SalesFUSION’s, becoming Sugar Market’s, annual customer conference, FUSED, will be held next week, October 9-11, 2013, at the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando, FL. In addition to best practice and educational workshops, FUSED 2013 will culminate in a client award ceremony for the Marketing Hero program implemented by SalesFUSION in 2013. One of those heroes, Mandy Hauck, will be a guest speaker at the conference.

Mandy Hauck – Manager of Marketing Communications, CentricsIT

For me, the most exciting part of marketing is the strategic planning process. It’s fun for me, because that’s when I get to combine my knowledge and experience with proven research and the latest trends to craft campaign elements that contribute to the final goal. In the case of online marketing, that ultimate goal is conversion—the sale, the deal, the download.

Conversion is the goal of every digital sales conversation, just like making a sale is the goal of every department store associate who approaches you to start a fitting room. When you engage in a sales conversation in person, you pick up on social cues—body language and voice tones. Simple human behavior indicates interest level and lets the salesperson know whether to keep going or pull back. But when it comes to the digital sales conversation, the element of human interaction is removed. You can’t rely on biological cues, and that makes understanding the psychological principles of human behavior that much more important. Understanding the way humans respond and the psychology behind motivated decision making helps sales people, advertisers, and even store layout planners make decisions that drive business. When crafting digital marketing campaigns, you can apply this understanding to your e-mails and landing pages to drive conversions.

Marketing Experiments, a leading internet-based research lab that conducts experiments in optimizing sales and marketing processes, invented the Marketing Experiments Conversion Sequence.

C = 4m + 3v + 2(i – f) – 2a


C = Conversion

m = Motivation

v = Value Proposition

i = Incentive

f = Friction in the Process

a = Anxiety

While the motivation of the user has the highest coefficient in this sequence, it is also the most externally influenced element. That makes value proposition the most direct influence on conversions.

Let’s take a landing page for instance. A landing page is a gateway. When a user clicks on a link, there is the expectation of a reward—whatever information he or she is seeking. But when the user instead encounters a form within a landing page, it can deter conversion. The page can have all the right colors, the perfect layout, and a fast load time, but if the user does not know what he or she is getting in exchange for filling out the contact form, he or she will be much less likely to convert into a lead or customer.

We can attribute this likelihood to Cognitive Dissonance Theory. When the price outweighs the reward, we are wired to experience cognitive dissonance, the discomfort experienced when simultaneously holding two or more conflicting ideas, beliefs, values or emotional reactions. In the case of your landing page, the dissonance comes with requesting contact information in the form. “Why should I give you this sensitive, valuable information? I should be getting something in return. I thought this was something else.”

To combat the cognitive dissonance associated with requesting a user’s contact information, you must think—what makes your products or services more valuable than those offered by your competition? Why should the user give you their contact information right now? What is the value offered by your company? Is it a money-back guarantee? A lifetime warranty?

Marketing Experiments lists the following characteristics of strong value propositions:

Take these ideas and ensure your landing pages are matching up. If your pages aren’t converting well, take a good look at your value proposition. Is it there? Is it clear? Is it strong enough? If the offer was being presented to you from a different company, would the cost of your personal information be worth the reward?

While value proposition is a key element to conversion, it’s not the only influence. Check out my presentation next week at FUSED 2013 to gain a deeper understanding of human motivation and the special part it plays in driving conversions. As the most externally influenced factor in the conversion sequence, crafting motivating communication requires an understanding of the psychological principals that drive human behavior.