Tag Archives: product

Make Your Cold Prospecting Emails Feel a Little Less Cold

Email marketing is often praised as one of the most effective marketing channels, and for good reason: you’re reaching out to people who have already expressed interest in what you’re doing.

But sometimes, especially in the realm of B2B, there’s a case for reaching out cold…

cold-prospecting-email-call-me-maybe-650
I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my number, so call me maybe?

I’m talking about cold prospecting emails: reaching out to someone you don’t have a direct relationship with and starting a conversation.

Now, this isn’t about blasting them with info about your business. It’s about providing immediate value and serving up an irresistible next step.

It’s worth noting that there’s a fine line between cold prospecting and spam, so please read up on laws for your country. But when done right, reaching out cold can be an easy way to pull in highly qualified prospects — especially when you’re A/B testing to perfect your strategy.

And that’s exactly what this post is about.

Here are five recommendations for improving your cold prospecting email copy and subject lines — pulled from real-life testing data.

Let’s dig in.

1. Get up close and personalize

If you don’t have a relationship with the person you’re reaching out to, you can at least demonstrate that you’ve done your research.

Mentioning the prospect’s name and demonstrating familiarity with their business can help in easing that initial friction… in some cases.

Have a look at this A/B test we ran for a social media SaaS tool:

Subject A: If you chat with only one social media firm this year, make it COMPANY

Subject B: PROSPECT + COMPANY: let’s work together

Subject B was the winner with a 38% lift in open rates (statistically significant) and more clicks. I found this somewhat surprising result because A, unlike B, mentions the subject matter — showing that the company has done their research.

However, I’ve found the combination of mentioning the prospect and client names in conjunction tends to beat many worthy subject line opponents.

Pro tip: Some of the most effective personalization comes before you send your first email — by getting your targeting right. Here are some key targeting elements to you get started:

  • Geography
  • Title
  • Industry and company size
  • Age, gender and other demographic criteria

Filtering by these factors will help you create and test hyper-targeted messages that prospects will be much more likely to find relatable.

The bottom line here? You can’t send relevant messages before knowing who your prospect is.

Do your research and target your emails — the more personal, the better. (For extra credit, check out great Quora thread on why segmentation, targeting and positioning are important in your marketing efforts.)

Want more help writing emails that convert?

Check out our Smart Guide to Email Marketing Conversion for more pointers.
By submitting your email you’ll receive more Unbounce conversion marketing content, like ebooks and webinars.

2. Prove your pudding!

There’s a big difference between saying you improved something and demonstrating it.

When introducing your company to a prospect, get into the details of how you’ve helped other others. In particular, provide before-and-after statistics, usage numbers and any other data that demonstrate the impact your involvement had.

Take these two approaches to email body copy, for example, which we wrote for social media image recognition tool Ditto Labs:

ditto-labs-email-a-b-test

The version on the left was the control that focused on concisely summarizing who uses the product and core benefits. Although well written and concise, it lacked any proof through hard numbers.

Our hypothesis was to sacrifice brevity for working in meaningful statistics and specifics around how the technology works.

The result?

The version on the right won… by a lot. It had a 61% higher CTR and 119% higher conversion to scheduled meetings.

What do I think contributed to the success of the challenger? A few things.

  • The value proposition is super clear and encapsulated in five words: “Visual search for social media.”
  • The second paragraph jumps right into what differentiates this technology from competitors.
  • The third paragraph gets super specific about where Ditto gets it data.
  • The fourth paragraph drives home the technology’s value through hard numbers and data.

But most importantly, the second to last paragraph makes the next step crystal clear, which brings us to…

3. Sell the next step with a clear call to action

Forget about closing the deal in one email.

Focus instead on asking for a next meeting and getting in-depth on how it will be of huge benefit for your client, regardless of any future next steps.

Getting back to the Ditto body copy A/B test, take a look at the call to action from either variation:

Are you open to learning more?

In the losing version, the CTA feels abrupt and vague:

ditto-email-example-1

In the winning body copy, the same call to action is much more contextualized and therefore more actionable:

ditto-labs-email-excerpt-2

We make it clear that the way in which you’ll learn more is via a 20-minute call. There’s no guesswork — it’s ”Yes” or “No” to a 20-minute call.

Here are some other questions and calls to action you can borrow to be even more direct in your cold email prospecting call to action:

  • “What are a few times that work best for you over the next few days for a call?”
  • “Please reply to this email with whether you’re willing to talk further.”
  • “When works for you tomorrow to jump on a quick call?”

The wording should fit your writing style and sales process, but be sure your call to action achieves three things:

  1. Give context and specifics around the next step
  2. Make the next step low pressure
  3. Convey that the next step will be of value to your prospects, regardless of whether or not they become customers

At the end of the day, you’re starting a conversation.

So be real ask to continue the conversation in a meaningful way.

4. Get the subject line right

The subject line sets the tone for your future relationship with your prospect — which should carry from the email to the landing page to the conversion and beyond.

If this sounds like a tall order, it’s because it is. And there’s no “hack” or “cheat” to get it right.

Ultimately, you need to test subject lines that feel and read true to you and your value proposition.

I’m about to show you a couple of subject line tests. The takeaways here are meant to serve as inspiration more than firm guidelines. Just because you see A/B testing data here or elsewhere does not mean it will apply to your business.

With that in mind, let’s dig in.

Subject line test 1 for an anonymous company:

Subject A: You’ve got to see the new product name

Subject B: If you demo one type tool, make it product name

Subject C: Take 20 minutes to demo product name. It’s worth it.

Winner? Subject C with a 44% higher CTR than A and 21% higher CTA than B.

Notice this is the only subject line of the three that talks about the length (20 minutes) of the demo. Also notice that it starts with a verb: “Take.” This subject line was probably the most successful because it’s an upfront and specific call to action to take a 20-minute demo.

Subject line test 2 for another anonymous company:

Subject A: Save prospect significant time & money.

Subject B: This is the *one* type tool you must demo in year

Subject C: Type software that’s 10% faster and actually pleasant to use.

Winner? Subject line B with 62% higher open rate than C and 18% higher than A.

What’s my two cents? “10% faster” isn’t that exciting in email copy, and “significant time & money” is pretty vague. Subject B skips the unimpressive stats and vague promises for a direct and upfront call to action.

So what’s the point of sharing all this testing data?

To show that the words you use in prospecting email really matter. What message is going to encourage prospects to click and take the leap to set up a conversation with a stranger?

Choose your words carefully or get really wild — only a test will reveal what resonates best with prospects.

5. Keep the momentum going

You’ve tested for the most clickable subject line, and you’ve crafted a compelling CTA.

So what happens when prospects decide that they want to take you up on your “next step”?

