LIFT Model: The most popular conversion optimization framework

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In 2009, Chris Goward introduced the LIFT Model®, a framework for analyzing web and mobile experiences and developing A/B test hypotheses. Today, it is the go-to conversion optimization framework for leading companies around the world.

Shane Hale_DMVorg

We met Chris and his team at a conference and instantly fell in love with his process. It was hypothesis-based, very scientific, very methodical and that’s what enrolled us with WiderFunnel. We really wanted to see what they could do.

– Shane Hale, Director of User Experience & Conversion, DMV.org

The LIFT Model

LIFT_Model
WiderFunnel’s LIFT Model details the 6 conversion factors.

The LIFT Model draws on the 6 conversion factors to evaluate experiences from the perspective of your page visitor: Value Proposition, Clarity, Relevance, Distraction, Urgency, and Anxiety.

At WiderFunnel, our Strategy team uses the LIFT Model to identify issues and opportunities within your online experiences that we use to create testing hypotheses and to design experiments.

Chris Goward

The LIFT Model is all about putting yourself in the shoes of the prospect and coming up with ideas that will solve their needs.

Chris Goward, Founder & CEO, WiderFunnel

The six conversion factors

Value proposition

Your value proposition determines your potential conversion rate.

It is why people buy from you. This makes it the most important of the six conversion factors, which is why it sits at the center of the LIFT Model.

Your value proposition is a cost vs. benefit equation that taps into your prospect’s motivation.

Motivation = Perceived Benefits - Perceived Costs

If your perceived benefits outweigh your perceived costs, your prospects will be motivated to act. So, the stronger you can make your value proposition, the greater your potential conversion rate.

Related: Read Chris Goward’s post on how to create an awesome value proposition.

The other five factors that make up the LIFT Model are either conversion drivers or inhibitors, that enhance or detract from your value proposition.

Relevance (conversion driver)

Does your web page relate to what your visitor thought they were going to see?

The Relevance of your value proposition to your visitors’ needs and desires is critical. Your page should also be relevant to the source media: Where did the visitor just arrive from?

Your page must use terms your visitor relates to and be consistent with the incoming link or your visitor will be disoriented and leave your page.

An example: If you’re running a Facebook ad campaign that funnels visitors to a landing page, consider the source media (Facebook). Displaying a Facebook icon prominently on your page may increase Relevance for your visitors, resulting in a conversion rate lift, like it did for this WiderFunnel client.

Relevance Facebook icon
In the case of this WiderFunnel client, moving the Facebook icon above the page fold increased Relevance for visitors.

Clarity (conversion driver)

Does your web page clearly articulate your value proposition and call-to-action (CTA)?

Of the six conversion factors, we find that most marketers struggle with Clarity. The key aspects of Clarity are design and content. Designing for Clarity creates an unimpeded ‘eyeflow’ and content Clarity ensures that your images and text combine to minimize comprehension time for your visitors.

Urgency (conversion driver)

Is there any indication on your web page that an action should be taken now?

Urgency has two components:

  1. Internal, or how your visitor is feeling upon arrival to your page
  2. External, or influences that you can introduce to the visitor

Internal Urgency is generally pre-existing when the visitor arrives on the page: “It’s December 23 and I still need to buy Christmas presents!”. External Urgency is something that you can introduce with offers, deadlines, and tone.

Anxiety (conversion inhibitor)

What are the potential misgivings your visitor might have about taking the conversion action?

Anxiety is a function of the credibility you have built with your visitor and the trust you are asking them to have in you.

security badges
Are your security badges increasing trust, or causing anxiety?

Distraction (conversion inhibitor)

Are there elements on your page that could divert your visitor away the from the goal?

The more visual cues and action options your visitor has to process, the less likely they are to make a conversion decision. Minimizing distractions such as unnecessary product options, links, and extraneous information will increase your conversion rate.

Within each of these six factors, there are many tips and sub-factors (27 and counting, to be exact) that the skilled optimization expert can use to develop hypotheses to be tested.

See the LIFT Model at work

In the following clip, Chris Goward demonstrates the LIFT Model at work in the real world. Watch as he describes a LIFT analysis and subsequent testing strategy we used while working with Magento.

 

Every one of our clients gains revenue lift and insight

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