Defining Happiness: The Oft-Forgotten Key to Conversion (Part 2)

by Scott Martin

Last updated on December 18th, 2017

In part one of this blog series, I detailed the “conversion importance” of discovering what really makes your potential client or customer deliriously happy. It’s vital for conversion to determine what happiness really means in the mind of your website visitor.

For that article, I dipped into the worlds of golf and vehicles in the first blog. Now let’s visit the world’s biggest industry… real estate.

You’ve heard that old saying about the three most important factors in real estate: location, location, and location. It’s a little more complex… let’s take a look at some other happiness motivators in the space.

  • View
  • Convenience
  • Amount of Space
  • Luxury
  • Amenities
  • Type of Construction
  • Affordability
  • Neighborhood
  • School assignments
  • Architectural statement

When marketing any type of property, the marketer must discover what really makes the potential owner or renter happy. Let’s take a look at some examples.

Here’s a site that focuses on helping you find happiness through an epic view and a property with significant architectural interest … not too hard in the Palm Desert area.

the haverkate group

The site focuses on the epic views and striking property.

For those who find happiness living next to a lake, this site is valuable.

sothebys realty

And here’s a site that focuses on environmentally-friendly properties.

Gillian Caine green realtor

Real estate marketers are often superb at really discovering what motivates a buyer to buy. Everyone who wants to maximize conversion can learn a lot from how they sell properties.

Now let’s visit the world of information marketing. In this field, the happiness motivators are more wide-ranging. Happiness could be…

  • Solving a major problem
  • Earning a higher income
  • Reducing costs
  • Learning a new skill
  • Making life easier
  • Enjoying a stronger family life
  • Hammering the competition

People seek information for a wide variety of reasons. And people who sell information are often excellent when it comes to marketing their products.

Let’s take a look at some pages. This one has the volume turned up to 11, but it promises happiness in the form of massive income.

professional speaker

Notice the very specific number in the headline. Not “a lot of money” but “$5,017.” And then the bullets stress ease… and more happiness from earning money as a speaker.

And here’s a site for a company providing information to ambitious bookkeepers. In this case, the happiness comes directly from growing your business.

growing your business

Interestingly, this copy starts with unhappiness. It stresses the problems bookkeepers face as they try to run a business. But then it quickly turns unhappiness into happiness.

It’s important to mention someone’s pain points. But I prefer to focus on happiness. There’s a classic copy technique based around the word “imagine.”

So the first few words of copy for the bookkeeper might read:

Imagine doubling your bookkeeping fees in the next 60 days.

Imagine taking long vacations.

Imagine having hand-picked “dream clients” who truly value your services.

In writing this copy, I dug deep to come up with a number of benefits I felt would be important to a bookkeeper:

  • Getting the best clients
  • Working fewer hours
  • Gaining time for vacations
  • Earning higher fees

So by stressing happiness, I put the reader in a position without the typical problems bookkeepers face.

Mark Morgan Ford, an experienced direct response copywriter, likes to find what he calls the “core buying complex.” This comprises the core beliefs, feelings, and desires of the potential customer. You then relate the core buying complex to the features and benefits of the product.

Copywriter Clayton Makepeace starts every copywriting assignment by finding what he terms the prospect’s “dominant resident emotion.”

He defines this as the customer’s strongest feeling relating to the product or the problem it solves. And here’s an example of a headline using the dominant resident emotion approach:

“LIES, LIES, LIES… we investors are fed up with everyone lying to us and wasting our money!”

The prospective reader is fed up and unhappy. The product (a financial newsletter) will turn the unhappiness into happiness in the form of financial clarity and reliable information.

So conversion is much more than persuasion. It’s linking happiness factors to your product or service.

One of the real secrets to maximizing conversion is making a long list of those all-important happiness motivators. Here’s how to organize your list.

  1. Look at all the features your product or service provides.
  2. Find the benefit from the feature. For example … a diesel engine will help you achieve greater gas mileage so you save hundreds at the gas pump.
  3. Put the list of features and benefits in order of importance—basing this on what you believe your customers will like.
  4. Look at your testimonials for the benefits that mean the most to your clients.
  5. A survey can often help you dig for benefits. So organize one.
  6. If you have salespeople, they will know the happiness factors that motivate buying.
  7. Include all your “happiness” benefits on your site.

Why not take a “happiness audit” of your all your marketing right now? Look at everything and ask yourself a simple question: “Are we truly selling happiness… the happiness that really resonates?”

Get your testing boots on and start replacing the “so-so” messaging with happiness motivators.

It’s impossible to find significant testing data when it comes to stressing happiness over other approaches. And successful companies aren’t going to share their data with this random copywriter.

However, you can find clues from the big (and small marketers). Look at the marketing of the companies you know are successful online and you’ll see a lot of happiness.

In a recent interview, Jonah Lopin, the VP of Customer Success at Hubspot revealed what they call their “Customer Happiness Index” or CHI. At Hubspot, they measure “the degree to which one of our customers is practicing inbound marketing in a way that is likely to lead to long-term success.”

Customers with the highest CHI scores get the biggest lift in traffic and leads every month. When customer has a low happiness index, it’s a sign they’re not executing and so the people at Hubspot encourage their customers to market more effectively by using the tools Hubspot provides. So this successful marketing company is, in essence, selling happiness.

Every marketer needs a “core strategy” and there are plenty you can try. But whenever I’m marketing or writing copy, I’m always thinking about ways to sell happiness. Try this strategy and see if it improves conversion.

Read other Crazy Egg articles by Scott Martin.

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Scott Martin

Scott Martin is a direct response copywriter based in Charlotte, North Carolina. He has also written or edited 18 books including The Book of Caddyshack: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Greatest Movie Ever Made. Scott provides free resources for marketers including direct response checklists.


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