On today’s episode of The Art of Paid Traffic, Talia Wolf, founder and CEO Conversioner, joins me to talk about using emotional triggers and user behavior to grow your business.
This whole episode comes down to really understanding your customers or your target customers better so that you can appeal to them on an emotional level with email writing, ad copy, landing pages – basically how you communicate with them to sell your products or services.
Talia and I discuss how you might look at solving your customer’s emotional needs and then using these triggers to split test different points in your sales funnel based.
When it comes to paid traffic, we talk a lot about not focusing on the features of what your service or product can do but rather focus on the benefits for your customer.
As you’ll hear today with Talia, she talks about taking it beyond benefits and addressing the emotional needs of your customer that your product or service can solve.
In Today’s Episode You’ll Learn
- The very first place someone should start with conversion and optimization
- The importance of creating a hypothesis for your ad campaign when you first start out
- How to use psychology for better conversions
- Email marketing tips and strategies for increasing conversions
- How someone might use this concept for their Facebook ads and other forms of paid traffic
- Why we should all be split testing and how long we should let a split test run before making any determination about it
I’ve created a paid traffic bonus for you, a checklist of everything that Talia teaches in today’s episode. You’ll want to reference this every time you create a new campaign for your business.
Download This Episode’s Free Paid Traffic Bonus
Subscribe to The Art of Paid Traffic on iTunes and/or Stitcher
Talia’s website and blog: Conversioner.com
Reserve a free spot for Rick’s Facebook Ads for Beginners: How to Create Killer Facebook Ads On Less Than $10 A Day webinar: fbadsfornewbies.com/webinar
Rick’s Facebook Ads flagship training: The FB ADvantage: Automated Facebook Ads Made Simple
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Transcript of Today’s Interview
Rick: All right. Hey, Talia, thank you for coming on to the podcast. How are you doing?
Talia: Great. How are you today?
Rick: I’m doing great. You are the founder and CEO of Conversioner, which is an agency that helps companies and marketers combine emotional triggers and user behavior to optimize websites, increase revenues, and grow businesses. What the heck does that mean?
Talia: Essentially conversion optimization agencies are mainly focused on testing different KPIs and really trying to increase them and trying to increase conversions for your clients; whether it’s to increase your registrations or downloads or revenues.
Talia: The idea is to run conversion tests and AB tests. One of the things that we’ve found in the past five years is that most when they AB test they really focus on the different elements on the landing page. You test like specific things, like a call to action button or like a title, maybe change an image, but you’re always treating your landing page as a set of elements.
Then what happens is people test them and they get results, but they’ve got no idea what they mean, because obviously you know, blue versus red and red wins. You don’t really know what that means or what actually you can do with that moving on. I think at the end of the day like what really matters about conversion optimization is not that one KPI, it’s more about being able to learn a lot about your customers and being able to then use that information to change entire processes within your business.
If you run meaningful tests within your funnels, you’re basically able to understand your customers better and that’s really where emotional targeting comes in, because it uses the user behavior, which everyone knows and is trying to do today, which is analyzing Google Analytics, using Heat Maps and tracking and really seeing what people are doing on your website, but it’s also combining and emotional research. It’s a lot about why is my customer on the website? What are they looking for emotionally?
I’m not talking about the features, I’m talking about the actual emotional value. The combination of both them really produce different strategies. The way that the tests we run look like are completely different variations, so instead of testing one blue call to action versus one red call to action, you have entire different landing pages and each landing page has its own strategy and headline and call to action and image and colors and stuff like that.
When we test and we get results, we’re actually able to understand them and say, “Oh, this strategy works better than this one.” Now we can start scaling down and changing specific elements, but the main idea of it is just to really drill down into the psychological reasons that people buy products and showing them within the funnel. We’ve complicated it.
Rick: If you do that, if you’re AB testing a completely different page, it’s like two different pages, that are completely different, like you just mentioned, we’re not talking like a different button here and there, two completely different pages, isn’t one page going to appeal to one person as opposed to the next person might like the other page? What happens there, because everybody has their own personal preference?
