Watch My Book In 10 Minutes – Read It For Me Preview

Robert Cialdini wrote a book that has helped me write better, develop effective offers and generate more revenue for my company and my customers. I recommend the book frequently. In fact, you may be one of the people I recommended it to.

But what if I hadn’t read it?

Even though it changed the way I work, I only read it once. Why is that?

It’s because there is a pile of recommended books on my bookshelf. My Amazon wish list is full of important books.

It’s because there is a pile of books sitting on my nightstand, half read and some not started.

And it’s because I don’t have the habit of reading during the day when I’m responding to others’ needs.

Despite all of this, I just read it again.

I just got a complete refresher on Cialdini’s Influence: Science and Practice.

It took eleven minutes of my day.

This is the power of video and a service called Read It For Me. Read It For Me summarized Chiladini’s eight principles. They did it in a format I can use during the day. It’s the kind of break you want to take during a busy day.

Safer than Youtube. More productive than checking email. Again and again.

It’s not the same as reading the whole book. However, it is far far better than not reading it at all.

Don’t buy my book. You can get an 11-minute summary on Read It For Me. I would much rather you hear my message in a video than not read my book, even if you already bought it.

I pay for my Read It For Me subscription, even though I’m one of their authors. It’s not expensive, and it’s too important.

For the complete video and so much more go to ReadItForMe.com.

Check out their amazing style

Want to see an example? Watch the intro to the video they did for my book. Then head over and sign up for a free month of Read It For Me.

You’ll find Robert Cialdini, Dan Kennedy, Chip and Dan Heath, Seth Godin, Keith Farrazzi, and even pesky upstarts like Machiavelli. Read It For Me is the way busy business people become great business people — and great people. Malcolm Gladwell. Patrick Lencioni. These are some of the authors who helped make me who I am.

Do the free trial and just try to keep yourself from “reading” more books than you ever thought possible.

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3 Must Have Tools for Those Who Depend on Google Analytics [AUDIO]

What the chart said vs realitty

The staff was assembled, the stage was set. Representatives from every department plus some of the big brass were sitting around the long conference table.

I was about to present the data that showed how successful my marketing campaigns had been for the past month. This was important, because it had been like pulling teeth to get a more data-driven process in place.

IT had to be cajoled into setting up Google Analytics.

Sales had to be bullied into keeping good account of leads and sales.

Now, with the first full month of data in hand, I was going to point to some steady growth. My pitch was confident as I showed the increase in leads and correlated it with an increase in sales. I was going to be a star.

Until someone spoke up from sales.

“We didn’t get that many leads last month. Most of my sales came from affiliates.”

All eyes turned to me. What I would say next would either raise stature or destroy my credibility.

Was it my programs, or was it my analytics that caused this disconnect?

The right answer would have been, “I personally QA’d our analytics setup. These numbers are right.”

Could you have given that answer?

In my most recent Marketing Land article Is It The Site, Or Is It The Analytics? Debugging Google Analytics, I show you how to be certain that your Google Analytics setup is working as planned.

Whether you setup your own analytics or have your tech team do it, you need to know that the data you’re using is right.

Listen to the Article, Read by the Author

Subscribe

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Chinwag Psych Conference Presentation – Getting Past the Bouncers in our Brains

Chinwag Psych Conf 2014

I have to admit, I was a little more nervous than usual presenting in front of an audience of psychologist-marketers.

You’ll see what I mean in the video.

Why would a Conversion Scientist be invited to speak at a Psych conference? Because our testing is designed to tell us things about your visitors that they cannot even explain themselves. This is why split testing is such a valuable tool. Visitors tell us what they prefer by how they act.

One thing testing has taught us is that there are bouncers in the human brain, and these bouncers must be dealt with before our messages will be processed and acted upon.

It’s just 20 minutes or so.

 Hat tip to Roy H. Williams and the Wizard Academy for introducing me to the research I present here.

References

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Albert Mehrabian on Amazon

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Nine Articles to Advance Your Conversion Knowledge

Conversion Scourse

My book is designed to begin a journey. It’s a journey that ends with you being better online. This journey ends with more cred for you, more sales for your business and more sanity in general.

Some of our more advanced articles are over on The Conversion Scientist blog. There are over 200 articles there covering all aspects of conversion-focused marketing.

