Want to Win? Design for Lizards!
As the science of marketing delves deeper into the exploration of effective selling online, we’re discovering increasingly that, despite perhaps our inclination to believe otherwise, we humans are in many ways rather simple animals.
The Lizard Brain
To a great extent we’re ruled by our “lizard brain” – that locus of basic reflexes tasked with keeping us alive. Our lizard brain governs such instincts as fight, flight, feeding, fear, freezing-up, and (everybody’s all time favorite) fornication.
Research has shown the lizard brain is attracted to things that are different and out-of-place, like a patch of bright color in an otherwise bland surface. It’s also better equipped to handle choices from limited sets, rather than a plethora of options (ever notice how it’s easier to order at a burger stand than at a gourmet restaurant.
Feed The Lizard
Recognizing the power our lizard brain holds over our every choice and action is a good first step in making our online marketing in general, and our call-to-action buttons in particular, more effective.
“…We’re supposed to see where visitors most like to go on our sites
— by using analytics and keywords — and help them
get to those destinations without interruption…” – Copyblogger
Here are a few guidelines to help you craft more “lizard friendly” buttons:
Make it POP
Make the action copy stand out from other copy on the page. Customers who notice it are more likely to pay close attention to it, then decide what to do – hopefully, click the button.
Clarify the BENEFIT
Tell people exactly what you want them to do and let them know what they will receive in exchange for doing it – for example, giving their email in exchange for a free download.
Reduce Choices and TEST TEST TEST
Us lizards are lazy – we don’t like thinking…
Use ONE call to action
Come up with a few designs, then test to figure out what the lizards – er, people – like best. Research shows:
“…People tend to compare the two most similar options in a set
— eliminating the radically different option — and from the two similar
options choose the more attractive one…”Copyblogger
Remember that burger menu we mentioned before? The primary reasons it’s so effective is that it saves you the effort of thinking. A wide selection FORCES us to think – straining our brains – we prefer to avoid brain-strain, so we choose not to choose – and we don’t click ANYTHING…
Use “click trigger” near the button
These can include:
- Your value proposition
- Social proof (join 100,000 people who have…)
- Text on competitive pricing
Nobel prize winner Prof. Daniel Kahneman’s book “Thinking Fast and Slow” explores his teory regarding the two systems that govern our thought processes in great length and is an excellent resource for anyone interested in further insights into why we behave as we do.
Much of what we do in our own marketing was vastly improved after reading it…