quickest Way To Maximum Lift Is Changing Page Categories
Sometimes we find that a page is simply not performing despite being optimized to the Nth degree. This may be because the page is simply the wrong category for the product. A page may not need to be a long-form sales letter to make a sale.
Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting a category for your page:
- Find The Right Page – Often we see the need to fix a low performing page rather than starting a new one. This can be a waste of both time and energy. Focus on finding the category that frames the product the best.
- Match The Product To The Message – The message and the product should be costars in the production. A call to action must have as much weight on the page as the benefits of the product does.
- Eliminate Unneeded Complexity – A page that requires only three clicks to get to the sale in some cases can be more effective than a comprehensive page that invites investigation of multiple pages and categories. If the page does not guide to the sale that section may not be necessary.
If you follow these steps, you can streamline your message and you will find that those who visit your page will follow a straight line to the sale every time. Do not waste your time trying to improve the wrong page for the right product.
Principle 4: Higher Conversions Not Necessarily Related To The Magnitude Of The Change
Higher rates of conversion can be achieved with very small changes, some of which are barely noticeable.
To find these “pivot points” where the minimum change achieves maximum results, you have to follow a few basic concepts:
- See Through The Eyes Of The Customer – Since the customer does not possess your pre-existing knowledge of the product, you may need to disregard a few things that you know in order to perceive the product as they do. Try to imagine how the product looks as if you are seeing it for the first time.
- Company Logic vs Customer Logic – Make certain that the logic that you use to see the product is consistent with the consumer mindset. Appealing to values that you want them to have is not the same as appealing to those that they actually hold.
- Maximize Results – If a page is performing, it is often best to ride its success and focus maximum attention on improving its sales with small changes rather than wasting energy totally retooling on a low performing page, which may never perform.
Principle #5: A Few Words Can Be The Difference Between Adequacy And Excellence
A change of just a few words can impact a significant change in results.
Changing a call to action button from “Visit our site” to “Click & Join Us” is an example of such a subtle modification. Visiting sounds like it takes more effort than clicking.
Here are some ways to take advantage of this principle:
- Clarity Trumps Persuasion – A specific call to action can often be more effective than persuasive attempts to compel an action.
- Focus On Desired Results - What you want from the customer and what the customer wants from you can often intersect at the click of a button.
- Avoid Pathfinding – No customer wants to feel like a rat in a maze looking for cheese. Eliminating a few words that make them feel that they have to navigate a complex or drawn out process may have a big impact.
Marketing a web page is an ongoing process.
Apply and Test these principles by making small changes against a control version of your page. Sometimes it’s a simple as eliminating certain words from a page or making subtle changes to a button.
Other times you may need to change the entire color scheme.
Don’t give up on your business or your product. Take these principles to heart and you’l be sure to see both your conversions and business grow.
Did you try any wild experiments last year that had either a positive or negative effect on your conversions?