Conversion Optimization 101: Culture Trumps Strategy and Tactics

Organizational Culture, Analysis And Development Concept from BigStockPhotoLast week, I published my first  Conversion Optimization 101 post and asked you if you could look at a particular screenshot and also to tell me:

What’s wrong with this picture? How would you fix it?

Here is the image:

How would you fix this?

There were some very good suggestions on what you would do to improve this picture:

The three buttons: Previous, Process and Cancel all have the same colour and visual weight. I would change the Cancel & Previous buttons to mere text links.

Robert_Deans added:

I would look to split test the positioning of the button. I would try it to the right of the credit card details, and would also try it where the “previous ” button is. In addition to this I would also test having the other two buttons underneath.
I would also look at split testing the wording maybe “Make Your Donation Now”, “Donate Now” or “Make Your Donation”.

Shawn Cohen succinctly added:

I would get rid of the cancel button (if you got this far, why would you cancel?)

@WSOMarketing was concerned about addressing what happens when you click to go to the next step”

Finally, I might add that a confirmation receipt would be emailed to you the giver.

Dan Kelly had 6 suggestions including:

Make the button larger and change the wording to something more action oriented, like “Donate Now” or better yet “Donate to {Friend’s Name}.”


They could add some security seals (McAfee etc) and short security notice near the payment button.

But it was my friend and former student, Dylan Lewis who finally spoke up bout the 800-pound-gorilla in the room:

Organizationally, these are probably the two biggest changes that could be implemented and result in immediate gains – because there will be someone that says that all the buttons must exist – they have been there since we started this website.

You can see in the comments many people had good suggestions on what they would do to fix the calls to action and add point -of-action assurances to make this image more effective. However, I asked not only what you would do but how you would fix it. You can never answer the “how” question without first understanding the culture of the organization. In the initial Conversion Optimization 101 post, I wrote that this came from a non-profit website. Any website whose design is this bad probably has never done any kind of usability testing or conversion optimization. So you have to proceed slowly.

The first thing I would do is ask how many errors and cancellations have been tracked at this point. Then I might run a few tests to show how people could make mistakes and so they can see video of how users proceed through their website. Then I might suggest as a first test to move the Process button to the right side and move the cancel button next to the previous location. The reason I would not suggest changing the color of the button right away, is because you don’t want to change one call to action when there are multiple steps in the process if you are not going to change the buttons on every step. Then we can start getting them to change wording, color, etc just as everyone else suggested.

I hope you found this useful. Let me know in the comment if you would like me to continue doing these kinds of posts.


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