‘Help! How do I increase conversions?’
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked this question….well, move over Kylie Jenner, I’d be the first self-made billionaire.
The question is almost always the same, maybe reworded and at different levels of sheer desperation, but always roughly the same question.
The answer however, is ever changing!
Rather than drowning you in an onslaught of textbook ideas and strategies that will either work a little, a lot, or not at all, I want to share our 7-step formula. A formula that will help you uncover why your leads aren’t converting and how to make sustainable changes to your strategy.
What you will learn:
- 7 Step Formula for Increasing Your Marketing Conversions
- 3 Crucial Conversion-Killing Mistakes to Avoid
- Plus, bonus downloadable hypothesis template!
7 Step Formula for Increasing Your Marketing Conversions
Step 1: Defining Your Definition of a Conversion
This is how the conversation goes:
‘Help Alita, I want to increase my conversions!’
‘Awesome! Can you define what you want to convert higher on?’
‘Ummmmm I want to make more money. It’s that simple, right?’
Well, not quite. By definition, a conversion is the process of changing—or causing something to change—from one form to another. Turning an Instagram follower into a subscriber, a hot lead into a scheduled meeting, an impression into a click-through, a website visitor into a customer…you get the point!
Step 1: Define what constitutes a conversion to you!
For example: I want to improve the sales conversions from Instagram traffic.
Step 2: Define Your Target Market or Segment
‘I want to convert website visitors into customers’ Hmm…we think you can do better than that!
What is the metric you really want to grow? Let’s narrow it down!
Do you have a segment or type of user in mind? Maybe you’re thinking
- Mobile shoppers
- Repeat purchasers
- Dormant customers
- From a particular region
- In a particular product category?
We would caution against using a blanket approach. Trust us, it helps to be razor-thin with your objectives and target segment.
For example, two powerhouse Aussie retailers, The Iconic and Booktopia, purposely removed the guest checkout option from their sites. Why? Because their definition of conversion was a ‘new customer with a loyalty account’.
Who do you want to improve for? Drill down the data and outline your segment.
Step 3: Audit Your Customer Journey
A football coach doesn’t dedicate all their time to training the goal-kicker. Why? Well, a good goal kicker is pretty damn useless if the team can’t get them the ball.
Your point of conversion is your goal-kicker, and just like a football, marketing isn’t a one player sport. If your goal is to increase conversions, your focus shouldn’t be solely on pulling apart and improving the point of conversion.
Poking conversion holes only at the point of checkout is like having a goal kicker with no team to assist in the goal setup. You need to broaden your scope to the entire customer journey!
When trying to audit the path to sales conversion, it’s important to consider the unique journeys users could take to the point of conversion and the concerns, questions and obstacles that may be preventing them from reaching this point.
The best way to conduct an audit is to work through your customer journeys and take note of any inconvenience that you encounter. Now ask a friend to do it. Your next door neighbors. The postman. Basically, the further detached a person is from your business, the more honest their feedback will be.
Analyse the touchpoints they may encounter:
Welcome Series, sign-up form, social media presence, SEO, paid advertising, website, pop-ups, site speed.
Blog, partner content, third-party reviews, remarketing.
Website usability, product photos and copy, price, checkout, abandoned cart emails.
Post-purchase review, follow-up, warranty/aftercare information, loyalty programs
Gather the feedback and look for patterns. As a team, vote on which aspect of your customers’ journey you should focus on first. Keep this feedback safe; you’ll be revisiting other suggestion further down the track.
Step 4: Formulate your Hypothesis
It’s about to get all high-school science class up in here!
We know the feeling. You’ve hit a gold mine of changes you would like to implement and you’re ready and raring to get to work. BUT if you go and implement everything at once, how will you differentiate between what’s working and what isn’t?
If you want to make real, sustainable changes to your conversion strategy, you need to slow down before you can speed up.
What is our goal (conversion type)? Who is our segment? What are we testing first?
Step 5: Develop Your Prototype
Now it’s time to get creative!
What will your changes look like? Are you editing copy or design? Trying out a new functionality? Launching an ad set or campaign? Consider everything you have uncovered up to this point and spend some time developing and refining your prototype.
