October 21, 2016
Turning your potential customers into actual customers is what drives any business forward. When put like this, it might seem like it’s a straightforward process, but in reality, there are a lot of stages involved in converting leads. Managing the process every step of the way must be done carefully and deliberately.
1. Perform Tests Often
Performing A/B tests is essential. Often, minor changes in the layout of the website, the size, the positioning of buttons and the types of headlines you use can have a major impact on your conversion rate.
However, you need to keep track of these changes and see if these improvements hold up long-term. For the majority of the time, customers might be driven by the novelty of the change, but once that’s gone, your conversion rates might lose their initial thrust. So, make sure the changes are still bringing in results, and make adjustments accordingly.
2. Build Trust Before Conversion
Trust is absolutely mandatory in any business transaction. It’s even more important when the buyer can’t actually interact with a real person. Give your business a personality, and a human face. Include pictures of your offices and employees on your website, make your content conversational.
Your website needs to be credible as well. A website that looks cheap, or poorly maintained is definitely not going to inspire trust. However, don’t make the mistake of assuming that the more industry jargon you use, the more professional you’re going to sound. Customers will notice the big words you use, but if they do not understand what you are saying, it will have a negative impact on their overall impression of your business.
3. It’s All About Timing
After your leads have shown some interest in your business, you need to time your follow-ups just right to turn them into buyers. Trying to close the deal too soon will make your customers feel pressured into buying, and you might lose them for good. Wait too long, and they may no longer need your services, or maybe they’ve changed their minds in the meantime. There’s a science to lead response management.
4. Segment and Categorize Your Leads
You should not think of your potential customers simply as leads, however. They are people, first and foremost. As such, you can’t use the same tactics across the board. Trying to shoehorn all of your leads into the same category is going to waste everyone’s time and money.
Instead, try to focus your marketing campaigns on specific target groups. The first thing you’ll want to do is identify who these groups are. Customers should feel like you are addressing them as individuals, not just as customers.
5. Make Sure Your Sales and Marketing Departments Communicate
Often times, conversion rates start plateauing simply because the two main departments that should be in charge of the process do not communicate well. One of the reasons is because neither of the two understand that turning leads into buyers is one single large process, split up into two major stages. While each department has its own duties and its own steps to take care of, conversion should be thought of as a single, common goal.
6. Use Testimonials and Reviews
A study published in 2015 showed that more than half of potential customers are influenced by online reviews when they decide to make a purchase. So, if you’re trying to build your leads’ trust, be sure to include some testimonials and reviews on your page as well.
Don’t publish just the ones enthusiastically praising your products. Providing your future customers with some more down to earth but positive feedback is going to make you look more credible. You can also spread out these reviews among various platforms. Go out on a limb and add testimonials on your social media pages as well. These are harder to control, which makes them riskier, but much more credible as well.
7. Make It Easy
Potential customers can be put off by an overly complicated purchasing page; one with too many fields, buttons and boxes. Keep it as simple as possible, so you don’t lose them during this crucial step. Provide explanations for each field so they’re sure what information goes where and they don’t end up wandering off to look for explanations.
8. Provide Relevant Options
In psychology, there is a concept called ‘the paradox of choice.’ The more choices a customer has, the harder it is to make a decision. This frustration can lead to them simply giving up. When you advertise your options to your client, have a few very clear sets of options with a minimal number of significant variations. You can always adjust your offer during the follow-ups, if they don’t find one that truly suits their needs.
Attracting more customers should be the constant, long-term goal of any business. Always keep in mind that you are dealing with people, not numbers on a chart. Empathizing with your customer is the best way to find solutions to improve your conversion rates.
Thea Millard is a market data analyst, a private consultant, and a contributing editor at Job Application Review. She has a great interest in everything related to corporate branding, online marketing and entrepreneurship and loves helping businesses and individuals thrive.