Merry Christmas Versus Happy Holidays in Your Headlines – Does it matter?

We live in a politically correct society today. So, does that ever have you wondering about your copy and your headlines?  Do you ever wonder if your text is off-putting to people or just what the fuss is all about? In this article, let’s look at Merry Christmas versus Happy Holidays in your headlines and […]

Merry Christmas versus Happy Holidays in your headlines - Does it matter

We live in a politically correct society today. So, does that ever have you wondering about your copy and your headlines?  Do you ever wonder if your text is off-putting to people or just what the fuss is all about?

In this article, let’s look at Merry Christmas versus Happy Holidays in your headlines and ask, “Does it matter?”

First, we’re going to tell you upfront that this is ultimately your decision. You know your target audience best, and if you don’t, you should.

What we are going to do is present a case for both sides, and then you can decide where you fall. So, let’s get to it.

The Starbucks Decision

Here’s a bit of background as to why your headline decision is so important.

You might remember that Starbucks started its very own controversy last Christmas when it debuted its red holiday cup.

Since the iconic Christmas cup debuted in 1997, it’s had several winter-themed designs. Coffee drinkers would have seen snowflakes, reindeer, snowmen and ornaments at one time or another.

Yet, in 2015, Starbucks launched a dark cranberry cup with a very minimalist design. While some users liked it, others called it the “War on Christmas.”

The cup was described as a “two-toned ombré design with a bright poppy color on top that shades into a darker cranberry below.” And, there wasn’t a Santa or a reindeer in sight.

Many Starbucks users were infuriated, while Starbucks simply said they wanted users to add their own doodles to the cup. One unhappy customer went so far as to tell the barista his name was Merry Christmas so it would end up on the cup.

So, what’s all the fuss? It turns out we live in an era of increasing attention to political correctness.

You just might be wondering if you’ll set off a firestorm like Starbucks did by writing a headline, or even an email subject line that says Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. You’re sure to offend someone, right?

The Case for Merry Christmas in Your Headlines

According to a Pew Research poll, nine out of ten Americans celebrate Christmas. So, you might wonder why so many people care about the terminology.

It appears that in this day and age, someone is bound to take offense if you use Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas in your headlines.

The war on Christmas seems to arrive earlier and earlier each year. The question is though, “Who is at war?”

After all, Christmas is a very public holiday, and not everyone ties it to religion.

Websites all over the Internet feature trees, Santa, reindeer and gifts. Basically, everyone you meet wants to tell you something, whether it be Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas.

If you decide to use Merry Christmas in your headlines, you just might be all right because to many people Christmas isn’t Jesus, it’s holiday parties, presents and ugly sweaters.

Before you decide to forgo the words Merry Christmas in your headlines ask yourself if you’re being overly cautious. Are you trying so hard not to offend a few that you’ll end up offending many?

Several retail giants throughout the last few years like Lowe’s, Home Depot, Sears, WalMart, Target, Best Buy and the Gap have tried to abandon the word Christmas for more mundane terms, and the backlash has been swift and vocal.

If your business can’t afford the customer push back, and you aren’t concerned with political correctness, and the words, Merry Christmas, mean a lot to you and your business, by all means use them in your headlines.

Finally, while no one is suggesting your brand get religious, you do have to be careful of marginalizing the world’s faithful by throwing them into a land of political correctness with your headlines.

Can your online business afford the negativity if you don’t use Merry Christmas?

The Case for Happy Holidays in Your Headlines

On the flip side, there are many today who would say banish Merry Christmas and only use Happy Holidays. They see no gray area and are quite adamant about their decision.

To many people, Happy Holidays is simply the acceptable term. Yet, with it affecting so few, why even bother deleting Merry Christmas?

You’ll find the answer to that question is, “It’s the right thing to do.”

People today want to be inclusive of all cultures, all religions and all belief systems. They believe Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings encompasses this for the world at large.

You might find some people telling you to use Happy Holidays in your headlines because you should want every customer to feel welcome when shopping or visiting your website.

Using Merry Christmas as a headline will exclude about 25% of your audience, unless it’s a “Merry Christmas” group.

Happy holidays lets you cater to all of your paying customers.