Will you let them navigate to your website themselves and scramble for your contact information? Well, you could… but that’s likely to kill the momentum you worked hard to build.

Instead, link to a dedicated landing page that continues the conversation you started in your subject line and email body copy. Reassure prospects that they’re in the right place and that they’re closer to receiving the value you promised them.

And if really want to get that landing page experience right, check out Unbounce’s Landing Page Conversion Course.

Cold prospecting emails don’t have to feel cold

Cold prospecting emails shouldn’t feel cold.

It’s the beginning of the relationship with your future prospects, so talk to them as you would your favorite client. And test all the things to be sure you’re doin’ it right.

Originally posted here:  

Make Your Cold Prospecting Emails Feel a Little Less Cold

WTF Are Hedonic Shoppers and Why Should You Care?

abandoned shopping cart
It’s a lonely life for an abandoned shopping cart. Photo by Chris Glass.

67.89% of online shopping carts are abandoned, according to the Baymard Institute.

Across the web, we see toolmakers capitalizing on this number, and promoting the idea that poorly optimized carts are costing retailers two-thirds of their sales.

But is it really true?

Yes, many ecommerce companies are letting sales slip through the cracks because their checkout process isn’t optimized.

But retailers are not losing 67% of sales simply because their shopping carts suck.

Simply put, not every fish that nibbles your line is “one that got away.”

The fish that got away
Yeah, yeah, it was the biggest fish you’d ever seen, right?

And not every user that ditches your shopping cart does so because your checkout CTA is the wrong colour.


Etailers aren’t losing 67% of sales simply because their shopping carts suck. #CRO
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Shopping cart abandonment rates are inflated by a group called hedonic shoppers, and they fill carts for much different reasons than normal utilitarian shoppers.

The bad news is you won’t capture sales from most hedonic shoppers by A/B testing your checkout process.

But by understanding hedonic motivations, you can build a relationship with these shoppers and eventually convert them to valuable customers. It just takes a bit of effort and creativity.

In this post, we’ll discuss:

  1. The differences between hedonic and utilitarian shoppers
  2. Why hedonic shoppers inflate cart abandonment rates
  3. Strategies and tools for converting hedonic shoppers

So let’s tuck in.

Hedonic vs. utilitarian shopping

According to research, people have two primary shopping motivations: hedonic and utilitarian.

Utilitarian vs. Hedonic

Utilitarian shopping is all about actual need and function. We need clothes, we need food, we need dental floss — and utilitarian motives drive these needs. (My dentist recently advised me to “only floss the ones you want to keep.” Good one, dentist).

Our utilitarian motives for shopping include: meeting our basic needs, finding greater convenience, seeking variety, seeking greater quality of merchandise and searching for better prices. For these shoppers, purchasing is a problem-solving activity that follows a series of logical steps.

Alternatively, hedonic shopping is driven by our desire for fun, entertainment and satisfaction. It’s derived from the perceived fun or playfulness of shopping experiences.

We don’t do it because we need to. We do it because we’re huge jerks.

Hedonic shopping stirs emotional arousal within us — both physiological and psychological. The individual is deeply involved in the satisfaction of shopping, and the higher the level of involvement, the greater the level of hedonism experienced by the shopper.


Hedonic shopping is driven by desire for fun & entertainment; we do it because we’re jerks.
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Kind of makes us sound like a pack of lunatics, doesn’t it? There’s actually a more innocent explanation.

In their 2003 paper, “Hedonic shopping motivations”, Mark Arnold and Kristy Reynolds argue that there are six categories of hedonic shopping:

  1. Adventure shopping for stimulation and excitement
  2. Gratification shopping to enhance mood
  3. Social shopping to experience pleasure from interacting with others
  4. Idea shopping to stay current with trends
  5. Role shopping to gain pleasure from buying for others
  6. Value shopping to gain pleasure from finding deals (though not necessarily acting on them)
  7. Hedonic shopping predates ecommerce, but it’s amplified on the web.

Online, hedonic shoppers are free to fulfill their motives without the inconvenience, distance barriers, embarrassment and time constraints of traditional brick-and-mortar shopping.

Hedonic shopping and virtual cart abandonment

The web is a playground of escapism for hedonic shoppers. And within this playground, websites provide the stimuli they’re looking for.


The web is a playground of escapism for hedonic shoppers, where websites provide the stimuli #CRO
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This stimulation means the hedonically motivated shopper doesn’t need to complete the transaction. The shopping experience itself was the outcome they desired. They don’t need to buy to get satisfaction; they need only browse.


Hedonic shoppers need not buy to get satisfaction; they need only browse #CRO #CartAbandonment
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Because of this, the effects of hedonic shopping manifest themselves most noticeably in shopping cart abandonment.

Despite placing items in shopping carts, the majority of online shoppers are quick to abandon carts without a moment’s hesitation.

Conventional wisdom tells us cart abandonment results from breakdowns in the purchasing stage. But hedonic shopping theory counters that many carts are abandoned because the consumer is satisfied — they’ve had their fun.

To dig deeper, let’s look at the most common reasons customers give for abandoning shopping carts, as per a 2013 Shopify survey.

Cart abandonment stats

Looks like the usual suspects, (i.e., a list of utilitarian motivations). But wait…

Cart abandonment stats

Oh you were just browsing were you, you depraved little hedonists!?

Yes, we know your game. Abandoning your cart as part of some twisted charade, laughing as site owners wrack their brains for answers.

But perhaps there’s more to it. Here’s another interesting survey of shopping cart abandoners:

Cart abandonment stats

Taking a closer look, we can identify three main groups of shopping cart abandoners: process abandoners, utilitarian abandoners and hedonic abandoners.

Cart abandonment stats

In both surveys, we see a hedonic motive appear second on the list, with various utilitarian motives near the top. Further down, we see that process issues are cited less frequently. Since hedonic abandoners seem to leave carts regardless of price and functionality, what can site owners do to capture value from them? Aren’t they bound to leave no matter what?

The answer is yes and no. Yes, hedonic shoppers are likely to abandon on their first visit. But no, that doesn’t mean they can’t be converted to customers.

Although 70–95% of first-time visitors to a site abandon the page without taking your desired action — a number that includes shopping cart abandoners — that doesn’t mean they’ve given up on the idea.

And if you can fulfill their motivations, you will convert them. Hedonic shoppers can be some of your most valuable customers, so it’s worth putting in the effort to engage them. Like any potential sales lead, there’s value to capture.

It just takes a little longer.

Extending your engagement with hedonic shoppers

So the question now is obvious: How do we engage hedonic shoppers beyond that initial joyride?

To extend the engagement — and build a mutually beneficial relationship — you must:

  1. Get an email address or other means of contact
  2. Remarket to hedonic cart abandoners through triggered emails
  3. Promise hedonic shoppers more of the rich, engaging experiences they desire within your emails

Let’s tackle email first.

