This article is an introduction to the Landing Page Influence Function for Tests™ (or LIFT™) Model, a conversion optimization framework I developed for WiderFunnel to use to analyze conversion pages and develop test hypotheses.
We have used this tool as part of our conversion optimization process to lift each of our clients’ conversion rates by between 10% to 277%.
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Download and print off the LIFT Model poster to hang by your desk. It will encourage you to keep your users’ perspectives in mind at all times, and help you find and eliminate common barriers to conversion on your site.
Methodology Is More Valuable than Tips
We are often asked to share tips and “best practices” on how to improve conversion rates on landing pages and website conversion funnels. While tips provide some value, their usefulness is limited outside of the appropriate context. You’re always left wanting more.
As examples of tips for hypotheses that will lift your conversion rates:
- Enlarging your action buttons
- Including your value proposition in a high-contrast, left-justified headline of two-lines or less
- Cutting your copy in half (in general)
- Reducing the number of form fields
- Minimizing the number of layout columns
But what do you do when you’ve done that and more?
Many of our clients come to us after running out of ideas on what to test. In each case, the structured methodology we use to evaluate pages and develop valid test hypotheses has played an important role in that conversion rate lift.
The Six Conversion Factors
The LIFT Model provides a conversion optimization framework showing the Six Conversion Factors that allow you to evaluate landing pages from the perspective of the page visitor. See Fig. 1 below for the conceptual graphic of the LIFT Model.
1. Value Proposition
The model shows that the vehicle that provides the potential for the Conversion Rate is the Value Proposition, making it the most important of the six conversion factors. The other five factors are either conversion drivers or inhibitors.
The conversion drivers are:
Does the landing page relate to what the visitor thought they were going to see?
The Relevance of the value proposition and context of the source media is critical. Your page must use terms your visitor relates to and be consistent with the incoming link or your visitor will be disoriented and leave the page
Does the landing page clearly articulate the value proposition and call-to-action?
Clarity is the most common of the six that we find marketers struggling with. The two aspects of Clarity that must be analyzed are Design and Content. Designing for Clarity creates an unimpeded “eyeflow”. Content clarity ensures the images and text combine to minimize comprehension time.
Is there an indication that the action needs to be taken now?
Urgency has two components: Internal (or how the visitor is feeling upon arrival) and External (or influences the marketer can introduce to the visitor). While Internal Urgency is generally pre-existing when the visitor arrives on the page; the tone of the presentation, offers and deadlines can all influence External Urgency.
The conversion inhibitors are:
What are potential misgivings the visitor could have about undertaking the conversion action?
Anxiety is a function of the Credibility you have built with the visitor and the Trust you are asking them to have.
Are there items on the page that could divert the visitor away the from the goal?
The more visual inputs and action options your visitors has to process, the less likely they are to make a conversion decision. Minimizing distractions like unnecessary product options, links and extraneous information will increase the conversion rate.
Within each of these six factors are the many tips and sub-factors that are used by the skilled conversion rate expert to develop hypotheses to be tested
A Landing Page Evaluation Example
WiderFunnel recently began working with Rudder.com, a free personal financial management service. In our first experiment on their home page we ran a LIFT Model evaluation. Below are the 18 factors we identified as priorities for testing.
The LIFT Model can deliver results for everyone
A professor at Eastern Michigan University, Bud Gibson, developed a Conversion Optimization University course using the LIFT Model to teach students how to improve Pay-per-click landing pages. He is also running his own tests, which were mentioned on the Google blog.
It can work for you too!
For more information on how to get a guaranteed conversion rate lift contact a Conversion Rate Optimization expert.