Hi everyone, I’d like to welcome you all.
Thank you so much for joining us today. Hopefully you can all take a few seconds to get settled
and we will go ahead and get started. But of course I do want to welcome you all to
our exclusive webinar with Tim Ash today, Surprising Techniques for Increasing Conversions
with Neuromarketing. We are super pumped to have you guys and especially to have Tim with
us today. The webinar should be just about one hour
today and we’re also going to have a dedicated Q&A session with Tim at the end of the webinar,
so please hold your questions until Tim finishes his presentation and then I’ll open for
a Q&A session with Tim following that. We’re also going to make the presentation that Tim
is using available for you guys to download, so just sit tight, enjoy this wonderful presentation
and then we’ll have a great Q&A session and you’ll have the option to download this
presentation deck. As usual this webinar is being recorded and
we will make sure to send it to you guys, hopefully over the next week, so just hold
tight for that as well. Without further delay I want to thank you
guys again and hand it off to Tim. Well thank you so much, good morning everyone,
good afternoon, good evening depending on where in the world you are. I am very excited
to (00:01:18 distortion) and hopefully do it in an entertaining way so that you remember
it. I have 90 slides in my deck; people have told me I can’t get through that in 45-minutes.
You’re about to find out that they’re wrong. Buckle your seatbelt we’re going
to go really fast, and as Abigail said, we’re definitely going to make the slides and the
recording available in case you can’t take notes as fast I talk, which is a very likely
thing. Before we get started I just want to tell
you a little bit about our perspective and then I will dive right into content.
I run an agency called Site Tuners, we’re based in San Diego, although we work with
companies in all industries and all sizes around the world, and we’re a strategic
conversion optimization agency. We work of course in landing page testing, on redesigning
websites for a high converting experience, and a lot of our focus is actually enabling
companies to do conversion rate optimization themselves. We have ongoing conversion management
to help you with your technology, with your culture, knowledge transfer, mentoring and
so on. That’s my perspective. I also work as I
mentioned with a lot of different companies all over the world.
Enough of that, let’s just jump into what we’re going to talk about today. To set
the stage I just want to say that what we pay attention to usually in our job as online
marketers is the wrong stuff. What I mean by the wrong stuff is we pay attention to
the next need. We pay attention to the technology, we pay attention to Twitter this and Instagram
that, and SnapChat, retargeting pixels, and you could do bid management by day parting
in Google AdWords. We’re paying attention to all of the knobs and the whistles and the
things we can control, but what we’re not paying attention, in my experience we are
kind of oblivious to, are the basics of how the brain works. The brain hasn’t really
evolved too much in the last 50,000 years so I want to help you today to understand
how the brain works, just from a basic marketing standpoint. This isn’t going to be some
biology class, and then in Part-2 I want to tell you how to apply that to your day to
day job and give you several strategies for how you can make more money as a marketer
by applying these techniques. Alright, so let’s get rolling.
Many of you have probably heard that we have two brains, that’s the common view, the
left brain and the right brain, one is creative, one is logical. In fact it’s not at all
that simple, they’re tied together by this massive super highway of interconnections
and work largely in tandem. But the biggest problem literally with this picture is there’s
a bias in our perspective. We’re looking at the head from the top down and that happens
to be where we have our neocortex, the big part of the brain.
If you look inside the brain and explode it—by the way I’m not advocating you exploding
any real brains, let’s just get that out of the way.
This is what the picture looks like, in a way we have three parts to our brain. We have
taken apart the Cerebral Cortex, the two hemispheres, we’ve looked inside and in the middle of
the brain is what we call the Limbic System, our emotional centers. This is where sensory
information is processed, this is where memories are formed, this is where emotions happen
and those are tied together. We tend to remember things that have emotional saliency, they’re
things that are like “wow, that was awful or that was great”. We don’t remember
things that we’re used to. We don’t remember how we tied our shoes this morning; we do
remember probably our first kiss, probably not our hundredth kiss. Because by then we’ve
gotten habituated to that as well, so strong emotions help us form memories. And below
all of that is the brain stem and this is the oldest part of our brain. Brains have
been around for over a billion years, this is the part that we share in common with every
living sea slug and lizard on the planet and that part of the brain is there to just keep
you alive. It’s to keep the lights on. I’m guessing most of you are not super advanced
Zen Buddhist monk meditators so you probably weren’t aware of the fact that you were
sleeping last night. You probably weren’t aware that you have a who is making your heartbeat,
who is making you take breaths? That’s this reptilian part of the brain, it’s definitely
below our conscious awareness and it’s responsible for a lot of our inter viable level stuff.
Let’s take a look at each of these together, the overlays of the brain. Again think of
them as this evolutionary collage, there’s this old part, another part was added to it,
another part was added to it, but we tend to be as I said earlier, very, very bias towards
this top part of the brain. We are different than other animals because we have the reasoning
part, this is Mr. Spock from Star Trek as many of you may recognize. He says things
like “Captain, we have 98.7% probability of dying in this encounter with the Klingons”.
Thank you Mr. Spock, that’s the reasoning part of the brain and we tend to think of
that of our highest achievement. This is the thing that helps us invent microwave ovens
and put people on the moon and build space stations, and do all of these amazing things.
