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Conversion Conference Liveblog – Tuesday June 26th AM

Amy Africa Conversion Conference

Keynote: Power Selling: Tips To Move Visitors To Action

Amy Africa on Twitter @amyafrica

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Amy Africa Presentation Notes

Going to talk about Power Selling. My specialty is usability (UX). Way we do usability now has changed from how we used to do it. Now we bring people in and give people money ($10,000) then ask people to do whatever they want for the next three hours. They can do whatever they want to do. If you don’t spend the money you don’t take it home. Whatever isn’t spent is given to test subjects. Eyetracking, EKG and look at nonverbal communication and figure out exactly what you are doing.

Then we see if we can manipulate your behavior. Last year they tested mood drugs to see if they could stop cart abandonment. “What I say is going to be different than what you heard yesterday,” Amy Africa. You’ve learned to be a poker player with your face. But you may not have learned to control your feet. 94% of people who check out move their feet into the “Flight or Fight” mode, defensive posture. People are scared. Our brains are meant to protect us from death, so when buyers go into defensive posture then what does it say about the Internet. It is not as simple as we THINK, it is SIMPLER.

Car Studies
Give away cars up to $80,000. On any given day a quarter to a third of the people in the test leave with nothing due to paradox of choice freezing people from being able to make a choice. There was a lot of information yesterday that said ecommerce and lead gen were the same, but it is not.


40% to 60% of your success online is due to navigation. Navigation has to be user centered. Users go to the upper right hand quad when they move into a site for the first time. Then they go to the middle. Go to the left if need help. Go to the right when we are about to leave. Right hand column is the “Save” column.

After people look at the second page they only look down the middle. Top navigation is where users spend the most time especially areas in top center. Left hand navigation helps users refine decisions, makes it easier. YES YES YES. ********** About 15% of people search from bottom up especially if B2B lead gen. No rollovers on bottom and forms are bad on the bottom.

Lose about 2/3 of people on search. People who use search have 2nd highest chance to buy and very high exit chance after 2 to 3 pages. Include navigational taxonomy. Problem solution navigation if done well can make up for about 25% of problems online. No such thing as right hand navigation. Right hand navigation is horrible idea.


The word connect = scenttrail (is CRITICAL), must have this or lose 60% of the people (and that number is conservative). Take top 10 words people search in Google and is there a connect on your navigation. Rocket Clicks = good PPC and word connect is essential to PPC.

Most important thing you can have people do online is get them to take some positive action. Internet is a numbers game. Many people into funnel you squeeze more out.

3. TEXT SEARCH (internal site search)
If the navigation is good your users shouldn’t use text search. Look at words people are using in search. The bigger the search box the better. Big box = people will type big things. If you know users are bad at searching split box like Amazon. Search should be in middle. If your search sucks put it left. If your search is excellent put in middle at top and mimic at bottom. Tracking successful and unsuccessful searches. Keep in mind finding stuff isn’t a conversion. Over half of “successful” searches meaning users got something but we (site owners) didn’t.

Think about buying a tent. 1. water proof and 2. easy to breathe inside. If you put bad tents in first two slots you still will sell the best tents. Position outweighs ALL. Careful in way you present search results. Success! Great word to use. Success we’ve found 100 tents. Users will only look at 6 results. Must make sure results are in #1 BEST #2 Next Best and so on. Bet your house on #1. If you can’t use anything else for your search use refinements (price, color, availability should be done on the left). We tend to use lots of facets. If you have more than 5 facets YOU KILL conversion.

Offer generic recommendations for NO FINDS DO NOT DEADEND PAGES. There should be some visual in the middle at all times. The brain is looking for the visual not the text. 80% will scan text instead of reading it, so VISUALS are key.

Every page must have action directives. Do people scroll? 84% of attention is always at top view. Majority of brainpower is on the first view (i.e. make sure there is a CART on every page). Persistent cart is key. A cart in top right and bottom middle. Ecommerce should have 2 to 4 carts on every page. This mimics having a cart in a store.

If you are B2B ask for than one way. Ask 8 times for every view!!!! Ask for more ways to get the lead!!!! Amy gets 6500 emails a day. I would rather get shot than sign up for another email subscription, BUT there may be other ways. Amy might do an Ask The Expert, a review a poll so these can be ways to ask for the order. If you aren’t asking for more ways to give baby steps you lose.

