About Talia Wolf
Talia is a conversion optimisation expert that focuses on optimising websites and customer journeys using emotional targeting, consumer psychology and behavioural data to generate more revenues, leads, engagement and sales.
She is the CMO at Banana Splash, a frequent speaker at marketing conferences and was recently listed as one of the most influential experts in Conversion Optimisation.
In her Learn Inbound talk, Talia shares case studies for building a mobile conversion optimisation strategy that actually works and turns mobile visitors into customers based on emotional targeting, decision-making process, and real-time behaviour.
- 65% of traffic is now mobile, meaning a responsive design should no longer be an afterthought.
- Understanding people better and their behaviour will mean you provide an experience people actually want which will ultimately help to generate conversions.
- Give consumers incentives to use mobile, for example, use coupons that are only redeemable on the mobile site.
- Incentives work best for first-time visitors, on product pages, for users who have scrolled more than 3 times, or when someone has been idle for 6 seconds or more.
Hi. I'm so excited to be in Dublin again. Okay, so I've spent the past, I think, six or seven years researching human behavior, mainly kind of trying to understand what makes people buy.
And I'm not talking about features, or pricing, or product. I'm talking about emotion. The actual value that people get and why they buy it. And so I translate that knowledge, and I run a lot of research and I translate that knowledge into thousands of A/B tests in hopes of obviously optimizing the customer journey and then increasing conversion rates for our customers.
And the thing is that I want to talk to you today about this issue that I've been seeing for over two years, a really big problem, and it starts with the fact that by the end of this year there's going to be a $275 billion loss in online revenues. Just, like, take in that number because it's insane, right?
And it's happening because every single one of us in this room is making the same mistake, or most of us. We all are treating our mobile visitors incorrectly. You see, even though the average website has around 65% of mobile traffic, we're still treating our mobile visitors as if they were desktop ones.
Let me show you what I mean. Our go-to solution is basically designing, researching, planning for the desktop visitor and then using automatic out-of-the-box responsive design. So condensing all of that content into a tiny screen and just saying, "Yeah, that's going to work. Perfect." And everyone's doing it, right?
We've got Macy's, Bank of America, tons of different e-commerce stores all doing this and hoping that it's going to work. But the problem is, is that these mobile visitors, they arrive on these websites, they can't find what they're looking for, and they leave. And this is actually what's causing a 270% gap in conversions between desktop and mobile.
When you think about it, it's insane because there's more traffic on mobile yet people are unable to convert on mobile, right? In fact, mobile experiences suck so badly that a recent neuroscience study actually found the level of stress caused when we're using our phone, if we're trying to buy something, if we're searching for something on a mobile site, is equivalent to the stress that we feel when we're watching a horror film.
This is how bad things are. I mean, seriously, we're sitting there going... I don't know about you, but I hate horror films. So this is really, really bad and it's happening because when we're on our mobile phone, we are different people. We have a different state of mind, right?
We are sitting in front of the TV and we're using our phone to order food, or perhaps we're in a meeting and we're trying to kind of tweet, or fight, in this case. We're having car trouble and we need someone to come and save us, or we might be actually in a shop and comparing prices and because 79% of us actually do that, while in a shop compare a price online, and we might just be stuck outside our house and we need someone to help.
But the one thing that we're not doing when we're on our mobile phone is this. We are no longer this guy that has a ton of time to just kind of enjoy and search and kind of look for what we're looking at. Our entire state of mind is different and it's not just our state of mind, it's also our behavior. We act differently. So I thought that the best way for me to show you how behavior is different on mobile, and desktop is just to show you an example about myself.
So when I am on desktop, I am really professional, or I'd like to think that I am, and then I do work stuff, right? So I am on Intercom and then I am doing stuff on Slack and then I may be building a presentation, which is fantastic, but then there's Talia on mobile and these are real screenshots, okay, of the stuff that I have been Googling and doing stuff like over the past month.
