Plain-spoken Online Conversion Rate Newsletter - covering web design, sales, marketing, copywriting, usability, SEO, relationship marketing and consumer psychology.

 

Personality 101: Who Are They?

Odd about humans: they've been trying to categorize and understand themselves ever since ever. Know what? When it comes to personalities, almost every philosophizer has decided on four dominant types. For Hippocrates it was Sanguine, Choleric, Phlegmatic and Melancholic. Jung decided on Feeler, Thinker, Sensor and Intuitor. Keirsey calls them Idealists, Rationals, Guardians and Artisans. At Future Now, we base our profiles on the Myers-Briggs classification scheme.

It doesn't really matter what you call them. Thing is, you need to become intimately acquainted with these personalities. They are your website's visitors. And once you know who they are, you've got the inside track on how you shape your conversion process to persuade them most effectively.

On to the introductions! For each personality, I'll give you a general profile, then some specific comments that include the dominant attitude that characterizes this personality, how this personality type typically uses time, the question this personality type is most likely to ask about your product or service and website tactics you should adopt to meet the needs of this personality type. Finally, I'll give you some sample copy - same copy for each profile, but you'll notice different elements in the copy appeal to different personality types.

AMIABLE

Amiables, guided by intuition and feeling, must be authentic. They are always engaged in a personal quest for their unique identity and live their lives as an expression of it. For them, integrity means the unity of inner self with outer expression. These individuals appreciate the personal touch. They like things that are non-threatening and friendly. They dislike dealing with impersonal details and cold hard facts, and are usually quick to reach a decision.

Attitude: Personal, activity oriented.

Use of Time: Undisciplined, slow paced

Question: Why is your solution best to solve the problem?

Approach: Provide guarantees and assurances, credible opinions rather than options.

Sample Copy (underlining indicates which phrases this personality type will respond to most strongly):

Our approach is personalized to meet your objectives. The bottom line is that your results are guaranteed. Explore our methodology to discover how thousands of clients just like you have been delighted.

 

ANALYTICAL

The sensing-perceiving Analyticals need to feel free to act. For them, “doing” is its own reward. These individuals appreciate facts, hard data and information presented in a logical manner as documentation of truth. They enjoy organization and completion of detailed tasks. They do not appreciate the "personal touch" or disorganization.

Attitude: Businesslike, detail oriented.

Use of Time: Disciplined, slow paced

Question: How can your solution solve the problem?

Approach: Provide hard evidence and superior service.

Sample Copy:

Our approach is personalized to meet your objectives. The bottom line is that your results are guaranteed. Explore our methodology to discover how thousands of clients just like you have been delighted.

EXPRESSIVE

Sensing-judging people, Expressives, need to belong. They often feel that they must earn a place by belonging, by being useful, fulfilling responsibilities, being of service, giving to and caring for others instead of receiving from them. These individuals are very creative and entertaining. They enjoy helping others and are particularly fond of socializing. They are usually slow to reach a decision.

Attitude: Personal, relationship oriented.

Use of Time: Undisciplined, fast paced

Question: Who has used your solution to solve my problem?

Approach: Offer testimonials and incentives.

Sample Copy:

Our approach is personalized to meet your objectives. The bottom line is that your results are guaranteed. Explore our methodology to discover how thousands of clients just like you have been delighted.

ASSERTIVE

Assertives, guided by intuition and thinking, seek competence in themselves and others. They want to understand and control life. Driven by curiosity, the Assertive is often preoccupied with learning twenty-four hours a day. These individuals have a deep appreciation for challenges. They enjoy being in control, are goal oriented and are looking for methods for completing tasks. They are usually quick to reach a decision.

Attitude: Businesslike, power oriented.

Use of Time: Disciplined, fast paced

Question: What can your solution do for me?

Approach: Provide options, probabilities and challenges.

Sample Copy:

Our approach is personalized to meet your objectives. The bottom line is that your results are guaranteed. Explore our methodology to discover how thousands of clients just like you have been delighted.

Now, a few closing caveats. Humans are amazingly complex creatures, and any classification attempt is a simplification of this complexity. On top of that, no one person is all one personality type. You folks are delightful mixtures - one type may predominate, but others come into play, often influenced by environmental factors, social factors, even ephemeral moods. So, even though you may know for a fact that 72 percent of your visitors are Analyticals, that doesn't mean you can design a conversion process that appeals only to the analytical profile! And it's a big reason why we encourage clients to create multiple but interlinking paths in which their visitors can "self-serve" the customer experience they prefer.

Once you understand these profiles, you can create a website that appeals to your visitors' needs and helps persuade them as they most like to be persuaded. Knowing who your visitors are is going to influence everything you do on your website, from how you structure your selling process, how and where you place different categories of information, what calls to action you provide, how you write your copy, all the way through to the colors you choose.

Powerful stuff, eh? You betcha!

 

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GROK is taken from the landmark novel "Stranger in a Strange Land", by Robert A. Heinlein. It is a Martian word that implies the presence of intimate and exhaustive knowledges-serif" and understanding. Our "GROK" is a keen observer of the world around him and he takes a particular interest in the World Wide Web. The folks at Future Now like him a lot because he's taught them that "sometimes the price of clarity is the risk of insult."

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