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20 Response Modifiers To Capture More Clients

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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.

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

photo credit

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.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  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

    Mark,
    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.

    @derecshuler

  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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Business Marketing

Canva is catching on to content trends, launches in-app video editor

(MARKETING) Canva launches an in-platform video editor, allowing access to their extensive library of assets and animations to create high-quality videos

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African American woman working on Canva Video Editor Desktop in office setting.

Video content consumption is on the rise, and the graphic design platform, Canva, took note of it. The $40 billion Australian startup has entered the video business and announced the launch of its video editor, Canva Video Suite.

The end-to-end video editor is an easy-to-use platform that anyone, no matter the skill level, can create, edit, and record high-quality videos. Best of all, it’s free, and it’s available on both desktop and mobile platforms.

The tool has hundreds of editable templates that you can use to create videos for several online platforms like TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. Some templates can be used to create workplace and business videos, while other templates are perfect for personal videos. There are playful themes you can use to create that spooky video just in time for Halloween or make a laugh-out-loud video to send to your best friend! With a wide range of selections, in no time you’ll start creating your very own video masterpiece with Canva.

Caucasian man holding iPhone showing Canva video editor on mobile.

What else does the video software offer and what can you do with it? Well, let me tell you:

Collaborate in real-time

Having everyone on the same page is important and Canva’s video suite takes that into account. To collaborate with others, you simply send them an invite, and together you can edit videos, manage assets, and leave comments to give your input.

Video timeline editing and in-app recording

Similar to building presentation slides, Canva’s scene-based editor simplifies video editing by using a timeline approach. With it, you can quickly reorder, crop, trim, and splice your videos. Also, users don’t need to leave the platform to record that last-minute shot; within the app, you can shoot and record yourself from a camera or a screen.

Library of assets

The video editor is filled with an array of watermark-free stock footage, icons, images, illustrations, and even audio tracks that you can choose from – but if you really need something that is not on their platform – you can upload your own image, video, or audio track.

Animate with ease

Although still in the process of being released, soon you will be able to add animations of both text and visual elements in just a few simple clicks. Among others, animation presets that fade, pan, and tumble will help you transform your video and take it to a whole other level.

Overall, Canva Video Suite is very intuitive and has all the essential things you need to create a video. And by streamlining the video creation process, Canva is ensuring it enters the video marketplace with a bang.

“One of Canva’s guiding principles is to make complex things simple, and our new Video Suite will allow everyone to unlock the power of video, whether that’s to market their business, make engaging social posts, or express their creativity,” said Rob Kawalsky, Head of Product at Canva.

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Business Marketing

Amazon attracts advertisers from Facebook after Apple privacy alterations

(MARKETING) After Apple’s privacy features unveil, Amazon adapts by taking a unique approach to targeting, disrupting revenue for the ad giant Facebook.

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Two African American women work at their desks, one viewing Amazon's advertising landing page.

As a de facto search engine of its own persuasion, Amazon has been poaching ad revenue from Google for some time. However, disrupting the revenue stream from their most recent victim – Facebook – is going to turn some heads.

According to Bloomberg, Apple’s recent privacy additions to products such as iPhones are largely responsible for the shift in ad spending. While platforms like Facebook and Instagram were originally goldmines for advertisers, these privacy features prevent tracking for targeting – a crucial aspect in any marketing campaign.

Internet privacy has been featured heavily in tech conversations for the last several years, and with Chrome phasing out third-party cookies, along with Safari and Firefox introducing roughly analogous policies, social media advertising is bound to become less useful as tracking strategies struggle to keep up with the aforementioned changes.

However, Amazon’s wide user base and separate categorization from social media companies makes it a clear alternative to the Facebook family, which is perhaps why Facebook advertisers are starting to jump ship in an effort to preserve their profits.

This is the premise behind the decision to reduce the Facebook ad spending of Vanity Planet by 22%, a home spa vendor, while facilitating a transition to Amazon. “We have inventory…and the biggest place we are growing is Amazon,” says Alex Dastmalchi, the entrepreneur who runs Vanity Planet.

That gap will only widen with Apple’s new privacy features. Bloomberg reports that when asked in June if they would consent to having their internet activity tracked, only one in four iPhone users did so; this makes it substantially harder for the ad campaigns unique to Facebook to target prospective buyers.

It also means that Amazon, having demonstrated a profound effectiveness in targeting individuals both pre- and post-purchase, stands to gain more than its fair share of sellers flocking to promote their products.

Jens Nicolaysen, co-founder of Shinesty (an eccentric underwear company), affirms the value that Amazon holds for sellers while acknowledging that it isn’t a perfect substitute for social media. While Nicolaysen laments the loss of the somewhat random introduction charm inherent on Instagram, he also believes in the power of brand loyalty, especially on a platform as high-profile as Amazon. “The bigger you are, the more you lose by not having any presence on Amazon,” he explains.

As privacy restrictions continue to ramp up in the coming months, it will be interesting to see how social media advertising evolves to keep up with this trend; it seems naive to assume that Amazon will replace Facebook’s ads entirely, tracking or no tracking.

Apple's privacy landing page showing iPhone users ability to shut off location services and a desktop image of a user's ability to control how their data is managed.

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Business Marketing

How many hours of the work week are actually efficient?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Working more for that paycheck, more hours each week, on the weekends, on holidays can actually hurt productivity. So don’t do that, stay efficient.

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Clock pointed to 5:50 on a plain white wall, well tracked during the week.

Social media is always flooded with promises to get in shape, eat healthier and… hustle?

In hustle culture, it seems as though there’s no such thing as too much work. Nights, weekends and holidays are really just more time to be pushing towards your dreams and hobbies are just side hustles waiting to be monetized. Plus, with freelancing on the rise, there really is nothing stopping someone from making the most out of their 24 hours.

Hustle culture will have you believe that a full-time job isn’t enough. Is that true?

Although it’s a bit outdated, Gallup’s 2014 report on full-time US workers gives us an alarming glimpse into the effects of the hustle. For starters, 50% of full-time workers reported working over 40 hours a week – in fact, the average weekly hours for salaried employees was up to 49 hours.

So, what’s the deal with 40 hours anyway? The 40 hour work-week actually started with labor rights activists in the 1800s pushing for an 8 hour workday. In 1817, Robert Owen, a Welsh activist, reasoned this workday provided: “eight hours labor, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest.”

If you do the math, that’s a whopping 66% of the day devoted to personal needs, rather than labor!

Of course, it’s only natural to be skeptical of logic from two centuries ago coloring the way we do business in the 21st century. For starters, there’s plenty of labor to be done outside of the labor you’re paid to do. Meal prep, house cleaning, child care… that’s all work that needs to be done. It’s also all work that some of your favorite influencers are paying to get done while they pursue the “hustle.” For the average human, that would all be additional work to fall in the ‘recreation’ category.

But I digress. Is 40 hours a week really enough in the modern age? After all, average hours in the United States have increased.

Well… probably not. In fact, when hours are reduced (France, for instance, limited maximum hours to 35 hours a week, instead of 40), workers are not only more likely to be healthier and happier, but more efficient and less likely to miss work!

So, instead of following through with the goal to work more this year, maybe consider slowing the hustle. It might actually be more effective in the long run!

This story was first published in January 2020.

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