Final Thoughts

Do you know why your headline text matters? The father of advertising believed it to be the most important thing on your page.

David Ogilvy, ad expert, said, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

That being said, we’ve presented you with both sides – Merry Christmas versus Happy Holidays in your headlines.

A Public Religion Research Institute survey asked a group of Americans if retailers should use Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings instead of Merry Christmas. Surprisingly, the yes and no answers were very nearly split in half.

Yet, it also turns out that people’s preference depends on what part of the country they live in.

What do you think? Are you going to go out on a limb and use Merry Christmas as your landing page headline, or are you going to play it safe with Happy Holidays in your headline text?

Or, are you going to do what we recommend over and over again – test your landing pages – one headline says Merry Christmas, and the other says Happy Holidays.

But, wait, what about all of those people who celebrate nothing at all during the months of November and December? In a world gone wild for political correctness, one has to ask, “Aren’t you leaving them out by using either term?”

Perhaps that’s another topic for another time…

Are you ready to squeeze more profit out of your website? That’s terrific! We’re here to help you optimize your website so it works fluidly for your website visitors. In fact, we promise you we’ll do just that.

With our guarantee, you can rest assured we will increase your profits through landing page optimization.

If you’re ready to work with the leader in landing pages and conversion rate optimization, contact us today.

We’ll provide you with our FREE site performance analysis so we can work on your landing page conversion rates.

Image: Jez Timms

How To Color Your Website And Influence Conversion!

Have you ever wondered if a specially chosen color would affect the buying habits of your website visitors? The answer is, “yes,” color absolutely influences visitors to your website, and it is even responsible for the actions they take. Let’s look at how to color your website and influence conversion, but, first, let’s review why […]

How To Color Your Website And Influence Conversion!

Have you ever wondered if a specially chosen color would affect the buying habits of your website visitors?

The answer is, “yes,” color absolutely influences visitors to your website, and it is even responsible for the actions they take.

Let’s look at how to color your website and influence conversion, but, first, let’s review why color has such power to persuade your website visitors.

Color is a Powerful Persuader

In a study called Impact of Color in Marketing, researchers found that 90% of the snap judgments people make about your products are based on color alone.

Another study confirms that people make purchases based on how they are affected by the colors you use. They go on to say that the colors must work together with your brand to be effective.

So, you can see that color is indeed a powerful persuader, and the reasons why are numerous.

While many studies exist telling you what color to use for your calls to action and your headlines, and this matters, there are other studies that say predicting consumer reaction to the color is also important.

For example, swimming pool websites are most often blue-toned, and car dealership websites usually incorporate a lot of black. Now, just imagine if the main color on these websites was pink.

Color is a quite definitely a powerful persuader, and it pays to think of the color in context.

You also want to think of your audience when choosing your colors.

It’s time to look at how to color your website and influence conversion.

The Properties of Color

You’ll find that different colors have different meanings for people all across the globe. For example, some colors in the United States don’t affect people the same way as the same colors in another country would affect their residents.

Research your target audience so you aren’t using an offensive color or one that means something other than you’d like it to mean.

We’re going to look at the properties of color as they are widely recognized and the feelings they can bring about.

Blue

We most often think of blue as the quintessential color. It represents trust and authority, and it’s soothing and calming.

Some cultures tie it with strength, while others see it as safe and divine.

It’s worth noting that the most popular social platform in the world, Facebook, is blue. The reason is quite simple: it symbolizes trust, loyalty, transparency and sometimes power.

Website designers often use blue in call-to-action buttons and headline text. Combined with just the right fonts, this color has massive impact.

Green

This is another power color, and it’s also often used in calls-to-action.

It represents nature and the outdoors, creativity, youth and also happiness. Consider how it’s also the color of good luck.

In the negative arena, green symbolizes jealousy, and in some countries, it’s the color of death.

Purple

The color of royalty, wealth and fame, purple isn’t the best color for conversions.

Pink

Universally accepted as the color for girls and women, pink represents sweetness, fun and childhood.

Worth noting, is that while it’s believe to be every woman’s favorite color, that is often not the case.

Red

Much of the world views red as the color of action, passion and excitement. It often symbolizes a sale or something with a sense of immediacy.

It is another power player in conversions.

