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Why you should sometimes add more friction, not less

“Reduce friction” is a mantra accepted by nearly every marketer on the globe. Less friction equals more conversion, right?

Well, many times, yes. But it’s not always the case.

Sometimes, adding friction can actually increase conversions. Here’s why:

Imagine a tech startup selling project management software.

The way most of these startup websites work, there’s a “Sign Up” button which leads directly to a signup page, where people quickly share some information to get access to the product.

The problem is, there’s a danger in sending someone to a “Sign Up” or a “Buy Now” page too soon.

Why? Because you might be moving too quickly. If someone’s not really sure what you’re selling, they’re unlikely to sign up.

And once they leave that signup page, they might be gone for good.

What you can try instead: To slow people down, create a “speed bump” before users hit your real conversion page. Examples:

  • If you’re selling software, try requiring the user to book a demo before they can sign up. Don’t let people sign up on their own.
  • If you’re running ads for e-commerce, try sending users to a listicle-style article instead of a product page.

Insight: Sometimes, in life and in marketing, it’s good to take things slow.

If you’re struggling with conversion, try adding a “speed bump” so that users are more comfortable and better-educated before they’re asked to make a decision.

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