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15 Ways Marketers Use Overlays to Get More Conversions

Let me paint an ugly picture for you.

The end of the month is approaching. In one week, you have to report to your boss about marketing metrics… and you’re not even halfway to your targets.

Maybe you call an emergency brainstorm meeting with your team:

Are there any last-minute email or social campaigns we can run? Image source.

Maybe you pump more money into your PPC campaigns. Or maybe you do nothing at all and start a mental list of excuses reasons you couldn’t meet your targets.

At the end of the day, you didn’t meet your goals because you’re lacking something — resources, know-how, money or bandwidth.

You need more conversions without the overhead of running a major campaign or redesigning your entire website, regardless of how you define a “conversion”:

  1. Driving immediate sales
  2. Building email subscriber lists
  3. Reducing shopping cart abandonment
  4. Generating sales leads
  5. Moving traffic to high-converting pages (to get more conversions)

Let’s see how marketers are using overlays — modal lightboxes that launch within a web page and focus attention on a single offer — to get more conversions without more overhead.

Part I: Drive immediate sales

Research indicates that an average of 68.8% of shoppers will abandon their carts — that’s well over the majority. What then can you do to secure a sale before users ever leave your site to begin with?

You offer something irresistible at the moment prospects are ready to give up.

Note that the key word here is irresistible. You’re asking for a lot (for prospects to whip out their wallets), so you need to over-deliver in value. Your offer must be generous.

Here are five high-value approaches to securing a last-second purchase from abandoning users.

1. Offer a coupon or immediate discount

A coupon or discount is the most popular way to secure last-second purchases with overlays.

Below is an example from Neil Patel of Quick Sprout, who uses an overlay to offer a massive discount on his consulting services.


Test different discounts values, but be careful not to downplay the value of your offering with a super-steep discount, which could hurt your credibility.

Target this offer at: First-time visitors, paid traffic

Place this offer on: Pricing or sign-up pages, product pages, landing pages

2. Offer a shipping discount

Shipping is a pain point for many online shoppers. No matter how well the costs are disclosed throughout the shopping process, many will leave once they see the final price with shipping included.

For that reason, a discount on shipping can often make the difference between a new customer and a lost sale.


In the example above, Easy Canvas Prints uses an overlay to not only offer a last-second discount on shipping, but also capture an email address in the process. More on that later!

Target this offer at: First-time or repeat visitors, paid traffic

Place this offer on: Product pages, pricing or sign-up pages, shopping cart pages

3. Offer a free gift

Free giveaways have been a standard marketing tactic for decades.

They work well on the web because a free giveaway often comes at no cost to the vendor (you), especially if you offer subscription tools or services.


In the above example, Crazy Egg attempts to capture abandoning users by offering a free heatmap — one of its most popular tools.

Other ideas for free giveaways include ebooks, whitepapers, estimates/quotes or consultations.

Target this offer at: First-time or repeat visitors, paid traffic, organic traffic

Place this offer on: Pricing or sign-up pages, product pages, landing pages

Never launch an overlay without this 24-point checklist

Do you have all your bases covered? Double-check your overlay design, copy and triggering with our 24-point checklist.

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4. Offer a time-based discount

Here’s where things get a bit risky. Time-based overlays can be effective because they add an element of urgency, but only if they are sincere.


In the above example, BabyAge uses a countdown clock to promote a coupon, which (ideally) invokes a feeling of urgency in its users, pushing them toward the conversion.

This may be effective for some audiences, but I encourage you to test. And whatever you do, make sure your users only ever see it once. If you serve this offer on too many pages or put it in front of too broad a user segment, you risk losing credibility.

Target this offer at: First-time visitors only

Place this offer on: Pricing or sign-up pages, landing pages

5. Offer customer support

Some prospects might appreciate being able to talk to a human before they make up their minds about converting.

