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Posted on March 6, 2018 | Angela Shugarts
A good marketing partner should help you create regular traction to lead prospects to the business door and get them to knock. Then, it’s your job to invite them in (secure a conversion). However, getting to that stage does not happen overnight. It takes serious dedication and making a concerted effort to improve your marketing strategies so people build trust your brand and, ultimately, want to buy your product or service. Below are a few suggestions to get you going so you can wrap up your first quarter on a positive note.
- Lower the barrier to entry – Focus on capturing the most important lead information first (e.g. minimal form fields with email, first/last name, phone). Lower the bar so people feel like they can actually attain your offer (e.g. coupon, guide, worksheet), and you will be more likely to capture the lead info you need to nurture interest.
- Keep CTAs above the fold – In an digital world where it’s easy to get distracted from the task at hand to answer an email or tweet an update, keep any calls to action you want someone to take “above the fold,” that is, within the user’s visible screen area without scrolling down to read more.
- Add a guarantee – While there no guarantees in life, there can be for product-based business. Offering a no-questions asked return policy will lower the risk and provided added value to your customer.
- Highlight customer testimonials – Reference-based strategies are said to be the most critical competitive advantage during an economic turning point, when purchasing decisions are influenced by a social circle far greater than corporate marketing. Incorporate your customer testimonials into your landing pages and opt-in email campaigns to build trust.
- Articulate product/service benefits up front – Clearly communicate your product/service benefits to the prospect so they immediately understand how your business will solve their pain point.
- Create dedicated landing pages for PPC ads – If you run pay-per-click ads on Google and Bing, streamline the customer journey by linking those ads to specific landing pages so users can dig deeper into the message communicated in the ad they clicked on.
- Test your CTA – Try different variations of your calls-to-action to see what resonates more with your users. Perhaps “download today” works better than “click here.” You don’t know until you try!
- Avoid busy landing pages – Don’t sidetrack your visitors with other options to “learn” about your business with extra buttons or navigation bars. Take them to the landing page to perform a specific action and that’s it. They will appreciate the clarity and streamlined experience and you will have more leads coming in.
- Use emotional language – Tap into your visitors emotions to get them excited to submit their information in exchange for something valuable. The power of storytelling cannot be underestimated, especially when it comes to lead generation!
- Vary your payment options – Not everyone wants to use PayPal. Offer a few payment options so customers can select what method works best for them. Convenience is key, especially during the purchasing phase of the marketing funnel.
- Use professional photos – Cheesy stock photos can be spotted a mile away by any discerning prospect. Whenever possible, use your own professional photographs to visually represent your brand in the best possible light, in the most authentic way.
- Don’t require registration in order to buy – It can be frustrating when you find something you like, are ready to buy, and the site makes you set up an account first. In fact, it’s enough of the roadblock to deter prospects from buying at all. Lower the barrier to entry by offering an “checkout as guest” option.
- Present suggested items of interest – Show additional items they may be interested in based on products viewed/pages visited. Visitors may spend additional time on your site, shopping away because they can’t get enough of your great recommendations!
- Test color and layouts – Experiment with different landing page and email layouts and colors (adherent to your brand standards, of course) in order to see what format generates the most value. Sometimes, one-column emails perform better than two-column, depending on your audience. Perhaps a specific color scheme or simplistic layout is the key to conversion.
- Provide leads value-add content – Content pieces like e-books, guides, and how-to manuals help middle of the funnel prospects move further down the marketing funnel. These pieces provide actionable tips and tricks that help solve their problems.
- Track everything – From phone calls, form submissions, sales, sign-ups, online chats, in-store visits, etc., track everything! Without knowing what conversions you’re already getting, you can’t accurately and strategically set goals to improve without benchmarks. Platforms like Google Analytics are helpful places to start to see what campaigns are currently performing well.
- Hold your prospect accountable – No “think it overs” are allowed. Set expectations up front with your prospects about the outcomes of meetings and conversations to help them in the decision-making process.
- Spark FOMO – Capitalize on a prospect’s “fear of missing out” (aka: FOMO) by incorporating limited-time offers and one-time deals into your communication/sales efforts. Introduce a high value bonus if they buy today or within a certain time period to encourage quicker conversion.
- Address objections – In addition to being clear about your product/service benefits, be sure to address any objections in your communication efforts. List out all possible objections and then offer solutions to those objections and incorporate them into your sales copy, product descriptions, social media posts, etc.
- Update your site’s content often – People assign more credibility to sites that show they have relevant content that addresses their issues. If you have a blog or a news section, make sure they’re updated regularly with fresh ideas. Nothing says “out of business” like an abandoned blog.
- Use buttons instead of links – Buttons are more clickable and easier to recognize in communication over links, particularly when viewed on mobile devices.
- Humanize your brand – Little things like conversational website copy and head shots of your leadership will go a long way in building trust with your prospects and help them understand that your brand has real people behind it who care about solving your problems, not just a bunch of profit-driven robots with an agenda.
- Stop talking about yourself- It may sound weird, but we recommend following the 80/20 rule (where 80 percent of your content is focused on addressing your prospect’s problems/concerns and 20 percent of content speaks to your differentiators and products). This will build trust, which is the first step to closing a conversion.
- Get ideas for popular promotions from competitors – While original ideas are gold, you also don’t want to spin your wheels on a new campaign that may or may not get the immediate results you need. So, research competitors’ campaigns to see what has been effective for them to close deals. If you can’t glean enough info from competitor’s activities, look to your professionals connections and conduct informational interviews or focus groups for insight.
- Leverage videos – Videos tend to get the most engagement with prospects. Why? According to Sean Burrows, “Our experience of the world is perceived 83% with our sense of sight. Hearing ranks next at 11%, and smell, touch, and taste rank 3%, 2%, and 1% respectively.” Use Facebook Live or post relevant videos to YouTube to generate traction and capture prospects when they’re ready to be engaged with.
Simple changes like these can have immense impacts on your conversion rate. Go on, try a few of them out, and if you decide a larger, more comprehensive look at improving your conversion rate and other aspects of your online marketing strategy, Philosophy is here to help.
- Angela Shugarts