Need Feedback: Need to increase conversion rates!

30 Jun 2008 - 6:51pm
6 years ago
7 replies
698 reads
Heather Anderson
2008

Hi there,

First time poster, long time fan. I need 5-10 minutes of your time to help
me determine what works/doesn't work about this site from a user experience
point of view, and to complete the desired task (i.e. buying the product).
My friend has dumped over $50k into this product/site. Just trying to give
him some simple solutions that could build his confidence (i.e. conversion
rate):

http://www.prisonyardworkout.com

Any and all responses are welcome! And I promise to return the favor when
asked.

Smiles,

Heather

Heather Anderson
User Experience Architect

<m> 818.292.2766
<f> 888.672.6852
<aim> phluxy

Please help save trees, print only if necessary.

Comments

30 Jun 2008 - 7:56pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

>
> http://www.prisonyardworkout.com

Wow. OK, I'll bite.

I think your conversion rate issue runs more deeply into psychology than
interface design. The product may be great, and with such a reasonable price
tag, the potential benefits likely far outweigh the barrier to entry. The
site also has some of the essential ingredients for successful conversion
frameworks.

The problem, I think, is the overwhelming creepy feeling you get by loading
the page. I mean, it's a real struggle to get past the first impression and
think to yourself, "OK, OK, so they were inmates—who cares? That doesn't
mean they're bad all around—it could mean they're great at workouts." No one
should have to go through all that mental work to rationalize their interest
in the product.

This happens because the main image on the site (in the header), the
featured story, etc, is about prison, not about workouts. And I'm betting
many people don't want to associate themselves with inmates—at least not so
directly. They don't want to have the image of tattooed bare-chested
convicts pop into their heads while working out. The site is gray like a
prison, edgy and grungy like a prison, etc.

People like people who are like themselves. You can certainly keep the
name—it's great to have an offbeat angle such as "Prisonyard Workout"—but
everything else on the site should be about reflecting customers back to
themselves, to play on their vanity (which is part of why they want to work
out in the first place, right?) and to jump-start their sense of social
proof. The images on the site should be of people the site's customers are
more likely to know, or people they're likely to be themselves.

Show customers people like them who have been successful, and take away
anything prison-like, and potential customers will be more willing to buy.
In other words, sell prison workouts without forcing people to identify with
prisoners.

-r-

30 Jun 2008 - 8:02pm
bminihan
2007

Hiya Heather,

I couldn't resist, after clicking the link...hope this doesn't
sound too harsh, but here goes...

The two biggest things that leapt out at me after visiting the home
page were: This looks like gay porn, and What are they selling?

Erm...probably not the two reactions he's looking for.

After a very quick browse around, it seems like the site has just one
product, and he wants everyone to get to that product. The home page,
however, makes that product very hard to find. I see at least two
(there are probably more) Buy Now buttons, but I don't see anything
on the home page that specifically says what you're buying, besides
"an ex-con in your pocket" (of sorts).

This is just a guess, but if he's really selling one big thing, and
every other thing on the site is meant to keep people interested
involved, but not extremely useful as the one product - he might make
that center headline with the "buy now" button much bigger, and say
exactly what he wants people to do: Buy the PrisonYard Workout DVD,
book and training planner, and after six weeks you should have the
build to take down any prison-yard bully [Learn More] [Success
Stories] [BUY NOW].

Perhaps beneath that put his best testimonial (or two) and link off
to more of them.

I guess the home page has a lot going on, and what he's trying to do
(really) is lost in the clutter.

On the "first impression" side of things...perhaps some more "real
world" pictures of people who have used his workout plan (and who
aren't prisoners) would help the pre-convicts relate to his product
a little better.

Hope that helps...best of luck =]

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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30 Jun 2008 - 8:53pm
lists
2006

Robert and Bryan made some great points. For me personally, my first reaction on seeing the site was that this has to be a joke/parody of some sort and I think overcoming that initial impression is a significant challenge. I spent the next few minutes trying to find out if this is a legitimate product from a legitimate company. If users can't get past that, the quality of the product and the usability of the site don't really matter.

