While we’re still controlling our growth here at Leveraged Promotion, I tend towards doing our promotions via email, to the extent that our sales pages on the corporate site are actually down. We aren’t working with anyone through this site who we don’t talk to on the phone and vet first.

But that cycle is almost over. By January we’ll be ready to launch a new product line and expand our service offerings again. And that means updating, even overhauling the site, to include sales pages. Which also means: testing on humans.

I don’t mean finding out what happens if a person is denied access to their iPad for seven consecutive days. (Man, I hope it’s not that bad!) I mean, you have a rare opportunity to access groups of bored humans willing to help you, who may have nothing better to do.

And more importantly, can’t run away.

So if your site has ecommerce functions, a blog, or email subscription pages, land some live humans at your site, and watch what they do, in real time.

The less they know about the internet, what you or your company website does, or web design the better. Best case scenario is if they don’t know you’re even affiliated with the site in any way.

Why?

Brutally honest answers, which is what you need.

Some sample questions to ask:

  • What do you love about this site?
  • What do you hate about this site?
  • Do you have any idea what this site is for?
  • Would you buy the products here? why or why not?
  • When you clicked/saw something did you expect it to behave differently?
  • Does this site seem modern to you?
  • Do you trust the information in this blog?
  • Are you getting impatient with how long it takes to load?
  • If you could add anything to this site to make it better, what would it be?
  • What if you absolutely had to remove something on this website, what would you get rid of first?

Now, you may not need to take all their suggestions to heart: when my then 11-year old friend’s daughter asked if we could include rainbows, I politely declined.

But viewing a fashion site through her eyes made me see how easy it was to get to the clothing — and how borderline risqué some of the pictures were. This ultimately helped me solve a problem for a client that we were too close to observe: many of the women we targeted, thought the way the new models were dressed and posed was not safe for work.

This explained why they’d lost so many browsers at noon, which used to be their busiest time of day for purchases.

Try this exercise with whoever you have available at home – you’ll be surprised at what you find out.

 

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