Talia: Definitely. Well the way it works is that the way we build our strategies is that we start by asking ourselves what is the end result a customer is trying to get? As I said, the end result isn’t about the feature of the price, so they’re not looking for a better sounding system or for a system to be cheaper, they’re looking to feel something. It could be, maybe, feeling a part of the community, feeling safe, feeling secure, feeling loved; all sorts of different emotional triggers.
Then what we do, once we realize and we identified the different triggers that are motivating people to buy a product, we actually show them within the funnel, so we show them on the landing page. Then we test them. Obviously people that are coming on to the landing pages they’re being directed; fifty percent are going to the original, fifty percent are going to the variation and we’re trying to see what motivates people.
Obviously it’s going to be preference and obviously some people are going to like something and some people aren’t. The main KPIs are going to stay the same, but the strategy of the end results and the way things are projected to you are going to be a little different, that way we can see what people are really looking for, so it changes from person to person.
Rick: Right. Okay, so what are some of those triggers that you are putting into the different pages? If someone comes in and half are getting one page and half are getting another page, what are some of those things that you’re putting in? I know this is going to vary widely from case to case of what you’re trying to look for, but is there sort of a general sort of thing that you might want to be testing out that some of my listeners here could do without having to hire somebody to do this. What are some things that they can sort of focus on to get more of the results that you’re talking about here?
Talia: I think that at the end of the day one of the most important things to do before you even start testing is actually build a strategy. I know it sounds trivial, but it is actually a very important part of conversion optimization. I think once you decide your goals and who you’re actually trying to get to and what you’re trying to do and you build a strategy around that it’s much easier to test, rather than making up things as you go. We test everyday things, like everyone else does. We test exit intent pop ups. We test landing pages and registration forms and enticing pages.
We’ll test different things within the page, but the things we’ll test we’ll try and get them a little more meaning, so really trying to identify the different colors that might project specific emotions or maybe test like a different funnel. Is it better to have first just have the registration form completely open or have a call to action button that open the registration form? We’re testing elementary stuff, but we’re giving them a lot more meaning and trying to give them a better strategy so we understand the results, if that makes since.
Rick: Yeah, we had Oli Gardner from Unbounce on the show earlier and he did talk about exactly what you’re talking about here, is starting from a place of a strategy; having sort of what you think or what you’d like to accomplish with this. He talked about having a hypothesis; are you talking about the same thing, so that when you’re putting the site together, you’re like, all right, I think that people are going to act in this way so if we set it up this way I think that this is going to be the result. If you don’t get that then you get to look at what you’re talking about here, the different factors that might be affecting that, is that what you’re talking about?
Talia: Yeah, definitely. I mean you really want to have a hypothesis for a test and not just say, “Oh, okay, I want to increase registrations, so let’s just change this. Having a hypothesis really helps. It helps in a lot of ways, because, as you said, a) analyzing the results and b) it’s also getting people onboard. One of the hardest things of conversion optimization within a company is getting everyone onboard with it. Getting the team together and for it. When you have like a hypothesis, it’s much easier to explain why you’re doing stuff and it’s easier to analyze when you look back.
Rick: Let’s take a step back here, so if somebody is not hiring an agency and they have access to the tools out there, like you mentioned Google Analytics and we have Heat Maps and Kissmetrics and all these different types of platforms, what are somethings that you’d recommend somebody do to, like I said, who is maybe not hiring an agency to do this for them and they’re just doing it in their own business? They’ve started to put together the strategy, what are some tools that they could be using out there to help sort of start to prove, or try and prove, I should say, the hypothesis that they’re making?
Talia: First of all there’s the obvious tools out there like Heat Maps. When you’re using Heat Maps you’re very easily able to identify what people are doing on the website and it’s easy to show others where the problems are. If you’re seeing a lot of people hovering over a certain section you can have a very good hypothesis about okay, if I move this to this section this might make a change, so that’s like the obvious stuff that you can do.
