Pulling the Trigger: Conversion’s Last Crucial Step

Pulling the Trigger: Conversion’s Last Crucial Step

Lemuel Galpo
Written by Lemuel Galpo
July 20, 2015

Continuing our series on consumer psychology and how it can improve your customer’s online checkout experience, and in turn increase your conversion rates, we’re moving from motivation and ability to an idea that’s a little bit more tangible: Triggers. Triggers are when something causes or prompts something else to happen or exist. A catalyst or a provocation. In internet marketing, this can be used as a tool.

Kath Pay, of Cloud IQ, covered a lot of examples of great triggers in his podcast on online checkouts. From the online retail giant ASOS to chemistry.com, there are basic and inherent design features that will lead customers to your call to action no matter what it is. Convert has been gathering some of the best advice possible on consumer psychology and how it applies to digital marketing, and here is some more great analysis.

Crucial Steps Getting Conversion

Seeing is Believing

When you start thinking about your conversion rates and how many visitors are making it all the way through your call to action, whether it be obtaining an email address or making an extra sale right at the online check-out, one seemingly obvious question that might get overlooked is Can users see the call to action? In her podcast, Kath Pay covers some pretty large companies, including Groupon Germany, that realized a majority of their visitors were not clearly seeing the opportunity to register their email address, which had a huge, negative impact on their conversion rates.

[Tweet “You want visitors to: Shop Now. Sign Up. Try it. Make CTAs visually prominent!”]

So, how can you make sure that customers are seeing additional products or sign-up cards? One strategy is to be big and bold with your call-to-actions. Popovers can be leveraged as more than an annoyance to customers. When used in the right way they may remind them of a product or simply plant the idea in their mind that visiting this page or typing in an email address will lead to better deals or more useful information.

Implicit Design

Even if these examples might feel like overkill, you have to remember that getting your call to action seen is the most important thing. Sometimes that means triggers going above and beyond with size, colors, or literally putting it out there in someone’s face. But, that isn’t the only strategy. The rest of the design of your page should also be subtly pointing to the call to action.

As people, when we look at a page, we are naturally drawn to images of other humans. That’s why Chemistry.com has an inviting face with eyes looking in the direction of their sign up button. Here, the addition of images isn’t taking away from the check-out experience, it’s actually enhancing it. Stop and take a look at your site, what’s on the page? Photos, content, colors, shapes and other design elements, all of it. Is every single one of these things leading the eye and the customer to your call to action? Are they triggers or just added for the sake of looking good?


Once you’ve started to really look at whether your call to action can be seen and whether or not your triggers are pushing toward it, you might find yourself wondering if your have too many call to actions. Multiple options of visitors, like Get More Information vs ADD TO BASKET can be a great thing. They let users move on if they aren’t quite ready to buy while still being within your site and your content. So, it’s OK if one page gives options, but there does need to be a hierarchy. Kath Pay makes the point that your user should never be left wondering, “What is it you want me to do?” Rather it should be clear from the design and bold visuals which action the site recommends. Making it clear what you want from them will be the final trigger in getting them through to conversion. According to Design Principles: Dominance, Focal Points And Hierarchy by Steven Bradley,

“Visual hierarchy enables visitors to scan information. It helps you communicate a message quickly and effectively. The top of the hierarchy (the dominant element) should help to answer questions a visitor might immediately have upon landing on the page.”

If you’ve been struggling with conversion, take a look at your sight considering the topics we covered in this series from Kath Pay: motivation, ability, and triggers. Is your sight motivating customers to your call to action? Once they arrive, is it intuitive and easy to navigate? Lastly, do you have triggers in place that really pull their attention toward what you want them to do? If you want to know more about the webinar, you can watch its entirely here.

Originally published July 20, 2015 - Updated September 28, 2018
Lemuel Galpo
As Customer Content Manager, Lem is responsible for bringing learnings in conversion optimization and testing to the world. He is part of Convert.com's growth team and coordinates all writers, editors and illustrators.
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