This week we present to you a guest author contribution from Csaba Zajdo, founder of OptiMonk
Increasing the ROI of your online presence requires a strategic approach. Driving traffic to your website isn’t enough to boost your results: you need to find reliable ways to convert those visitors into buyers.
A good conversion rate leads to higher sales volume, so increasing your conversion rate is vital to increasing your ROI.
However, converting visitors into paying customers is getting harder. Did you know that, on average, only 2% of visitors make a purchase? This means that 98 out of 100 visitors leave without buying or subscribing. This fact shows how challenging it is to increase your conversion rate.
What’s even more challenging is the fact that conversion optimization tools which worked well yesterday may not be as effective today.
This article presents three powerful strategies to help you convert more visitors into leads, sales and signups, and – consequently – increase the ROI from your website.
1. Grab Your Abandoning Visitors Before They Leave Your Site
One way to boost conversions is to use exclusive offers. Exclusive offers are best targeted at visitors who are serious about purchasing a solution for their needs, but are in the process of leaving your site to shop elsewhere. There’s an advanced technology designed to grab the attention of these abandoning visitors before they leave your site: it’s called “exit-intent popup” technology.
This technology allows you to display a special last offer at just the right moment – when a visitor tries to leave your site without converting. In addition, you can make your exclusive offer available only for your most valuable visitors.
You might be concerned that this is the same type of “popup” as entry popups that open in a new window and disrupt or block your visitors’ activity. Unlike typical popups, which are annoying and can actually hurt your conversions, exit-intent popups appear in the same window of your visitor’s web browser. They don’t prevent visitors from accessing the navigation bar and they’re absolutely Google-friendly.
You can target your most valuable visitors with specific offers based on their engagement. For example, you can trigger your messages to display based on whether your visitors have placed one or more items in their cart, or whether they have spent at least 30 seconds on a product page. This way you can be sure your messages are targeted at visitors who are serious about buying.
Here’s an example from BOOM! by Cindy Joseph that offers 10% off the first order to convince visitors to stay on the site and complete their order. Using a popup like this with a compelling incentive, you can reengage 15-20% of the visitors who would typically leave your site.
You can also take a more long-term approach to developing your prospects. For some stores it may be more profitable to promote a “soft” giveaway, for example a whitepaper or an eBook, to early-stage visitors and gather their contact information in exchange. Using this approach, you convert visitors into subscribers first, and then you can persuade them to buy through email marketing.
The example below shows how the B2B software vendor, Antavo.com, promotes its free e-book to convert early-stage visitors into leads.
To boost the conversions of your exit-intent popups, you should provide well-targeted, customized offers for your visitors.
2. Double Your Chances of Conversion with Nanobars
A nanobar is a slim notification bar that can be placed on the top or bottom of your website. It can be used effectively for list building purposes or even to bring your visitors’ attention to your best deals. As a result, nanobars are a great way to generate more conversions immediately.
As you can see below, ProBlogger uses a nanobar at the top of their website to gather more subscribers.
Nanobars can also be used to display an offer that a visitor has already signed up for. For instance, after a visitor signs up for your mailing list in exchange for a discount, the nanobar appears to remind them that they have their discount available to use. You can even include the coupon code or discount code right in the nanobar, it really boosts customer confidence in the buying process.
3. Personalize your Communication for Your Top Three Customer Segments
Communicating the same message to all of your prospects kills your conversions immediately. Identify the top three groups of visitors that can be segmented based on interests or even their stage in the buying process.
In a typical buying process or “sales funnel”, your first goal is to get visitors into the funnel — this is known as Awareness. You also need to guide them through the subsequent stages – Interest, Consideration, Intent and Evaluation – before arriving at their final destination, Purchase.
It isn’t practical to communicate the same message to early-stage visitors and to visitors who are in more advanced stages of the buying process, or those who have at least considered buying a solution for their needs.
Most likely, you can identify these three customer groups:
1. Early-stage customers = Awareness + Interest stage
2. Middle-stage customers = Consideration + Intent stage
3. Late-stage customers = Intent + Evaluation stage
Next, start to create different content and messages for these three groups:
1. For early-stage visitors, your primary goal is increasing their engagement and awareness of your offer. You can also use them to grow your retargeting lists by labeling and adding them to your “cold traffic” list. You can increase engagement and awareness for early-stage visitors by using relevant and useful blog posts, social media updates, infographics, audio and video podcasts, digital and print magazines, and more.
Below is a Facebook post by Neil Patel, who is one of the top influencers on the web. The Facebook post shown promotes his latest blog post and is used to gather the attention of cold traffic. Once someone visits this blog post, the visitor will be segmented as an early-stage visitor. He or she will likely receive follow-up content marketing or blog related messages based on their engagement with this post.
2. Middle-stage customers are more engaged visitors who are now familiar with your business. For these visitors, your most important goal is lead generation, or list building. These visitors are part of your “warm traffic” so it’s also important to add them to a different remarketing list from the early-stage visitors. For these middle-stage customers, it’s better to use educational and useful resources, webinars, events, discounts or coupons, or even quizzes and surveys to be able to communicate the most relevant messages at this stage in the buying process. These resources and content can be where you make your customer acquisition.
Here’s an example from the marketing guru Digital Marketer who promotes its free six-week training course only to middle-stage customers. The popup overlay below only appears to those visitors who are more engaged prospects: they spend more time and visit more pages on the blog.
3. Your most valuable visitors are late-stage users. They’re your most engaged prospects. In their case, lead nurturing is one of your most important goals. In addition, you also need to keep working hard to maximize immediate customer value, then to increase buyer frequency. Growing your retargeting lists is important at this stage as well – for example, you can create a specific list for visitors who abandon their cart. You can engage late-stage customers by providing demo products and free trials, presenting customer success stories, presenting different comparisons and holding webinars and events.
Let me show you an example from Unbounce, which helps businesses create better landing pages. They offer a 30-day free trial to convince late-stage visitors to try out their solutions.
To boost your conversion results with customers in different stages of the buying process, you need to create unique landing pages for your customer segments and promote customized baits or giveaways to each group. Designing personalized offers multiplies your chances for conversion.
Summing it up
Due to the fact that 98 out of 100 web visitors leave the average site without buying, today’s greatest challenge for online marketers is to find the best solutions for converting the 98% of typically lost visitors into buyers and customers.
To be able to get visitors from the first stage of the sales funnel, Awareness, to their final destination, Purchase, you need to find your most valuable visitor segments and communicate customized messages to each group. By promoting a special offer to your visitors who are engaged, you can significantly improve your chances for subscriptions and boost your conversions. To build your email list, it’s highly recommended to use nanobars – this is one of the most powerful lead generation tools and can also serve to remind customers of a discount or other incentive to make a purchase. Using these three actionable strategies, you can improve your conversion rate and increase the ROI from your website.
About the author: Csaba Zajdo is anecommerce specialist, founder of OptiMonk and several other projects specializing in conversion. He’s been involved with web marketing including search, ecommerce, CRO, PPC, analytics and user experience for over 10 years.