I’ve picked nine that I think you should read. And we’ve added an incentive to get you through these nine articles and make things a little fun. We even included several audio selections for your commute to work.

Each time you read or listen, you will collect points. Collect enough points and earn a badge.

Earn your Ph.D. in Conversion Awesomization, we’ll give you a special prize.

Three Levels of Learning

We have nine articles organized into three levels of learning. You can earn four badges you can earn.

The Student Badge is awarded when you sign up to start collecting points. You don’t want to stay at the Student level. It means you haven’t really done anything.
The Undergrad Badge signifies that you’ve completed the basic level of content (basic for a Rocket Scientist, maybe).

  • Copy that makes visitor stick.
  • Six email superstitions holding you back.
  • The four people who come to your site every day.
The Master Badge signifies that you’ve completed the basic level of content (basic for a Rocket Scientist, maybe).

  • Persuasive copy that converts.
  • The math of marketing.
  • Pushing past content marketing barriers.
The Ph.D. Badge signifies that you’ve injected all nine articles into your ever-swelling brain and you qualify for a free site review with a Conversion Scientist.

  • Writing test hypotheses.
  • Creating landing pages that convert.
  • Getting past the bouncers in our brains.

Now is the time to start. You will get your Student Badge and 100 points just for signing up. Within a few days, you will be a Ph.D. in Conversion Awesomization.

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Scarcity and Optimization: The Monopoly Web Page Strategy

Monopoly

Monopoly is the quintessential game of American capitalism. For better or worse, it focuses the player on one goal: maximizing the number of dollars in your pile. Everyone has their own strategy and their preferred properties to own and build. Your little sister may only buy properties if she likes the color.

Excellent monopoly players learn their opponents’ strategy and then adapt to respond to the environment they are in.

If you look beyond the “greed is good” focus on money, you will realize that playing the game teaches the principles of scarcity and optimization.

The number dollars you start with is scarce. You must make the most of your limited resources.

You want to be ready when lady luck glances your way. When a dog, a car, or a hat finally lands your property, you better be ready.

Running a business website is no different. You inevitably have scarce resources to spend building the site and attracting traffic.

And when those visitors finally land on your site, you better be ready. This is the job of optimization.

If you viewed your web page as a Monopoly board, would it change your priorities and behavior?

Like houses and hotels, would the right elements be on your page be there?

Too often, we don’t think about our web pages as scarce resources that have to be optimized. Too often, we use our little sister’s “pretty property” strategy. Trust me. She still hates to lose.

Scarcity

In Monopoly, we can’t own all the properties and have hotels on all properties. We have to deal with scarcity. Our money supply is limited, as is our opportunity to buy properties. The desire to compete brings out our analytical nature and we scheme to make the most of the resources we have as opposed to the resources we want. We do this because we know we have an opponent that is actively working to undo us. Again, do we think about our web page the same way?

In reality, we do have opponents in our web strategy. Not just one, but many. In fact, we usually have more opponents than competitors. Some of these opponents include:

  • Limited attention span
  • Lack of common reference and knowledge base
  • Low-resolution computer monitors
  • Negative emotional association with specific words or images
  • Slow connection speeds

As you think about the opponents listed above, you will recognize scarcity working against your ultimate goal. Vigorously compete against these opponents on your site with the same vigor you compete in Monopoly, and you’ll be more likely to “pass GO and collect $200.”

Optimization

Something amazing happens on the Monopoly board that doesn’t naturally happen on our web page. In Monopoly, we quit caring about how glamorous a property is and instead focus on how much money it will make for us. In contrast, it is the very rare individual who walks into a web planning meeting without being focused on making the most beautiful page possible. If we played Monopoly the same way, we would focus on acquiring and building hotels on Boardwalk and Park Place and be done. If you try this approach, either in Monopoly or on your website, you lose.

If you don’t pull your weight, you’re gone!

Without emotion, we require properties to pay their way. They have a job to do and we expect them to do it well. The properties’ job is generating revenue.

Is there an element on your web page that isn’t pulling its weight? As optimizers, our job is to identify the converting elements on a page and remove the non-converting elements.

