Do You Give Up On A Conversion Too Easily?
When a conversion rate fails to live up to your expectations, how many excuses do you have ready?
“The network is scrubbing!”
“The quality of the traffic sucks…”
“Somebody stole my cookies!”
It’s important to realise that while some factors of a healthy conversion rate are beyond our control, we can still have a vice like grip on the others.
Over the last year, I’ve managed to muster some of the highest conversion rates in the dating vertical. And I’ve done it by simply losing less clicks than my competition. That sounds like a stupid statement, so allow me to explain.
For every product you promote, there are many different angles you can take in selling it to your customer. But the only angle that matters is the one that is specifically relevant to the needs of that customer.
The problem with a vertical like dating is obvious. Individual taste can cover such wildly different ends of the spectrum, you’d be fucking nuts to design a landing page that satisfies everyone. We can opt for laser targeted campaigns instead, and this gives us a much healthier conversion rate – but at the price of volume.
It’s always satisfying to run a mainstream high-volume campaign where your market isn’t restricted to a demo that has scaling difficulties from birth. These are usually the campaigns that turn on the money tap. To achieve them, you need to be able to restrict the number of conversions you lose through poor sales funneling.
Troubleshooting Your Sales Funnel
Your sales funnel is the one element that distinguishes you from every other marketer. We share access to the same stock images, the same offers and the same traffic sources. It’s only when we combine them together and create a sales funnel that the conversions are won or lost.
Fluidity Between Clicks – I’ve written about this before, but it never loses relevance. Your ad creatives must transition smoothly in to your landing page, and then serenely on to the offer. Bait and switch marketing can get you so far, but you have to deliver fluidity in your sales funnel to minimize the loss of conversions.
Let’s say your headline reads “Instantly Get More Messages On Dating Sites”
This grabs a good CTR by the balls, but without fluid transition in to a landing page that elaborates and successfully funnels the user in to your next action (presumably registering on a dating site), it’s going to be a letdown. You can’t use a headline like this and then say “…by joining Match free!“, without harming your original message.
If you’re going to bait and switch, your landing page has to deliver an effective transition between your clickbait headline and your end goal. So in this case, giving five quick reasons why joining Match will make you Mr. Popular would make the transition much smoother.
Understand “YES!” Psychology – The more often you can get your reader to subconsciously answer “Yes!” to rhetorical questions, the more likely they are to develop a positive frame of mind. A positive frame of mind is important because it inspires action. You don’t win sales by casting thoughts of reflection or indecision.
The single greatest burden that stops John Doe from becoming your next customer is his ability to conjure limitless excuses and alibis for not buying your shit. We are all blessed with an internal reasoning system. In order to justify spending money or time, we need to be sure that the positives far outweigh the negatives.
For many marketers, this knowledge gets lost with the illusion that simply catering a page for what the user clicked on will be enough to deliver the sale. It rarely is. A click shows no more than a fleeting interest. In order to convert that fleeting interest in to a paying customer, we have to satisfy their doubts and create a great deal of positive imagery.
To create positive imagery, you first need to cut down on the escape routes that every reader will instinctively seek. Cynicism is a killer for any landing page that doesn’t address specific concerns. If you fail to understand the primary concerns that would stop somebody from accepting your product as a solution, the game is over before it started.
Of course, some markets take less cornering than others. It doesn’t take much to sell a weight loss pill to a hopeless beached whale who believes any excuse that aligns with her disgust for the treadmill.
“Wouldn’t it be great to emphatically blast those pounds away and look fantastic before the summer?”
“Wouldn’t you pay a bargain $30 for exclusive possession of the superpill that works quicker than any diet to reverse YEARS of harmful habit? Is this a price worth paying to capture the body you thought had disappeared forever? We think the perfectly toned, healthy you is worth MUCH more than $30…”
By subconsciously answering yes to the enforcement of positive imagery, your reader’s brain is kept stimulated and occupied. More importantly, the common excuses and alibis – those deadly conversion killers – are never allowed to dictate the thought impulses.
