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The Neuroscience Behind the Perfect Landing Page

 

To maximize the conversion potential of your landing page, it’s a common best practice in the industry to use an image. It’s a good suggestion. If nothing else, a wall of text without any visual imagery can make for a pretty boring and poor performing landing page. But why do we actually want to use images for communication?

Why we use images on a landing page

Neuroscientists at MIT found that humans can process and identify an image in as little as 13 milliseconds, whereas previous research had suggested that the quickest time in which an image could be identified was in 100 milliseconds.  

It’s not merely that our brains process images at a lightning speed, we’re also making decisions quickly.  Consider that the average visitor is spending less than 15 seconds on a website. More specifically, if your visitors are spending less than 15 seconds on your landing page, then capturing their attention is of paramount importance.

As you work to determine the right image for your landing page, keep the following concepts in mind in order to have your image work to drive conversions, rather than driving your visitors away.

Visual storytelling for a concept

As the old adage goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” When describing a complex system, process or a brand-new object or idea, a visual representation might explain it best. For example, a diagram is a concise way to describe how a car engine works or an intangible concept such as how cloud computing allows for the transfer of files across the Internet.

Companies continue to create new products and develop things that people didn’t know that they needed or wanted. When you are tasked with promoting the only product of its kind on the market, you might need to show your visitors what it is and why they need it. Can you imagine trying to describe a microwave to a person who was born before humans were able to harness electricity? It would be a bit difficult to describe if you were to communicate solely with words.  

When selecting an image for your landing page, use infographics, charts and diagrams when explaining new ideas or complex concepts to your website visitors so that they can swiftly grasp the idea and hopefully, convert on the landing page.

Directing and influencing the conversion

Using arrows on your landing page can allow you to literally direct traffic on your landing page. Having an arrow pointing towards specific areas of your copy or to the form on your landing page can allow your visitors to think less and simply follow instructions.

 

Another way to use imagery to direct traffic is through visual cues. Whether you use a photo of a person holding a product and looking directly at it or more subtly a person looking in a certain direction. Instinctively, when we see people looking in a certain direction, we want to follow their gaze and see what has their attention.

By using an image of a person looking in the direction of your form on the landing page, provided that it is logical (and relevant) for a person to be in the image, you can subtly place emphasis on different elements of your landing page and direct attention to the form.

Emotional decision-making

Antonio Damasio, a renowned neuroscientist, has been studying the connection between consciousness and emotion for several decades. Damasio’s research shows that emotions play a large role in how we arrive on a decision. How does this help marketers in creating a landing page?

By using images that not only appeal to your visitors but also elicits an emotional response, you may be able to increase your conversion rate. If you are able to bring about a sense of urgency (to act now!) or a feeling of happiness and relief (that a visitor’s issue is being solved), then you might experience higher conversion rates.

How to know if you have the perfect landing page image

Numbers don’t lie. Check out your conversion rates to see how the landing page is performing. An optimized, high performing landing page has a conversion rate of 20% (or higher) of the total number of views converting and filling out the form on the landing page. If the conversion rate is less than stellar, there are many elements that come into play when assessing the overall page. So, the best way to hone in on your image is to do some A/B testing and try different images on your landing page to see which resonates more with your visitors and ultimately converts more visitors into leads.

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, sales, sales leads, Leads, real estate, marketing, Roman Badnarchuk, lead generation, Sales Training, N5R Sales Training, marketing agency, Top condo sales trainers, 2014

3 Easy Steps To Writing Follow-up Emails In Less Time

We all suffer from only having 24 hours in a day. Chances are, you’re spending a chunk of that time writing emails. Lots of them.
 
In fact, we spend 28% of our workday in email, according to McKinsey & Company, and if you’re a marketer, you’re likely rolling your eyes at that amateur percentage.


Nevertheless, you’d probably like to have 2 hours and 15 minutes back in your day, right?

Here’s the action: write short emails. The benefits of writing short emails are limitless. Shortening your emails will not only reduce time spent on email composition, it will increase your communication clarity and reduce the necessity to repeat yourself the next day.

