online sales conversion

Building a smooth customer journey is key to business and revenue growth. Here’s how to create a sales funnel that works in just 5 minutes.

You may not believe you already have one or more sales funnels in place, but all businesses do. Maybe it’s not working as expected. Or perhaps you would like to make it more effective. Follow these steps to create a sales funnel in 5 minutes that will have customers buying from you in no time at all.

What Is a Sales Funnel?

But first things first. Let’s quickly refresh the definition of a sales funnel.

A sales funnel is a hypothetical or ideal journey you would like a prospect to travel to become a lead or a customer. This is why sales or revenue funnels are also called “customer journeys” or “customer blueprints”.

They can be as simple as a one step Click to Call Google Ad, where the button is your opt-in point or as complex as need be. Especially for those businesses where lots of lead nurturing is needed for prospects to convert.

Call only ads are best used when there's a sense of urgency to the offer. Isn't this one of the shortest sales funnels ever?

Call only ads are best used when there’s a sense of urgency to the offer. Isn’t this one of the shortest sales funnels ever?

Keep in mind, while you are building your sales funnel, that the best functioning ones are those that reduce friction. That is, they do not add unnecessary barriers or hurdles to the sales process.

Ready, Set, Let’s See How to Create a Sales Funnel in 5 Minutes

One of the sales models that is most frequently used in customer blueprints and customer journey mapping is the AIDA model, which stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. Developed by E. St. Elmo Lewis in 1898, it maps how people make purchasing decisions. And, in spite of the technological developments, its importance and effectiveness has not diminished as humans have not changed their buying decision making process since then.

Whatever tactics you use to qualify leads and drive them closer to taking the desired action will change accordingly to where the lead is within the funnel: top (TOFU), middle (MOFU) or bottom (BOFU). It essential to understand how the funnel works from the moment you make the first contact (TOFU) with your ideal future customers to the moment where you convert those leads (BOFU). Keep in mind that each one of these components depends on the others.

Creating a sales funnel is as simple as defining the desired action and the target audience and then drawing the path between those two. And as complex as making it function successfully.

Here’s how to create a sales funnel (or improve the one you have) in 5 minutes.

AIDA model applied to customer journey mapping.

AIDA model applied to customer journey mapping.

To Create a Sales Funnel First you Need to Generate Awareness

Attracting attention or generating awareness works best when you know your target audience media habits. You’ll be more successful if you advertise your brand, your products and/or services where the majority of your prospects already are.

These prospects may be currently looking for what your product or service provides or they may not. Those potential leads that are intently searching for a service similar to yours will notice relevant messages much more than those that are not.

For example, if someone is ready to upgrade to a new car, they will feel as if there are more automobile ads than usual. It’s because they are more aware. Generating awareness for your brand might be easier in this case. Funny how the brain works.

On the other hand, you may generate awareness amongst prospects with related needs. They are not looking for what you sell exactly. For example, while browsing their Facebook feed or reading a blog post, a person looking for a higher paying job may stumble upon a college or university they didn’t previously know existed.

Once you know where to find the vast majority of your audience, you can decide on a way to generate awareness about your brand. Usually these tactics range from PPC campaigns, TV or radio ads, billboards, blog posts, trade show participation, referrals, direct mail, email campaigns, online search results, all the way to super outrageous publicity stunts. You get the idea. Don’t craft the copy or the creative yet.

Have you chosen a tactic to introduce your prospects to your brand? Great! You’ve got the first step of your sales funnel covered. (Don’t overthink it) Move on to the next step.

Guiding customers through the buying stages: how to create a sales funnel that works in 5 minutes.

Guiding customers through the buying stages: how to create a sales funnel that works in 5 minutes.

Second Step: The Interest Awakens

To create a solid sales funnel, you have to drive your prospects to click, call, download, sign-up, or visit you. And even though this happens at the last stage, you need to present the reasons why your are worthy of consideration in order to make it happen.

Do you have an eCommerce site and are offering free shipping? Is your SaaS fulfilling a productivity need that is important to your lead? Or do your cars flaunt the features your prospective buyers are searching for?

Related reading: 7 Conversion Copywriting Hacks You’ll Wish You Knew About Sooner

You need to know your customers and their behaviors, habits, and motivations to cut through the noise and to offer them something they recognize as useful or relevant.

This is the time to entice and convince them as to why they need your product or service.

Third Step: Pick Me! Pick Me! or the Sales Funnel Desire Stage

You presented your benefits properly and showed value to your prospect. Now it’s time to elicit desire. Congratulations! You are in the middle of the funnel (MOFU).

Keep an eye on your goal, your lead has to desire your product or service above any other.

Hence, you should keep educating and positioning your brand as the solution to their needs and problems. This is the stage where you shine a spotlight on those benefits. Testimonials, case studies, product comparisons, and customer reviews work well here.

This is also the stage where you match your product or service benefits to the prospect’s needs to clear up any barriers to the sale. This is a critical stage in which website traffic often fails to convert.

Do not miss out on these 20 Landing Page Best Practices to Kickstart Your Conversion Lift

Fourth Step: Ask for the Sale

It seems to go without saying that any good sales funnel ends with a purchase. The biggest mistake people make when using the AIDA model, though, is to assume the sale will happen organically once the other steps have fallen into place. It won’t. Unlike an actual funnel, what goes into a sales funnel doesn’t always reemerge at the end. And people tend to not take action unless they’re asked. So, pay attention to your calls to action – the worst mistake sales people make is not ask for the close.

What’s your call to action? How will you prompt them to fill out the form, complete their shopping cart purchase, have a one-on-one call or meeting or do whatever final action you want them to take to complete their customer journey?

Purple mattress on exit intent pop up offer (BOFU).

Purple mattress on exit intent pop up offer (BOFU).

Maybe you’ll offer them a free assessment, or a last minute discount if they complete the transaction right away. Take a minute to decide as the BOFU stage is the most crucial since it’s where you ask for the sale.

Ta Da! 5 minutes to build a sales funnel without writing a single line of copy — yet.

Would you rather have the conversion scientists identify your customer journeys to help you build your funnels? Then, check out our Conversion Rate Optimization Audit Services.

Sales Funnel Examples

Now that we’ve created our customer journey, let’s take a look at a couple of sales funnel examples for inspiration.

I think we covered one with the call only PPC ads example. Great for a local business like a personal injury attorney or a plumber, locksmith or any organization whose concern is to make the phone ring. Another requirement for successfully using this type of sales funnel is a sense of urgency to your product or service.

Purple mattress provides visitors with a humorously informational and convincing MOFU tactic on their landing pages with their zany videos backed by scientifically proven data. We may be a bit skewed as they also wear lab coats but go ahead, play the video and tell us what you think – unless you decide to buy a mattress first. ;)

A typical lead generation sales funnel example that remains mostly on the TOFU stage is to offer a Free Book, Research or White Paper to visitors – organic or paid. Take them to the next stages of the funnel by offering a one-time offer or a free consulting session. Keep qualifying the lead and close it with a call or an in person meeting.

Once you have a funnel ready an implemented you will want to test it, so we leave you with 9 Imaginative Approaches to AB Testing Landing Pages to get you started.

Here is a list of questions you may — and should — ask before you choose the best conversion optimization consultant for your online business.

Maybe you have exhausted your resources or maybe you’d rather have CRO experts maximize your profits. Whatever your situation, it’s time to pick a conversion optimization consultant for your online business. No matter the business type – eCommerce, lead gen or subscription website – how do you know which optimization professional is the best? Better yet, how do you know which one is the best fit for your needs?

We rounded up 14 key questions to help you analyze and evaluate your prospective conversion rate optimization (CRO) consultants. Buckle up because here we go!

1. How Much will a Conversion Optimization Consultant Cost me?

Conversion optimization is an on-going process, meaning you can expect a multi-month engagement. Therefore an equally important question here is when will I start to see positive results and a good return on investment. To achieve this, try to compare their experience, the actual time they’ll invest in analysis and research for your project and, again, the return on investment. After all, their job is to increase your revenues.

Still, you want to have an idea of cost. Here it goes. Small conversion rate optimization firms can be found for as little as $2500 per month to run tests. For a full team approach, expect to pay between $5,000 and $15,000 per month. Enterprise-focused firms will charge up to $50,000 per month.

Agencies that specialize in search engine optimization, paid search advertising, social media and media buying are adding conversion optimization services to their line card because clients, like you, are asking for it. They are not necessarily conversion specialists, so they may offer conversion optimization as a part of their package for a small additional fee. So, ponder on this: Can this fee fund the resources necessary for a conversion optimization program that can make a difference on my bottom line?

A word of caution: Know what you buy into.

When it’s time to pick a conversion optimization consultant for your online business, you have to understand what their offer actually is.

Do you know how your conversion rate optimization consultant measures success? A great question to ask when you are trying to choose the agency that best fits your website needs.

Do you know how your conversion rate optimization consultant measures success? A great question to ask when you are trying to choose the agency that best fits your website needs.

2. Do I Need to Have my own Resources? How Much Time will I Have to Invest in this Project?

This will depend on the type of engagement you are looking for. Here’s an example. At Conversion Sciences we offer our clients a couple of service options.

If they prefer to hand over the conversion rate optimization portion to us, we furnish them with a full CRO team. No company resources needed. Just plan to spend an hour with your conversion consultant each week on an ongoing basis and a bit more while we learn about your online business. Feel free to learn more about our Fully-Managed CRO Services or as we like to call it: the Plug-n-Play Approach to Revenue Increase. (Yep, shameless plug)

If they have an internal conversion team already in place, or they don’t have sufficient traffic to warrant full time engagement, our clients can opt for our Conversion Rate Optimization Audit. They will even walk away with a thorough analysis of your customer journey. Discover more about these ad-hoc services here. Do expect to invest time and internal resources for this type of project.

Our advice, always ask this question. It will help you better compare and find the best CRO consultant for your website.

3. How will you Measure Success?

A great question that separates the wheat from the chaff. Let’s explain.

This is the best answer a CRO consultant can give you: “We will improve bottom-line metrics such as leads generated, transactions, or subscribers and that’s how we will measure success.”

It incentivizes your conversion consultant to look at the bottom line as their measure of success. And it also aligns the conversion consultant goals with your business goals.

Be careful of optimizing for secondary measures, such as clicks to a page with a form, bounce rate, the time visitors spend on your site or the number of pages they visit on average. It is often easy to improve these and not improve bottom-line metrics such as leads generated, transactions, or subscribers.

4. Can you Guarantee Results or a Conversion Rate Increase?

Should you pick a conversion rate optimization company that offers a guarantee or one that is willing to work for a percentage of the increased revenue? While these may seem like two very tempting offers, there are some downsides.

The most extreme guarantee is a pay-for-performance basis also called “I get a cut of your revenues”. On the plus side, they don’t get paid if they don’t deliver higher revenues. On the downside, they may get credit for your own promotions and not just for their conversion work. And as revenues increase, their monthly fees will look much larger to you. If conversion rates go way up, that’s good. But it means your consultant is getting paid very high fees. This can make you feel like you’re paying too much.

Therefore, even though these guarantees may feel as if they reduce the risk that you face as the site owner, they can also increase your overall investment.

Would you like a better solution?

