Background: Willow Creek Association is a nonprofit organization committed to transforming leaders in their respective communities. Each year, they host a two-day event (Global Leadership Summit) to provide those leaders with training from speakers in successful companies.
Goal: To increase order conversion
Primary Research Question: How can we create more value to increase conversions?
When The Global Leadership Summit team saw a significant decline in conversions from 2015 to 2016, they established a testing culture to understand why the change. One of the hypotheses behind the decline was removing the incentive, but testing proved it was not the incentive that affected the decline; it was the value proposition. Their next step was to analyze their current page for the gaps in perceived value for the prospect. The GLS team held a Value Proposition Workshop and applied their new learnings to their 2017 homepage for the summit — the results are worth sharing.
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To begin, let’s focus on the value delivery of the control. At first glance, the GLS team noticed that the page held very little perceived value in the headlines and the copy. The GLS team concluded that the headline “About the GLS” did not give enough value. To a new prospect, who has never heard of The Global Leadership Summit, “GLS” might be a big jump. To assume that the prospect would understand this (or even need this information) is dangerous because it does not meet the prospect where they are in the thought sequence. As marketers, we need to ask ourselves: what is the sequential process in their minds as they enter this page? The prospect will probably ask questions more aligned to: How does this summit benefit me? What do I get out of it? Where is it located? Where do I have to travel? Who will be there? How can this improve my current career path? If marketers fail to ask the correct questions with the prospect in mind, we fail to find the correct answers.
As we journey down the page, we finally come across some useful information for the prospect. There is value in the “Location and Dates” section because it answers these crucial questions the prospect might have: Where is it located? Where do I have to travel? Can this product help me? Answering these questions are great. However, its location on the page is not. What is it doing in the middle of the page? If the page fails to answer these critical questions in the first 4 inches, in combination with prospect’s impatience, the conversion could be lost. The GLS team discovered this is a problem that needed to be addressed.
And finally, after analyzing the entire page, there is absolutely no mention of the speakers in attendance. The GLS team observed that they were neglecting the other crucial questions prospects might have when entering this page, as aforementioned.
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Here is the new Global Leadership Summit page. GLS team extracted the real value of the summit and transferred it to a homepage, only after attending the Value Proposition Workshop. Let’s see how the GLS team addressed the value perception gap.
The GLS team added quantifiable claims in the headline … in the first 4 inches of the page. We can already see a stark difference in the headlines from 2016 and 2017. The larger headline reads “Two days of World Class Leadership Training,” and then goes back to read smaller text above the headline: “You have Influence. Join 400,000 of your peers to learn how to maximize it with …” The smaller text quantifies the number of people in attendance and popularity of the summit, while the larger text uses numbers to start showing instances of the Primary Value Proposition. This is an effective way to initially capture interest and build Credibility.
This headline does not only hold Credibility in the numbers, but there is also Specificity in the blue call-out box at the top of the page. The sub-headline under “The Global Leadership Summit” is specific on the location of the event, which erases the concern for travel arrangements (a potential pain point for prospects) thus, creating value. We will continue to see more of the same information elaborated further below, which creates congruence.
They also added specific information about the speakers. In the control, there was virtually no information about the speakers. In this version, we can see the speakers listed, and additionally, we see that the GLS team provided vital information that fostered conclusions. The GLS team leveraged speaker headshots, names AND positions at their respective companies; this increased the prospect’s perceived value, answering the question: “What do I get out of this?”
And finally, they added value throughout the page. At MarketingExperiments, we call this Congruence. At the top of the page, there was copy that read “convenient location near you.” Although the “Location near you” section seems far from the top, the GLS team still alluded this Primary Value Proposition in the main headline. Since this is the expanded section of the main Value Proposition, it creates congruence and reaffirms to the prospect that there is value.
So, what does the GLS team get from building credibility and being specific? Not just a forceful Value Proposition, but more than double the conversions.
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Without value, you are doing nothing for the prospect
As blunt as that may seem, the truth is the truth. People do not spend time delving into webpages or emails without knowing they are receiving something at the other end. Friends, marketers, do not waste your time replicating other webpages with their nonsense information, designs and vernacular; instead, test and use the prospect’s thought sequence. Ask the right questions to get the right answers. These tools will give you the results that you want for your company.