Lead generation is one of the biggest challenges businesses face. With new channels for marketing and increased competition, converting leads is an even bigger lift. And it’s incredibly important. Seventy-four percent of companies say converting leads into customers is their top priority.
We know lead conversion happens in two main ways—online and in person. Let’s look at the differences between the two and new approaches you can use to maximize your time.
Here is the Definitive Guide to Converting More Leads: THE ONLINE EXPERIENCE
Whether your prospects find you on their mobile or desktop, it’s important that you offer a seamless and positive experience. For many users, about 40%, if they have a bad experience on your site, they don’t return for another visit. And if you only offer a desktop experience, keep in mind that mobile visits grow in importance every year. Recent studies show that 93% of people who use a mobile device to research a product or service go on to make a purchase.
There are many conversion rates you can dissect, but let’s start with your website. The average website conversion rate, across multiple industries, is 3%. That means 3% of the people that come to your website will convert into sales.
Here are a few popular industries to set your own baseline:
To increase your website conversion, it’s important to consider the following three areas: design, conversion methods, content.
The design of your website sets the tone for your conversation with the visitor. It’s the first impression. It’s so important that if your site is poorly designed, visitors may leave because the content doesn’t seem trustworthy, knowledgeable, or even correct. For mobile users, 57% won’t recommend a business if the mobile experience is poorly designed or unresponsive.
Level up your homepage design:
Hero Image: It’s the perfect opportunity to personalize your website while conveying information to your visitors. What do you do? What product or service do you offer? Does your hero image deliver that message?
Check out this site for 21 examples of incredible website hero images.
Headlines: Just because headlines are crafted from copy doesn’t mean that they aren’t part of the design of your site. Headlines should address the problems or concerns of your target audience immediately. They should be no longer than 10 words8 and your subhead should offer the solution you’ve outlined in the header.
Navigation Bar: Use your navigation bar to improve the customer website experience. Nearly 60% of the time, users can’t find what they’re looking for on a website. Don’t let your site fall into the same trap. Think through the navigation of your site and test with your key audience. Two things to keep in mind—use clear wording to avoid confusion and keep pages with the highest traffic in mind when building out main navigation and sub navigation links.
Make sure your CTAs are targeted:
Copy: Converting more leads includes crafting the right Call to Action. According to a Hubspot study, if you use a CTA that is customizable or dynamic/ smart, your leads could convert 202% better than standard CTAs. But the key takeaway for organizations that can’t personalize—the shorter the CTA copy, the better. Here’s an example now: “Learn More.”
Buttons: The placement and the color of the buttons on your site directly affect the CTA. Some organizations follow the one button rule—no more than one button per webpage. And for the color? Many believe the best button color is the one you can test.
Boost your landing page efforts:
Messaging: Because landing pages have different goals than the homepage, you need to make sure the message is as targeted as possible. The ad copy and the landing page copy must sync seamlessly. And for landing pages that might be separate from your main website, make sure to include a similar header, your logo, and links back to your main site.
Check out this site for nine essential landing page elements.
02. Conversion Methods.
The conversion methods you use on your site should be non-intrusive and offer value to the visitor. By investing in your user experience, your customers will be more likely to convert.
Upgrade your contact us:
Read more about modern customer communication here.
Use a form:
Location: The location of your form directly impacts the probability of it being seen by your prospect. Content above the fold on a web page is viewed 102% more than information even just below the fold. If you want prospects to become leads, push that form higher on the page.
Number of Fields: Even though some marketers have luck with 16-question forms, it isn’t recommended. Eloqua suggests somewhere between three to seven fields to maximize your chances of form completion. Top field suggestions include name, email address, and phone number. Business name and industry are close seconds if it makes sense for your business.
Utilize your checkout pages:
Extra Costs: Reduce abandonment at checkout by curbing the surprise of extra costs. If they’re too high on the cart page (shipping, taxes, fees), the prospect will leave.
Content creation and marketing can be daunting. The list of options is long and sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. For 70% of marketers, it’s a lead conversion tool they are actively investing in for their business.
Check out your SEO:
Strategy: Don’t walk blindly into the SEO game— have a strategy that accounts for your blog, product pages, homepage, and even external assets like your Google My Business Listing.
Check out this site for tips on how to build an SEO plan.
Google Review/Rankings: Understand your ranking with Google search results and how your reviews can boost your visibility. Review count and review score both play into how Google ranks your business in search results. The more positive reviews your business accumulates, the more likely you are to increase your ranking.
Maximize the value of customer stories and quotes:
Testimonials: Use the power of 3rd party validation to convert more leads. By adding customer stories or quotes to your site, you’re adding more credibility to your brand. Plus, 72% of consumers say positive testimonials and reviews increase their trust in a business.
Sales: Test different promotions on your homepage to see what resonates most with your audience. Nearly two thirds of shoppers pay attention to online sales and promotions. And promo code usage? It’s increased 43% in just one year.
Customize your offers by tracking repeat visitors (maybe your customers need to log in to their account on your site) and offer personalized promotions on your homepage or login page.
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Something is better than nothing: It can be paralyzing to think about adding video to your site without a professional videography team. But more and more, customers want authentic, relatable content. And video is proving to be just that. Compared to print and direct mail combined, video is 600% more effective.
