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10 Types Of Decision Stage Content You Must Have

Friday, March 08, 2024

10 Types Of Decision Stage Content You Must Have

If you run any kind of business that sells products or services, there is a pivotal moment in your sales journey when visitors to your site teeter between a casually interested prospect and a convinced customer-ready-to-buy. I call this the decision stage.

This is when those prospects actively evaluate all their options with the intent to determine whether or not your offering is the right solution they should invest their hard-earned money.

​During these crucial decision stage interactions, prospects aren’t just passively taking in information about what you sell anymore. They are digging in to make an informed choice, conscious that each dollar spent needs to return real value.

Prospects at this stage look for content and proof points that give them the utmost confidence they would be making the right choice going with your business. They want to mitigate any sinking feelings of risk or doubt before pulling the trigger.

Providing the right information through decision-stage content helps calmly reassure prospects and nudge them ever closer to becoming delightfully satisfied customers. Things like social proof from current customers, press endorsements, product showcase demonstrations, cost/benefit calculators, and risk-free trials all help relieve those final stress points prospects feel right as they reach for their wallets.

In this guide, I’ll cover 10 must-have types of decision-stage website content that all savvy businesses should employ on their sites to help delicately lead even the most discerning prospects into a positive purchasing experience.

Using various combinations of these assets on key pages, personalized landing pages, and targeted emails goes a long way toward boosting conversions when it matters most. Let’s dive in.

1. Product/Service Pages

If we think about the journey a customer goes on before making a purchase, there's usually an important middle step where they evaluate their options and decide whether or not to buy from you. I like to call this the decision stage.

This is when prospects need really transparent and helpful information from your business to guide them to feel confident in moving forward.

That’s why having robust product or service pages on your website is so crucial during this decision stage. These pages allow you to clearly communicate the details of what exactly someone would be buying from you if they hand over their hard-earned cash.

I recommend including an overview section that explains in simple language what the product or service is. Break down the key features and benefits someone would receive so they fully understand the value you provide. Images and videos are fantastic to actually showcase the product or service in action. Prospects want to visualize what they’re buying.

You’ll also want testimonials on these pages from other delighted customers. Social proof of past buyers raving validated the quality of your offerings speaks volumes during decision-making evaluation stages. Sprinkle in some frequently asked questions that address common concerns.

And of course, don’t forget clear pricing, specs, and options for transacting when they finalize and say “Yes, I’ll take it!”

A great example of everything I’ve mentioned can be found on the sales page of our very own No B.S Newsletter, which you can access if you click on that link. With that single page, I’ve ensured the answers to any question that a prospecting lead may have, as well as a special offer to entice them further.

The overall goal is to help familiarize prospective customers with what you sell and set crystal clear expectations of what they get from a purchase. Removing any hurdles of confusion or uncertainty during these product and service page interactions leads to smoother conversions down the line.

2. Comparison Pages

Comparison Pages

Putting yourself in the shoes of a prospective customer again, they likely aren’t just considering purchasing from your business alone. There may be competitors or alternative options also vying for their hard-earned dollars.

This is why I’m a huge proponent of using comparison pages on your website during that crucial decision stage. You want to directly showcase why your offering is the superior choice over anything else they may be assessing.

The best way is to literally do a side-by-side of the key factors that buyers compare. How do your product features, capabilities, quality, and price stack up to Brand X and Brand Y? What do you offer that they don’t? This is your time to shine!

I recommend creating visual charts and tables contrasting all the elements head-to-head. It becomes so much easier for prospects to digest why your business outshines when it’s formatted this way. You can call out weaknesses the alternatives have and really emphasize strengths only your products possess.

At the end of the day, you want any prospect reading one of your comparison pages to have a lightbulb moment of “Wow, when I look at everything next to each other, this business clearly meets my needs the best!” The comparison format makes it abundantly obvious why they should choose you over any other options. Use it to your full advantage.

3. Case Studies

As a prospect gets closer to making a final purchase decision, they need that extra shot of confidence that they are making the right choice. Case studies can provide that invaluable social proof and reassurance right when buyers need it most.

A case study tells the story of a real customer who used your product or service and shares tangible results they achieved. The prospect can relate to and see themselves in the shoes of the customer you feature.

When crafting case studies, include the full picture by covering who the customer is, what situation or challenges they aimed to solve, and how your offering specifically helped address their needs.

Then give hard stats on what quantifiable results or improvements this customer experienced after purchasing – increased sales, higher efficiency, costs reduced by a certain percentage, etc. Customers feel more confident knowing real people have used your product or service and achieved measurable success.

