Last week, I briefly discussed humans being visual creatures and the importance of using this to engage consumers. If you recall, I discussed Gitte Lindgaard and her colleagues finding that it only takes 50 milliseconds for a person to form an opinion of a website’s visual attractiveness.
But there’s much more to it than that.
There’s a reason why 130 million people snap 45 million photos per day on Instagram, 13 million people actively upload loops to Vine, or two-thirds of mobile data will be in the form of video by 2017. Pinterest worked its magic and gained a whopping 70 million users, even though pins are frequently posted without any sort of description.
The reason isn’t because people don’t like reading content. (In fact, content is exactly what they are looking for!) It’s because people are less likely to engage in and share content that isn’t visually interesting.
In the world of benefits enrollment, if you can simplify complex information in a visually stimulating way visitors will share it with others across social media channels simply because people love sharing visuals they enjoy. Word of mouth (or shares on social media) drives traffic to your benefits enrollment site, where you can then help them enroll in the right plan for their needs.
Can Benefits be Pretty?
Insurance and benefits enrollment sites run the gamut when it comes to visual appeal. Some are sleek while others are simple or plain. Most websites offer the same information, so it’s left to the website designers to differentiate and create the visual engagement factor for the content.
While on the Markitekt website the other day, I was completely fascinated with the pictures in “About Us.” They moved, just like in Harry Potter. Instead of still shots, they used simple, short looped videos. I felt like I was looking right at them, getting a feel of their personalities for just a second, which created positive emotional engagement with their site.
The use of movement where it wasn’t expected captured my attention. They hooked me with their quasi-magical and creative visuals.
Interactive or Intelligent Virtual Assistants are another valuable tool to capture peoples’ attention. They mesmerize visitors by creating movement where it’s least anticipated, and hold their attention by engaging them with key information visitors need to move forward with enrollment.
These methods peak visitor interest and attention spans. That’s a proven fact. Utilize them to take your website to the next level and enhance the enrollment process.
Engaged or Not Engaged?
If you had to choose between reading these two excerpts below, which would be the winner?
I’ll place my money on the first one – the one that breaks down the meat (aka the content) with relevant visuals. The information conveyed is exactly the same on both sides, but the reader would be far more visually engaged on the left.
Peep Laja, creator of the conversion optimization blog ConversionXL and marketing architect for Markitekt, points out “our brain pays close attention to patterns and quickly learns to ignore anything that is routine, repetitive, predictable, or just plain boring.”
If a website looks lackluster or offers the same old feel that other websites have, visitors don’t want to use it. If it’s cram-packed with information, they don’t know where to start. There’s a fine line that has to be walked in order to maximize the time people spend on your site. If the end goal is to increase enrollment conversions, then a visually appealing and engaging website is a must.
The Complex and Ever Changing Human Brain
The human brain loves novelty. It loves it so much, that it’s now a fundamental need of the mind. The brain is a complex and ever changing organ; it yearns to understand the unknown. But people are constantly being flooded with new and novel experiences. Whereas these occurred every few days to weeks a century ago, people are encountering them every few seconds (or less) today.
This lends a hand in understanding why the human attention span went from twelve minutes in 1998 to five minutes in 2008. Web visitors drop the number significantly lower, offering only eight seconds of attention span in 2013.
Information designer, thought-leader, and award-winning innovator Tom Wujec explains this wonderfully. During his 2009 speech for TedTalk, he discussed three ways the brain creates meaning.
- First, people use images to process what is being communicated.
- Secondly, they interact with images to fully engage.
- Lastly, they augment memory through visual persistence.
Companies investing in graphics, videos, or interactive/intelligent virtual assistants are considered cutting edge. These multi-media methods create the novel experiential hook website visitors need. When it comes to increasing benefits enrollment conversion, visuals are the gold mine. These methods are required to jump to the top of the online customer experience. Stunning visuals are not longer optional.
One More Thing Before I go…
Think of a website that totally fascinated and hooked you. What made it so attractive? How can you offer a novel experience for your website visitors to increase conversion rates? What new methods will you use to attract, engage, and convert?
Like what you read? Take a look at the first two blog posts of this four part series: