While every business will have unique measurements for the success of a marketing campaign, the importance of one statistic towers over all others. We refer, of course, to your conversion rate. Ultimately, as nice as viral social media shares and high levels of web traffic are, conversions keep the lights on for your business.
Marketing is packed with small tricks designed to appeal to consumers, from well-worn tactics (pricing items at $9.99 instead of $10) to more minor, subtle nudges.
If your company struggles to convince consumers to take the final step and complete a transaction, here are seven tips to enhance your conversion rate.
1. Choose your language carefully
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to achieving conversions is the language used in your copy – macro and micro alike. Think carefully about the language you're using on your landing page when seeking a conversion.
If you visited your own page, on the fence about whether to make a conversion or not, would you feel like you're being talked to like a customer? If so, stop and rethink. It's vital to keep human considerations at the heart of your conversion strategy.
Avoid using words like "buy" or "purchase" – nobody wants to feel like a walking, talking cash machine. Instead, discuss pain points the user may be experiencing, show empathy, and use terms like "resolve" or "improve." For example, which of these two sentences would appeal to you more?
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Equally, if your conversion endgame is to get sign-ups to a newsletter, be careful about how you word your approach. A CTA like "join us now" or "sign up" can feel a little intimidating and permanent. Consider softer language, like "learn more about us." Calls to action merit an entire conversation of their own, though.
2. Review and improve your CTAs
Take everything we have just learned about language and apply it to your CTA. Remember, this is the last thing a user will see before deciding whether to make a conversion. Your CTA will convince them to do so, or it will pour cold water over an impulse decision.
Three golden rules for a compelling CTA are:
- Always use active language – tell people to take decisive action, rather than waiting for it to fall into their lap. This will help consumers feel in control of their actions.
- Use first-person language to build a personal connection. "Claim my personal offer" sounds more appealing than "get your personal offer".
- Make your CTA bright and prominent. Not so much that it takes up the whole page, but enough to be clearly visible to the user.
It can take time, and a little testing, to find the perfect CTA. Keep an eye on the results of your CTA and give different options a try. You'll likely find that one option reigns supreme over others.
3. Demonstrate trustworthiness
The internet is a big place and home to no shortage of opportunists. This means that consumers will be understandably cautious about completing a conversion with an unfamiliar business. Even if there is no financial transaction involved, handing over personal data is not without risk – even if it's just an email address.
The reality is that trust is in short supply in the modern world. This means that you'll need to earn the confidence of your target audience. Testimonials from reputable brands can go a long way to achieving this, so if you have any household names on your client list, include reviews from them on your landing page.
However, do not underestimate the importance of peer reviews, especially in a B2C setting. Set up a Trustpilot account (or equivalent if this site is not relevant to your industry) and point visitors toward this. Sometimes, there is no assurance quite like somebody who has walked a mile in our shoes.
4. Answer any questions
Another way to build trust from your user base is to ensure you answer any questions they may be harbouring. Offering FAQ and Contact Us pages on a website are great for this, but you should also consider a live chat facility to calm any nagging doubts in real time.
How you go about this is a matter of personal choice – there is plenty of live chat software to choose from in 2022. If you have a sufficiently large staff team, you could have somebody monitoring live chat and responding to queries. Alternatively, you could utilise chatbot technology to answer basic questions.
Just don’t attempt to pull the wool over the customer's eyes in this case, pretending that a chatbot is a real human. If the AI ties itself in knots or misunderstands a question (attempting to upsell when it has not resolved an initial query, for example), you risk damaging your relationship with a potential customer.
5. Show urgency – but not desperation
Spend any prolonged time on the internet, especially social media, and you'll notice a pattern emerge. Every offer you'll encounter from an online trader is time-bound. Terms like "today only!", "hurry, while stocks last!" and "buy now!" are commonplace. It seems that the ecommerce sphere is akin to one giant DFS sofa sale that honestly, seriously, really must end this Sunday.
In truth, there is a power to using words like "now" in your copy and CTA. However, there is a fine line between encouraging immediate action and sounding hyperbolic. Match this sense of necessity in your general copy, explaining why time is of the essence to the consumer.
Maybe you're running a promotion for a limited time only to celebrate an occasion or holiday, like Black Friday. Perhaps it's an end-of-line sale and you're clearing the last few stock items. Hey, maybe you just woke up feeling generous and felt that your audience deserved a discount for 24 hours.
There's no such thing as a bad reason for sales and promotions. Just ensure you can back up your claims of urgency, or you risk looking like a market stall barker.
6. Blend images and words
Is a picture really worth a thousand words? Maybe not, but there is no denying that aesthetic appeal will bolster your chances of conversion. The human brain processes visual data considerably faster than written communication, so a block of prose without images can lead to a knee-jerk bounce from a landing page.
Whether it's a stock image designed to engineer an emotional response or an infographic that adds additional weight to any claims you make as part of your sales pitch, visuals are undeniably vital to successful marketing.
7. Keep the sales funnel tight
This final tip will be kept short, if only to show you that brevity matters. If a consumer decides to make a conversion on impulse, do not give them time to change their mind. Keep a sales funnel or data gathering form as concise as you can.
- Avoid any kind of distractions – disable auto-playing ads, blur out the background of the website, and don't start firing pop-ups in an attempt to upsell.
- Offer the opportunity to complete a purchase as a guest, rather than forcing sign-up.
- Apply e-wallet options for financial conversions. Somebody could change their mind if they must fetch a credit card, but PayPal or Apple Pay transactions are immediate.
- As critical as consumer data is, do not ask for personal details that are not wholly necessary. Unless somebody is purchasing age-restricted products or services, their date of birth is unimportant at this point. You can return to building a consumer profile after snagging the conversion.
Remember, every step along a sales funnel is an opportunity for users to change their minds and abandon their conversion. Avoid providing this opportunity where possible.