In the previous article, we covered the “attraction” aspects (relevance, value and motivation) of the customer conversions process. This article will deconstruct the “engagement” process of how consumers interact with your messaging and your brand.
Friction, in the customer conversion process is anything that slows down, obstructs or otherwise confuses the consumer during the customer experience process. These are typically things in the design, layout and/or functionality of your marketing pieces that prevent the consumer from taking action.
Anxiety, both internal and external, affects the customer conversion process in many ways; especially on the web, where credibility and assurance are the hallmarks of a stable company. Evoking these genuine qualities in your online and off-line efforts helps to minimize anxiety your target consumers may have about your brand.
Urgency, sometimes termed “incentive,” is anything in your messaging that helps create a sense of urgency in consumers’ minds. Time-sensitive discounts, BOGO incentives and other tactics to help get consumers “off the fence.”
Distractions, in this process, are things like too much information, too many call’s-to-action in your materials, convoluted website navigation, non-relevant content and anything else that diverts consumers’ attention away from the conversion goal.
Consider, now, the following individual factors that, when combined together, result in a typical customer conversion (or not): Relevance, value, motivation, friction, anxiety, urgency (or incentive) and distractions.
Some of these factors have a positive effect, some have a negative effect. By combining these factors, we can arrive at one formula that looks something like this:
Conversion = R x (V + M) – (F + A) + U – D.
The relevance, or timing, of your message is multiplied by the value the consumer perceives plus the motivation of the consumer to buy. The next part of the formula addresses the negative components of the customer experience; mainly friction and anxiety. Elements in your messaging or customer experience process all produce a level of friction, which is a direct result of improper layout, poor design, bad grammar and many other often unconsidered elements. This friction also produces anxiety in the consumer, relative to this transaction. Finally, whatever sense of urgency is created, by either the consumers’ circumstances, or by effective incentives in the messaging, is diminished by any distractions in your print efforts or web pages. Some experts go so far as to say font styles, colors and even language tone and specific words can affect anxiety levels.
Another conversion formula, which has gained strong support among advanced marketing professionals, attaches value denominations to each of the factors in the equation, like so;
C = 4m + 3v + 2(i-f) – 2a©
Where <i> in this formula stands for incentive, this is similar to <u> for urgency in the previous formula noted above.
Dr. Flint McGlaughlin, Director at MECLABS, LLC, developed the formula and explains, “We began to detect patterns in the cognitive psychology of the value exchange. Using those patterns we developed a theory, then, we began to test that theory in a series of experiments.”
Dr. McGlaughlin‘s particular formula uses numerical representations to “weight” the value of each of the component parts of the formula. “The co-efficient in the formula represents the relative difference between the various elements,” explained Dr. McGlaughlin. “You must remember this is not so much a formula, as it is a heuristic. The heuristic is a thinking tool that helps achieve a practical result. Its real power comes from viewing it as a thinking tool,” he added.
With that very thought in mind, you could consider the practical application of conversion formulas for your messaging strategies.
To convert customers, in order of importance, ensure that your customer touchpoints and related messaging incorporate these five aspects, accordingly:
1.) Target your efforts to consumers who are ready to take action and whose motivation aligns well with your offer.
2.) Ensure that the value of your offer is extremely clear and attractive.
3.) Create a powerful of incentive to help convert motivated buyers.
4.) Remove any friction points in your customer experience process (poor design, long forms, etc.)
5.) Remove any anxiety about converting (reassure data is private, no spam, solid reputation, etc.)
When you create a strong value proposition for a targeted market; when your message is relevant, provides value and is created in a way that builds trust and confidence and incorporates a sense of genuine incentive while addressing fundamental human needs, your message will resonate with your audience and they will become your customers. They could even become your brand evangelists.
Read The Mathemagical Customer Conversion Formula Part 1 here.
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This article is part of the Conversion Marketing Thought Leadership Series.