Scoring Conversions with Small-Ball
Your online store has seen a tremendous increase in traffic over the past few weeks. Suddenly, people are flocking to see what your company has to offer. Certainly, with this increase in users, one can expect more purchases to be made as well. However, once you look at the numbers, you notice that sales are stagnant. But how can that be?
Perhaps your conversion tools are not up to par. Or your landing pages might be kinda bleh and they haven’t been tested properly. Maybe your content isn’t relevant enough. And for Pete’s sake… don’t tell me your website is slow.
In any event, here are some tips to help your website optimize its conversions and push your consumers through the purchasing process. It’s important to remember that conversions don’t have to necessarily be purchases from an online store. Conversions can be signing up for emails, calling directly from a number placed on an ad or the downloading of an app.
Conversions are a lot like… baseball?
In baseball, you can’t rely on a homerun every at bat. Sometimes you must take a small-ball approach to scoring runs. The classic baseball strategy of, “Get ‘em on. Get ‘em over. Get ‘em in,” is a great method to use to get on the board. First, somebody needs to get on base. Once that happens, the following batter has to get him over, or move him into scoring position, usually with a bunt. Finally, the next batter is tasked with hitting the runner in and scoring the run.
This strategy isn’t unlike what you use to drive website conversions. Think of it this way in terms of an email or ad campaign. Your initial email or ad has a link to a landing page. Opening the email and clicking the link or the ad is your “get ‘em on.” Once they are on the site, or on base, you must “get ‘em over” by perhaps having a data capture entry or by having them browse the site. Finally, you must “get ‘em in” by getting them to make a purchase.
Get ‘Em On
A great way to drive conversions is to create a personable experience for your potential customer. This plan of attack starts at your emailing and ad campaigns. By creating different emails and ads based on broader categories such as geographic location, demographic attributes like gender and age or narrower groupings like previous purchase history, you can create a relevant experience for the user that will lead to more clicks.
Along with that, it is important to test your emails and ads before committing. One way to test them is to use the A/B testing method. You wouldn’t put a rookie up to bat without first having him tested in the minor leagues, right?
A/B testing is a simple and great way to test which versions of your emails and ads have better conversion rates. For example, you may test two emails by sending them out at two different times. Whichever time comes up with more conversions, that is what you use. Multiple A/B tests with different variables should be performed to fully optimize your online campaigns.
Get ‘Em Over
If all goes well with your ad and email campaigns, your customer should be on base at this point and has accessed the site and at the landing page. The landing page is the initial encounter a user has with the website, and as we know, first impressions are important. The first aspect to consider when diagnosing your landing pages is the variety of pages you have. The more diverse array of landing pages your site has, the more leads you’ll produce. Companies who have more landing pages understand that each ad or email should deserve its own landing page, or they bundle relevant campaigns together with landing experiences that align.
So, just like with ads and emails, the key to a good landing page is to personalize it. While your customers might be in different stages of the buying process, they may also differ in terms of what they are looking for. In this instance, you’re going to want to tailor landing pages to the type of product or category in which they are interested.
Let’s look at Red Wing Shoes as an example. Instead of having generic landing pages emerge from Red Wing’s ads, Three Deep worked towards creating a personalized experience by having multiple landing pages for different segments of Red Wing’s customers (the segments were broken down by the type of footwear they purchased).
Using Datahash to target brand loyal customers, Three Deep created personalized landing pages that served dynamic content based on who clicked on the ad. Rather than seeing generic hero images, users saw images and copy that reflected their previous purchases. This created content that felt relevant to the consumer.
Clicking on one of Red Wing’s Facebook ads will take you to a tailored experience based on your previous activity.
Simplify Landing Pages and Speed Up Your Site
There is an old saying in when it comes to optimizing conversions and goes something like this, “He who wishes for conversions must have a website that is really, really fast and really, really, simple.”
Okay I made that up, but that doesn’t make it any less true. According to a Radware study, if your users have to wait more than three seconds for a page to load, they are getting the heck out of there. Another study from Akamai, centered on mobile users, found that 73 percent of people who shopped on their phones believed the sites were too slow. And, while they are willing to wait a whole second more, after four seconds they gave up on the site.
If you want to make sure your landing page is quick, don’t include videos or large images that will just delay the load time. Not only can these functions make your page load slower, but it can also create a cluttered experience for your user.
Overall, your landing page should be aesthetically pleasing and simple in its content. The main goal of your landing page should be to get your user to click on a simple CTA button and gather some information about them and of course, make a purchase. Limit your CTA’s and strip down your data capture fields. Simplify your landing pages so that your users know what it is your offering, how they can access the offer and that it will only take a few moments of their time. A messy site will lead to confusion and lost conversions.
Get ‘Em In
At this point, your potential customers should be close to reaching home plate and that ultimate conversion of buying your products your services. They now have the tools they need, whether it’s that 10% off promo code or access to your site, to make the purchase. The user will now either decide to A.) make the purchase or B.) back out and not follow through. For those that go with step B, this is where re-marketing campaigns come into play. By using cookies, you can track who visited your site without making and purchases or enquiries and send them advertisements that will direct them back towards the site. Showing ads with the items they looked at and browsed through might just be all they need to convince them that hey, you know what, I should treat myself and buy those boots or that shirt.
You Can’t Bat 1.000
Not everyone who saw your ad clicked on it. Not everyone who was sent an email opened it. Not everyone who made it to your landing page clicked on your CTA or browsed your site. And that is okay reality in marketing. There will never be a perfect ad or email campaign with a 100% conversion rate. And just like in baseball, you can’t get a hit every at bat. Even the great Ted Williams, arguably the greatest hitter of all-time, had a lifetime average of .344. The point is, runners are stranded all the time and you’ll make some errors, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to lose the game. It just means you need keep getting as many runners on base (PRO TIP: You can use the buzzword MICRO CONVERSION in place of the baseball analogy to sound extra smart) to increase the chance of the clutch hit that results in the winning run.
Oh, if you’re conversion seems to be in a slump, or if you have any questions on how to get more runners across the plate, we’re happy to help.