In the example below, Timesulin uses an overlay as a standin for a virtual salesperson, tapping you on the shoulder and asking if you have any questions:


Especially for more complicated or high-commitment offers, an overlay like this can help squash doubts and counter objections that your visitors have.

Target this offer at: First-time visitors, repeat visitors, paid traffic

Place this offer on: Pricing or sign-up pages, product pages, landing pages

Part II: Building email subscriber lists

If you need convincing that email marketing is an effective marketing channel, consider this eye-popping stat from the Direct Marketing Association:

Email marketing has an ROI of 3800%.

What have you done lately to ensure that your email list is continuously growing? And not a bunch of unqualified subs  — I’m talking about warm email leads that are familiar with your products and have recently interacted with your brand.

Overlays work well for building a subscriber base because it’s easy to offer value that outweighs the small ask of an email address.

Here are the four best approaches for building email subscriber lists with overlays:

6. Offer a discount in exchange for an email address

Offering deals in exchange for an email address has two benefits:

  1. It greatly increases your chances of securing an immediate sale
  2. You can establish a customer relationship through email

Have a look at this example by PetCare:


PetCare offers a substantial discount in exchange for an email address. It’s a win for your prospect, because they’ll save on their next order. And it’s a win-win for you, should you make a sale and snag and email.

Target this offer at: First time or repeat visitors, social media traffic, paid traffic

Place this offer on: Homepage, product pages, blog pages, company pages (ex: ‘About,’ ‘Contact’)

7. Collect newsletter subscribers

Though not as lucrative as they once were, newsletters can still drive revenue. The Chive uses an overlay to grab signups in the example below:


This type of overlay is especially effective when you’re reaching out to a user base that has already interacted with your content and likes what you have to say. It should be targeted only at repeat visitors and lower-converting segments like social media traffic.

Target this offer at: Repeat visitors, social media traffic

Place this offer on: Homepage, product pages, blog pages, company pages (e.g., ‘About,’ ‘Contact’)

8. Offer an ebook, case study or course

Ebook, case study or course offers generally convert at a higher rate than newsletters, because it’s easier to communicate the value to the reader.

Done right, this type of overlay will clearly communicate the benefit of reading, as in this stellar example from ContentVerve:


Offering a course has the advantage of securing multiple user interactions, as you can serve this offer piece-by-piece to keep users engaged.

Target this offer at: Repeat visitors, social media traffic

Place this offer on: Homepage, product pages, blog pages, company pages (e.g., ‘About,’ ‘Contact’)

Part III: Reduce cart abandonment

68.81% of online shopping carts are abandoned, according to the Baymard Institute.

People abandon shopping carts for a variety of reasons, and understanding these various behaviors can help you better optimize your sales funnel. Check out the top six reasons for cart abandonment according to Savvy Panda:


Two of the top six reasons have nothing to do with the cart itself, but rather the mindset of the shopper, who is expressing only interest in the product, not commitment.

So how do we engage cart abandoners who are only loosely committed to our products?

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

  1. Get an email address and remarket through triggered emails
  2. Offer a discount or incentive that convinces the shopper to buy before abandoning the cart

With this in mind, here are four approaches to reduce shopping cart abandonment using overlays.

9. Collect an email (to follow up later)

Post-abandonment emails are a great way to continue telling the story you began telling cart abandoners. You can use them to build upon momentum established on your cart page, and nurture a customer relationship.

PetFlow uses this tactic well in the above example, though the “deal” is actually entry into a contest. But hey, it’s a win anytime you can have a kitten and a puppy sitting in your email form field:


Sending a cart-triggered email puts you a step ahead of most competition, as roughly 80% of retailers fail to send triggered emails after cart abandonment. Why not test following up with a free shipping discount?

Target this offer at: Cart abandoners from both paid and organic traffic sources

Place this offer on: Cart pages, checkout pages

10. Notify visitors that they’ve left something in their cart

This is a simple tactic for notifying cart abandoners they’ve left items behind at the checkout.