Consider asking the conversion consultant to continue working for free if a predetermined goal is not met in a set timeframe. For example, if they can’t demonstrate a 10% increase in revenue in six months, they keep working for free. When they hit the results, they can start billing you again. Do you think they’ll accept?

5. How Much do you Know my Industry/Technology/Platform/Distribution Channel/Market?

If there’s one thing that testing teaches us very quickly, it’s that there is no such thing as a “magic formula.” Ideas that work for similar sites may not work on your audience. An orange button may work for one site, and not for another. Every audience is different.

Having said that, a conversion optimization vendor that has worked with a number of your competitors will have a playbook of ideas to consider. There will be ideas that never would have occurred to the team without the hindsight of having worked in your industry. If they also know your website platform and technology, their learning curve will be limited mostly to your product, service or business brand.

And while a solid understanding of your website platform is always a plus, industry experience can also be a hindrance. If the vendor is overly familiar with websites in your industry, they may not be able to look at your site with fresh eyes. A key advantage of external vendors.

All-in-all, a disciplined optimization process will work in any industry. Ask your vendor for some examples of novel ideas that are specific to your industry, but make sure they have a proven, repeatable process.

So, before you pick a conversion optimization consultant for your online business ask yourself if you are looking for a fresh pair of eyes, or for somebody that can quickly catch up and contribute as if they had always been a part of your team.

6. Can you Share Some Case Studies?

A case study will help you understand how the consultant helped other businesses improve the performance of their website from a lead generation, sales or subscription increase standpoint. Take case studies showing giant performance gains with a grain of salt. This can happen for you, but not always.

A consultant should always be able to facilitate and show you their case studies but you should go the extra mile and also ask to speak with their clients. While they will refer you to clients they’ve had success with, you can ask about situations in which your conversion consultant struggled.

How a consultant deals with adversity is as important as how they behave when things are good.

Should your CRO agency guarantee results or a conversion rate Increase? Discover the answer on the Conversion Scientist blog.

Should your CRO agency guarantee results or a conversion rate Increase?

7. How will you Get to Know my Target Audience and What is your Process Like?

Successful conversion consultants let the data tell them about your audience. Your analytics data, surveys, reviews, and chat transcripts can reveal many issues with you website. If that is not enough, they should resort to surveys, session recordings, heatmap reports, and A/B testing.

Any other answer from a CRO consultant could demonstrate that they do not have the optimization experience needed to perform the job.
Getting to know your target audience will be one of the first steps in the process, so make sure they share with you what the rest of the process looks like, or that is somewhere on their website. You want to know how much of your time will be spent supporting the on-boarding process and if there are any additional fees for software or special ad-hoc work.

8. Do you do Split Testing or can you Implement Personalized AI-Powered Experiences to my Visitors?

A solid conversion rate optimization consultant will be well versed on every optimization technique and tool available and will recommend the one that is the best fit for your business. Stay away from those who try to steer you towards a single solution. Unless you want a one trick pony and not a true blue pro.

Related: AI Optimization Services for High Traffic Sites

9. How do you Know what to Optimize First?

The most common framework for ranking ideas is called ICE, which stands for Impact, Confidence, and Effort. It helps collect and rank all of the ideas that will come up when starting a conversion rate optimization project.

Asking this question may weed out the weakest prospective vendors. After all, a solid understanding of methodologies demonstrates the kind of professionalism you are looking for.

10. What would you Like to Know about our Company?

Your conversion consultant will be ravenous any for data you have. Ideas come from chat transcripts, marketing research, surveys, personas, reviews, advertising data and more. Conversion consultants are uniquely able to turn your existing research into test hypotheses.

Be suspect if they don’t want to know more about YOUR business. Optimization professionals have inquisitive minds and they always want to know more. Giving them the opportunity to ask you questions allows you to dig into their curious nature and mental process.

Good consultants will have lots of answers to this question.

11. Do the People I’ll be Working with have Strong Optimization Experience?

More than likely, you had a chance to speak to the top people in this agency. They have positively impressed you. But, what does the team that will be working with you look like? Are they experienced? If they are juniors, what type of supervision will the vendor provide. You want reassurances and you should be asking these questions.

Conversion optimization is a relatively new field. There aren’t a lot of experienced conversion consultants available to hire. And this is not a set of skills that is easy to teach in the classroom.

This is where process comes in. Your consultant should be able to articulate a repeatable, proven process that has a history of positive results.
If you’re working with an agency, there is a good chance you’ll be working with a less-experienced individual. Find out how the agency backs up this individual with analytics, test design and data science. They should also be backed up by someone with strategic marketing experience. Conversion optimization is strategic as well as design-oriented.

12. How Quickly will I Get my Money Back or How Soon will I See Results?

Beware of those who can guarantee a full return on investment within a short timeframe. CRO consultants will be able to make some estimates once they start working with you and they can also share their previous and similar experiences. But that’s all they are. Estimates and experiences. And no two websites or business are completely alike.

13. Do you Work with the Tools we Bought or can Afford?

If you are now working and/or already invested in conversion optimization tools, bring up the topic on your first conversation. You will want your consultant to know you expect them to use your tools proficiently, or to have experience with similar tools from different vendors.

As far as affordability goes, we live in a golden age of marketing tools. There are many options at many price points. The consultant should be able to help you choose a tool that fits their needs and your budget.

Always consider that most conversion consultants will give you a better return on your investment in optimization tools.

Here is a list of questions you may - and should - ask before you choose the best conversion optimization consultant for your online business.

Here is a list of questions you may – and should – ask before you choose the best conversion optimization consultant for your online business.

14. What is the Consultant’s Testing Philosophy?

Each consultant will have a testing philosophy. Some favor scientific rigor. Others favor quick decisions. Here are some questions to ask them and the answers you will want to hear.

How long will you run an AB test?

No AB test should be stopped before two full weeks have passed. If you have a high volume of conversions, one week may be acceptable, but no less.

Will you stop a variation if it looks really negative?

Most conversion consultants will monitor tests and stop any variations that seem to be underperforming to avoid lost sales and fewer leads.

Do you let tests overlap?

If your prospective conversion consultant plans to run tests on multiple pages of your site, there is a risk of polluting the data and making bad calls. They should be able to visitor from getting into multiple tests.

How do you do quality assurance on tests?

The tools that conversion consultant uses give them sweeping powers to alter your site. It is surprisingly easy to break your site, even if they checked it. A thorough Quality Assurance (QA) process includes testing on multiple devices and involves several people before it goes live.

What kind of post-test analysis do you do?

Even if a test finishes and there is no winning variation, your conversion consultant can learn important things from the data. They just have to take the time to do a little more analysis, called “post-test” analysis. This should be part of their philosophy.

Can you perform multivariate tests?

If you have a high-volume site, multivariate testing is an important option. You may also want to find out if they can use machine learning AI tools to accelerate their testing.

How to Pick a Conversion Optimization Consultant for your Online Business

Final word of advice: no matter who you choose, make sure the consultant you hire is the one that is able to deliver on the strategy YOU need.

Solid CRO firms will tell you right out if they are unable to help you and may even recommend alternative solutions to your business problem, Use these questions when the time comes to pick a conversion optimization consultant for your online business. Who knows? It may even be us!

Discover how to identify what keeps visitors from converting on your site. Five factors you MUST look into to improve online conversions right now.

There’s one thing, one thing that’s keeping your visitors from converting on your site.

It may not be the only thing, but it is the primary thing that your online business isn’t delivering the results you expect. It’s where you start when you optimize your website.

So, traffic but not conversions? It’s one of these five things:

  1. The Value Proposition and Messaging isn’t clear.
  2. They perceive risk when considering taking an action.
  3. You aren’t showing up as credible and authoritative.
  4. They want to know if others have benefited from you.
  5. Your design and layout aren’t helping them digest the buffet of content you’re presenting.

Find out what keeps visitors from converting on your site and start testing to increase your conversions right now.

How to identify what keeps visitors from converting on your site.

How to identify what keeps visitors from converting on your site.

Value Proposition & Messaging

Do you think your value proposition is the one thing that keeps visitors from converting on your site? Let’s take a look at the anatomy of a value proposition. Your value proposition is composed of all of the things you do to solve a problem and is communicated by:

  1. Brand awareness
  2. Content and Copy
  3. Images
  4. Pricing
  5. Shipping policy
  6. Words used in your navigation
  7. Design elements

All of these website elements are used to let your visitors know how you solve a set of problems, and why your solution is the best choice. The one that will save the most time and money, or that will deliver the most satisfaction.

But your value proposition doesn’t have to be communicated through words and images alone. Video, audio and animations are proven ways to communicate your value to a prospect.

And herein lies the rub.

Digital media gives us the amazing ability to put anything onto a landing page that our hearts desire. And if you can do anything, how do you know which is the right element to use? Here lies the conundrum.

How to know if your value proposition is what keeps visitors from converting on your site

A high bounce rate is a sign of three things:

  1. You’re bringing the wrong traffic
  2. Your lead isn’t hitting the mark
  3. You’ve been attacked by bots

If your landing page suffers from a high bounce rate, look at the source of your traffic. Does the page keep the specific offer made in the paid ad, email, or organic search query that enticed the visitors to click on your site? If it’s your homepage, the answer is most certainly, “No.”

If you feel that your traffic is good, and is coming to a relevant page, then we should ask if the lead is hitting the mark. By “lead” I am referring to the headline + hero image.

Often, hero images are wasted on something non-concrete. The headline should act as the caption for the image it accompanies.

Don’t show a city skyline. Don’t show a person smiling at a computer. These things don’t scream for meaningful captions and don’t help conversions either.

You should also look at the words you use in your main navigation. These should communicate what your site is about in the words of the visitor, not just the structure of your website.

Still don’t know what’s keeping them from converting? Ask your visitors

If you still don’t know what is keeping visitors from converting on your site, consider using an exit-intent popup that asks one open-ended question: “What were you looking for when you came to our site?” or “Why didn’t you purchase?”

We are also big fans of putting an open-ended question on your thank-you page or receipt page: “What almost kept you from buying?” or “What almost kept you from signing up?”

Discover How Our Conversion Rate Optimization Analysis Services Work

You May Be Scaring Visitors Away: Use and Misuse of Risk Reversal

In general, more people make decisions based on fear than on opportunity. So, your amazing value proposition is destined to die in the minds of many of your prospects because of fear.

  • What if I don’t like the product?
  • What if my identity gets stolen?
  • Will a pushy salesman call?
  • Will I have to deal with tons of email?

At the heart of it all is, “Will I feel stupid if I take action right now?”

Risk reversal (and most of the following) is a set of tactics that puts the visitor’s fears at rest. It consists of things like:

  • Guarantees
  • Warranties
  • Privacy policies
  • Explicit permissions
  • Return policies

Placing these items in clear view near a call to action can do wonders for your conversion rates.

Don’t put fears into their mind

There is a potential danger. Your risk reversal tactics can actually put fear into their mind.

For example, stating, “We will never spam you.” can actually place the concept in the mind of someone who wasn’t concerned about it. You might say instead, “We respect your privacy.” with a link to your privacy policy.

