How to Make Your Landing Page More Persuasive Using Buying Modalities

Understanding these four distinct buying modalities will help you respond to your prospects’ objections. Image by Trev via Flickr.

An important step in landing page optimization is anticipating the objections your prospects might have about your offer – and then countering those objections on your landing page.

But as with most things in CRO, this is easier said than done. After all, the mind of your customer is complex.

At our recent Call to Action Conference, Angie Schotmuller (Director of Optimization at Three Deep Marketing) shared a framework for better understanding the intricate mind of your customer.

Her presentation, “Persona-lization: How to Persuade Using Buying Modalities” described four distinct buying modalities – profiles that describe different buyer behaviors – and unpacked what inspires each to take action:

The four prominent buying modalities, originally discussed in Bryan Eisenberg’s book, Call to Action.

Understanding what motivates each buying modality to convert will allow you to preemptively answer all their questions and concerns on your landing page.

At the end of the day, erasing their doubts = increasing your conversions.

So what are the various buying modalities, how do they interact with your landing pages, and how can you optimize your offer for each?

To find out, you can watch Angie’s presentation here – or you can read on for a breakdown of each of the buying modalities and exactly what they need to convert.

Competitive buying modality

The first buying modality that Angie covered was the competitive buyer, which she likened to Tony Stark:


Competitive buyers have a high standard for themselves and others, and want to partner with other achievers. They are perpetual learners who love challenging themselves with quizzes and assessments.

In short, the competitive buying modality is goal-oriented and driven by achievement.

When reading your landing page, they ask questions like:

  • “What can your solution do for me?”
  • “What makes you and your solution the best?”

How to address their questions on your landing page

  • A clear unique value proposition: Competitive buyers want to understand how your product will help them further their goals. Because of this, your UVP – a clear statement describing the benefit of your offer – should be front-and-center, demonstrating how your product or service will impact their bottom line.
  • Notable client logos: If your product or service is used by successful companies, then brag about it. Competitive types want to rub shoulders with other achievers.
  • Quizzes and assessments: People belonging to the competitive buying modality love a good challenge. Offer a quiz or assessment as an opt-in incentive so they can test their knowledge.

Spontaneous buying modality

The spontaneous buying modality, Angie explained, is a bit like Jack Sparrow:


Spontaneous buyers go with the flow.

They love a little fun and adventure, and rarely stop to think about the consequences of their actions. As a result, they’re susceptible to impulse buying and buyer’s remorse.

Because they’re easily distracted, they don’t want to commit time to decision making. They like simple courses of action and won’t take action if they are over-stimulated.

When reading your landing page, they ask questions like:

  • “Why is your solution best for me right now?
  • “How will this let me enjoy life more?”

How to address their questions on your landing page

  • Hard-to-resist guarantees: Spontaneous people are, well, spontaneous. They’re impulsive decision makers, so guarantees are especially effective with this buying modality. Do you offer a “no questions asked money-back guarantee”? Let spontaneous buyers know.
  • Elements of urgency: Countdown timers are effective with spontaneous buyers, as they align with their inherent desire to make quick decisions and move on to the next thing.
  • Directional cues: This buying modality has an appreciation for simplicity. They want easy instructions and directional cues that make the next step crystal-clear.

Methodical buying modality

The methodical buying modality is a little bit like Sherlock Holmes:


This buying modality is process-oriented.

They love to be organized and expect your landing page to be structured logically. They’re drawn to processes that will help them become more efficient.

Does your service include an end-to-end process like the one above? Sharing it on your landing page could help methodical buyers convert.

They scrutinize and analyze everything; these are the types that will read the entirety of your landing page, including the fine print. Their detailed-oriented personality also makes them prone to “analysis paralysis,” or over-thinking.

When reading your landing page, they ask questions like:

  • “How does your process/solution help solve my problem?”

How to address their questions on your landing page

  • A clear, step-by-step process: They look for services that offer structured processes that will help remedy their pain; they want to understand how your solution works step-by-step. Because they’re the modality most likely to read your entire page, Angie suggested placing this information below the fold where other modalities are less likely to scroll.
  • Promise of superior service: Because this buying modality is likely to extensively compare you the competition, you want to ensure that you’re offering a full package that differentiates you. For example, do you offer ongoing customer support?
  • Believable testimonials and hard evidence for claims: Angie explained that methodical buyers have a pretty fine-tuned “bullshit detector,” so you should steer clear of fluffy testimonials or generic claims. If you claim to be the #1 option in your industry, you better be prepared to provide the evidence that proves it.

Humanistic buying modality

Angie likened the humanistic buying modality to Robin Williams:


Humanistic buyers appreciate a dash of personality.

They value narrative and creativity over painstaking details. As Angie explained, relationships are important to them, and they’re most happy when they’re helping others.

For this buying modality, authenticity is key. They want to interact with and develop relationships with real people.

When reading your landing page, they ask questions like:

  • “Who has used your solution to solve my problem?”
  • Exactly how does your solution solve my problem?”

How to address their questions on your landing page

  • Testimonials from real customers: Humanistic buyers want to read testimonials from people like them. No stock photos please – they want to see real pictures of your customers.
  • Personable copy: This buying modality has an inherent desire to connect with others. Align yourself with their interests by telling personal stories on your landing page. Angie suggested testing for CTA button copy such as “Join,” “Share” and “Connect.”

