CRO is the difference between making a living online and getting rich online.
16 Aug, 2017ENTREPRENEUR.COM
Want to make money online? Live the life of your dreams? Travel the world as a digital nomad, roaming to remote white-sanded beaches replete with pristine turquoise waters? Sure you do. Everyone does. But realizing this dream is easier said than done. That's especially true for those in the throes of a 9-to-5 life, tethered by a corporate leash that doesn't afford them the luxury of time or travel.
But there is a way. Sure, it's a road less traveled. It's one filled with twists and turns. One rife with fear and anxiety. Not knowing what's around the bend. Oftentimes unsure of which fork in the road to take. But the answer to this isn't some complex or convoluted financial instrument. It's straightforward -- build a converting offer. That's it. Once that offer exists, you need to worry about optimizing its conversion rates.
What does that mean? Simply this. Put the pieces of the puzzle in place so that you can spend $1 to make $2 or $3 or even $10. Yes. Basic math. But the truth is that in practice it isn't that simple. If it were, everyone would be doing it. Not only do you need to build that converting offer and optimize your conversion rates, you also need to understand a wide range of digital marketing disciplines to implement and achieve just that.
Sure, you could turn to others. You could spend thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars for "expert" advice. But if you have a bit of a background in online marketing, then the real knowledge lies in the trenches. When you can create an offer that converts, then optimize that conversion rate, you could almost infinitely scale your ad spend and continue to churn a profit, effectively making money while you sleep. Clearly that doesn't happen overnight. But it does happen.
At the basis of a converting offer is a sales funnel. If you don't have a sales funnel, you need one now. It's the foundation for making money online. Some call this a marketing funnel. Others call it something different. But the truth of the matter is that it's central to the core practice of selling anything online.
Quite frankly, you've probably seen sales funnels everywhere without quite understanding what they were. Ever wonder why so many blogs and website try to get your email address by bribing you with some discount, free ebook or other promotion? Yes. You guessed it. They want you to enter their funnel.
What most newcomers to the marketing world don't quite grasp is that people will oftentimes never buy from you during the first interaction. The sale happens over time, by building a relationship with the consumer, and by constantly feeding them value and ensuring that whatever it is that you're peddling, it solves a problem and alleviates some pain points. That happens in the sales funnel.
Your goal? Create an offer that converts by first building a great product or service, but then implementing a great sales funnel. Afterwards, worry about optimizing the conversion rates. All of it is much easier said than done. Yes, I know. But if it were that easy, wouldn't everyone be doing it? Of course they would.
However, when you boil this down to the fundamentals, it's clear as day to see how it works and just how you can optimize your own conversion rates by following a few simple steps and ensuring that you keep pace with the following tips. The better you are at doing that, the more potential you'll have at churning a profit. That's it.
The first step in optimizing anything online is to ensure you've identified the problem. What's the problem that the consumer is experiencing? What are the pain points associated with that problem? Now, this should usually be done before you ever build your product or service. But even if you have a product or service and a sales funnel, the better you identify the problem, the more likely you'll be to improve your offer and your sales in the long term.
The better you know your customer, down to the last detail, the more likely you can identify where they congregate. This means, you should know the ideal customer who's experiencing the pain you're attempting to solve. This involves knowing their gender, age, their income bracket, their occupation, their marital status, their geographical location, and so on, so that you can target them accordingly in your ads
Lead magnets entice consumer's to part with something they value highly these days -- their information. If you want to reach the right consumer, and you want that consumer to willingly give you their details so that you can attempt to peddle your offers to them, then you need a great lead magnet. What that lead magnet is entirely depends on a number of factors. Consider things like PDF checklists, free ebooks, trial memberships, and so on.
The headline is crucial for optimizing your conversion rates. Do you have clear copy that sizzles? Does it address the problem or pain points? Is it concise and enticing? Oftentimes, a small tweak in your headline can lead to massive results. It really boils down to how well you're addressing the consumer's problem, then opening the door for the solution further on in the copy.
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Your sales copy is excruciatingly important. It defines your potential for success. If your copy fails to convey the problem and offer a solution in the best manner possible, people will click off and go elsewhere. Remember, you have to pull them in and keep them there. At the end of the day, you need to write compelling copy that sells.
How obvious is your call-to-action (CTA)? Are you using a button? What color is it? What text is being used on that button? Does it create a sense of urgency by using words like "Now" to drive action? Does it offer a good value proposition? Where is the button located and is it easy to find or is it easy to spot?
One simple way to optimize your conversion rates is to increase the flow of free traffic. By learning a lucrative skill like SEO, you can discover ways that you can drive unlimited free traffic to virtually any offer at any time. This allows you to test things out without losing your shirt. Now, clearly, this is very involved. But once you master it, the business world truly is your oyster.
The word "FREE" is a primary motivation for consumers. Studies have shown that consumers are far more likely to grab something that's free versus something that's priced even at one cent. One study used a Lindt Truffle priced at 26 cents and a Hershey's Kiss priced at one cent to test this theory. Forty percent chose the Lindt Truffle and the other 40 chose the Hershey's Kiss. When the price was dropped one cent (25 cents and free, respectively), 90 percent went with the Hershey's Kiss.