No matter what type of hedonic shopper frequents your website (and bloats your shopping cart abandonment rate), you must be able to stay in contact in order to build the relationship.

Email is key. According to MarketingLand, 77% of us prefer to receive our marketing messages by email, and second place isn’t even close.

But marketers are behind the eight-ball. BizReport states that 80% of online retailers fail to send triggered emails after shopping carts are abandoned.


80% of online retailers fail to send triggered emails after cart abandonment #CRO
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These marketers are missing out on a great opportunity. A survey by ExactTarget showed that 78% of marketers experienced “good to excellent success” with cart abandonment emails.

Post-abandonment emails provide fertile ground for continuing the story you began telling hedonic shoppers on your website, and carrying that momentum toward establishing a customer relationship.

Take every opportunity you can to build your email list. Promise shoppers more of what they want — engaging shopping environments, new ideas, great value — by signing up for regular updates.

The second part of the equation is engagement.

Engagement is defined as the quality of user experience as a measurement of Focused Attention, Perceived Usability, Endurability, Novelty, Aesthetics, and Felt Involvement.

Engagement chart

These 6 factors are critical to engaging all shoppers. The difference is how these vehicles work. Novelty, for example, means something different to different shoppers.

To be successful, marketers must address these motivations on their landing pages. But when dealing with hedonic shoppers, it’s not quite enough — you’re going to need to get a bit more creative and appeal to these motivations throughout the entire remarketing process.

When an adventure shopper receives your triggered follow-up email, for example, you must convey an exciting shopping experience to come.

With novelty shoppers, you should promise a certain measure of exclusivity, something not everyone has access to already.

So accounting for the six hedonic shopping motives, here are some ideas you can employ to engage these shoppers and extend the relationship.

1. Adventure shoppers

Key engagement driver: Aesthetics

Adventure shoppers seek stimulation and excitement. If adventure shoppers are frequenting your website, you’re likely offering a fun shopping experience.

To extend the interaction, you could:

  • Test teasing the user with more excitement to come in your follow-up emails
  • Create landing pages and emails with rich graphics and imagery
  • Test using rich multimedia experiences for users with videos, infographics and podcasts
Adventure time
GoPro may have the best adventure shopping experience I’ve ever seen.

With the promise of stimulating their need for adventure, adventure shoppers may be enticed to return to your site to continue the process, rather than finding enjoyment elsewhere.

2. Gratification shoppers

Key engagement driver: Aesthetics, felt involvement

Hedonic shoppers who shop for gratification purposes are often doing so to improve mood. For the online retailer, the goal here is to make the shopper feel better.

  • Make the shopper feel comfortable, don’t push the sell too hard
  • Encourage and support the shopper throughout the decision-making process
  • Test using encouraging and complimentary language (for example, “5 new candle scents you deserve”)
Gratification
Suddenly craving a cinnamon bun… Image Source.

After a gratification shopper abandons your cart, focus on building the relationship. Pressure tactics aren’t comforting or reassuring.

3. Social shoppers

Key engagement driver: Felt involvement

This type of hedonic shopper loves to bring others along for the ride. In a traditional brick-and-mortar scenario, they would shop with friends or chat with salespeople.

On the web, it’s a bit different, but that doesn’t mean a friendly, social shopping environment can’t be created:

  • Urge shoppers to review your products and/or read reviews from fellow shoppers
  • Try including a chat link where shoppers can leave comments and engage with employees
  • Include an embedded Twitter and/or Facebook feed with discussions related to the products
  • Create a friendly, people-focused design that relies on imagery of people using and enjoying the product with friends; stress the social aspects of products you sell in your copy

4. Idea Shoppers

Key engagement driver: Novelty

Idea shoppers like to be trendsetters. They value staying current and the novelty of new and exciting ideas.

idea shoppers
Fancy.com has perfected idea shopping.

Try testing these ideas:

  • Play to the motivations of idea shoppers by implying they’ll be the first to jump on new trends such as tech developments, fashion ideas or food trends
  • Include a newsletter signup with a strong callout box to capture email addresses, and newsletter content that plays to the idea shopper’s motivations
  • Focus your headlines and email subject lines on ideas and creativity; remember that novelty is the key engagement driver for these shoppers

5. Role shoppers

Key engagement driver: Felt involvement

Role shoppers are stimulated by the act or idea of purchasing for others. To increase engagement with them, test out these ideas:

  • Focus on targeted messaging; examples could include “Pick one up for the kids” or “The in-laws will love it”
  • Try using imagery reflecting the joys of gift-giving and sharing
  • Create a friendly, people-focused design that relies on imagery of people using and enjoying the product with friends; stress the social aspects of products you sell in your copy

6. Value Shoppers

Key engagement driver: Novelty, felt involvement

If there’s any group of users perfectly suited to an email campaign, it’s value shoppers. Groupon built their entire empire off this strategy, and one could argue the majority of their customers are hedonically motivated value shoppers.

value shopper
Groupon’s homepage focuses on just one goal: email signups.

Promising value shoppers a steady stream of exclusive deals is a great idea for appeasing value shoppers.

You’ll absolutely need a strong email signup strategy, as the size and quality of your list will dictate success.

Email is the key profit driver

Capturing email addresses is critical to extending the relationship with hedonic shoppers, and thus reducing cart abandonment rates.

Without a strong list, you won’t be able to remarket effectively or take advantage of your customers’ preferred marketing channel.

PRO TIP: Some country’s anti-spam laws require you to obtain explicit consent before sending prospects promotional emails. Make sure you’re abiding by your local legislation.

The tools you use to build email lists depend on your business, but here are three that should be part of every marketer’s toolbox:

1. Landing pages

Unlike home pages, landing pages focus on a single conversion goal, whether to warm visitors up to make a purchase or to collect their email addresses in exchange for something they want, such as an ebook, white paper or coupon code.

Landing pages don’t have all the leaks found on your typical home page, so the attention ratio is 1:1. That is, there’s only one goal and therefore only one call to action on the page. In the words of Unbounce co-founder Oli Gardner: “One page. One purpose. Period.”

Test after test has shown the conversion benefits of landing pages, making them an indispensable tool to build your email list.

Basecamp landing page
Basecamp’s landing page focuses on a single conversion goal.
unbounce logo icon - light backgroundBuild Lead Gen Landing Pages Quickly & Easily with Unbounce Templates Start your 30-day trial now

2. Exit-intent technology

An exit-intent tool measures users’ mouse movements to detect abandoning visitors. When an abandoning user is detected, an exit overlay is activated to engage the user one last time to convince the user to stick around, make a purchase, or sign up.