Traffic but not Conversions? Help Visitors Convert on your Site with Social Proof

Social proof demonstrates that others have had a positive experience with your brand. These take the form of:

  • Testimonials
  • On-site ratings and reviews
  • Third party reviews
  • Case studies
  • Social media shares, likes and comments
  • Comments

If social proof is your one problem that keeps visitors from converting on your site, customers don’t feel that you’re right for someone like them. Make sure you show them that they are in the group of people that benefit from you.

Negative Reviews Help

Ironically, it also serves to answer the question, “Just how bad was a bad experience with this company?” This is why negative reviews have proven to increase conversion rates on eCommerce sites. Cleaning your reviews or only posting good reviews can shoot you in the foot.

Is it Lack of Credibility & Authority What Keeps Visitors from Converting on your Site?

If you are in an industry with lots of competition, or with “bad actors” who manipulate to get sales, your one problem may be credibility and authority.

The design of your website is one of the first things that communicate credibility. But be careful. A fancy, overly-designed site may communicate the wrong idea to visitors. It may convey that you’re expensive or too big for your prospects.

Credibility can be established by emphasizing things about your company, and by borrowing credibility from other sources such as, your clients. your payment methods, you media appearances and the like.

Brand Credibility

You gain credibility by building confidence with your brand and value proposition. How long have you been in business? How many customers have you served? How many products have you sold? How many dollars have you saved?

Brand credibility generally takes the form of implied proof.

Borrowed Credibility

Your website or landing page can borrow credibility and authority from third-party sources. Placing symbols and logos on your website borrows from these credible sources. Ask yourself:

  • Have you been interviewed or reviewed in well-know publications?
  • Have you been interviewed on broadcast media outlets?
  • What associations are you a member of?
  • What awards have you been nominated for or won?
  • Has your business been rated by consumer organizations like Consumer Reports or the Better Business Bureau?
  • Have your products been reported on by analysts such as Forrester?

Place proof of your associations on your site’s landing pages to borrow authority and credibility from them.

User Interface & User Experience: Factors that Keep Visitors from Converting on your Site

Nothing works if your visitors eyes aren’t guided through your pages.

No value proposition, no risk reversal, no social proof, no credibility stands a chance if the layout and user experience don’t help the reader understand where they’ve landed or where to go from there.

Long load time equals poor experience

The first thing to look at is site performance. If your pages load slowly, you visitors may be bouncing away. If any element requires a loading icon of any sort, you are probably providing a poor user experience.

Clutter means bad visual hierarchy

When a visitor looks at a page, it should be very obvious what is most important element and what can be looked at later. This is called a visual hierarchy.

For example, we like to make call to action buttons highly visible, so that it is clear to the reader that they are being asked to do something.

Designers use their knowledge of whitespace, negative space, font, font size, color, and placement to design an experience that is easy for the visitors’ eyes to digest.

Don’t add surprises

A good user experience has little place for novelty. Arbitrarily adding animations, fades, parallax images or scroll-triggered effects are generally unnecessary, can cause technical glitches and may actually hurt conversion rates.

How to Know “what” is Hurting your Conversion Rate

We recommend this process to determine the primary problem that keeps visitors from converting on your website.

1. Gather all of your conversion optimization ideas

Begin recording all of the ideas you have for improving the site in the spreadsheet. Sources for these ideas:

  1. Ask your team
  2. Read your customer reviews
  3. Read your customer surveys
  4. Pull from your marketing reports
  5. Read your live chat transcripts
  6. Generate heatmap reports for your key pages
  7. Watch recorded sessions

Don’t be surprised to have dozens of ideas for a website or landing page.

2. Categorize each of your ideas

The ROI Prioritized Hypothesis List spreadsheet has a column for classifying each idea.

  1. Messaging
  2. Layout/UX
  3. Social Proof
  4. Risk Reversal
  5. Credibility

There will also be some things that you just want to fix.

3. Count your conversion optimization ideas

Count out how many ideas you have for each category. The category with the most ideas is probably the one problem you should address first. We use a pie chart to illustrate the different issues.

What Keeps Visitors from Converting on your Site? This site's one problem is Value Proposition and Messaging followed by Layout and UX

This site’s one problem is Value Proposition and Messaging followed by Layout and UX

4. Start working

Begin working on the ideas in the category with the most ideas.

This is a great time to start AB testing to see which of your ideas really are important to your visitors.

Your search traffic will demonstrate their approval through more sales, more leads and higher conversion rates overall.

This sounds like a lot of work

It is a lot of work. But you could consider hiring us to identify what keeps visitors from converting on your site and we will test our way to your success.

You can request a free consultation with us.

This article is an updated and revised version of our original article published on Search Engine Land.

Brian Massey

Lead generation is the lifeblood of online business and most lead generation is done via email collection.
If you grow a list of prospects who’re interested in your promotions, your business grows too. However, before you make money from your list you’ve got to get people on it. Whether you want people to download your lead magnet, sign up for your latest webinar or volunteer to test your product, you first need to persuade them to part with their highly guarded personal details – that’s no small feat.
No wonder the average opt-in rate across industries is hovering around a mere 2%. After investing a fortune in Facebook advertising, PPC ads, outsourced content, content management software, site design, and more, you only net two leads per 100 visitors. Two leads… NOT customers mind you.
Surely, your business deserves better.
Today, we’re going to cover the eight elements of a high converting opt-in page so you can boost your opt-in conversion rates and get a better return on your content marketing investment.
Ready to dive in?

Element #1: A short pre-headline to draw them in

When your prospect arrives on your opt-in page she wants to know if she’s in the right place. If she feels lost, she’ll click away. Use the apex of your page to make her stick around.
And, depending on who you ask, you have five seconds or less to do that. But how do you do it? Here’s three ways to instantly attract your reader when she lands on your page so she stays on.
#1. Name the target audience
For example, Attention dog owners, Attention Content Marketers etc.
When you name your audience you get a nod from the prospect, “Yep that’s me.” Handled correctly, this small first yes will ultimately lead to the big yes of a signup later on.
#2. Name the type of lead magnet
For example, Free Special Report, Free Training Webinar etc.
The specificity of your offer increases desire and the likelihood of the prospect staying on so as to get it.
#3. Name the referral site
For example,wh Welcome Entrepreneur Readers
Naming the referral site on your page makes your prospect feel like a diva and warm up to you and your offer.
Amy Harrison rolls out a red carpet for her Copyblogger readers. She makes them feel the love by welcoming them: specifically, heartily, personally.

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Your pre-headline has four main purposes:
#1. To help your prospects understand your offer…fast.
#2. To alienate those who are not a good fit for your offer.
#3. To attract those who are perfectly suited to your offer.
#4. To build rapport with your audience in an instant.
A great pre-head will keep readers on your signup page.

Element #2: A benefit-rich headline to make them want to read more

Once your prospect hangs around, use your headline to show her how your offer will benefit her and improve her life. Promptly address her concerns so she lingers on the page or you’ll lose her by the door. Quickly address her pain, paint the desired future for her, or pique her curiosity so she can’t help herself but read on.
In short, tell your prospect what’s in it for her.
Jacob McMillen’s headline is ultra-specific and has a solution that’s tailor-made for cash-strapped businesses – that’s a big benefit that’ll keep his target audience glued to the page.

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Not only that. Your headline must also tie in nicely to the traffic source. That way the prospect’s conversion journey becomes smoother thus generating better results for your business. Jacob McMillen does this superbly as the source page to the above landing page shows:

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Notice how his CTA, the last words in his bio, are the first words on the landing page? This way the byline is perfectly coupled to the landing page thus increasing conversions. When a reader clicks his bio and lands on the landing page she smoothly continues her conversion journey – because of harmony between the two pages, conversions are likely to be higher.
On the flip side, a copy mismatch between the source page and the signup page tanks conversions.

Element #3: A few lines of crisp copy to pull them further down the page

You’ve done well if your prospect is still on your page thus far.
Your next few lines should give specific points about your offer. Show her how your offer will scratch her itch or push her towards her dream. Do that and she’s more likely to give you her details.
Use bullet points or short paragraphs. Your bullets should be:

  • Clear- use simple direct language so the prospect easily grasps your offer.
  • Crisp- keep your points brief and to the point to keep the prospect engaged.
  • Catchy- use attention-getting words to give details about your offer.

Smartblogger nails their bullet copy on this sign-up page for an upcoming webinar.

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The three bullets tell you exactly what you’ll get on the webinar in a simple engaging way without laboring the point. If you’re going for the minimalist approach even a single line will do. The amount of copy on the body of your opt-in page depends on three key factors.
#1. How aware is your prospect about you and your offer? The more aware she is about you and what you do the less copy you need and vice versa.
#2. What works best for your niche? Study the most successful signup pages in your niche and do likewise.
#3. How complex is the problem you’re trying to solve for the prospect? The more complex the problem, the more copy required to convince prospects to sign up.

Element #4: A pro-looking image to help them visualize what they’ll get

Our brains process images up to 60,000 times faster than text.
To woo your prospect so she says yes to your proposal (offer), show her what she’ll get. Use a picture of the product or of people expressing the feeling you’re targeting. Pictures of animals work well too if your context allows it.
John Nemo’s book shot dominates his opt-in page on purpose. You can almost smell the LinkedIn cash splashed on the cover ☺.

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A word of warning about pics: don’t just include a picture because you like it…that won’t help your cause. Only include a picture if it’s relevant to your offer.

Element #5: A signup field(s) to capture their personal details

You’re almost there now… your prospects cursor is hovering over the signup field. Now comes the big question…how much info do you want from her?
Numerous tests show that, in most cases, the fewer the signup fields, the higher the conversion rates. That’s why most sites simply ask for an email address and/or name only as shown in the Marketing Sherpa lead generation graphic below.

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Of course, you can ask for more than that if you want a more targeted list. Although your conversions may dip, the quality of your list will improve. Ask for what you need and no more. This makes filling the fields more desirable. You can always ask for more details later.
But, as with everything digital, conduct split tests to see what works for you and your audience instead of blindingly jumping on the bandwagon. In many cases, tests have shown that increasing the number of fields actually raised conversions.

Element #6: A bit of social proof to earn their trust

It’s natural. No one wants to go first. People do what they see other people do. That’s why social proof is a vital ingredient to the success of your page. Here are some three quick-and-easy ways of incorporating social proof into your signup page:
#1. Display your list numbers if they’re substantial
To nudge people over the sign-up line, you can use big numbers associated with your following. However, be careful as numbers can be a double-edged sword. If your numbers are small, social proof will still work, but against you! No-one wants to be a part of something small and insignificant.
Social Media Examiner uses their massive list to good effect to inspire people to join their list.

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Surely, on seeing the 620 000+ social media marketing peers on Social Media Examiner’s list, a prospect will be enticed to sign up.
#2. Splash customer testimonials generously on the page
Testimonials multiply your clout score thus making it easy for people to take up your offer. Henneke Duistermaat, of Enchanting Marketing, does a neat job.

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Not only does she head the page with a rich list of big sites she’s been featured on, she sandwiches her offer between two testimonials from heavyweights in her niche. Prospects are more likely to trust her word and gobble up her course.
#3. Point to influencer endorsements and press mentions
To get prospects to sign-up for a free trial, Get Response leads with an imposing figure of their current users and then they underline their authority in their space by quoting two influencers.

