How to Make a Purple Cow: 12 Tips for an Unforgettable Business Website
Have you seen the Volvo Trucks video ad called, “The Epic Split”?
The ad—currently the “most watched automotive commercial on Youtube ever!”—features Jean-Claude Van Damme doing the splits between two reversing trucks!
This is something never done before and something you won’t soon forget …
Plus, after watching the video demonstration, you’ll likely remember “the precision and directional stability of Volvo Dynamic Steering.”
Now, what if you could do the same for your business website?
Make it so unforgettable (translated, impossible to forget) that not only would loyal fans and customers return again and again, but also they’d bring their friends!
It can happen. Let’s take a look at how…
“Unforgettable” Equals Better Conversions
If you regularly spend time wondering:
- Why isn’t my website getting more traffic?
- Why aren’t visitors buying what I’m offering?
- Why don’t people return for repeat purchases?
In other words, why aren’t my conversions better?!
The answer is likely that your website is forgettable.
To increase your conversions, you must create a business website that:
- Captures attention immediately.
- Gets people talking (and sharing).
- Builds a bond with visitors so they return again and again.
And, an unforgettable website will help you with all this…
Highlight Your Differences
So, what is it that makes a business website unforgettable?
Naturally there isn’t just one short, sweet answer. Instead there are many things you can do to make your business website unforgettable.
For example, you could make a video like Volvo did (above). Or you could give away something with a ton of value. The sky is the limit—as long as you’re different…
The Unforgettable Cow
Seth Godin coined the term “Purple Cow” to summarize being unforgettable. Basically, cows are boring (according to Godin) and unremarkable. But, if you found a purple cow, that’s something you’d never stop talking about.
Unless purple cows became common. Then, they’d be unremarkable again.
For example, Nest.com is simple and clean. It’s also easy to navigate and gives you a lot of information with just an image and a few sentences.
A website like this would typically get a lot of attention …
However, as more and more companies copy this same style layout, it will become more forgettable.
The same is true for your business.
Find a way to stand out. To be different. This will make it easier to capture your visitors’ attention and give you the opportunity to be unforgettable. (Just remember to keep tweaking your strategy as others copy you.)
4 Essentials to Make Your Business Website Unforgettable
So, how can you create a purple cow for your business?
While it’d be great to have a dramatic commercial (like the Volvo one above), maybe you don’t have access to a Jean-Claude Van Damme.
If that’s the case, try to find something unique, different, exciting, and unforgettable about your business. It could be anything from your unique selling proposition to the colors you use.
For example, the video ad on Poopourri.com is something you won’t soon forget:
But, what if you don’t have an interesting product, a dramatic story, an exciting image, or The Most Interesting Man in the World, to make your site unforgettable?
Here are a few things any business website can do to make their site less boring and more unforgettable:
1. Capture attention with a headline.
Your headline is important. Really important. In fact, nearly 80% of your visitors will read your headline. The number of people who read further depends on how compelling and attention-grabbing your headline is.
So, to make your website more unforgettable, write an attention-grabbing headline. The headline in the Poopourri.com screenshot above is a great example:
But, this advice doesn’t just apply to your home page. Every page on your website should have a strong, compelling headline to capture the visitors’ attention and lead them to a conversion. If you need help writing your headlines, check out, “How to Create Winning Headlines in 9 Simple Steps.”
2. Make it all about the reader.
If you want to create an unforgettable experience for your reader or website visitor, you must make it all about them.
Answer their most pressing question: “What’s in it for me?” Why should they stay on your site and read? What are you going to give them?
If you’re a freelance writer, you might promise better results from their copy (either through your services or an information product).
If you sell a product, what is your biggest benefit? For instance, does your product save time, eliminate embarrassment… or something else?
Here’s an example from Asana.com:
They promise you will “get more done with less effort.”
3. Offer a compelling opt-in so you can follow up later.
Since you’re reading The Daily Egg, you likely know potential customers who arrive on your site probably aren’t ready to buy immediately.
Instead of letting these folks hit the “Back” button and disappear forever, offer them something of value in exchange for their email address. This process is known as lead generation. You can learn more about lead generation here.
With lead generation, even if they don’t find your site as unforgettable as you’d hoped, you can follow up with them until the right time comes along and they’re ready to buy. Plus, following up helps you build rapport with them over time.
4. Follow up regularly.
Once you have an offer and a way to collect email addresses, follow up with your list regularly. Some marketers recommend monthly, others weekly. But, no matter the schedule you choose, consider this: The more often you provide value to them, the more they’ll remember you.
An autoresponder system is great for building relationships with your readers because it allows you to follow up immediately and automatically over time. (Autoresponders are automated emails set up once—ahead of time. This way, when someone signs up for your offer, they’ll get your welcome message automatically.)
Autoresponders also help you bond with your list. They allow you to show more of what makes you unforgettable and they convince your readers to come back to your website, like you, and buy from you.
If you’ve completed all of the above and your website is still too forgettable, try these eight additional suggestions:
8 More Ways to Make Your Website Unforgettable
1. Choose a short and simple domain name.
Using the name of your business is often a good idea, but some companies build their “unforgettable-ness” on their domain name.
Here’s an example from Firebox.com. Firebox is a website where you can find neat and unusual gift items. The curating of unique items—and a simple name—helps this company stick in a visitor’s mind:
2. Make sure your site is easy to use and navigate.
Keep it simple with just one goal to get more of your visitors to take the action you want.
3. Give visitors something to interact with.
Make your website more memorable with interesting videos, exciting pictures, and even games (if it makes sense).
Here’s an example from Squarespace.com:
Throughout the site, Squarespace features several videos and other interactive elements for readers to engage with (and remember).
4. Include social proof to show potential customers that others trust you.
For example, how many followers do you have on Twitter? How many fans do you have from Facebook?
Here’s an example of social proof from 99designs.com:
As you can see, they have 294,542 designers working for them. And, they have over 2,000 open contests:
5. Add some eye candy.
Bright, bold, different graphics and images can quickly capture attention. For example, take a look at TheOatmeal.com:
The creator of TheOatmeal creates comics and unique products. When you first see this site, it’s obviously different. Plus, its design and graphics (see screenshot above) are hard to forget.
Plus, he takes his “unforgettable-ness” a step further by choosing strong positions on some controversial topics. For instance, his adamant support of Nicola Tesla (and disdain for Edison) helped attract him a huge following.
6. Keep your website fresh and relevant.
Old, outdated websites don’t get a lot of traffic. They also do a poor job of keeping visitors around for a while. Be sure to add new content often to show visitors you’re active.
7. Be yourself (and show yourself).
Many website visitors want to know who you are. Tell them (but make sure you explain “What’s in it for them?”) Also, a compelling, personality-based photo of the business owner, creator, or social media manager will help your visitors remember your company. Here’s an example from the QuickSprout About page:
8. Add a blog.
A blog gives you a great place to share your company’s opinions. Add posts regularly to make your business website even more unforgettable.
So there you have it, 4 (+8 more) ways to make your business website unforgettable! Start adding these to your website today to get more visitors to remember you and return.
Now it’s your turn …
What websites are unforgettable to you? And why? Also, is your own website unforgettable? Why or why not?
Don’t miss other Crazy Egg articles by Christina Gillick.