Exit overlay
An exit overlay from BabyAge.com, activated when the user begins to abandon their shopping cart

Exit overlays (driven by exit-intent technology) are particularly effective for building cart abandoner email lists because they a) only activate when the user is about to abandon the page, and b) can be targeted at cart abandoners specifically.

Key Takeaways

  • Hedonic shoppers make up a significant percentage of shopping cart abandoners thereby bloating abandonment figures.
  • Rather than bemoaning the shopper who fills your cart but doesn’t convert, treat abandonment as an expression of interest, an invitation to make contact.
  • There’s a tremendous opportunity to follow up with hedonic shoppers (and cart abandoners) via email; however, 80% of marketers don’t take advantage of this opportunity.
  • To effectively market to hedonic shoppers, you must appeal to their motivations throughout the entire marketing process (including in emails).
  • Building a strong email list is critical; landing pages, value-driven signup forms, and exit-intent technology are all effective tools for making this happen.

Finally, reframe the task in a positive context. Instead of trying to reduce your shopping cart abandonment rate, try increasing your engagement of shoppers who abandon your cart.


Instead of reducing shopping cart abandonment, try increasing shopping cart retention #CRO
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More here:

WTF Are Hedonic Shoppers and Why Should You Care?

Building A Real-Time Retrospective Board With Video Chat


If you’ve ever worked in an agile environment, chances are you’ve had your share of “retrospectives” — meetings where people write what made them “glad,” “mad” or “sad” onto different-colored notes, post them onto a board, arrange them in groups and — most importantly — talk about them.

How To Build A Real-Time Retrospective Board With Video Chat

These meetings are straightforward, as long as everyone is in the same room. But if you’re working with a locally distributed team, things can get a bit tricky. Let’s address this by creating a virtual version of our board to allow team members in different locations to hold their retrospective just as if they were in the same room.

The post Building A Real-Time Retrospective Board With Video Chat appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Building A Real-Time Retrospective Board With Video Chat

Content Modeling With Jekyll


It’s not exactly a new subject, but lately I’ve had reason to revisit the skill of content modeling in my team’s work. Our experience has reached a point where the limitations of how we practice are starting to become clear. Our most common issue is that people tend to tie themselves and their mental models to a chosen platform and its conventions.

Content Modeling With Jekyll

Instead of teaching people how to model content, we end up teaching them how to model content in Drupal, or how to model content in WordPress. But I’d prefer that we approach it from a focus on the best interests of users, regardless of which platform said content will end up in.

The post Content Modeling With Jekyll appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Content Modeling With Jekyll

Is Egocentric Copy Alienating Your Prospects?

woman lifting weights and looking in mirror
“Who writes the best copy? I write the best copy.” Image via pixabay.com

Do you know what the most common advice is for people trying to make new friends?

Stop talking about yourself and ask about the other person.

People love to talk about themselves, so by giving into the other person’s desire to do so, you come across as ultimately likeable.

Well guess what? The same is true of landing page copy.

It’s an all-too-common mistake that business owners and marketers make when crafting their own campaign landing pages. When tasked with making their online business stand out from the pack, they default to shouting their own virtues from the rooftops. They think that if consumers know all about how wonderful they are (or their product is), conversions will hop right into their lap.

But the harsh reality is your audience couldn’t care less.

Landing pages can be tricky. You need to be persuasive enough in a single page to convince the casual visitor to take action and convert. By simply talking yourself up, you’re missing the mark completely for one very important reason:

It’s not about you, it’s about your audience.

Just as you might be inclined to go on and on about how great your business is, your audience is only interested in how you can help them. It’s human nature — we are innately wired to be most concerned about number one.

In other words, to engage your audience and convince them to convert, you need to write copy that appeals to their own self interests. If you can’t do that effectively, your audience will likely seek a solution to their problem elsewhere.


Engage and convert your audience with copy that appeals to their own self interests.
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Let’s explore a few different types of self-indulgent copy — mistakes you may not even realize you’re making — and how you can do better.

Signs of ego-driven copy

Landing page copy should be written with one goal in mind: To convince visitors to convert. If you go into it with any other motivations, you’re setting yourself up to fail.

When it comes to egocentric landing page copy, there are two distinct varieties: author-centric copy and company-centric copy. Let’s dig into both.

1. Author-centric copy

Author-centric copy can creep up when the copywriter is more interested in showing off their writing talents than writing persuasive copy designed for conversions.

You may be a prolific writer with an Ivy League vocabulary and a style all your own. But once you start writing to impress, rather than to persuade, you have already lost a large chunk of your audience. Some may not understand your word choices, but the bigger problem is that you are missing the point of landing page copy to begin with.


Once you start writing to impress, you’ve already lost a chunk of your audience.
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Note the example below. HLT is an online learning platform. After careful consideration, I figured out that this landing page is meant for it’s partner program, but it’s still hard to know what that entails or what the benefits are. The author of this copy seems to be more concerned with setting a tone than with enticing a conversion.

landing page screenshot

Take the headline for example: “Embracing the Mobile Mind Shift.”

Do you have any idea what this means? Does it entice you to fill out the form next to it? Not at all.

It might be thought provoking, it doesn’t make for a very enticing headline. It doesn’t make it crystal clear what you’re going to get by filling out the form, which is a missed opportunity.

While there is certainly a time and place to win readers over with your thoughtful prose and witticisms, a tightly honed landing page isn’t it. Copy containing overly flowery or clichéd language may make the writer feel good about his or her abilities, but it does very little to make potential partners feel confident that their pains are understood (or that they’ll be addressed).

2. Company-centric copy

This is a much more common form of landing page narcissism that can destroy your conversions. Consider the headline in the following example from Co-Construct, the self-proclaimed “#1 Highest Rated Remodel and Custom Home Building Software.”

company-centric landing page

Everybody is looking for “#1,” so what’s wrong with this? The problem is with what’s missing:

  1. Why is it rated the best? Who rated it number one?
  2. What’s the unique value proposition? What can this software uniquely offer me that its competitors can’t?
  3. What specific concerns, pain points or fears does it address?
  4. How will this particular software benefit me? How will it make my life easier?

By simply speaking to how great your company, product or service is, you’re missing a huge opportunity to convey what your prospect will get out of the deal.

Never mistake your own enthusiasm for what will motivate your customers.

How to turn it around

So now that we know some of the more common mistakes, how do we turn the mirror away from ourselves and toward our audience?

Turn your brags into benefits

When it comes to persuasive landing page copy, it’s all about consumer benefits. So you must ask yourself: “How will my offering benefit my target customer?”

Start with what you already have. Go through your existing copy, and every time you see a braggy statement about your business, rework it so it concretely addresses a validated pain point with a benefit. For example:

“#1 Highest Rated Remodel and Custom Home Building Software” becomes “Complete Your Home Remodel Faster & Under Budget.”

