In software architecture, marketing strategy, and business management, I’m a big fan of frameworks.
It’s not that a framework is a guaranteed recipe for success, but a good framework helps you ask the right questions, see how they relate to each other, and stay focused on the important things. A good framework gives a team a common model around which to communicate and collaborate.
Here’s a framework for conversion optimization that I wanted to share with you. It’s called READY, which stands for (R)elevant, (E)ngaging, (A)uthoritative, (D)irectional, and (Y)ield Optimal.
These are the five dimensions that we’ve repeatedly seen impact the success of conversion optimization scenarios — landing pages, conversion paths, microsites — in both B2B and B2C markets. Within each dimension, I’ve pulled out 5 elements that I think are most important.
- Fulfills promises: every specific promise is followed through
- Message match: the ad and its destination have the same message
- Design match: the ad and its destination have visual continuity
- Audience identity: speaks authentically to particular segments
- Timely: everything is up to date, fresh, ideally “in-the-moment”
- Compelling value proposition: your core product/offer is great
- Emotional appeal: feed the right brain, story, mood, meaning
- Rational justification: feed the left brain, quantify, reason
- Affective design: user-centered, communicates value, intuitive
- Differentiated: be unique, authentic, memorable — stand out
- Assurances: build confidence, sooth anxieties, be reliable
- Accurate & concrete: be real, be credible; accurate details
- Social norms: good policies, reasonable forms, cultural norms
- Social proof: customers, testimonials, awards, halo effects
- Brand consistent: consistency leverages and builds brand trust
- Clear call to action: a reasonable and obvious next step
- Frictionless choices: give people easy, not hard, choices
- Minimal distractions: keep focused but don’t be controlling
- Motivation & incentives: extra nudge to take action now
- Progressive conversion: build commitment a step at a time
- Hypothesis: ask a meaningful question, focus your efforts
- A/B or multivariate test: “always be testing” at some level
- Tracking & segmentation: know your metrics, close the loop
- SEO: take a conscious approach to search engine positioning
- Downstream READY: follow through seamlessly, consistently
The first four categories are focused on the user experience, while the last category — maximizing the yield of your conversion rate optimization efforts — is focused on the operation of the landing experience itself.
Not every landing page needs to score off the charts on all of these, but this is the checklist I would use to make sure that a particular post-click marketing experience was given every chance to succeed.
The ideas embodied within this framework take inspiration from the writings of Bryan Eisenberg and John Quarto-vonTivadar (Always Be Testing), Tim Ash (Landing Page Optimization), Robert Cialdini (Influence), Chris Goward (The LIFT Model), Dan Ariely (Predictably Irrational), Gord Hotchkiss (The Buyersphere Project), Lance Loveday and Sandra Niehaus (Web Design for ROI), and Chip and Dan Heath (Made to Stick). And, of course, Anna, Justin, and myself (Honest Seduction).
In a couple of weeks, I’ll be speaking at SMX Advanced on how to Pump Up Your Conversions. For my presentation, I plan to walk through this framework — so I’d love any feedback you have to help make it better.