Testimonials are huge. They should be located throughout your sales funnel, but also be very prominent and easy for people to discover on your product page. The more authentic and genuine these are, the more likely people will be to buy. Better yet? Make them video testimonials if at all possible. That will really help to revolutionize your sales and skyrocket your conversion rates.
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter comments are powerful social proof for improving your conversion rates. Protect privacy by blurring names but that proof goes a long way. Especially if people are dropping their comments to you on Facebook or sending you messages that you can screenshot, you can help to boost interest in your products, services or information quite literally overnight. This can also be done by using a tool created by Dave Rogenmoser called, Proof, which shows real-time sign-ups, purchases, downloads and so right on your site.
Email warming sequences are very important if you're serious about conversion rates. When people get to know you and you offer a bit of transparency into your life, and you reveal the path that you've taken and the struggles that you've endured, people relate with that. It builds a solid bond between yourself and the consumer. And not only do you have a customer, but you could potential have a raving fan for life.
Translation? Avoid stock photography. There's nothing that detracts more from an offer than stock photos. It just doesn't convey any authenticity, and that really is key in getting visitors to convert. Use your own photos and videos and make them as authentic as possible. Yes, you need to get out there and start gathering some great imagery, but it's better than the alternative.
One of the biggest mistakes that I see newcomers making is to bombard their offer pages with so much clutter that it detracts people. Less is more here. Provide a clear structure, with nice images or icons, and don't clutter or bombard the page with nonsense. Keep the flow easy on the eyes with nice aesthetics to keep the user's interest peaked enough to make it down to the CTA.
This is a big one. The primary thing that holds people back from hitting the buy now button are objections. They have objections about price. About time. About skill level. About complexities. And so on. You have to remove those objections. The better you can do that, the more likely you'll be to convert that browser into a buyer.
Scarcity is a big driver of consumer behavior. Some examples of this are the toy and game crazes that grip the world during the holidays. In the 80's, it was the Cabbage Patch Kids. Parents went haywire driving to buy these for their kids. In the 90's, it was the Beanie Babies. And so on. The point is that scarcity was created, and that feeling that people would be left out got them motivated to get out there and buy, buy, buy. How well you implement scarcity in your offer will largely dictate your success. Words like "limited time offer" or "expires tomorrow" and so on should be central in scarcity marketing.
One major objection that people often have is price. But when you provide a rock-solid guarantee, you essentially remove that objection. This is a big one. People want to know that there's no risk in their purchase and that if the product or service falls short for them, that they can return it with no questions asked. That's crucial if you're serious about converting as many people as possible to purchase what you're peddling.
How does your product or service add value? How best are you conveying that? Are there more ways you can add even more value to the exchange? Are there bonuses that you can throw in or something else that you can do that will help improve the value of what you're selling? Find ways you can add an immense amount of value and watch your conversion rates skyrocket. You can start a blog to achieve this or use some other method.
Sometimes, you need consumers to act now. Scarcity won't always cut it, especially in the digital world. You need to add urgency. One of my favorite tools for adding urgency is with Jack Born's Deadline Funnel, which presents a countdown timer that can automatically go to an expired offer page when it's done. This is a great way to automate your urgency for evergreen webinars and other types of funnels, and have it unique to each individual who's entering into that funnel.
How exclusive is your offer? Are there ways to make it even more exclusive? This is a great way to improve sales but you have to ensure you're appealing to the right crowd with the right exclusivity that fits them. Clearly, you need to understand your demographic. Afterwards, you have to add exclusivity the right way and not isolate other potential consumers.
VSLs are an evolution of the sales letter. That doesn't mean the sales letter is gone. It just means that a VSL is now more convenient and often appears at the top of a sales letter. But this is a great way to show the world who you are. Be transparent. Talk to the consumer. Tell them about whatever it is that you're selling. VSLs often lead to higher conversion rates when done the right way.
Track everything religiously. That includes your analytics but also by using UTM tracking with a UTM builder. It's just a fancy way of adding variables to a URL so that you know where the consumers are coming from. If, for example, you're converting more users from one ad source, you could easily increase your ad spend budget. But you need to know the ad source first. That's where the UTM tracking comes in.
Re-targeting is massive. You should immediately add the Facebook Pixel and the Google Adwords Pixel to your website to start building out your audience. The best part? You can get very specific about targeting. For example, if someone visits a page on your site about some topic and they fail to buy whatever product or service you've associated with that, you can easily re-target them after they leave. By increasing the frequency of your appearance, you'll be more likely to clinch the sale.
Split testing is enormous for conversion rate optimization. When one landing page title performs better than another, you can optimize the one to use. But you can't determine that without a lot of testing. A/B split test everything. Even your emails that go out. You should look for every opportunity to split test, track those results, and implement the solution that's giving you the highest conversions. That's what smart marketers do.