Addressing the pains your product or service alleviates and offering concrete solutions is incredibly effective in landing page copy. Chances are, your current landing page partially addresses these elements, but it’s up to you to polish each point to make them overtly obvious and benefit-driven.

Lyft is an on-demand car service currently in hard-core recruitment mode for drivers. Their driver-targeting campaign does a great job of using two separate benefits in one succinct headline:

lyft landing page
Lyft’s driver campaign combines two benefits into one super compelling headline.

Final thoughts

One of the most fundamental principles of winning people over is to stop talking about yourself, and ask about them. It is incredibly effective when it comes to making friends, and the same is true when trying to maximize online conversions.

By simply asking, “What worries my customers?” or “How will my product help them?” you will be in the right frame of mind to craft much more persuasive copy.

When you put your own ego on the shelf and start speaking to your ideal customer’s self interests, you can expect to see your conversions take off like crazy. Which is, ironically, a nice little ego boost.


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Is Egocentric Copy Alienating Your Prospects?

Hardware Hacking With JavaScript


The Internet of Things (IoT) has enabled the Internet to reach beyond the browser. Made up of electronically networked devices, these “things” are able to interact with the physical world via sensors that feed data they capture back into their ecosystems.

Hardware Hacking With JavaScript

Currently, these devices are mostly products, designed with a specific purpose in mind, a typical example being a fitness band that tracks activity. It reports the information gathered to an app, which is then able to analyze the data and offer suggestions and motivation to push the user further.

The post Hardware Hacking With JavaScript appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Hardware Hacking With JavaScript

9 Landing Pages That Pissed Me Off and What I’d Do to Fix Them

My commentary on marketing — and the world in general — is very polarized. I despise bad experiences. And I get pretty excited when I see exceptional ones.

Friends who know me well have probably at one time or another experienced OBE (Oli’s Bathroom Experiences).

No, not that kind.

OBE is an ongoing rant about the shitty design of bathroom sinks. Weird thing to get angry about? Perhaps. A reflection of my obsession with designing effective and delightful experiences everywhere? Most definitely.

bathroom sink
Image by Till Naujock(link) via TheStocks.

I’m a bubbly person 99% of the time. But the remaining 1% I can be ever so slightly vicious. And it often comes out when I click on Google Adwords ads and see their corresponding landing pages. And of course during my visits to public restrooms.

With that in mind, I’m going to break down some real-life landing page samples that really caught my attention — for better or for worse.

Speaking of attention, I’ll be referencing my ebook, 23 principles of Attention-Driven Design, throughout, so take heed!

1. MultiTouch

multi-touch-high-res-650
Click for full-length landing page.

Above-the-fold experience

Firstly, the headline: “Marketing simplified!”. How original. Instead of simplifying marketing, MultiTouch should focus on simplifying its messaging.

Then there’s the hero shot. Let’s see what this businessman in a suit — who’s reenacting Minority Report for us in a way that’s not at all cheesy —has to offer us. Nothing. And the screenshots? They could benefit from some captions, so I know what’s important or different.

Side note: The company is called MultiTouch — emphasis on “multi.” So why is the guy only using one finger? See what I did there?

Let’s explore what the hero shot should be doing, with a definition from the awesome Angie Schottmuller during a recent webinar all about hero shots:

hero-shot

You’ll notice there are seven qualifying qualities of an effective hero shot: relevance, context, value, emotion, support, education and persuasion. How many of those seven things does our generic business dude pull off? None. Zero. Nada. Zip.

So the next time you’re choosing your hero shot, think of an image for each of the seven qualities. That should put you on the path to a visual that has impact, purpose and benefit.

To quote Unbounce’s own Dan Levy: “Next problem please.“

Subhead fail

Onto the subhead: “Generate leads – Drive sales – Measure ROI.”

Like most subheads, this line adds a little more clarity to the context; however, at this point I still don’t know if MultiTouch offers a software product or provides a service. And that’s critical information for the fleeting visitor to your landing page.

Perhaps MultiTouch could qualify the three statements with a unique aspect of its service to add more clarity:

  • Generate higher quality leads by unique qualifier.
  • Drive higher value or more sales by unique feature.
  • Measure ROI across all channels with our describe analytics feature.

Directional cues?

Throughout the page there are these little back-to-the-top links. This is really old-school web design. People already know how to scroll, so don’t worry about helping them get back to the top of the page. Rather, worry about getting visitors back to the CTA.

If you are going to add linked directional cues, make sure they take visitors back to the form.

Call to Action

CTA screenshot

Yes, I have heard enough — so let’s assume that I have sufficient details to make a buying decision. I’d recommend moving the call to action (CTA) closer to the question, “What is marketing automation you ask?”, using a contrasting color to attract attention (orange would work brilliantly here) and giving it some affordance.

The greater the perceived affordance (the manner in which the design implies how it can be used), the simpler it is to understand the presented interface. In other words, if it looks clickable, it provides a signal to the visitor that it can be used and interacted with.

Here’s a simple diagrammatic exploration of affordance.

Button affordance

One thing to keep in mind, though, is if the button is part of a well designed form (with a container that encapsulates it), affordance is less important, since the form fields imply an interactive element at the end of the form. But when placed in the middle of a page, in the middle of crowded or messy content, strong affordance (coupled with a contrasting color) can help the button stand out and be more of a target of our attention.

Huh?

Next up we have four screenshots of… Unbounce landing page templates. How naughty!

Landing page templates

Might have to have a conversation in a dark alley with these folks.

Features screenshot

And what else do we have here? Really? Powerful features? Stop telling me that your party is awesome, and just throw an awesome party.

Wait, one more section. Check out this delightful messaging…

Landing page screenshot

“WE WILL NOT ABANDON YOU!” Stop scaring visitors away with desperation!

At this point, I’m kinda lost on how to save this page. It needs to be deleted, and started from scratch. Enough. Undo. 404 or 301 this puppy. I’m abandoning you!

2. Get Response

Above-the-fold experience

Is the fold even a thing anymore?

Regardless of your perspective on this, it’s still nice to see a well architected above-the-fold experience.

get-response-650
Click for full-length landing page.

I really like the video hero shot here. When designing a video player, there are several characteristics to consider: the container, caption, poster frame (default image seen prior to clicking play) and play button.

  • In this case, the container is a fairly standard Apple laptop which conveys the online software aspect.
  • Here there is a descriptive caption up top with a nice little directional cue. People are drawn to captions placed in close proximity to images and video, as they lie outside of the container, thus breaking the flow of its perimeter.
  • The poster frame showcases an email template and how it would look on a phone, along with a visual of the tool. It is a little busy though, and could benefit from a simpler visual or some callouts pointing to elements.
  • The play button would be a little more obvious if it used a stronger contrasting color. It’s a good idea to isolate the CTA by not using its color elsewhere. Here it’s at least reserved primarily for the interactive elements on the page, which is good for consistency.

