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Home arrow Site Optimization arrow Clarity Trumps Persuasion
Clarity Trumps Persuasion
Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Topic: Clarity Trumps Persuasion: How changing the first seven seconds of user experience drove a 201% gain

While marketers invest the majority of their time and budgets on areas deeper down in the funnel, MarketingExperiments research has found that most of the gain from optimizing a website occurs in the first seven seconds of users' experience.

Millions of dollars are won or lost in these first few moments a visitor spends on your site. So in this issue of MarketingExperiments Journal, we'll explore what can be done in this very short period of time to increase the probability of converting those visitors into customers.

All of the complex analysis and formulaic methodologies used by our scientists to create optimized pages that deliver triple-digit conversion gains can be summed up in three simple words...

Clarity Trumps Persuasion

While many marketers are intimidated by choosing the best copy for their site, our research has found that the simple, yet powerful way to drive customers deeper into your web page is by being clear.

So don't worry about selecting the perfect persuasion words and putting them in the perfect order when writing your website copy. Instead, focus on answering these three questions...

Where Am I?

In any transition from one place to another there is a required moment of orientation. Your visitors experience this need for orientation upon arriving to your landing page from a search engine or email.

One of the ways to overcome this inherent confusion is to hit the back button. You need to show them where they are and how it fits in with where they were, to ensure that there is no unsupervised thinking. Don't let them solve this dilemma with one costly click.

What Can I Do Here?

Of course, it's not enough to answer the first question and tell your visitors where they are. The answer to this first question should be almost instantaneous. In the next few seconds they must know what they can do to begin that dialogue with you and move in a forward direction.

In answering Question #2, clarity is again key. The chief enemy of forward momentum is confusion.

Why Should I Do It?

This is the most challenging question to answer. The problems stemming from the first two questions are much easier to fix, but you must answer the last question in the context of all of the other competitive options available to your prospective customers.

Most importantly, answering this question matters most to getting prospective customers to say "yes."

Read the clinic summary (PDF) or view the full presentation video to learn principles that can help you make simple yet lucrative changes that drive your visitors to conversion.

Download the clinic summary:

Special Report: Clarity Trumps Persuasion
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View the clinic presentation:

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You can also watch a brief video of Dr. Flint McGlaughlin teaching this web clinic on the MarketingExperiments Blog.

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About This Brief


Editor-in-Chief — Dr. Flint McGlaughlin

Writer(s) — Daniel Burstein
Pamela Markey
Austin McCraw

Key Researcher(s) — Adam Lapp

Contributor(s) — Greg Burningham
       Dr. Flint McGlaughlin

Production — Austin McCraw

HTML Designer — Landon Calabello

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