In this example, BabyAge links its overlay directly to the next step in the checkout process. This may not generate earth-shattering results, but it’s definitely something to test.

Target this offer at: Cart abandoners from both paid and organic traffic sources

Place this offer on: Cart pages, checkout pages

11. Offer telephone support

Many shoppers routinely struggle to complete online checkout processes without assistance.

For companies with complicated products or checkouts, using an overlay to offer help at checkout can significantly reduce cart abandonment.


Massage Magazine’s example above shows how an overlay can used to help clarify the terms of complicated products or subscriptions. It also has the added benefit of grabbing a valuable email address.

Target this offer at: Cart abandoners from both paid and organic traffic sources

Place this offer on: Cart pages, checkout pages

Part IV: Generate sales leads

Generating sales leads with an overlay is closely related to our previous section on building email lists — but with a few subtle differences.

Sales leads don’t necessarily require collecting contact information in exchange for a free resource; reaching out to a visitor on your site can also produce a lead, and is often incentive enough.

Further, you can generate a sales lead by merely offering help — free advice, free quotes — on your product.

Finally, whereas marketing to email list prospects often requires multiple engagements, sales leads usually just a one-time engagement.

12. Offer a free quote or advice

Free quotes have long been used as a lead generation tactic in brick-and-mortar organizations. On the web, free quotes are a great way to offer value without actually giving anything away.


The example above from YourMechanic uses a free quote offer to drive home the ease and convenience of using mobile mechanics.

I would generally advise against using this type of offer on paid traffic, as “paid” implies these users should already be strong leads. An offer that drives an immediate sale is better suited to this type of user.

Target this offer at: First-time or repeat visitors, organic traffic, social media traffic

Place this offer on: Homepage or any high-traffic/low-converting page, product pages, blog pages

13. Offer a resource that qualifies prospects

Offering a resource to prospects is a great way to demonstrate that you understand their pains — all while confirming that they’re a good fit for your solution.

Gr8fires created an overlay with an “installation calculator” that detailed the costs associated with installing a Gr8fires product:


The results of Gr8fires’ overlay campaign were incredible: 300% increase in monthly sales leads and a 48.54% lift in sales.

As with any information resource offer, this works best if you have already established an audience. If you don’t already have a rapport with your visitors, this offer may go ignored.

Target this offer at: Repeat visitors, organic traffic, social media traffic

Place this offer on: Homepage or any high-traffic/low-converting page, product pages, blog pages

Part V: Traffic-shaping (driving traffic to high-converting pages)

As you look through your analytics, you may notice that there are certain pages on your site — like your blog homepage or ecommerce site — that don’t have particularly high conversion rates.

This is where traffic shaping overlays can come in handy.

Traffic shaping overlays allow you to direct users from a low-converting to a high-converting page, whether your conversion goal is lead generation or revenue generation.

For example, you could direct traffic from a well-performing blog post about watch reviews to a product page for the best-reviewed watch.

14. Cross-sell

Regular blog visitors likely already recognize your brand, but they could have blinders up when it comes to the calls to action you have embedded on your site.

A cross-sell overlay can help focus a user’s attention on a relevant offer.

For example, at Unbounce, our analytics showed that a roundup of the 16 Best Digital Marketing Conferences of 2016 was bringing in a lot of organic traffic.

Assuming that people who read about marketing conferences are also interested in attending marketing conferences, we served up this overlay (with a ticket discount to sweeten the pot) that directed people to our Call to Action conference microsite:

Target this offer at: First-time and repeat visitors, social media traffic, organic traffic

Place this offer on: Homepage, blog pages, company pages (e.g.,: ‘About,’ ‘Contact’)

15. Re-engage with more content

Keeping visitors on your blog or resource library has a lot of advantages. The more they stick around, the more opportunities you have to:

  • Show visitors that you understand their pain and are uniquely qualified to help alleviate it
  • Educate visitors about your solution (ideally the solution to their problem)

A strategically placed exit or timed overlay on your blog can help keep visitors on site by recommending content similar to what they were reading previously:


This type of overlay is most effective when targeted at first-time visitors.

