Your Most Important Conversion Goal

Many businesses are developing different strategies to get shoppers to stay on their sites. The problem is not many of these strategies are working because marketers are making the wrong assumptions about shoppers.

For example, when a shopper arrives at—the online store for Kitty Hawk Kites—this popup appears after a few seconds:

Kitty Hawk Kites is making the assumption that shoppers will immediately stop what they’re doing to read a popup.

But shoppers hate popups. They’ve been conditioned to because of how intrusive they’ve been in the past. However, that doesn’t mean we should avoid popups. Instead, that means we need to rethink how we’re using them.

The goal of this popup on is to generate email signups and encourage shoppers to make a purchase after receiving their 10% off coupon code. That’s a great deal, especially if you’re really considering a new kite.

But I highly doubt most shoppers are reading beyond the first two words of this popup before clicking the ‘close’ button.

Today, this is a shopper’s instinct.

We’ve developed a concept to slow the shopper down and increase the chances they’ll read our popup message.

Here’s our idea:

Popup message reads:


Spend 10 minutes exploring our unforgettable kites, wind spinners, and more, and we’ll give you a special offer that you don’t want to miss out on.

Your time starts now: 9:59

There are 3 major changes we’ve made that will result in higher conversions:

1: The Popup Design

Instead of a conventional square or rectangular popup, we designed a circular popup. This is unconventional and unexpected, which will naturally slow shoppers down.

Additionally, the ‘close’ button is detached from the popup, which forces the shopper to take an additional couple seconds to find the ‘close’ button, providing more time for them to notice our messaging.

Lastly, we’ve added design accents to make the popup truly “pop”. There isn’t anything visually interesting about the popup on the control (the current site).

2: The Messaging

Instead of asking shoppers to immediately provide their email address, we’re using our Challenge tactic to encourage the shopper to look around on the site for 10 minutes. After doing so, we’ll give them a “special offer” that they won’t want to miss out on.

Humans are a naturally curious species. When you hide something from them, they’ll want to know what it is. Our concept is taking advantage of that instinct.

We’re also achieving another goal with this challenge. If shoppers stay on the site for 10 minutes, they’ll likely see a number of products that may suit their wants or needs. Instead of just adding a single kite to their shopping cart, they may find 2 kites and a wind spinner that they just got to have.

After they spend 10 minutes on the site and receive their 10% off coupon code, they’ll be able to convince themselves more easily to add the 2 kites and wind spinner to their cart.

3: The Countdown Timer

At the bottom of the popup is a bright green countdown timer. This isn’t here to just let shoppers know their challenge has begun and they’ll soon see our special offer.

The true purpose comes before shoppers even read the popup.

Since this is a countdown timer, the numbers change every second. This changing element will grab the shoppers attention immediately. They’ll want to know what the heck this countdown is for. Then they’ll read the whole popup and see our challenge.

These are the types of assumptions we should be making.

Shoppers, like you and I, have short attention spans. We don’t always want to admit it, but it’s true. Because of this, we need to think deeper about strategies to keep shoppers on our sites.

One school of thought insists that we need to make the shopping process as quick as possible. But as you can see in our popup concept, sometimes it’s better to slow a shopper down or else they’ll entirely miss some compelling information.

How can you apply this to your site?

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How to Optimize B2B Lead Form Pages for Better Results

After searching for “video management software” on Google, we stumbled upon—the website for Costar Video Systems. After reviewing their site, it became clear that Costar is primarily a B2B (business-to-business) seller of video management software, surveillance cameras, digital video recorders, and other similar security products.

The focal point of their site—the element they are trying to draw the shopper’s attention to—is undoubtedly their video management software, StarNet. This is what their StarNet page looks like:

Costar’s goal on this page is to get shoppers to download their software after filling a lead capture form. How can we improve the conversion rate on this page?

B2B sites are often filled with jargon and words that are unique to that specific business. On the StarNet page, Costar mentions in the features section that StarNet offers “video analytics reporting supported with use of a video analytics box (CRIA04).”

As marketers, we often make the assumption that shoppers will understand everything we say on our sites. This is a habit we need to kick. While some shoppers (and certainly return shoppers) will be familiar with what a video analytics box is, many others will not be, especially if this is their first time searching for security video solutions. To tackle this issue, we developed a concept for this page:

In our concept, we’ve made 3 key changes.

Change 1:

Let’s take a closer look at the features section:

Beside “video analytics box (CRIA04)”, we’ve added a tooltip. Once clicked, the following lightbox window will appear:

This lightbox window features a video from Costar’s YouTube channel that provides an in-depth explanation for the CRIA04 video analytics box. For shoppers who had no idea what a video analytics box was, they now know. This new information makes the product more compelling for them because now they have a better understand of how it works and what benefits it provides.

Change 2:

Another way B2B sites can improve conversions by helping shoppers visualize the product or service. Costar takes a baby step in this direction by including an image of their video management software interface on the StarNet page.

However, the image is small, which means it’s difficult to see all the details. To help shoppers visualize the product a bit easier, we’ve made the image clickable in our concept. Once clicked, a much larger version will appear in a lightbox window:

Now shoppers will really be able to see what the interface looks like and how it works.

Change 3:

Lastly, we wanted to take advantage of something called the Zeigarnik Effect. In marketing, the Zeigarnik Effect is used to refer to the shopper’s better recollection of unfinished tasks instead of finished tasks. Shoppers want progress when they see something is incomplete.

In our concept, we’ve hidden the lead capture form by default:

Instead, the shopper is now required to click a button that says “DOWNLOAD NOW”. When they do, the full lead capture form will be revealed. Now that shoppers have begun the process of downloading the software, they will feel more obligated to fill out the form because it’s incomplete.

Another marketing practice you’ve likely seen that takes advantage of the Zeigarnik Effect is a progress bar. Progress bars serve as visual reminders that a task is incomplete, but nearing completion.

Each of these changes contributes to better conversion rates. Can you adopt any of them on your own site?

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Our Process:

We are always looking for ways to show you our process, so here is an example of what we would have done if we were working for a site like

Stasher is a product that reduces the use of plastics (you know, the ocean killer). Yet, on their product page they simply don’t talk about this (and if they do it’s so buried we weren’t able to find it).

What Stasher’s product page currently looks like:

This is our concept (notice how we’ve placed our test element, “Priceless for Mother Nature”, near the price, where this pitch makes the most impact):

This is what appears after shoppers click on “Priceless for Mother Nature”:

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