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This is likely to cause more people to take their software for a spin.

Element #7: A privacy statement to assure them their info is safe

        
Because cyber-crime is rampant, your prospect is uneasy. Hardly a day goes by without someone being scammed or spammed online. Allay her fears…wrap your arm around her and let her know you’re not one of the bad guys. Tell her you won’t peddle her email address nor send the alien stuff she didn’t ask for.
A brief statement such as ‘We respect your privacy and will never share your infois enough as Neil Patel does.

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Feel free to get creative with the phrasing. Or, if you’re not feeling inspired, simply write ‘privacy policy’ and link to your full-blown privacy policy. And, oh, a privacy statement also serves a more personal and practical purpose: failure to include one might land you in trouble with the law. ☺
Basically, your privacy statement should assure your visitors that their info is safe. Only when they feel you’re trustworthy will they be swayed to give you their personal information.

Element #8: A strong call to action (CTA) to compel them to click

Your call to action marks the finishing line of the sign-up race. Give it some thought.
Your button copy should be specific, simple and reader-focused. Tell the prospect exactly what she’ll get if she signs up. Don’t try to be cute, clever, or cryptic, or you’ll lose out.  And please, don’t make the rookie mistake made by many content marketers – using the dismal default CTA copy e.g. signup, subscribe, or download.
Don’t leave your visitors wondering what they are clicking the button for.
Sign up. For what?
Subscribe. To what?
Download. What?
A simple formula, coined by Joanna Wiebe, will help you ace your button copy. Just fill in the blank: I want my reader to __________________.
Your answer becomes your CTA. For example:
I want my reader to:

  • Book a free call…becomes…Book my free call.
  • Get a free quote…becomes…Get my free quote.
  • Reserve a spot on webinar…becomes…Reserve my webinar spot.

Here’s a great example of powerful button copy pulled from this very site’s homepage:

Book a Consultaion Now is a proper Call to Action, or CTA

Book a Consultaion Now is a proper Call to Action, or CTA

The CTA is clear, simple, direct, benefit-focused, and urgent – all the hallmarks of a powerful call to action that converts.
Make the desired action simple and easy smoothly guiding the prospect towards your goal without much work or resistance. Use energetic verbs and the first or second person to make the CTA personal and bump up your conversions. Once your reader clicks on your button, you’ve won and now have a precious lead in your funnel.
Opt-in pages are crucial to the overall success of your business that you should seriously consider outsourcing the task if you don’t have the time or the expertise to craft them yourself.
Conclusion
Getting signups is an essential bridge in your inbound digital marketing efforts. It’s the magic link that turns browsers into subscribers, subscribers into buyers, and buyers into brand evangelists. In short, it’s the gateway into your funnel. As a serious growth-focused business owner, take time to work all these elements into your page so you increase the likelihood of success. Then you’ll hear the sound of clicks not crickets for a change.

Phone lead generation is still a highly effective way to reach prospects. Give these 8 advanced tactics for increasing your B2B telephone leads, sales and outbound ROI a try.

Telephone sales aren’t what they used to be. It took only 3.68 cold call attempts to reach a prospect in 2007. Today, it takes around 8 attempts, more than doubling the difficulty of landing sales over the phone.

But as you know, phone sales certainly aren’t dead. They just require a higher level of strategy and mastery. A study by Baylor University found that it takes roughly 7.5 hours to secure one referral or appointment through cold calling methods. If you only have one dedicated phone salesperson, your company could have one new appointment or referral every day via cold calling.

For most B2B businesses, where phone selling strategies are most commonly found, one lead per day per salesperson represents a very strong ROI.

Today, we’re going to help you sell over the phone like a modern pro.

Here are 8 Advanced Tactics for Increasing your B2B Telephone Sales

1. Take Timing Seriously

In sales, as in many areas of life, timing is everything. You will often accomplish more during peak hours than you do the rest of the day. So even if you are in a position that requires around-the-clock calls, it’s important to be at peak efficiency during those peak hours.

So when are those peak hours?

An in-depth study out of MIT gives us several interesting insights:

  1. The best time period to contact leads is between 4:00-6:00 p.m.
  2. The best second best time period is between 8:00-10:00 a.m.
  3. The worst time period to call is between 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
  4. The best days to call are Thursday and Wednesday.
  5. The worst days to call are Tuesday and Monday.

It’s worth checking out the study, because these aren’t insignificant differences. For example, calling on Thursday versus Tuesday increases results by an average of 50%. Calling at 4:30 p.m. versus 11:30 a.m. increases results by an average of 114%!

Timing might seem cliche, but what other tactics do you know of that can immediately double sales?

2. Call The Right People and Present them with the Right Pitch

I’m going to borrow and re-spin an example from Jason Quey.

Sid works at a large SaaS company. When it comes to larger tool purchases, he makes the decisions. However, Sid rarely creates content for the team. Tyler is in charge of content.

If your sales team is attempting to pitch a solution to the content problems Tyler is facing, appealing to Sid around those challenges won’t be effective. The best way to pitch Sid is very different from the optimal way to pitch Tyler.

The Gartner Group reports that in a company of 100-700 people, an average of 7 people are involved in buying decisions. If you aren’t tailoring your pitch around these people, you will struggle to succeed in B2B phone sales. There’s no getting around that.

For help identifying and reaching decision makers, check out this guide from Lead Forensics.

3. Lay The Groundwork

We know that cold calls can work, but there’s a way to make them work better. UNC professor Dave Roberts said it best, “Cold calling is old fashioned… Aim for hot calling.” The more prepared you are when you call, the better that call will generally go.

We live in an age of the internet and social media. Before you call a prospect, Google them. Learn everything that you can before ever making the call. This can help you know what the customer’s needs are, what their objections might be, and what interests them. You may happen upon what their biggest pain is right now.

You can even make some level of initial contact before calling:

  • Connect via shared acquaintances
  • Comment on their social posts
  • Mention them in a blog post or comment
  • Etc.

There are many ways to make a superficial connection with someone that quickly turns you into a known entity versus a cold call. For more tips on laying the groundwork, check out this article by Owen Matson, Ph.D.

4. Follow A Sales Script

There are no downsides to using a sales script… only to using one poorly.

When used correctly, having a sales script results in the following benefits:

  1. They force you to create and refine a consistent sales methodology.
  2. They allow you to provide a baseline for your entire sales team’s performance.
  3. They allow sales reps to spend less time thinking about what they’re going to say and more time listening to the potential customer.
  4. They provide talented sales reps with a strategic baseline off of which they can improvise.

To learn how to create your own sales script, check out this guide from Close.io.

5. Navigate Objections

Navigating objections is a central part of any sales process, but there can be a bit of a misunderstanding about this issue.

Some objections always need to be covered and getting out in front of them can be beneficial. For example, if your product is twice as expensive as every other competitor, it’s almost guaranteed that issue is going to come up, and addressing it before the customer does gives you the chance to frame it in a positive light.

Not all objections are created equal, however, and sometimes, bringing up certain objections simply bogs down the sales process and creates doubts that weren’t there to begin with. Instead, have a plan to overcome these objections IF they are brought up.

For more on covering objections, here’s another top notch guide from Close.io.

6. Stop Talking. Ask and Listen.

Listen. Listen. Listen.

The more your prospect is talking, the better your chance of closing the sale.

Outbound sales and inbound sales follow up are an inherently aggressive activity. You are on the offensive. You are seeking out people to sell them something. But often, the solution is simply to slow down and get out of your own way.

The best sales scripts and salespeople are focused on asking the right questions. The prospect doesn’t need you to create challenges for them. They have numerous pitfalls and problems on the path to their goals. Your job is to create a situation where the prospect is articulating those challenges… not you.

Ultimately, B2B sales isn’t about tricking people into getting a product or service that doesn’t work for them. It’s about matching beneficial solutions to the businesses that need them, and that requires a two-way conversation.

Don’t miss out on How to Pick a Conversion Optimization Consultant for your Online Business

7. Focus On Customer Value

Your goal as a salesperson is never to sell someone on a price. Your goal is to sell them on value – such incredible value that the price seems like a no-brainer.

It’s very, very important that you focus on this value BEFORE discussing pricing, for a number of key reasons.

First, if pricing is brought up first, your product/service will be evaluated as a commodity. Once a number has been mentioned, everything will be filtered through that number. You will have zero leverage in presenting your value.

Second, if you don’t pitch you value before getting to pricing, the prospect will consider the pricing based on their preconceived assumptions about the value of your product class. And remember, they aren’t currently using your product, so it’s likely they don’t consider the value to be worth the cost.

Finally, if you don’t understand the prospect’s needs before you get to pricing, you might propose a price that is too low or too high. Too high, and the conversation is essentially over. Too low, and you won’t be considered a serious player. Without getting to know the prospect first, you are playing a dangerous guessing game.

8. To Close Is To Follow-Up

You already probably know your “hook, line, and sinker.” You have your closing speech down to a science. That’s great, but just know that you will talk to a person several times before they’re ready to hear your golden pitch. According to Marketing Donut, 80% of sales require 5 (yes, FIVE) follow up calls. 44% of salespeople quit after just 1 follow up. Don’t be a quitter!

Also, stop leaving the follow-up in the customers’ hands. Don’t say, “Give me a call if you’re interested.” Geoffrey James, author at Inc. said, “I’ve read dozens of so-called sales letters and sales emails that end with a suggestion that the customer should call or contact the seller…The people who send these letters always complain that they don’t get any responses. No kidding–you’re asking the customer to do your work for you.”

Instead, change your follow-up strategy and set up a time to talk again. For instance, “I’m going to call you next Wednesday, after you’ve had time to look at everything, so that we can discuss whether it makes sense to continue discussing our offer.”

Conclusion: Upgrade Your Phone Game

Telephone sales are more challenging than ever, but they are worth the trouble. Use these 8 advanced tactics to improve your B2B sales calls and close more sales.

Do you need help increasing the number of inbound leads? Would you like your phones to ring more often? Find out how Conversion Sciences can help with results-driven lead generation solutions.

Rachel Africh Headshot

Rachel Africh

Contributor: Rachel Africh is the CMO of TheLeadsWarehouse.com and is an expert on marketing tactics and generating targeted leads that convert for sales industry professionals.

Searching for taglines for business growth? Take a look at these 9 business tagline examples that drove multi-million dollar growth. Understand when taglines and slogans are important and how to write a winner.

Taglines and slogans can get a bit of a bad rap in the conversion world.

When the goal is immediate conversion, a targeted, well-written value proposition will beat a vague tagline every day of the week.

But that doesn’t mean taglines aren’t important.

In fact, depending on your company size and marketing strategy, a tagline can have an even greater impact on your total revenue than your highest converting value proposition. The key is to understand when taglines are important, why they are effective, and how to write a winner.

Today, we’re going to cover all that plus look at 9 tagline examples that helped drive multi-million dollar growth.


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When & Why Taglines Are Important

Just so we’re on the same page, a tagline is a catchphrase or slogan used to advertise a brand. It’s a short phrase or series of phrases, often presented in conjunction with the brand logo, that is intended to add meaning to the brand.

So, when is it important?

The simplest way to put this is that if branding is very important for you business, your tagline will also be very important.