These are the prospects that need a lil’ warming up before you ask them for their email address.

More conversions, less overhead

Next time the end of the month is rolling around and you haven’t met your targets, don’t scramble to run one-off campaigns to make up the difference.

Instead, pick one of these overlay campaigns and create a baseline of conversions every monththe type of campaign that keeps on giving without more overhead.

And when building your overlays, don’t forget the following:

The best marketing is mutually beneficial.

Conversions happen in that magical moment where your goals as a marketer align precisely with the goals of the user. You want the sale, they want the bargain. You want the email, they want the ebook.

If you focus on delivering relevant, timely offers that minimize intrusiveness and respect the user experience, your users will thank you — with their conversion.

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15 Ways Marketers Use Overlays to Get More Conversions

Understanding REST And RPC For HTTP APIs

For the last few years, whenever somebody wants to start building an HTTP API, they pretty much exclusively use REST as the go-to architectural style, over alternative approaches such as XML-RPC, SOAP and JSON-RPC. REST is made out by many to be ultimately superior to the other “RPC-based” approaches, which is a bit misleading because they are just different.

Understanding REST And RPC For HTTP APIs

This article discusses these two approaches in the context of building HTTP APIs, because that is how they are most commonly used. REST and RPC can both be used via other transportation protocols, such as AMQP, but that is another topic entirely.

The post Understanding REST And RPC For HTTP APIs appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Understanding REST And RPC For HTTP APIs

Managing Mobile Performance Optimization

You can’t underestimate the importance of consistent, high-quality web design across devices of all shapes and sizes. Responsive web design is the way forward — but it’s often linked to performance issues. This is critical when 64% of smartphone users unforgivingly expect websites to load in under four seconds, yet average page weights continue to rise.

Managing Mobile Performance Optimization

The best designs balance aesthetics and performance by working with mobile in mind from the start. From setting strict performance budgets to implementing client- and server-side optimization techniques, I’ll share the current mobile performance optimization processes we use at Cyber-Duck.

The post Managing Mobile Performance Optimization appeared first on Smashing Magazine.


Managing Mobile Performance Optimization

Finding Inspiration to Write Unbeatable Copy for Landing Pages

Deserted gas station
Image by Pete R. via BucketListly.

Sometimes the well runs dry.

You’re passionate about your business, and you want to create a slam-dunk landing page that introduces your product or service to the world, but the words elude you. Every stab you take at the project sounds dull and trite.

As a copywriter, it’s easy to get stuck in a literary rut. You use the familiar formulas and recipes because they’re safe. However, taking in some outside influence might provide the jumpstart you need to create truly unbeatable copy. Here are nine actionable strategies for finding inspiration.

1. Mine your memories

You might think otherwise when you watch the evening news, but human beings are hardwired for empathy.

Imagine you’re walking down the produce aisle at the supermarket and the woman in front of you slips on a puddle of spilled apple juice. Her feet fly out from under her, and she falls to the unforgiving tile floor.

Jennifer Lawrence fall

How do you respond? You cringe — either inwardly or outwardly. You imagine the pain of the impact. Maybe you even recall a time when you took a similarly spectacular fall.

It’s all because of mirror neurons, according to the American Psychological Association. When you witness an event, you put yourself in the place of the person to whom it’s happening.

This phenomenon happens with good things, too. If you witness an act of generosity, you feel gratitude on behalf of the recipient. When your best friend wins an award, you feel pride and a sense of accomplishment.

This is why your own memories provide endless inspiration for your copywriting efforts.

You create a landing page to show potential customers or clients how you can solve their problems or make their lives better. If you want to reach those readers on a visceral level, you have to tap into their emotions.

If you want to reach your readers on a visceral level, you have to tap into their emotions.
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Since humans are empathetic creatures, it’s easy to connect your own lived experiences with the challenges your audience members face. Think about why you started your business and how it influences your life.