On the flip side, and in some countries, it can denote anger or danger.

Orange

Orange is the happy friendly color, and it’s full of energy. Orange is the color of confidence and physical activity and works well with blue.

It’s also the color of fall and Halloween.

For some cultures, orange is associated with mourning or loss, and in others it symbolizes courage.

Yellow

Many people love yellow for its happy connotations and warm color. It’s often associated with summer, and many think of it as the color of prosperity as well.

Black

Most cultures usually see black as the color of death.

We do encourage you to use some black in your website design, though, as it grounds your site and provides definition.

White

The color of weddings, purity and modernity is white.

While you can’t use white in your call-action-buttons, you should use white space on your site to make it easier for your website visitors to find what you are guiding them to.

Using Color the Right Way

Now that we’ve looked at the basic psychology behind a handful of colors, we’re going to look at how to use it in the right way.

Your goal is to use color to capture your website visitor’s attention and direct them to the action you want them to take.

For example, if you use a green call-to-action button (which is a good idea), but your website also uses green headings and other colors of green, the conversion point is lost.

So, while some colors may convert better, they have to stand out enough to accomplish the task. Think high contrast to grab visitor’s attention.

Primary and secondary colors are usually a good bet – think green, red, orange and yellow – as they tend to convert the best.

But, the caveat here is not to use the colors elsewhere on your site.

Leveraging Color Theory

Another thing to consider is color theory and how you apply it to your website.

First, you want to concentrate on contrast. This not only makes your site more readable, but it drives your website visitor to your desired action.

Next, you want to think about complementary colors. These are the colors on opposite sides of the color wheel like green and red or blue and orange.

Finally, you want to use colors with a purpose. Use color to set the tone of your website. Warm colors like red, yellow and orange provide energy while green, blue, and purple are more relaxing.

To Conclude

Your website visitors respond to color. Guide their attitudes towards certain colors by learning about the emotions surrounding the color. Know your target audience so it’s easier to choose your colors.

It’s a good idea to take these advanced tips on website conversions into account and use color psychology to improve your online sales and conversions.

Color is one of the biggest factors affecting your website conversions. Do your research, and if you’re unsure, testing is always the best plan.

Use this guide full of expert tips on the use of color to drive your website conversions on your individual landing pages and watch your leads increase.

Are you ready to squeeze more profit out of your website by using color for conversions? That’s terrific! We’re here to help you optimize your website so it works fluidly for your website visitors. In fact, we promise you we’ll do just that.

With our guarantee, you can rest assured we will increase your profits through landing page optimization.

If you’re ready to work with the leader in landing pages and conversion rate optimization, contact us today.

We’ll provide you with our FREE site performance analysis so we can work on your landing page conversion rates.

Image: RhondaK Native Florida Folk Artist

Your Definitive Guide To Customer Acquisition

Customer acquisition is the process you go through to gain new customers. It’s how you persuade people to purchase your products or services. Are you doing enough to increase your customer acquisition rates? In this article, we provide your definitive guide to customer acquisition. You’ll learn some advanced strategies for acquiring, and keeping, new customers. […]

Your Definitive Guide To Customer Acquisition

Customer acquisition is the process you go through to gain new customers. It’s how you persuade people to purchase your products or services.

Are you doing enough to increase your customer acquisition rates? In this article, we provide your definitive guide to customer acquisition.

You’ll learn some advanced strategies for acquiring, and keeping, new customers.

First, let’s look at the cost of customer acquisition.

The Cost

An often neglected part of the customer acquisition process is the cost to do so.

For small businesses and even established ones, this cost can quickly get out of control if it isn’t watched and monitored.

The most successful businesses can rattle off their customer acquisition cost numbers. To help you know your customer acquisition costs (CAC), follow this formula:

  • Take the entire cost of your sales and marketing over a specific time period and divide it by the number of customers you acquired in that same period.

For example, if you spent $1000 on marketing in one year, and you acquired 1000 new customers that year, your CAC is $1.00.

Another helpful number to know is the Lifetime Value of a Customer (LTV). To find this number, you look at the gross margin you expect to make from that customer over the lifetime of your relationship.

In a well-balanced business model, your CAC shouldn’t exceed the LTV of your customer. It should be significantly less.