Email is digital words, written on lines and, therefore, has lines to read between. Email is capable of immediacy, its human operators are not. In this post, we’re going to learn how to write shorter emails in four easy steps.

Step 1) Identify the email’s recipient

You wouldn’t use a megaphone to shout at your aunt Delores, would you? Of course not. You’re a tactful professional.

Same rule goes for email. Identify its recipient or audience.

Is the recipient a new acquaintance? Are they a superior? A subordinate? A peer?

I’ll share an experience that got me thinking about this. I was replying to a message from someone that is five management levels above me. I handled every syllable like a baby chick and was crystal clear on each detail. I anticipated the superior’s questions. I provided direct answers. I lost four pounds of weight from sweat while writing it. The results were remarkable. I found myself motivated to shed extra words. I didn’t wander or try to fudge answers. I also noticed its brevity.

Warren Buffet says, in as many words, to demonstrate your capability with clarity in words in the SEC “plain English” handbook, and excess is not required:

" Perhaps the most common problem, however, is that a well-intentioned and informed writer simply fails to get the message across to an intelligent, interested reader. In that case, stilted jargon and complex constructions are usually the villains." -- Warren Buffet

When you can identify your audience, you can anticipate their needs. When you can be direct toward those needs, it will be clear you respect their time enough not to blither, and that your words bear authority, reducing their need to ask for a follow-up.

Step 2) Reduce the reader’s time to answer and simplify the conversation

You are emailing or being emailed because you are helpful and needed. Make your answer simple, and shortened emails will follow. The reasons why are numerous.

Put yourself in a recipient's shoes. I imagine they receive innumerable messages a day, just like you and me. What do you typically look for in an email? You want to clearly understand the message but you also want it to be short, to the point and respectful of your time.

Consider some common email questions that you might receive. Here’s one example:

Hey Alex, can we move the call from 3pm to 3:30pm?

Recalling Step 1, identify the audience, I can approach Step 2 with clarity—simplify. It is not always just a matter of producing a response in fewer words since they may be asking more in their message than is revealed. It is up to me to know the whole answer and remove the extra wording.

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, sales, sales leads, Leads, real estate, marketing, Roman Badnarchuk, lead generation, Sales Training, N5R Sales Training, marketing agency, Top condo sales trainers, 2014

3 Ways HubSpot Keeps Your Website Fast

 

 

Visitors won't even make it through to your content if the website does not load fast. And what keeps your website from loading fast? If you have really large files, videos, or images on your website, it can add to the size of the page and greatly affect the load time.

 

Yottaa, a content delivery network (CDN) platform that helps speed up websites,recently benchmarked the speed of HubSpot's CMS. In this post, we will discuss three ways HubSpot keeps your website fast, and share some of the details of Yottaa's report.

#1. All Customers Hosting Their Website on HubSpot Are Powered by a CDN

HubSpot utilizes a leading CDN to help ensure all customers websites load quickly. There are numerous benefits to a CDN, such as keeping your website content on a server closest to them. But there are numerous front-end and back-end factors that contribute to the speed of a website loading.

For example: the device type, operating system, and even location can all affect how a website loads and displays. If you have recently browsed the Internet on your smartphone and switched between WiFi and the cellular network, the speed difference was likely clear.

However, unlike the days where text-driven websites ruled supreme, visitors are demanding a rich experience that is relevant. To do this, we've built Smart Content and other capabilities directly into HubSpot to ensure you can easily build an experience for each unique visitor.

But that experience also means that your pages will gain weight, but not necessarily sacrifice speed. According to Yottaa's performance test, the average page weight now exceeds 2MB in size for webpages, which is also close to the page weight from the HubSpot CMS.

Even though the rich features offered in HubSpot's CMS have increased the page weight, you can see in the chart below the time for the page to load is still incredibly fast. To explain this chart:

  • T2D stands for Time To Display, which essentially means that the core elements of the web page have loaded and design is displaying properly (instead of just text or content without any CSS styling).
  • T2I stands for Time To Interact, which means the moment you can actually start scrolling, or clicking links on the page. Time to interact follows the time to display as key pieces of your website need to load first before you can begin interacting with the site.

