Do you know why your customers buy?
I mean REALLY understand what drives them to take action?
Most businesses don’t.
If you count yourself amongst that group, I invite you to read this very carefully because you’re probably leaving money on the table.
In this article you’ll learn how we helped a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) uncover an unconventional insight that boosted their marketing effectiveness.
The Brief: Little Hinges Swing Big Doors
We were working with an RTO in the health and fitness space to increase the profitability of their Diploma of Personal Training campaign.
Testing tactical on-page elements such as forms, buttons and design elements was one option, but it was unlikely to deliver dramatic upside.
Instead, we needed a big insight that could be rolled out across their entire site to produce some serious improvements.
The Hypothesis: Understanding Why People Buy
During our discovery process, it became apparent that there were many reasons why a customer would want to undertake a Diploma in Personal Training.
We call these Why Drivers “Emotional Triggers”.
We hypothesised that if we could determine which of these reasons were most important to customers, then we could feature them more prominently in the sales copy and attract more enquiries.
The Execution: Testing Emotional Triggers
We wanted to work out what was REALLY motivating customers to take action.
Naturally, we didn’t want to invest heavily in new copy and design based on a mere hunch… so we had to take an 80/20 approach.
To keep things simple, we decided to limit the test to the headline on one of their key pages.
The original headline read:
“Kick-Start A Lucrative Fitness Career With Our Accredited, Flexible & Affordable Fitness Courses”
It’s actually quite a good headline, but it’s quite broad. And it focuses on the Money/Greed trigger, which has been a common approach in the industry to date.
We wanted to see how it stacked up against other variations that focused on a specific emotional trigger.
17 Emotional Triggers That Make Customers Buy
The next step was for us to create several variations of this headline – each one aligning with one of the 17 reasons why customers buy:
- Desire to be recognised
- Desire to be loved
- Desire for self-improvement
- Desire to win
- Desire for comfort
- Quest for a great experience
- Desire for relationships
- Desire to make a difference
- Desire for meaning in life
- Desire for power
- Necessity of life
Naturally, some of these were more relevant than others, so we selected the four variations that we believed to be the strongest.
They are as follows:
Desire For Self-Improvement:
“Accredited Fitness & Personal Training Courses For A Better, Smarter & Stronger You”
Desire For Recognition:
“Your Skills & Passions Recognised: Become A Certified Personal Trainer”
Desire To Help Others:
“Change The Lives Of Others: Become A Certified Personal Trainer”
Desire For Power/Control:
“Become Your Own Boss & Take Control Of Your Life As A Personal Trainer”
(Any early bets on which headline won?)
Setting Up The Test Using VWO
Once we were satisfied we had our alternative headers, we used VWO’s A/B testing feature to create a variation of the page for each headline.
Here’s what they looked like:
Desire For Self-Improvement
Desire For Recognition
Desire To Help Others
Desire For Power/Control
…And then we began the test to see which variation would generate the most enquiries.
The Results: Up To 69.2% Upside
The results were eye opening to say the least.
During the test period, 5,187 visitors landed on the page. Of those visitors, 275 converted into enquiries – equating to an average conversion rate of 6.48%.
All four of the focused headlines outperformed the control by significant margins.
- Desire To Help Others increased enquiries by 69.2%
- Desire For Recognition increased enquiries by 57.7%
- Desire For Self-Improvement increased enquiries by 34.8%
- Desire For Power/Control increased enquiries by 32%
The results provide compelling evidence that customers were significantly more likely to enquire if the page clearly associated the diploma of personal training with a desire to help others.
This insight is particularly valuable because it represents a significant shift away from their previous messaging which focused primarily on extrinsic rewards such as money and career advancement.
How To Scale The Results
The immediate next step here is to set the ‘Help Others’ version as the new control page on the website so that 100% of visitors are passing through the most effective variation of the page.
Secondly, now we’ve proven the rationale behind the test, it makes sense to create a significantly revised version of the page where the entirety of the sales copy is more closely aligned with the customer’s desire to help others. This would then be tested against the new control.
Assuming subsequent tests continue to suggest that customers are most receptive to a message focused on helping others, I would recommend reviewing other key pages throughout the marketing funnel with a view to creating exponential results.
Many businesses get a real kick out of creating customer personas for their ideal customers.
…They create narratives about fictional characters that go into exquisite detail about their backstory and why your business resonates with them.
It all feels very Don Draper-ish – except there’s one big problem…
The end product is usually based more on HiPPOs (the highest paid person’s opinion) than hard evidence and facts.
That’s great if you’re looking to perpetuate long-held beliefs, but not so great if you’re actually hoping to improve the effectiveness of your marketing.
The above process is a simple way to find objective and usable insights about your customers WITHOUT relying on guess-work.
Once you know what motivates your customers, you can scale these findings across your entire website to improve conversion rates across the board.
- Conduct experiments that can provide scalable insights with implications beyond a single page.
- Be prepared to challenge long-held beliefs about your customers.
- Look for 80/20 ways to find insights without heavily investing in copy, design or integration.
- Consider WHY your customers buy (not just WHAT they buy).
- Base customer insights on facts not HiPPOs.
- Once you uncover a big insight – roll it out across your site for exponential upside.
If you have any questions, or if you end up trying this yourself, please let me know!