Have fun with your website with Karl Gillis

Websites should be fun. For you, and for the user. And Karl Gillis, one of the world's leading conversion and usability experts, and speaker at GES 2020, is the perfect guest for that.
Karl Gillis

Hendrik: We met back at ConversionSummit in Frankfurt. I saw you on stage before GaryVee was speaking, and it really changed my way of doing presentations. You were shouting, yelling, and you just had great examples. Let’s get started, tell us a bit more about what you do?

Karl: I’m also a photographer, and that specific presentation felt just like that moment when you get the perfect moment for a photo. It’s super important to have fun and enjoy what you’re doing. It’s the same with your website, really.

Hendrik: Everybody could feel the energy in the room. I remember the examples with Aral.

Karl: “Es ist heiß, du brauchst Eis”. I remember to be so flabbergasted by such a stupid text on a website. People make a connection between the emotion and the things they learned. So it’s important to create memorable moments.

Hendrik: So what do you do?

Karl: We do everything that has to do with customer centricity. Some people call it usability, some call it growth. We do it online and offline. The reason why I started with this is because I was so mad at so many websites. From 1996-2000 I had a web agency, and after selling it I never wanted to to anything with the internet again. But then I just saw so many bad examples of websites that I couldn’t help myself and started a consultancy. My goal is to give customers a good time. I believe that customers that have a good time will come back and become ambassadors for your brand. It’s a long term game. Short-term tricks might give you more revenue today, but they will not make you successful in the long run.

Hendrik: Where do you start? So we are positioned on Growth Hacking… but the “hacks” often have a negative connotation. But where’s the difference between cheating and starting at the customer?

Karl: Let’s try to make it as short as possible. A trick is for example to play with scarcity. We add social proof or with limited stock. Am I against it? No. But it has to be true. If you say you only have five items when the entire stock is full is not honest. That’s misusing the trick. Same with the social proof. It’s not a trick, it’s a principle. And it really depends on the company, too.

Let’s take your company as an example. Let’s say you test two different testimonials – one is like “working with Hendrik gave me 169% rocket speed and we had crazy results”. And the other is “Working with Hendrik and his team was such a pleasure and we always had a laugh together, and also good results”. Both are testimonials, but they will work differently depending on your audience. That has to do with who you are as a company and your brand. It’s the same with the design. You have an outer layer, the design, and then you have the structure and how it feels.

Hendrik: Cheating with testimonials and reviews is just awful. In my bootcamp people often ask if they should buy their first testimonial. But if they don’t get a testimonial from their first client… they should really rethink their business.

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