According to the metric that began this blog post, if your website is not hosted on HubSpot or using a technology to speed-up your website, you could be among the average and possibly losing 40% of visitors.

A fast website means more of the visitors that land on your pages will stay, and improves your overall business experience. Here at HubSpot, we utilize a CDN that hosts servers around the world to ensure you and your customers have a fast experience, wherever they may be.

#2. Responsive-Design is Built-In

The speed of the desktop version of your website is important, but it's become even more crucial to also offer a fast mobile experience. Now that mobile searches have surpassed desktop and search results are impacted by mobile-friendly websites, you should offer a fast and rich experience for mobile visitors. But offering that same rich experience on mobile can be difficult because it naturally increases page weight. That's where responsive design comes in.

Responsive design dynamically loads your website based on the screen size of the visitor. For example, open a new browser tab on your desktop or laptop, and take out your smartphone now and visit HubSpot.com from both. You will immediately notice the difference and how images on your smartphone appear to be properly sized, but naturally smaller. 

Responsive design is Google's #1 recommended design pattern as it only requires one set of code, and Google's crawler only has to go through your site once. If you have a separate version of your mobile site, such as mobile.example.com, it requires a duplication of all the assets on your homepage to the mobile version which can be costly from bandwidth and maintenance. 

Going back to Yottaa's report, you can see the HubSpot CMS still outperforms the average on mobile due to the combination of responsive design and the CDN. This is shown by both the average time to start render, which essentially means that your website design appears on the device, and the time to display until your website is fully loaded and can be interacted with. This speed benefit means more mobile visitors will stick around your website and actually read your content.

#3. Dynamic Image Resizing and Image Compression

Have you ever experienced an image that loads sort of like a window shade? It slowly starts to fill-in from the top to bottom until it's finally done. One of the key reasons this happens is because the file size on the image is likely very large. Your connection can also play a key part, but even on a high-speed connection a large image can still have this effect.

This is why using the HubSpot CMS you can solve this using dynamic image resizing and image compression which are built right in and how your website stays fast on HubSpot. 

What is Dynamic Image Resizing? To explain, let's walk through an example. Let's say you upload an image to your website that is 5000 x 5000, but are only displaying the image at 500 x 500. This means that the browser still has to download the larger image and then display it within the smaller size. This can severely affect loading time, especially for any mobile visitors on a cellular connection.

When you are using resizing within HubSpot though it means the browser will only display the image in the dimensions you specify. So in this example, instead of loading that large 5000 x 5000 image, the browser only loads the 500 x 500 image saving precious seconds that it takes your site to load.

Dynamic image resizing will take effect in a few different ways:

  1. Manually changing dimensions of an image after upload
  2. Using the resizing tool within HubSpot to change the dimensions of an image
  3. Editing the HTML code of an image that directly affects the image dimensions

Along with the image resizing, we also have taken steps to reduce the overall size of images. With image compression, any new image uploaded into your HubSpot account will have it's file size reduced while retaining image quality. This happens automatically when uploading an image and doesn't require  any manual steps, but enhances and accelerates the experience for your visitors. 

Note: dynamic image resizing and image compression only affect new images uploaded into your HubSpot portal. Existing images will not be affected, unless you change the dimensions. Also note, the speed benefits from HubSpot only apply to the content you are creating or hosting with HubSpot. 

With the CDN that powers all websites using HubSpot, to responsive design, and image resizing and compression your website will consistently stay fast. A fast website helps rank better in search, and retains visitors once they land on your website which naturally helps all of your inbound marketing. 

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, sales, sales leads, Leads, real estate, marketing, Roman Badnarchuk, lead generation, Sales Training, N5R Sales Training, marketing agency, Top condo sales trainers, 2014

5 Reasons To Not Send Image-Only Emails

 

 

It can be very, very tempting to create that email as one big image so there's no chance it will have funky characters, or the spacing will be off, or the graphics pixelated. Seems like the solution to your email marketing problems, right?