Now, you might say, “Branding is important for every business,” and while you wouldn’t be wrong, the spectrum from “important” to “very important” is actually quite large.

Let me explain.

Business #1 sells clay coasters on Amazon. Their #1 marketing goal is to get their Amazon listings to show up at the top of both Amazon and Google’s algorithms for that product category, and they spend 90% of their marketing budget on PPC.

Branding really isn’t that important for Business #1.

Not everyone needs to invest in a compelling tagline.

Not everyone needs to invest in a compelling tagline.

Business #2 sells luxury cars. Their #1 marketing goal is to be top of mind year-round for consumers making between $85k – $300k per year, and they spend 75% of their marketing budget on television ads.

Branding is VERY important for Business #2.

Taglines can really help if you need to stay in your prospects' minds.

Taglines can really help if you need to stay in your prospects’ minds.

These two examples demonstrate both ends of the branding spectrum, with most businesses falling somewhere in between.

For the purposes of this article, we’ll just say that you will typically want to use a value proposition when you are looking for a direct response and a tagline when you are looking to make a brand impression that leads to a sale down the road.

That said, a good tagline will often demonstrate similar traits to a good value proposition. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. They just have different purposes.

A value proposition’s goal is to explicitly describe why the product is the best available option for the consumer and should be purchased immediately. A tagline’s goal is to attach significant, lasting meaning to the brand in a way that resonates with the consumer.

So how do we create a compelling tagline?

How To Create A Compelling Tagline

There are 3 primary qualities every brand tagline should have:

  1. It captures your mission
  2. It reflects your persona
  3. It resonates with your target audience

Your tagline is your chance to immortalize your company’s purpose in a brief phrase or series of phrases. It first and foremost needs to reflect your mission.

Your tagline is also a prime opportunity to reflect your brand’s persona or personality. It’s important that your tagline communicates an idea about not just what you do but who you are as a brand.

Finally, the goal of your tagline is to resonate with your target audience and connect your brand to a powerful set of positive emotions and ideas.

In order to best demonstrate these qualities in action, let’s take a look at several exceptional tagline examples that helped their companies create multi-million dollar brands.

1. Skyrocketing Business Profits: SoulCycle “Find Your Soul”

Co-Founders Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice wanted to create an exercise experience that was fun, exciting, and felt like a community. Noticing a void in the market, they opened the first SoulCycle in a former New York funeral home in 2006. Since their scrappy beginnings of handing out fliers for free classes (it was against building regulations to put up any signage), they’ve expanded to 85 locations and continue to expand to new locations in 2017.

SoulCycle’s tagline:

“Take Your Journey. Change Your Body. Find Your Soul.”

Soul Cycle’s tagline focuses very much on their target customers – fitness enthusiasts who see exercise as something physical, mental, and spiritual. The statement exudes a sense of excitement and empowerment for riders, and implies that something metaphysical can come out of an intense 45 minute stationary bike session.

The tagline is sometimes shortened to simply “Find Your Soul”, which emphasizes the brand’s mission of connected, community-based workouts.

Tagline examples: SoulCycle doesn't say "find a cycle," they say "Find your soul"

Tagline examples: SoulCycle doesn’t say “find a cycle,” they say “Find your soul”

The key idea here is that SoulCycle plays into the innate human desire of being part of a community. It’s exceptionally smart, because how we relate to others and the world around us affects our buying decisions. This explains Soul Cycle’s customer loyalty, which has skyrocketed the business’ profits.

This tagline isn’t just a tagline either. It is reflected in everything the brand does. Cyclists ride by candlelight in ‘epic spaces’ where they feel like they’re part of a ‘tribe’, and instructors constantly howl motivational phrases and speeches at the riders.

The Business Results

Even with a costly fee of $35+ per session and minimal discounts for monthly memberships, SoulCycle has still found its niche in the world of standard gym equipment.

  1. The business amassed a rider base of nearly half a million people by catering to their specific customers. For example, they play different music for the 5pm university crowd compared to their 6am pre-work crowd.
  2. Their explosive growth is partially fueled from upsold products, including branded swag, bottled water, and shoe rentals, adding another $85 million in revenue on top of monthly fees.
  3. Each franchise earns an average of $4 million per year.
  4. Their total revenue grew from $36M in 2012 to $112M in 2014.

2. TOMS: One For One

TOMS shoes started when founder Blake Mycoskie went to Argentina in 2006 and saw children running around without shoes.  He also took note of the Argentinian traditional shoe, the soft alpargata that TOMS shoes are modeled after. He came back to America with a vision of the “buy one, donate one” and had 250 samples made. He approached American Rag to sell the shoes, and the LA Times picked up the story. The story created a demand for nearly 10 times as many shoes as what was in stock.

TOMS shoe company was officially born.

TOMS Socially Conscious Tagline

“One for One”

Tagline examples: Tom's pioneered the One for One business model and the tag line says it all.

Tagline examples: Tom’s pioneered the One for One business model and the tag line says it all.

TOMS tagline is incredibly powerful because of the message it communicates. Buy one pair of shoes, and one additional pair of shoes is donated to a child in need.

Not only is this a brilliant business model, as 62% of modern consumers are willing to pay more for socially or environmentally conscious goods, allowing TOMS to sell $4 worth of shoes for $40, but it also directly counters the often vague language and spending that accompanies most charities. The consumer knows exactly what is happening. The get a pair of shoes they want, and a child in Africa gets a pair of shoes they need.

This tagline hits on all the right notes. It communicates the mission and resonates with the target audience. You could even argue that it communicates a straightforward personality.

Not only that, but 86% of those customers tell their friends and family, giving socially conscious businesses like TOMS plenty of free advertising.

The phrase is also crystal clear: it describes the company’s business model in 3 words.

The Business Growth Results

The “One for One” tagline and business model has been a huge success for TOMS:

  1. The company has donated over 60 million pairs of shoes.
  2. As of 2016, they have made over $625m in revenue.
  3. The company is now as widely known as Nike and Adidas.
  4. They have expanded the one-for-one model to other products.
  5. For every pair of sunglasses they sell, TOMS provides a full eye exam and prescription glasses to those in need.
  6. For every purse TOMS sells, the company provides medical materials to help with safe childbirth.

Fastest Growing Private Company in the U.S.: “Discover a different nite out”

Tagline examples: Paint Nite is not a painting class, it's a different nite out.

Tagline examples: Paint Nite is not a painting class, it’s a different nite out.

Paint Nite’s tagline is deceptively powerful. It’s communicating something very specific to it’s customer base comprised of 90% women.

By offering a “different nite out”, they’ve attracted a crowd that still want to get out, socialize, and have some libations but outside the usual scene of bars or clubs. This is a brilliant strategy as the bar and club scenes have experienced declining popularity with millennials. One study found that those under 35 felt that the traditional night out is too impersonal and too exhausting.

Paint Nite met this need by creating a fun group environment where participants have common ground to talk to one another. Sitting and painting while sipping wine requires a lot less energy than drinking and dancing until closing time, and this “differentness” is reflected beautifully in their slogan.

The Results:

It turns out Paint Nite is on to something, as demonstrated by their remarkable success:

  1. It’s revenue has grown by more than 36,555% in three years.
  2. Is now available in 155 cities world-wide.

4. Canada Goose: Canadian Craftsmanship

Canada Goose began nearly 60 years ago and became popular in the 1980’s when their red down-filled coat (aka Big Red) was developed for scientists at Antarctica’s McMurdo Station. Its popularity increased further in Europe due to its decision to keep manufacturing in Canada, and Americans took to the brand when celebrities like David Beckham and Kate Upton were spotted sporting their signature coats.

Canada Goose’s tagline:

“Our uncompromised craftsmanship defines Canadian luxury.”

Even when it was vogue to move manufacturing overseas for cost reduction, CEO Dani Reiss knew that keeping the manufacturing in Canada was a huge selling point for customers, so Canada Goose reaffirmed its value proposition around that selling point.

The above tagline is more of value proposition mixed with a tagline, and a simpler version with only “Canadian Craftsmanship” can be found on the site as well.

Tagline examples: Canada Goose, Craftmanship

Tagline examples: Canada Goose, Craftmanship

This tagline is a great example of matching mission to customer in as little as two words. “Canadian Craftsmanship” speaks volumes about both the products being produced as well as the consumers who purchase them. This focus on quality craftsmanship is further enforced by the brand’s lifetime guarantee on it’s signature products.

The Results:

Canada Goose coats are not only known for their high quality but also for being some of the warmest on the market. Because of their commitment to quality, expressed beautifully in their tagline, they achieved incredible success.

  1. Expanded brand recognition when movie crew members were spotted wearing the coats while shooting in cold locations.
  2. Featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit edition, modeled by Kate Upton.
  3. Grew their revenues from $3 million in 2001, to $200 million in 2014.

5. GoPro: Be A Hero

GoPro is the brainchild of Nick Woodman who noticed that the only way to capture a surfer’s tricks was from land or on a jetski. He bootstrapped the company by selling belts decorated with beads and shells out of his van, and the prototype was born.

GoPro’s tagline:

GoPro actually has two primary landing taglines.

  1. “Be a HERO.”
  2. “Capture + share your world”

Both of these taglines do a great job of representing the brand, albeit in different ways.

Tagline examples: GoPro, Be a HERO.

Tagline examples: GoPro, Be a HERO.

GoPro was invented for the purpose of capturing extreme sports like skydiving or snowboarding, and their taglines encapsulate that, inviting users to “be a hero” and take extreme action, capture their exploits on film, and then share their adventures with the world.

These taglines are very customer focused, which fits with GoPro’s marketing strategy. GoPro’s marketing revolves around user generated content, and their taglines help to invite new users to participate in sharing their GoPro captured activities with their friends.

The Results:

While GoPro has recently been having to compete with smartphone cameras and mounts, they are still a massive success:

  1. GoPro made $150,000 in revenue from the Home Shopping Network in its first year of official sales in 2004.
  2. As of 2016, GoPro has grown to be a $2.5 billion enterprise.

6. Stella Artois: Be Legacy

Stella Artois has a nearly 700 year history, so their taglines have evolved over the better part of a millennium.

Here’s a brief history of how the brand has evolved:

Stella has been around since 1336 and was originally brewed as a pricey, limited edition treat for Christmas. That was until 1981 when they turned their price point into a positive with a “Reassuringly Expensive” tagline. The statement worked and Stella Artois successfully flipped the narrative from “too expensive” to “classy”.

Stella Artois turned high price into a selling point. 9 tagline examples for business growth.

Stella Artois turned high price into a selling point.

That was until football fans realized that Stella contained a higher percentage of alcohol than other beers and began drinking it to get drunk. It caused a rift between the company’s brand and public perception as fans were pictured rioting with a Stella in hand.

To turn their image around, they repositioned themselves in 2008 with a new tagline: “A thing of beauty”. The marketing campaign displayed their ‘9 Step Preparation Guide’ that implied the consumer needed skill and a certain amount of grace to pour the perfect pint of Stella.

Stella Artois tagline:

“Be Legacy”

Last year saw another revamp in their marketing, as the company sought to make its beer appear not only more classy, but more personal.

Stella’s new tagline shows off their brand personality by reaching back into their history to the beginnings of Sebastian Artois, a man who sold all of his belongings to buy the brewery down the street.

