Conversion Marketing is all about converting the traffic that your site generates into emails, $$$ or anything that you have set as a goal for your e-commerce store.
That’s a tough question to answer and what works for one business might not work for another.
- 1.0. What is Conversion Marketing
- 2.0. Getting started with Conversion Marketing
- 3.0. Landing Page Optimization
- 4.0. Reducing Bounce Rates
- 5.0. Top 10 Reasons Why People Bounce
- 10. Worried About Payment Security
- 9. Excessive Payment Security Checks
- 8. Drawn-Out Checkout Process
- 7. Crashed Website
- 6. Over-Complicated Website Navigation
- 5. Decided Against Buying
- 3 & 4. Overall Price Too Expensive or Found a Price Elsewhere
- 2. He/ She Was Just Browsing
- 1. Presented With Unexpected Costs
- 6.0. 3 Conversion Marketing Myths
- 7.0. Concluding thoughts
1.0. What is Conversion Marketing
As you may be aware, Digital Marketing is approaching newer levels of complexity as days go by, but at the same time, it is proven to get more business.
Inside a continual improvement point of view, you will find a discipline known as Conversion Marketing.
What most people think about Conversion Marketing is that it’s based on guesswork.
Well, it isn’t.
It’s a structured system with a systematic approach to gaining more conversions and achieving goals that lead your visitors towards the desired outcome.
It is driven by data and insights, in fact, every step of the conversion marketing process consists of a closed loop.
Conversion Marketing goals will differ from one site to other. For some sites it could be increasing the number of trial users while for other sites it could be getting more traffic and clicks to advertisements.
Conversion Marketing also is the art of making the most out of the existing traffic that one has.
First of all, it is a series of ways of looking at data so that a person can increase the percentage of visitors who buy the product or take part in the desired action on a landing page or website.
What you may not know is just how important it is when you have an online venture since some small changes lead to dramatically increasing your overall results and profits.
In some cases, earnings are doubled or tripled after these activities are performed.
2.0. Getting started with Conversion Marketing
Did you know that Amazon increased its earnings by three hundred million dollars just by changing a small button?
This example is just one story of many where savvy online marketers reaped the rewards of constantly tweaking their online properties to see not only what was working but how they could improve their results. In order to really make the most out of the following paragraphs, it is important to understand what conversion is.
Before you start it is important to understand your funnel and that each action customer has to take on your page is a conversion. Absolutely anything can be measured and thus also improved.
1. Following are the aspects that can deliver the biggest ROI if tested:
– Email marketing, particularly subject lines;
– Display and search advertising;
– Social media posts, time, etc.;
– Landing pages – copy, colors, button size;
– Design tests such as A/B tests, and multivariate tests.
2. What is a simple yet powerful approach to conversion optimization?
1. Gather data;
2. Analyze the data;
3. Set the hypothesis;
4. Design the tests to be performed;
5. Perform tests;
6. Reporting and repeating the process.
3. Tools to Use
Some of the most important and popular tools to measure and improve Conversion Marketing are the following:
– Google Analytic – to measure and analyze the data;
– Crazy Egg – visual website analytics;
– Clicktale – website analytics;
– Kissmetrics – helps to understand the conversion funnel.
3.0. Landing Page Optimization
You may have the concept that a landing page has a particular design where its purpose is persuading a user to make a purchase, but technically it is the first page a visitors navigates when he lands into your website. When using paid advertisement or e-mail marketing you will be directing your traffic to a particular page; in some analytics tools, landing pages are known as entrance pages.
1. Aspects of optimization
There are many ways to optimize a landing page and I will mention some of the most important ones next:
– Headings: It is scientifically proven that different headings will make your visitors have different behaviors inside your page or site. Read more: The Scientific Guide to writing headlines
– Copy-writing: You should take into account layout, tone, style and copy length since they can be tested. Other elements such as font size are also great ways to improve conversions
– Calls to action: It’s the primary button, a link that asks the user to take an action that leads to (or towards) a conversion – think the “Buy Now” button.
– Marketing Funnel: The pathway which a user follows and that which leads to conversion are called a conversion funnel.
An Example: Say you have a dog training website and you offer on the sidebar a link to a dog training ebook.