Reasoning is the highest achievement of humans. Well, yes and no, we’ll talk about that
in a minute. Let’s take a look at this intermediate brain,
the one that’s down there in the middle. That’s the Mammalian brain and this part’s
been around and we share it with every shrew and every cow and every loaf and every other
kind of primate on the planet as well. This is the part that feels, the difference for
us mammals was this idea of groups. That’s how we survive, we’re not out for ourselves,
we do better against predators in groups. In order to function in this kind of world
we need to understand how other people in our group feel or other animals in our group,
so this is the feeling part of the brain. This is the part that stores memories. Basically
this is the part that remembers, I really like this let’s do more of that or I really
hate this let’s avoid this in the future. That’s how the middle part of the brain
works, and finally as I mentioned there’s this underlying part, the Reptilian brain,
it just reacts. It’s there to keep the lights on, to keep us alive and I’ll talk about
this in a minute. But it doesn’t change its behavior, it’s something that is there
just at whatever cost keep us alive, that’s it, that’s its job. Usually by avoiding
danger and getting food, and we’ll talk about that in more detail as well.
Instead of focusing on the Philosophical brain or the Reasoning brain I’m going to give
you a few insights into how these two lower parts of the brain, the Limbic System and
the brain stem work and their characteristics. When I say lower parts of the brain well let’s
switch context. What I want you to do is to think about this as your web visitors. I’m
going to describe now your web visitors to you. Are you ready? I bet this is not how
you thought about it when you were designing your websites and your landing pages.
The first characteristic is they’re lazy. Your web visitors in those lower parts of
the brain don’t like to do work, they like things to be easy and to go along with that,
your web visitors like simple choices. If I asked you now which one is the big dog,
I don’t think you’d have any problem figuring it out. Those are actually two dogs to scale,
those are actually size relevant to each other. And you go Tim, that’s kind of obvious,
the big one is the one on the right. I would say yes it’s obvious and you should take
advantage of that in your marketing. I’m going to show you how to do that in a little
bit. Another characteristic of a web visitor is
that we’re extremely impatient. We don’t have time for it. When you sit down in front
of a web browser, especially, you have access to an integral world of information. Why would
you spend any time paying attention to something that is taking too long or is frustrating
in any way. This is a major source of gain you can get in online marketing is addressing
this impatience issue. Finally a lot of the things we do folks are
automatic. We like to think we have free will, and we’re wrong. If I said to you, keep
your finger on that burning hot stove for an extra minute you’d probably say no, you’re
just going to pull your finger away any time you touch a hot stove. A lot of our reactions
are automatic, that’s what got us this far. We don’t need to think about a lot of things
like that. Things happen pre-consciously and subconsciously and I’ll talk about that
a little bit more later, as well. We need to make sure that we take advantage of automatic
biases that people have, they’re not going to change. There are certain things that people
will never learn. I know a lot of us for example join a gym every January because we have a
New Year’s Resolution to get in better shape. Well guess what, by February those gyms are
empty once again and we’ll still paying our membership probably, or if we cancel next
January rolls around we join the gym again. It doesn’t mean that we can change habits.
How many of you have tried to change a deeply entrenched habit? A lot of things are automatic
and it’s really, really hard. It’s not enough to have force of will to counteract
some of that basic programming. If we focus specifically on the Reptilian
brain for a minute we’ll notice that it’s motivated by what I call the Four F’s. Here
is your lizard brain it wants to survive, so how’s it going to survive? Well there
are four important strategies that it uses. 1. Fight. I mean that literally, every time
you meet a person, within a half second your lizard brain has decided how you would attack
them if you had to, to survive. I’m not kidding, you meet a total stranger and you
figure out what would I do to incapacitate or kill them. It’s your brain’s Plan-B,
it always has to be there because you don’t know, especially with strangers or wild animals,
what you’d have to do to survive, so when you meet another living thing you go how could
I kill that thing if I had to. I know that sounds weird and you don’t think about it,
you’re not even aware of it, I promise you, but you do have a Plan-B.
2. There’s always another alternative which is Flight, or running away. If you can run
faster than your enemy you don’t have to expend that energy you have, the potential
of being damaged or even dying in a fight. So a lot of times the right answer is to run
away. 3. Of course as you go through every day you
need something else, you need energy so Feeding is something that we’re acutely aware of,
where is my next meal coming from. We didn’t evolve for the land of Big Mac’s and super
sized French fries, we weren’t sure where our next meal was coming from and so it’s
very important that we think about that. Remember we are hunter gatherers, we are small tribes,
everything we have including our children, our weapons, anything else, clothes we’re
carrying on backs so we couldn’t carry or store a lot of food, we weren’t in harbors
that could have containers and stock extra food away. Feeding was very much a constant
something that was in our thoughts and was triggered by food insecurity and needing to
get energy to keep alive and keep growing. 4. Finally the fourth F, Fornication. We have
to find a mate and we have to find a good mate hopefully to continue our genes. There’s
a book by Dawkins called The Selfish Gene, it came out I think in the 70s or 80s, but
it very much changed my way of thinking about organisms and animals and people. We tend
to think of someone as here’s a discrete person or here’s an animal when in fact
people change very much, they appear, they disappear, they die, they’re all very different
seemingly on the surface but one of the amazing things is at a genetic level we don’t change
very much, 99% of our genes or 98% of genes are shared with pigmy chimps and chimpanzees,
our closest biological cousins, even down to other mammals we’re sharing 90% of genes.
The genes are relatively stable and it’s the genes’ job to reproduce itself and get
as many copies out there into the world as it can.
