Make It Stick
August 12, 2007
Posted in Ken's Blog
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Have you noticed the changes to SiteSell's home page (made at the beginning of August)?...
Take 10 minutes and read it now. I'll be waiting right here for you!
The message is tighter, coned down to the Site Build It! core...
"SBI! is more than just building a site, more than mere hosting, more even than building a business. SBI! builds a life of freedom and independence."
That may sound corny. But it's the truth. So it was time to bring that out clearly, front and center.
The page sticks to that message and doesn't try to cover as much ground as it did before. I'll skip all the changes I've made to that page, but I'll tell you how I did it and what the measurable results have been...
1) What I Did
I used the concepts outlined in...
Made To Stick
By Chip and Dan Heath
Rather than take up space to review the book itself, here's a review from Time that explains it well.
I'll reduce that to its core. Made To Stick is about communicating in a way that STICKS in the brains of your audience.
I've read many "how to communicate" and other business books. I had grown habituated to hard-to-apply insights, platitudes and concepts soon left behind in the mental dust bin.
This is the first book whose title, "Made To Stick," not only says it all... It uses its own principles to deliver strong usable suggestions, ideas, principles and strategies for communicating more effectively.
And it's that USABILITY, or what the authors would call its "concreteness," that caused me to get excited, to dog-ear over 60 pages, and to re-work our home page... while on vacation.
Here's our "pleasant problem"... SBI! is all things to all people. And it really works. But it competes against a cesspool of Get-Rich-Quick schemes on one side and the "get it up quick and easy" marketing of the major small business Web hosting companies.
Our Conversion Rate was a decent 1.5% (across our family of 60+ landing pages). But as one of two major entry points, there was a niggling thought in the back of my mind (and I was keeping it pushed back there), that the www.sitesell.com page could be "saying it better."
Made To Stick showed me (and will continue to show me as I read it again and again) how to eliminate extraneous material that I considered important (due to what they call "The Curse of Knowledge") and cone it down to our core message.
I used the principles in Made To Stick to re-write www.sitesell.com and released it at the beginning of August.
(I bought the book during our New York vacation. It excited me so much that I started waking at 2 AM and 3 AM to work on the www.sitesell.com home page, using the techniques and ideas they raise in the book. Now that's STICKINESS!)
2) The Results?
One of our most wanted pathways is to cause the visitor to watch the SBI! Video Tour.
When people watch that tour, they understand the power of SBI!, both the complete, unmatched feature set and the benefits of what SBI! delivers. Once folks understand that, they stop comparing SBI! with all the other small business Web hosts and they stop thinking about SBI! as a "sitebuilder."
They understand that SBI! is so much more. And that it delivers what they need.
But only 1/4 of viewers of the previous home page were watching the tour.
Now? 2/3 of viewers watch the tour.
30% more people visit the Order Page.
And the Conversion Rate (across ALL sites) has increased by 20%, from 1.5% to 1.8%. Since SBI! is a long-cycle sale, requiring many visits to various parts of our site, we expect that to increase over the coming weeks.
And I expect the site to convince visitors more effectively as I re-read this groundbreaking work to understand it better. And to communicate better.
All the best,