The fastest way to apply this to your landing page is to make a simple change in the way that you look at them. Become the Scrooge of your target market. Brainstorm every last reason why a user would REFUSE to commit to your product, and then work backwards. Take the biggest excuses and blunt them with positive imagery.
In the example above, price is countered with scarcity (exclusive possession?) and the classic trick of asking what would be the much greater price of NOT buying the product.
It’s possible to spin almost any negative in to a positive. And that is the chief purpose of a good sales funnel. Kill indecision before indecision kills your conversion rates.
Monetize The Scraps – If you can’t get a conversion, get an opt-in. Failing all else, co-brand your landing page to add value to an existing site in your portfolio.
It struck me a few months ago that I’d been driving thousands and thousands of clicks to dating landing pages, and yet I’d never thought to co-brand them under the umbrella of the dating blog I already ran.
Sometimes the offer you’re promoting simply isn’t right for a certain kind of visitor. You can forget about that demographic entirely and accept the lost clicks, or you can attempt to monetize the scraps. This is possible either through a second upsell – “Well if you don’t want to join my dating site, how about an ebook to help you on the one you’re already on?” – or by co-branding your assets.
I figured that if I had a ton of clicks not converting in to sales, why not address it frankly on the page? You can post a simple notice saying that you’re sorry they didn’t want to join Site X, but you’d love for them to subscribe to your dating blog instead. Or to check out a different offer. Or to hand over their Amazon cookie. Whatever. There is no limit to what you can achieve with a little hustle and lateral thinking.
In conclusion… The best way to stop losing conversions is to remember that not every click comes from a user who thinks as you do. And for every impossibly low conversion rate, create additional value to monetize the sales that never were.
Recommended This Week
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12 CommentsLeave a comment
Golden advice from a golden blog! :p
great post finch! it seems like your landing pages would have to significantly longer than a standard 3-4 bullet points with a picture and a big CTA button. Is this true? also what kind of CVR’s are you hitting so we have something to gauge on whether or not we’re doing well (30%? more?)
Not significantly longer. Many of my landing pages use simple bullet points, but I think you have to make sure you’re talking to all parts of the market – not just repeating the same benefit four times.
I’ve had conversions over 50% on some lower payout dating offers. But most of the time, I hover between 25-40%. If you can nail conversions in this bracket on an offer that pays over $6, you should be able to get profitable easily enough.
Great info right here. Took me awhile to start grabbing emails from people who did and didn’t buy and that is when things started to go really well in my favor. When you start out, it is so easy to give up if you are losing money and seeing nothing in return at all.
Thanks for the tips and the example. I’m about to jump into the dating vertical so this is helpful. Been struggling with exactly how to funnel them. This post is right on time.
How do you grab the info from scraps, most traffic sources forbid any kind of exit pops, right?
That’s a good point. I always used to assume that the visitor is dumber than I am, but that’s not necessarily true. It really depends on the niche…
@Greg – By scraps, I don’t mean exit-popping. I don’t use exit pops personally.
After your primary call to action, you can simply add a note below for any user who isn’t interested in your main offer. Send them to something else, or give them an incentive to opt-in, subscribe…
If only 1/10 clicks is a conversion, it makes sense to find alternative value for those 9 clicks that decide not to convert.
I swear, i have heard all the excuses imaginable.
Great post. Conversion Rate Optimization is one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal. Not using it means just playing around waiting for cheap enough clicks or high enough payouts, which are both getting harder and harder to find.
Many of these points can be related to personal selling. Getting your potential customer to agree to what you are saying and visualize themselves with your product (donâ€™t through creative copywriting).
Also, making sure you never leave with a â€œno.â€ If a customer isnâ€™t interested than it may be due to a number of reasons BESIDES that they are not actually interested. They could be too busy to find out more information, or maybe they donâ€™t understand the information enough.
A no is not always a no. Find ways to follow up with better information.
Never get emotionally tied to the conversion either. “This traffic is awesome so something else must be wrong!” And it’s always a good idea to have a specific comparison in place so that you can compare apples to apples. For example, don’t compare an ad or lander that gets 100k impressions to an ad or lander that gets 2k impressions.