UX Power Up: Promotional UX


How do you design in up sells, cross-sells and other types of promotions? Pure user experience (UX) folks would say leave em out, but marketers would cringe. What’s the right answer? Tune in to this week’s UX Power Up and find out!

Please post your comments below, we would love to hear your thoughts.

Transcript of video above…

Promotional UX

Frank Spillers here, founder of Experience Dynamics and it’s time for a UX Power Up.

Now, today’s topic is on Promotional UX.  Wait a minute… you think I’m talking about promoting UX, but I’m not. I’m actually talking about you doing promotions, up sells, cross sells, advertising, and that sort of thing on your website or your web application.  

So, when I talk about promotional UX the very first rule – if you will – this is kind of the baseline understanding (that a lot of advertisers and marketers don’t understand), is that we first need to fulfill on our users task. So, when we’re on a page where we are trying to do a promotion or upsell or cross sell, the main focus needs to be on the usability of the task. Because for users, promotions, upsells, cross sells, are more like dessert.  And they came there for the main meal – they came to get filled up on the main course.  So you want to deliver that main course – which is the task – to the user in such a way that it fulfills them, and then they say “Oh.” and then they’re open to the dessert that you might be ready to give them, vis-a-vis the cross sell or upsell.

So, promotional UX first of all needs to fit the task, or have satisfaction in the task.  Once that’s done, let’s play for a minute… here’s my screen, here’s my task, my users, I’ve got some buttons or controls or tabs, you name it – and I might add, like Wells Fargo does this on their online banking app, something that says “New”, like “Check this out”.  I might do one of the teasers that I’ve talked about in previous UX Power Ups, where I actually have a little arrow coming down and saying “Try this!”  But the main focus of the page is going to be to satisfy the user’s task, not to hit them over the head.  Now, promotions have actually taken on the new technology which I think is a really good idea for you to use.  What I mean by that is, we’ve moved away from banner ads or static types of things, we’ve even moved away from text ads, they are not performing as well as they used to. So, one of the things that you’ll notice on a lot of sites that’s popular is, as you scroll down the page – so there’s a dynamic behavior – you’re scrolling down, and you get an image, like a pop-up, like a temporary pop-up saying “Hey…”  it might even be a live chat type of thing that says “Hey, would you like to chat with a specialist?” or “Would you like to try this new thing?”  As you scroll up the page, the dialog disappears.  So it’s part of some type of fluid dynamic interaction, in this case, the user is scrolling to get more content and that’s where you bring up the promotional material.  But the main rule with promotional materials with UX is to respect the task, and to fulfill the task, and once you do that, then you have the user’s trust, and you know – essentially they are in a relaxed state, where they are going to be more open to the suggestions that you are so desperate to give them, in terms of cross sells, up sells, advertising and all the other marketing objectives that usually go into a website or web application. So thinking first about the user’s task, then the cross sell, nothing wrong with promotional or advertising, as long as it’s done delicately and strategically.  We talked about a few ways to do that today.  Until next time, have a good one.

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