How Your Visual Formatting Is KILLING Conversion

December 19, 2016
Adam Bensman

Remember the last time you got a dreadfully long email…

How when you opened it you may have clicked “Mark as Unread” and saved it for when you had the mental energy to tackle that giant block of text.

Or how about that email you sent… that really important message to your client, but they responded to only 2 of your 5 questions? Gosh, that drives me nuts.

So I started playing around with my own emails, my own web copy, and my own landing pages. Through research and experimentation, I found that formatting of the same text will either send your visitors away, or engage your visitors to keep reading.

The famous copywriter Joseph Sugarman calls it the Slippery Slide effect.

"Your readers should be so compelled to read your copy that they cannot stop reading until they read all of it as if sliding down a slippery slide."
(p. 49 of The Adweek Copywriting Handbook)

Good news is, you don’t need to be an expert copywriter to do this, although it does help. Creating a slippery slide pairs the actual written copy with easy-to-read formatting.

Formatting applies to the combination of:

  • Word usage
  • Grammar
  • Sentence length
  • Typeface
  • Color
  • Arrangement on the page

It’s not rocket science. It’s simple psychology. Using colors or bold font or italics… draw your reader's attention to key points.

Plus, it makes it easy to get started. And people like easy.

The same goes for your actual web design. If your call to action doesn’t POP... if it’s hard to find your contact information… if navigation is cumbersome… you are killing conversion.

Formatting, when used properly, can play to your advantage. Here’s an example… although a really slimy, manipulative example that Subway uses to con salad eaters.

See the trick?

At first glance, this looks to be olive oil, right? The image of the olive branch, the olive oil container… it’s clearly olive oil. Well, that’s what they want you to think.

Subway used formatting of type size, font, and graphic layout to give the appearance that this is truly olive oil. Read it closely and you’ll see it’s only 10% Olive Oil.

Here’s the takeaway.

Formatting matters… a lot.

Make sure your formatting creates an environment that invites its visitors to keep reading… keep scrolling… and start clicking.

Emphasize your most important points with bold, italics, or underline.

Keep sentences short and easy to read.

Make sure your call to action POPS by using strong, contrasting colors.

Here’s what to do next.

Took a look at your current website and the copy on all your digital mediums. If they need some work, do it now. You’ll thank me as site duration and conversion increases.

For all your web design needs you should work with the ruggedly awesome and innovative team at ChaseBros. They kick butt, seriously. I just had them do my site, and I’m sending them more.

If you want a professional copywriter to give your digital communications a makeover, then let’s chat. You can check out my website to learn more.

If you’re anything like me and half compulsive, 100% excited, and ready to rock, then let’s chat. CLICK HERE to schedule a time.

Thanks for taking a ride on the slippery slide.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join Our Newsletter

Get Wordpress/Tech news and tutorials right to your inbox!
Sign Me Up