Marketing strategies often aim at acquiring more traffic. Marketers can be very good at attracting traffic but eventually fail to get qualified leads. Are visitors converting well? If not, pushing them through your funnel is critical for customer acquisition.
Some businesses are just more successful than others at pushing visitors down the funnel. High conversion rates and short sales cycles are the dream of every marketer.
This article is about to give you useful techniques to better convert visitors into customers & promoters. Before diving in, just a simple disclaimer, there are no universal techniques; all the techniques should be tested and adapted to your business.
Visitors are on your website. Now what? What should they do? Unless you are in the advertising business, you want them to take action and convert. If you don’t push them to take action, you’re wasting your traffic and will generate very few sales. This is a bad thing for your bottom line.
In a perfect world, a stranger would visit your website, sign up, and pay right away. However this doesn’t happen often. The techniques in this article will help you to transform these visitors into customers and promoters.
The first step is to convert visitors to leads. During this phase, you want to capture some of their information to keep the relationship going. It is the perfect step to incentivize visitors to give you their email addresses. You want their permission to market your products. So, how do we do that?
1. Micro Conversion
Free trial and signups may be at the core of your business. Micro-conversions are smaller conversions which require less involvement from visitors. Signing up for your mailing list, or following you on social media requires less trust than submitting credit card details.
Visitors are way more likely to undertake micro-conversions than macro-conversions. Your website should include both. Micro-conversions act as an entry to your funnel, visitors sign up to your newsletter and purchase later when trust has been established.
The body of your copy can either make or break a sale. Using the right words is essential if you want to interest and convert users effectively. You need to talk about your product’s benefits in a compelling way that resonates to you audience.
“This Mac Book Pro has a screen of 15” and a 2.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor”
“Work faster than ever on the most advanced display in the world”
Which copy is going to drive the more results? Obvious, isn’t it? Use the same process to convince users that your offering can suit their needs. Copywriting is a field of its own, to learn more, you should read this guide.
3. Relevant CTA
Along with micro-conversion, having relevant CTA helps to drive more conversions. You want CTAs that make sense for your user. If you blog about driving more traffic to your blog, the CTA below makes a lot of sense.
Users are more likely to convert if the CTA matches what they just read. Developing relevant CTAs requires slightly more investment for each article but will drive a lot more result.
4. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
Only a small percentage of visitors are converting. CRO’s goal is to increase this number by tweaking your website and funnel. CRO offers a great way to maximize conversions without increasing traffic.
To get started with CRO, install an A/B testing software like Unbounce, brainstorm ideas with your team and prepare a testing plan. Not all of your tests will be successful, but the ones that are will offer great wins.
To learn more about CRO, Qualaroo wrote a great guide on the subject.
People might think that pop-ups are intrusive and annoying. However pop-ups can offer great possibilities to convert users. One thing that works extremely well is to provide relevant CTA that consumers can download in exchange of their email address.
You should experiment with pop-ups on your own audience. You could run an A/B test to see if it annoys users or if it drives more conversions.
Analytics is a source of great insights. From your acquisition channels to what visitors are doing on your website, Analytics can help you to understand visitors’ behaviours. The most important is what you do with that data. Tweak your content and funnel accordingly to your analysis of their behaviours.
Try to log in your Analytics software regularly to discover insights into how your visitors are behaving. Looking at acquisition channels, landing pages and bounce rate can help to improve your website.
Surveying your users can give you great insights into the why they’re on your website. Updating your website in order to incorporate these insights can help to develop a better funnel.
Products such as Qualaroo can help to discover these insights.
8. Live Chat
Engaging visitors in a timed and personalized way can be extremely powerful. Live Chat has proven itself to be very effective to drive conversions. Talking to a real person allows visitors to ask whatever question they might have and increase trust.
Olark is an online software which can allow you to integrate chat to your website. Bear in mind that you’ll need someone to answer visitors’ questions.
9. Free tools
Creating free tools relevant to your audience and business can work wonderfully well. It’s a perfect way to get customers hooked into your mailing list by providing them actual value.
As an example, HubSpot developed the Marketing Grader; it allows them to gather email addresses by providing a service of value.
Traffic is mainly wasted, 90-95% of visitors don’t convert. Chances are these visitors are never going to come back. Retargeting through advertising on other mediums will help entice visitors back to the site.
Consumers will see your message on Facebook or Google Display Network and come back to your website. Send them to a landing page pushing them to the next step of your funnel (e.g. newsletter, trial, purchase).
Retargeting can show great results. During their first visits, customers might not have the time or the readiness to give you their contact info. Retargeting allows you to get this traffic back and convert it later.
Now that you have plenty of leads, your goal is to convert them to customers. You want to show them the value of your service and how it fits their needs.