Now, it’s time for the advanced tips on customer acquisition.

Content Marketing

You’ve probably heard that in this century, content is king. This phrase was coined in 1996 by Bill Gates who saw the future of the Internet as a marketplace for content.

It turns out that content is an allover great tactic for acquiring new customers.

Why? The content you publish on your website allows you to meet new and potential customers head on with the content they need.

By providing your website visitors with the content they want and need, you’ll not only meet their goals, but yours as well. Intrigue your site visitors with practical, useful, educational, important and sometimes humorous content, and you’ll encourage them to sign on as your customer.

Search Engine Optimization

You’ve got the great content to attract new customers, but have you properly optimized it?

Customer acquisition can’t happen if people can’t find your content.

Share your content through email marketing and social media. The more shares and links back to your website, the better. These work together to increase your natural, organic rank in the search engines.

Conversion Rate Optimization

Once your visitors land on your website, you have to do something with them. If they simply land on a page with content, but they don’t see any further actions to take, they’ll just bounce off.

When it comes to customer acquisition, your conversion rate optimization matters. Improve your landing pages to increase your leads and your sales.

Consider A/B testing your copy, calls to action buttons, colors and images to see what works best.

Copy Writing

A piece of your conversion rate depends on your copy – the body copy and your headlines.

Your copy is important. Give great thought to your headlines. Are they catchy? Do they match the content? Are they spot on or misleading?

Then look at your body copy. It should be specific and succinct. Choosing the right words here can make the difference between a sale and a bounce.

If you aren’t sure what works, test your landing pages. This is the best way to find out what copy converts the best.

Social Media Marketing

Social media is another terrific tactic for customer acquisition.

Use your social media platforms to get people back to your website where you can intrigue them with your quality content and then encourage them to take your desired action.

Email Marketing

Have you started building your email list? It’s an essential step to customer acquisition.

For example, a website visitor lands on your optimized landing page, reads your optimized content and then clicks on your call to action – signing up for your email list.

Once on your email list, you can continue to market to them in the privacy of their own inbox.

All of your inbound marketing and SEO worked to encourage them to join your email list. Through your future email marketing, you can direct them to your products and services.

Analytics

Don’t forget your analytics.

The only way to know if your customer acquisition tactics are working is by analyzing your data. Your analytics shows you which of your tactics are most successful and which pages your customers are visiting or leaving.

Use your Google Analytics to see what’s happening on your website. Set up funnels, view your traffic sources and rules and set up your goal tracking.

Then, take a look at who is visiting your website. Find out what they do before and after they sign up on your website or take another action.

A good way to analyze your metrics is to start by making goals and working backwards. Since we’re discussing customer acquisition, that is your goal here.

Then build the funnel. Perhaps it starts with an email sign up, and then you send them an email inviting them to a free trial of your product or service. Ultimately, you hope they’ll convert to full paying, lifetime customers.

Identify your metrics in your funnels. You want to know things like who signed up for your email list or white paper and then who converted into a paying customer.

Final Thoughts

You see that in your definitive guide to customer acquisition, you have many advanced tactics at your disposal.

You’ll find that there are many different ways that lead to the same end goal of customer acquisition.

How do you choose the right strategy? First, you have to know you target audience. Next, you have to know how they’ll make their way through your sales funnel. Do some research on both your audience and your customer acquisition funnel before you create your acquisition strategies.

And, remember, you don’t have to choose just one tactic. Use a few and integrate them for the best success. Your ultimate goal is to increase your website conversion rate through the acquisition of new customers.

Test your strategies, and then test them again. Use what works and refine the rest.

You’ll soon be on your way to growing your company through targeted customer acquisition strategies.

Are you ready to squeeze more profit out of your website by optimizing your leads and your lead generation process to drive your business online? That’s terrific! We’re here to help you optimize your website so it works fluidly for your website visitors. In fact, we promise you we’ll do just that.

With our guarantee, you can rest assured we will increase your profits through landing page optimization.

If you’re ready to work with the leader in landing pages and conversion rate optimization, contact us today.

We’ll provide you with our FREE site performance analysis so we can work on your landing page conversion rates.

Image: Alvaro Serrano