(see what I did there?!)
In the UK we call it ‘colour’ while our American cousins prefer ‘color’. However you write it, having an appreciation of how seeing different colours affects our mood is a great skill for every marketer.
With a hat tip to my former Microsoft colleague Steve Clayton, here’s a delightful little diagram from Pantone, the global colour experts, showing how colour fashions have shifted over time and how some brands have become synonymous with certain schemes. Enjoy!
I’m indebted to ContentVerve.com for just publishing an outstanding collection of ten user interface design case studies that illustrate how the smallest changes can sometimes result in the biggest improvements.
In one A/B test, simply changing one word on a call to action on a PPC landing page resulted in a 90% increase in conversion. Here’s that change:
The magic of “my” cropped up in another example, where the following change caused a catastrophic 24.9% drop in conversions:
Another test showed how the vagaries of colour choice can have dramatic implications on clicks. On an e-commerce site, changing the ‘add to cart’ button from a blue rectangle to a green rounded rectangle fuelled a 35.8% increase in clicks:
But the biggest conversion jump of all came from a subtle rewording of the call to action for Fitness World, a chain of gyms in Scandinavia. By softening the tone of the call to action from definitive, closing language to wording that promises an opportunity to do further research, the company managed to drive a stunning 213% increase in conversions!
As the saying goes, your mileage may vary so the only way to see what improvements you could secure on your site is to get testing. And don’t just assume the examples given will work for you. Your results will be a function of other elements on your site and the many other distractions presented on the customer journey.
“All well and good,” you’re probably now thinking, “but how can I try this out for my site?” To which, I’d reply, “Go find a great A/B testing partner, or take a service like Unbounce.com or Fivesecondtest.com for a spin to see how your designs fare in a live test environment.”
Go do it! You’ve nothing to lose and lots to gain.
You can read the full case studies on ContentVerve.com right here. Enjoy!
It’s all too common. We build online content and expect visitors to register before they can gain access. Aside from the fact that asking for personal data before giving away some free content typically halves the amount of data you collect, some organisations insist on making things even more difficult than they need to be.
It’s easy to criticise government bodies like HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, the UK’s equivalent of the USA’s IRS) but sometimes they make life so remarkably complicated that they deserve to be pilloried. And they’re not alone. Countless other commercial sites make similar mistakes, but hopefully your site is better.
Take, for example, this HMRC form which invites users to set up some “Shared Secrets to allow them to gain access to their account should they forget their password. This form exists to collect some easy to remember answers that are less forgettable than a site password. Yet instead of making this easy, HMRC insists that every answer must be between 6 and 15 characters long and not contain any spaces, punctuation, numbers or special characters.
Why? Because, I presume, HMRC has an antiquated IT system that is only capable of handling responses in this very precise format. Yet this constraint possibly defeats the very purpose of the exercise: to create a trust mechanism where the end-user cannot possibly get locked out of their account because their answers are unforgettable.
Like you, I don’t know of many schools, names or even places that don’t include any spaces, don’t exceed 15 characters, and lack any punctuation. Yet HMRC’s lack of foresight inflicts these rigid constraints on every user turning what should be a simple exercise into a complex memory test.
The lesson: don’t make life difficult for your customers and never make them work hard to do something that ultimately serves you rather than them. They are your customers; treat them with the care, respect and love they deserve.
I’ve always been a great believer in the power of good design.
And in a digital world filled with endless infographics and stylised images, the humble CV has been long due a thorough reinvention.
That’s why I’m impressed by a new service out of the US of A that promises to help your CV standout in a sea of sameness.
If your CV has a touch of the 1990’s about it, check out Loft Resumes, the brainchild of South Carolina designers Dodd Caldwell and Emory Cash. Their new services offers a wide selection of starting templates, allowing you to turn your drab black and white resume into a design masterpiece you can be proud of. No design skills required, just $99 to have a design professional transform your words into something glorious!
Oh, and while you’re at it, take a look at that product brochure and white paper you’ve been hawking since the turn of the millennium. They could probably use a touch of design magic too. Few things age faster than an analogue creation in a digital world.
[hat tip to Co.DESIGN for pointing me to this great service]
Having an insatiable appetite to test, retest, and test again is an essential quality for any digital marketer. Because it’s only through testing your ideas, hunches and, sometimes, gut instinct that you can truly understand what works for your business and your customers.
…says that every page of your site should carry the same navigation menus, headers and footers. And, in most instances, we allow this same logic to flow into campaign landing pages that act as the primary entry point from some form of marketing stimulus like paid search ads or posts to our social networking pages.
…however, says differently. In its test on VisualWebsiteOptimizer, YuppieChef compared the effectiveness of two subtly different landing pages:
LANDING PAGE A:
based on the standard webpage template:
LANDING PAGE B:
as above but without the distracting top navigation choices:
The results were unambiguous.
On Landing Page A, the conversion rate was 3% (i.e. 3% of visitors clicked on the primary call to action button)
On Landing Page B, the conversion rate was 100% higher at 6% (i.e. 6% of visitors clicked on the primary call to action button)
By eliminating unnecessary choices and distractions, the team learned how to dramatically improve the return on investment from their marketing activities.
Campaign landing pages should exist to serve the primary call to action (CTA) above all other possible outcomes. Their only purpose is to move people quickly and seamlessly into following the desired path to this CTA. By removing superfluous information and streamlining your page design to focus attention on this CTA you may be able to sharply increase conversion rates. When it comes to landing pages, sometimes less really is more.