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Posts tagged ‘Sales’

How entrepreneurs overlook one crucial detail when planning their website

Website mockups focus on the layout, design and user experience. But the most influential part of any website is the text. Why is it mockups use “Lorem ipsum” as placeholder text yet still claim to have designed the customer’s experience?

Here’s an example of a website’s text that doesn’t improve the customers’ experience. A bank’s credit cards section of its website promotes the five benefits of their preferred credit card. The benefits are listed as top-level headlines, like “No annual fee for your first year.”

Clicking the “Learn More” link should show additional info, but it doesn’t.

The Learn More page for the preferred card shows nearly the same exact text as the previous page. The page asks users to “click to learn more,” but no additional info is shown. For people seeking a little more info before they apply, the page fails to give them what they need.

That means one less conversion for the bank, simply because the copy fails to sell through the benefits of the card.

In this example, no matter how the user experience was planned, the text on the website breaks the experience. And in the end, no matter how much planning went into the website, the experience doesn’t work.

When laying out your website, write the copy along with the mockups. You will give your users a much more seamless, integrated experience, which will likely impact your conversions.

How to Design Web Dashboards That Communicate Actionable Insights

As a web app developer or designer, you have probably played around with the idea of building a web dashboard. Dashboards on modern websites can be helpful tools allowing anyone to take away insights at a glance. Companies that get the right data, ask the right questions and display data in the right way stand out from other web apps.

But sometimes dashboards are only designed as charts for the sake of charts. Recently, Twitter announced they were planning on introducing an analytics platform to help uncover insights in social media campaigns. The tool’s design looks outstanding; overlapping line graphs showing clicks against bar charts showing tweets, plotted out by hour.

Just don’t let the aesthetics fool you. A social media marketer would not be able to glance at the charts and determine how to improve their campaigns with any amount of certainty. This analytics dashboard leans closer to eye candy.

When building a dashboard, remember one thing: All dashboards should communicate information that users will be able to act upon.

The intent behind this post is not to put a spotlight on Twitter. There’s a lot of potential for a Twitter-owned analytics platform.  Instead, put the spotlight on your own web apps.

Take this same perspective we used with Twitter’s dashboard and use it on your own. What kind of implications would users be able to learn from your dashboards? If a chart is strictly showing data points, it’s likely not valuable to a user. Kill those charts. Show your users something they would be able to react to.

For those seeking inspiration, here are a few examples of sites using charts and dashboards well.

Mint.com

Instead of just charting your total assets against your total debt, Mint.com shows how your net worth changes over time.

 

Adobe Business Catalyst

Business Catalyst gives users a snapshot of their businesses’ health, beyond the latest metrics or sales.

 

Facebook Ads

Facebook estimates your campaigns’ reach, which uses marketers own words to indicate campaign performance.

 

Google Analytics

The mother of all web dashboards does not disappoint. Google Analytics works fine when web owners install a tracking code, but the real power is unlocked once businesses begin tracking revenue and conversion data. Suddenly, web design decisions can be motivated by previous sales.

 

Crowdbooster

We wrote about Crowdbooster last year because of the value their dashboards bring to people on Twitter. Crowdbooster helps marketers understand what’s working with their social media campaigns or, more importantly, what’s not working.

How to Use Pricing Tables to Grow Sales

Mini Sprout Web Apps Pricing Table How To
You’ll find plenty of blogs that give examples of CSS and table-based pricing tables. But if the pricing table doesn’t convert, it won’t matter how you built it.

The purpose of a pricing table is to upsell potential customers. It’s set up for customers to pick the most appropriate plan for them, but web app entrepreneurs should design it so it leads to more revenue.

By the time your visitors reach the pricing table, they likely understand the value of your product and are considering making a purchase. From here, you have the opportunity to grow that final transaction cost as high as possible. It’s called “upselling,” and many established web apps do it well. Let’s take a look at some examples.

1: Pricing tables should upsell interested customers

37signals pricing table
37signals offers five plan options for Basecamp, but it pushes for the second most expensive plan, even if the cheapest paid option will work best for most customers. In this case, they’re upselling a customer that is already interested in purchasing.

2: Encourage customers to upgrade by offering free plans with few features

Wufoo pricing table
Wufoo actually calls attention to their free plan because it serves a role in their larger acquisition strategy. There’s quite a range of difference between their free and lowest-level paid plan. In fact, anyone who uses Wufoo on the free plan will quickly run out of fields or entries; they’ll have to upgrade. In this case, Wufoo uses their free plan as a teaser trial.

3: Users should see a value for every level of upgrade

The lowest level paid plan should offer the least value, and the highest level paid plan should offer the best value. Stepping up levels should not be as simple as doubling storage and doubling the price. Instead, users should feel an incentive to upgrade.

Incremental Value for pricing tables web apps
PlanHQ offers plans for $9, $24 and $49 per month. But the more expensive options are not offered simply by doubling or tripling costs and features. Users see an incremental value for sliding up to the next tier level, which encourages upsells for existing customers.

4: Less isn’t just more; it’s everything

It’s too common for new web app developers to build a pricing table that compares every feature. Keep it simple. Restrain the features for the Tour pages. And if you have multiple features that change with each level, consider simplifying the price points. You don’t need ten different components to highlight plan levels. Usually, one feature alone (like storage space, number of projects, or number of credits) will do just fine.

5: Once you build it, optimize

Your first attempt at a pricing table is really your personal opinion about what you think will convert a customer. Every hundred sales or so, make a change and see what boosts conversions. For high-performance sites, look into using Google’s free Website Optimizer tool for dynamic page changes that will tell you what combination works best.

The job of building and refining a pricing table really never ends. Customer needs change, as do your web apps’ features. Schedule time to regularly review the pricing table. It could end up being the most significant sales tool for your business.

Lucky Orange: Real Time Visitor Tracking


Lucky Orange provides real time analytics for exactly how your visitors are using your website. The service doesn’t replace your existing web tracking analytics. Instead, Lucky Orange offers better insight into how your users use your website.

Once you embed the Javascript code, press CTRL + SHIFT + 1 on your keyboard to launch the tool and begin the setup process. Your dashboard gives a live count of the number of people browsing your pages. The global map pinpoints their location, while lists show popular pages, entry keywords and referral sources.

Lucky Orange is broken into tabs. The Visitors tab gives the basic details like how the user found your site and their current page. But you also have the surprising “Spy On” option, which records how your users move about your site. These sessions can be saved and archived for later viewings. The Recordings tab houses the videos. Use them to assess your site’s usability.

We saw real business value through their third feature; one-to-one chat support. For any visitor, you have the option to spring open a chat window and speak to them live. Sales teams will jump at this capability, giving them the instant opportunity to qualify leads the moment people express interest.

We were amazed to see Lucky Orange’s price point. They have one plan, and it’s offered at $7 per month. For that cost, any small business owner can afford the service. If the low price isn’t enough to get you to sign-up, then both the live demo and free trial can change your mind.