Online marketing conveys a perception of being relatively straightforward. Unfortunately, however, most businesses have a hard time converting their visitors to sales. Still, they may see some real improvement by turning to five proven strategies described below that can quickly increase the conversion rate of an ecommerce website or marketing funnel.
I like to compare these strategies to the answer to an experience we’ve all had at some point in our lives: a dreadful experience with a bad salesperson.
No matter how amazing the product was, or even how ready we were to buy, that bad salesperson ruined his or her company’s chance with us forever. And here’s the thing: With so many people preferring to shop online these days, salespeople are quickly being replaced by websites.
Just as can happen with an unskilled salesperson, a non-optimized website can ruin its owner’s chance of making a sale.
If you own an online business, however, there is good news: An online business is exactly where a perfected pitch should be standardized, because every prospect who visits the website gets the exact same pitch. And if, as owner, you improve a sales page once, it is then improved for every subsequent visitor.
Imagine yourself as a salesperson during your best day on the job: Energy is high. Your mind is sharp. You’re on your game. Everyone you pitch buys without blinking an eye. Now, think how amazing your results would be if you could copy and paste that singular performance every day for every prospect you talk to. That is the power of a web page optimized for conversion.
Are you ready to build your ultimate online sales machine? Here are five tactics you can use to do that, to significantly increase conversion.
1. Build trust and display recent sales by installing Proof.
Proof is a new software tool making a big splash in 2017. It collects the recent opt-ins or purchases on your website, then live-streams everything back on your sales page. For example: Website visitors would see a notification saying something like, “Mary from Atlanta bought this product eight minutes ago.” Visibility into what others are doing is incredibly powerful, and Proof allows you to supercharge social reinforcement with ease. Seeing that others recently purchased builds trust and tells visitors it’s safe to take action.
According to Dave Rogenmoser, the CEO of Proof, users have reported up to a 300 percent boost in conversion on their funnels after installing the program on opt-ins, webinar registrations and checkouts.
Proof offers a 14-day free trial. You can try it out without commitment, and the best part is that most users see an uptick in conversion almost immediately after its installation.
2. Connect Drift and Slack to live-chat with website shoppers.
If you’re a car salesperson, you might wonder, when is the most important time for me to answer prospects’ questions? Answer: when they are kicking tires on the lot. The same is true for your online products. Talking with customers who are live on your website is the optimum time to start a conversion. Drift allows you to do that. This chat pop-up is your sales team’s secret weapon, to turn clicks into customers.
Best of all, Drift’s advanced features allow you to use AI technology to know who the visitor on the page is and send a personalized message in real time. Want to make things even simpler? Connect Drift to your Slack channel to chat straight from your phone.
3. Add a few press logos for that quick boost in conversion.
Whether you’re a published thought leader with tons of press, or a startup just getting going, having four-to-five logos of places where your company has been mentioned will give your website credibility, and ultimately a sales boost. We add “Featured On” logos to our website at FE International, which helps build significant trust with our website visitors.
Of course it’s great to have big publications, but if you’re just starting out, then it’s perfectly fine to get on a friend’s podcast or even put your product on Kickstarter. Being able to show that you are trusted by others is enough to help you get started, since visitors understand that building a reputation has to start from somewhere. We ourselves have seen a quick 7 percent conversion rate increase just from adding a few logos on an opt-in page.
4. Have your customers sell for you, with testimonial screenshots.
There is no persuasive sales copy, animated explainer video or beautifully designed banner image that will out-perform a genuine testimonial from one of your customers. That’s why we scroll straight to the reviews before we buy products on Amazon, or why we look at Yelp comments before we bother to drive to a restaurant. It’s social proof taken one step further. From my experience, there are four kinds of testimonials with different levels of persuasion, and I’ve ordered them below, from least to most effective.
- Business written testimonials (smallest boost)
- Written customer testimonials (customers posting on Yelp, Amazon, etc.)
- Screenshots of social media shoutouts
- Video testimonial/unboxing review (largest boost)
5. Use a limited time offer with a countdown timer.*
This last conversion hack comes with a critical asterisk: The offer must actually be limited time. Once the timer runs out, the offer must truly expire. Without the expiration, the countdown has no effect and primes your visitors to never again take your future offers seriously, which hurts perception in the long run.
Real scarcity is one of the most effective tactics you can use to get people to take action. I have found that the best way to create authentic scarcity is to have a bonus expire rather than the primary offer. For example, a wine company could say: “Check out in the next 10 minutes and we’ll send you a stainless steel corkscrew for free with your case of Cabernet.” This also works really well with coupon codes and discounts on upsells after a purchase.
So, how can you add a countdown timer to your web pages that actually expires? Check out Deadline Funnel. This software displays a timer on your website and sends unique emails to customers. When the timer hits 00:00, those customers will be redirected to your expired page. There are several creative ways to use Deadline Funnel, but I typically see this tool work on evergreen countdown funnels where leads have three days to take up a special offer.
Making small tweaks to your website can often result in big conversion gains. When your website converts better, you can capitalize on the traffic already being driven to your site and scale your business much faster than before. The above five tactics have been proven to work for others, and they offer a high potential upside with little risk.