That said, I'm obviously not in the demographic being targeted here (or am I?). I'm interested in whether or not potential customers have a reaction similar to the one I had or if it's not an issue with the target market. If the target is the general/mass-market consumer who wants to get in shape, then I think there are significant branding issues that far overshadow site architecture. Establishing credibility has to be the first step.

Here are some things that may help with that:
1. The over-the-top prison theme is hard put aside. Not sure how to resolve this for this product.
2. Show actual images/video of the product. There are vague descriptions in How It Works. Quick product samples will help users evaluate whether or not this is the right product for them.
3. I think there are too many testimonials relative to the amount of product information. I didn't watch all of the videos, but having too many people talk about how great the product is without giving me a clear idea of the product itself isn't very convincing.

30 Jun 2008 - 8:25pm
Matthew Zuckman
2008

Questions:

What do you mean by convert? Is it transactions completed, "Lock
Down Diet" sign ups, contact requests, or something else entirely?
How are you measuring these conversions?

Imagery and product stigmas aside, my big issue is that it is very
unclear what you get: how long is the video? what kinds of workouts
are featured? Will the exercises net me strength, stamina, bulk, or
soap-holding dexterity? What is the "Lock Down Diet?" Why is the
price at checkout 19.95, but 29.95 on the information page? The list
goes on.

I would suggest that he goes back and look at the customer engagement
cycle:

Awareness > Consideration > Trial > Purchase > Retention

(terms change per organization and purpose, but check out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Customer_engagement)

How is he answering customer needs through these stages?

./matthew

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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1 Jul 2008 - 11:31am
Anonymous

I agree with Robert -- the problem is a psychological one. This is a
classic problem of a desireability though positioning, not one of
site design.

With that said, perception of a product is not about you/the company
states a customer should remember when they walk away from a
brand/product, it's how the customers themselves think of the
brand/product based on their personal values, wants and desires.

The product name already has a negative element for most people.
Products people purchase are a reflection of either their immediate
needs, wants or who they desire to be (among other things). The
greater the association that the product will fulfill a need, want or
desire, the higher the likelihood that someone will purchase.

I like to say that no matter how much you try to market a new fangled
square peg that will fit into a round hole... experience says that it
won't fit... and customers won't buy it.

Even if the product is the best of its kind, this is where experience
and opinion can steer customers away from a product.

Again, just my opinion of what's going on.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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1 Jul 2008 - 1:39pm
Cindy Alvarez
2004

On Tue, Jul 1, 2008 at 9:31 AM, Victor Solanoy <vsolanoy at gmail.com> wrote:

> The product name already has a negative element for most people.
> Products people purchase are a reflection of either their immediate
> needs, wants or who they desire to be (among other things). The
> greater the association that the product will fulfill a need, want or
> desire, the higher the likelihood that someone will purchase.

The SITE has a negative association, but this PRODUCT isn't necessarily
beyond the reach of this "aspirational" positioning, though.

"Boot Camp"-style fitness programs and CrossFit (www.crossfit.com) are two
related workout philosophies with pretty strong cult followings, and they're
not aspirational in a traditional way (CrossFit has a mascot called "Pukey",
if that gives you any idea). But they focus more on the concepts (strength,
pushing yourself farther than you thought possible) than the imagery (combat
boots, latrines, etc.) A Boot Camp fitness site with a bunch of pictures
of actual grunt military life would not be very appealing.

Robert wrote:
"And I'm betting
many people don't want to associate themselves with inmates—at least not so
directly. They don't want to have the image of tattooed bare-chested
convicts pop into their heads while working out. "

I don't want to associate myself with the inmates on that page!
But think of:
- Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2
- Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption
- Brad Pitt in Fight Club (not prison, but...)
- Demi Moore in G.I. Jane (also not prison, but...)
- that guy in the Prison Break TV show
- The Count of Monte Cristo
- upcoming Jason Statham movie Death Race

The whole concept of the innocent wronged person who has to fight to stay
alive is pretty noble and aspirational. The thugs are not.

