When it comes to web design that “converts,” i.e. efficiently persuades prospects to take a desired business action, the websites of digital agencies haven’t typically been high on my list for praise.
Often times, the sites of digital agencies have over-relied on flash, high-resolution imagery, or inventive navigation to persuade their prospects that they should engage with the site and eventually take a desired action.
Further, the philosophy of “creativity for creativity’s sake” pervades many agencies, and the web designs they provide to clients often under-perform in terms of business KPIs like conversion rate and revenue.
Hence, many practitioners of Conversion Optimization distance themselves from traditionally “creative” agencies, instead testing their way to designs that are often aesthetically plain (even boring), but convert well.
Note: this isn’t always the fault of agencies. Their clients are often fixated on aesthetic design and aren’t thinking enough about website business performance. And, as we know, the client is always right when you work at an agency.
All of this contributes to my bias. Enter the homepage of POSSIBLE, a digital agency that I was introduced to recently. I was surprised to see that their homepage is doing some things really well that we can learn from in terms of persuasion and conversion optimization.
POSSIBLE’s homepage separates their agency from the pack by focusing on clear copy, crafted hyperlinks, and valuable content above the fold. Click the image in this post to enlarge, and let’s focus specifically on how their copy and hyperlinks are set up to speak to the four universal personality types. NOTE: Your site has to convert these same four personalities.
Scan the screen capture in this post [click to enlarge], and you’ll immediately notice POSSIBLE’s no-nonsense logo (sans tagline, BTW), a block of copy at the top of the main viewing area, and juicy content above the fold in a “WordPress-esque” layout.
I’m going to focus this post on their persuasive copy only, because it’s a good example of how a block of copy can resonate with, and elicit action from, the four universal personality types: Competitive, Spontaneous, Humanistic, and Methodical.
The Four Personality Types Explained
First, a quick primer on the four personality types as defined in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), what types of questions/objections they bring to your website, and how to speak to them in copy and links.
The Competitive (NT) personality type is a fast-paced, and logic-based decision maker. They tend to ask “Why” questions. For example, Why are you the best? Why should I do business with you?
The Spontaneous (SP) personality is a fast-paced, emotion-based decision maker. They tend to ask “When” questions. For example, When will I see results? Do you use the latest methods and approaches?
The Humanistic (NF) personality is a deliberate-paced, emotion-based decision maker. They tend to ask “Who” questions. For example, Who is behind this website? Who are your employees? Whom will I work with?
The Methodical (SJ) personality is a deliberate-paced, logic-based decision maker. They tend to ask “How” questions. For example, How do you deliver results? What method/process do you use?
Based on these basic summaries, let’s look at how POSSIBLE’s homepage copy and links satisfy the needs of all four personality modalities.
For the Competitive, my annotated screenshot shows that the homepage copy uses the link copy of “award-winning,” “measurable business results,” and to a lesser extent “clients” to route prospects down into more specific content designed to answer their questions, overcome objections, and call them to action. “Award-winning” appeals to the Competitive’s Why? leanings because winning awards is a reason why I should work with them. The “measurable business results” link works because Competitives are interested in the bottom line, which is the results they can expect by working with POSSIBLE. Finally, “clients” is a good link for Competitives because having marquis clients is another reason why I should hire POSSIBLE.
For the Spontaneous, the When? question is tougher to answer because POSSIBLE provides a variety of services, some of which might involve lengthy projects yet to be scoped. However, the link copy “innovative work” speaks to a Spontaneous by alluding to the ‘latest and greatest.’ To be producing innovative work, an agency must be current with what’s needed ‘now,’ and The Now is when/where the Spontaneous wants to live and do business.
For the Humanistic, the Who? angle of approach is well-served by the link text “global staff” and “people love.” These two links, pointing to staff bios and testimonial content, are a great way to encourage the deliberate-paced, emotion-based prospect to engage with the site and ultimately feel comfortable converting.
For the Methodical, the How? focus needs to be dealt with in detail. I would argue that the single, explanatory link “interactive marketing agency” is vague/weak, but it’s a start. It’s the most likely place in that block of copy where a Methodical would attempt to navigate. If the target page has multiple links to detailed sub-pages explaining process, methodology, and academic case studies, then the deliberate-paced, logic-based Methodical might bear with the site and become a lead or customer.
For The Win
It’s crucial that your site’s homepage explain, in brief, simple language, what it is that you do/sell and why you are worthy of a prospect’s attention. Nothing does this as well as quality copywriting and carefully-worded links down into site content.
Try testing your own version of POSSIBLE’s homepage copy and “routing” links and see what it does for your conversion rate and/or homepage bounce rate. You’ll likely be pleasantly surprised!