Thursday, July 22, 2010

The single most desired response

You read the post about effective web sites right? Let's flesh out the concept a little more, by introducing you to the principle that can make or break your marketing: The single most desired response.

And now we teach an old dog a new trick

I often hear people say they are not sales people - as if they are genetically incapable. As if they don't have opposing thumbs.

If you are one of these, you better stand back because I'm afraid I'm going to prick a little hole in that illusion of yours.

Professional selling requires skill. Skill is not acquired at birth. You can learn to sell just like you learned how to tie your shoe laces.

You can be good at sales. To demonstrate, let's learn something about selling and you'll see how easy it is:

Let's learn about the most important principle of selling on a web site.

It is called the "Single Most Desired Response."

In a nutshell, "single most desired response" is what you want your prospect to do on your web site - and on every single page. A deceptively simple principle.

Architects will recognize it as similar to "form follows function". Also deceptively simple.

In essence it means that every DESIGN should exist to support a specific FUNCTION. Any part of a design that does not support the function is superfluous and detracts from the "beauty" of the design.

What it should do determines how it looks. What it should do determines how it works.

The first step is therefore to determine WHAT you want your web site to do. It's clear and unequivocal FUNCTIONS. Not broad, warm and fuzzy functions, but desired outcomes that are a) measurable, b) reasonable c) a good fit to your visitor and yourself.

(I use function-s as plural because a complex design can support more than one function - provided those functions form part of a larger but logical and coherent system)

After you determined what the functions should be, and you are sure you can implement measurements - THEN you design and build your site to follow / support the functions.

The first benefit of applying this principle is that this "clarity" or "beauty" of design will automatically produce a home page where the purpose / function of the site is crystal clear: If you are selling pizza delivery in Tweebuffelsmeteenskootgeskietfontein, there is no sense in buttering up an Arsoli resident. Your online Ferrari shop will not benefit 8 year olds and neither would your French novel interest most Bushmen, so by stating your site's exact function encourage people who are there accidently to leave. With the riff-raff gone, those who stay are qualified prospects. The gold of the internet.

Once the function is clear, and your prospects qualified, you can move on to drive visitors to your single most desired response: Do you want him to place an order? Subscribe to a newsletter? Request a voucher? Download information? Read your testimonials? Follow a link to another page where his needs are addressed in more detail?

If YOU are unclear about what you want the visitor's response to be, then visitors will be confused too, right? So, clarify what you want your visitor to do with a clear call to action and clear benefits and you will SUBSTANTIALLY improve the effectiveness of your site - immediately.

Simply make them a CLEAR and DIRECT offer they can't possibly refuse. ;-)

Some people will click immediately on your desired response (at the top of the page), others a little further down as they become convinced, others will read all the information before deciding, so your "click here desired response" should be repeated a couple of times throughout the page to accommodate all personality types.

And there you go. As simple as that. If you practice this simple principle and track your results, you will become better and better at it.

And you thought you can't teach an old dog new tricks. ;-)


  1. Anonymous26 July, 2010

    Somebody must pay the man who sired you a billion. You are such a useful being.

  2. hahahah! That must be the most unusual compliment I've ever had! Thank you! :-)