Testing to see which properties are performing

Such was the case for one client’s site, when we set out to improve the home page. We followed this process to find out which elements led to conversions:

1. We set up Google to score on bounce rate while watching conversions.

2. We used click-tracking software heat mapping to identify content that was not getting clicked. This website has 4 clickable icons that take the user to additional content. We found that the 2 outer icons had low activity and decided to test them against alternate icons.

3. The experiment executed quickly with the following results:

  • 10% improvement in bounce rate
  • 56% improvement in conversions
small changes - heat map
Fig 1. Small changes have a big impact on conversions.

That felt good – let’s do it again

After experiencing success, it seemed like a good idea to try again. This time we identified one icon that was under-performing, so we replaced it with another one that led to a converting page. The result here is interesting. Looking at the heat map alone indicates the replaced icon is more desirable. But looking at the numbers reveals it was not the right choice.

conversions
Fig 2. More clicks do not necessarily mean more conversions.

As shown on the heat map above, replacing the 3rd icon attracted many more clicks on the “B” version of the page. However, both the bounce rate and the conversion rate took a hit.

  • Bounce rate degraded 4%
  • Conversion rate decreased 56%

This experiment shows why it is essential to test and scrutinize the results. Two nearly identical hypotheses with two nearly identical changes led to opposite results. My initial inclination was to ignore the results and push the change through. But I put on my Monopoly head and determined the measurable results of the change should trump how I felt about the change.

No Experiment is a Failure

It would be easy to walk away from the second experiment and view it as a total loss. In the same way that losses are our teachers in Monopoly, losses should be our teachers in web optimization experiments. Just as every Monopoly opponent is unique, our clients and website visitors are unique.

To better understand the behavior we observed, we sought to learn more by asking some basic questions:

  • Why did higher clicks on the replaced icon also correspond to a higher bounce rate? (Hint:  something else didn’t get clicked as much!)
  • What was appealing about the new icon?
  • Why did the site conversion rate drop?
  • What was the net gain/loss of each individual conversion metric?
  • Did the new copy corresponding to the new icon have a negative impact?
  • Would alternate copy change the site performance?
  • Did the new icon and copy add clarity and relevance?
  • Did the new icon and copy add anxiety or distraction?

It is important to learn from each experiment regardless of the results. Applying this discipline is critical in understanding the unique functionality of your website and what increases or decreases conversions. Failing to learn from a “failed” experiment is like failing to learn the tactics of your Monopoly opponent. You will face them again, and you want to be prepared when you do.

So What Should You Do?

Like many 12-step programs, the first step is to acknowledge you have a problem. Say out loud, “I care more about how pretty my web page is than how much money it makes.” Let that sink in and prepare to change. Make a personal commitment to website profitability based on hard data. Then approach your web pages with the kind of profit-focused attention to scarcity and optimization that wins Monopoly games.

  • Make a list of the individual components on your web page – especially above the fold.
  • Write the purpose of each component next to it.
  • Ask yourself if each component contributes to profit – and eliminate those that don’t.
  • Ask yourself if there is anything that could replace the existing components that would drive more profit.
  • Test, test, test.

Nobody is immune to personal biases and individual favorites. If you want to maximize the functionality of your website, you need to put a structure in place that always tests and always trusts data over opinion. When you make a habit of doing that, you will be the same formidable opponent that you are in Monopoly.

About the Author

Craig-Andrews (2)Craig Andrews is the Principal Ally and founder of internet marketing agency allies4me. Andrews brings extensive scientific and marketing expertise to allies4me. Over the last 25 years, his experience has spanned search engine optimization, internet marketing software, biomedical and semiconductors. Andrews is backed by a team of marketing allies who support start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.

In recent years, clients have been seeking guidance from allies4me on Social Media strategies. Rather than jumping on the latest hype, Andrews sought to understand Social Media through solid metrics across large data sets. The result is an unconventional and insightful approach to Social Media. Testing and data driven decisions advise all areas of allies4me work. Solid metrics and disciplined parsing of data is where allies4me clients find results.

You can connect with Craig Andrews on Google+ and LinkedIn.  You can find allies4me on LinkedIn,Google+Facebook, and Twitter.

 

My Most Popular Landing Page Presentation LIVE Online

My presentation “The Chemistry of the Landing Page” has been seen by thousands of (lucky?) marketers and business people. I think it’s one of my best.

The reason I think it is so popular is that it’s different every time. Each time I do it, I critique a different bunch of actual landing pages.

