Old School Marketing Lessons From the Greatest Marketer on Earth Part 1

By AharonC

Site Conversion

It means the percentage of website visitors who take action—or convert— on a specific webpage.  What are conversions?  Purchasing something or creating an account with a site; these are two good examples.

So getting people to visit your site and convert during their visit requires major technology involving analytics and complex algorithms designed to take advantages of known patterns of human behavior right?

Not exactly.

Of course, you should use the technology at your disposal to get good analytic data.  That data should be used to note trends, both internal and external.  And it goes without saying that you should use that analysis to strengthen your web site.

But the point is that you use the technology to understand the nature of the site traffic, not necessarily to cause the conversions themselves.  Getting people to answer your calls to action is about convincing them to do it.  All the analytics in the world won’t help unless you can convince your audience that registering, logging in, or buying something is an activity that they want to do.

So it’s really about marketing.

Marketing may use technology to accomplish its aims, but that technology is really a delivery or metering process to distribute or track the effectiveness of your marketing measures.  As an example, consider Mr. P.T. Barnum.  You know, the circus guy: 19th century, impresario circus and sideshow owner, flamboyant conman, successful businessman, BRILLIANT MARKETER.

He certainly had no access to the sort of analytics that web tracking can provide.  And yet he was able to use the technology of his time (newspaper ads) to promote his circuses and other businesses very successfully.

Print may be dead, but the tactics and principles Barnum used are alive and well in modern marketing.  Web marketing is no different.

Learn from Barnum’s success and increase your own.

Here is one of four famous marketing tips of P.T. Barnum:  incorporate it and you will be on the road to higher conversion rates:

1.  Advertise your objective; don’t keep it in the dark.

When a visitor lands on your site, your product, service, and call to action should be clear and up-front

  • Do not scatter your powers – focus your user’s attention on one call to action.  Make sure your home page is clear, free of clutter, and that it directs your users straight to that single call to action.
  • Be Memorable – branding is important!  And good design is required, of course.  But content is KING.  All the branding in the world won’t mean a thing if you don’t have good content to stick in your visitor’s memory.  And it cannot just be a list of products.  Users start by researching.  They go looking for information: 3rd party reviews, product descriptions, user anecdotes, tutorials etc.  If you provide information about the goods or services a visitor researched to get to your site in the first place, you’ll stick in his/her mind.
  • Change your site’s language – analyze your headlines specifically.  Customers respond better to action-oriented language.  “Click here for a free trial,” is better than “For a free trial, click here.”  The first version immediately tells your visitor what you want them to do.  Studies have shown that people tend to be more receptive to clear calls to action.  So make sure your language is clear and immediate.
  • Make sure your user flow is cleanly designed and clear – over at his blog, Peep Laja explains, “that Zen Windows increased their conversion rate from 0.75% to 2.95% by redesigning the website flow so that it was easier for the user to find what they were looking for.”
  • Brevity –  you’re advertising, not writing a book.   By all means mention your product or service, but do it succinctly.  Use bullet points.  They scan more quickly and users skim more than they read.  You want to deliver advertising content quickly and easily.

Barnum practically invented modern advertising.  When  promoting the American Museum in New York City, Barnum would fly huge banners from the building announcing new exhibitions.

At the same time, he would hire horse-drawn carriages to drive throughout Manhattan with promotional signs advertising his museum.

Barnum’s techniques are still  being used to generate business interest in the physical and digital worlds of today.  Is your web site adequately advertising your objectives?  If your site conversion rate isn’t what it ought to be, what can you do to better advertise your site and products?

Marketing matters.  It matters a lot.

 

 

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Conversion Rate Optimization

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