1. Do A/B testing
In real estate it’s about location, location, location. In conversion optimization, it’s testing, testing, testing. Experimentation is the best way to mitigate risk in decision making while allowing your creative teams room for innovation and exploration of new opportunities.
Your goal should be to have at least one, and preferably several A/B tests running at any given time on your site. There’s no such thing as “perfect” when it comes to marketing, your website, or product design, and the only way you learn about what works and doesn’t work is to continually test.
Deciding what to test
Marketers usually guess what factors to concentrate on and mess around testing things that have little or no impact on users or conversion goals. What you should do instead is use the data available to you to spot the most important projects to focus on.
Depending on the stage of your company and the structure of your organization, you’ll have a varying level of data available for use. Some companies are swimming in data and don’t know what to do with it all. Others are struggling to implement Events in Google Analytics.
It’s important to test one hypothesis at a time – otherwise you won’t know which change made the difference.
Some elements on a webpage tend to have higher effects on average than other elements. If you’re just starting out, in addition to what the data tells you, direct your attention towards these things:
- The headline. You should have a strong, convincing and believable headline that promotes the main offer. The legendary ad guru David Ogilvy once said: “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. It follows that, if you don’t sell the product in your headline, you have wasted 80% of your money.“
- Page layout and navigation.
- The offer. What is it that the customer is getting for their money (how is it all described and laid out).
- Different media: test adding a video to communicate key points.
- Radical change. Sometimes you want to compare two totally different approaches.
What to use for testing
Many entrepreneurs spend money buying expensive testing software before they actually understand how to implement a conversion rate optimization process. You don’t need to spend much.
- Google Optimize is free. The downside is that it’s got limitations, like no device category targeting and only 3 concurrent tests among other things.
- If you’re mid-market to enterprise sized, check out Optimizely or VWO says it’s the easiest. They’re priced similarly.
If you have the traffic for it, you should test. If you don’t have enough traffic, it’s probably not worth your time because your results will be questionable. Still, there are things you can do for conversion optimization with low traffic.
Testing should also never end. As soon as you have a winning page, try to build on that and test something else.
Incremental positive changes lead to substantial growth.
2. Add a guarantee.
Include a no-questions-asked refund policy on all purchases. This reduces risk, and increased sales will usually more than make up for any returns.
3. Social Networking and Publishing
Consumers today rely on their social networks to find advice, referrals, and reviews. They expect a business to be available for questions on Facebook and Twitter and look for tutorials and how-tos on Pinterest and YouTube. They want a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your business on Instagram. Social proofbuilds trust and helps increase conversions.
Meet your customers by developing an active presence on the networks that make the most sense for your business. Social media can also indirectly impact your search engine rankings.
4. Cut the jargon
Clarity trumps persuasion, always.
Recently I came upon a site with the following value proposition:
“Revenue-focused marketing automation & sales effectiveness solutions unleash collaboration throughout the revenue cycle”
What does it mean? Can you now explain what they do and how is it useful to you? Not really, right?
Do not try to woo people with fancy, complicated business language – it just doesn’t work.
You write for people – it’s people who read your site. Marketing directors and Purchasing Managers are people too. Don’t write for companies, write for people.
Clarity is something that I see marketers constantly struggling with. The best way to re-phrase all of the marketing speak on your site is to imagine you’re explaining your product to your close friend. If there’s a sentence worded in a way that you wouldn’t use in a conversation with a friend, re-word it. As Paul Graham said, “write like you talk.”
5. Landing Pages
A landing page is a page on your website with content that addresses one specific problem. It should include a single call to action. Its entire purpose is to capture your prospect’s contact information or make a sale.
Create a landing page to send your traffic to, and you’ll see a higher website conversion rates.
The landing page focuses solely on getting your reservation booked, without even the addition of site navigation that is present in the top right corner of their standard homepage.
A specific landing page and call to action is more relevant to the visitor’s needs than your homepage and is more likely to convert.
5. CRM and Sales Integration
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is software that helps you track interactions with current and future customers. It’s a tool to help identify where prospects are in your sales funnel. You can use your CRM to identify which email campaigns a prospect should receive next through cookie detection and retargeting.
Cookies allow you to use the information you already have about your customer to improve their content and offer personalizations. You use it with email marketing and CRM software to customer campaigns for repeat visitors and create special promotions for those who have opted in.
6. Address objections
Whenever people read your offer, there will be friction. They’ll have some conscious and sub-conscious objections to what you’re saying and hesitations about taking the offer.
During in-person sales, we can uncover those hesitations with questions and address the concerns, but online it’s more difficult. The solution is to prevent those objects by addressing all the possible issues in your sales copy right away.
Step one – create a list of all the possible hesitations and objections your potential customers might have. Step two, add info to your sales copy to eliminate or alleviate those concerns. The list can contains things like:
- You don’t understand my problem (explain the problems your product solves)
- Why should I believe you? (show off your credentials, experience, awards etc)
- What if it doesn’t work on me? (have testimonials of all kinds of users that have benefited from your product)
- It’s not worth the money, there are cheaper alternatives out there (explain your price, compare with the competition, prove the value your product offers)
…and so on. It’s important to come up with as long list as you can. Seek external input, do user testing and ask your customers to figure out what all they might be concerned about.
7. Add incentives to take action right away
Is there an indication that the action needs to be taken now? The tone of the presentation, offers and deadlines can all influence urgency.
It might seem obvious to some and some might think it can’t possibly work, but it does and very, very well. Nothing creates urgency like scarcity.
There’s 2 kinds of of scarcity you can create:
- quantity-related scarcity (2 seats left at this price)
- time-related scarcity (last day to buy)
If the supply of your product is endless, you can give out time-sensitive bonuses, a free gift to first X amount of buyers or a discount if they complete the purchase within a certain time frame.
Word of advice: the reason for scarcity has to be authentic. Do not lie to your customers, ever. If it’s fake scarcity, people will know, and your trustworthiness plummets. It’s not worth it.
Thank you for reading. Until next time.