Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a complex business with many different ways to approach it. One aspect of CRO that hasn’t been discussed nearly enough is the potential for images to increase views, clicks, and conversions — in addition to customer success and net promoter scores (NPS).
But discussing what you can do with the right images isn’t helpful unless you know how to find or create these images quickly and economically.
A crash course in the power of pictures
To get to the root of how images improve conversion rates, we first have to look at the series of events that creates conversions.
According to Dr. Robert Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Influence, people…
- Feel obligated to reciprocate – give them something, and they’ll want to give you something
- Honor their commitments – if they say they’ll do something, they’ll likely do it, because they’ve established that goal as an integral part of their self-image
- Believe the word of their peers (which is why user reviews are so powerful) and copy behaviors they see
- Follow authority figures.
- Buy from people they like
- Act faster if they perceive scarcity (On Sale Now for a Limited Time!)
Our brains are hardwired to believe what we see over what we hear or read. Images have a way of driving straight to our emotional centers.
Based on Cialdini’s research, some of the ways images can be used for influence include:
- Giving away a high-value infographic or set of high-quality stock photos that anyone can use (all they have to do is sign up for your newsletter)
- Creating a series of motivational images that encourage viewers to keep the goals they’ve set for themselves (which your product can help them do)
- Encouraging users to submit photos of themselves using, wearing, or enjoying your products (or, if you’re selling a service, including images of actual customers next to their reviews or testimonials)
- Using professional photos and/or high-quality stock images on your website
- Creating funny, personality-rich images, videos, or GIFs for your social media posts and emails
- Thinking of creative ways to visually represent scarcity — maybe by making a GIF of a warehouse as it goes from full to empty, or by creating an image that expresses the disappointment someone will fill if they miss out on an opportunity
Companies are also using images to delight existing customers and help them become more successful (which improves net promoter scores and leads to increased upsell opportunities). A customer success team, for example, could create GIF screencasts in response to help tickets or even stock an FAQ page with visual demonstrations of how to solve the most common customer support issues.