For example, let’s say you’re marketing a financial advisement plan. You might use your own biography as a way to connect with your audience on your landing page:

I graduated college with $145,000 in debt. Some from student loans, and some from the ill-advised credit card purchases that young and stupid college students are wont to talk themselves into.

Then I realized I didn’t want to spend the next 20 years paying it all off. So I made a plan. It worked for me, and I guarantee it’ll work for you, too.

Drawing on your personal experiences can help you make connections with your readers. If they see themselves in your story, they’re that much closer to following the directive in your call to action.

2. Skim your social media feed

Parks and Rec social media

Here’s some good news: Twitter and Facebook and other social media platforms aren’t just for procrastination. They can also offer inspiration for landing pages.

A social media feed reveals conversations that are occurring in real-time. What could be more relevant to your brand message? Social media streams can inspire you with an insightful quote, a mention of a relatively new problem or a delightful turn of phrase.

Spend some time sorting through the latest conversations. Look for patterns and trending topics.

More importantly, pay attention to the language. How do the heavy hitters in social media land phrase their thoughts and ideas? The limited space on social media forces people to express themselves succinctly, and word economy is a copywriter’s most valuable tool.

Figure out how social media mavens condense their virtual speech while still getting across their meaning.

3. Flip through first lines

Belle books

Have you ever pulled a book off the shelf at the store, cracked it open, read the first line and immediately headed for the cash register?

First lines mean everything — in fiction and on landing pages. Both novelists and copywriters have to get it right every time, so the bookshelves in your living room offer plenty of inspiration.

In fact, first lines are so impactful that the American Book Review publishes a list of the 100 best first lines of all time. Give them a read when you get stuck.

You’ll notice that, when novelists nail a first line, you can immediately identify their intention. A suspense author might start a book with a foreboding or ominous statement, while a romance writer might begin a book with hearts-and-flowers imagery.

As a copywriter, you have to identify your intentions, too. Decide whether you want to push a pain point, make an emotional connection or provide a safety net for your reader. Then craft a first line that backs up your intention.

4. Set up a story

Speaking of stories, there’s a reason why screenwriters, novelists and other storytellers follow the same three-act structure — because it works.

Your landing page can also contain the three-act structure:

  • Start with a compelling setup. Illustrate the problem your potential customers are experiencing. Hit the pain points and show you empathize with their situation.
  • Create a confrontation. Show your audience what you have to offer. Make it compelling, engaging and believable.
  • End with the climax. Provide your audience with everything they need to write the story ending. This is your call to action.

People don’t like incomplete stories. It’s why you stay up late watching the last episode of your favorite television series and why you can’t put down a book once you reach the last few chapters.

If you need inspiration for your copywriting efforts, turn to books, television shows and movies. Pay attention to the narrative flow and find ways to translate scene sequences to your landing pages.

5. Hoard a host of headlines

Tabloid - mine the headlines

You’re standing in line at the grocery store for 15 minutes, wondering why some people insist on writing checks (yes, some people still do this) when it’s so much faster to swipe a debit card. To curb your boredom and frustration, you shift your attention to the gossip rags displayed behind the cashier.

The tabloids might not enjoy stellar reputations for their incredible journalistic content, but there’s one thing gossip writers do better than anyone else: They write amazing headlines.

There’s 1 thing gossip writers do better than anyone else: write amazing headlines.
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Maybe you’ve even grabbed a tabloid off the rack and tossed it nonchalantly into your shopping cart. Then you read it in the front seat of your car while your ice cream melted in the trunk because you had to find out if the story delivered on the headline’s promise. That’s great copywriting.

If you feel stuck, let tabloid, magazine and periodical headlines inspire you. How do they grab your attention? What verbs and adjectives to they employ?

