Conversion Wednesday – Power of Messaging

By Chris C.


A few words can go a long way…

…if they are the right words in the right location. So what are the right words and where is the right location for these words on my site? Well, that’s why we test!

Changing design elements and altering layouts of pages on your site can become a time consuming process. Sometimes, the easiest way to make an immediate impact is to simply tell your site visitors what to do or why they should buy from you.

There are many types of messages you can add to your site. I’ll focus on the three that have seen the biggest results while testing:


Usability messages are designed to help visitors use your site easier. Using simple wording that explains how a customer can find and purchase what they are looking for on your site can reduce bounce rates and improve sales. On category pages, simply putting the text “Filter your results:” above or next to filters helps increase the use of the filters. Another example of category pages might be messaging what they are looking at. If you have a best-sellers section at the top of the page, tell them this is your best seller area…and then continue the messaging by telling them what is below the best sellers lower on the page (ex: shop all of our [products] below.” Another common example would be the “steps” messaging that you see in shopping carts and checkout processes. If there are multiple pages to the checkout process, usually there is a guide to how many steps there are and which one you are currently on.


Motivational messaging is designed to help motivate your customers to make their purchase with you. The most popular motivational messaging on the web are sales, discounts, or free shipping offers. These work for improving sales, but which one works best? And, to echo the first slide in this presentation, where is the most effective place to put this messaging on your site?

A lot of sites have site-wide banners or messaging in their header for the promotions they offer.Can you message free shipping in your cart when they are reviewing their order? How about on product pages near the Add to Cart button? On these pages, they are looking at these areas when they are deciding whether or not they should buy this product from you, so why not give them that extra motivation by making sure they get that message while they are deciding?


Trust messaging is there to help your customers feel at ease while shopping on your site. These messages are targeted at making your customers feel secure that their information is safe when they place their purchase and that, when they place their order, they’ll actually receive what they are supposed to receive. Guarantees, reviews, and testimonials are also good examples of messaging on your site the helps the customer trust your business.

What are the right messages for your site?

Easy: test them.

Do you have trust messaging on your site? Is your subscription to McAfee worth the cost to your business? How about if you move that seal clearly above the fold on different pages of your site? Are there parts of your site that are difficult to understand? Tell your customers what to do in a few simple words and you’ll see performance improve.

The two keys to successful messaging on your site are to test:

  • The right message at
  • The right location

Make sure your messages are clearly seen and understood and you will see your site improve