If you think about, people are just containers to enable reproduction. We are always looking,
it’s like where is the next potential mate, what do they look like? What is the likelihood
of my gene surviving into the next generation if I mate with them. These are all things
we’re constantly consumed with. To kind of sum it up if you had to think about
these lower parts of the brain, the Reptilian brain and the Mammalian brain, this is the
biggest fear that these brains have—change. Change ahead, they don’t like change.
I’m going to give you, this is for the Mr. Spock part of your mind, how the brain works.
This is a logical diagram Mr. Spock developed for you about how the brain works and here’s
how it works – ready? The first thing we ask is, is this dangerous,
whatever it is. If the answer is yes then we deal with it, that’s the brain stem.
The automatic response, the adrenaline kicking in, running away, eating it whatever, mating
with it—actually that’s not dangerous, in most cases it isn’t dangerous but for
the Fight or Flight stuff, we have to deal with it now. Let’s turbo-charge the brain,
let’s get these chemicals flowing, let’s get ourselves out of that situation.
Alright let’s say it’s not dangerous, and the next question we ask is, is it novel
or new or interesting, have I seen it before? Your first kiss, many of you probably still
remember, your hundredth kiss not so much. Memories are only formed in the Mammalian
part of the brain in the presence of strong sensory inputs and strong emotional reactions.
In other words, think about it, if you know how to walk on grass or how to go down a rocky
slope those are things you’ve seen before but if for the first time you encounter crossing
a raging river and you have to get to the other side, wow this is a new situation, I’d
better pay attention, I better store this in my memory as a unique and novel experience.
Stuff that I’ve been there and done that a thousand times I don’t need to remember,
it’s already kind of engrained in me. I remembered it the first time I saw it, so
it’s very important that it is new and interesting, if it’s not guess what the default position
is—ignore it. The light just turned green, I’m still on auto-pilot, I’m driving my
car, I’m thinking about my plans for dinner after work today, I don’t need to really
pay attention why did that light signal change from red to green, what does it all mean?!
It’s not like that, so we ignore things that are not new to us.
Finally if we think about it, only then if it’s not dangerous and if it is new then
we’re going to consciously explore it, and what I mean by consciously, we’re kicking
it up to the new part of the brain, the Cerebral Cortex, those two big hemispheres, the left
and the right that we talked about earlier and we’re going to consciously figure out
what this means and we have some extra machinery for doing that. We can reason about this,
we can delay gratification, we can lay plans, we can figure out the social alliances, all
of this stuff is going to consciously be kicked around and this is the first place where language
gets introduced, and consciousness. What do I mean by that?
Most of the information that comes into our brain is handled by those lower two parts,
the pre-conscious part of the brain. It’s really important to understand that we’re
on auto-pilot and the Cerebral Cortex gets activated only 5% of the time, the others,
remember I showed you that picture of the bouncer, they’re keeping things away from
the Cerebral Cortex, it’s just being handled, it’s being handled routinely. It’s being
handled subconsciously, pre-consciously, it’s not even something that is accessible to us
in our language. Somebody once said that man is a rationalizing
animal not a rational animal. I think that’s true, anything that’s accessible to our
conscious mind we can talk about, we can reason about, we can pretend to understand our motivations,
but you know what that’s all pretty much bullshit. It’s total bullshit, we do not
know or have access to our unconscious motivations yet those are the parts of the brain that
react instantly and the conscious parts get activated a second or two later after we have
already made our decisions. Lastly you are probably familiar with the
traditional sales funnels, it’s been around over 100 years, it’s this notion that we
all have to go through these steps in order to act. I’m going to give you the new sales
funnel – there it is, the brain stem is the most important part. That handles the
automatic stuff then we take in the Limbic System or the emotional part of the brain
and the memory part of the brain, and only then if it makes both of those two filters
does it get to be examined by the Cerebral Cortex.
Folks, this is the most important slide in my presentation, I want you to think about
this, this is the sales funnel and guess what you’ve been talking to the wrong part of
the brain. Most of us are making very reasonable online marketing campaigns and carefully thinking
through the logic and the features and everything we’re going to talk about, and we’re talking
to Mr. Spock. Here’s the thing—Mr. Spock is asleep 95%
of the time. Alright, let’s jump in and now I’m going
to tell you how you make money off of this stuff. I’m going to give you some tactical
advice on strategies that work to take advantage of these brain biases, and I’ll summarize
them at the end. Here they are again, I’m going to go through
them very quickly and I’ll talk about them at the end again.
The first one I want to talk about is limiting choice, remember your brain likes very, very
simple choices, and it doesn’t like a lot of choice. Here’s an example for one of
our clients while working on this landing page or selecting a package with Dish which
is kind of the satellite based TV service. Here it is, pick a package. Are you ready?
There’s five packages available, quick pick one, pick one, pick one—do you see how hard
that is. There are five choices, there’s so much information and our brain can’t
handle it. You can’t quickly make that choice. Here’s another example from eCommerce, they
would say you’re choosing carpets, I’m showing the larger part at the top of the
page here on the right, the whole page as you can see scrolls down. Quick, pick your
carpet, by the way this is Page-1 of 96, 96 more pages to go—pick one, hurry up.
It’s very hard for us to do that, but if I gave you a number of simple choices. A couple
of years ago I was buying a new sofa sleeper, and if you came into my store as a salesperson
I would probably ask you some simple questions. Let’s get started, simple choice – do
you like modern furniture or do you like more traditional furniture.
