“When you’re drowning you don’t think, I would be incredibly pleased if someone would notice I’m drowning and come and rescue me. You just scream.” – John Lennon
When your product is drowning in a sea of similar offers, sometimes a scream is necessary to get some attention.
Or we could just strategically use our words to stand out.
Changing a single word in your copy has the potential to transform your results.
This post will examine the impact that one specific word can have on conversions:
A Google search for words that promote conversions will bring up a number of lists and articles.
There are obviously many other factors that play into conversion rate optimization but the words that you use can make a big difference – and this can be both negative and positive.
So how does the word “free” influence conversions?
1) How Much of a Difference Does 1 cent Make?
A study to test the influence of the word “free” in relation to the actual value of a deal involved Lindt chocolate truffles and Hershey kisses.
The study started off by asking people to choose between a 15 cent Lindt truffle and a 1 cent Hershey Kiss. This deal made the Lindt truffle available for about half of its retail value and it was also considered to be the superior chocolate product.
The first part of this study concluded with:
– 73% of participants selecting the Lindt truffle
– And 27% choosing the Hershey Kiss.
In the second portion of the study, another group of individuals were offered the products with the cost reduced by one cent for each type of chocolate. This meant that the Lindt truffle was now available for 14 cents and the Hershey Kiss was free.
The choices changed significantly:
– Only 31% of participants chose the Lindt truffle
– And 69% chose the Hershey Kiss
Although the price difference between the two types of chocolate remained the same, most people were not able to pass up the free Hershey Kiss.
2) CTA Button Copy
There are many elements that can influence the effectiveness of a CTA button. One of the simplest factors to test is the copy used on the button.
In order to optimize homepage conversions, a financial process automation software company ran a test involving the words used on a prominent CTA button. The purpose of the button was to promote demos of their product.
For the test, the shape, color, placement and size of the button remained the same. The text was changed from “Get A Demo” to “Free Demo.” The new button copy was tested for a period of two weeks and the click-through-rate of the button increased by 99.42%.
This small change nearly doubled the number of prospects interested in getting a demo of their product.
3) Free Shipping
Offering free shipping is a common strategy used to increase sales or distinguish your offer from competitors.
In fact, a free shipping offer that saves a customer $6.99 was found to appeal to customers more often than a deal that reduced the purchase price by $10.
There are a multitude of case studies that demonstrate the value of free shipping. One example is the free shipping test for NuFace.
This ecommerce website was able to increase its orders by 90% when it added a free shipping threshold.
In addition to free shipping, you also have the option of offering other free elements to accompany your product or service such as free returns or free upgrades. The use of the word “free” has a variety of potential applications but it should also be used with caution.
While free offers have the potential to increase attention and sales, it is important to consider the type of message you are sending.
This will vary according to the products and services that you offer, your ideal customers and your specific business goals. Using the word “free” in the right context can boost your conversion potential but if it overdone or used improperly it can hinder the growth of your business.
And remember — use your power responsibly.
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