When you’re talking about strategy, which is less about just moving elements around and making the user journey easier. When you’re talking about actually thinking about emotional targeting and finding the right strategy and how you want to talk to your customer and what messaging you want to be using… I love actually asking my customers and that’s a very big thing. You don’t have to make stuff up; you can ask people why they use your product.
If you have a big enough company, you can also ask people within the company. Ask customer success. Ask sales, ask marketing what they think is your USB. What is the best thing and why do people actually buy your products? You’ll actually come up with a very interesting list, because every team has a different outlook of why people would buy a product. You can actually test those ideas.
If someone is trying to buy a product because they want to feel safe, you have to find a way and hypothesis of how you can show people that using your product or your solution is going to make them feel safe and they’re going to end up feeling secure and in good hands. It’s all about thinking what is the end result that a customer wants to get and how can I project that to them from the beginning of the funnel and that will be your hypothesis, so to say.
Rick: I love that. I’m going to ask you a selfish question here, everything we’re just talking about right now, how would we use this for Facebook advertising? Like if we are setting up a Facebook ad campaign and we want to make sure, obviously, we’re targeting the right type of people and we’re going to use, let’s just say, a video ad. Looking at things from a strategic perspective, creating a hypothesis and looking at ways to test different things to try and prove this hypothesis? I’m putting you on the spot here.
Talia: No, definitely. It’s fine. I actually have two questions here. The first question is going to be what is your goal with these Facebook ads? The second one’s going to be what’s in it for the customer?
Rick: Okay. Let’s just say we are doing a webinar, where we want to get people to register for our webinar and we’re going to do a value-packed webinar and then offer the opportunity for additional training. What’s in it for the customer is to get information and tips and strategies that they could take away from that webinar, even if they don’t decide to continue with our training, they could take away what they learned webinar and implement it in their business and see success.
Talia: Okay. You’re basically saying that people are going to be getting great tools and tips and they can use them later. The way I see it, what you’re basically promising is through this webinar you could become a better marketer and what does that mean about becoming a…. What does that actually project internally about a person about becoming a better marketer? It means that they’ll have higher self-esteem. It means their colleagues might like them even better and think highly of them.
It means that their boss might say, “Wow, okay this guy or this girl are really coming along and I can see their progress and I know where they’re going.” There’s all sorts of these like these emotional effects, because we say we want to become better marketers, but it’s not because we just want to sell more, we want the recognition and we want our self-recognition and we want the recognition of our peers and maybe our manager.
If it was me, I would think about the content of the video and the ads themselves. Instead of saying get fantastic tips and amazing ideas for marketing, I would think about saying like finally get recognition or become the best marketer or bring the marketer out of you or something that talks about their self-recognition and how they can become better versions of themselves; so finally become the marketer you know you are. Something of the sort, that’s dramatic, but-
Rick: I see somebody with a cape and they’re like looking out over the city and… I don’t know, that’s what just came to my mind as you said that.
Talia: It is that. It is that. We like to see ourselves, when we buy products, we like see ourselves as better versions of ourselves, so how me plus this thing, it’s going to make me into this awesome person who can do this rad shit and stuff. Oh sorry, I shouldn’t say that.
Rick: It’s okay.
Talia: That’s what you should be thinking about, that’s the clear difference between features and values. Features are will stay the same, the person will stay the same whether they buy it or not, the features will stay the same, but the value is divined by the customer. If they don’t get your product they could lose out on a certain value that they’re looking for.
Rick: Wow, I love that. Because I’m a Facebook ads guy, so we talk a lot about, yes, focusing on the benefits rather than the features, but you’re talking about taking that a step further and saying, okay, the benefits are great, but really focusing on the values what you’re going to offer that person and what they’re going to get out of using your product or service from an emotional perspective.
Talia: Yeah, definitely. I mean I always take it completely one or two steps further, because I really believe, as a marketer; it’s all about selling a perception. It’s not about selling a product; it’s about selling the dream. If you can identify what your customer’s dream is, and it’s not that hard, and I’ll tell you why in a minute, but if you can identify what your customer’s dream is, it would be so much easier for you to sell it because all you have to do is show them this dream can come true.
