The Smiling Face and the Nice Price: Conversions and the Human Psyche

The Smiling Face and the Nice Price: Conversions and the Human Psyche

Last updated on August 18, 2016 by Fahad Muhammad in Conversion Rate Optimization
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“1,000 songs in your pocket.” That’s how Apple introduced the iPod to the world.

The iPod’s specifications came second. There was no talk of the 160-by-128-pixel high-resolution display or the high-output 60-mW amplifier. First came the ability to put 1,000 songs in your pocket.

Apple has mastered marketing and generating hype around each product release because they understand conversions (i.e. sales) has as much to do with psychology as it does best practices. This is why people camp out in front of Apple stores waiting for the new iWhatever.

When visitors click your landing page’s call-to-action, they’re doing it because

  • They need the product or service you’re offering to solve their problem
  • You’ve convinced them your offer is superior to your competitor’s offer

Your product’s efficiency takes care of the first reason; human psychology takes care of the second.

Conversions are all about persuasion, and persuasion is about working the human psyche to your advantage. Why should your customers select your product and not your competitors?

How will you convince visitors to convert on your CTA and not someone else?

Applying psychological principles to your landing page can be the difference in you winning a conversion, or losing the prospect to a competitor.

At its core, “landing page psychology” isn’t simply increasing the size of your CTA or removing extra form fields. Psychological principles come into play when you appeal to visitor’s emotions, put urgency on your offer (like a countdown timer), and include glowing customer testimonials.

Smiling faces can increase conversions

Many people buy for emotional reasons. If you can tap into their emotions, they can’t help but take the action you want.

Smiling people evokes an emotional response in your visitors — whether they realize it or not. When your visitors see a human face, your brand increases credibility because visitors feel confident that you’re not trying to hide behind your product. Plus, when you humanize your page, the emotional connection is stronger.

Your visitors are buying a product from you (a human being), so it’s only natural for them to want some form of human contact on your landing page.

This is how Pixlee adds human appeal to their landing page:

This picture shows how Pixlee uses a smiling face to increase conversions.

Without confirming who he is, I venture to guess he’s one of Pixlee’s experts. The friendly smile on his face reassures — and encourages me — to click the “Learn More” call-to-action.

When Signal v. Noise tested a human page versus their original design, they saw a whopping 102.5% increase in conversions:

This picture shows how Highrise tested their landing page with an employee smiling.

They then tested the single-person page using different people to see if Jocelyn was responsible for the increase in conversions.

Here’s what happened:

This picture shows how Highrise uses smiling team members to increase conversions.

Smiling faces looking at your visitors do have a positive impact on landing page conversions. And, based on this test, a specific person doesn’t matter all that much among a set of people.

Featuring your team also humanizes your page and helps customers put a face to your brand which, in turn, urges them to convert.

Another approach is to have people visualize themselves using your product with the help of human imagery. Zoho Social does this on their landing page, showing that the image is relevant to the headline:

This picture shows how Zoho Social humanizes their brand to increase conversions.

Human images have proven to help increase conversions, but only when the images are relevant to the other page elements. Zoho’s image works because the headline states “Social media marketing for growing businesses” and the image is relevant to this headline.

Conversely, the image on iContact’s landing page, isn’t relevant and detracts from the conversion goal:

This picture shows how iContact uses an irrelevant landing page image to lower conversion rates.

Who is this woman? Is she a customer? An iContact employee? We’ll never know.

If you’re going for the “human using the product” approach, do what Tableau does instead. You can clearly see the people in the image using the software, which helps with the visualization process:

This picture shows how Tableau increases conversions by humanizing their brand.

Avoid stock images that make no sense on your landing page. Only use images that are relevant to your offer, look natural, and assist you with your conversion goal.

Optimizing your pricing plan increases conversions

Marketers rarely see their pricing plans as conversion gateways because they assume that the visitors landing on the page will already be convinced to convert. The reality, though, is that even a convinced customer will abandon your landing page if you’ve done a poor job with your pricing plans.

According to research by Singapore researchers Monica Wadhwa and Kuangjie Zhang, rounded prices such as $100 work when the buyer is making a decision driven by emotion. Non-rounded prices like $99.99 work when the purchasing decision is more logical. This is because our brains process rounded prices easier than non-rounded prices.

To decide whether you should round your pricing, consider the product you’re selling. If it’s an app that collects and sends family photos, your pricing should draw on emotional appeal (rounded pricing). If you are offering your visitors social media analytics, then non-rounded pricing will be more effective:

This picture shows how rounded and non-rounded pricing increases conversions.

Another thing you need to do with your pricing page is to keep things simple and organized for your visitors. Make the comparison between different plans clearly visible to them.

Below is Instapage’s pricing page and we distinguish all plans based on benefit level:

This picture shows how Instapage increases conversions with its pricing page.

When VWO tested Lyyti’s pricing plan they found that pricing plans arranged in organized columns and compared features increased the free trial page signups by 93.71%:

This picture shows how Lyyti organized its pricing page to increase conversions.

Creating a sense of urgency helps increase conversions because it doesn’t allow people to procrastinate in their buying decision. This is where a countdown timer helps the most because everybody has FOMO (fear of missing out).

To demonstrate, Venture Harbour’s Marcus Taylor A/B tested a countdown timer and saw a 147% increase in conversions with this variation:

This picture shows how Venture Harbour increases conversions with a countdown timer.

Scoring landing page conversions becomes easier when you understand more about the human brain. Your landing page is not just a page where you promote your offer. It’s an opportunity to start a lasting relationship with your customers.

Now you can add countdown timers to your landing pages effortlessly with Instapage. Are you announcing a price discount? Build your best landing page with Instapage and convert more people with your discount.

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