I would like to see this page with fewer links, thereby focusing visitors’ attention only on watching the video and clicking the call to action. Specifically, let’s have a closer look at the “View Pricing Plans” link under the CTA.

In my experience, links placed beneath the CTA tend to cause a drop in conversions. Here the pricing plans link may be a hindrance, and must be verified through testing.


Anything placed in close proximity to your CTA should be A/B tested – it’s a sensitive area.
Click To Tweet


Beyond the fold

It’s a very long page, and what I like to do with long pages is to look at the scroll map data to see how far people are getting down the page. If they’re not scrolling, I’d be really interested in doing a long page versus short page test here. In fact, I’ve rebuilt this page in Unbounce to show how quickly you can come up with a new variant to test.

In this video I rebuild the Get Response landing page to create a short version fit for an A/B test.

I spent a few minutes touching up the finer details (text color and page copy) and you can see the final page here.

unbounce logo icon - light backgroundBuild Landing Pages Quickly & Easily in Unbounce Start your 30-day trial now

3. Ford Employee Pricing

This one came to me as a commercial on the radio while driving the streets of Montreal in a little Car2Go. Employee pricing for everyone — woo-hoo! You pay what we pay. Awesome, right?

ford-employee-pricing
Click for full-length landing page.

What the actual?

Let’s talk about the principle of Distraction for a second. The Attention Ratio on this page is 86:1. And nowhere on the page does it mention employee pricing. It’s making me think of bad sinks again. Ever heard of Message Match? Apparently not.

This is a classic case of selfish marketing: expecting me to hunt around the site to find the offer that was advertised.

Do better, Ford. Do better.

And then something interesting happened when I returned to the site a few hours later.

ford-website-upon-return

It seems Ford got its act together a little bit and featured the promo in question. However, it wasn’t there when I (and countless others visited), so it’s still a fail.

There are still a ton of things wrong with the page, but at least Ford’s managed to fix the Message Match problem.

You did slightly better, Ford. You did slightly better. But not when it counted.

4. Zendesk

I love Zendesk as a brand. The team does some exceptional marketing… most of the time. Take a look at the landing page below that was the destination of an AdWords ad. For starters, it’s not a landing page at all — it’s their website. That’s mistake number one. I also want to draw your attention to the order of the copy on the page.

zendesk-650
Click for full-length landing page.

Information Hierarchy

Information Hierarchy is concerned with the order in which the copy on your page is presented — both in literal terms (which comes first) and in terms of the visual dominance (what stands out most).

Here, the primary headline doesn’t tell me anything about the software: “From now on, things will be better.”

Now take a look at the subhead — it contains all of the clarity missing from the headline: “Zendesk is software for better customer service.”

If I’d read the subhead first, I’d immediately know what Zendesk does. I call my solution to this phenomenon The Headline Flip.

Go look at your own landing pages and flip the headline and subhead. Does it add clarity? If so, consider reworking the order or just change the headline entirely to give it more substance.

Then run a five-second test on Usabilityhub.com and ask the question, “What does this product/service do?” to see if you have increased the page’s clarity.

5. KeyShot 5

Remember when I talked about Information Hierarchy? Well, I’m not quite done. Check out the landing page below.

Where’s the logo? Where’s the name of the product? Where’s any form of indication as to what’s going on? I have to get beneath the hero shot and the form before I even get a sense of what I’m looking at.

keyshot-5-650
Click for full-length landing page.

The hero shot is beautiful, but at first glance doesn’t tell me that this page is for rendering software. The keyword I used to get to the page was “animation software,” which provides some context. But still, I wonder if an image or video of the software itself would demonstrate much stronger context of use.

Form(ula)

The form doesn’t do much to clarify the offer, either. Form-first design is when you design your form as if it’s the only thing on the page, allowing it to communicate exactly what will happen when you interact with it.

Here the CTA says “Download,” but it could be way more specific. Rewording the CTA to say, “Download 15-Day Free Trial,” for example, would again help qualify the product as digital software.

Still on the topic of the form: inline field labels suck! They’re a usability – and hence conversion – nightmare.

The reason being that once you click in the field or start typing, the label disappears. You might think this isn’t a big deal, and that people will remember what the label said. Not true. People forget, then they click outside the form so the label shows up again before repeating the exercise.

This is especially problematic on mobile since you often can’t find any space outside the form to click to reset the label. You can click another field, but then you might want to fill in that one — but wait, you can’t see the label.

I will, however, give KeyShot bonus points for using field labels that stay in place when you click the field — disappearing only when you start typing. This is not a bad experience for the most part. And on mobile, there’s a good amount of whitespace around the form to allow scrolling past the form if you want to keep exploring. Now, with all that said, there are a few exceptions to avoiding inline field labels:

  • When there’s only one field, because it’s easy enough to remember that you just need to type in your email address
  • When the label remains static but faded in the background, instead of disappearing when typing commences

Cognitive overloading

Cognitive load describes the build-up of mental fatigue when going through a bad experience. Each complex or confusing aspect of the page adds to this load and impedes our decision-making ability, and ultimately the desire to continue.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at the fifth form field. The label is a non-question that’s formulated as a question. “Modeling software?” WTF? Are you asking me whether I think this is modeling software? If you recall my initial reaction above, I didn’t know that the page was for modeling software. This is a stress point, guaranteed to make someone stop and think.

Finally, at the end is a captcha — those evil little buggers that ask you to interpret the squiggly words and type them into a box. If you’re going to include a captcha, at least add some instruction so visitors know what to do.

Subhead woes

yay-business

Further down the page, take a look at the subheads. This is a classic example of “Yay Business” copywriting.

Read them out loud: Easy! Powerful! Fast! Integrated! Accurate! Large data sets!

Gross.

Subheads should convey benefits, which KeyShot hasn’t done. Adding qualifiers to each subhead would add significant value. But that’s enough for this page.

6. RoomKey

Assumptions

A big reason for a lack of clarity on landing pages is assuming your visitors understand your acronyms and jargon. In this case, it’s PMS, which obviously has a more widely understood meaning.

roomkey-650
Click for full-length landing page.

Perhaps the target market is 100% familiar with the term, but I’d be making an assumption, too, if I thought that.

Check out the headline: “Quick implementation of what & training in what with RoomKeyPMS”.

When you look at it like that, you can see there are holes in the headline and its ability to clearly state the page’s purpose.

I’m really struggling to see what the hero shot is trying to convey here, too, apart from the weird cloud computing reference.

