It’s nice to have choices. And you’d certainly wouldn’t want to have choices taken away from you. So why wouldn’t you give your patients and prospects that same luxury when it comes to offering every option they deserve? Well it turns out that spoiling your prospects every possibility your practices offers at once in your marketing might do more harm than good.
In a famous study on the paradox of choice, psychologists created a display at a local supermarket of 24 varieties of gourmet jam, telling shoppers that if they sampled the jam they’d get a coupon. On a different day they offered the same deal, but with only six jams on display. The larger display yielded more interest, but when it came time to buy, people who saw the smaller display were ten times more likely to purchase.
243 TV channels, 34 styles of shoes, 56 choices of furniture upholstery and 76.5 choices in ice cream flavors (and that’s not even counting dairy-free, frozen custard, fro-yo, etc. options). We live in a time where we have the luxury of choice, yet strangely more options don’t equal more satisfaction.
From an article in the New York Times, “Research … shows that an excess of choices often leads us to be less, not more, satisfied once we actually decide. There’s often that nagging feeling we could have done better.” Think about the last time you went to a restaurant, made your selection from the menu, only to look longingly at your friend’s choice once the meals showed up at the table.
The science of marketing analyzes buyer psychology, namely what will get your prospect to convert, or perform the action you want. Yet, if you give a prospect too many choices, and too much information about each choice, they are likely to suffer paralysis by analysis.
Think about your practice website: You want to spoil your customer with choice right? After all, you have so many services, so many staff members, and so many ways to engage your prospects and patients. And there’s a lot of information you want to get across! Follow us on Facebook, Tweet us, check out our free consultation, tag a friend, email us, we have five promotions going, each with their own code, etc.
Don’t be like this site! (Yes, we know it’s a bit of an extreme example… )
Yet, if you inundate website visitors with options in your site’s prime real estate — above the fold on the homepage — you’re overwhelming them with too much information rather than leading them to take the desired action (i.e. book an appointment). The average consumer is time poor, and it could even be argued that that very luxury of choice impacts negatively on their attention span. The aim is to tell them just what they need to know in that moment, and only that.
So how do you apply the paradox of choice to your marketing efforts? With strategic design and content:
The prominent online booking CTA on Dr. Amersi’s website directs visitors to take that action. A phone number provides an alternate option and, when the site is viewed on a smartphone, turns into a call button.
When someone visits your website, the goal is not to overload them with options, but compel them to take the one desired action, more than likely, booking an appointment online or calling your office. “Click Here to Make a Booking”, or “Contact Us”. A clean header with two call-to-action buttons: book online and contact by phone. The contact by phone should be clickable from a smartphone, so that mobile searchers can contact you as easily as touching a screen.
Dr. Amersi lists her many services below-the-fold on her home page. Each service links to a separate page with more information.
That way you can focus on one service at a time, rather than overwhelming your readers with everything you offer. If they are googling “hormonal imbalance”, Google will lead them directly to your page for that service, and that’s all you need to show them.
The services listed on the home page each link to a separate page describing each service, along with FAQs.
As a bonus it helps with your search engine optimization, as you’re adding extra pages full of keywords to your site. That way the search engine will see you are an authority on that particular specialty, which will improve your search ranking.
A separate Contact Us section includes a map and hours. The ‘Book Online’ and phone number CTAs are still prominently displayed on the side.
At the risk of countering our main message here, it’s not a bad idea to have the “contact us” option as a secondary option, no matter the primary CTA. It’s reassuring for the prospect to know they can talk to you if they have any questions. But remember, the main goal is still the singular CTA.
Your practice is full of complexities of all manners. But those are nuances for you to understand through years of expertise, not for the prospect or patient to digest in minutes. There is no doubt that consumers expect a variety of choices, and you can still give it to them, but simplicity is truly the key here. Help them by funneling their inquiries in a gentle and natural manner, and you’ll see your conversion rate increase appreciably.
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