Pop-ups, Fear and Bundles Can All Help You Sell Better on Your Site

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Last week I mentioned Access Intelligence VP Dan Hanover's preference that the fear of paying more works better than the benefit of saving money. So instead of "Last chance to save $200," he strongly prefers "Prices will go up $200 tomorrow."

I thought about that again when looking at the copyrightlaws.com site of SIPA member Lesley Ellen Harris:

Copyright Leadership Certificate Only 5 spots open in current session: REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR FALL 2017;

Certificate in Canadian Copyright Law Only 4 spots open in current session: REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR FALL 2017

Harris could have written, "Register now to gain access to special knowledge." But we know from airline fares that playing on fear—only 3 fares left at this price!—moves us more to action.

Here are some other suggestions for selling your products or services on your site, a few from consultant and author Matt Bailey and the rest from Nancy Harhut, chief creative officer for Wilde Agency. (Members can see Bailey's last SIPA webinar here, and Harhut's recent SIPA webinar here. All webinars are free to SIPA members.)

  • Go red. Men perceive a better discount when prices are in red than black. "Red is the most visually aggravating color to use," said Bailey. "You can't control it. Red is going to grab our attention. But if you use too much red," you can confuse the eye."
  • Use pop-ups. This was also strongly recommended by Bailey. Harris has one. "Pop-ups give you an offer—I love these," he said. "Sites that implement these double and triple their number of subscriptions. [People feel] safe in giving email addresses, especially when they get something of equal or greater value in return."
  • Use photos of your own folks rather than stock photos. Website expert Amy Africa told us this a few years ago, and Bailey called it one of his "pet peeves."
  • Bundle away. Bundling products and/or services will make customers more likely to buy because it's only a single hit of pain, even if the price is more.
  • Put sale prices on the right. For sales, she recommends always putting the original price on the left and the sales price on the right. And that people may look at relative difference more than the absolute value. The further apart the two prices are distance-wise, the better the deal appears to be. Bigger gap, bigger savings.
  • Use charm prices – ending in 9 or 7.
  • Go small. The smaller the font size on your sales price the more people believe it's a good deal.
  • Give options. "Options help in making a purchase decision," Harhut said. "With one option we may not be quite sure." 2, 3 or 4 options are best; 5 or more may be a bit much and could give analysis paralysis.
  • Add photos (in color if possible). The credibility of text increases when accompanied by a photo. Harhut gave an example of a quiz that asked if a celebrity was dead or alive. A photo made more people guess alive. Color imagery is shared more often. Use black and white if you want the reader to focus more on essential benefits. Color is cosmetic, less essential.
  • Put a dash line around something, like a coupon. It will draw more attention.
  • Use numbers in marketing—not spelled out—when possible. We skim and scan, Harhut said. Numbers promise ease and order. Odd numbers are more credible; they show that we may have given it a little more thought. But any denomination of 10 is also good—it gives cognitive fluency and is easy for us to process.
  • Ask questions. They pull people in (vs. declarative).

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…