Tagine examples: Stella Artois, Be Legacy

Tagine examples: Stella Artois, Be Legacy

They also preface their tagline with the phrase, “what will you be remembered for?”. It does a great job of targeting an emotion behind their beer that isn’t partying on a boat. You drink their beer to live life.

The Results:

Not many products survive for centuries, yet Stella Artois’ has used their branding to achieve success and longevity:

  1. Stella is the best selling beer brand from Belgium and is sold in over 100 countries worldwide.
  2. The beer has is also widely recognized as being “sophisticated” by consumers, and “the best premium lager” in 2013 by the Morning Advertiser.

7. BuzzSumo: Find Shared Content and Key Influencers

BuzzSumo allows people to find the most popular content around a given keyphrase. Instead of manually searching websites for your keyword, Buzzsumo amalgamates the most popular content for that keyword, how many social shares it received, and who shared it.

BuzzSumo’s tagline:

“Find the most shared content and key influencers”

Tagline examples: Buzzsumo's tagline is found in its interface.

Tagline examples: Buzzsumo’s tagline is found in its user interface.

This tagline doubles as a value proposition. It’s a no fluff explanation of the real value being provided by the brand. Do you want to find the most shared content? Are you looking for key influencers? Well, then you’re in the right place.

The Results:

Even though Buzz Sumo is a young business (not even 3 years old), it has gained incredible traction:

  1. They received 160,000 “freemium” subscribers and 2,000 paid subscribers in their first year.
  2. After 1 year of operations, Buzz Sumo generated $2.5 million in revenue.
  3. Used and promoted by Neil Patel, Matthew Barby, and Mari Smith.

8. Headspace: Treat Your Head Right

Headspace began with a meeting between two men. Andy Puddicombe, an Englishman, became a monk after having the traumatic experience of losing two friends and a step-sister. He wanted to bring the technique of mindfulness to the masses, and created a meditation app called “Jeeves”.

At the same time, Richard Pierson, another Englishman, was burned out from his job. To help calm his anxiety, a friend of his had recommended Jeeves. Inspired by the app, he approached Puddicombe with a proposition – he’d market the meditation app in return for one-on-one meditation lessons.

The men tapped into the 1.2 trillion dollar mindfulness industry in 2010, when they brought meditation to where most people were spending their time – their phones.

Headspace’s Tagline:

“Treat Your Head Right”

Tagline examples: Headspace's tagline makes mental health common sense

Tagline Examples: Headspace’s tagline makes mental health common sense

Traditionally, the general public in North America has viewed meditation as something exclusive to monks, hippies, or other niche groups. Headspace has helped change this perception withe their broad outreach.

Through their approachable brand personality, exemplified through their tagline, they showed that meditation isn’t some ethereal experience meant only for “mystics”, but rather, something anyone can do to “treat their head right” as part of an everyday mental health routine.

The Results:

The app’s approach to meditation worked. Headspace has gained huge traction over the last few years:

  1. It received $30 million via a Series A in 2015.
  2. The subscription based model of pricing has resulted in the app reaching a net worth of $250 million.
  3. Headspace has been adopted by celebrities like Richard Branson, Jessica Alba, and Lebron James, fueling its growth.
  4. It is ranked as the highest quality “mindfulness-based” app according to the peer-reviewed Journal of Medical Internet Research.

9. Dollar Shave Club: Shave Time. Shave Money.

Dollar Shave Club was born out of a party conversation between Mark Levine and Michael Dubin, where they shared their frustrations on the high cost of razor blades. They came up with the idea to send blades via a monthly subscription box for $1 (with $2 shipping). The pair launched Dollar Shave Club’s website in 2011.

Dollar Shave Club’s tagline:

“Shave Time. Shave Money.”

Tagline Examples: Dollar Shave Club's tagline is the perfect pun

Tagline Examples: Dollar Shave Club’s tagline is the perfect pun

Dollar Shave Club showcases brand personality incredibly well in their tagline, website, and across all of their marketing campaigns, branding their company as a club for common sense, sarcastic smart alecks… you know… what every guy aspires to be.

Up until Dollar Shave Club’s existence, many had griped about the absurd cost of disposable razor blades, but very little had been done about it. Dollar Shave Club cashed in on the strategic idea of delivering blades bought in bulk but repackaged for individual use, capturing the sentiment that we all need to save time and money, even in the smallest of ways.

The Results:

Questioning consumer norms paid off for Dollar Shave Club in big ways:

  1. Their initial ad in 2011, “Our Blades Are F***ing Great”, went viral and got

    12,000 subscribers in 48 hours

    . The add also attracted $1 million in investment in the company.

  2. The following year, the company raised $9.8 million to expand internationally into Canada and Australia.
  3. In 2016, Dollar Shave Club was bought out for

     $1 billion by Unilever.

Conclusion: Business Tagline Example Takeaways

Now that we’ve seen what a winning tagline looks like, let’s review the key qualities you should include in yours:

  1. It captures your mission
  2. It reflects your persona
  3. It resonates with your target audience

Create a tagline that reflects these qualities, and you’ll have secured a key piece in your branding campaign.


21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks to Skyrocket Conversions

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks

Keep these proven copywriting hacks in mind to make your copy convert.

  • 43 Pages with Examples
  • Assumptive Phrasing
  • "We" vs. "You"
  • Pattern Interrupts
  • The Power of Three
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You want to improve your conversions but no money to fund this effort. We’ll walk you through 4 sure-fire ways to get a CRO budget for next year.

If you ever went to the government and asked them what your fair share of taxes should be, they would first ask you how much you made last year.

And that would likely be the answer.

Likewise, a conversion optimizer would probably be the last person to ask how much to budget for conversion optimization. “How much budget do you have?”

Nonetheless, I’m going to give you the tools to add conversion optimization to your budget next year. Then, when you call us next year, you’ll be ready.

Where to Get Your CRO Budget

One key question you need to ask is, where will I get my CRO budget? I have some suggestions.

1. From IT

The basis of any conversion optimization effort is a sound analytics and measurement foundation. This consists of tools that slide under your website and are bolted in place. This is IT stuff.

Our research has shown that most businesses’ websites have some level of implementation of analytics. You don’t want to be left behind. This is a crucial behavioral database that will be invaluable as you begin to vet ideas for testing.

2. From the Things You Should be Testing Anyway

It is a golden age of marketing. We have more tools, data sources and shiny objects to drive our online businesses than any marketers have ever had. We can mobile gamify our ratings and review process using direct visitor feedback to drive personalization throughout our content funnels.

In other words, we’re overwhelmed, and the first sign of a marketing department that is overwhelmed is the decision to redesign.

Your website probably doesn’t need a redesign. It probably needs to be optimized.

Put the redesign money into an optimization program and see immediate results.

There is a good way to get your head around all of the things you could be doing to your site. You could test the ideas. Instead of blindly pouring money into exit-intent popovers, live chat, or personalized recommendations, you should test them. We have seen these work and we have seen them fail.

Your conversion optimization team will know how to use data to make good decisions on where to spend your money. Budget for optimization first.

3. From Your Ad Spend to Get a CRO Budget

Paid search is a great way to generate qualified traffic. However, our success in search causes our fundamentals to “regress”. It becomes harder to increase traffic, and the new traffic often is less qualified, less profitable.

Borrow from your ad spend to get a CRO budget. When you spend more, get less traffic and make less money, it's time to try optimization.

When you spend more, get less traffic and make less money, it’s time to try optimization.

When your traffic is flat, ad spend is rising and profit is dropping, you know you should be putting some of that into optimization.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but there is a period of sweat and anxious hand-wringing.

You see, conversion optimization takes time. There is a very real dip in performance. When you reduce spending on ads you reduce your traffic and your revenue. For a period of time, your revenue drops until your optimization efforts get traction.

It might look something like the graph below. This assumes a modest 5% increase in revenue per visit (RPV) each month for one year, and that 8.9% of ad spend, or $8900, is invested in optimization each month. In this example, we began with a conversion rate of 1.7%.

If you can make it through a short valley of death, borrowing from your ad spend can be very profitable.

If you can make it through a short valley of death, borrowing from your ad spend can be very profitable.

Monthly revenue dips due to the reduction in PPC traffic. Revenue returns to baseline levels in month four. Revenue is positive in month six compared to investing in PPC only.

The Return on CRO (green line) turns sharply north, even though we are still investing 8.9% of ad spend each month.

This is what powers conversion optimization. You have a compounding effect working in your favor, but you have to invest on the front end.

Send me an email if you want to see all my assumptions.

It’s this four-to-six month dip that marketers and managers fear. How do you sell a drop in revenue to your boss?

4. Pony Up

The other option is to reach into your own profits and slap down some cash on your conversion optimization team.

I’m not going to sugar coat this. There are three costs you must deal with when investing in optimization.

The Components of a Conversion Optimization or CRO Budget

The Software

The first cost is the least bothersome. Conversion optimization requires a certain amount of data to succeed.

Testing is not that hard. Deciding what to test is quite difficult.

The competition in the marketplace is pretty brutal. Each year, we get more functionality from cheaper and cheaper tools. At a minimum, you’ll want a good click-tracking tool, a good session recording tool, a strong analytics database and a split-testing tool.

Depending on your traffic, these can be had for a few hundred dollars each month up to several thousand dollars each month.

The Team

None of these tools matter if you don’t have someone to pull the levers, turn the knobs and read the graphs. The main functions found on a conversion optimization team are:

  • A researcher to collect qualitative data.
  • A statistically-responsible person to collect and evaluate quantitative data.
  • A developer to create the changes in each test.
  • A designer to implement design changes.
  • A patient QA person to be sure nothing is broken by a test.
  • A project manager to keep the momentum going.

It is possible to have one super-amazing person who can do all of this. It is the death-knell of your conversion optimization program to ask someone to do all of this in addition to another job. Your PPC person is not going to be able to do all of this and their job too.

These are fairly expensive employees. Consider hiring an outside agency, like us, to get started. As of this writing, Conversion Sciences can provide these functions for less than ten-thousand dollars a month.

The Opportunity Costs

There is a cost to testing that is not seen in reports. It’s the cost of losing treatments. In any list of “good” ideas for increasing your conversion rate and revenue per visit, fully half will actually do more harm than good. We don’t know which of our ideas are “losers” until we test them. When we test, some percentage of your visitors will see these losers, be turned off, and won’t buy.

This is lost revenue. With proper management, this downside can be minimized, but it is the cost of doing business. It’s the price of admission, the overhead, the burn, that funny smell in the kitchen.

It’s hard to budget for this particular line item, but it should be part of your discussion.

Be Clear About Your Upside

If I haven’t scared you off, there is good news. We call it the upside, the green bling, statistical bignificance, and sometimes we just dance.

You should understand what your statistical significance is. You must know the answer to the question, “What happens if my conversion rate goes up a little?” We call this a Basic Unit of Upside.

Conversion Upside Calculator
Click for a Conversion Optimization Upside Report that does the math for you.

We offer our Conversion Optimization Upside Report to help you understand your upside. It calculates what your yearly increase in revenue would be if you only added 0.1 to your conversion rate or revenue per visit. Plug in a few numbers and you’ll see what small changes mean for your bottom line.