I could easily answer that, it’s pretty easy to answer that. Alright then I would
go on and ask you the next question which is, do you want it in leather or do you want
it to be made out of fabric? Again, most of us, all of you right now, probably had a strong
reaction one way or the other. I don’t want leather it would stick to my skin in the summertime
or I have cats and there’s no way I would get a fabric couch, they’d tear that thing
up in a week. So we have for whatever reasons emotional reactions and we know which one
we want, but do you notice how simple these choices are.
If I said okay it’s a sofa sleeper what configuration do you want, you would imagine
it in your space, in your house, in that room and you know the kind you want. Do you want
it to look like a sofa, a chaise lounge, a daybed or a futon. You could easily answer
that question of which one you prefer makes sense for you.
By the way I ended up buying this IKEA one on the lower right and it’s served us very
well. It’s kind of cool, a very clever design. Alright, let’s talk about what you can do
with this as another tactic here, in other words how to implement it. We can only keep
four items in non-rehearsed short-term memory that’s why phone numbers have strings of
digits that are grouped into four or fewer digits. If you have lots of choice actually
the best thing to do is get rid of it. Guide people with wizards, ask them a few questions,
and you’re probably saying “Tim, my advanced search on my website is just like a wizard,
all you have to do is figure out this complex interface, your pull downs and they’ll have
their answer.” Guess what if you look at your web analytics,
you will see that people don’t actually use your onsite search, only 2 to 3% of your
people will use your advanced search in filtering. They just don’t use it, so make it a simple
wizard, an overlay where you’re asking simple questions, each one having no more than two
to four choices. This goes for catalogs, too. How many of you have a catalog with a large
number of items and you have a huge number of top level categories? Well over 15 top
level categories, and under each of those is an equal number of sub-categories.
My advice to you is stop doing that, go narrow and deep. It’s better to have more clicks
on narrow choices than it is to kind of go very bushy and wide in your information architecture.
Now we talked about limiting choice but another key is to make choice obvious. Let me give
you a perfect example, let’s say you’re buying emotional pens for your company that
you’re going to give away and have your company logo on them. We’re going to go
to a pen eCommerce website. Quick, pick a pen. Yeah go ahead, pick one, what are you
basing it on? The ones here in the upper right those are one pen, is this a four pack of
pens down here? Well I’m not exactly sure, is that just four different colors. Maybe
I should pick it because it’s made in the USA and it has a little American flag.
Do you see how these choices are completely non-obvious and pretty useless. How do I make
the choice, all the pictures look the same, they are tiny tubular objects, they are too
small for me to see the details, I would have to waste a lot of time clicking through to
see bigger pictures of each one. But if you ask me instead, Tim what kind of
pens do you like? Just by seeing the head of the pen, you see how much more information
there is. Oh, it’s got a rubber grip, oh it’s not round it’s easier to grip, or
look it’s a fountain pen. I could tell you which ones I like, fine point, fountain pen,
regular, all of that stuff, how thick it is in the hand, how easy it is to hold. That’s
giving me good information. So it’s not just about limiting the amount of choice it’s
also making the decision obvious, those are very different kinds of pens in terms of what
I’m looking for. My advice to you is you have to make visual
choices clear, if you’re dealing with physical objects emphasize and distort the important
distinctions to make them obvious, remove similar pictures because thumbnails all look
the same are not helping me at all. Let’s continue on, as I mentioned our brains
have evolved and especially the Mammalian brain for processing information from our
senses and combining that with memories of similar things we’ve seen in the past. The
strongest sense we have is visual, more than half of your brain is designed for processing
visual information. I’m not going to go into the detail, I promised I wouldn’t,
bore you with the biology but a lot of your brain is there just to process visual information.
We experience life as this unfolding 3D movie. And if you do remember your biology you probably
remember back in school you heard about rods and cones. Two types of receptors in the back
of your eye, one are designed to pick out color and fine detail, the other ones are
there to detect motion so you think you see a clear high resolution world, well that’s
not how your vision actually works. This is how it actually works, it’s blurry
and grey scale and you don’t see a lot of detail and then your brain moves this expensive
hardware in a fine focus color detection stuff, which is only 2% of your visual field around
and it looks for objects of interest in your visual scene.
Here’s something you probably didn’t suspect, 98% of your visual reality is made up. Your
brain doesn’t actually see those, these involuntary eye movements are very rapid,
Saccades they are called, only see 2% of the visual field and your brain kind of fills
in the rest. You know what it’s close it to get you around and it works. You think
your actually seeing this, high resolution, everything perfect but if you actually think
about where you’re looking or trying to look through the tube made by your hands right
now at the scene, that’s how your brain actually works and you think you’re seeing
it but you’re not. You look for things that are interesting and
they can help you construct visual reality. If that’s the case and if everything is
tuned to this visual, let’s see how that works. Here’s one of the things, pay attention
because I’m going to do a quick quiz after this. I’m going to show you a page and I
want you to think about what does this company sell. It’s an eCommerce, so what does this
company sell, Best Buy? You’re probably thinking televisions – oh wait, the banner
changed, what do they sell? Well I don’t know all kinds of vacuum cleaners and cameras.
Nope, a second later it changes again, what do they sell? Oh, you’re probably thinking
they sell appliances. Nope wait, it changed again—what do they really sell? Computers
and Xbox game systems. Nope, what do they sell? Oh, it’s the shame of not having a
Smartphone, that’s what they’re selling. Okay, but let me ask you a simple question.