5. LOGICAL PROCESS – slow like dating.
Collect mobile phone numbers. They are the best way to profile. You will love mobile profiling. Look for all the ways you can start a dialogue. Don’t let it distract, but make sure you have it. Are you asking for enough stuff? Are you being fair.

6. BIG ORANGE ACTION BUTTONS – especially true on mobile because typing is so hard.
What are your action directives (button keywords). Tell people what they are supposed to do. Get your free no obligation quote now. Adding NOW get more clicks because we obey command. Buy buttons are near the reptile brain. Easiest to control and must be simple because reptile brain needs it simple.

7. Deadlines
2 or 3 weeks are too long from a web perspective. I recommend that deadlines online is 3 days MAXIMUM. Best deadlines happen in 24 hours. Shorter deadlines and use the DATE. Don’t subscribe to moving banners SUCKING. If your moving banners don’t work it is because your creative sucks. Amy believes moving heroes can work with great creative. The brain only remembers things that are important: beginnings, middles maybe and end. Deadlines help brain focus. It moves me from visit to buy mode.

Deadlines are critical for B2B lead gen too because of the impact on the brain. Body goes into fight or flight mode when action mode.

People love SPEED especially in mobile. We MUST go to making things FAST again. Search, checkout and lead forms must be fast. 22% people bail if slow. Carts should never expire. You want to know someone had something in their basket due to segmentation. Guest checkouts = 1/3 of people will use because they think it is faster.

The first page on any checkout is to gather email. The other first step is guest checkout or no. Make sure there are no irrelevant questions. Where did you hear about us is not a relevant question. Anything that is not relevant should be avoided. CLEAR action directives on every view. View cart pages aren’t for everyone and should be tested. TEMPERATURE BARS ARE FOR EVERYONE. Shopping bag does not work as well as shopping cart. Temperature bars sets process and expectations. Keeps progress (sometimes called a progress bar).

Users need perpetual carts and pop carts. 40% of women over 40 abandon because they forget something was in their cart. CART = STORE, no cart = library. Should have a phone number at top on right, bottom too. 20 – 30% of people will call. Checkout = DUMP NAVIGATION, don’t release bird in hand. Take away distractions. Have alternative ways to order (phone) and express checkouts.

B2B Leadforms = FAST and prefill information when possible. Like 1 page lead form. Progress bar if more than one page. City, State, Zip should be on separate lines. Don’t change order (always City, State, Zip Country). If you don’t need something like title then don’t ask for it. Don’t ask for things like Date of Birth in B2B. Be really aggressive and tight. Simple form, large CTAs and little else. Always capture email first. Email at top so you can use it if they don’t finish.

Need a benefits reminder (picture of a white paper). This is what I’m going to get is KEY. Very solid on the forms is key (and forms SUCK).

If you don’t see 55% repeats then you are not getting enough people to come back. If you are not getting repeats it is because you didn’t ask for people to come back. Personalization is critical when repeat. Repeat traffic is where money is made. Use your BOP or Be Back. If you get someone to the site, the bop is the thing that says “we know who you are and here is where you can start over”. If you read the cookie and they were close then BOP them through the process.

Make sure your visual changes. Anytime we see new information we ask 6 questions.


eat me


sex with me

seen it and safe

never seen it (proceed or proceed with caution)

DON’T CHANGE core elements because we don’t want returns visitors to re-process if it is ok to be here. We are cavemen in our behavior.

Visuals are the KEY. Big visual and 3 to 5 alternate visuals. PEOPLE = with eyes straight on. Have to figure out what you want to do. People pictures increase user session. PEOPLE = TRUST. Not reading body copy. Review people look at stars, only 10% look at reviews. Reviews must be weighted. One good review and one medium review (the brain loves contrast) and click for more reviews. Don’t overwhelm with reviews. Caption is really important and most sites don’t use them. BUY NOW = better conversion if you have abandoned cart over ADD TO CART.

We are lazy when it comes to sites. Knowing when they will get it is important, should be near prices. In Stock will ship today is important, as important as money.

I only look at 10 metrics

Active average user session (divide page views by time on )

20 to 30 seconds is right time on most pages.

Not always good for conversion. Good video exmples list on Amy’s blog. Rolling telephone number on bottom.


social media is not evidence. Reviews are great for evidence. Best Sellers List. Testimonials. User Reviews the LIKE ME thing again. Look at dynamic. We will look back in 3 years and laugh at the lack of personalization. Try to show something you know about them that will influence their buying behavior. Recently viewed items = helpful for scenttrail. Should be getting 15% to 30% of sales in cross sales. You don’t get it if you don’t ask for it.