Account for all modalities on your ads and landing pages

In her presentation, Angie emphasized that optimizing your landing pages isn’t a matter of choosing which buying modality fits best with your “ideal customer” and catering to that – instead, she explained that every piece of your marketing campaign must be audited to appeal to all four modalities.

That includes every landing page…

This slide from Angie’s presentation shows how you can appeal to each of the buying modalities on your landing page.

every PPC ad …

This slide from Angie’s presentation shows how you can cater to (almost) every buying modality in your PPC adds.

… every campaign email

… and every other moving part of your marketing campaign.

No matter what you’re writing copy for, zero in on a trigger for each group and use it to appeal to them.

Angie included a handy “Buying Modality Check” cheat sheet to help you gut-check every moving part of your marketing campaign.


Get to work reducing anxiety and reassuring prospects

The better you can anticipate your prospects’ objections, the better you can optimize your landing pages for conversion.

Slapping a guarantee on your landing page for your spontaneous buyers and then calling it a day isn’t enough. You need to account for every modality, and above all, test your assumptions.

As Angie explained in her presentation, buying modalities aren’t the be-all end-all. They’re a launching pad for creating educated hypotheses for your A/B tests.

So get to know each of the modalities. Understand what makes them tick. Test all assumptions. And then get to work at dissolving the doubt in your prospects’ minds – all of them.

— Amanda Durepos


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About Amanda Durepos
As Unbounce’s former blog editor, Amanda Durepos curated and crafted content to help marketers be better at their jobs. When she wasn't managing the editorial calendar for the Unbounce Blog, she was wrangling internal and external subject matter experts, helping them educate other marketers in an entertaining and actionable way. You can follow her on Twitter but she’s mostly just making puns.
» More blog posts by Amanda Durepos


  1. Noah

    Wow, lot’s of great info I could use for my landing page.

  2. Marcelo Ribeiro de Oliveira Mello

    how to use it with split A/B test?
    how to know the main category of my audience (i would be targeting)?

    great post, thanks!

  3. james brown

    Excellent work!
    This is the best one blog for designing a quality landing page.

  4. Angie Schottmuller

    Thanks for doing a detailed write up on my session, Amanda! The buying modalities are a very complex topic, yet CRAZY powerful when it comes to persuasion. >> Major kudos to Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg for outlining the model in their book, Waiting for Your Cat to Bark. (<< I highly recommend it!)

    My simple advice for anyone reading this article is to think of each buying modality (personality type) as a different way our brains might process information. (The modalities are NOT buyer personas.) By strategically incorporating and placing specific content that appeals to ALL FOUR modalities, your content will be empowered to engage and persuade all visitors, regardless of the way their brains cognitively process data to make decisions.


    Do you have content that accounts for each modality?
    [Answer should be YES]

    Is that content placed how/where the respective modality is known to scan/read?
    [Answer should be YES]

    Does your page lean toward a particular buying modality?
    [If Yes, be sure to test the balance accordingly.]

    Does your A/B test appeal to one modality over another?
    [If Yes, recognize that your learned insight will be biased. For example, perhaps your test appeals more to Humanistics (~15% of general audience) than Competitives (~10% of general audience) ….Wouldn’t you rather appeal to both and cover the full 25%? Aim for 90%+ modality appeal coverage by leveraging and testing “and” scenarios instead of “or” when possible.]

    It’s a brain thing. #AlwaysMessWithTheirMinds =D

  5. Al Gomez

    Nice. I love how you’ve included how to implement all buying modalities. While we do account for each type on the landing pages we design, we typically focus on the ’emotion’ and ‘process’ aspects.

    I find that people in general want something that would act as a ‘solution’ to their problem (whether already existing or in the future), and it would eventually make them ‘feel good’ (because the problem is solved). All in all, a lovely article. Thanks for sharing!

  6. dtseo14

    Nice Post!
    Thanks For Sharing!

  7. Steven Lucas Internet Marketing Blog

    Thank you Amanda,

    This tells me where my pages are going wrong and in such simple language. No fake psychiatric lawyer speak, just plain and simple – this is the way it should be.

    It all makes such good sense, especially by using the characterisations that you chose.

    Page checking will be so much easier now.


    Steven Lucas

  8. George A.

    All in all, I liked it, the only “but…” that comes to my mind is that Amanda is assuming the visitor is ready to buy, which is not always the case. That said, let me ask:

    Is it OK to include information aimed at those who are just comparing among potential suppliers, or would you suggest more aggresive advertising to get better leads instead?

    • Angie Schottmuller

      Hi George! Although this framework is referred to as “buying modalities”, it’s easily renamed to “decision making modalities.” These principles apply for any content that you’d want someone to act upon. (i.e. make a decision, complete the CTA, compare suppliers, approve an SOW, etc.) I even use these tactics to persuade my husband. ;-) LOL. These principles simply help ensure that you’re actually getting through to people, regardless of what mode their brain is leveraging to cognitively process information.

      Key Questions to Ask:
      – What info is critical for the person [modality] to make a decision?
      – In what form should that info be presented? (e.g. single text line, numbered list, video/photo testimonial, detailed paragraph)
      – Where on a page/screen does that info need to be placed in order for that buying modality to see it?

  9. rizu

    Great tutorial, very useful.tnx for sharing :)

  10. Danny Laws

    Nice post. I’m sure my content manager & creative will find this useful. Thanks.

  11. Shahzaib Ahsan

    Great tutorial, very useful information Please share some more tips thanks
    Shahzaib Ahsan