Whatever companies are selling, fair warning… they better not tell customers to trust them. And e-commerce retailers might get better results by evoking… disgust. These and other counterintuitive findings are in the new 2020 Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report, out now.

Just in time for companies looking to get past the COVID-19 slump and take advantage of pent-up demand that’s driving a huge increase in online buying.

Unbounce’s report digs deep into the performance of 16 major industries. It used Unbounce’s Conversion Intelligence machine learning model to analyze more than 186 million visits and 19 million conversions on 34 thousand landing pages.

Some highlights:

– Landing pages for games and gambling are 80% angrier than other industries — these anger-words may relate to higher conversion rates.

– Want to be trusted online? Don’t use phrases that refer to trust (eg. “Let’s be honest” or “trust me”). They actually get lower conversion rates. Instead, let testimonials and products do the talking.

– The way it’s always been done isn’t the best way. You’ve seen those late-night commercials for law firms that scare you into action with negative language? For law firms advertising online, that would be the wrong approach. On the other hand, they’ll want to keep it short and not-so-simple (complex messaging actually did a better job of selling for law firms).

In addition to measuring word choice and emotional effectiveness, the study’s machine-learning algorithms analyzed how word count and complexity of word choice impacts conversion rates.

Pest-control pages convert best at between 400 and 500 words, for example. And SaaS pages, even if the product offered is a complex one, get better results with very simple, non-technical language.

“The differentials across landing pages are huge,” says Unbounce editor-in-chief Colin Loughran. “The top 25% of landing pages sometimes convert at rates around ten times higher than the overall median. Optimizing marketing can be as simple as testing shorter pages, simpler copy, or a different voice and tone.”

The study includes conversion benchmarks for 16 key industries such as e-commerce, fitness & nutrition, and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

“The conversion rate differential for common types of Call To Action messaging is surprising,” says Unbounce Data Analysis Manager Nicole Wright. “How do you get better conversions? Combining industry-standards for CTA types, with short, succinct messaging. That could provide just enough information for your customers to let them convert easily and without barriers.”

Vancouver’s Unbounce is the world’s leading landing page platform.  As one of Canada’s fastest-growing tech companies, Unbounce has powered over half a billion conversions to date for our customers worldwide and employs 175.

See and share the report at unbounce.com/conversion-benchmark-report.