There’s always something to howl about

Fathertonge instant communication ideas on the web.

The above is not embeddable, but a demo-y version of this lovely song:

yeah, I been through a lot and you can’t scare me/go on baby, if you just dare me/i’ll break through any wall–just gimme a call/….i’m a prize fighter.

Fathertongue For the Web

I know that this shorthand isn’t totally innate.  Still,we have, for the most part, been on the web regularly for a decade or more, there are some conventions that signal “what happens next” to people.  It’s not true nose-to-anus father-tongue, but it’s not far off.

Anyway, some Fathertongue ideas as I understand them.  Quick, symbolic shorthand ideas to communicate, in broad strokes, what happens next.  After reading Greg’s post last week, I was thinking of the practical: how can I more properly communicate in my own business (and by extension that of my clients) what will happen when working with me.

That post got me thinking about websites, and quick shorthands for approval, welcome and other things.  That post got me to do stuff to my own business (and I’ll report on the results at the bottom of this post).

How can I create a “scent trail” that’s big and loud?

I started with the green checkmarks in various places–to signal approval.



These are, of course familiar to all of us that have bought something.  They are there to get us to buy things.

I then took my checkout page and changed the field entry order and put a lock by it “visa number”.  I also threw in a lock in several places:




Screen shot 2010-11-21 at 3.36.27 PM.png

The lock, in both places, was stock images from  somewhere, the lock by the credit card button is said to decrease abandonment.  My cart is a two step cart: I send people to a page where they enter their name and phone number first, and then if they chose not to, I can now call ’em and ask why.

Now, before I did this, and added our ‘fathertongue tail wags”  I had an ugly cart and 1-step checkout process.   “Here’s a big-ass form, go nuts with it.”  My form that sometimes (often) took a long time to load because of some of the particulars of dealing with Hostgator from a sysadmin perspective.   I had something over 99% abandonment of my cart, well over, and I didn’t even get the lead.  Sometimes 300 people would click the cart and nobody would buy.

I had to change that.  Hence, the father-tongue.

Since I started giving people more approval, checkmarks and locks?  9% of the people that start and click the “start your site” button (not hotlinked) finish the task.  (By the way, that’s really, really good for our industry).   70% of them become leads that I have followed up with to help finish their task. (I get the phone number, YAY).

A caution about these results: as I was building and dealing with this (still a work in progress), I shut down the PPC and shut off my mailing list.  That means that generally speaking, I had what would seem to be better quality people coming through.  I also upgraded (and am still upgrading) my landing page and blog post footers to sell and sell some more.

Some other things/notes:

Impact Page Builder

I started using the Impact Page Builder, not an affiliate link…and that’s a must-have wordpress plugin that I’m bundling with all of my sites.  Why?  Because it allows you to, in dead simple, brain-off way, build WordPress pages that look radically different than the main page.   It’s a plugin. You can make your “Dan Kennedy Yellow Highlighter Style”  squeeze page in a minute, with whatever widths and sized fonts you want.  You can do it with theme like Thesis or whatever else you’re likely to use.   The potential of this thing is unreal…because of the speed and lack of clutter.  It allows different sidebars, widgets, padding, etc….and it’s simple enough for a non-coder to use.

What we’re testing is if people complete the process with the general look of our site, or if a white, “Applesque” sparse design will have the best pullthroughs.  We’ll see.



1 comment

1 Comment so far

  1. Rodney Ash November 22nd, 2010 6:14 am

    Good post. Communicating what happens next is very important on the web, especially when you’re asking the reader to do something. I’ve used Impact Page Builder and it’s a very diversified WordPress tool that allows you to do things that are otherwise difficult.