Your website is hopping. You have a lot of visitors coming in due to your recent email and text marketing campaign. You're thrilled, because you need this boost in sales, especially since the launch of your most recent product. However, soon you notice that although your website numbers are up, a lot of the people who are visiting your site drop away as quickly as they appear. That increased traffic has not resulted in increased sales. You're disheartened: what can you do to make those leads stick?
How do you turn leads into customers: that's the perennial question for businesses, particularly online businesses. Your leads can't just sit there and browse: you need them to do something and to connect with your business. How do you get them so excited about your products that they leap into action? The conversion marketing paradigm will help you get those leads moving.
What is Conversion Marketing?
According to Marketing Schools, "conversion marketing refers to tactics that encourage customers to take a specific action, “converting” a person browsing your website into a purchaser of your product or service."
Conversion marketing is the delicate art of moving people from browsers to buyers. It's not just about the sales pitch: conversion marketing employs many different techniques, from the design of your website to the messages that you send to leads who've abandoned their shopping carts.
Why should you try out conversion marketing? It's what allows you to achieve your goals of additional sales in a sensible, strategic way. It's not about magical sales pitches. It's about making goals and putting plans in place so that you can more easily achieve them.
Building your business requires effort, and this is one of those efforts that can be very fruitful, as long as you put thought and work into the process.
What is a Conversion?
When you're looking for conversions, what are you actually looking for from your customers? When a customer comes into your online store, he's often not a customer yet. He may have read your banner ad, seen you mentioned on Facebook by a friend, or be curious about your products because they turned up first in his Google search.
Your job is to turn that interest into action. That action could be the purchase of a product, but it could be another action as well. According to MarketingSherpa, "conversion is simply getting someone to respond to your call-to-action." A conversion could look like:
- Adding another person to your email list
- Clicking on a link in an email
- Responding to a text marketing campaign
Any action that your lead takes to move further into the sales funnel is a conversion. Your ultimate goal is to turn those conversions into sales and to continue that relationship with the customer over time.
How Do You Measure Conversions?
If conversions equal action, how do you measure all of those small actions that your customers take?
You'll need to work with many different metrics that you can measure on your website or with your marketing programs, including:
- Traffic sources, including direct visitors, visitors from social media, and visitors due to search results.
- The actions of new visitors to your site.
- The actions of repeat visitors to your site.
- The bounce rate from your site, when visitors arrive and then immediately leave.
- The different types of interactions with your site.
- The sales that occur due to each visit and from each visitor.
Each of these metrics can tell you different things about the success of your conversion marketing strategies.
Getting Started with Conversion Marketing
How do you begin implementing a conversion marketing campaign?
Wait. Before you implement, you need to understand what your campaign is all about.
- Start by understanding your audience. What are the needs and wants of the different customers who come to your site? Have you developed customer personas for each one? Do you understand their needs at different points in the sales funnel?
- How does your business relate to that audience? What needs do you fill?
- What are the goals of your business? Is there a specific product that you want to promote?
- How does your audience like to communicate? If you find that you're working with a lot of millennials, text messaging might be the way to go. If you have lengthy thoughts to share, blog posts could be a better choice. Find out what combination of different communication styles will move your leads to action.
Once you know what your leads want, how you meet those needs, and how to communicate with that audience, test out some conversion strategies. For example, if you find that your leads really want to move quickly through a purchase process that's prompted by a text message, then you could create a simple landing page with a straightforward design that moves them from a call to action to conversion. For instance, if you sell pizza and you want a football-loving audience to order online in response to a marketing text, develop a simple landing page that offers them a free drink with their pizza if they order right now through this easy online process. You can segment phone, email, and text marketing lists to try out different conversion calls to action and see which ones actually work for your leads.
How To Get Customers to Convert
Now that you've decided to embrace the idea of conversion marketing, how do you implement it in a way that actually works?
- Know yourself and your audience. Speak with a consistent and engaging voice and project your values. Customers feel safe making a commitment to your company when they feel like they know who you really are.
- Make changes, but stay consistent as well. Don't change everything overnight, or your repeat customers could feel shaken, and you could lose their business.
- Invest in your content. This not only includes your ads, but it also includes your blog posts, website copy, and social media posts. Poorly-written copy brings your company down, while well-written copy inspires leads to action.
- Hit them with the headlines. You need to have strong, clear headlines that allow leads to see what they're getting when they click on a page, read a paragraph, or respond to an offer.
- Examine when leads leave. Work to fix these areas so that people who visit will continue to move through your sales process.
- Create community. Build up this community through social media posts, and invite your leads and customers to respond. This will also help you deepen your understanding of your audience.
- Understand how your audience likes to communicate and talk to them their way. If they love to text, there's no point calling. If they prefer the phone, why email all of the time?
- Diversify your modes of communication. Not all customers like to communicate the same way, and not everyone communicates the same way all of the time. Multiple touches help you connect with your leads over time.
- Create visual organization on your website to cue people to click on certain areas and move through the marketing funnel.
- Simplify actions on your website. For instance, if you can get people to use a social media login rather than signing up and giving their personal information to you, this is much easier and they are more likely to act.
- Make your CTAs visible, easy to understand, and compelling. Your leads won't be inspired by a lackluster CTA.
- Plan for a repeat performance. While it's tempting to focus on new lead conversions, your existing customers are already dedicated to your business. Think about their needs and how you can reinspire them to visit your website.
Jump Into Your Lead Generation and Customer Conversion Campaign
You're ready to see more customer conversions on your website. What can you do right now to move from thought into action?
- Make a plan. Before you jump in, consider the purpose of your campaign and the needs of your leads. Look at opportunities that present themselves seasonally or during the life cycle of your leads or your company.
- Create opportunities for engagement. This could be as simple as having a time-limited offer or sale. If you're feeling like your leads just aren't biting, give them a reason to act.
- Work with a marketing partner to make your marketing less labor-intensive. When you work with a marketing partner, you can ensure that you spend most of your time working on your business strategy and less time navigating the technical side of marketing.
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