End your case studies with a satisfied testimonial from the featured customer in their own words. This brings the whole story full circle in a relatable way.

As buyers weigh up final decisions, they feel reassured knowing multiple past customers have already achieved value from your offerings. They can have confidence they’ll also get tangible results and won’t be wasting precious budget.

4. Cost/ROI Calculators

ROI Calculators

Cost/ROI calculators show prospects the monetary value and financial return they’ll get from your offering. This ties directly into the decision-making process as buyers want to quantify value before spending money.

Allow prospects to input details:

  • Their specific situation/costs
  • Usage levels
  • Number of people/devices/locations

Then output things such as:

  • Total cost to buy/use your product/service
  • Projected cost savings
  • Accuracy of results
  • Speed of implementation
  • Potential increase in profits/revenue

Putting real numbers around the impact your product/service will have helps justify the buying choice. Cost/ROI calculators provide concrete financial validation that prospects can take to their decision-makers.

5. Customer Success Metrics

Hard customer success metrics underscore the tangible value previous buyers have gotten from your product/service. These could include things such as:

  • % improvement in operations
  • % faster reporting/analysis
  • % increase in engagement
  • % higher productivity
  • % waste reduction
  • % uptick in sales
  • % boost in accuracy

Displaying impressive metrics prospects want to achieve for their own business keeps them engaged in the purchase process. It gives them something aspirational to work towards.

Back up metrics with explanatory descriptions so prospects fully understand the meaning and context behind the numbers. Tying metrics to broader business outcomes turns them into even more powerful decision drivers.

6. 'Get Started' Pages

As a prospect gets closer to making a purchase, they may still have some hesitation or uncertainty.

"Will this product actually do what I need?"

"Is it the right fit for my specific use case?"

And these questions are all perfectly normal and logical. To help give them that last dose of validation, I recommend using Get Started pages.

A Get Started page gives prospective customers immediate access to actually try your product or service out through a free or discounted trial or demo. This allows them to experience what you offer first-hand rather than just read about it. There is no better way to provide assurance than letting them test and interact for themselves before spending money.

These pages should allow prospects to access real working models of what they would be buying if they become a customer. Let them fully explore areas most relevant to their needs and envision your product or service solving their exact use case. Seeing how it could work for them cements the realization that this solution is the right fit.

While prospects are busy checking everything out themselves, make it frictionless for them to transition from the trial experience into becoming a paying customer. Pop up messaging after they have built some familiarity offering special discounting or payment plans if they make the full leap today.

Get Started pages enable you to capture interest right at its peak when excitement and conviction are highest. Guide them smoothly through this conversion funnel while their eyes are opened to what’s possible.

7. Interactive Calculators/Configurators

Prospects visiting your website during those crucial decision stages often want to visualize how your offering would work specifically for their unique situation. Providing interactive calculators and configurators tailored to their individual needs can provide that custom visualization that helps tip decisions into a “yes”.

These tools allow prospective customers to tweak aspects of your product or service themselves to match their exact use case and preferences. Then they can instantly view updated outputs reflecting their personalized configurations.

For example, you could let them play around with inputs such as:

  • Number of locations/users
  • Level of functionality
  • Service upgrades
  • Specific features to enable/disable
  • Data limits
  • Design components

As prospects put information tailored to their reality into these calculators and configurators, make sure the system dynamically shows corresponding outputs like revised pricing, projected productivity gains for their workflows, estimated timelines for their roll-out, feature previews of functionality configured, or performance benchmarks they desire...all reflecting THEIR personalized inputs.

​Giving prospects this self-directed hands-on experience to digitally play with configurations and instantly view results formatted for their exact needs helps them connect more deeply on how this solution would work if purchased.

​Allowing them to take ownership over tailoring your offerings to their reality and take mental ownership over success metrics you promise helps prospects feel like a fully invested buyer, rather than a passive one.

8. 'Over The Shoulder' Videos

Over The Shoulder Videos

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well when it comes to showing real-life use of your product or service to prospects, a video is basically worth a million. Specifically, I’m talking about a style of video I like to call “over the shoulder”.

As the name suggests, over-the-shoulder videos quite literally film over someone’s shoulder as they use your offering to accomplish actual tasks or workflows. Prospects watch along as processes relevant to their world are completed successfully using your solutions.