The marketing funnel could be as it follows – organic search/PPC > landing page > product link > checkout.
A marketing funnel can also consist of sending the user other relevant products once he has subscribed via email or selling him a higher priced product after the purchase of a lower priced one.
– A/B or Split Testing: A/B testing is when you test one version of your landing page with another version of the same with a slight difference. In A/B tests 50% of the traffic is directed on either of the versions and conversions measured. A/B tests can measure multiple elements, but it has to be done one at a time. Read more: 3 Tactics You Can Implement Today for Higher Email Open Rates
– Colors: Testing button colors is a great way to improve conversions; a great tip is beginning your tests with red and green colors since they are considered as effective.
– Images: Different images provide different results and impact the conversion process. If you have a site that sells baby diapers, use an image where a baby looks at the CTA. It will increase conversions.
– Offers: This is another important element of the equation because even if everything is the same, a different offer may increase your profits.
– Checkouts: Another important element to consider is testing single page checkouts vs multi-pages checkouts. Guarantees, reassurances, and credibility in the checkout process are great ways to improve conversions and should also be tested in this critical part of the process. Although this is not an exhaustive list it is a great way to begin your testing process.
2. Quick Case Study
An interesting case study regarding Conversion Marketing is when Moz used a couple of landing pages and feedback received from sending some emails to rake in over 1 million dollars. Read more: How we made 1 million dollars more for Moz?
How was it done?
They asked paying members what was it that they liked most about Moz and if they were to ever refer it to a friend how would they do that?
They asked free-trial members what was stopping them from signing up for the paid membership and what would make them take the plunge. Finally, they asked members who canceled, the reason behind the cancellation.
After taking all this feedback they redesigned their landing page which increased the number of people who were signing up to the trial membership by over 52%.
When these people were sent emails saying that they could upgrade to pro level for just $1, many couldn’t believe what they read. Many of these $1 signups finally became regular paying customers and thus Moz made over 1 million dollars with conversion marketing.
4.0. Reducing Bounce Rates
In order to reduce bounce rates, it is of the utmost importance, to begin with understanding who is visiting your website and most importantly, why (to learn more about user experience optimization, check this post).
By analyzing key metrics in your analytics, you will know about bounce and exit rates for important pages.
Although most of the elements and information I have presented will help you to achieve the outcome of reducing bounce rate I will provide some particularly useful tips in this regard:
– Take the time to analyze and implement intuitive navigation, especially for important items.
– Bad design in general and lousy web design, in particular, is increasingly being a reason for bounce rates since standards are getting higher and higher for users all around the world.
– Site speed will help your website rank higher; on the contrary, if your site is slow your users will go somewhere else, fast.
– Is your information architecture in place? Information architecture refers to the way you have organized content on your site. If you are an eCommerce site look at how your well-performing competitors place their products and descriptions. At least you should take your priorities into account when presenting information to users.
– Make use of internal search since it is a great way to increase user engagement and of course, a fantastic way to reduce bounce rates.
5.0. Top 10 Reasons Why People Bounce
There are a lot of reasons why people would choose to leave your website. Especially if it’s an e-commerce store reasons that would result in an increase of the bounce rate are more than few.
Here we gathered the most popular.
10. Worried About Payment Security
Number 10 on the list of countless reasons why customers are turning away from your site after placing items into their cart is that they are concerned about payment security.
Put yourself in the mind of the worried customer. What can you do to appeal to him?
First of all, you need to take proper security measures. Purchase and install a Security Socket Layer (SSL) through your web host. This provides a secure, encrypted link between your customer’s browser and the web server. Make sure that you use a visible SSL badge in your shopping cart so that users know their information is safe.
Next, take note that more and more people are shopping on mobile. Taking a look at the mobile security statistics is a smart idea. Here are the security measures that mobile consumers are worried about.
- 1% worry about their phone getting hacked, or someone getting ahold of their data.
- 4% are concerned about having their phone stolen and someone getting ahold of the data.
- 3% worry that the merchants, banks, and third parties won’t take the security measures to protect their data.
- 1-4% think that companies might misuse their data, viruses might be installed on their phones, or someone using their phone could misuse their account.
- 37% are worried about everything listed above.