A Little More Motivation to Get a CRO Budget

For most businesses, conversion optimization is a ten-thousand-dollar a month investment or more. Many businesses are spending a whole lot more than that.

If conversion optimization is on your “maybe next year” list, consider what might happen if you give your competitors a year’s head start on you.

The business with the highest conversion rate has the lowest acquisition cost and can profitably boost bids on their paid advertising. Plus, Google favors high-converting landing pages when assigning ad placement.

With a realistic understanding of the costs of conversion optimization and a real appreciation for the potential upside, you should be able to make the case for adding it to your shopping list this year.

Brian Massey

 

 

Feature image by frankieleon via Compfight cc and adapted for this post.

If you are anything like me, you’ve made your fair share impulsive purchases online.
Unlike trekking into brick-and-mortar, I never get on the Internet with the intent of pulling out my credit card. Yet, inevitably, I’ve got two food delivery subscriptions and a blouse from the JCrew factory store shipping out tomorrow.
Are your visitors like me? How much of your business comes from impulsive behavior?  Most importantly, are you converting your impulse visitors before their craving to buy passes?
In this post, I will show you how to quantify the number of impulse buyers on your site using Google Analytics, and I will also share strategies on how to get them to convert.

The Impulsive Buyer

We define an impulsive buyer as someone who is poised to take action. These are our spontaneous buyers, more likely to be relational than transactional. They may not be impulsive in life, but are behaving in their spontaneous mode on your site right now.
What makes an impulsive buyer impulsive?

        

  • They perceive the risk of taking action as low.
  •     

  • They perceive the value of taking action as high.
  •     

  • They perceive the cost of shopping as high.
  •     

  • FOMO: Fear of missing out may drive their behavior.
  •     

  • Familiarity with your products makes a purchase decision easy.
  •     

  • Repeat buyers simply restocking will act as if they are impulsive.

For these visitors, leaving a browsing session without having pulled the financial trigger is like leaving the confessional before they’ve received their prescription of penitential prayers. It’s a complete waste of time and fundamentally misses the point of the exercise.
For these buyers, you should dedicate a portion of your site to mitigating risk, building value, pointing the way to purchase, creating scarcity, and spelling out the facts.
[pullquote]Impulse buyers aren’t the crazed shoppers that can be found assaulting each other in the Walmart on Black Friday.[/pullquote] These buyers may be thoughtful and methodical in their approach. However, they will buy from someone today, unless no alternatives present themselves.
If they don’t buy from you now, they will most likely not return.

Finding Impulse Buyers in the Data

Impulse buyers don’t announce themselves upon arrival at your website, but they leave footprints in your digital sand. To start, we’re looking for those one-hit wonders, the drive-by shoppers. Google Analytics tracks this behavior for us with the “Time to Purchase” report.

Where to find time to purchase in Google Analytics

Where to find time to purchase in Google Analytics


Impluse buyers are, by definition, those visitors who purchase within their first visit. Thus, we want to know which transactions are completed on our site within a single session.
The number of sessions it takes to convert

The number of sessions it takes to convert


For an ecommerce website, a single-session percentage of more than 80% indicates that quick buying behavior is contributing to your overall conversion rate. You’re probably serving your impulse buyers well.
If single-session conversions make up less than 60% of your total transactions, one of two things is happening.

        

  1. You are selling something that methodical customers are going to purchase, such as appliances or a college education.

OR

        

  1. You are not satisfying the impulse-buyers’ craving before it passes.

Google Analytics makes it easy to track impulse buyers on your site. Create an advanced segment for those visitors who purchase in one session.

When you look at your Google Analytics reports through the lens of this segment you will see how impulse buyers are impacting your business.

Impulse Buyers (blue line) are a significant portion of all revenue (orange line) for this ecommerce business.

Impulse Buyers (blue line) are a significant portion of all revenue (orange line) for this ecommerce business.


Use this segment to answer other questions as well. In the graph below, it is clear how an email promotion to existing buyers affects the impulse buyer segment.
Email campaigns appeal to return and repeat buyers and less so to first-time impulse buyers

Email campaigns appeal to return and repeat buyers (orange line) and less so to first-time impulse buyers (blue line).


How did these visitors get to your site? Where did they land? Did they use site search or navigation to get to a product page? What items did these quick buyers purchase?
Search is clearly not important to most impulse buyers for this site.

Sessions with Searches: Search is clearly not important to most impulse buyers for this site.


Answering these questions will help to develop a map of impulse behavior on your site.
With this blueprint, you’ll be able to pinpoint the areas of your site that attract impulse buyers and begin to test conversion optimization efforts that focus on them.
[sitepromo]

Reducing Risk

When customers are poised to buy, they do a risk assessment. Impulse buyers love low-risk transactions. This is the job of what we call risk reversal tactics.
A risk reversal tactic is anything that takes the risk out of a transaction. Risk reversal comes in many forms.

        

  • Money-back guarantees
  •     

  • Warranties
  •     

  • Trust symbols, such as the BBB logo
  •     

  • Ratings and reviews
  •     

  • Free shipping offers
  •     

  • Low-price guaratees

Often sites signal that they can’t be trusted without even realizing it. They hide their return policies, or make them so complex that they become meaningless. They don’t display free shipping offers in a prominent place.
Impulse buyers have a quiet voice in their head asking “Is this a good idea?”.  What can you do to make sure the answer to that question is always “Yes”?

Case Study: JetPens

The vaguest, most theoretical thing you should be doing is making people feel good about giving you their personal information.  Trust symbols must be obvious but subtle enough to avoid that “Trust me!  Trust me!  Trust me!” vibe that we get from used car salesmen, so incorporate them as naturally as possible.
Take Jetpens.com, an online store selling Japanese pens and stationery.

JetPens naturally decreases risk reversal with the trust symbols on their checkout screen.

JetPens naturally decreases risk reversal with the trust symbols on their checkout screen.


This store is somewhat specialized, so it doesn’t have the same degree of trusted name recognition as an office supplies store like Staples or Office Depot.  One way it resolves the issue is having the Google Trusted Store symbol in the lower right corner.  It sticks to every page, not just the checkout screen.
This is called “borrowing trust.” Sites can borrow trust from current clients, credit card companies, and certification organizations like Google and Buyer Safe.

Increasing Order Size

While you may see free shipping as a pricing issue, it really acts to reduce risk. It reduces anxiety about spending money on a website. It is can also increase the average order of impulse buyers.
JetPens offers free shipping for orders over $25, and they make it really easy for you to hit that mark.

You know exactly how much you need to spend to get free shipping.

You know exactly how much you need to spend to get free shipping.


There’s no need for their impulse buyers to do any math.
In lieu of free shipping, it pays for your site to be up-front about what shipping will cost. This takes the surprise out of the transaction, reducing cart abandonment.
JetPens uses a Calculate Shipping button for just this purpose.
You don't even have to leave the checkout page to fill your cart to the $25 mark.

You don’t even have to leave the checkout page to fill your cart to hit the $25 mark.


Getting to the $25 mark that signals free shipping is pretty good motivation for most people to spend more money, but once someone is in the checkout screen, do you really want them to leave it?  By placing a few items from account holders’ wish list at the bottom of the page, JetPens makes it easy for impulse buyers to double-down. Customers see how much more they need to spend and a great suggestion for how to get there.
If the visitor hasn’t added anything to their wish list, why not add a few inexpensive suggestions of your own?

Case Study: ModCloth

With online retail, shipping information needs to be easy to find.  Free shipping isn’t the only reason people convert: they’ll also be more likely to buy if they think it will be easy to return what they bought.  Someone doing lots of research on a product may be willing to hunt around for money-back guarantees, but impulse buyers need trust symbols to be much more in-their-face.
ModCloth, an online women’s clothing store, uses the top of its website to embed lots of different trust symbols.

The top of ModCloth's website is covers lots of trust-building bases.

The top of ModCloth’s website covers lots of trust-building bases.


Customer care and shipping information is at the top of every page, and when you visit the page on returns and exchanges, it’s also pretty easy to understand.
ModCloth's return policy

ModCloth’s return policy


Someone in a hurry to spend money may not make it all the way to this page, but she’ll know it’s there, and she’ll know that exchanges are free without even clicking.  Why wouldn’t she spend her money if it’s that easy to get rid of something that didn’t work out?

Introducing Scarcity

Scarcity is a term that includes limitied supplies, limited-time engagements, exclusivity and qualifications to buy. It imparts a sense of urgency to a shopping session, and impulse buyers are just looking for excuses to act. Give your impulse buyers excuses to act by making it clear that she will be missing out if she doesn’t buy right now.  Remember, impulse buyers see the shopping process as expensive and don’t want to waste their time.

Dwindling stock makes this item much more attractive.

Dwindling stock makes this item much more attractive.


Only one Window Shopping Chic Dress left?!  What am I going to wear when I go window shopping this weekend if that dress doesn’t end up in my closet!
Many impulse buyers like feeling like they’re part of an exclusive group. It feeds their egos and justifies the elitist tone they use when they brag about how the rest of us weren’t able to wear the right window shopping dress.

Increasing the Perceived Value of an Impulse Purchase

Free gifts and bonuses add value to a perceived purchase. The gift doesn’t have to be an extraordinary offer. It provides another excuse to act, often increasing urgency.
SheIn hits that impulse buying nail on the head not once, but twice.  First, a popover tells you that there’s an opportunity for a free gift.

Free gift offer from SheIn

Free gift offer from SheIn


But here’s the fun part.  You have to start a wheel for a free gift.  So it’s a game!
Shoppers play a game to get a free gift.

Shoppers play a game to get a free gift.


This strategy works for pretty much any kind of business, not just retail.  SheIn asks you to join a mailing list order to have the chance at spinning the wheel to get a free gift, so it’s a lead-generating strategy.

The Gift of Game

Gamification is much beloved by millennials, a group renowned for their impulsive buying behavior.  Quizzes and games make even the most mundane tasks so much more interesting.  Let’s say I’m looking for new running shoes, so I search “What kind of shoes should I buy?”
One result is from the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society.  The name alone seems pretty trustworthy. What do they have to say about what shoes I should buy?

Running shoe buying guide

Running shoe buying guide


Yikes. This isn’t even half of the article! Luckily, I have another option to help me find the answer to my question.
Runner's World shoe quiz

Runner’s World shoe quiz


Runner’s World magazine makes things so much easier!  First I take a short quiz, then it spits out a shoe suggestion for me.
Running shoe suggestion

Running shoe suggestion


Runner’s World doesn’t want to sell me a shoe, but if I were on a retail site selling running shoes, how awesome would it be to be able to click “Add to Cart” from this page?

Go Mobile or Go Home

This weekend I had a movie night with some friends at my house because we urgently needed to watch the first Magic Mike movie.  We didn’t want to miss any major plot points when we watched the soon-to-be-released sequel.
I rented the movie on my phone using the Google Play Movies & TV app.  I tapped the purchase button, and openly lamented to my friends how easy it was to throw my money away.  I mean disgustingly easy.  Three taps and four bucks of my hard-earned money was gone, replaced by the privilege of having two days of access to a movie I hope my mom never finds out I watched.