As the user in the video navigates through features and functionality completing logical sequences, make sure to explain what they are doing and call out particularly useful capabilities. This helps connect the dots for viewers on the key elements that could add value to their needs.

The goal with these videos is to have prospects envision themselves in the shoes of the customer on-screen achieving success with your product or service. Seeing real-world problems similar to their own getting solved step-by-step boosts confidence exponentially more than generic promotional material ever could.

It becomes much easier for prospects to picture themselves getting the advertised results and reaching desired end goals when they’ve watched someone detail the journey with realistic actions they could mimic.

9. Customer Reviews/Ratings

As the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words. When it comes to convincing hesitant prospects that your product or service delivers immense value, few things are more impactful than shining the spotlight on happy customer reviews and impressive ratings.

Prospects know that organically earned endorsements from fellow customers carry much more weight than any claims that come directly from you as the business owner trying to make a sale. The brutal honesty of real user feedback cuts through the fluff to address those lingering questions holding buyers back.

That’s why I recommend prominently displaying excerpts from positive customer reviews on your website.

Choose blurbs that praise meaningful decision factors such as:

  • Ease of use
  • Quality/reliability
  • Responsiveness of support
  • Effectiveness for their needs
  • Cost-saving value
  • Business improvements

Back up these qualitative endorsements with the hard metrics of strong overall product ratings and scores averaged across real verified customers.

For example, if 96% of all buyers consistently rate you 5 out of 5 stars for quality and performance, prospects can bank on those standards if they become customers.

In essence, leverage the immense power of social validation to strengthen conviction and address any hesitations still lingering with prospective buyers in those crucial final decision stages.

10. Expert Recommendations

Expert Recommendations

Prospective buyers conducting research want to assemble multiple perspectives before committing hard-earned dollars towards any purchase. While customer reviews provide frontline user feedback on your offerings, recommendations from credible industry experts offer a more nuanced experienced voice.

After all, analysts and established bloggers in your niche have evaluated thousands of competing solutions – their stamps of approval carry tremendous weight.

That’s why I always recommend including quotes from well-known experts praising aspects of your product or service on key website pages seen during those crucial final decision stages.

Over the years, I’ve personally gathered a roster of successful, leading professionals to partner with and back me up at any given event. In our upcoming SuperConference this May I’ll be taking the stage with Russell Brunson, Darcy Juarez, and Marty Fort, just to name a few. Not to mention our Celebrity speaker, Robert Greene, who you should study and leap, crawl over broken glass naked, brave a Boeing 737 to come and see and hear him in person. To soak it in.

Now, whether they spotlight impressive benchmarks, accuracy of capabilities, scalability assurances, quality of support, or cost-saving projections – influential experts validating your solution’s merits help cement convictions for prospects still on the fence.

When selecting which experts to feature, the qualifications and reputation of who the recommendations come from are just as critical as their actual commentary.

For example, prominently showcasing multiple analysts from Gartner or Forrester recognizing your solution as an industry leader speaks volumes compared to unknown personal blogs.

​The types of hard-hitting value-based affirmations that hold the most sway tend to hit the hot points prospects themselves are evaluating while comparing options. By aligning the external validations from specialists that prospects already turn to for advice with the decision factors prioritized in their own analysis, you allow buyers to feel fully confident in assessments leading them to say “yes!”

Last Remarks

Guiding prospective buyers through to positive purchase decisions rests heavily on serving up the right content that informs, proves value, establishes trust, and reduces perceived risk.

Employing a combination of the 10 must-have types of decision-stage website content we covered will speak directly to the customer validation points and reassurance needed before committing hard-earned dollars.

Thoughtfully crafting thorough product/service pages, transparent comparison sheets, relatable case studies, insightful calculators, impressive metrics reporting, frictionless free trials, over-the-shoulder videos, candid customer reviews, and respected expert recommendations pays dividends in nurturing conversions when it matters most.

Prospects conduct extensive research before making or breaking supplier relationships. Ensuring your decision stage content hits the right notes across each of those content types is crucial for sales success.

Remove final hurdles in the buyer journey by proving your offering delivers on its promises and customers consistently achieve remarkable results. With the right content foundation cementing trust and value from the initial stages through to definitive purchase moments, you map out a clear path for converting highly qualified traffic into delighted customers.

If you found this post on must-have decision-stage content valuable, then just imagine implementing all these advanced conversion optimization strategies yourself. With our exclusive Diamond Membership, you’ll get actionable frameworks and over 100+ meticulously crafted resources to dramatically boost web conversions for your own business!

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