I recently was speaking with a friend who works as a UX consultant about optimizing websites for lead conversion and sales conversion. I was curious if he had come across any types of “go-to” tricks that seem to increase leads and sales, no matter the business or website.To my delight, he did indeed have such a trick: the word Imagine.
Don’t Sell Features
When selling a product, whether it’s a software product, consumer good, B2B or B2C, leads and sales can increase by helping the buyer imagine the improvements in their life that will come from buying the given product or service. This is an especially effective alternative to selling people a set of features, which while more tangible, fail to excite and move people to action.
There are some brands that sell you on imagination extremely well. Take Apple for example. Apple is what is often referred to as an aspirational brand – in other words, many Apple consumers are drawn to their purchase because they like the way Apple makes them feel about themselves. They enjoy imagining their life with Apple products, because having an Apple product stands for elegance, creativity and affluence, and Apple has sold them on imagining that lifestyle.
(Note: Aspirational branding, or as you might more commonly hear it, “selling the dream” is not just for big companies. Startups can take advantage of aspirational branding as well. Here’s a nice explanation of this process and why it works.)
Then compare this to the way that Microsoft used to package and market its software. It was feature heavy, dense and cluttered – all of which made you feel like you would be buying something powerful, but not something life-changing. Of course, Microsoft has since made the transition to its Metro-style branding, which is cleaner, simpler and more inviting to the imagination.
How to Invite Imagination
In the case above discussing website UX, the changes being made were often copy changes, literally using the word imagine. Replacing tedious bullet point lists of features with simple copy that invited the buyer to imagine their life with the added benefits of this product or service. Copy is certainly a wonderful and straightforward way to elicit imagination in potential consumers, but it is far from the only way.
Visual cues are a fantastic communicator as well. Take the above packaging as an example. Apple helps you imagine iLife making your life more simple and clutter-free by organizing your photos, movies and music. Beyond package design, beautiful photos with products in use can place a potential consumer into an immediate setting, and imagine themselves actually using the product and enhancing their life. That’s far more powerful than having them think about a list of individual features.
Find Out Why Your Product is Exciting
Figuring out why your product is exciting is an exercise that should really be incredibly simple, but many companies find ways to overcomplicate this process, and that’s when feature bullet point lists begin to creep in. Stop for a second.
Think about the original reason you began building your product or service. What problem were you trying to solve? Answering this question should come before any building ever takes place, so the answer ought to already be readily available to you. And that’s really about all there is to it.
A valuable answer to that question sets you on the right path to explaining to people why your product or service is exciting. Answering that question helps invite potential consumers to imagine their life with (at least) one less problem.