Unique Chat Prompt

Chat is an incredibly valuable tool. If your site has chat you know chat conversion rates are at least 2x site average. On the flip side, however, chat utilization is typically low. To boost usage some sites show a persistent floating chat prompt or pop open a chat message that says something like, “We can help you …”. These tactics are OK. But what squadhelp.com does is great. When the user first lands they show an open chat prompt but the first thing presented to the visitor is their “How Squadhelp works” video:


This is clever because the video warms the user, and a warm visitor is much more likely to engage in chat.

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The First 2 Seconds

If you have an asset that is spectacular but is only seen by 10% of site visitors then you’re the one at fault (because you are failing to use your asset).

For Owlet their core asset is a 3:40 minute video that starts off with 3 mothers describing how Owlet saved their baby’s life.  But Owlet doesn’t bury this video under “How Owlet works” page.  No, when you land on their site the video appears as a popup and autoplays:


That’s right, they are breaking a carinal rule of video plays: always show video in pause mode and let the user decide if they want to see it.  But the marketing team at Owlet aren’t fools; they know once parents watch video they are way more likely to buy so they’re breaking a made up rule for better conversion rates.

This post has 2 lessons for marketers:

1: Don’t ever let your trump card remain hidden.

2: (Marketing) rules are meant to be broken.

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Video Word of Mouth

Once you’ve successfully attracted, engaged and converted someone the next logical step is to inspire them to invite their friends.

Pebble is a watch company.

They’ve created a video that’s targeted to people who own a Pebble.  The video introduces a new, more classic design, and requests Pebble fans to spread the word–

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Message from Our CEO

Your story matters, especially for first time visitors.  This isn’t an opinion, it’s data fact.  Inc. 500 award winner (#1 in travel category) Regal Wings knows this, which is why when you land on their site regalwings.com you’re shown this floating tab—


I love floating mini tabs because they take up very little screen space but are hard to miss.  For their tab Regal Wings uses the line “Message from Our CEO” and on click show this company overview video—

I like the tactic but hate the execution (the video is pretty uninspiring).  If you’ve going to use this idea please create a more interesting video story.

Note: Video doesn’t need to be produced in a professional studio.  It just needs be authentic.  Also, it’s a myth that shoppers will not watch videos longer than 3 minutes.  If you have an interesting story, they will watch.

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Commercials Don’t Have to Be Expensive

Debspecs.com is an online retailer of reading glasses. They wanted to make a web commercial for new site visitors. This is what they created—

Sure it isn’t anywhere close to the polished product they would have got working with an advertising agency, but it also probably took 1/15th the time to complete and cost 99% less. And it still fulfills the core objective— using humor to get new visitors to take note of debspecs.com.

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Virtual Greeter

Supportsockshop.com uses a virtual greeter on their homepage—


On your first visit the greeter reads a standard welcome script, lists brands carried and assures lowest prices. But if you exit and return to site her message changes to, “Still browsing? Confused about different compression levels and styles? Call us toll-free at (877) 330-5900. Speak to our experienced certified fitters. I’m very confident you will get all your questions answered.”

Is the virtual greeter a good idea? Is it  too gimmicky? Would you use it on your site? Why do you like/dislike the idea of greeter video? Currently, the video on supportsockshop.com auto-plays. Would it have been more effective if video appeared in paused mode?

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Virtual Greeter + Cookie

Many e-tailers have a virtual greeter on their homepage:

What’s unique about how supportsockshop.com uses their virtual greeter is this: on your first visit the greeter reads a standard welcome script, lists brands carried by supportsockshop.com and assures lowest prices.  But if you exit and return her message changes to, “Still browsing? Confused about different compression levels and styles? Call us toll-free at (877) 330-5900.  Speak to our experienced certified fitters.  I’m very confident you will get all your questions answered.”

In the first visit the visitor is encouraged to buy via supportsockshop.com.  In the second visit the site assumes the visitor is experiencing some degree of uncertainty (maybe they’re uncomfortable buying online, maybe they’ve visited other sites and seen comparable prices or maybe they’re overwhelmed by the number of available options) so the greeter shifts her focus to getting the shopper to speak on the phone with their certified fitters.

Basically they set a cookie during the first visit.

What I don’t like is that the second message is triggered by a repeat visit, even if it happens immediately.  I would have set a cookie and triggered the second message only after a fixed time lapse (maybe 5 minutes or more).

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