Hey, you—look at us!
No—we want your attention!
Don’t focus on them—see how much better we are!
Though the average person might not be cognizant of it, this is exactly what it’s like online these days. Marketers are puppeteers, traffic directors, pilots, etc. navigating the internet and guiding potential customers gracefully (hopefully) into customer territory.
But with all the competition crowding the internet, how do the best of the best achieve this conversion?
According to Wordstream, only 22 percent of businesses are pleased with their conversion rates. It also reports that a typical website conversion rate is 2.35 percent on average.
However, that’s not for everyone.
In fact, the top 10 percent of businesses have three to five times higher conversion rates than the above average.
What are they doing that you’re not?
With this article, we’ll cover how to prove your value, be original, create a sales funnel and design your conversion efforts based on visitors from the top to the bottom of your funnel.
Top of Funnel
Who exactly is at the top of your sales funnel?
Imagine you want to buy food for your pup. Now, you love your dog, a lot (it’s man’s best friend, right?). You don’t want to buy your furry friend just any type of dog food. They deserve the best! But how do you convince these owners that your dog food business is the best?
#1 Educational Content
That’s where research comes into play. Now, maybe you have heard of a few brands, but at this point in the sales funnel, you are at the very tip top. You aren’t looking for anything specific, just general information about dog food, what to look for, nutrients, etc. At this point, you are becoming an educated consumer before you even think of specific brands.
This is why top of funnel content is so important at this stage. It’s also why blogs are so crucial. Marketers need to capture your attention at this stage, even if you aren’t looking for any specific brands.
This is important because once you have captured their attention, blogs can help build a rapport and long-term relationship with your customer and bring continuous traffic to your website. There are “dos and don’ts” you need to keep in mind. Start by knowing exactly who your target audience is, then create your niche! To help, here is a guide on starting a blog.
At Better Proposals, for example, they’ve been able to increase their conversions by going beyond the usual help section for their products. Instead, they expanded on it by writing proposals in general with practical knowledge about sales and running a business that they’ve gathered from their own personal experience.
“Of course, we pitch our product at every chance we get, but it’s a more general course that can help anyone with a business,” Odak said. “It brings in quite a lot of traffic and conversions and even if you don’t use business proposals, it’s a valuable content piece.”
Top of funnel content is mostly informational and educational. At this point in the funnel, marketers simply want to grab their audience’s attention by helping answer questions they already have. By being careful and not overly self-promotional—think educators, not sellers at this point—marketers will be more likely to build a solid foundation of trust with potential customers.
For content marketing free tools to help with this process in 2020, we recommend checking out Landingi’s post.
Potential customers found content that led them to your website—now what?
Pop-ups are a valuable tool to help you increase conversion rates. In fact, according to a Sumo study, the average conversion rates for this tool is 3.09 percent. If created strategically, pop-ups can have as much as a 9.28 percent conversion rate.
So what should you include in these pop-ups?
Pop-ups can range from CTA’s to live chat, but you can also take a more original approach. In this example below, Survey Anyplace proves their value by showing who recently signed up for their tool on their homepage. This form of social proof creates momentum, and website visitors will feel more inclined to do further research on this website.
According to Optinmonster, social proof is “a psychological phenomenon where people conform to the actions of others under the assumption that those actions are reflective of the correct behavior.” Basically, this means that potential customers need to hear from others’ experiences before they’ll fully trust you.
A new website visitor will think: “If these people from Australia, France, the United States or Brazil signed up, they must have a good reason. Let me take a look at why they are all so interested in this product!”
This content needs to be up front and be engaging enough to secure your potential customers at the first position of the funnel.
You can embed testimonials on your website.
Testimonials and reviews are essential to this process. You can tell potential customers a million times that you are the best out there, but as a business, you’ll always appear biased toward your own products or services.
Testimonials and reviews are more objective. They come from others who don’t benefit from potential customers converting. Because there is no direct benefit for those writing the testimonials and reviews, potential customers are much more likely to trust them.
OroCommerce noticed repeating traffic to their software demo page, but low conversions. After performing an A/B test on alternate page layouts, they added customer logos and testimonial quotes to build trust with returning traffic.
Middle of Funnel
The middle of the funnel is when things get a bit more targeted. Potential customers are on your website, they’ve seen your content, pop-ups and testimonials. But how do you prove your value to them? How do you help guide them to exactly what they need from your business?
#4 Product Quiz
At this point, the customer has a good idea of who you are and that you’re trustworthy as a business. But that’s far from the end goal of getting them to actually convert into customers. Product quizzes can help you do that.
Let’s go back to the example of dog food. Most businesses have more than one offering, including your dog food business. There’s food that helps with pups’ kidneys, hearts, coats, anxiety and much, much more. Options are great, because they can target specific needs of the potential customer.
However, they can also be overwhelming if the potential customer isn’t completely sure what they want. Overwhelmed potential customers are much more likely to leave the website before converting.
Product quizzes help with this.
These quizzes ask a series of questions specifically about the needs of the potential customer. Does their dog like specific flavors of food? Are they experiencing any health problems? Do they prefer wet food or dry food?
By breaking down the needs and desires of the potential customer and educating them on the specific options, you are narrowing these options down in a personalized manner. Many times, this means giving them an opportunity to test the product. For example, as you can see below, Sephora’s beauty assistant app enables potential customers to see what the different shades of makeup look like when applied.
Potential customers want to feel catered to and as if they are experiencing something unique, so personalization here is key.
Bottom of Funnel
Finally, we are at the point where the potential customer is on your website. They see all of your offerings. Testimonials and reviews show that you’re trustworthy as a business. A product quiz was even offered so that potential customers can really understand what they want from the business.
Even with all of the work outlined above, many customers will take a look, be impressed but not actually convert. Maybe they want to make sure you are the right option and also want to research your competitors. Possibly, they simply got distracted or had to log off before making a final decision. Heck, they could be waiting for payday to finally make that purchase.
But how do you redirect their attention back to your business and offerings?
Remarketing is how.
If a potential customer has visited your website, there are several options available for reaching back out to them. Perhaps the most effective one of these options is targeted advertising. Use the research collected from your website to create ads that will keep your business top-of-mind for potential customers and remind them why you’re the right option.
All you need is a nudge, and potential customers can transition into converting customers!
Congratulations, your potential customer converted into an actual customer! So your work is done now, right? Wrong.There is still the opportunity available to up-sell current customers.
Install a customer success officer whose job it is to follow up when customers need help or need expanded features. Show these customers that your business values them and their feedback. This won’t only increase your conversion rate, it will also teach you more about your product and service and enable you to further develop and improve your product or service.
You’re competing with basically everyone online, so to increase your conversion rate, you’re going to need to get creative.
These six tips will help you build meaningful relationships with potential customers, guide them through the funnel and transition them into loyal customers.
Now, it’s up to you!
By Stefan Debois
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PS: If you find useful this article about Convertion Rate, read this one too: “Conversion Tracking“