To cater to these customers, allow their cart items to be stored so that they can come back to the website later from their web browser. This will streamline the transaction process.
9. Excessive Payment Security Checks
How many times during the checkout process are you making customers prove that they’re not robots? Yes, fraud is a very real problem, and you do need to take measures to prove that your customer is who he says he is.
But, how much is too much security?
You only have a few minutes to close a sale, and anything that takes up your shopper’s time is decreasing the odds that a transaction will take place at all. For example, if you make a customer wait to log in after several failed attempts to enter the correct password, they may navigate away, never to return. If that happens, you’ve lost a potential sale.
Yes, protect the consumer. Do what you can to make sure that identifying information is safe with you, but keep the security checks to a minimum. If a user has to enter a password or pin more than twice, that’s too much.
8. Drawn-Out Checkout Process
The eighth top reason that customers stop in the middle of a transaction is that the checkout process simply takes too long. If your shopping cart is taking too long to load, or there are too many steps, you’re certainly losing business.
Take a look at these e-commerce checkout statistics:
- After 3 seconds, 57% of consumers will move away from a website.
- 80% of these people will never come back to your site.
Is your website too slow? Check your site speed to ensure that it’s meeting modern standards for the web and mobile viewers. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test is a great tool to find out if your pages are up to speed.
After you run the test, if you’re offered any recommendations, apply them to your website immediately. Take into account that it’s more important than ever to have a mobile-responsive store. Your images and other media should look great and load quickly on mobile and desktop screens.
If site speed isn’t the problem, you may have too many steps involved in the checkout process. So, only ask for what you need to make the sale. If you’re interested in running a survey, asking additional questions, or running a promotion at checkout, make it optional. Never force customers to do anything that’s not necessary for landing the sale.
7. Crashed Website
Sometimes, the reason a consumer abandons their cart has nothing to do with psychology, and everything to do with your website. Website crashes are the number seven reason a customer might abandon their cart. Can you imagine walking into a department store and having the walls collapse around you? Of course, you wouldn’t buy anything – as a matter of fact, you would probably expect some kind of compensation to ever shop there again.
Online consumers are metaphorically having that experience when your website crashes. The technical question you need to ask yourself is, “Am I using a content delivery network (CDN) to scale and optimize my media for viewing?” A service like CloudFlare speeds the delivery of your content, reducing the probability of website crashes – makes the internet work like it should.
Next, you have to take responsibility for the crash. Offer some sort of incentive. In the case of a website crash, let the customer know that you see what happened, and apologize by offering a discount or other creative gift to get them back to their abandoned cart.
Finally, you should be using some kind of system for abandoned cart reminders. Most professional email systems can integrate with your site for this purpose. Increase the odds that the customer will come back for their items.
The number six reason that customers leave a website after placing items in their cart, but before completing a transaction, is that website navigation is too complicated. Once visitors land on your site, here’s what they expect.
- 50% want to use your navigation menu to orient themselves.
- 47% want to see your products first.
- 32% want your company logo to take them to the home page.
- 86% want product information listed on your home page.
- 52% want to be able to find “About Us” information.
So, use a header with your brand logo, linked to the home page. List your products and About page in your simple navigation menu. Don’t put too many categories in your website’s main navigation menu – simplicity is safer.
To be completely sure that your navigation menu is appealing, use a template or theme that’s specifically designed for eCommerce. For example, Shopify themes are built with the online shopper in mind and are constantly updated with best practices. A reputable eCommerce specialty theme will all but guarantee that your navigation isn’t deterring customers at the last minute.
5. Decided Against Buying
In some cases – the fifth most common reason for an abandoned cart – the customer simply decided not to purchase a product. Once a decision is made between the consideration and purchase stage of the journey, it’s a difficult road to convince customers to change their minds.
This is where conversion marketing can help the most – test different hypothesis to find what would cause this “feeling”.
Those will be A LOT OF TESTS but the result can be a game changer.
Customers want to be empowered. That’s why they conduct research and reviews online before making a purchase. If your products have received poor reviews online, it’s contributing to customers deciding not to purchase. 55% of customers are influenced by what others say online.
