We talk a lot about design and UX in relation to providing an effective conversion path. We cover the importance of testing headlines and calls to action to find the most compelling copy. Something equally important to pay attention to is the continuity of your messaging.
Too often, I receive emails, click through and get a disconnect in messaging. I recently got one announcing a big sale on boots that didn’t go to a landing page for boots, but just the site’s homepage. And there was no copy about the sale until I dug around a bit. Most companies can’t depend on geeky testing creatives to be clicking through their emails and looking for the messaging continuity, though.
Keeping your message consistent has benefits that can directly affect your bottom line. It establishes trust, makes the conversion path smoother, keeps the offer top of mind to avoid page distraction and allows for multiple entry points without any loss of value prop.
So, are you keeping the continuity in your copy, or could it use some tweaking? Take a look at these suggestions and try a few tests. You’re guaranteed to see the needle move, and you’ll get some valuable learnings.
How’s Your Hierarchy? If your key offer, or what you want the customer do take action on, is prominently featured at the top of your email, that message needs to also be prominently featured everywhere else—on the landing page and throughout the funnel. Additionally, whatever other channels you’re using; AdWords, banner ads, etc., need to carry that same hierarchy. It promotes the specific offer and gives it a weight that sticks with your customer.
Are You a Smart Segmenter? Having your audience bucketed into segments based on behaviors, preferences and the like is a very powerful advantage. Unfortunately, a lot of segmenting messages drop off after the initial channel; usually the email. If you’re having success with segments, then by all means, keep that message continuity. It may seem like an arduous task to have different landing pages with different messaging for each segment, but it will pay off in conversions. There’s no point in taking the time to address these separate groups if you don’t follow through for the entire conversion path.
Are You Baiting and Switching? One of the fastest ways to create distrust is by drawing a customer in with an offer, and then having that offer disappear. Please do yourself a favor and don’t do this. You’ll see drop-off, you’ll lose credibility and you’ll make people angry, which could result in social media disaster for your company. If you have an offer that’s great, then make that offer what you push the whole way through; from ads to emails to landing pages. Assure the customer that they will be getting what initially drew them into the funnel, and stand by your offer.
Are You Practicing Part-Time Transparency? Something we’ve tested with great success is being open and transparent…even if it’s about something that’s not so great. For instance, if pricing is going up, or services are changing, it’s vital to communicate that to your customers. And not just in one place. Honesty builds trust and credibility, and gives the customer a better feeling about doing business with you. Even if the news you’re sharing isn’t so great for them, they will remember that you were forthright about it. And that will keep them coming back, as well as spreading the word about your trustworthiness.
Are You Putting the Cart Before the Continuity? The shopping cart and the path that follows to final conversion are often neglected when it comes to messaging continuity. This is a great opportunity to reiterate the offer, keep the person jazzed about the purchase, and alleviate any potential friction or anxiety that might be brewing for them.
Let’s say you’re running a subscription offer of “Buy 1 Year Get 1 Year Free.” Just because it’s put into a shopping cart doesn’t mean the transaction will be completed. Experiment with different messaging in the cart and payment path. Reminding them of the value, or keeping it light and conversational, like “Great choice! Take a look at what you’ll be getting” are options for engaging your customer and getting them through the funnel. You can also use a teaser offer, revealing an expansion of the original deal as they move through the path. If you do so, you must deliver on it, though. Empty teasing leads to empty shopping carts.
With the very real issue of attention span and oversaturation online, messaging often gets overlooked as a way to push conversions. But people do pay attention, particularly when something doesn’t remain consistent, or when it does. Go for the latter and create a consistency with your copy that guides your customer through the conversion path effortlessly and without friction. Take a look at your active campaigns…where can you add some messaging continuity?