Do you see that question mark? Let me ask you a question, what was behind that question
mark in the last picture? I bet 99% of you don’t know, probably 100%
of you don’t know and let me go back because guess what it was the Olympus Touch Camera
in the lower right of the picture here, and guess what that camera was there on every
one of the scenes that proceeded it. When I hit the previous button it was there as
well, and it was there on the previous one, and it was there on the previous one and it
was there on the very first frame I showed you. It was there all along and you were blind
to it, why? Because emotions overrode everything, emotion is really important—I’ll come
back to that. We also pay attention to human faces, hey
quick take a look at this picture. Okay now when I go back to my question mark, what did
you see on that page? I bet saw a big headed guy, a bald guy looking sideways, I bet you
saw the gray haired guy smiling, I bet you saw a distinguished gray haired guy on the
right hand side of that picture. You were looking at human faces, we have another part
of the brain that’s there just designed to recognize human faces and it works very
differently than our general object recognition, it works twice as fast also and because faces
are a resource of information about the environment we’ll pay extra attention to it, but did
any of you read the text? No. Did any of you know what this company does? Not without a
lot of really conscious control because where you looked on the page was kind of anchored
on the face. It doesn’t even have to be faces, we use
my face for example at the top of our screen as a backup call to action as you can see
here to specifically talk about contact us or put us to work, but inside the body of
the page you can see we have bright orange button, the rest of page is blind, we have
a sports car right above it and you see how that sports car picture anchors your attention.
By the way if you want labels to get rid another great tip is put them right below a picture.
That button is in a very specific spot, it’s right below the picture and you know what
I just doubled, tripled or quadrupled the amount of attention and response in terms
of the number of people that are going to read that because it’s anchored by the image.
You have to be very careful with images as well, as I mentioned video emotion is also
something that’s very, very powerful. There’s various ways to represent that.
On this page you actually see what I call the One Two punch, we have a static video
which is at the top of the page, the play video and we have one of these walk around
video spokespeople that comes off the side of the screen says a few things and then leaves.
That automatic attention triggering that’s going to happen by the combination of the
motion and the motion being of a person is very, very powerful. I’m not saying you
should go and get a video spokesperson for your page tomorrow, I’m saying if you want
to grab someone’s attention that will do it.
How you represent video whether it’s an overlay, whether it’s embedded in your page,
there’s lots of different ways to do that, you should think about that as well because
representing video, static video on a page is often a tricky proposition.
For example this is Camtasia, they have software for editing videos online, or screen videos
and things like that and that little gray button that you’re seeing there is how you
activate the video on this page. It doesn’t look like much of a video at all, does it,
a gray button, that’s now how we’re used to seeing videos. So if you’re messing with
video, it’s not if it’s a video or not it’s how you represent it and whether it
auto plays, the length of it, there’s a lot of factors that could be very, very powerful
so you have to fine tune the presentation of it to make sure it has maximum replay.
Basically to summarize about our visual system, we have a visual hierarchy. At the bottom
is text, people don’t read text that much and it’s only going to be remembered by
the Mr. Spock conscious part of the brain, that’s the only part that can read or use
language in any fashion. Images are not the firecracker, they’re the hand grenade, they’re
much more powerful so unless you have a giant text headline which in effect becomes an image
because it’s so bold and gigantic, images get paid attention to a lot more than text,
and in the presence of images text probably won’t get read at least not at first.
Then finally motion, motion is what I call the nuclear option, folks. In the presence
of motion even static images won’t get noticed, and forget about text in the presence of motion.
I know a lot of you have banner sliders and frankly I don’t care if they fade or dissolve,
how many frames you have on your page, just the fact that you have any type of motion,
one of those social media tickers that have “here’s the latest tweet about our company”,
well that’s wonderful and it’s distracting from everything else going on, on that page
once you put that widget in there. So really, really be careful about this stuff.
There’s lots of ways to manipulate visual attention, here’s an example of several
tactics. Which of these four plans do you think they want you to use? I’ll come back
to this but it’s the first in the list, it’s the brightest, it’s the one with
the special offer callout, it’s the one with the biggest price. It’s the one with
the larger box, there’s lots and lots of ways to manipulate our visual attention. I’ll
come back to that towards the end as well. The thing you need to remember about visual
bias is you can manipulate them by screen position, visual space background, anchoring
images, and as I said motion, the nuclear option.
One of my favorite things and this is coming up on our last two topics is to talk about
context. Context and order allows you to create experiences where you can bias what I pay
attention to. This can be very, very powerful. Let me show this, this is hosting plans from
Yahoo Hosting one of our clients for small business and you have three plans here. You
start on the left, it’s the $2.50 plan, $4.00 and $6.00 and you see them in that order
and the rest we read from left to right so you’re seeing that $2.50 price first, that’s
the first one we anchor on. By the time you get to the $6.00 plan you’re thinking wow,
that’s really expensive, it’s more than twice as expensive as the basic plan. It had
better really, really be good. What you’re doing is you are in fact pushing a rock uphill
and yet most of us, logically, show offers in price increasing order but that’s not
how we buy. For example if I were to buy a suit and I
walk into a men’s clothing store, they’d say Mr. Ash, what are you about a 42 Regular?
Here try on this suit, oh that looks very good on you. Would you like a shirt, what
about this silk tie, or what about this belt. Once I bought a thousand dollar suit, a fifty
dollar simple tie doesn’t seem like such a rip off, but if you did get me to buy a
fifty dollar tie would you really expect to say, would you like a thousand dollar suit
with that? That’s not going to go over very well.