The way to identify what your customer’s dream is, a) ask them, and two, ask yourself, and again, I’m looking at this as maybe the person who started the company, but ask yourself why did you start the company. Usually when you ask people why they start a company they have a really cool story behind it. One of my clients they sell decals; just these like stickers you can put on the wall, and whenever I ask him why did you start the business?
Everyone thinks oh, you know, he probably wanted to make his wall look good or whatever and decorate the house, but the real story is that his son used to play baseball and he was very proud of him and he wanted to have him on his wall. Like he wanted to show him off and he wanted to feel proud about his son. He wanted to show his son that he was proud of him. That was the emotional thing, so when we talk about selling decals now, we’re talking about how you can bring joy into your life, you can show off, you can make people feel proud, and that’s the thing. Ugh, I went off course.
Rick: No. No. This is great. This is so great, because I’m thinking that like I actually, I love the fact that you said talk to your customers, because we do hear that a lot and yet so many people don’t do it. I’ve actually started doing that myself and with sort of the ideal customers in my sort of flagship Facebook ads training course.
I had a call with somebody yesterday and I was like blown away because I was getting all this information, exactly what you’re talking about here, where like one thing that she said, like if I can make this work, if I can create a system in my business and know exactly how much money I’m spending on my Facebook ads and have a pretty darn good idea of how much I’m going to get in return, that would simplify my life. That would allow me to take better care of myself, and I have kids, so I could do more things with them and that sort of things.
Talia: There you go.
Rick: I was like blown away. I’m like, yes, that’s the stuff that I need to hear.
Talia: Yeah, and that’s exactly your emotional trigger, so that’s what people are looking for. They’re looking for what everyone in life is looking for, not a shortcut, but something to make their life easier so they can spend more time having fun with their family. Then if I, you know, and the thing I would test, in this case, I would test maybe a landing page, if we’re talking about landing page, or even an ad of a family or someone in an amazing background and backdrop, showing how just someone having fun and enjoying life because they’re carefree.
They’ve got nothing to worry about, as opposed to most people would put maybe a screen shot of the product or saying here’s the tips and what you can do with them. You want to stay away from stock images, by the way, because the minute I said a person having fun and carefree, I had this stock image in my mind, this happy person, so no, not that type.
Rick: Yeah, we talk about that a lot. Again, from the Facebook ads perspective, people can see right through that now, because of what people are on Facebook to do. They’re there to share with their friends and family, so the more original, if you will, looking type of pictures that you would take with your phone are going to do much better most of the time then these stock looking photos. I’m glad that you said that.
Rick: When we’re using these emotional triggers here, how does this play into email marketing and increasing conversions from that standpoint? We’re getting away, just a little bit, from like an ad or a landing page, but now we’re looking at email marketing.
Talia: Well, I think at the end of the day, whatever you’re doing, whether it’s an exit pop, a landing page, or an email, you have to start asking yourself what’s in it for the customer. If you’re sending newsletter, if you’re sending emails, you really want to ask yourself, I mean, why would a customer open your email? When you think about it, we get like forty or fifty emails a day from spammers and you know different newsletters; people just dying for us to open their email and click on it and engage. When you actually think about it, I mean I get about fifty, I might open one a day, because who has time for that stuff?
Rick: Right. What makes you open that one email?
Talia: I think it’s the title usually.
Talia: Obviously if it’s someone that I know then I’m going to open it, like if it’s someone that I think highly of and I like the information that they’re selling then obviously I want to do that. Obviously I’m going to say, you know, valuable information and supply good content than people are going to open it, but more than that it’s a lot about thinking about who your customer is. When are they most likely to open the email? When would they most likely care about it? What would make them open the email?