Check out the Ultimate Guide to Video Marketing for more ideas.
Product Videos: Watching a product video increases the confidence of 52% of consumers in their online purchase decisions. And 97% of marketers report that using videos increases a prospects’ understanding of the product or service. By adding a product video, you give the customer an up close, seemingly 3D experience of the product offer. And that converts leads with 76% of businesses reporting that video increases sales.
Video Length: Depending on where your video is displayed and what it’s offering the consumer, keep the length in mind. Shorter videos work better as hero content (starting around 30 seconds and capping at two minutes) while product videos can be longer and more in depth (typically one to three minutes).
04. The in-person experience.
For many businesses, the in-person experience is the opportunity to close the sale. And it’s similar to the online experience—you should still plan for clear, simple CTAs, no surprises at checkout, and an aesthetic that fits your brand.
To increase your in-person conversion, it’s important to consider the following three areas: customer engagement, merchandising, and promotions.
1. Customer Engagement
Speed, convenience, and knowledgeable help (and friendly service) are the top priorities for 80% of American shoppers. Customers are looking for more engagement than ever before and there’s a miss between consumer expectations and how many businesses deliver. Only 38% of consumers in the United States say that their interactions with employees actually meet or even understand their needs. The customer wants to be more engaged and the need hasn’t been met. Here’s what you need to do:
Prepare for the prospect’s visit:
Personalized Messages: Sending a text is a great way to offer a personal touch to the prospect’s experience. With some software, you can start a conversation online via web chat and continue speaking with the prospect via text. It’s a great opportunity to invite them into your physical storefront to see your product in person.
Demos: Just as you do online, prepare to show how your product or service solves a problem in a demo. If possible, let your customer actually experience the product—think of the five senses, can they taste, feel, see, hear, or touch the product? With demo or testing stations, you’ll have a better chance of converting the foot traffic.
Understand the omnichannel experience:
Consistent Messaging: The experience online and in-person shouldn’t be vastly different. With a proper omnichannel strategy, if your prospect has had any other touchpoint with your brand, the experience will feel familiar and seamless. The goal is consistency.
Check out 15 examples of brilliant omnichannel experience.
Improve your employee training:
Greeting: Don’t leave customers alone or unacknowledged. Data shows that 80% of customers want to be noticed and if they perceive any indifference from the employees, 80% won’t return to the business again. And 100% want a friendly greeting. Make sure your employees understand the lead conversion impacts of leaving customers unattended on the sales floor.
Questions: Just as important as the greeting are the follow up questions you ask each visitor. Because in-person meetings are so important for conversion, it’s vital that you make a connection.
Here are 20 examples of follow-up questions and conversations to have with your prospects in person.
The way the prospect interacts with your store and experiences the way the product is arranged directly impacts conversion. Is your store easy to navigate? Can people find what they are looking for? How does your online experience match up to the physical, in-person experience?
Upgrade your store layout:
Visual Updates: Changing or enhancing even the exterior of your storefront can prove to have a positive impact on your sales—it did with 60% of businesses in a recent study. Also consider updating colors or changing the focal point to draw the eye of your customer where you want.
Understand the upsell:
Add Ons: Add more value to your prospects and customers by understanding which products go together. Make an upsell make sense with the right pitch and product placement. In a study of shoppers, 77% admitted to making an impulse purchase in the last three months. Offer the right add on at checkout, during conversations, and in promotions that pair products or services together.
Manage customer wait times:
Distractions: Whether they be customer testimonials or new promotions, offering something for your customer to look at or review while they wait will cut down on in-person cart abandonment. Just like the online experience, in order to fully convert the lead, it’s imperative that the checkout experience be smooth and seamless. Take it as an opportunity to build more brand trust (testimonials), offer more product (upsells), and provide a positive experience (upgraded waiting room, proper temperature, etc.).
For many Americans (four out of five), finding a great deal or discount is important and something they think about during the entire purchase journey. Whether you offer promotions to your email list and encourage in-person sales or invest in signage for your store, promotions are an expected part of the buyer journey. Many businesses utilize opt-in texting as the perfect channel to suggest offers and convert leads.
Test Offers: Just like you would test sales or promotions on your homepage online, it’s important to see what the in-person customer wants to see on sale. And to maintain your omnichannel marketing strategy, consider syncing messaging across your in-person and online communications.
Your turn—how can your business convert more leads.
Online and in-person conversion techniques are endless, so it’s important to narrow down what’s right for your business. Experts recommend prioritizing a few techniques, testing and retesting, implementing a plan on those techniques, and then adding in additional options as you get more comfortable.
For many businesses, converting leads both online and in person becomes easier by increasing communication with their prospects:
- Greet customers online and in person with personalized messages
- Add a web chat feature to the website
- Text customized messages and offers
Press send with Podium.
Podium offers a suite of tools that can help communicate more with prospects and convert more leads. From getting found online to winning repeat business, Podium powers every step. It’s the simplest way to connect to consumers by pressing send—talking to customers, collecting reviews, and gathering insights in real-time through text.
- Press send to convert more leads with frictionless communication
- Press send to retain customers by staying connected to them throughout the customer journey
- Press send to save time by making work more efficient for you and your team