9 Ways to Improve Conversion Rates You May Have Overlooked

9 Ways to Improve Conversion Rates You May Have Overlooked
Charlene Boutin
Charlene Boutin Apr 6, 2020 — 9 min read
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What’s your website conversion rate?

No matter how good or bad your current numbers are, there is nothing wrong with wanting to improve it.

The thing is, conversion rate is a tricky metric.

Already tried commonly shared tips to increase website conversion rates and are now ready to go deeper? Here, you’ll find nine tactics that can help you get a bigger bang for your buck.

1. Implement exit-intent popups

Why do visitors leave your site?

You’ll never know if you don’t ask.

Exit-intent popups can be used as a last-ditch effort to collect an email address. But they are rarely used to ask visitors how their experience can be improved. Meanwhile, it might be a great opportunity to get the information that will help you increase conversion rate.

When you ask visitors why they’re leaving, you can present them with a personalized solution instead of giving the same exit-intent popup to everyone.

For example, giving them a discount won’t help if they’re leaving because they are confused about how your website works.

2. Create a lead-generation quiz (and follow up with email!)

Quizzes are one of my favorite conversion tools. And no, they’re not just for Buzzfeed or course creators!

You can create a quiz and embed it on your website to provide a more personalized buyer’s journey for your customers, all while collecting detailed data about them and their preferences. Depending on what type of business you run, your quiz can separate visitors using different strategies:

  • By common pain point

  • By desired outcome or benefit

  • By taste/preferences

  • By particular attributes that determine what they need

For an example of that last one, let’s take a look at Function of Beauty.

The first thing you’ll see when you visit their website is an invitation to take the quiz.

A lead generation quiz on the Function of Beauty landing page

Yup, you saw that right. They’re not asking their visitors to shop. They’re asking them to take the quiz.

That’s because the whole point of Function of Beauty is to provide a personalized experience. Plus, they know they’ll be able to follow up with amazing emails if visitors don’t purchase right away.

But you don’t have to sell custom-made shampoo to provide a personalized experience.

I can get really geeky about quizzes, but I’m going to keep this short and sweet. Here is what you need to make your quiz awesome at converting visitors:

  • Questions that are relevant to your target clientele, written in your brand’s tone of voice (no boring quizzes, please!)

  • Results pages that accurately meet your leads where they are and provide them with the solution – this could be a curated list of products, a free training, you name it!

  • A follow-up email sequence that is unique to each result

If you make the very first interaction your visitors have with you a fun one, you’ve got an amazing head start to get them to trust your brand.

3. Track where people are in the stages of your sales funnel

A common mistake I see online websites make is assuming every lead is the same and treating them as such.

Here’s the truth — your leads are people. You shouldn’t expect people to be ready to buy after seeing your awareness campaign.

I like to keep track of where people are in my own buyer’s journey by tagging them in my email marketing software. When they perform certain actions, they get internally tagged appropriately. This means that I only send sales emails to people who are reaching the bottom of the funnel, and I make sure to provide tons of value to those who newly entered the funnel.

This leads to our next point…

4. Convert visitors into email subscribers first

I get it – it’s all about the money, and converting visitors into paying customers is the most important factor that will keep your ecommerce business afloat.

But if you try to convert cold visitors into paying customers above all else, you’ll have a lower conversion rate than if you aimed for a conversion that offers less friction.

This is why email marketing is so powerful.

Aim to turn your website into a lead generation machine that converts cold visitors into warm email subscribers. From there, you can warm people up via email.

59% of marketers claim email is their biggest source of ROI, so this advice isn’t a shot in the dark. Here are just a handful of ways you can convert visitors into email subscribers:

  • Use popups and slide-ins to offer lead magnets (such as coupons or free shipping)

  • Add an exit-intent popup that provides an irresistible incentive (50% off their first order, for example, or a free item with purchases over a certain amount)

  • Run A/B tests to figure out which popups are converting better

  • Customize the language on your widgets based on behavior

Giving up an email address provides much less friction than handing over credit card digits. Still, make sure you do more than just offer “news and updates” in exchange for visitors’ email.

If you can collect even more information about your subscribers, even better. For instance, check out this popup from Carry Maternity:

The Carry Maternity email signup form adds a due date field to boost conversions

They ask for their visitors’ due date as well as their name and email address. This is really smart, because a pregnant customer’s due date will influence what products they need at what time. It will also allow the brand to check in around the due date and let their customers know they are thinking about them!

If you don’t have an email subscription popup on your website yet, you can quickly add one using the Getsitecontrol template below.

Just hit the See live preview link and follow the instructions. Then, adapt the copy to your website and decide whether you want to place this form sitewide or on selected pages.

Your subscribers don’t want more news and updates. They want concrete value. They want to save money. Give it to them.

5. Optimize your website (and entire funnel) for mobile

Still think optimizing your ecommerce website for mobile is optional?

I mean, everything is optional. But you’re throwing away so many conversions by failing to adapt to the mobile market.

Four out of five Americans now shop online, which is great news for you, but half of them are making purchases on their mobile device.

You can use responsive website tools, but the best solution is to create an entirely separate version of your site for mobile users. By doing this, you’ll be able to create shorter headlines, stuff in less text, and place buttons where they should be for the best usability.

Just look at how Reitmans adapts for mobile:

An exit-intent survey example to learn more about customers’ objections

I clicked on the “3 Deals” banner, which took a good portion of the screen without being too intrusive. Even when the deals are deployed, it doesn’t feel overwhelming – to me, it feels just right. I feel just as comfortable shopping on Reitmans’ mobile site as I do on their desktop version.