What is that one USB that would make them consider, you know, I have some time now, I have these few minutes to think about it and actually open your email or save it for later. That’s things I would work on. I mean obviously the reason I’m steering away from AB testing is because it’s obvious, you have to AB test everything; everything I’ve said throughout this call should be AB tested. Yeah, I definitely focus, again, on your customer and then obviously the headline, the subject line, sorry, is extremely important, because that’s what’s going to make people open the email.
Rick: Sure. Speaking to or creating a subject line, I should say, speaking to that emotional trigger of what you’re trying to get across.
Talia: Yeah, I mean I think humor’s fantastic and knowing when to send an email is a good thing. Like one of the things that appeals to me, but this is the type of person I am, is when I get like this I have just one question or can you please help me out or something… But you can see that it’s a personally thing, even though it isn’t, but you feel like it’s a personal call. Some people would prefer like opening more funny emails and stuff like that. Actually the emails that I really like opening… Are you familiar with the product called The Skimm? It’s not a product, it a-
Rick: The Skimm? No, I’m not actually.
Talia: Okay. It’s The Skimm, with M, and it’s basically… Well you shouldn’t because it’s for females, basically, but it’s actually a daily email that gets sent to supposedly business women who haven’t got any time and basically summarizes all the most important news of the world. Every day I get this email, it’s called the Daily Skimm, and it has like really weird subject lines, like today it said rabbit, rabbit. No idea why, but-
Rick: Was there any mention of rabbits in the email at all?
Talia: No, nothing. I don’t know what it was. Then the second thing goes, Skimmed while watching the U.S. beat Germany in the Women’s World Cup, next up the final. This is like, okay, a cute way of saying we wrote this while we were watching the game, b), it was also informing me that there was a game and the U.S. beat Germany, and then also giving me, oh, okay, there’s something to come up.
The whole way they’ve built their newsletter is around really short sentences that you could use in a conversation, so if anyone says, “Did you know that the U.S. and Cuba,” I’m just reading out of this email, yeah, “Did you know that the U.S. and Cuba are officially reestablishing their relationship?” And you go, “Oh yeah, I read about that,” and it’s just like one-
Rick: Which you did.
Talia: Which I did.
Talia: Yeah, so it’s cool. The reason I’m telling you about this is because the way they’ve structured the email is so informative and it’s so much fun to open and I sometimes don’t have the time, but I’ll actually keep it just in case I do have, and even if I don’t have time to read it, I’ll quickly open it and skim through it, which hence the name, and find if there’s one piece of information I’ve missed and then close it. They’re interactive, like every day they surprise me with a new title. They bring in some like weird stuff. Also they have like the quote of the day thing, which I love too.
Rick: Are they making, just of curiosity, and this definitely a side note here, are they making money from it? What’s the revenue model? Do you know?
Talia: You know what, I have no idea. I have this feeling, I’m guessing, they have like a lot of links that are linking out to different articles, I’m guessing they’re getting like a referral fee, some sort of referral fee, I’m hoping. Sometimes, actually, they have like this Skimm today is brought to you by [Eventbrite 00:25:22] or whatever and that’s how they do that.
Rick: Gotcha. Well even though I’m not a woman, I’m going to go check it out, because I’m curious to see it and see how these emails are being received every day. Let’s start to wrap up here. What I’m hearing you say throughout everything we’ve been talking about; his has been amazing and I love the direction that this took, is that you really need to understand who your either potential target customer is or your existing customer.
Really understand that this whole word, and I’m beginning not to like it so much, but the avatar of your customer. You really have to understand them from all kinds of different levels and what we’re talking about here is understanding what they need from an emotional level and what you are offering, how that can solve or help them with that on the emotional level.
Then from that developing a strategy, from start to finish, create a hypothesis around that, and then my question for you, and I’d love to finish off with this one, is if someone has done that, if they’ve gone through all that, they understand their customer, what is the first thing that you recommend that they start to test out? Let’s just say that they do create two pages and their going to AB split test both of those, where should it be like headline? What do you think the first thing should be?
Talia: Oh, I cannot answer that because it really depends on the target audience and your funnel itself.
