Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Heart of the Matter

What’s gonna make people buy from you?

That’s a tough question to answer. It involves a lot of factors, layered into the mix that comes out as your website. But there’s one really critical factor:

Some might say it’s the products. If you don’t have what your visitors are needing or wanting, they won’t buy from you. It’s true that products are very important. Still, that’s not the most critical factor.

Some might say it’s the content on your site. They’ll come to your site for the info, and stay to shop. That’s what makes your site “sticky”. That’s very important, because it’s also what brings the best search engine rankings. But content isn’t the most critical factor in the buying decision.

At times, I, myself, have said that it’s the experience that surrounds the products. If you create an experience or an association with an experience then people will stay and buy. For example, if you’re selling tents, sleeping bags, and lanterns, the experience these products bring is the enjoyment of the outdoors. If you focus on the experience, you give people a reason to want to own the products. Very important. But still not the most critical

To discover the most critical factor in buying, you have to dive even deeper into your customer. You must go past their mind and into their heart.

I’ve heard it said many times, and in many ways, that people generally will buy something based on their emotions, and then they’ll rationalize that purchase intellectually. I might tell you that the reason I chose this car is that it has a great safety rating, or it gets good mileage on the highway, but the real reason is that I look really cool in the driver’s seat!

So, you want to make your website appeal to the emotions that surround the experience that surrounds your products. Maybe it’s the sense of freedom that comes from breathing the fresh mountain air. Or the adrenaline that pumps my heart when I corner in my new car. When you focus the writing of your website about these emotions, and then follow up with logical facts and product features to support them, then you’ve got the one-two punch that will knock down the sale.

1. Get the thought process down

Start with your products in mind. Think them through the process. First, what’s the experience associated with the products? Then, what are the emotions that accompany the experiences? A good car brings excitement. Camping gear brings a connection with nature and tranquility.

Memories are good emotional triggers, and anything that connects a product to a person’s children is going to bring up emotions. Of course, you’d want to make sure that you’re using that strategy on a product that’s appropriate for a family…

2. Include all the senses

As you’re writing about the emotions a product brings, make sure to include as many senses. In the camping site, mention the stunning view, the sound of the birds in the trees, the smell of the fresh air, and the taste of the marshmallows on the fire! These senses are emotional and mnemonic triggers, and will enhance the connection people feel to your products.

3. Include the facts, but last

I do want to know what a product is and what it can do, but only after I’ve caught the excitement or the tranquility, or the love, or the whatever… Give me the details, the features of the product after I’ve already decided I want it.

4. Editing is critical!

Lastly, go back and revise the words you’ve written so that there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Work in a few more of those all-important search terms.

These suggestions will help you create a website that will not only draw people in, but make them want to buy your stuff as quickly as they can whip out their credit cards! Catch their emotions and you catch their desires and ultimately, their purchases.

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