To better showcase the app, I’d suggest using a video or an animated GIF — a popular design trend sweeping through the landing page world — or a simple screen capture video set to autoplay. It quickly demonstrates aspects of the interface in a more compelling way, and allows you to showcase an important feature. Check out the short Wistia video we use on the Unbounce homepage (below the image of the dude).

Scannable testimonials

It’s dangerous (not shark-infested-custard dangerous, but still) to assume that people will read your entire page, but if you have good social proof, you want to encourage people to read it.

A rule I like to go by for any big block of text is that if you can’t find an excellent sentence or phrase to highlight, then you have shitty copy.

For a testimonial, you want to break up the text with a bolded statement, and, similarly, if you can’t find one that’s compelling, your testimonial isn’t going to do its job. Try to find that gold nugget that explains the pain relief, benefit or game/life changer and bold it to break up the text.

In this case the testimonial is generic business rhetoric that has almost zero worth. I’d source another, or reach out to the customer again to uncover that gold.

7. Qlik

I really like the value proposition here, primarily because business analytics is a complex and frustrating realm. Qlik claims the software is simple and intuitive — let’s see if we can say the same for the landing page.

qlik-650
Click for full-length landing page.

Overall, I’m a fan of the design, but I can’t help feel that the most important part of the hero shot (the screenshot of the software) has been relegated to being secondary. The two tins are so big — for no rational reason — that the screenshot is too small to read. I’d suggest bumping the size of the hero shot by about 50% and making the surrounding elements smaller.

The most benefit-laden sentence in the opening paragraph is, “Discover more insights from your data in just five minutes.” I’d recommend bolding this and putting it on a line of its own to make sure people see it. It might even make sense to put it in the headline/subhead, or as a caption to the hero shot. Doing so connects the software directly to it’s benefit.

Also, in one of the bullets “analyzing multiple data sources” is referenced — some specificity would be good here. What kinds of sources can I integrate with the software? Will it pull from Google Analytics, AdWords?

Form-First

For the form, I notice a wasted opportunity to include an important subhead that highlights another strong benefit, in case the visitor’s gaze is drawn immediately to the form area, like the example opposite.

8. Adobe

Seriously? You want me to read all of that copy? It looks like a legal document.

adobe-ad-lens-650
Click for full-length landing page.

The design of a landing page will often affect how people perceive the content that’s being given away. If this datasheet is anything like the landing page, it’ll be dull as sh*t.

The only time you’re told what you’re going to get by interacting with this page is that small bold line of copy at the bottom of the left column. It’s a datasheet. What’s a datasheet? Is it industry data? Is it just a list of technical specs about the software?

Give me some bullets that tell me what I’ll learn and why I should care. Add some bolding to the large paragraphs of text, and maybe give me a preview of what’s in the datasheet: a few key highlights and how they will impact my business.

To be frank, the page is a bit cold and corporate.

To quote Unbounce Office Manager Charm Singh: “BORRRRRRRRING!”

In fact, I’m so bored with this page that I’m going to rebuild it in Unbounce to see if I can break apart the content a bit, and put more emphasis on the datasheet part.

In this video I rebuild the Adobe AdLens landing page in just 10 minutes, and make some improvements at the same time.
unbounce logo icon - light backgroundBuild Landing Pages Quickly & Easily in Unbounce Start your 30-day trial now

9. Avalaunch Media

avalaunch-650
Click for full-length landing page.

Readability issues

Readability is an important part of clarity, and the headline is cut off in a way that makes it difficult to parse. I’d consider moving the line break from

“GET A FREE $1,250 PAY
PER CLICK AUDIT…”

to

“GET A FREE $1,250
PAY PER CLICK AUDIT…”

Now each line can stand alone and still make sense. The intro paragraph also suffers from readability issues. The type is so skinny that it looks sketchy on top of the background image.

If you have to squint to read, you probably won’t bother.

Looking at the form, I’m not sure what the process will be to get my free audit. Does Avalaunch do the audit and email it to me? Will it be a consultation over the phone? It’s important to establish a sense of expectation so the visitor isn’t left wondering what’s going to happen. I’d suggest placing this information beneath the CTA or, perhaps even better, above the first form field so the expectation is set before visitors start entering (or not entering) their info.

Next up, the subheads. You’re probably noticing a common thread on a lot of these pages: the subheads are completely throwaway and meaningless to the scanning eye. Let’s run through them:

A simple exercise for better copywriting

Write down all of your landing page copy in a document and make sure every single word is congruent (aligned) with your campaign goal. Start with a skeleton outline so you have the main headline and a series of subheads. When the outline tells a coherent story, move on to filling in the story with the details of your campaign.

Testimonials need meat

The first testimonial on this page is really bad. The customer wanted an increase in search traffic. How much did Avalaunch increase it by? What did Avalaunch do to achieve this?

For the second testimonial, how did Avalaunch help its client achieve their goals? The more specific (without giving away your secrets) the better.

Wrapping up

Phewf. That was a lot of ranting. But hopefully with enough juicy fixes and recommendations that are transferable to your own marketing efforts.

For even more juicy tips and tricks, I’d highly recommend downloading my latest ebook, The 23 Principles of Attention Driven Design, where I explain how to combine data and design to create more persuasive landing pages. It will help you to establish a common language with the designers and marketers on your team, which leads to better design decisions and more enjoyable discussions around conversion.

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9 Landing Pages That Pissed Me Off and What I’d Do to Fix Them

Designing The Most Desirable Product: Exploration of Banknotes Design


As digital technologies are implanted deeper in the world, making more and more aspects of life intangible, it’s hard to imagine the world without any kind of banknotes, or paper money. In the dramatic history of our world, money became not just generic objects of payment, but also symbols of societies.

Designing The Most Desirable Product Of All Time: Paper Money

Combining utility and exclusivity, money is one of the challenging objects to design. And as with any complex task, currency design holds some valuable lessons for us, web designers. This article is an attempt to formulate some of these lessons and, therefore, draw your attention to the inspirational nature of paper money.

The post Designing The Most Desirable Product: Exploration of Banknotes Design appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Designing The Most Desirable Product: Exploration of Banknotes Design

3 Brilliant Copywriting Formulas for Crafting More Persuasive Landing Pages

You know that telling a story is a great way to write high-converting landing page copy. Thing is, you might not fancy yourself much of a storyteller. As much as you appreciate a good tale, when you go to spin one yourself, your words fall flat (and so do your conversions).

But what if there was a formula you could follow to piece together a compelling narrative that’s sure to resonate with your ideal customer?

Better yet, what if there was an entire toolbox of formulas you could use?

persuasive-copywriting-tools-and-tips-650

In our latest Unwebinar, expert copywriter and Write With Influence founder Amy Harrison shared three easy-to-follow-but-super-effective formulas for piecing together a captivating story on your landing page.