6. Take in a talk

Public speakers structure their talks much like copywriters structure landing pages. They front-load their speeches with compelling facts, figures and anecdotes, and then spend the remainder of their time on stage offering engaging arguments related to their ideas

Some speakers are more polished than others, but watching a talk (in person or online) can provide endless inspiration for copywriters. Take note of what works and what doesn’t, and then translate your observations to the page.

If you don’t know where to start, check out TED’s list of most popular talks of all time. Speakers like Ken Robinson, Simon Sinek and Brené Brown populate the list.

7. The emotional connection

Emma Stone being emotional

Have you ever picked up a Hallmark card in the middle of the supermarket and burst into tears? Maybe not, but you’ve probably experienced an emotional response to a greeting card’s sentiment. Human beings are hard-wired for emotion, and your viewers are more likely to buy your products or services if they feel connected to them.

Words can inspire emotion, but images accomplish that goal faster and more acutely. For instance, a friend could describe her new puppy to you over the telephone. She could tell you about its floppy ears and super-soft fur, and you might have an emotional reaction. However, if she texted you a photo of the adorable puppy, you’d instantly connect with the image. That’s how the human brain works.

Words can inspire emotion, but images accomplish that goal faster and more acutely.
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Mike Parkinson of Billion Dollar Graphics uses a photo of an infant to illustrate this phenomenon. He points out that certain colors can provoke emotional responses and that the human brain processes imagery faster than it does language.

If you want your viewers to connect emotionally with your landing page, a video offers an effective solution. You can engage your viewers’ emotions through imagery and voiceover dialogue so they understand your product or service viscerally instead of just intellectually.

8. Canvass the competition

Scoping out the competition

Never steal your competition’s words or ideas. That’s a recipe for failure (and a potential legal nightmare). Instead, get to know your competition so you can fill the gaps they leave in their own marketing efforts.

What segment of the target audience does your competition ignore? What features of their products do they leave unsung? What stories do they neglect to tell?

Since you know your industry better than anyone, you have the keenest eye when it comes to evaluating your competition. If you can find untapped resources, consumers or features, you’ll make your copy sing.

9. Kick it with the kids

Kicking it with the kids

You probably don’t need an excuse to spend time with your children, but did you know that your kids can give you inspiration for your copywriting efforts?

Start with their books and movies. Media aimed at children must be simple, concise and thorough, just like landing pages. While you never want to talk down to your audience, you do want to provide them with information that they can understand.

Simple, direct language works for picture books and marketing copy.

Check out your kids’ favorite toys. Look at the products’ design and packaging. American businesses spend up to $17 billion per year marketing products to children, and kids make excellent consumers.

Consequently, products and services geared toward children offer a goldmine of inspiration for marketers and copywriters. They might not have driver’s licenses or credit cards, but kids force businesses to pull out all the stops.

Final thoughts

If you want to create unbeatable copy, look outside the landing page for inspiration. You’ll know a great idea when you see it, and you can mold it to fit your brand’s message, image and features.

Don’t worry if something doesn’t work. The beauty of a landing page is that you can — and should — continuously test it to make sure you are getting the most out of your efforts.

Have you found success with your landing page? Was there something you did that blew away all the other advice out there? Let us know in the comments what you did to turn your beautiful landing page into a lead-driving, conversion machine.


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Finding Inspiration to Write Unbeatable Copy for Landing Pages


How a Dutch Major Achieved 7.8% Increase in Conversion, by Removing a ‘Lifeline’


A major Dutch healthcare professionals’ association decided to a/b test a seemingly minor change in its header image. Using VWO, it discovered that the change – removing a horizontal line in the image, could lead to a substantial 7.8% higher conversion rate, with almost 100 percent probability for consistent results.

The Client

VVAA, an association of over 75,000 Dutch healthcare professionals, specializes in providing quality advice to its members on areas ranging from setting up and managing a practice, to portfolio management and mortgages.