So the first one was, how to make apple pie from bananas, then there's, how do I color my hair purple, which came out pink, then there's, how can I learn Chinese. And the last one, which is the most important one, is, where is my Hogwarts letter? And these are all really like nothing to do with work, completely different content that I'm looking at and I'm doing on my phone.
So, guys, if I asked you just now without looking at Google Analytics, how many of you know, show of hands, what percentage of your traffic is mobile? Awesome. Okay, so about 50% of us know randomly about how much mobile traffic we have. But what if I asked...oops, there's percent of the traffic. What if I asked, what do they search for?
Because if we are behaving differently that means we're searching for different things, and if we're also searching for different stuff, that means that we're landing on different landing pages, too, and we need to know this. Our mobile visitors are arriving on completely different pages, searching for completely different things, and that also means that our conversion rates are completely different.
And we don't only need to know the mobile conversion rates, we actually need to know cross-device. How many of your mobile visitors start on mobile and then convert to tablet or convert on desktop? This is really, really important and if we want to start converting more on mobile, we need to follow a simple, simple equation. Okay? So the first one is understanding people better.
Not devices, not age, not gender, and not geographical location. People. Then we need to understand their behavior. How do people behave on mobile? And only then can we give people the actual experience that they want and need. What they want and need, not what we want, right?
Essentially what we want to do is we're going to give people a personalized experience, something that's dedicated to them, and here's why. We live in a world with hyper information, 24/7, coming at us all the time. Everything we need is at the tip of our fingers. All we have to do is use our phone. But the only problem is that a wealth of information also creates a poverty of attention, and that means is that when we have too many things going on, and too many offers, people messaging us, and texting us, and calling us, and then we've got companies advertising to us, we get confused and we have no idea what to do.
And actually, our brain's default is just to opt out. We don't know what to do, we're just like, "Okay, bye." And that's why it's no wonder that 86% of us is willing to pay so much more just to get personalized recommendations. Our customers, your mobile visitors, are asking you to personalize the content for them.
Essentially, at the end of the day, we're all just like Dumbledore. We all want books. That's what we're looking for, but marketers keep shoving, oops, we all want socks, they keep shoving books down our throat, and that's what we do. Right? Because our customers are coming for one thing, but we as marketers are absolutely sure that people need something else, but we're not. So I want to really talk to you today about, how can we give people the right content?
Now, the really good news is that we don't need to completely redesign mobile at all. You don't need an army of designers, you don't need an army of developers. What you do need is to start thinking about hierarchy, the content hierarchy, and what people are looking for. And essentially, we need to follow the equation. So we want to look at the state of mind of our mobile visitors, understand who they are, what they're looking for, what they're going through.
Then we want to understand their specific behavior, and then we can give them the experience they want. Simple, simple equation we can all follow and it's not crazy science. And what we really need to do, in fact, is just identify the key points within our funnel that our mobile visitors need help because I don't want to completely redesign stuff, I've said that, right?
I mean, we don't have the resources, we don't have the time. Most of us aren't going to, you know, go back to our manager and say, "I want to completely redesign the website," without getting the door shut in our face, right? So I want to give you the four most important parts of the customer journey on mobile and I'm going to show you how to address them. And we don't really need to look for them because Google has gone ahead and done it for us.
They have actually mapped out the four most important points of a mobile journey, and that's what we're going to do. We're going to go through each one and I'm going to show you how I and my team have optimized four these different points and I'm going to give you different tips and ideas on how to do it. So the first stage is the "I want to know" stage. Now, this is the stage when people aren't ready to buy yet.
What they're actually looking for is more information about the product. Now, when I say "about the product,"I don't actually mean, as I said, features or pricing. What people are actually looking for is value. So here's a really important tip. No matter what you're selling, what people really care about isn't the what, it's the why.
It's not about you, it's about them. It's the value. People buy on emotion and they're looking for what's in it for them. When they have the time, they will look and search for your features and how amazing you are and what award you've just won and what companies work with you, but what they're really looking for in those three seconds is just to immediately understand what's in it for them.
And now if you look at it from a customer, from maybe like a storytelling point of view, then it's really simple. Every story we've ever heard in life has two main characters. There's the hero and there's the mentor. Now, the hero is like any one of us, right? We wake up in the morning one day and this person has a challenge and they don't know what to do.
So they try all sorts of different stuff and then they get tired and they can't find anything and along comes the mentor. Now, the mentor doesn't do the work for the hero, right? It shows the hero how to become a hero on their own, how to find greatness within, and become the best version of themselves, and then the hero can save the day.
That's basically every story we've seen and it's exactly the same with marketing. You're not the hero, your customer is. And it is really essential that we understand this, that we need to put our customer first. This is probably how Yoda would say it, though, right? Okay. And it's the difference between basically saying, "Let the number one dating app in the world set you up," which is completely product-centric, right, to, "Find your perfect match."
It's about me now and I'm going to find my perfect match and this is the essential small things that we're talking about. Every time I start working with a new client, I love to ask them, first question, "What do you sell?" So if I'm working with an insurance company, they'll usually say, "Well, we sell insurance policy," which is so wrong because actually what we're selling, as an insurance company, is peace of mind.
Is that idea of waking up in the morning and not worrying about my house burning down or getting fired because I have good insurance. And then if you have an e-commerce store, you're not selling dresses, you're not selling shoes, what you're actually selling is self-esteem, right? I make this look good. I love Will Smith.
This is all about me and how I am better and cooler and amazing. So it's about me. And why do I keep saying that it's three seconds? So we only have three seconds to get this message across because 60% of mobile visitors actually expect a mobile site to load in under three seconds, and here is really some crazy data.
Here's what happens if your site takes one second longer to load. One second delay causes 11% less page views, 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and my favorite, 7% loss in conversion. One second delay. We keep looking at load time as if it's a technical thing, but it isn't.
It's state of mind. We don't have patience. We've got hundreds of things happening, we don't want to wait for anything to load anymore. We just want to know immediately, and so you have to get that message across. So how do we actually address this specific moment? The "I want to know" stage. So we've already discussed the number one rule, making it about the customer, right?
That's the most important thing. We put our customer first. And here are a couple of technical things that we've been doing. So the first thing is actually helping e-commerce stores save stuff for later. It sounds really stupid, but as we were saying, a lot of the time people aren't ready to buy yet. They are actually more interested in getting more information. So one of the things that we do is using Banana Splash, which basically detects real-time behavior of mobile visitors, so it knows what you're doing in the right time and it gives you the right call-to-action.
What we do is we say, "Not ready to check out, save this item for later." People put in their email address and they get an email that says, "Here's your item and you can open it up whenever you're ready on desktop, on tablet, when you have more time." It's helping people save that information for when they are ready. Then we have the actual...oh, sorry.
So that increased conversions by between 12% to 54%, depending on the commerce store and stuff that we were doing. Then we have the actual offering relevant information. So this is a store, an online store that helps you book tickets for anything, whether it's an Adele concert or a football game, anything. And then what we would do is we would recognize the page the person landed on, the device they were using, and the geographical location to give them the right offer.
So in this case, someone was Googling games for Barcelona. So we'd say, "Watch Barcelona live. Need more information? Call now." The idea was just to give people the idea that if they wanted to, they can actually get the info that they need and they call and then they get some amazing results, which, for some...ah, 87% increase.
Okay, there's another thing that we were just talking about before, which is a really important thing to think about, which is images. So we need to start thinking about the images that we're using. One thing that happens is when we're using responsive designs, we don't really think about everything and then the images are a bit too large, they're too heavy, they don't load in time, and basically no one's going to spend the time waiting for your website to load or for those images and they're going to be out of there.
So we definitely need to think about the technical parts of that, and then you also want to think about the image strategy. So if we look at this website, a third of the design is their logo. Because it's responsive design, it just kind of went in and became smaller and then you've got this entire image in the background that I'm sure looks amazing on desktop, but it serves you in absolutely no way because it's making it hard for you to read the content and it has nothing to do with what I'm reading.
So we really need to start thinking about that. And that is the "I want to know" stage. Quick tips for how to do that. Let's move on to the next stage, which is the "I want to go" stage. And this is usually considered as a stage just for companies that have brick-and-mortar stores, so if I need to get somewhere, that's the right, you know, this is who it's for.
But actually, if you have a customer service team, if you have retention team, sale team, when someone wants to contact you, this is the "I want to go" stage. Someone is taking the next step and they're trying to get to you, whether on the phone, by contacting you, or actually getting to you. So here's a few things that I've experienced in the past month by traveling, because I've been doing a lot of traveling, that have really pissed me off.
So I was looking for an American Eagle store just a few weeks ago back at MUSCON and I'm in Seattle and it's asking me what country am I in and what state am I in. Why? I'm using my mobile phone, you know this information, just request it, I'll allow it, and tell me where the bloody store is. Same goes for H&M.
I was in Sweden the other week and I'm looking for an H&M store and it shows you that there's five different stores around there, but I don't know how to get to them. So it's missing like a call-to-action. So there's a lot of things that we can actually do in order to help people contact us and get to us. So let's talk about how we can do that. So the first thing with actually helping people navigate to us if we do have a store or an office, is actually helping them do that and navigating to there.
So we used Banana Splash to basically say, "Navigate to the nearest location to you,"you click on the call-to-action and it would open a map and take you straight to the destination you were looking for. And that gave them a 25% increase in sales, which is crazy. But again, as we were saying, it's not just going to somewhere. So what about contacting?
We said that we don't have to completely redesign the site, and we don't, but the contact page is extremely important. Primark has a page with a ton of links, which I'm sure are great and interesting, but they're not helping me contact you immediately and get the information that I want. So the one thing that you want to make sure when you do start addressing your actual contact page is a few things.
A, you want to have your phone number bright and shiny over there on the top and you want to have a simple and easy contact form that people can fill in. It's two really basic things and we need to remember that on mobile people don't like to fill in those fields. It's really annoying and uncomfortable and then also think about the fact that people start entering information and then they leave and you don't have that content.
So you really want to make it as short as possible. If you do have many fields and they're all mandatory and you really want to know them, then one thing you can do is actually break forms into sections. So first you get to ask them full name, email, phone number, and then once they've clicked on Learn How or whatever the button is, they go to the second stage.
And in the second stage I'm using the information that they put in, so, hi, Talia, you're almost done. What's your company name? Blah blah blah, all the rest of the information that I need, I can skip or I can click on finish. I've gotten the information that I want, I know that this person is actually a really good lead because they've taken the time to fill in all that information, but if they haven't, I still have the first part of that information, and that actually helped us increase their leads by 55%.
And there's another thing that really annoys me on mobile, is that you go into a website, say, 9 p.m, and it says, "Call us now, we're waiting for your call," and you're like, you know what? Okay, I'll give you a call. And then you call them and it says, "I'm sorry, we don't work at these hours. So please call back.Please call back tomorrow."
That doesn't make any sense. It's so, ugh, frustrating. So a really cool way to do that is actually ask people for their phone number so that you can call them, right? It's a small kind of tiny thing that helps you say, "Oh, need more information? We're here to help. You know, we're not available right now, but if you leave your phone number, we will call you back." And you can also kind of give them the options to choose what time they want to call back, and that really helps.
And that helped us increase conversions and actual sales for this company by 112%. Just by not telling people to do something that they can't do, right? It's seems so trivial and yet most websites do that. Okay, onto the next stage, which is the "I want to do" stage. This is one of my favorite stages because every day millions of people Google stuff, right?
How do I color my hair? How do I create better ads on Facebook? Or how do I do SEO stuff? And this is an amazing point and a place for us in the funnel to not just give people the extra information that they're looking for, but to actually start capturing their information and get their lead, right? But we don't want to do it this way. So this is a really cool example by moneylab.co.
They've built this entire website where the more you just scroll, it just keeps saying, "So now can I have your email? Now can I have your email? Now?" And that's how it feels on mobile right now, and actually it also feels the same way on desktop. But you just, everywhere you go, you've got like these banners and pop-ups everywhere in your face telling you to leave their details. So you really want to think about when, not just how, but...and what you're saying, but when you're actually asking people for that information.
So I'm going to show you an example by DigitalMarketer. It's a really cool blog that offers content about ads, about SEO, about basically everything that you want. And what they did is they used Banana Splash to detect the content, the page that you are on. So if you were on a Facebook ads page, you would get prompted to download the Facebook guide.
If you were on a Google AdWords page, you'd get prompted to download the SEO guide or the AdWords guide because that's what they wanted to do. Just get as many people to download their guides, they get leads from that and then they can sell them using email marketing. So they did two variations. One of them was The Ultimate FB Ad Library so people could put in their email and immediately get that guide to their email.
Or you could click on the Learn More button and be sent to an actual dedicated landing page that would get all of their information. And by doing that, by understanding the time, the place, when to say something, and giving people the information they want because they want to do something, right? They want to learn more, they want to learn how to use your product, they want to learn how your service works.
By giving this information at the right time, they were able to see almost 30,000 more content views. So 30,000 more people viewing their guides, downloading their guides, and they got almost 3,000 more leads within two months just by doing that simple thing. Okay, let's get to the most important stage, which is the one everyone really cares about and the micro-moment, the one that people really need help with, which is the "I want to buy" stage.
And this is when people are actually ready to convert, right? So a conversion doesn't have to be an actual someone taking out their credit card. It could be someone who might be just ready to put in their email address or to, you know, contact you. So here's a few things that are really annoying on mobile.
Keyboards that don't match. So you're ready to put in your credit card and you click on that field and then comes up a text keyboard. That ruins conversions. Same for opposite, like I'm trying to put in my email and then I've got like a numeric keyboard. So you really have to think about these tiny things and it's not that big of an issue to fix. Then we have stupid, annoying errors.
So this happened to me just a few weeks ago. I was in a hotel in Sweden and I was trying to log into the WiFi and I'm putting in my email. This is my actual email, I had to blank it out because I didn't realize when I screenshot it, but this is my email and I'm trying...I'm putting it in and it keeps saying, "Please enter a valid email address." I'm like, "This is a valid email address!"
Like, "Let me have WiFi!" And then I realized what the problem was. There was an extra space after my email that was causing this error and I actually looked at this afterwards on a bunch of other sites because basically if you have an extra space, that's an error, there you go. Now, I really, really wanted to get on WiFi, so I spent the time to kind of research and understand what the hell was wrong with my email, but are people going to spend that one, two, three minutes to understand what is the error that you are experiencing?
No. So if you can't fix that, at least tell people what the error is because they will be expecting it. Then there's the annoying pop-up thing. So we have the whole idea of we need to stop using desktop solutions for mobile. We need to stop using pop-ups like this that block the entire screen and you can't exit and you can't put in any information and basically, they're ruining your entire experience, and the same happened to me with American Eagle.
I just love to poke at them. But American Eagle, I go into their website, I immediately get this entire banner in my face like, "Sign up." Why? I haven't even seen what you have to offer and you're already putting that in my face. And in fact, Google is actually coming out, January 10th, with a new policy that if you do these kind of things, you're going to get punished because if you block content from people and if you ruin their screen and they're not going to be able to enjoy their experience, you should get punished.
But there are awesome tools out there that you can do that look native, that are better for mobile that can help you convert people. You can still do pop-ups on mobile, but you need to do them in a smart and a better way. They need to be personalized and they need to look native. Okay, so when we want to optimize for the "I want to buy" stage, for this stage, we need to think about a few things.
A, we want to tell people what to do. It seems really trivial, but actually help people navigate them. Tell them, "Now click here, sign up here, do this," and not just what to do, but when to actually do it. When it comes to mobile, it's all about trust. Okay? We want to make sure that we are immediate, that we're relevant, that we have one single call-to-action, but, for some reason, people seem to miss that, I'm going to show you an example, and we want to look native.
We want to look native because the more we look like part of the screen, the more we are prone to actually increasing conversions. People are going to feel more trust and used to using your tools. So this is a client of ours that is actually pretty cool because it allows you to download an app and turn your phone into a universal remote control, which is kind of cool, but then they have one, two, three calls-to-action, and in fact it's almost nine and I'm always curious about these websites that have Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Share buttons on their landing page.
When was the last time any of us went into a landing page and said, "Hmm, I think I'm going to LinkedIn that page. I think I'm going to Google+that page." It doesn't make any sense. So we definitely want to remove all of those calls-to-action, but, as I said, we don't always have the resources to do the redesign for that. So here's what we did. Basically, we recognized people who are returning visitors because we didn't want to tell everyone to download the app or everyone to sign up.
And then what we also wanted to do is detect device and here's why. This app actually only works on Android devices. So people that were coming in from iOS devices were still being prompted to download an app that isn't going to work for them. So detect the device and then also detect when people scroll, and we do that because we've noticed that when people scroll at least three times on mobile, they're more engaged, and that's the best time to ask them to do something.
So if you were an iOS device, we would tell you to basically leave your email and you would get prompted and told when the app is available for iOS devices. Simple personalization, and this actually increased their leads by 4,000 leads within two months. Just by not telling them to download an app that they can't use, but actually giving them an option to sign up.
Then we have, for actual Android devices, okay, here, download the app, but it was only to the right appropriate people at the right time, not when they immediately landed on the page, and that increased their downloads by 110%. But what was more interesting, by the way, wasn't just the amount of downloads they saw, but had a decrease in uninstalls because a lot of people get people to download their app and within 24 hours 90% of those people actually delete it because they downloaded an app they don't really know why.
Okay, a few just last tips about this specific stage. So people don't feel comfortable checking out on mobile, but you can actually incentivize them to do that. So one way we've been doing that is with coupons. So we recognize when someone is first time on the site, we've recognized when they have scrolled a certain amount of times, and how long they've been idle, so they haven't done anything on the site, and we'll say, "Here, grab a coupon for 10% off site-wide," and this website got a 260% increase in revenues by a coupon, right?
But it's a coupon that you can only use on mobile. So just kind of telling them, "Here's what you have, we know that this is the best time to show you this offer." Then we have the last example, which is free shipping, right? Everyone knows this works. Telling people that you ship for them, and it doesn't have to be that specific offer, but just telling people what to do at the right time specifically within this stage is very, very helpful.
Okay, so what would I like you guys to take from me today with, like, the last few seconds that I have. We're not using mobile as a replacement for desktop, and this is really important for everyone to understand. We're not doing that. What we are doing is we're using mobile in a completely different way to do different things, to look for different things, to get different goals, and the sooner we understand that mobile visitors are not mini-desktop visitors, it's going to be the time when we all can convert better, we can understand them better, and we can give people the experience that they want.
Believe me, when people want to buy something, they know where to go, but the experience starts way before that. It starts when they have a problem and they're looking for someone to help them do that. And the more we understand what people are looking for, the more we understand that these are not just mini-desktop visitors, the easier we're going to have a time in converting them and turning them into loyal customers.
So that was me, and over there is my dog, Lucky, on the left. Yeah, thank you very much.