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We’re visual animals. Every thought that forms in our brain is paired with a visual. If your goal is to maximize the impact of your sales pitch then visualization is one of your best friends.
How Fast Does the Human Brain Process Images?
Here’s something surprising to many: the human brain processes images 60,000x faster than words. You read that right.
Additionally, 65% of us are what you would call “visual learners”, meaning the majority of us comprehend visual representations of information easier than written or verbal information.
“Metaphors are a great language tool because they explain the unknown in terms of the known.” – Anne Lamott
Types of Visualization
There are 3 basic dimensions of visualization that the marketer can use to boost conversions:
— Visual clarity
Visual Clarity Example
1: This graphic from Basecamp’s site does a great job of illustrating how hectic an employee’s day is without an organization tool/platform:
2: To show credibility you add a “see where all we’ve shipped to” link. When that link is clicked, a map appears. This map shows all the locations you’ve shopped to:
1: This probiotic helps by balancing our gut biome (not a client, just using their site to illustrate our idea). People can’t see inside their bodies. Bacteria are tiny (practically invisible) so we wanted to use an analogy to emphasize the importance of balance:
2: To emphasize their core thesis (“brands who use video enjoy 41% more web traffic from search engines than ones that don’t.”) Wix.com uses an easy to understand analogy:
If you look at the Wix example above you’ll realize that it is an analogy but also uses contrast (5’7″ versus 7’10”). This is an important point— a technique could use elements from different strategies.
Ok, let’s now look at more contrast examples:
1: SawStop.com (not a client, just using their Amazon page to illustrate our idea) is a safety device that stops a saw if your fingers come too close to the blade (which can mean the end of a finger):
It stops the machine in 5 milliseconds but people can’t really imagine how fast 5 milliseconds is. So we added a visual aid:
2: I was searching for a journal on Amazon. Bleeding ink wasn’t even a criterion I was looking for but once I saw the image below I was like, “That’s right, it’s important that the pages in the journal don’t bleed!”.
This marketer was able to inject a thought into my mind, and that changed my purchase behavior:
3: Here’s an old print ad that helps illustrate how soft and comfortable Comfort’s detergent will make your clothes:
4: How about an example that’ll make you wish it were lunchtime? Trifecta (not a client) wants to let users know how their plan compares. So they show this:
Visualization isn’t only achieved with graphics. You can very much have a visual impact with just words.
In the example below words are being used to evoke a visual image. The user can imagine what 1,200 Olympic-sized pools look like:
Some products are services are so good that they go unnoticed (and are therefore under-appreciated). How does Akismet make sure people see their value? Take a look:
Shoppers use a subconscious mental checklist to choose between products. Visualization is #5 on that list. Now that you’ve conquered Visualization it’s time to dominate item #6: Shoppers need motivation to break habits.