Pops on exit and Pops on entrance. Pattern interrupters. Cart hoppers are good. Cart hoppers tell you we are going to take you to the right place. Triggers for followup. If you have a good process you sell more on backend than frontend. 60% abandon and 65% abandon lead forms. After they abandon look for how to market in a series. Business is made by triggers. You abandoned our search, leadform or welcome, reactivation emails, things that get people to come back. Use instigated chat. Find out where your users are struggling then you can save 60% of the people. You start an live chat cased on what you see, are you having a problem kinds of chats.

Remarketing is all about the creative and creative fatigues quickly. Remarketing is not set it and forget it.

*** AMAZING. I could have made many more millions as a Director of Ecommerce with 3 of the 20 tips Amy shared here today. My favorites were:

  1. Work Your Repeats (money is in the backend)
  2. Deadlines (boy do I know the truth of this statement, made millions ending stuff on Monday also liked her 3 day rule)
  3. Importance of ScentTrial (I named my blog ScentTrail because I saw it as the issue of our ecommerce times and Amy’s research verifies that stance).

To say Amy is smart would be to vastly understate. She speaks rapid fire, I almost couldn’t keep up, and every other thing either confirmed my Ecommerce experience or made me think I missed something BIG (several somethings actually :). Great presentation. I will be working more with this data as soon as possible.  Unbelievably amazing presentation. Marty.

John Lawson Conversion Conference

Social Persuasion: Selling More Through Influence & Authority

John Lawson, on Twitter @ColderICE

John is discussing, in a rambling kind of a way, the important social concept of reciprocity. Mutual obligation is a key concept in ecommerce and B2B. Give it up to get something creates a relationship where you, as receiver, feel like you owe me. Be the first one to give is a good advice. Also like his call for easy UGC (user generated content). UGC is about to explode in some meaningful way and we don’t do it well now.

Now John is discussing the habituation principles. We like consistency in our deeds and words. This touches on the cognitive dissonance created by disparity. We like consistency because it is safe, we don’t have to think and we are habit animals. I’ve seen the impact of dissonance when we sound or do one thing and present another and no one buys in that condition. Small commitments can lead to larger ones.

That too is good advice. Build on small to get more and more, but, as Amy said, it is like dating. Go slow, with care and share, share and share some more. Every Monday John puts up a Monday Morning Infographic and traffic spikes due to his consistency. He creates trust with the regular interval idea. Angry birds are monetizing with STUFF now after giving away the game (and boy is that stuff going viral saw 10 Angry Birds shirts and stuff o people at the mall this weekend).

Mobile Commerce – give them something for free first. Brand new requires FREE, FREE and FREE. John is noting how the web, when it started, was replete with FREE. Less so now because shopping online isn’t new. Free moved to the phone. Start with FREE to reduce stress and commitment.

Social Proof
Every club has a line. It is the Sudio54 syndrome. Lines = GOOD. We are creatures who want to follow the flock. The LIKE ME idea is a key one that keeps coming up at Conversion Conference. Stop writing content to convert people. Write content toward the people who are already in harmony, the LIKE ME, then you will resonate and it will “feel so good”. When you are in rhythm. Marketing is more cost effective when you stop trying to convert people.

Don’t be selfish. It isn’t all about YOU. Think from the customers (receivers) experience. It (social) is about THE PEOPLE. Not about our brands, but about how people interact with our brands. People love to see what other people are doing with your product.

Make Me Feel Special With Social Proof
I have 50K followers. People follow me because I have 50K followers (self fulfilling prophecy). This idea of TRIBE is coming up as much as LIKE ME. Social Proof is HUGE and about to get BIGGER. If you can grab the pictures of friends of mine who’ve done whatever I’m looking at your chances to convert me go up sharply.

People buy from who they like. In a land of infinite choice being LIKED is an increasingly important part of buying decisions. John is noting that social is most valuable when people are actually using your products (conversion in other words). Need a CONVERTING tribe. Only good when actually buying something. John would rather have 10 buyers than 10,000 followers who don’t do anything.

Why John likes Pinterest.