Here’s an example, a wizards offer, this is software we created so you could upload
an image or a screen shot of a page and see where visual attention goes on the page. We
have our three plans here, Gold, Silver, Bronze. Now check out the numbers, let’s pay attention
to this, Mr. Spock, $197, $97, $27. By the time you get down to that Bronze plan and
if you see them in this order you’re probably going to go that’s a great deal, the Bronze
is only $27 a month – compared to what? Compared to $197 – but Mr. Spock if we do
a deeper analysis we’ll go wait, under the Gold plan you get 200 of these visual key
maps for about $200 so it’s about a dollar apiece, for the Silver plan they’re about
two dollars apiece and for the Bronze plan I’m paying almost three dollars apiece for
the key maps. The Bronze plan is a really, really bad deal says Mr. Spock.
Mr. Spock is asleep and you created context in my irrational brain by anchoring me on
the $200 price point after which a $27 price point doesn’t seem nearly as bad. There’s
other ways to manipulate context, even the choices you give in the offer. This is a very
famous case study done on the Economist website. This is a fantastic magazine, by the way if
you have to just read one magazine for the rest of your life to know about what’s going
on in the world, that’s the one. Subscribe to it and read it religiously, you can’t
get through every issue but it’s so good I want to read pretty much every article.
Everything from world news to breaking events, science and technology, really fantastic.
After that commercial for the Economist, and no I don’t make any money off of that.
They had three offers, they had their online edition, the print edition and the combined
edition. Do you notice anything really weird about the pricing here? Look at the two on
the right, if you have to make a decision right now about which of these offers to take,
remember I said we like simple choice. You’re probably thinking, Tim, you’d have to be
an idiot why doesn’t everybody choose this one right here because I get the online and
the print edition and it’s only costing me the same amount, why wouldn’t I do that?
Let’s see what happened when people actually did when they ran this test and when they
were able to try this out on people. Indeed, great news, nobody’s an idiot. When given
a simple people go yeah, I’ll choose the combined edition for the same price—nobody
chose the print only. Do you see that? You’re probably thinking now, yeah but that’s kind
of a simple choice. Why don’t we simplify the choice even more, why don’t we make
this situation. Now, we’re talking about print and online versus online only, let’s
get rid of that stupid print only for the same price idea.
Guess what happened when they tried this—it actually shifted the offer. Did you notice
that in the first part here when we were talking about – we were considering only the two
choices on the right because that was the obvious choice, we didn’t really want to
consider the non-obvious choice of just the online versus online and print only because
we didn’t know how to evaluate the relative value that was there, they were different.
Given the same price point we can see, one’s got two icons, one’s got one icon. The with
two is obviously a better deal, but when we go to this context it changes, now we’re
thinking about which is the better value and a lot of other unrelated things. Look what
happened, nothing good folks. The average revenue per visitor actually dropped 30%.
A lot of times you don’t want to make it that obvious.
Here’s some ways to manipulate multiple offers. I showed you earlier that Dish example,
we had five packages. So here’s an original offer set, what can we do? We can minimize
the choice but still have them in high to low order. We can minimize the choice but
flip them to have them in high to low order. We can shift which of the three we’re showing,
we can shift this towards the more expensive offers, for example. We’re not giving you
a rational choice we’re biasing it by showing you, in the context of these three, the $39
one is the cheap one. If we’re in the context of these earlier three the $39 one is the
medium compromise option. Do you see how just changing the context, I don’t know what
cable TV packages should be worth or what their value is, but I do know how to compare
them next to things that are right around them.
What you need to know about context and framing is context really matters. We anchor on the
first thing we see, so throw out large irrational numbers in the lobby of your experience. You
don’t expect those high options necessarily to sell, they’re decoys. Many times they’re
there just to get you to frame the choice you really want them to make. What you’ll
see is the sales and a reasonable compromise in that context will increase, I promise you.
One final plan I want to talk about and then we’ll get to the Q&A. Prices are pain, remember
when I told you about your brain being essentially an evolutionary collage, well guess what?
Prices map to the same part of the brain as physical pain. I know that sounds weird but
here’s the logic if you will again, Mr. Spock speaking. The logic is we’re using
the same brain hardware and we have finite resources, again hunter gatherer running around.
If I give you my weapon I don’t have a weapon, if I give you my food I don’t have the food.
We’re talking about finite resources so loss is felt. Money is this interchangeable
commodity that lets us control resource. With money I can buy food, I can buy weapons, I
can buy a house, I can make sure that my family’s protected, all of those things. Money is a
resource and if we think of it as finite, losing money or spending money is experienced
as a loss of resources or a loss and that’s the same parts of the brain that react to
any other kind of loss, including pain that we feel.
Here’s an example of a menu from an expensive restaurant. There’s a couple things you’ll
notice here, but one of the things you won’t notice or the thing you’ll notice is they
have more expensive stuff at the top, basically, sides and smaller priced stuff at the bottom,
but they also don’t have the dollar signs in front of the menu. It’s clear in the
context when you’re doing that something represents a price, drop the price symbol
because the symbol itself is actually representing pain in my mind.
Let me ask you quick, which of these prices is bigger—quick, quick, quick! It’s the
one on the left, well no Mr. Spock says. They’re both exactly the same. But you know what we
have these shortcuts, the brain likes simple choices. It knows what is big and what small
is. The number on the left is bigger, I mean physically bigger than the one on the right.