Cindy
--
The Experience is the Product - http://www.cindyalvarez.com

3 Jul 2008 - 10:57am
Mitchell Joe
2007

Hi Heather,

Here's my thoughts. Hope they help.

Mitch

--

Some consistency issues:

- some blue text is links (bottom nav), some is not (text headings)

- some white text is links(top nav), some is not (body text)

- some blue links (bottom nav) have a hover state of white and underlined,
one blue link (CONTACT US) has a hover state of black and underlined with an
orange background

- some yellow text (Continue >) is a link, some other, lighter yellow text
(Sign up to receive…) is not

- one button (BUY NOW) is a graphic, another (Submit) is browser-generated

Some trust issues:

- the prison theme

- the newsletter form asks for both your Name and your Email and then says,
"We do not sell your *name* to any 3rd parties." (emphasis added) Will they
sell my email?

- After I press the BUY NOW button, it says, "Subtotal: $19.95" then it
says, "Total: $19.95". The "Total" line looks very much like the bottom line
because it's big, black, and bold but the small, gray, italicized text below
it says, "(before shipping & taxes)" and after I click the "Check-Out"
button, the price is different, as matthew mentioned. The subsequent page
says, "Subtotal: $19.95, Shipping: $8.00, Total: $27.95." If people are
dropping off at that point, it's probably partly because of the unpleasantly
surprising extra $8.00 for shipping.

Other issues:

- Like Bryan, I think the BUY NOW button should be bigger. If you squint at
the page the thing that stands out the most is the quote in the yellow box
at the bottom.

- The line that is above the BUY NOW button, "AN ENTIRE GYM IN YOUR
POCKET!", doesn't really highlight what makes this product unique. There are
many workout videos and DVDs, so this product isn't special in that regard.
I would try to think of something else to say there.

- On the form to buy the DVD there is a checkbox followed by the question
"Ship to a different address?" It's not clear what it means to assent to a
question. I would remove the question mark.
--

On Tue, Jul 1, 2008 at 11:39 AM, Cindy Alvarez <cindy at cindyalvarez.com>
wrote:

> On Tue, Jul 1, 2008 at 9:31 AM, Victor Solanoy <vsolanoy at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > The product name already has a negative element for most people.
> > Products people purchase are a reflection of either their immediate
> > needs, wants or who they desire to be (among other things). The
> > greater the association that the product will fulfill a need, want or
> > desire, the higher the likelihood that someone will purchase.
>
>
> The SITE has a negative association, but this PRODUCT isn't necessarily
> beyond the reach of this "aspirational" positioning, though.
>
> "Boot Camp"-style fitness programs and CrossFit (www.crossfit.com) are two
> related workout philosophies with pretty strong cult followings, and
> they're
> not aspirational in a traditional way (CrossFit has a mascot called
> "Pukey",
> if that gives you any idea). But they focus more on the concepts
> (strength,
> pushing yourself farther than you thought possible) than the imagery
> (combat
> boots, latrines, etc.) A Boot Camp fitness site with a bunch of pictures
> of actual grunt military life would not be very appealing.
>
> Robert wrote:
> "And I'm betting
> many people don't want to associate themselves with inmates—at least not so
> directly. They don't want to have the image of tattooed bare-chested
> convicts pop into their heads while working out. "
>
> I don't want to associate myself with the inmates on that page!
> But think of:
> - Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2
> - Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption
> - Brad Pitt in Fight Club (not prison, but...)
> - Demi Moore in G.I. Jane (also not prison, but...)
> - that guy in the Prison Break TV show
> - The Count of Monte Cristo
> - upcoming Jason Statham movie Death Race
>
> The whole concept of the innocent wronged person who has to fight to stay
> alive is pretty noble and aspirational. The thugs are not.
>
> Cindy
> --
> The Experience is the Product - http://www.cindyalvarez.com
> ________________________________________________________________
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