On-site product reviews can help remedy this type of cart abandonment. So, how should you display them? Since above the fold reviews are 1.7 times more effective than those that appear below, include your ratings and reviews near the top of the page for each product. People may not necessarily scroll down, so make sure they know what others think just by looking. This way, they won’t have to move to another site to find out what people say about an item.
Additionally, 73% of shoppers prefer a personalized shopping experience. This tells you that you should be using tactics like gated content to push people to register and log in at your site and push recommended products based on browsing history. Use the customer’s name and preferences to create an experience. Personalization is all about making the shopper feel important. Show people that you’re paying attention.
3 & 4. Overall Price Too Expensive or Found a Price Elsewhere
The fourth top reason a shopper abandons their cart is price, and the third is that they found your product at a better price somewhere else. Are your products too expensive? Can people find a product for less somewhere else? Make sure you know competitor pricing.
A platform like Upstream Commerce can complete competitive pricing analysis for you. This can help you turn real-time analytics into eCommerce sales opportunities. Incorporating a system like this into your daily sales strategy can show you what’s really possible when it comes to finding out how similar products are priced.
You will be able to offer aggressive pricing strategies throughout the product lifecycle.
Following your competitors manually is the alternative. Though this can potentially be a productive strategy, it’s much more time-consuming than putting the analytics on auto-pilot.
2. He/ She Was Just Browsing
Many people who land on your site are just browsing. They may want to see what happens when they place an item in the cart (asking questions like, “How much is shipping?” etc.). This is the number two reason for an abandoned cart.
Because of the nature of this reason, it may seem like there’s nothing you can do to finalize the sale, but that’s not necessarily true.
You force users to register with their email address before placing an item in their cart (gate the content), but that isn’t the end of your effort. You need to give shoppers a reason to come back. Subscribe shoppers to your newsletter by giving them something great for free, then offer awesome content and abandoned cart reminders.
Newsletters for eCommerce have some of the lowest email open, click-through, and bounce rates, second only to daily deals and coupons. You need put serious effort into your email marketing plan if you want it to be successful.
Get online and start taking email marketing courses or consider hiring an expert to help you out. One of the greatest tools you have is your email newsletter if you’re using it correctly.
1. Presented With Unexpected Costs
The number one reason for people bouncing is, you guessed it.
You presented them with unexpected costs.
In addition to your product price and reasonable shipping, there should be no surprises.
If you’re charging people excessive shipping, membership fees, or something else, it’s time to take a long, hard look at whether or not this is necessary. You could be losing a large portion of your potential customers.
- Never automatically cross-sell products.
- Avoid taxes and excess fees.
- Post expected shipping costs on the product page.
In the case that it is necessary to charge extra for something, consider pricing your products a little higher to accommodate for the loss of removing the fees. The general rule is to be transparent with pricing at all costs.
The last thing you want is to be in your own way.
Treat these 10 reasons as a checklist and try to avoid them at all costs. Your conversion rate will suffer 99% of the time thus there is no place for these in any e-commerce business.
6.0. 3 Conversion Marketing Myths
Conversion marketing might seem a bit tough to handle at first.
We gathered 3 myths that might be holding you back from conversion rate optimization:
a. It is something you do once and then you forget about
The truth is you have to continually take care of this important process if you really want to make the most out of your investment in time, knowledge and financial resources.
Conversion Marketing is all about data and testing. Set hypothesize, test and analyze the data. Testing part never stops.
b. Only an expert can benefit from Conversion Marketing
Although an expert may get more results faster, this is a process every individual or business with an internet presence should perform; because of high demand, tools are affordable and there are a growing and accessible body of knowledge at hand.
c. It is really expensive to perform the processes required
This is a dangerous myth since it can make you avoid optimization completely, but with the right tools, you will be up to speed in no time. For that reason, you should check the following section.
7.0. Concluding thoughts
I hope the post comes in handy when you have finally decided to optimize site’s conversion rate.
Conversion Marketing is an integral part of any comprehensive digital marketing strategy and the best way to increase Return on Invest.
You may be leaving money on the table if you are not taking into account this simple, yet powerful part of the process of creating a successful online marketing campaign.
Let’s share the wisdom:
- Which are your pain points when it comes to conversion marketing?
- Any tips for fellow hustlers?