Aim to make this true for your own website, too.

And no, your website isn’t the only element you need to fix. If you want to improve conversion rates, anything your customers come in contact with throughout your sales funnel needs to be optimized.

What do your emails look like on a smartphone, for instance? If they look clunky, the previous point we just covered will be useless to you!

6. Nip your customers’ objections in the bud

Before your visitors have a chance to object to the sale, it’s your job to figure out what these objections could be – and nip them in the bud.

How do you do that?

Remember those website exit survey popups we mentioned earlier? The data you collect should come in handy right about now. If you’ve implemented the simple one-question survey, you’ll start getting a picture of what’s going on in your customers’ minds.

Meeting your customers where they are is a core concept of conversion copywriting. Although this isn’t a copywriting course, there are a few easy methods you can implement right away for some common objections.

Take FAQs as an example. No, FAQs aren’t just for questions. Their main purpose should be to counter objections.

One common objection: what if I don’t like what I bought? If you have a return policy, include it in the FAQs, but do your best to use language that your customers would use to argue against the sale.

In other cases, people might feel overwhelmed with the choices available on your site. They may feel insecure about making the wrong decision and purchasing products that aren’t the best for them.

Here is what Cori, a Canadian wellness brand, does in their FAQ section to counteract this objection.

Email subscription form template to help you turn cold visitors into warm leads

Confused about which products to choose? Uncertain about whether or not you may want to return your purchase? Fear to receive damaged products? These objections get cut short in a helpful tone of voice, which can be seen across the entire site.

Did you notice another objection blocker in this image? Shipping costs are typically a huge objection, but they cover that with a sticky announcement bar that shows up on every page.

These objections can apply to all sorts of brands. However, you should be aware of your unique customer profile and what they might be looking for.

In the case of Cori, they know their customers care about what types of ingredients go into their products. They tackle this topic throughout their home page, but also dedicate an entire webpage that explains how they source products. They even have another page for a list of banned ingredients!

7. Experiment with scarcity

Scarcity marketing isn’t new. So why is it overlooked so often?

And I’m not talking about lying about what’s available and what’s not. Unless you have a magical infinity factory, you’re bound to have a limited number of products available.

All you need to do is let your visitors know when that number is low.

I’ve covered a handful of other useful scarcity tactics on the blog. My suggestion: don’t implement them all at once, but start experimenting with them and track what improves your conversions and what doesn’t.

8. Add a live chat to your website

Did you know that 63% of customers are more likely to return to your website if you add a live chat feature? Moreover, 77% of customers won’t make a purchase until there is live chat support available.

Take a second to absorb those numbers. Live chat is easy to overlook, especially if you’re just starting out, but the truth is that the majority of people – 77% – need a human touch to their online shopping.

Not everyone has a ton of questions. Maybe your shoppers need to know about a certain use case for your product or aren’t sure about sizing info and need to talk it through instead of looking at a size chart.

But even well-established companies can see incredible results from implementing live chat. For example, Jerome’s Furniture were able to achieve a 1000% conversion rate increase after adding a live chat feature to their ecommerce site. And they’ve been around since 1954!

What’s great about their online chat is that the customer knows right away whether or not someone is online to help. Outside of business hours, visitors are greeted with this when they click on the chat feature:

Jerome’s Furniture sees a huge conversion rate boost after implementing a live chat

This can lead to frustration for those who need help right away, but it also provides realistic expectations so that visitors don’t get angry when they don’t get an instant answer to their message.

9. Survey your customers on usability

Your existing customers – those who already purchased your product or service – are a priceless source of information. So let’s put it to use to make sure your website is as user-friendly as possible.

Although your customers have purchased from you already, they probably have an opinion on how the user experience on your site can be improved. If there are elements of the user experience that they had to fight through to complete their purchase, chances are, there are plenty of other visitors who gave up that same fight.

Stop bleeding customers and patch the hole right now!

You can create a survey form like the one below using Getsitecontrol and either display it on the website or send over a direct link to a fullscreen version of that survey to your email list. Just make sure to send it only to people who have already converted into paying customers.

For the other people on your email list, create a separate survey, asking them if there is anything preventing them from completing a purchase with you.

You might discover that there are too many steps involved in your checkout process, or that the mobile experience is frustrating. Whatever the case may be, make it a priority to fix whatever issues arise.

Sometimes, you’ll assume something is easy to understand when it was designed internally, but you can’t know that it’s true until you see how other people react.

Go one step further and perform a usability test.

These tests involve taking completely new visitors and recording their experience as they browse through your website. Often, the testers will talk through their experience to explain what they are thinking throughout their navigation.

You can run this test yourself, or hire a company to run this test for you, like Usability Hub.

Supercharge your conversion rates

Just implementing one of these tactics can help you improve conversion rates, let alone all of them at once.

To make sure you don’t get overwhelmed – and that you understand where your results are coming from – test these tricks one at a time and note how your conversion rate changes.

But the best way to implement these conversion-boosting tricks is to equip yourself with the best tools available. For instance, if you want to start with placing a survey or collecting your visitors’ email addresses, Getsitecontrol provides you with easy-to-implement popups and a gallery of beautiful form templates to make this easier than ever.

Give it a free trial run and see for yourself!

Charlene Boutin is a B2B writer for hire specialized in creating compelling case studies, blog posts, and converting copy for digital entrepreneurs and SaaS businesses. When not writing, she can be found prototyping weird games in Unity or playing on her Nintendo Switch.

Main illustration by Icons8

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