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I’d Test That: How DIRECTV Can Get More Conversions While Competing

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This week, we’re taking a look at DIRECTV.com, specifically their competitive side.

The advantage of satellite TV service is that there’s limited competition. So if I’m looking for a satellite provider, I want to know the difference between DTV and DISH. The former makes a pretty bold competitive claim on their home page:

Right away, we saw some opportunities for testing.

1. Remove the clutter. There’s a lot going on here, on an already busy page. The Pandora testimonial isn’t a deal-closer—most people want satellite for all the TV channels. The content doesn’t allow for a very clear eye path, and it’s not immediately obvious that you can click on this banner.

2. Make the messaging compelling. When you click on this banner, you’re taken to the competitor page. It lists 7 great reasons why DTV is better than DISH. We’d like to see a test with that message only on this banner, like “7 reasons DIRECTV is better than DISH.”

3. Make it easy to click. The CTA button is lost under a lot of copy, and the message itself isn’t quick and actionable. Moving the button to the right, making it larger and changing the message to something like CHECK IT OUT would be interesting tests.

So, now that your attention has been grabbed, and you’ve hit that competitor page, you’re faced with a long, long scrolling list of reasons DTV beats DISH. And they are all fantastic reasons, like #1 Customer Satisfaction, 99% Worry-free Signal Reliability, etc. I certainly don’t mind scrolling down and becoming more and more confident about DTV as I read. So what’s missing?

When you’re selling hard, make buying easy.

DTV goes through so much effort to show why they are better than the competition—and they do it well. But the conversion point could benefit from some testing. Here’s what we’d do:

1. Let the conversion be a hero. There’s a giant headline, giant graphics next to it, and then a teeny tiny little CTA in the conversion module. Toning down the size of the graphics and amping up the size of the CTA would be a smart test.

2. Don’t force the sale. For someone who is in shopping mode, the “Get DIRECTV” button might be too much commitment. What about testing a “build your DIRECTV” kind of message, instead? Allowing customers to further investigate the packages and choose the financial commitment they wish to make would be smart.

3. Eliminate the superfluous. Current customers probably won’t be looking at this page. So having an equal size Sign In button right below the conversion point is just a distraction. There’s a Sign In link at the top of the page, and that’s where it should stay.

4. Watch out for decision paralysis. The customer is already trying to process all the information on this page. Then the conversion module has several different promotional messages around it, like locking in two years of savings and getting a free HD DVR. These all depend on the package you get, so this messaging should be tested to see what really drives conversions. Too many offers can cause decision paralysis, which can cause drop-off. (See Suzi Tripp’s great post on this.)

5. Conversions should have follow-through. We’ve seen this time and time again: a long, scrolling page of information geared to sell, and no way to buy it at the bottom. This is a simple test of putting a duplicate conversion module down at the bottom, too. That way once the customer has read everything, they don’t have to scroll back up to convert. Once the top module has been optimized, this is the next logical test.

One last thing we’d like to mention that’s worth testing for DIRECTV…search. When people are searching for the right satellite TV provider, they will most likely use keywords that bring up competitive results. Take a look at the simple search we did and its results:

DIRECTV is at the top with their paid ad. But the actual competitive page that so awesomely shows why they’re better? It’s the fifth result down. This would be a great opportunity for DTV to move that page further up, if not through paid ads, then by optimizing that page better for search.

But wait…when we click on that paid ad, we should at least get the competitive page, right? Nope. Instead, we’re taken to a version of the homepage, where there is not a mention about the competition. Here again is a chance for DTV to test landing pages based on search for a much richer user experience.

Competitive comparison is a powerful selling tool, and DIRECTV does a great job of showing their advantages over DISH. With some simple testing, they could optimize their pages to work even harder, providing more conversions. Do you have a competitive edge? Are you following through by offering a compelling conversion point?

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