As a market leader in the healthcare industry and a pioneer in the area of medical liability insurance, VVAA attracts a very healthy traffic to its site. Visitors are greeted with a fairly big header image containing a list of benefits and a CTA button.

Things were good.

Then, the VVAA corporate communication had a design idea. A horizontal line representing a  “lifeline” was added right at the bottom of the header image. The lifeline (that’s what I’m going to call it henceforth), it seemed, would be a good addition since it ties in directly with the industry that VVAA operates in. See the ‘The Test’ section for relevant images of the page.

The Hypothesis

Alwyn de Bruijn, the webmaster over at VVAA felt that the lifeline could be a distraction, leading visitors’ attention away from the CTA button. So, the association decided to A/B test the design against a variation that would be similar in all respects, except that it wouldn’t contain the ‘lifeline’.  The hypothesis was that the variation would convert more visitors (measured as clicks on the CTA).

The Test

The Control

A/B test control


The Variation


The A/B test ran for 20 days, on 7885 visitors who were randomly shown one of the two versions – the control and the variation.

The Result

How often does it happen that a lifeline gets discarded and the patient gets better?

The variation without the horizontal line effected a 7.8% increase in CTA clicks, clocking a super awesome 99.93% confidence level. In other words, VVAA could be 99.93% confident that the variation (without the ‘lifeline’) will yield a 7.8% increase on the number of clicks on the CTA.

Thanks to the A/B test, VVAA earned an objective basis to form a decision, and optimize its page for better conversions.

Now that we’ve got the facts out of our way, let’s look at even more interesting things, like,

Why did the Variation Win?

In Brujin’s own words, the variation (without the horizontal line) won “because the life line affects where visitors eyeline is placed on the page and might miss the CTA at the beginning.”

Let’s break Brujin’s analysis down, further.


Web Page visitors largely read along an F-shaped pattern.

F-shaped reading pattern

Beginning with a horizontal scan of the top section > 

> then moving vertically down the page a bit > advancing across the page horizontally again > 

> and finally going for a quick vertical scan of the rest of the page.

Hold on to that information. There’s another piece to solving this puzzle.  In this study by Neilsen Norman Group, it emerged that visitors spend as much as 69% of viewing time on the left half of the screen.

Keeping both these insights in mind, let’s try and track the eye movement of Bob, a visitor on the VVAA page.

He scans across the page horizontally, covering most of the header elements. Then he moves down the largely empty left section of the page. That’s when the bright orange “lifeline” disrupts his flow. It acts as a leading line, guiding Bob horizontally along the line. By this time, Bob has already moved past the CTA button, which appears above the ‘lifeline’. He might then scan the rest of the page. But, rest assured, Bob and any business potential that Bob presented, have already been lost.

But, it’s right there, the CTA button, you might argue. Why wouldn’t Bob just notice it, and go right back to the real CTA?

Consider this.

What if Bob couldn’t notice the actual CTA button? (no, Bob is not blind)

The Curious Case of ‘False Button’

The ‘lifeline’ carries a bubble about right below the intended CTA button. The bubble also has a text element underneath it that says “Zelf uw zorg kiezen”, which translates to “Choose your care”.

Could the bubble pass for a prominent element – a false CTA, perhaps?

False Button

There’s more. The dialogue box that holds the actual CTA button has an appendage pointing right to the center of the bubble. That’s another cue for the visitor that the bubble itself is of some importance, diluting the attention that the actual CTA would otherwise receive. Also, that the lifeline has the same color as the CTA, doesn’t help with creating any discernible contrast, or a conversion.

But, the CTA is still there! Can’t you expect some Bobs to realize this? Yes, you could expect, but you’d probably be unreasonable in doing so. Why?

Fitts’s Law!

A simplistic explanation of a key tenet of the law is this – the closer and larger a target (a clickable element on a page), the faster it is to click on the target. This awesome Smashing Magazine article points out that the larger the absolute or relative size of a target button, the higher the probability for it to be clicked.