So if you take out the common, if you take out the period, if you take out the extra
decimal points that aren’t doing any good anyway, you’ll look like it’s a smaller
number. We can do the same kind of icing with physical
position. Which is the higher price? Well they’re both the same but the one on the
right is literally the higher price, and by putting it in a box and making it at the top
of the box versus the bottom of the box, your brain will perceive it as being bigger and
consequently more expensive, and consequently since it’s a price more painful.
You can do the same thing by tucking the number on the left to the corner, even making it
smaller physically. Again it seems like a smaller price. It is physically a smaller
less significant price, but it’s the same dollar amount.
If you think you’re immune to this manipulation, you’re not. We all react to this stuff in
study after study after study, you’re not immune because Mr. Spock did not charge.
How about this, which is the biggest price? Well guess what, they’re all really the
same. Would you care if you saw something for $2.00 versus $1.99, but our brain looks
at the leading digit, says that the part I’m going to pay attention to, and we can even
hide and make smaller the non-significant digits as you see on the right there by tucking
them into the upper right corner. A special case of this is you can actually
have your price to the point where it falls over a digit boundary. If you can decrease
the number of digits that can be very, very, very powerful. If you have control over it
like that, make a smaller digit. Then this is for comparison sake, if you’re
trying to get me to compare something that’s really expensive. What you want to do is break
it down into the smallest possible units, so less than a dollar a day, this is how Starbuck’s
sells their overpriced coffee. Less than pennies per caffeine delivery capsule, but you’re
paying five bucks for a cup of coffee. But then of course it says in the context “When
you prepay and you’re in for $300”. It’s just simple math, less than a dollar day,
so yes less than a dollar a day is $300 in less than a dollar a day. This is if you have
something that’s very high priced and you’re trying to make it seem lower.
What about the other side of that? What if you actually have something that’s a much
better deal than your competitor, then you actually want to grommet together, you want
to combine it and say over the lifetime value of this car you would over paid by $5,000
if you bought a Rolls Royce. Why overpay, you make the pain seem bigger, so it’s a
small difference on a monthly basis or even an annual basis. You try to roll up that difference
and say the lifetime cost difference is going to be huge.
Alright, let’s put it all together, I told you some stuff about pricing. What if we were
going to combine all of these. Let’s go back to our Dish example and what we might
do there. This is the choices, we are in the middle of doing a test right now, here’s
the two packages, the original page and the new page that we came up with and we applied
all these strategies that I told you. We limited the offer set, we went high to low order,
we skewed it towards the middle packages, we gave them a simple choice, the two packages
on the left are the same price but one you obviously get more and we visually biased
in all kinds of ways by making the box bigger, making the best value and all those, making
the box blue, all of those. And the effect in orders for signups and installing Dish
was tremendous, a very large impact. You can see that these little tiny irrational
things really, really matter and that’s what I’m going to leave you with, so stop
talking to Mr. Spock. If you’ve liked what you heard today I just
want to invite you to check on our conversion conference series. We’ve been doing this
since 2010, we’ve had 26 shows worldwide. Coming up very quickly here we have our London
and Berlin shows, and our big U.S. show is May in Las Vegas at the Rio, all suites, hotel,
casino. We’re just putting up our agenda, but I promise you it’s going to be an amazing
show. I will personally give you your money back if you don’t like it. Right now we
have the pre-agenda rate going for another week or few days, only $797 with two full
days, four tracks, check it out. ConversionConference.com. If you’re interested in talking to us, reach
out, we will be glad if you qualify to review your conversion funnel for you and take a
look at some of these obvious conversion issues. This is a case sensitive URL, so Bit.ly/ReviewMyFunnel.
I wanted to go as quickly as I can, I promised I’d get through 90 slides in about 45-minutes,
I have done that. I am very accessible so feel free to reach out to me in any one of
these ways, and I think we have time for Q&A, so if you have questions. I know a lot of
you already have, please write them in the chat window and I will try to get as many
of them as I can. Indeed guys, thank you so much Tim that was
incredible. So you guys, put your questions to me in the chat panel. I think we have a
couple there already, and so let’s get started. Speaker:
Alright, well let’s take a look at some of these.
We’re looking at the price bundles, is it better to put the bundles by themselves on
a page or to click through for details? By the way we have my presentation deck available
which also follow with an email to get you a link to that as well.
The question is should you show offers on summary cards like that or should have people
click through to a more detailed link? Let’s say the more investment there or the more
complicated your offer, your choice, the more you need a standalone product detail page
for each of your offers. It’s okay to have a summary and then your action isn’t to
buy it, it’s to actually to get more details and you click through to a detail page.
Another question, for the pricing, does 99 cents and $1.99 work for goods that are branded
with more upscale, handmade or unique stuff? I don’t think it matters; again what matters
is the price pain point. We are looking at the most significant digits in front of the
decimal point, so it absolutely works in all situations. If it’s a Rolex watch and it’s
$9,999 versus $10,000 that break point is very, very important as well. It works for
all prices. I’ve heard this; Michael is asking whether
$19.95 versus $19.97 makes a difference? Again the jury on that is out, I think it’s not
the end point, it’s not the last two digits that make a difference, it could be .95, .97,
.99, it’s the significant digits in front of the decimal point that make the difference.