Magic Mike to rent

First tap


Renting options

2nd tap…and 3rd tap my money is gone


Voila, I made a purchase I kind-of-but-not-really regret.  Your website could have that purchase!
[pullquote]On mobile, fewer people are doing research.  They’re either buying, or they’re leaving.[/pullquote]  I wanted that Magic Mike movie, and I wanted it right then.  More obstacles would have meant using a different app or just watching a different movie I already own.
Buying something from you should be as easy as renting a movie on my phone.
Park the things you know about your desktop users. Think about the needs of your mobile visitors as if they were a different animal. They’re not unicorns or dragons or anything, but you wouldn’t put a leash on a cat. They just won’t stand for it.
As an example, Victoria’s Secret realized that promo codes are to mobile users what pull cords are to blow dryers. They’re not the right tool for the job.
Victorias secret doesn't ask mobile visitors to enter a promo code.

Victoria’s Secret doesn’t ask mobile visitors to enter a promo code.

Impulse Abandoners

Impulse buyers become impulse abandoners when your site doesn’t serve their need to take action. The moment they perceive that a transaction is low value, that the effort is too high, that a purchase is risky or that there is no urgency to take action, they become less impulsive.
It is not manipulative to feed their need for speed. Giving impulse buyers the rationale to act is exactly what they want from you. Why deny them?
[signature]
Feature image licensed under Creative Commons and adapted for this post.

Learn the best practices for using exit-intent popups to engage visitors who are leaving your site and increase conversion rates.

Imagine that your website could detect when a visitor was just about to leave. What could your business do with that information? Would you beg them to stay? Would you sweeten the deal? Would you ask them why they are leaving?

Right now, exit-intent technologies can detect when your visitors are about to hit the back button, close their browser, or navigate away. Then popup dialog is presented to them, a last-ditch message to get their business.

Are you using exit-intent popups? If not, you are leaving money on the table—quite a lot of money, actually. Exit-intent popups are known for several years now but it’s still a hot topic of conversion optimization.

In case you haven’t heard of them before, let’s summarize quickly what are they.

They are the popups that appear the very moment you move your mouse to leave a page. They are “overlay popups,” and cannot be blocked by popup blockers.

Here is an example:

This exit-intent popup teases a free eBook.

This exit-intent popup teases a free eBook.

Why Should You Use Exit-Intent Popups?

Exit-intent popups give you a “second chance” at communicating something important to your visitors before they leave your site. According to data, 10 to 15 percent of lost visitors can be “saved” by using exit-intent popups. In other words, between 10 to 15 percent of visitors leaving your site will respond to a well-crafted message.

Exit-intent popups are the most customer-friendly approach to communicate a special message to your visitors. They are superior to normal popups because they don’t interrupt your visitors while browsing or scanning your site; they only appear when your visitors start to leave your site altogether or switch to another window.

So how can you maximize the ROI of your exit-intent popups?

Check out: How to Pick a Conversion Optimization Consultant for your Online Business

1. Email List Generation

One of their most effective uses is to grab email addresses by offering an incentive to subscribe. Naturally, the conversion success of email collecting popups depends upon the effectiveness of the copy and the offer.

Exit-intent popups can be used to grow your email list.

Exit-intent popups can be used to grow your email list.

According to data from OptiMonk, a simple popup like this converts between three and five percent on an average content or ecommerce site. To achieve this level of performance requires no preparation, and you can install the popup on any page.

You can increase a popup’s effectiveness significantly by offering an eBook or other “hook” as an incentive. In such cases, a popup can easily convert up to 15 percent:

Informational offers can turn 15 percent of abandoners into leads.

Informational offers can turn 15 percent of abandoners into leads.

You can also boost your results by gamifying your message. A lucky wheel popup can not only increase your conversion rate and coupon usage rate, but it also enhances your user experience: everyone loves to win, and it will give shoppers a reason to remember your store.

A lucky wheel can create a new, fun and interactive subscription experience on your site.

A lucky wheel can create a new, fun and interactive subscription experience on your site.

2. Recover Abandoned Cart Instantly

E-commerce sites should use exit-intent popups for instant cart-recovery. Since cart abandonment is about 70 percent, exit-intent popups can potentially save a lot of lost revenue. The best method of conversion during checkout is to offer visitors an incentive to finish the order on the spot, such as a price discount or free shipping.

Exit-intent popups can sweeten an offer and save a sale.

Exit-intent popups can sweeten an offer and save a sale.

This type of popup usually converts around 15 percent, especially if you turn off the email capture, though you should follow up with these users later by email, since only about 5 to 15 percent will use their coupons immediately.

3. Redirect Traffic to Other Content

The most common usage of exit-intent popups is to redirect traffic to other content on your site. In effect, it responds to your visitors attempts to leave by saying, “You find this content boring or irrelevant? No problem. Check this out, instead.”

You can even use it on landing pages, to give yourself a second chance to hook visitors who are not converting on your landing page.

In this example, the site owner promotes a webinar on his site:

Redirect visitors who are about to leave to something that may be more relevant.

Redirect visitors who are about to leave to something that may be more relevant.

E-commerce sites can use this method by showing alternative offers to visitors not interested in buying the current products. Content sites can use it to promote other content the reader may prefer.

Content redirection popups can convert up to 25 percent.

4. Keep It Simple

The most important rule of every exit-intent popup is to keep it simple. Don’t try to stuff too much content into one popup. Less is more. People leaving your site are often already overwhelmed by its contents; they may be unable (or unwilling) to understand complex messages. So, make sure your headline tells your visitors immediately what benefit they will receive.

The look of your popup is also important. Try to use a simple and clear design that matches to your website. Since you only have a few seconds to get visitors attention, you should always use readable fonts.

One large tagline, one sub-headline, and some visual reinforcement of the offer should be enough, 99 percent of the time.

Don’t forget that the look of your popup is just one thing, but if your offer is not good enough, you won’t succeed. Always add a relevant offer and try to focus on pain points. Adding a sense of urgency always makes popup more effective since it helps to overcome procrastination. Here’s an article if you want to learn more about creating a good exit-intent popup.

5. Speed Matters

When we say that an exit-intent popup appears at the very moment the visitor moves the mouse out of the window, this means that the popup appears a few milliseconds later—and the amount of time, no matter how miniscule, does matter. You have less than 200 milliseconds to show the visitors your message before they actually click on the X button. In fact, you should decrease this lag to less than 50 milliseconds.

How can your popup respond so quickly? First, it is important to preload the popup content. Loading in real-time takes longer than 200 milliseconds. Preloading takes technical know-how, but the best exit-intent popup software has already solved this issue.

You should refrain from using special effects on these types of popups. Such displays look cool, but they increase the amount of time required to display the popup, as well as the time needed for visitors to comprehend the message.

6. Always Test Copy

The same rules apply to exit-intent popups as to any other webpage or landing page—always test the copy. For example, in this test, changing only the tagline of the offer resulted in a 47 percent increase in conversions.

Test your copy to get even more lift from exit-intent popups.

Test your copy to get even more lift from exit-intent popups.

7. Start Today

My last piece of advice is to start NOW. You are losing customers every minute.

The easiest way is to register at www.optimonk.com/register, and learn about our exit-intent popup solution. We can help you create effective exit-intent popup campaigns as easy as ABC.


21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks to Skyrocket Conversions

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks

Keep these proven copywriting hacks in mind to make your copy convert.

  • 43 Pages with Examples
  • Assumptive Phrasing
  • "We" vs. "You"
  • Pattern Interrupts
  • The Power of Three
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We test just about everything we can here at Conversion Sciences. We are always surprised by what new technologies teach us about people, even if the technologies aren’t widely available.
oPhoneWe’ve been fortunate to participate in a trial of the new oPhone, a device manufactured by Vapor Communications. The oPhone transmits scent across the Web, right to the desks of shoppers and to their olfactory receptors. Vapor has put the device into a large group of beta testers who keep it attached to their computers while they go about their daily tasks.
We designed a test to understand which scents drove more sales of which products on a client site that sold a variety of products. Would a leather scent sell more shoes? Would a male cologne make women buy more?
We designed a system that would send one of ten different scents to any individual oPhone beta users that visited a client website. They were never told when they were visiting an oPhone enabled site.
The scents we tested were leather, lavender, bubble gum, Old Spice cologne, new car, pine, Febreze®, Chanel No. 5, mint, and no-scent. Each  of these scents required that we have a separate oPhone attached wirelessly to a one of ten computers. These were then routed through our testing software for delivery to the oPhones attached to the beta testers’ computers.

Why odor is different from our other senses

Odor is of particular interest to us because of the way the brain processes odors. It is the only one of the five senses that bypasses the thalamus, the traffic-cop of the brain. Smells, it seems, have free and direct access to the limbic system – the “lizard brain” – and the neo-cortex, where memories and experiences are stored. This, it is believed, is why smells are able to transport us to places we’ve been before, affecting our moods, emotions, and appetite.
[pullquote position=”right”]Smell  requires fewer “clicks” to reach it’s destination.[/pullquote]
The oPhones device both “records” scents and “plays them back.” It will accept a scent in the form of a gas, spray or aerosol. The devices analyze the odor and transmit a signature to the host computer who then controls when that signature is sent (scent?) to the visitor’s computer via IP triangulation. If the visitor’s computer is connected to an oPhone, the odor is reproduced for them.
As our tests reached statistical significance, the “Old Spice cologne” odor was winning for all products in all categories, far above the other eight scents and the control (no scent).
“Why was mint so successful in driving sales?” we wondered. So we played the scent back on our oPhone.
It wasn’t Old Spice.
The subtle, yet nostril-inflaming aroma was quickly identified as belonging to the methane family of gases. Methane is rare in urban society, outside of the water closet.

One of our scents goes awry

It seems that keeping track of ten oPhones and ten computers and ten test treatments proved too much for the person setting up these tests. An investigation revealed that one of the team members dropped an oPhone into their lab coat pocket in a rush to get off to the bathroom.
During their extended visit to the loo, our test assistant was back in the lab capturing scent samples from each of the oPhones. She didn’t notice that one was missing. As far as we can tell, she captured a smell signature from the oPhone sitting in the pocket of his bowl-clearing colleague. It was supposed to be the “Old Spice” odor.
Of course, we were relieved to have discovered the error. We would have had trouble convincing people that this guy had the odoriferous secret to sales of almost any product.
We were also able to recommend some dietary changes to our colleague. Something just wasn’t right there.
Nonetheless, we were left with a puzzle. Why did a scent that no one would consider odorable win so handily in our tests.

Relief is a powerful motivator

We believe that the issue at work here is “relief.” Whatever our oPhone-stealing colleague had eaten the night before, the central compound in the odor was methane. This is true for all of us. After years of daily visits to our porcelain sculpture gardens, our brains learned to associate methane with a feeling of relief; a lighter feeling; a feeling that our vertical leap is maybe a few centimeters higher. All of these feelings were accompanied by one distinct smell: methane.
Methane means “things are good” to our limbic brains.
We speculate that people are tense when they shop. Perhaps the olfactory signal that relief has arrived made them feel more comfortable buying online. It could be true.
Another hypothesis is that the odor made them feel that they needed to empty their carts quickly, before they “had an accident.”
None of these conjectures can be verified without more testing.
What scent do you think we should test next? Let us know in the comments before April Fools day is over.
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