With the false ‘bubble’ button right below the actual CTA, and in the same color, the relative size (and visibility) of the CTA diminishes in the eyes of Bob, killing that tiny weeny chance for the CTA to be noticed.

Interesting? We’re not done yet.

Directional Cue

Directional Cue

The VVAA header image plays on an important psychological prompt – directional cue. By nature, human sight locks in on the eyes (or whatever looks eye-like) of a human or human-like subject and then follow the line-of-sight of the subject. Most likely, this trait has its roots in evolution. In the case in question, the woman’s eyes lead Bob towards the part of the image that has quite a few elements – the actual CTA button, the false button and the pointy bit of the dialogue box appendage. By clustering together these elements, the page robs the actual CTA button of its intended prominence. There goes your Big Orange Button for a toss. And Bob, too.

By taking the lifeline away, and with it the false CTA, the actual CTA gets ample white space around it. This accentuates the importance of the button, improving conversions or  useful clicks on the CTA. Here’s a good read if you think white space is wasted space.

What Do You Think?

Should such seemingly trivial changes (removing the lifeline) be implemented based simply on intuition? Or would it be prudent to have changes, however minor, tested first?

It would also be interesting to know if you are able to identify the possibility of such minor major changes on your current page.

Let us know in the comments section right below. You can also reach me on twitter @SharanTheSuresh or hit us with your thoughts on twitter @wingify.

We’re listening.

UX guide to increase eCommerce sales

The post How a Dutch Major Achieved 7.8% Increase in Conversion, by Removing a ‘Lifeline’ appeared first on VWO Blog.

View this article:  How a Dutch Major Achieved 7.8% Increase in Conversion, by Removing a ‘Lifeline’

The Art Of Storytelling Around An App

Every app tells a story. Apps like Pandora tell the story of music; apps like Tip N Split tell a story of a calculator; and apps like Temperature tell the story of weather. Then we have storybook apps like Alice for the iPad, which literally tell stories!
The story of the cluttered app market is well known! Biz Report recently reported that the number of app downloads is estimated to reach 56 billion in 2013.

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The Art Of Storytelling Around An App


The Elements Of Navigation + 6 Design Guidelines

When users look for information, they have a goal and are on a mission. Even before you started to read this article, chances are you did because you either had the implicit goal of checking what’s new on Smashing Magazine, or had the explicit goal of finding information about “Navigation Design”. [Links checked February/11/2017]
After a couple of seconds of scanning this article, and maybe reading parts of the introduction, you may have started to ask yourself whether the information that you’re consuming at the moment is actually relevant to you—the user.

Read this article: 

The Elements Of Navigation + 6 Design Guidelines

Designing for the Mind

Do you know what makes a design good? Is it merely an opinion, or is there something more to it? Breaking design down seems like such an abstract thing. Even the designers who are able to create thought-provoking work seem purely talented and have natural abilities that can’t really be nailed down to a process. But what if there were principles that captured why design and art worked the way that they do?

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Designing for the Mind

Optimizing Emotional Engagement In Web Design Through Metrics

Think about what keeps you coming back to your favorite store, your favorite person or even your favorite website. It’s not just a mindless buy-go, hug-go or click-go relationship. It is a complicated, emotional connection. It is what makes relationships with people and brands intoxicating. User engagement must have an equally complex emotional connection. It must affect the user in mind, body and spirit. Anything less is a 1990s brochure website.

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Optimizing Emotional Engagement In Web Design Through Metrics

¡Viva Mexico! Showcase Of Web Design In Mexico

This post is the third article of our new series “Global Web Design“. Throughout this series we’ll be covering various continents, featuring web developers and web designs from different countries of the world and taking a close look at what’s happening in the web design scene worldwide. We started with Russian Web Design and Web Design in Ireland. We continue now with Mexico and next week with Israel. If you would like to prepare an article for this series, please contact us so we can discuss the details.


¡Viva Mexico! Showcase Of Web Design In Mexico