How Do Your Prospects Perceive Your Product Pricing? (the psychology behind their buying decisions and what you can do to influence them!)

How Do Your Prospects Perceive Your Product Pricing?I recently stumbled upon an interesting article regarding product price testing called,
5 Ecommerce Pricing Experiments that Will Make You Want to Run an A/B Test Today, on the Ecommerce University website—it addresses the psychology behind pricing your products and services. Specifically they published some interesting findings on the subject of prospects and their perception of price when a certain number of syllables were used.

“…researchers found that prices that contained more syllables seemed drastically higher to consumers.”

Here are some of their findings …

“When these pricing structures were shown to subjects:
… the top two prices seemed far higher to consumers than the third price.”

Let’s take a look at how your prospects might view this pricing in a couple of different ways.

From the test results, they concluded that when prospects or customers see a price tag with a comma included—they internally translate or express the price in a longer form (and at a more expensive price). Prospects may translate $1,999.00 as, “one thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine”…but when they see the price without the comma, they may translate it as a shorter version, “nineteen ninety-nine”…and subconsciously perceive the shorter version as a less expensive price.

Perception has also been said to play a role in how you present your offer.

The language you use when writing marketing messages could make or break a sale. Rather than saying something like, “This widget will only cost you $99.”—you may have better luck saying something like, “The investment for this widget is only $99.”

Why? Because subconsciously taking a negative word like “costs” and turning it into a positive word like “investment”, leave your prospects “feeling better” about handing their money over to you.

Saying the same thing, but presenting in a different way, may change your prospects’ perception of your product, your pricing—and ultimately improve your ROI!

Why Long Copy Increased Conversion by 220% in Test Results (and why short copy works better in some instances!)

long copy vs. short copyOkay, I admit it—I am a fan of long copy and I tend to write long headlines. I also understand there are some that don’t agree.

I recently found a Slide Share presentation called, Long Copy vs. Short Copy: How discovering the optimal length of a webpage produced a 220% increase in conversion, by Marketing Experiments.

They tested and summarized their results on why both short and long copy can work in different cases. I highly recommend taking a look at this presentation on copy results if you are interested in this subject.

They start with this finding in favor of shorter copy:
Conversion increased by a total of 54% as page length decreased.

And here is what they say about short copy:

“Copy length is often the easiest form of friction to reduce.”

After showing several examples of shorter pages increasing conversion rates they follow with…

“However, short copy does not always outperform long copy.”

In an interesting example where long copy wins over short copy, the long copy layout was almost twice the length of the original page and the call-to-action was at the bottom of the page. Well, if the conversion rate increased, the prospect would have had to make it all the way to the bottom of the LONG page to boost conversion, right?

Results: The longer page increased conversion by 220%!

The Marketing Experiments team said the jump in performance was because the original page layout was in two columns and the long page was only one column; therefore, reducing friction and distraction from the purpose of the page—to generate leads.

“By utilizing single-column, long copy approach, the treatment (new version) better guides the prospect’s thought process and generates 220% more leads online.”

So why did the short copy win in the first test?

If a page is longer and filled with elements that become more of an obstacle than a way to encourage your prospect to take action—the long copy becomes nothing more than a distraction and/or friction.

According to the Marketing Experiments team:

“The goal of the marketer is not simply to decrease page length, but rather mental effort.”

And if your pages are longer, you need a reason for it…

They go on to say, “…adding copy to a page is required to guide the visitor’s thought sequence to a purchase decision. In fact, our testing suggests a direct relationship between the cost/complexity of an offer and the amount of information that is required to achieve a conversion.”

So, are they saying you need longer copy if the price tag of the product or service is higher?

You betcha! Think about your last big purchase…did you read a couple of sentences in an email promotion and then put down your hard-earned money?? Probably not. You probably did a little bit of research and reading.

In addition to the findings by the Marketing Experiments team, in my opinion, copy length also has a lot to do with the audience that you are addressing. Like I said in my opening, I favor writing long copy…and funny enough I am also a reader of long copy (call me a nerd).

But let’s face it, not everyone is like that. This is where research on your audience comes into play before you even write one word. Now, add to this the fact that many more people are looking at products on their mobile devices—this too would have an impact.

I don’t think there is a right or wrong way when you talk about the subject of long copy vs. short copy—I think it boils down more to the fact that you need do your research and know your product or service, your audience, and even your competition.

7 Reasons Why Your Prospects May NOT Be Reading Your Marketing Messages!

Out of timeWe’re all busy! Even in a world of sophisticated supposedly “time saving” gadgets…it seems we all run out of what I believe is our most precious asset—time.

I decided to begin this week’s post talking about time because your prospects don’t have a lot of it. You can bet that with the time they do have…they aren’t necessarily using it to take in all of the marketing messages they get bombarded with daily.

Instead, your prospects are trying to “filter out” your marketing messages. They intentionally try to ignore or delete them altogether—think about your own situation.

Keeping this in mind, it is still your job as a business owner, marketer, salesman, or copywriter, to get and keep their attention. One way to do this is to make your marketing messages easy to read.

