Conversion Optimization Failure? Are You Sure? Here’s a Boomerang Analogy
In boomerang competitions, there are multiple events per competition, each with its own rules and with boomerangs tailored to the parameters of the event. One event is called fast catch, in which a thrower needs to throw and catch a boomerang five times in rapid succession, with the person with the lowest completion time dubbed the winner. Another is trick catch, in which catches must be made with the feet, behind the back, and more.
In fast catch, what matters in the boomerang itself is its speed, so it’s carved with that in mind. When competing in trick catch, though, it’s far better if the boomerang hovers a moment to allow the thrower to position himself or herself to make the appropriate catch. The engineering differences are subtle, but very real—and very important.
Once, when ten-time world boomerang champion Chet Snouffer made and was disappointed in his new trick catch boomerangs, it took him a while to realize that these boomerangs had a valuable purpose. More specifically, he told us the following: “I was so focused on the fact that these boomerangs weren’t working for trick catch that I couldn’t see them for what they really were: ideal fast catch boomerangs! Because that wasn’t my original goal, I needed time to look at the big picture, to gain perspective. I then went on to set the United States record for the fast catch event.”
Preconceived notions had stood in his way.
The Danger of Preconceived Notions
Preconceived ideas have always been a stumbling block to sales, even before the internet. In Selling Luxury: Connect with Affluent Customers, Create Unique Experiences Through Impeccable Service, and Close the Sale, the author tells a story about a young girl looking through a showcase at a boutique, while a “very plain looking couple” is browsing and an “elderly gentleman with no visible luxury brand signs” walks into the store.
A salesperson who falls back on preconceived ideas, based on looks, may decide that the girl was too young to buy, the couple too ordinary, and the man not in the boutique’s league, wealth-wise. Well, guess what? The young girl just “inherited a fortune, the couple chose to dress casually that day (but could certainly afford the store’s prices), and the older man was the CEO of one of China’s largest companies.”
Here’s another common scenario with in-person sales. The salesperson has an opportunity to talk with a prospect, but as the conversation progresses and questions are asked, the prospect seems to lose interest. Assuming that the salesperson has a basic understanding of how to sell, the problem very well may be that he or she miscalculated which features and benefits would appeal to this particular customer; what type of language to use; and/or the pacing in which information is presented. In other words, the salesperson likely had a preconceived notion about what would work with this prospect, but was wrong.
The same problems occur when you’re trying to convert a site visitor into a paying customer online, don’t they? In digital marketing, you aren’t literally speaking directly to a customer, of course. But it’s still crucial that you discard preconceived ideas as you create personas, with invaluable surveys and interviews of real people used to create each persona—and then to write copy using persona-appropriate language, focusing on the features and benefits of products and/or services. Pacing plays a role both in how you present copy on a specific page and how you create a satisfying buyer’s journey for each persona, one that provides the type of information needed, when it’s needed.
Target Market Audit
Before you begin the conversion rate optimization process, consider doing an audit to ensure that you are offering the right products and services to the right audience. Make sure that the language you use and the information you offer dovetails with the desired demographics. In areas where sales are smaller than you’d like, is it possible that you’re doing the equivalent of offering a trick catch boomerang to the fast catch boomerang audience?
DAGMAR Marketing: Conversion Optimization Professionals
If you know that your existing conversion path isn’t producing the results you need, but you aren’t sure what to do next, contact us online or call (904) 270-9778. We excel in providing a fresh look and new ideas, and in helping you to better understand your customers’ needs and purchasing behaviors.
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