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Getting into the Flow: How and Why All Profit-Minded Marketers Should Document User Flows

December 05, 2016

By Today’s Industry Insider

users-flow-report

In the zone. Feeling it. In the groove. Zeroed in. A state of flow.

We’ve all been there (hopefully) at some point in our lives. It’s almost magical. When it all comes together, and everything slides effortlessly from point A to point B. Athletes, writers, speakers, artists, chefs, doctors, musicians, teachers.

And users…if you’ve done your job properly.

The “flow” in this case is the free and easy path a user (i.e. your customer) takes on your website to do something: make a purchase, sign up, download, subscribe, or whatever. They also want it to be effortless.

Also known as the user journey, the flow must reflect their needs and their preferred route. Not yours. You have to put yourself in their shoes.

Flow Interrupted

Think about a time when a website felt clunky, confusing, or downright unfriendly. There you were trying to do something – get information, buy a product, download a case study – and you couldn’t get it done.

The link wasn’t where you expected it. They asked for details you felt were unnecessary. There was no form or button. It all felt counterintuitive.

That’s flow interrupted. It’s like slamming into a brick wall.

That business designed that page with themselves – not you – in mind. Big mistake. Why? Because you most likely bounced. Left. Bolted for greener pastures on a more user-friendly site.

Had they given any thought to user flow, they would have identified and removed those obstacles for you. Blown up that brick wall.

Instead, they’re left wondering why their conversion rate is so damn low.

The Modern Marketer

Your job is to get the right product in front of the right people at the right time. That product may be a physical object, or a service, or a lead magnet like an infographic, ebook, white paper, or email newsletter. Doesn’t matter.

We live in a multi-channel marketing ecosphere. There’s analog (the real world: billboards, flyers, radio and television spots, direct mail) and digital (everything online: organic search, PPC, social media, email). Much of your analog and all of your digital efforts are probably aimed at getting them to your virtual porch.

When they do arrive at your site, how often are they ready to commit (buy or sign up)? If you answered “rarely”, ten points for Gryffindor.

You need to get them through the door and guide them down the corridor to the sale. But here’s the catch: there’s more than one door.

User flows allow you to give them everything they need to make it down their corridor without hitting any walls or dead ends.

To get started, you need to identify their entry point.

Step 1 – The Many Doors of Arrival

Think about a house. If you were giving directions to someone entering a huge mansion on how to find your study (you live in a palatial estate in this example, just because), a lot would hinge on where they come in, right?

Front door. Back door. Sliding door in the media …read more

Source:: Kiss Metrics Blog

      

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