Talia: I mean I guess one thing that I would say is that if you managed to profile your customers and you can build personas or you can profile them and think you found the emotional triggers that matter, that’s when you want to start testing them. You don’t have to test like one headline or one call to action and that brings you back to maybe the beginning of the call. You want to think larger than that. You don’t want to treat a landing page as a bunch of elements; you want to treat it as an entire message.
The entire page, the way it’s structured and its messaging is what makes a difference. For example, I was talking about this in my… What I did today is I posted a new blog post. The name is “Full Meaningful Landing Page AB Test Ideas You Can Run Today.” Basically just AB testing ideas you can run. One of them is just about that, it’s about testing the different headline strategies. I gave an explanation about India’s biggest chat application that’s, apparently, that’s what they say they are, it’s called Hike, and that’s what they wrote the landing page, so Hike, Indian’s biggest chat application.
Then one of the things I was saying that they could do, instead of saying we’re the biggest chat application, say why. I mean obviously if you’re the biggest chat application in India there’s a reason for that, and that’s what they’re missing. I would focus on the end results, if that makes sense. Instead of saying I’m the number one solution for this or we’re the biggest or hundreds of people are using us today, I’d focus on that and showing the end result. It could be with an image, a headline, the entire page, but as long as you’re showing that that’s what matters.
Rick: Love it. Love it. Now I lied to you, I’m going to ask you one more question. How long should somebody test something? Because on that, that made me think about what you were talking about before, when I was on the call yesterday with the person who is one of the people who’s in my training course, that’s what she was asking. She’s testing new audiences and new messaging for those specific audiences, but she was having a challenge with how long do I test this? How long do I let it go before making a decision on it?
Talia: Well that’s a problematic question, because in general any AB test shouldn’t run less than fourteen days, because you really want to give it a chance to run enough time to see that nothing interfered and there wasn’t a certain specific interference in the middle; maybe there was a better day or whatever. You want to have each day run twice, so two Saturdays, two Sundays, two Mondays, whatever, and really have like a consecutive two weeks where you can test that.
When you’re testing strategies and concepts, at the end of the day, putting everything aside and all the strategy and psychology and emotion, you have numbers and you have data that you can use. If you look at the offline world, in TV people have been producing emotional ads since forever. I mean when was the last time you looked at perfume ad and understood it or cigarettes, whatever? I mean it’s always been about stirring some sort of emotion.
As opposed to TV, you can actually track things online and that’s the gift we have, so just use your AB testing tools; see when it becomes significant. Give it at least fourteen days, test it out and you have the tools to make that decision. Then if you’re not sure because it’s a big, major change, I always leave ten percent of the loser any way; depending on the size of the test I’m doing.
If I’m running a really major, big change, if I find a winner, I’ll usually put like ninety-five percent of the traffic on that and then still have five percent of the traffic going to the old site or to the old landing page, just to make sure, just in case there’s seasonality or anything and give it some time, so in case I can always go back to it pretty quickly.
Rick: Gotcha. That’s a good lesson there. This is a great place to stop. This has been really eye opening for me. This has been great and I know that my listeners are going to get a ton out of this. What’s the best place for people to connect with you?
Talia: Definitely on Twitter, which is my handle is @TaliaGW, so you can tweet to me there. Also, on our blog, so definitely follow our blog. There’s a ton of tips on how to get started with emotional targeting and guides and 101 stuff and testing ideas and stuff for that. It’s all free.
Rick: Yeah, and it’s conversioner.com, is that correct?
Talia: It’s conversioner.com. You can find the blog there. There’s also a really cool color guide, an emotional color guide that we’ve just posted, so you’ll find that interesting.
Rick: Awesome. I spent some time there and it’s definitely a wormhole, like, oh, that was an hour that just passed and I’m reading articles over here. It’s great. It’s great.
Talia: Well, thank you.
Rick: I’ll be sure to link up all the stuff in the show notes for today’s episode. Talia, thank you so much for joining us here on the show. I really, really appreciate it.
Talia: Thank you for having me. It was a lot of fun.