I start off by boiling the process of building a landing page into five components. Then I show you what makes people leave. Attendees usually start kicking themselves when at this point in the presentation.

But the fun starts when we start applying this to real landing pages. Things always get interesting.

imageWould you like to have your landing page reviewed by me? I promise that I’m gentle.

But even if you end up feeling a little embarrassed about your page – and everyone does – wouldn’t more sales, leads and subscribers make it worth the discomfort?

I recommend you submit your page for my April 10 presentation right now.

http://conversci.com/LandingPageWebinar

We start at 2:00 pm EDT on Thursday, April 10. The Webinar will be recorded.

PEOPLE LOVE THE LIVE PAGE CRITIQUES. So will you. You’ll never look at another landing page the same way.

Here’s a little sample of the questions I’m going to tackle.

  • What is the one thing a landing page must get right?
  • How do you “show the product” when you offer a service or content for download?
  • What is “Abandon” and how do you get rid of it?
  • How do you “borrow trust” for your landing page?
  • What constitutes “proof?”

Won’t you join us? Even if you can’t attend live, register to see the replay, which will be recorded.

http://conversci.com/LandingPageWebinar

Let’s have some fun and make more sales.

Best regards,

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Brian Massey, the Conversion Scientist

Conversion Sciences’ New & Improved Conversion Upside Report

Conversion Upside Caluclator

We’ve redesigned our Conversion Upside Report so you can more quickly understand how much you should be investing in website optimization. We’ve used color and short commentary on six different criteria to help you understand where your site is on the spectrum of online businesses.

Conversion Upside CaluculatorThe Conversion Upside Report tells you what gains an optimization plan would give you. The Conversion Upside Report tells you what gains an optimization plan would give you.short commentary on six different criteria to help you understand where your site is on the spectrum of online businesses.

The Upside Report analyzes the current state of your online business and evaluates your readiness for an optimization program.

Every website will eventually add optimization to their tool belt. The question is when and how much should I spend?

The Conversion Upside Report seeks to answer that question.

All you need are the answers to three questions:

  1. How much traffic do you get a month on average?
  2. How much new revenue does your site generate a month?
  3. How much is a new order or lead worth on average?

At a glance, the report tells you some important things.

  • Do we have enough traffic to optimize reliably?
  • Do we have enough transactions or conversions to split test our ideas?
  • How much is a visitor worth to us? Is it more than we pay for a click?
  • How much more would we make in sales if we improved our conversion rate?

These are the questions you should be asking now if you want to have future success online.

Get your Conversion Upside Report and let me know what you learn.

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Brian Massey, Conversion Scientist

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Let The Conversion Scientist Show You How To Get the Results You Need From Your Website

Amazon Best Seller

OK, I’ll admit it. I HAD to read Brian’s book.

When I worked at Content Marketing Institute,  I was the Book Marketing Manager in their amazing Book Division.

Brian is easy to promote. He is brilliant. He is dedicated and enthusiastic about the work that he does for his clients. He is eccentric.

He IS The Conversion Scientist.

And I had NO experience with the book’s subject — marketing strategies that promote conversions. But, that is what makes my opinion valuable. I had no clue what website optimization or conversion rate optimization was and I certainly never thought I would need to.

I know now that “conversion is the process of converting web traffic into leads and sales.” Pretty simple. In theory, that is. In the book, Brian explores the various levers a website owner has to adjust in order to tune their lead generation efforts to optimum efficiency. This is hugely important. Anyone from a small or personal eCommerce site, to a large corporation NEEDS to understand their website visitors in order to be successful.

Beginners, like myself, find Massey’s book highly accessible and actionable. With its relatively short length and conversational style, it is a FANTASTIC introduction to the field of conversion optimization. I found it engaging, funny, and obtainable.

What good is learning about traffic optimization if your website does not convert? Brian’s book taught me that it is better to optimize for conversion first.

With instantly-applicable tips and nuggets of CRO wisdom, Your Customer Creation Equation is perfect for beginners all the way up to CEOs looking for practical and actionable guidance in order to start getting the results you need from your website, whether it be customers, leads, sales, registrations, or signups.

“Every person who relies on their website to generate new business can benefit from reading Brian’s book.”- Mike Arsenault of Rejoiner

 More about the book: