How effectively is your website using the A.I.D.A effect to successfully turn browsers into buyers?
Browsers can become buyers (according to the A.I.D.A. principle, first described in 1925 by E. K. Strong) if your website successfully moves them through the key stages of the buying process-Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action.
Keeping visitors on a linear path through these four stages, without any distractions, is key to getting the sale.
This simplified web page illustrates the key stages. The actual layout for your website will be determined by your specific content and design.
1 - ATTRACT THEIR ATTENTION
Attracting your prospective customer’s attention starts from the moment they find your website in the search results. Your search listing must match what your prospective customer is looking for and have a persuasive attention-grabbing element, for example, “Buy with confidence with our 30-day, no-risk returns”.
Once your prospect has arrived at your website from the search results, you have a few precious seconds to hold their attention, stop them surfing (probably to your competitor’s website), and start to engage with your site. Grab their attention with a well-placed headline at the top of the page that gets to the core of what the visitor is looking for. For example, “Feel warm and cosy this winter”, if you’re selling house insulation.
Since ‘typical’ online shoppers rarely exist, you also need to help your visitors achieve their goals according to which role state they are in.
2 - GET THEIR INTEREST
Get your prospect’s interest by explaining how your product or service can help them. Talk about your product or service in terms of benefits and advantages, not features. People don’t buy features, they buy benefits. Benefits are what you can be, what you can do, or what you can have because of the features of the product or service.
For example, imagine a real estate company that has a large database of buyers, a team with proven sales experience, and a innovative pricing model. While it’s important to state these features, they are meaningless until your prospect understands the resultant benefits: you’ll sell their house faster for less money.
3 - CREATE DESIRE
Once you have sparked their interest, you want to build desire.
One of the most effective ways of persuading someone that they desire your product is what is known as ‘social proof’. As Cavett Roberts once said, “People are persuaded more by the actions of others than any proof we can offer”. In other words, testimonials, feedback, ratings, and reviews from other customers. Nothing is more persuasive than reading how other people have benefited-in real and positive ways-by using your product or service. How many times have you bought a book on Amazon because of the customer reviews?
As part of building desire, it’s also important to reiterate what people can be, or what they can do, or what they can have by buying your product or service.
4 - GET THEM TO ACT
Finally, you need to get them to act. And you need to make it clear exactly what they need to do. Provide a clearly visible, well-placed ‘call-to-action’, such as “Buy Now” or “Find Out More” or “Get Started Today”.
A particularly powerful way of getting people to do something is to give them a reason to act straight away. For example, create a sense of urgency with a limited time offer (“Buy before 10 July and receive 10% off”) or with limited supply offer (“Buy now. Only 2 more left in stock”).
By ensuring your website has the A.I.D.A effect, people browsing your website will become buyers, not simply visitors.