Increase Conversions by Avoiding the Apathy Problem

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Conversion Killer Profile

The Apathy ProblemApathoid

The Apathy Problem

Infects people with indifference and inaction. He fights to make websites – and the companies behind them – boring and forgettable. The apathy he administers causes visitors to leave without bothering to sign up, subscribe, or take any other positive action.

Seth Godin sums up the apathy problem in his book, Purple Cow:

“In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is failing”

In other words, being seen as just another XYZ company is bad for business.  Corbett Barr of Think Traffic explains why:

“if you don’t develop an effective USP [unique selling proposition], building an audience or getting any customers to pay attention to you will be a constant struggle.”

If you don’t stand out, people don’t care.  And if people don’t care, they don’t convert and your business flounders.


It takes a good unique selling proposition (USP) to beat Apathoid – these sites have one.  With a strong USP, your business won’t be ‘just another XYZ company’ plagued by disinterest, apathy and inaction.  It’ll be seen as ‘the company’ for something specific, like bag-less vacuum cleaners.

Here are 3 common ways to differentiate your business:

  • Focus on an unsolved problem – like traditional vacuum cleaners with bags that lose suction, fill up too quickly and have to be replaced.
  • Focus on a specific target audience within your market – like Dance music fans – rather than trying to please music fans in general.
  • Focus on a specific topic within your market – like eBook publishing for travel writers.

Once you have a specific USP, communicate it clearly on your website (branding, tagline, design, copy etc.) and in any marketing material.  Make sure people know why you’re different – not just another XYZ company.

Infusionsoft offers marketing software to small businesses, rather than trying to please everyone:

Infusionsoft logo

Or how about Virgin Atlantic:

“Virgin Atlantic was the first airline to introduce seat back tv’s [sic] onboard for every seat.”

Virgin didn’t reinvent the airplane; they just did something new and exciting at the time with it.  Then everyone else followed.

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