Design / Copy Synergies Drive Conversion

Ad design must be driven by customer insights research, monitoring and measurement.

Kissmetrics offers a good 10-step guide to creating a perfect landing page. I have added commentary that is consistent with practices I have found effective over the years.

  • Most of these principles increasingly apply to print ads and collateral.
    • People used to online reading are now habituated to a “search and scan” mode of reading. They no longer have the patience and attention span to read through expansive copy to extract the information they are searching for.
  • Good graphic design is not enough: No matter how good the design sense or how flashy and stylish the overall design and individual design elements, effective marketing comes down to one thing only: measurable results. To maximize the effectiveness of a layout, a marketer must achieve design and copy synergies that drive conversion. Ad design must be driven by customer insights research.
  1. Headline & copy consistency: This improves your AdWords score, allowing you to measure cost per click. It also helps you reduce text. The average attention span is a matter of seconds. Statistics on attention span can be read here. This means that text-intensive copy doesn’t get read.
  2. Clear and concise headlines: Readers no longer have the patience to read through expansive copy to extract value. The value needs to be up front, so the headlines should contain the crux of the value propositions. Internet users today have adopted to a “search and scan” mode of reading in which they search for very specific, brief phrases that respond directly to their specific question. If that information stands out as a headline, link or bold copy, they may be inclined to drill down and read further. the information they need.
  3. Perfect grammar (and design): Research continues to show that the trust factor is increasingly important to differentiate you in a crowded ad space. Since consumers are bombarded by ad content and will weed through them at the speed of a mouse click, the perceived professionalism of the advertiser must be clear in the grammar and design.
  4. Build trust: Conveying the Voice of the Customer (through testimonial quotes, relevant customer statistics, etc.) is so important because research shows that social media is self-focused. Internet users are searching for content that addresses their own personal concerns first, and need to identify closely with the user of the product or service. The infographic below provides some research statistics showing the power of trust building content.
  5. Strong call to action: Customers are wary of being manipulated through bait and switch tactics or other clever manipulative strategies. The emphasis on trust coupled with their short attention spans means you must be honest, don’t waste their time, and get to the bottom line. Metrics like those in the infographic show that a clear call to action increases results measurably.
  6. Visually distinguish key words and calls to action: The link must make it natural and easy to act on, and not get lost among a complex array of design elements. Keep design functional: Since conversion is the entire intent of the ad, copy should be designed to follow the flow of the reader’s natural reading strategies and lead the eye to the conversion buttons.
  7. Selective few links: Do not distract the user from the action you designed the page for them to take.
  8. Image/Video closely related to content: These drive engagement and impact.
  9. Reduce scrolling: Asking a reader to scroll, click and take other extraneous actions reduces the likelihood of them taking the action you are hoping for – clicking on the conversion link.
  10. Measure and m0nitor: No matter how attractive the design and copy, the bottom line is the results it generates. By testing 2 different design/copy treatments, you can better determine the most effective way to reach customers and drive them to take the actions you want them to take.

Snap! principle of Design / Copy synergy:

Ad design must be driven by customer insights research, monitoring and measurement.

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