This is a guest post by Naomi Niles. Naomi talks about conversion rate optimization and about how companies can connect better with their customers over at her site. She also runs a custom web design and development studio with her husband over at Intuitive Designs. We like how Naomi thinks about conversion, and we hope you enjoy this post from her as much as we did!
One of the biggest mistakes companies make with their websites and landing pages is that they try to please everyone all the time. There’s a small problem with this approach though.
It doesn’t work.
It’s much like the famous quote from President Lincoln, “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”.
When you try to please everyone, the final result of that is often a boring, standard-looking landing page or website with design and copy that doesn’t excite anyone all that much. It’s kind of “meh”. Kind of “blah”. Kind of…. well, you get my point.
That’s because you’re not really speaking with your customer.
At least, not in an empathetic way.
You may be putting the information there that they need to make a logical decision and a place to house it, but you’re broadcasting that info, not having a conversation. You know that guy at the party that likes to tell everyone about his birdwatching hobby, but doesn’t let anyone else get a word in edgewise? You don’t want to be that guy.
Persona development is a good way to avoid that.
I know, you’ve probably already heard about persona development or do it already. But, how useful are your personas? I’m not talking about making your personas pages and pages long. But, is the information you do have actually serving its purpose?
The thing about personas is that often, they only address a totally fictional character based on how we would personally like our ideal customer to be. While things like demographic data and identifying your target market are good in terms of helping you determine your types of offerings, it doesn’t do a lot in the way of addressing how you should connect with your visitors on a more personal level.
Here are some ways you can connect better with your visitors through personas:
Discover your customer’s real motivations.
What is the real reason why people buy what you are offering? Do your values align with theirs? What keeps them up at night (this can be either good or bad!)? Once you have that figured out, you can create a storyline in your persona based on the real reasons your people buy from you.
If you’re not sure where to start, try surveying your current loyal customers or interview your top sales people to see what they say about your customers. What kind of personalities do your customers have? Do they have some interesting stories to share?
By finding out what fascinates your customers, you can be fascinating too!
This ties in with discovering your customer’s key motivations although it’s not the same. How can you spark your customer’s curiosity and keep them intrigued? Being fascinating to one person is all it really takes. You really just need one solid trigger and and to use it consistently.
Try adding this sentence to your persona “Customer name is fascinated by….”.
Study their behavior.
By analyzing your analytics and visitor search queries, you can have a general idea about how people are using your site and what they are looking for. Is there a way to tie this information into your persona? How does a potential customer go from one place to another and why are they taking that path? What are their goals?
Also, by studying the metrics, you also have a little bit of scientific data to back up your assumptions, which is handy.
Discover trigger keywords and use them in your copy.
Have you ever went so far as to put together a list of keywords that speak directly to your customer? I think these make a great addition to a persona. They can later be used as a reference for the copy on your website, marketing materials, and ads.
Examples of keywords that might be compelling include: new, powerful, prestigious, personal, agile, alive, connect, etc.
Make different personas for different types of customers.
Do your visitors have different behavoir depending on the type of product or service they are buying or their own different personality types and values? You can address these things by making different personas and referring to them on an as needed basis.
There’s no need to go all crazy and make dozens though. Remember what I mentioned above about trying to please all people all the time? Target the top 20% of your customer base and you should be all set!
What other things can you think of that would help you develop a persona to use as a reference to speak with your customer and not at them?