Step 6: Implement Your Test
If you’ve ever worked in sales, you’d know the well-used saying, ‘ABC – Always be closing’. Well, us marketers want to make it our own, ‘ABT – always be testing’!
Setting up a structured testing matrix will help you stay on track.
Your chosen conversion metric will be your main point of focus, but it’s also important to record secondary metrics to see if your experiment is having any unexpected influence.
When it comes to deciding how long you want your test to last, consider how much quality and quantifiable data is going through your test. If you have a high lead volume, you could run the test for a matter of days or weeks, but if you’re just getting started, we would suggest having it in place for at least a month.
Send it live and let it work its magic. Give it time for your audience to take to the changes, and resist making too many edits during your experiment. It’s like cooking a pavlova, if you open the oven door to often it will be a total flop!
Step 7: Perform Your Retrospective
So was your hypothesis correct? Or do you need to revise and try again? The most important thing to do at this point is to take what you learned and scale it forward. As a team sit down and unpack the following questions:
What can we improve on next time?
And now outline the action steps you will take to improve and expand on your experiment.
3 Crucial Conversion-Killing Mistakes to Avoid
- Don’t fall for the price-trap
New product not selling? SALE. Emails not receiving the click-throughs? SALE. Losing leads at checkout? SALE……wait a minute!
Don’t be fooled. Discounting won’t always be the answer to your greatest marketing woes. If your goal is to increase conversions, focus first on the areas of your marketing and sales strategy that you can improve.
Focusing in on your customer experience (CX) will help you stand out without having rely on sales all the time. Constant sales are just a band aid for a much bigger problem. The long-game is worth it, trust us!
2. Don’t Take Data at Face Value
Data is great…but only if you know what it is telling you!
When you’re analysing the data ask yourself:
- Has this data point increased, decreased, or stayed relatively the same?
- Why has/ hasn’t this data point changed? What elements are influencing it?
- Can you think of any factors that may be skewing or misleading the data?
For example, was there a sale mid-way through your experiment? Did you run out of stock? Was there a promotional holiday or special event that may have led to higher conversions?
Always go that one step further to validate your results and turn your data into actionable insights.
3. Don’t Test Too Many Variables at Once
This is what we call ‘spray and pray’ strategies. You find your brain bursting with ideas and so you implement them all at once. It succeeds. But now, you have NO idea what combination of elements made it work!
If you read this article hoping to find the quickfix solution to all your low-conversion woes, sorry!
Increased conversions are a result of an improved customer experience, there’s no magic potion, one size fits all solution.
If you find yourself with ‘I need to increase my conversions’ tunnel vision, snap out of it! Slow down, step back and consider, ‘What am I really trying to achieve here?’ and ‘Why am I not seeing the results I am after?’
We hope you enjoyed this blog and if you have any questions of would like to know more, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Milk It Academy is a training and consultancy provider that solves customer experience problems for businesses. They help teams transform their digital marketing, customer loyalty and sales strategy, by teaching creative problem solving, growth-focussed strategies and digital marketing best practice.
Alita Harvey-Rodriguez is known as one of Australia’s leading digital marketing futurists and the brains behind Milk It Academy.
For over a decade Alita has worked with global brands including SAP, Experian, SEMRush, TS14+, Estee Lauder, Myer & Online Retailer. Alita is a regular contributor to Women’s Agenda, SEMRush, internetretailer.com.au, 2015 ORIA Judge (Online Retailer Industry Awards) and now sits on Girls In Tech Australia’s Board of Directors.
Kizzi Nkwocha is the editor of Business Game Changer Magazine and publisher of The UK Newspaper, Money and Finance Magazine, the net’s fastest growing wealth creation publication. Kizzi Nkwocha is chair of The Ethical Publishers Association and co-chair of The Logistics Association. Kizzi made his mark in the UK as a publicist, journalist and social media pioneer. As a widely respected and successful media consultant he has represented a diverse range of clients including the King of Uganda, and Amnesty International. Nkwocha has also become a well-known personality on both radio and television. He has been the focus of a Channel 4 documentary on publicity and has hosted his own talk show, London Line, on Sky TV. He has also produced and presented both radio and TV shows in Cyprus and Spain.