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20 Response Modifiers To Capture More Clients

Small Changes. Huge Gains.

Changing only the headline on a website boosted the visitor-to-subscriber response by about 470%. Not bad, right? Especially when you consider that the change took me all of a couple minutes.

Small changes like this can equate to huge results. It’s literally the Butterfly Effect in action.

The Butterfly Effect: “…the idea that a butterfly’s wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that may ultimately alter the path of a tornado or delay, accelerate or even prevent the occurrence of a tornado in a certain location. The flapping wing represents a small change in the initial condition of the system, which causes a chain of events leading to large-scale alterations of events.”

Here’s just a few modifiers I’ve found increase online results.

20 Response Modifiers To Capture More Clients

  1. Traffic Source – not all traffic is created equal. Try different sources and check your results.
  2. Page Load Time – the mouse-click makes for an impatient person (I have mouse gestures installed so a wave to the left and I’m gone). Slow-loading equates to not helping the visitor reach the information they want.
  3. Headline – how well does your headline capture visitors and pull them in?
  4. First 250 Words – if you get them reading past the first 250 words then they’re yours. If not, they’re lost.
  5. Audio Intros – audio has shown to increase conversions as much as 20%.
  6. Video Intros – video can be tricky to do right, but can also be the most compelling element on your page.
  7. Color Scheme – Microsoft and Apple have spent bajillions of dollars defining their color schemes. Color matters.
  8. Font Size – the easier it is to read, the more it will get read. Pretty simple, actually 😉
  9. Font Choice – times new roman? verdana? not only does font choice affect readability but it also has na impact on the overall “feel” of your site.
  10. Testimonials (text/audio/video/photos) – proof. Plain and simple. Test different methods of sharing those testimonials.
  11. Personal Picture – ahh, the hero shot. Does a Glamour Shot pull better than a casual/candid?
  12. FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) – how accessible are your FAQs? Are you answering the right questions?
  13. Case Studies – more proof but this time highlighting the Problem-Solution process.
  14. Movement – the eye is drawn to movement. How does response improve when movement is added to a key area of your page?
  15. Lead-Capture Forms – a key to lead conversion. The number of fields is a factor but also how you draw attention to the form.
  16. Benefits List – are you really communicating the benefits of using your services? are they different than what’s listed on another Realtor’s site?
  17. Sub-headlines – function just like a headline. Capture scanners and skimmers and pull them back in to your copy.
  18. Guarantee – risk-removal. Sure, you could guarantee your services but what guarantees can you make as to the usefulness of your site or their privacy?
  19. Your Value Proposition – what value will folks receive by working with you? You’ll find different markets will respond differently – find the one that resonates with yours.
  20. Tag Line – Nike has “Just do it,” Domino’s had “30 minutes or less or it’s free” (included guarantee.) What tagline is most memorable and builds your brand? (side note: three word taglines such as “Service. Experience. Integrity.” are lame. They don’t actually say or mean anything to the reader.)

There you are. A bunch of response modifier “butterflies” that can transform your current results into huge gains.

Oh, and I don’t recommend testing them all at once. One at a time so you can actually see the impact of each.

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Now, these are just a few… what are some other response modifiers that should be included?

photo credit

Written By

Mark Eckenrode is a Certified Master of Guerrilla Marketing raised on comic books, punk rock, and Pepsi. He's also the chief marketing trainer at HomeStomper where AgentGenius readers can learn unconventional methods for winning with social media.



  1. Missy Caulk

    November 3, 2008 at 9:52 am

    Mark excellent information. I need to add FAQ’s to my site, thanks. Like you said everyone uses those tag lines. Boring to the consumer.

  2. Mark Eckenrode

    November 3, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    @missy: i hear ya. i need to try out some FAQs on HomeStomper aswell. all in time. that’s key, too, for measuring response – don’t make a bunch of changes at once. one at a time so you can see the impact of each item.

    and ugh! do people really think that those 3 word taglines actually speak to the market? stab the next one with a spoon, please.

  3. James Bridges

    November 4, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Great post. I am so glad you mentioned number 20 as the traditional ones on real estate websites just aren’t compelling.

    I would say that another one to add would be a “Call to Action”. An effective call to action that compels the visitor to fill out your lead-capture form is extremely valuable. It’s also an easy one to test to see what message is reaching your visitors.

  4. Mark Eckenrode

    November 4, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    @james: most definitely the Call-To-Action can be added to the list. tying in with that would be the Offer – what are you offering in exchange for the visitor taking the next step?

    funny case study: bank of america has a platinum portfolio program for folks with net worth in the millions. so, they sent out a mailing to folks that met this criteria, selling them on filling out a form to receive further info on the platinum program.

    they tested different offers, of course, and the one they found to get the highest response offered folks a fake alligator skin pocket notepad. these folks were worth millions of dollars and they responded more to a fake alligator notepad than any other offer. who would have thought?

    the lesson: you never really know until you test it 🙂

  5. Kay Baker Wilmington NC Real Estate

    November 4, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Great ideas. I have lead capture on my site, but need to refine it.
    I will add FAQ’s to my site for sure.

  6. Mack

    November 5, 2008 at 5:08 am

    About six years ago I helped a graphic designer and her family sell their current home and purchase a new one. She knows the importance of a tag line and came up with one for me, “When You’re With Mack, Get Ready To Pack”. At the beginning I thought it was a bit corny but guess what, people remember it. Thanks for the reminders of the additional activities that I need to perform.

  7. Paula Henry

    November 5, 2008 at 7:41 am

    Mark – So many great ideas here! I’m really surprised audio and video intros increase the conversion rate. I’ve always heard they slow a site down.

  8. Derec Shuler

    November 5, 2008 at 9:47 am

    Great list! I’d also include having a compelling offer that ties in with your benefits and value proposition.


  9. Mark Eckenrode

    November 5, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    great additions, geniuses!

    @mack: corny can work (i.e. “Once you pop, you just can’t stop,” Pringles). sticks in the head, right?

    @paula: using audio/video increases bonding and rapport and adds a human element to a page. they can increase page load time if you’re playing with large file sizes which you shouldn’t be. the key to effectively using audio and video is not to just talk, but to give a call-to-action.

    for those looking to work on your FAQs, here’s a link to a post that will help you get the most of them.

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