“Optimizing Landing Pages” is an on going series that will total 20 posts. The series is written by 3.7 DESIGNS and Ross Johnson to help web professionals build sites that achieve specific business goals. This is post 3, and the topic is “Writing for Personality Profiles.”
As much as us designers would like to think that conversion is heavily based on visuals and aesthetics, the truth is that the content of a site is really where you get an opportunity to persuade users to convert or take action. Now that isn’t to say visuals isn’t important, the visuals are extremely important; it is just important at different stages.
Points of Resolution
When a user comes to their site they are always going to have questions that need to be answered before they take the action that you wish them to take (or in other words convert). These questions are called “points of resolution,” and as a web site strategist it is your job to anticipate these questions and answer them.
Some typical points of resolution could be:
- Does this site offer what I am looking for exactly?
- Does this site offer a solution to my problem?
- Can I trust this site with my information?
- Can I trust this situation will work?
- Will I be able to establish a long term relationship with this site?
The tricky part of this process is that users are going to have a variety of different questions, and all of those questions will need to be answered despite the fact that they will be different.
To simplify the development of content and prevent the need to stuff the page with more content than anyone will read we look to personality profiles. Using personality profiles we can anticipate the majority of questions that will be raised, and how to answer them in an efficient way.
Some people just want the hard facts, and these people are often described as “methodical.” Where others want to know that they will be well taken care of, the people on the phone will be nice, etc… Methodical people are not those types of people. Instead they want data, diagrams, facts, proof. They will sit and read through detailed copy about how your product or service will solve their problem and they could care less about anything else.
A spontaneous person wants excitement, acceptance, they are flexible and open to new suggestions even if it doesn’t feel like the perfect fit. They are much more likely to make a purchase or action based on the idea that they will gain a higher status or fit in because of it. Reinforcing a strong brand or establishing high credibility through testimonials can really catch the attention of a spontaneous user.
Humanistic users value other peoples needs before theirs. In most cases they are looking for evidence of being able to establish a long term relationship with a company. They don’t want to have to hunt for a new company to work with every time they have a need, they want to have their contacts with in a company and know that they will be taken care of. Consider the use of testimonials to show them that previous customers have been delighted with your service and approach.
Competitive people want to win. They are controlling and goal oriented. They are looking for accomplishment, and your product or service needs to be the key to their accomplishment or they are looking elsewhere. They want a guarantee that what you provide will work, no questions asked. Even if it is a personal guarantee it means something.
Putting it all together
Of course you won’t know exactly what type of user is going to be viewing your site, so the trick is to write for all users in an engaging way. That way the user will self select what portions of the copy are most important to them. Further, you can provide in-text links to let them click to more detailed information and answers to their point of resolution.
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As you can see even if you were to scan the text you could pick up on the important details, and click the in text links to learn more and have your questions answered. No matter what personality type (or mix of personality types) you have the opportunity to get your concerns answered so you can move to the next step and take action.