It’s the fact that it is 19 something and not 20 something, because the 20 is twice
as big as the 19, I know that sounds strange but the 20, the most significant digit is
the 2 as compared to a significant digit that’s a 1. Again you can logically try to back off
from that not be swayed by it but we can’t help it.
Another question is about selling seminars, if they’re not physical products how can
you position a catalog or what images can help? I think it’s important if you have
seminars, or videos, or eBooks or other kinds of intangible products that you come up with
the best possible graphic that represents it. I showed you on our site for example for
that strategic conversion jump start service, basically a blueprint for a high converting
website. We had the racecar, that’s a high end, no end dollar racecar. What we are trying
to do with that image is evoke the quality of that service compared to our kind of more
routine, review our website quickly and give us some tips. We actually have jumper cables
to jumpstart your car battery on that because that’s do something quick, hard hitting.
That’s not the same as a finely tuned racecar, so you have to come up with images that will
evoke the emotional response whether it’s quality, high performance, authority, excitement,
whatever your brand stands for. There’s a great book by Phil Barden called Decoded,
it has a large bright orange cover that talks a lot about brand and position. Your images
should support your brand and what you want it to stand for in your visitors’ minds.
Alright a couple more questions—what if it’s not a fixed price but a quote, how
do you optimize that? When you’re trying to do that, the quote is just to get them
to act, it’s not about the price, it’s the value of the quote, so what is the value
of that. Maybe it’s speed, we can get back to you with a quote within five minutes or
one business day, or we can compare quotes from several different vendors and find the
best price for you, or maybe it’s a written quote with a price guarantee. Basically you
have to make the value proposition itself more appealing; it’s not about price at
all you’re absolutely right about that. Corrine is asking, how do you get people to
take advantage for a product trial that’s already free? It’s creating the value proposition,
is it scarcity, is it the financial benefit of doing this trial, is it how easy it is
to get up and started. A lot of trial stuff is free, create your account and you’re
getting the benefit of whatever it is right away, so it could be the ease of setup of
the trial, it could be the length of the trial. I know a lot of you are stingy with your trials,
you make it a one week trial or a one day trial, unlimited but only for a few hours.
Don’t do that, if you really have something that costs nothing to deliver, it’s an online
service or software like that, let me have a long trial. Try this and get a lot of value
out of it and get to habituate and to get into the habit of using it every day and then
the pain of it going away will be the big problem. So don’t be stingy on your trials,
make them longer than you think you should. All you’re doing is delaying the cash flow
but you’re actually increasing the take rate or someone’s tendency to act on the
offer. A couple more questions here, favorite eCommerce
site. That’s a tough one, there’s no such thing as a favorite site, because one of the
keys to have a good web experience is not the web, the part on a website is just the
tip of the iceberg, the rest is below the water line, most of the experience is happening
in ways you can’t tell. The best sites frankly are personalized, and guess what? That means
the experience you see is not the same way I see, because they’re using all of the
information about my past visits, what I looked at, where I am at the moment by geo-targeting
you, whether I bought before, what I bought, what I looked at, what I put in my cart without
buying. How much time I spent on their site, how deeply I would go into the funnel from
the homepage to the category to the product details to the cart, they’re looking at
all of those things to determine what experience I should have next. It’s not okay to have
the best “on average” experience on the surface of your website, the best sites are
the ones that do everything I said with personalization, with follow up emails, with leap scoring,
with marketing automation, all of that stuff is part of the overall experience in getting
someone to buy at an eCommerce site. Promotional offers, joining frequent buyer
clubs, and notification of early sales, all of those things are what matter, so yes you
should have good usability on your basic eCommerce site but don’t forget the important stuff.
Alright let’s talk about the service company, a company that sells a subscription to software.
What do you do to apply this to services? Services start with the same needs as products
but they’re intangible. There’s a fantastic book by Beckwith, get it, this is for Kindle.
For anybody that sells services go get this book, it’s by Harry Beckwith and it’s
called Selling the Invisible. One of the things he talks about is making things as tangible
as possible, so taking this intangible service, why you go to a lawyer’s office and they
offices in the building, they have those overstuffed leather chairs. They are trying to say the
quality of our work is so solid we’ve been here for a hundred years and we’ll be here
for a hundred more. It’s anything you can do in terms of your website design, in terms
of the quality of your downloaded materials, how you answer the phone, all of those touch
points, your physical presence, pictures of your offices or anything like that. It has
to be professional high end and solid, so make the intangible tangible and make it visible
and make it concrete. Alright I think we only have time for one
more question, I’m going to answer Monique’s. How do you present two or three different
products that are all on sale? You have to decide which one you want to bias, so again
ordering is an important thing, which one you put first, which one you put best value
or which one you say only three of these left and then they’re going to run out. All of
those time pressure biasing visual saliency attention things, you have to decide which
of those on sale items you want to push essentially. That’s up to you that depends on your margins
of the product cost and so on. I think we’ve used up all of our time, again
we will be following up with you with a recording and we’ll send you a copy of the deck. I
want to thank you very much for tuning in today and throw it back over to Abby. Awesome, thank you so much Tim. I think we’re
going to all agree there are a ton of takeaways for that. Again, we will be sending all of
you a link to the recording and also a link to the presentation in case you guys didn’t
get it downloaded in time. I hope you all have a great rest of your day, morning, evening,
wherever we are, I think we’re all super thankful for Tim and have a lot to take away
for today. Again, thank you guys so much, enjoy the rest
of your day and you’ll be hearing from us soon.