For almost everyone online, in just about every field, everything hinges on conversions. A conversion simply means that someone did something that you marked as a key objective. They may have converted from being a watcher to a customer, or from a prospect to a donor. Maybe they converted from an anonymous website visitor to become a lead with an email address. Whatever the criteria, everyone depends on conversions.
Whether it is direct or not, we all spend to get conversions. Maybe we spend marketing dollars or time, perhaps we spend credibility and social capital. Whatever the currency, if you can decrease what it costs you to get a conversion, you win.
So here are 7 tips to improve your cost per conversion:
- Make it easy for people to convert. This sounds too simple, but this is the number one thing I have found that hinders conversions. Whatever step you want people to take needs to be easy, simple, almost impossible to misinterpret or mess up. Web pages need to be streamlined. Copy needs to be clarified. Steps and instructions need to be intuitive and kept to a minimum. Once prospects decide they want to talk, apply, buy, or donate, you want the process to be effortless and reassuring.
- Give people a reason to believe. This is multifaceted, but in short, people need to believe what they do will meet their expectations. They need to feel like they are doing the right thing for them, and that your organization is credible, diligent, and worthy of their involvement. A portion of this is looking the part. Other elements come through in your content, process, and testimonials.
- Make sure you are worth it. The reason to believe is what happens before prospects take the plunge. But what happens in the seconds, minutes, and hours after they convert is critical. The confirmation, thank you, welcome kit, and of course the main event all need to not only satisfy, but warrant a referral. If the user’s experience is lack luster, they are even more likely to tell someone than if it was good.
- Never be content with hitting the nail on the head. People scramble to get their conversion rates to a place that is acceptable, or even pleasing. And then we stop scrambling, we think we “got it”. Some of the best results I have ever seen came after the point where we felt like we had optimized conversions to be as good as they could get. But with a little extra experimenting, ad tweaks, and media tests, I was able to almost double the ROI of the campaign. Even when it is working, keep testing!
- Have multiple baskets. You always need to have multiple avenues to communicate or advertise. If your organization is built off of the results of Google, Facebook, or any one method of promotion, you can be devastated by a single policy change. If Facebook advertising is your bread and butter, then great, don’t fix it if it is not broken. But plan for it breaking. Test other sites, other mediums, other whole approaches. Make sure you are not dependent on any one avenue for conversions.
- Look for dead weight. The old adage is “Only half of my advertising is working, I just don’t know which half.” In the digital age, we can know which half is working. Look for inefficiencies in your media spend or process. Find where dollars are producing sub-par results and move those resources to things that are working. Or repurpose the resources for testing new things. These kinds of insights won’t jump out and call your name though. Sometimes you need to dig deep into the data and think creatively to assess what is working and what is not.
- A rolling stone gathers no moss. Actually that is not entirely true, but you get the idea. Do not sit still for too long. Things are constantly changing in the digital world. Social is always changing, search is changing, even direct advertising is in a constant state of flux. Every media plan I touch has to have the flexibility to change midstream and without warning or bureaucracy. Just assume the strategy you start the year off will be different than the one you end the year with. You have to plan that way, and you have to stay on the cutting edge in order to keep your conversation rates from sinking.