Ways to Make Your Marketing Messages Easier to Read

Below are some common reasons why your prospects may not be reading your marketing messages. Following each are some basic guidelines to help you reduce distraction or friction…ultimately encouraging your prospects to read your messages, rather than ignoring them.

Reason #1: Busy Layout with Too Many Distractions

Use a simple layout; if at first glance your page and the copy look overwhelming, your prospects will naturally be turned off and won’t look forward to reading your message.

If you present messages in a simple, clean, easy-to-read layout—you’ll increase the chances your prospects will read what you have to say.

Here’s a basic layout order that organizes the elements of a message in easy to read way.
This layout has performed well in many online tests.
– Headline
-Body Copy

basic web page layout

Reason #2:  Not Using Headlines and Subheadlines to Capture Attention

You should always have a headline, front and center, in large bold text. This is your attention-getting element where you have an opportunity to encourage your prospects to read your message.

Using subheadlines are a great way to help break up large blocks of text throughout your message.

Additionally, subheadlines can make your copy scannable for readers and help draw their eyes throughout your page—especially if they are used every few paragraphs. They are also a way to let your prospects know what you’re going to discuss in the following paragraphs.

Reason #3: Using Irrelevant Stock Images

Some marketers feel compelled to place some sort of image on a page.  It is always best to use a relevant image that is indicative of your message. Don’t use a stock image of people just to fill space; otherwise, it just becomes a distraction.
(it’s almost better to use no image if it’s not the right image)

Reason #4: Not Using Short Paragraphs with Whitespace

It’s a good rule of thumb to use short paragraphs. No more than three to four sentences. Short paragraphs give the impression that the information is uncluttered and make your message easier to read.

Reason #5: Not Organizing Features and Benefits in Bulleted Lists

Use bulleted lists to present your features and benefits. Online marketing tests have shown that it is common for readers’ eyes to be drawn to bulleted lists and read them even if they don’t read the rest of the copy.

Bulleted lists make your features and benefits stand out and present themselves in a more organized format that is more pleasant to read.

Reason #6
: Using Small, Light-Colored Font

Make sure to use a font that is large enough to easily read. Too small a font, especially for an older audience, may be too difficult to read. Here’s a good article that gives advice on how to find proper font size.

While the recommended font used to be at least 12px, it seems with the popularity of mobile devices, that recommendation has been bumped up to 16px.

Stay away from using a gray colored font for a trendy look. It may look good, but here again it is too difficult to read. In my opinion, black is best.

Example of reverse type


Reverse TypeReason #7: Using Reverse Type Design for a Dramatic Effect
(this is not commonly used, but I do still see it…I always advise against it)

Reverse type, using a light colored font/text on a dark background, is a favorite design to create a dramatic effect.

Stay away from doing this, especially if your target market falls into the 40 years and up age group. It is simply too difficult to read—your prospects will NOT stick around to try and figure out what you have to say!

Remember that the above are only basic guidelines. It’s always best to test different elements to see which will convert the most for your audience. If you are unsure, in my opinion, it is always better to stay simple and clear with your messages. If you have too much going on, you can confuse your prospects—in turn, they will abandon your message and you lose!

Why Should Your Prospects Buy What You’re Selling? (How to Easily Discover Your Unique Selling Proposition)

What is your USP?Whether you are a business owner, salesman, marketer, or copywriter, part of your job is to figure out what makes your (or your client’s) product or service different…why should your prospects choose you over your competitors?

What makes your product or service stand apart from the rest? The answer to this question can help you discover your “unique selling proposition” (USP)…and this is NOT always easy.

For instance, if you are a local air conditioning repair company, what can you do to set yourself apart from all of the other A/C companies in town? Finding that certain unique something may take some real thought—at first it may not be so obvious.

One local air conditioning company may sell itself as the “one-hour” service company that you don’t have to wait around all day for to get a system repaired.

Another may sell itself as the company that respects your home and property as much as you do.  Maybe its service repair men wear coverings on their shoes to keep your floors and your home just as clean as they originally found it.

And yet another A/C company may sell itself as the company that won’t charge you if it has to make a second trip to get a repair done right.

What You Can Do to Uncover Your Company’s USP?

One way to help uncover your company’s USP is to pay attention to the positive things that your customers may be saying about your products or services and then declare that your unique selling proposition.

For example, one air conditioning customer gave a testimonial that basically told people that if they just wanted their system repaired and didn’t want to be upsold on other A/C products…that they should call this certain company because they would not have to worry about it—they would just get a repair, not a sales pitch.

That’s a great USP—“We’ll send you one of our professional A/C service men, not a salesman!”

You see how we got this USP?  We uncovered it out of a customer testimonial.

On the flip side, you could also have discovered this USP by paying attention to the things the customers in your industry complain about.

I remember many years ago there was a very reputable A/C company in town that had a very good track record…UNTIL they started to try and upsell all of their customers constantly. Their customers started to get tired of it.

My own mother said, “I’m afraid to call them to do my air conditioning maintenance because every time they show up, they try to sell me something else!”

This statement says a lot and gives this A/C company’s competitors a chance to be the company known for service, not sales pitches.

If you’re having a difficult time determining your company’s USP, listen to what your customers are saying (good or bad) and this could be the key to uncovering that certain something that can make your prospects choose your company over your competitors.