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One of the most important steps to improving your conversion rates and usability is understanding what motivates your customers. If you try and build content for a "typical" user you might be making a big mistake. Each user is motivated in a different way, so you need to have content that speaks to those users in a individual manner. Often you can speak to all of them using a single page of content using a number of different calls to action. If you write content for only one of the user types you may be missing out on a big percentage of potential customers.

Follow these steps to creating personas

  1. What are your user types
  2. Model them (speak to CSR's, review your log files, research them on MSN ad labs, group keywords by user etc)
  3. Plan content for each of the different types
  4. Allow customers to self select the content

Brian Eisenberg "Chief Persuasion Officer" at outline 4 types of users.

  • Spontaneous – does the content look right…
  • Humanistic – wants to read reviews…
  • Methodical – reads everything, asks a lot of questions…
  • Competitive – driven, what's in it for me…

Every landing could have a call to action for each persona (or content that speaks to that persona). However, no two sites are going to convert personas at the same percentage, your site might be heavily waited into one group. This creates the perfect opportunity to run a multivariate test. Move your content around, try different call to actions for each persona. This is a very simple way to get a big lift in conversion rates. Good luck.

Brian's personas presented at eMetrics May 2008 San Fran