How do I keep strong conversion rates?

(Part 2 of a 2-part series on identifying and responding to bad conversation rates)

As we discussed last week, a conversion rate, alone, tells you nothing. It’s even possible that a conversion rate will drop despite an increase in sales. Still, the reality is clear…  you want your target audience to respond to your call to action so that you can convert them into buyers and loyal fans. What builds strong conversion rates?

Last week, we listed 42 different possible conversion problems, grouped according to messaging, design, your target audience, the competitive landscape, and technical problems. Fortunately, there’s a branding solution for many of these that can help create strong conversion rates. 

MESSAGING SOLUTIONS:

The words you use matter. Start with a well-defined verbal identity, which should include a Brand Archetype. Your Archetype(s) will define the personality that your words should convey… which should also match the personality in your images. Are you a liberator or a rebel? Then don’t write like a banker. Is your Archetype a caregiver? Then be a little compassionate.

 Here are some other suggestions for specific issues:

01. Change your copy, put the benefits FIRST, and problems solved right after.

Have you clearly identified the problem that you solve for your target audience? Imagine someone reading your page (or email) for the first time: do they know within a few seconds exactly what you solve?

02. USE LESS COPY.

Less is more, but how much is too much? We realize the old adage, “as much as necessary,” really isn’t helpful. How many words does it take you to get the goal of the page? Could you do it in half that? What desires and fears motivate your target audience? Make them aware of your solution, and no more. TIP: if you want to educate, consider putting all that beautiful amazing knowledge that lives in your head into a blog post or a lead magnet… not on a website landing page or in an email.

DESIGN SOLUTIONS:

What you show an audience is as important as what you say. Consider what happens in this scenario: you tell your target audience that your solution works for a wide, diverse range of men and women, but all of your images are of young, lean women between 25 and 30. The problem? Visually, every demographic not in the images will be implicitly excluded. Your target audience may or may not consciously notice, but their subconscious will. The excluded audience is unlikely to convert.

Let’s consider a few other examples:

01. Declutter and organize the page

Is it organized? Did you start with a site map? Have you given the most design real estate to what needs the most traffic? Have you minimized the distractions? What can you live without? Look at the data on your actual website traffic: are there pages or links that are never used? What are the pages where visitors exit? The basic organization of a landing page can impact whether visitors stay or go. Remember, edit out everything that doesn’t serve a real and valid purpose to achieving your goal.

02. Your images are too small, so make them bigger.

This one is pretty straight forward. Pictures are meant to be seen, not squinted at.

03. Your images are too large, make ’em smaller.

These last two go hand in hand. Your images shouldn’t be too small or too big. It’s the “just right” Goldilocks problem. Are they the right size for a blog post? Are they so large that it slows down the speed of the page? Check out this post for a few tips on sizing images for a landing page.

04. Your font is wrong for your personality, pick a new one!

We’ll just leave this right here. Your brand’s font should never be at odds with the promise and personality that you are trying to portray. Click that link you just breezed by to learn more!

TARGET AUDIENCE SOLUTIONS:

How well do you know your ideal target audience? You may have a picture of the perfect client in mind, but how accurate is that picture? Over time, your target audience may change: who you thought of as ideal is no longer your sweet spot. Have you changed to meet the new prospects? Target audiences are never static and unchanging.

01. Advertise on Facebook, already!

If you’re afraid of social media, it’s time to brave the dark. More and more consumers use mobile phones to read content: in fact, we spend 5 hours per day on our phones. According to this study, 39% of consumers ask questions or seek information via Facebook messaging. Is your target audience part of that 39%? Or, perhaps they still prefer Pinterest like this post from 2014 claimed? The point is: know where you audience goes when they go online. Meet them there.

02. Offer a free trial.

Does your target client LOVE a free trial? Give them one. Free trials are meant to be like first dates: they either work, or they don’t but the reward if they do is a lifetime of love. Let your market fall in love with your brand.

03. Give a money back guarantee.

If you don’t stand by your product or service, you really have no reason to be in business. Put your money where your mouth is and give people a reason to believe in you, before they buy. With BRANDING FOR THE PEOPLE’s 7-Point Brand Audit, we have ALWAYS offered a money back guarantee, and no one has ever exercised it, because it is THAT good 😉

04. Give a better bonus! 

Remember: sweeten the deal! Whether it’s a free trial, money back guarantee, or bonus, your target audience may need something that will wet their whistle. Because if you don’t offer it, someone else… already has! Often times, the bonus is even better than whatever you are offering! It is an opportunity to WOW the target client. A detailed customer avatar profile can help you learn what will wow them. Get to know your customers. They are real people, just like you.

05. Use the RIGHT testimonials. 

This happens, and perhaps an entire post could be written on this. Testimonials that sound canned, or paid, or simply a work of fiction, will hurt you. It’s okay to edit a testimonial for spelling and grammar (not only will bad grammar reflect on you, but it also makes your clients looks foolish), just don’t put words in their mouths. If the testimonial doesn’t feel compelling, it’s also okay to set it aside. Also, make darn sure that the testimonial is about the benefits of whatever you are selling at the time, not some other product or service that you sold 3 years ago!

COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE SOLUTIONS: 

01. Change your prices.

If an old product or service has gotten stale but still has value, change the price!

You can bundle it with something else and raise the price.

You can take some things out of it and lower the price.

You can repackage it, rename it and relaunch it with a higher price! Everything old is eventually new again.

02. Launch a new product.

Do you look like a stale piece of Wonder Bread to your target market? Then it is time to show them Who’s The Boss. Often times, conversion rates simply go down with age. Maybe the product or service you were selling was revolutionary, but it isn’t anymore. You were innovative once, and it is now time to do it again.

03. Stop getting crushed by a new competitor.

We can be so focused on our target audience that we forget to look at our competitors. What are they doing? Have they dropped prices or made a better mouse trap? Is there someone new that we haven’t met, yet? Just as a detailed customer avatar profile is critical for your brand platform, so is a thorough competitive review. REMEMBER: a competitor is simply a brand that your target audience picks when they don’t pick you. It is ANYONE that you compete with for money. It might not seem this way, but did you know that Folgers, Red Bull and Starbucks are ALL in direct competition with each other? Energy drinks are a big deal these days! Competitors don’t have to offer the same solution or have your expertise, but simply provide the alternative that consumers purchase.

If a new competitor has found a fancy new way to compete with you, it is time to respond with something that will help to maintain your market share.

Summary:

Just as everything you do creates a perception, everything you do online can impact traffic and that can impact your conversion rate. Look behind those numbers: has the call to action fulfilled your goal? If not, then break down the variables that can impact the conversion rate. Go through the list and see what you can eliminate to narrow down to the factors where you have room for improvement. And don’t forget the real goal behind the numbers: getting your target audience to take you up on the call to action.

If your brand has taken you as far it can go, there’s only one way to take it further. It’s not with a marketing agency. Not with a business coach. Not even a graphic designer.

It makes common sense to hire a branding agency … for branding. And, you can do that in just 2-days with our “Branding Intensive“.

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