Think again.

Most marketers are understandably dismayed when they spend hours creating a beautiful email design only to send themselves a test email and find that it looks nothing like what they've worked so hard on. Even though creating the email as one big image might seem like that right first step, it actually introduces a host of other issues that could result in an even worse user experience for your recipients.

In this post, we will discuss five reasons why sending an email that's just an image can hurt your email marketing

1) It's likely your email will trigger spam filters

Email spammers are notorious for using images to hide the text of their email - if it’s in an image, most email clients won’t be able to read the spammy message about a far-off prince who desperately needs you to wire him money immediately. To make up for this blind spot, many spam filters will reject image-only emails.

For more ways on how to make sure your emails don't get caught up in spam filters, check out this post

2) Some email clients will not display your email images

You don't want people to have to go through an extra step to see your message (e.g. click to ‘download images’ in Outlook). If the image is blocked, the entire email will appear to be blank and the recipient is more likely to ignore it, unsubscribe, or mark the message as spam.

For example, I took a screenshot of this email and sent it to myself. Here's the email as it is meant to appear compared to how it showed up in Outlook: If you are using an image in your email, don't forget to offer both an HTML and a plain text version of your emails; it’s not only an indicator of legitimacy to ISPs, but it also makes your emails more reader friendly.

3) There is no preview text for an image-only email

Every inch of inbox real estate is valuable, including the brief line of preview text often shown in inboxes. Granted, you could use just one line of text in order to fill that need, but then you would still be left with the other four points outlined in this article. 

4) Images in your email may be slow to load

Depending on the end user’s internet connection and browser speed, it may take a while for the email to load. The longer it takes to load, the more likely they are to click away from the email, send it to the junk folder, or unsubscribe.

If you're having trouble getting emails to display in your default email client, check out this Knowledge article. Or this one, which is all about best practices for HubSpot's Email App.

5) The recipient of your email will not be able to search their inbox for keywords in that email

Do you want recipients to be able to find your email when they want to? Of course! There may come a time when an email recipient wants to reference an email you sent them a while back which has now been lost in their busy inbox. Give them the option to search for that email by using text for most of your content. A good rule of thumb is to use a ratio of 60% images, 40% text.

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, sales, sales leads, Leads, real estate, marketing, Roman Badnarchuk, lead generation, Sales Training, N5R Sales Training, marketing agency, Top condo sales trainers

Why an Empty Desk Might Be Your Key to Productivity

 

Jay Jay French, founder of Twisted Sister, describes how a cluttered workspace leads to distraction and procrastination.


Read the full article here.

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, sales, sales leads, Leads, real estate, marketing, Roman Badnarchuk, lead generation, Sales Training, N5R Sales Training, marketing agency, Top condo sales trainers

Why People Unsubscribe From Your Emails And What To Do About It

Email notifications are still very relevant today. According to the State of Inbound report 2016, released by HubSpot today with lots of new data, when something new is published on a site that is of interest to them, they still prefer email over any other type of notification. Have a look at the graph below.

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How to Adjust Your Content Strategy to Fit Today's Mobile-First Consumer

Content Consumption Has Increased Through Social Media

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What are Buyer Personas?

Defining your buyer personas should be the first step when developing a marketing campaign – and one of the most crucial ones as your marketing message and content should be targeted to your buyer persona’s needs.

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Why You Need to Create Different Types of Content

Every year, HubSpot surveys thousands of the world’s foremost marketers and salespeople to ask them about their most pressing priorities, the challenges they face, and the strategies they plan to add in the year ahead.

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3 Reasons Industrial & Manufacturing Companies Are Slow to Adopt Inbound Marketing

More and more companies are realizing that they can get better ROI from inbound marketing than traditional outbound strategies. In an age when most buyers prefer to do their own research before engaging your sales team, providing informative content is key. Content marketing is especially important in technical industries, where sales cycles are longer and engineers are often making purchase decisions. Yet many high tech companies still rely on an outbound marketing approach.

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