Watch the webinar recording here, or keep reading for a summary of three new formulas for your landing page copywriting toolbox.

unbounce-blog-cta-webinar-recording-Amy-Harrison

Tell a story no one’s heard before

The story you tell on your landing page should be compelling, but Amy explained that it also has to be unique:

You want to show that what you have is valuable, but also different from the competition.

Even for verticals like real estate where offerings are similar across competitors, you can still stand out by telling a different story.

Easier said than done, though, right? But Amy’s got a tool to help.

Tool: Combination Uniqueness, AKA The Headline Shaker Maker

combination-uniqueness-shaker-maker
Image via Amy Harrison’s recent Unwebinar.

The table above allows you to break down each of your product or service’s features, along with all the ways it impacts your customers: results, opportunities, problems solved and emotional benefits. And then there’s a column for adding a smidgen of urgency to your offer.

Here’s a table she filled out for a client who offers English courses for international businesses:

combination-uniqueness-shaker-maker-example
Image via Amy Harrison’s recent Unwebinar.

Amy explained that while you might have similar features to your competitors, laying out all the key elements of your product or service like this allows you to reveal unique elements that you can highlight in your landing page copy.

These were the elements she identified as being most important to her client’s prospects:

combination-uniqueness-shaker-maker-example-highlight
Image via Amy Harrison’s recent Unwebinar.

With that, Amy was able to put together a strong unique value proposition statement — which she explained is an important building block for writing strong landing page headlines in particular:

Instead of coming up with a headline out of thin air, we’re taking a couple of steps to highlight things that you know are important to your customer.

In other words, instead of having to write headlines based on everything you know about your product, you can craft it out of a few key pieces. The result? Super-targeted, unique headlines that are sure to woo prospects.

Here are some of the headlines she wrote for her client, based on the highlighted elements above:

  • Compete for (and Win) New Business Internationally with Workforce Fluent in English
  • ABC English for Employees: Helping your Business Expand into New Markets
  • See Employees Using English Accurately and Confidently in Just 6 Weeks

Amy explained that these headlines will help her client stand out from competitors offering this service, who might have plain headlines like, “English Classes for Employees.”

Her headlines are targeted to a customer’s interest, which helps the headline sound unique by striking to the heart of what the customer wants.

Or as Amy puts it:


Make your customer feel like your headline is written just for them & you’ll stand out. @HarrisonAmy
Click To Tweet


Tell a story that cuts deep with prospects

If you want prospects to believe that you have the solution to their problem, then you need to show them that you understand that problem to begin with.

And as Amy explained, this can be achieved by speaking to your visitor’s symptoms.

Tool: Use symptoms in your copy

Symptoms, Amy explained, are “vivid situations that occur in your customer’s life as a result of the problem that you solve.” While a doctor may know that a flu is the problem, a patient uses different, symptom-based language: they describe their fever, lethargy and aching bones.

Incorporating symptoms into your copy is an effective strategy because they:

  • Get prospects nodding along with you.
  • Show prospects that you have a super intimate understanding of their problem, which makes them more likely to be receptive of your solution.

Amy illustrated with a poor example from another one of her clients, an analytics firm:

analytics-firm-problem-copywriting
Image via Amy Harrison’s recent Unwebinar.

The issue with the excerpt above is that it leads with the solution without first identifying with the visitor’s symptoms. This is problematic because the company’s competitors offer that same solution. There’s nothing to distinguish the two competitors in the mind of the visitor.

But here’s a rewrite of the above, instead leading with the symptoms of the prospect’s problem:

analytics-firm-symptoms-copywriting
Image via Amy Harrison’s recent Unwebinar.

This copy highlights a specific symptom that will get prospects nodding their head “yes” and feeling like this firm understands their problem and is uniquely qualified to offer a solution.

Amy also shared a formula for incorporating symptoms naturally into your landing page narrative:

  1. Here’s what you may have recognized (symptoms)
  2. Here’s what causing them (problem)
  3. Here’s what you need to do (cure)
  4. Here’s what’s possible if you do (results)

What does this look like in practice?

symptoms-in-landing-page-copy-amy-harrison
Image via Amy Harrison’s recent Unwebinar.

Showing this depth of understanding demonstrates to prospects that you understand where you’re coming from — and it paints you as an expert.


Use symptoms in your copy to show that you feel prospects’ pain and are uniquely qualified to help.
Click To Tweet


Tell a story with a happy ending

As much as you want to show prospects that you understand how their problem impacts their life now, you also want to paint a picture of how things could be with the help of your solution.

Aaaand you may have guessed it, but Amy’s got a tool for that, too.

Tool: The Impact Table

The Impact Table is a tool that Amy uses to take each feature and clearly articulate what the impact will be on prospects’ lives — on both a practical and emotional level:

the-impact-table-amy-harrison
Features are hard facts about your service of product, whereas Results and Emotion are the benefits it brings prospects. Image via Amy Harrison’s recent Unwebinar.

As Amy puts it:

An Impact Table gives you an at-a-glance view of the transformation you provide to customers – while showing how you do it.

Here’s the Impact Table in action, using an example of a conference company that holds many conferences each year. Note that Amy filled the table out for a single feature:

the-impact-table-amy-harrison-example
Image via Amy Harrison’s recent Unwebinar.

Amy explained that looking at these individual elements makes it easier for you to then build out sentences for your landing page:

impact-table-build-sentences
Image via Amy Harrison’s recent Unwebinar.

Here’s an example of copy that she put together for the conference company, based on their Impact Table above:

impact-table-build-sentences-example
Image via Amy Harrison’s recent Unwebinar.

Using the Impact Table ensures that you write landing page copy that speaks to the things that customers are truly interested in. And Amy encouraged attendees to be as specific as possible:

The more specific you are, the more persuasive your landing page copy will be.

Will your landing pages have a happy ending?

Most authors won’t sit down to write a story without having some vision of the beginning, middle and end.

Similarly, before you can tell a unique and compelling story on your landing page, you need to know all your plot points: the things prospects need to hear in order to convert — which is exactly what Amy’s copywriting formulas will help you uncover.

Happy writing!

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3 Brilliant Copywriting Formulas for Crafting More Persuasive Landing Pages

Principles Of HTML5 Game Design


Visual effects in games define their overall look and feel, and gameplay. Players are attracted to high visual quality, which generate more traffic and reach. It’s key for creating successful games and providing a lot of fun for players.

Procedural curved line

In this article I want to present a few ideas of how to implement different visual effects in <canvas>-based HTML5 games. These examples will be based on effects we made in our game, Skytte. I will explain the basic ideas supporting them and provide the effects used in our work.

The post Principles Of HTML5 Game Design appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Principles Of HTML5 Game Design