11. Email Marketing
Email Marketing is one of the most powerful ways of contacting your leads. Its (almost) free and people read their emails every day. Contacting leads in a timely manner can be very effective to convert them as customers.
Drip Marketing involves sending a series of emails to a lead, while Transactional Emails are triggered after a customer’s action. You need both in order to communicate frequently with your users.
Let’s say your lead downloaded one of your ebooks. You could send them an email right after (transactional), along with a series of emails spaced in time adding value to your ebook (drip).
Email Marketing might be one of the most effective ways to contact your users. Contact them often with high-value content in order to keep up their interest.
12. Direct Phone call
Depending on what you sell, it’s sometimes a good idea to directly call leads in order to identify their needs. This technique is not for everyone; however, some companies have used it with incredible results.
Call your leads to validate a fit between their needs and your service, then sell them your solution directly. Scaling personal phone calls might require a sales force, however, it’s worth trying on a small scale to measure impact.
It’s very common to see online software failing to onboard new users. Leads sign up for the service (e.g. free trial) and never use the software again. You failed to prove the value of your service to customers and they probably won’t come back again.
Properly onboarding users is essential if you want to sell them your solution. In-app tutorials, emails, demos are all techniques that can help you to onboard new users.
14. Lead nurturing
Sometimes people are just looking around and are not yet ready to buy. Lead Nurturing looks at creating relationship with these people. After a while, leads will mature and you’ll be able to sell your solution.
Some of the techniques in this article directly apply to Lead Nurturing. To learn more, you can read this introductory ebook.
15. Plans & Pricing
Customers might have expectations on how they will subscribe to your service. Some will want a yearly plan with a 15% discount while others might want to pay for 2 years. Sometimes, you need some flexibility if you want to tackle an entire market.
Include a “contact us” link on your pricing page. Customers can therefore contact you if they need any customization.
Now you have customers, your main goal is to keep them happy, enhancing their loyalty. Low loyalty limits your growth potential; acquiring customers is more expensive than retaining existing ones. Focusing on the post-purchase part of the funnel is primary to effectively grow your business.
16. One-to-one relationship
Depending on the size of your team, it can be worth developing a one-to-one relationship with customers. Widespread in B2B, customers might enjoy a personal discussion with someone to help them get a hand on your services and products.
Learning about your customer’s business, genuinely discussing or asking for a testimonial are all actions which will improve your relationship and make you stand out from other businesses.
17. Customer Success
Customer Success is a mindset; do everything possible to make your customer successful with your product. There are no specific techniques, you should just “do whatever it takes“.
Talk personally with your customer in order to discover what will make them successful at their job (in relation with your product). Once you get this knowledge, help them to do their job and increase their satisfaction.
18. Customer Support
Support is the best opportunity for you to get personal with your users. Customers may struggle with your product, or have issues with the billing process. Having good support is essential for every online business. You want to do very well here in order to delight your customers.
Handle support tickets carefully, make sure none of them get lost or stay unresolved. Having a good ticketing system (such as Groove HQ) can help you to ensure you’re treating all of them.
Besides correctly handling tickets, try to reply as fast as possible with clear and customized answers. Customer support is not simple. Just walk in the customer’s shoes and you’ll do great.
19. Handling complaints
Although you might be doing your best, customers might not always be happy with your service. They might experience some bugs, or your software can’t handle their extensive needs, many reasons might decrease their satisfaction. Handling these complaints is the perfect opportunity to engage consumers and understand what’s wrong.
When it comes to handling complaints, the Justice Theory is an interesting concept which will help you to recover your customers. You must do well in the next 3 areas:
- Procedural: it should be easy for customers to file a complaint and to contact you (e.g. social media, contact information)
- Interactional: you should communicate clearly with consumers and treat them fairly (e.g. keep them updated with clear messages)
- Distributive: compensate customers fairly according to their needs (e.g. free service for a period, refund)
Don’t take complaints as a bad thing. Complaints are feedback which will help you to improve your service. If you get plenty of complaints around the same area, it’s a sign that something is going wrong.
These techniques are all going to help you push visitors through your funnel resulting in more happy customers.
Implementing these techniques should enable you to get more and more customers out of your traffic. Don’t forget to measure the impact of each method, if something isn’t working, there is no reason to let it clutter your process.
My very last point is that there are many other techniques you could use in order to better push users down your funnel. Don’t focus solely on this article, try to look around and see what you could use.
The ball is in your court. Do you see any other techniques that should be included in this article? Did you implement them? If yes, with which results?
Now that your funnel is optimized for conversion, where are the next areas of improvement? Maybe you could start looking at how many customers are churning…