No one buys on Social. No one trusts social media. No one will give their CC on Facebook. A little too early. John doesn’t agree with shuttering social, but he agrees it is too early. Why do things on Facebook when your site is better with selection and there is a cart there. Popele who like you do spend more, but you got to move them to the cart. Interesting chart on the perception gap with social media. 61% look for discounts but that is not what we do on social creating dissonance and dissonance = NOT BUYING.

SMART PLAY – John put a page on Facebook to convert his site + coupon search. Interesting solution to a common problem (cart abandonment due to no coupon or going out to the web to look for coupons). I think I would prefer a Pop Down keeping customers on the cart, but interesting solution he says is working is to drive them away, arm them with a coupon and then bring them back. Lots of steps, but those coupon people are different.

Another good idea – Find the influencer and empower them. Empower your cheerleaders. Arm your brand advocates, keep them close because they will spread your influence.

What do we like:
* Physical attractiveness
* LIKE ME similarity
* Praise
* Familiar
* Association

* Knowledge, wisdom, power
* Parents, teachers, bosses
* Titles, Uniform, badges

You can “ask with authority” (WOW that is a great idea). John likes for its VIP section as example of velvet ropes. Best thing you can do in social media is listen. Join in instead of pushing and creating first. Best way is ask questions and listen to response. John believes the iPhone killed Second Life. We got a second life thanks to the iPhone. We are creating our own avatars in real time.

15 minutes of fame is dead. You can be a star on social forever.

Using Psychology To Increase Conversion At PayPal

Time Perception
Thayer & Schiff, 1975 (happy beats angry)
Cahoon & Edmonds, 1980 (time passed slowly when pot was being watched, time passed slowly when waiting for some non-determined thing)
Important to think about the end users perception of time is more important. If something feels fast it is fast. Happy faces made it feel like time passed more quickly. How can we apply the happy vs. angry idea. Again this is about the site’s nonverbals. It it appears hard it is. If it appears hard then so is your company.

This is why progress bars are so important in checkout.

Mark, Gudith & Klocke, 2008
Interruption = stress. Why you eliminate nav in the checkout after first page. Make sure that carts reflect the NO INTERRUPTIONS policy as any interruption, or different task, creates stress.

Interruption is not always bad. Interruption does not always create stress.

Hudson, Christensen, Kellogg & Erickson, 2002 – Are there good interruptions.
Interruptions that are relevant aren’t as bad. Best sites can ask for account creation at the right time.

Likes as getting the timing right in the cart.

Typically letting you skip the checkout flow by using PayPal can help conversion. PayPal found they didn’t increase conversion with their mention early. Moving the PayPal to latter, after the process was concluded in a flower site, then conversions went up because people felt they could complete their task.

Information Filtering
We have so much information coming in at any given time we selectively filter. Neisser & Becklen, 1975. Brain can focus and shut out other pieces. Best websites are designed to filter for you,  Walmart beats TiggerDirect because the site focuses the brain. Best sites FILTER information for their customers.

Cherry, 1953 = Cocktail Party Effect
Relevance cuts through information filtering. Your name is a good example of an information filtering device. Showing an example now how PayPal people look at a page. They SEE their information. FACES CUT THROUGH INFORMATION FILTER, BUT…..

A cute kid destroyed PP conversion.

HAVE FACES LOOK AT CTA. We follow the eye lines of the faces on the page. If pretty woman stares at me I stare back and that is all that happens. If pretty woman looks at  something then I look at what she is looking at. Great example of how where people are looking is where faces are looking. Use faces in an intelligent way because they are powerful.

Breakfast Meeting

Aviation Interviews

Mike & Brian Peters, Founders

Great conversation at breakfast with Brian and Mike Peters. Mike and his brother Brian have created THE site for pilots, flight attendants and ground personnel. Their site is a study in how to create a successful web business:

  • Organic growth.
  • Love (Mike was a pilot for Continental)
  • Serve your niche.
  • What converts is what is true (we aren’t artists Brian told me).
  • Keywords In URL.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Follow Your Customers (when flight attendants asked what about us they added a section to the site)

Great guys who are really smart about their Internet marketing. How do they make money? They sell subscriptions. “It is kind of a Freemium model, they get a lot and then can upgrade,” Mike shared. Want to see what a great ecommerce machine website looks like, stop by Brian and Mike’s Aviation Interviews site. If you are a pilot or flight attendant I’m betting you already know about it. Kudos to the brothers from Madison, WI.


aviation interviews site

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