Internet Marketing Conversion Strategy
The term ‘conversion’ has a huge significance in marketing, especially digital marketing parlance. All your efforts may be deemed to be unsuccessful if you fail to “convert” your leads into customers or make them perform actions that you recommend and is extremely important from your business perspective.
Although the primary objective of conversion remains to transform website visitors into paying customers, conversion could be defined differently, depending on the objective of your marketing efforts. For example, getting a site visitor to sign up for your ezine, take part in an online survey or a contest that you are hosting on your website, a loyalty program or getting them to share their email addresses could be considered to be conversion objectives for a particular campaign.
In order to effect a successful conversion, a well defined conversion strategy is an absolute must. Whether you are trying to increase the rate of additions to the cart, whether you want to increase the number of people who actually proceed to make the purchase and checkout, nothing will work without a comprehensive plan that covers all the aspects of customer engagement including how you propose to improve customer convenience and reduce customer distress, while simplifying the whole process of conversion. Optimizing customer experience is the only way to improve conversion rate.
1. Internet Marketing Conversion Targets
Conversion targets could be different for each campaign. Importantly the campaign objectives and conversion metrics used to measure conversion and success should be set for each stage of the sales conversion process. When ‘sales’ is the only objective of a campaign, marketers often fail to address other key concerns of the leads and prospects. In order to make the journey smooth, short-term goals should be tied to each stage, right from the stage of awareness.
Getting the customer to take your product or service into consideration when scanning the market for options could be the conversion objective for the second stage of the entire customer journey. Creating and interest and a strong desire followed by a strong intention or urge to act positively to your marketing message could be the conversion objective in the third stage of the customer journey. Finally getting the customer to actually initiate the favorable action could be the final stage of the journey. Having both short-term and long-term goals of a marketing campaign is important.
Like a sales funnel, your conversion funnel should be streamlined so that the suction system works smoothly. Even before targeting the audience with your messages, you will have to understand the notions that could drive or is driving the sales or creating a demand for your products. You need to comprehend the attitudes and opinions that your target market has about your products or your business ideas and model.
After that, you need to include all the channels and messages in your communication mix that would increase the reach and create exposure for your messages. For an ecommerce company, even before sales, you would need the website traffic to share their email, visit the landing page, add products to the cart, pay for their purchase, checkout and finally you may also want them to share their experience on social media sites or promoting your business positively using their social networks and connections.
All these could be individual conversion targets or a part of the broader set of goals. When converting, what rate of success would be considered as “success” for your effort would depend on the niche or industry you represent, the stage of business you are at, the market share you command and that you want to achieve within a certain period of time and related factors.
In order to convert, you would need great content that meets the informational, educational and entertainment needs of your target market, great technological support that improves the visibility of your content and pages and also improves the customer experience and a great management strategy that oversees the whole process.
2. Website Navigation Path Optimization
In conversion marketing, simplifying the whole process of conversion plays a big role. Optimizing the navigation path means that using big data and analytics, you identify the channels, the elements or links within that channel that are most often clicked upon or engaged with and understand why and how you can make that path leading through the conversion funnel convenient for the visitor so that they not only convert that one time but feel the urge to come back multiple times.
Successful navigation or conversion path optimization depends on the amount and quality of data that you are collecting and analyzing. You will have to take a historical view of each customer or lead. Analyze their past and present interactions with your channels of communication and even physical touchpoints. Based on these data, you will need to provide personalized content and even incentives on a real-time basis.
Why certain clickable elements garner greater clicks than others on your website and other digital channels of communication, may be baffling without data but historical data can help you understand the customer psyche and preferences. You will have to mould your offers accordingly.
You can also define the order and sequence in which the various pages in the navigation path or inside the conversion funnel that you want your customers to take. There may be a thin line that separates you from getting the customer to checkout successfully and bouncing out even from the last stage of your conversion funnel.
Using analytics and writing codes that can track search histories and browsing patterns and depending on the habits, forecast the most probable path that a customer would prefer to take on their path to conversion is also an important facet of navigation path optimization since it can not only improve conversion rates but also reduce wastage of resources that you would have used to equally focus on all the paths of conversion, irrespective of the preferences, demographic data and behavioral traits exhibited by the customer.
3. Online Contact Forms
There is an ongoing debate whether contact forms or email ids are more useful, when placing information on your contact page. It is probably best to share all the information details like embedding a contact form, sharing your email address as well as a telephone number.
However, contact forms are more than just getting your customers to contact you. It is also about collecting their contact details that allow you to contact them with new offers, proposals and helpful guidance. A contact form can ask for simple details like name, telephone number, email address and also allows the visitor to ask a question, make a comment or request new information.
Historically, it has been seen as suggested by OrangeSODA that contact forms increase the rate of inquiries. It is genuine convenience plus psychology booster. A customer doesn’t need to open a separate tab to send an email manually or click on a link that opens an email client on a spate browser. The customer can stay on the page itself. Providing contact details also mean that the customer is confident that the company would keep these details confidential, safe and won’t spam them.
Placing the contact form at the right stage within a conversion funnel is important. You can place it on your contact page and also on your landing page as well as the final checkout page. You could use slightly different forms at different stages of the conversion process that can collect information and also assuage all the fears, doubts and also provide a little push that helps the lead to take the actual action at the last stage within the conversion funnel.
Contact forms can be used to collect a lot of conversion data as well. These data can help you to understand at which stage of the journey a customer is at, whether they are serious about getting in touch with you and whether they are really looking forward to convert.
4. Online Chat
Whether you are a player in the B2B space or the B2C space, whether you are a service provider or a manufacturer of a tangible product, your customers and prospects are bound to have queries that they want to be addressed before they progress to the next stage of the sales funnel. One of the best ways to offer solutions, advice, answers and ‘encouragement’ to customers is to have the provision of live chat with your customers on your website.
Many research reports have shown that online customer chat not only increases efficiency of the agents as they can multi-task or chat with multiple leads or clients with the use of intelligent chat management software but live chat also increases the average order value and sales figures because the company can take cognizance and address pain points on a real-time basis. Along with social media support, live chat can be used to track the pain points, collect valuable feedback and data that can be used to either improve the service and the product.
Live chat can also be used to get a social boost, i.e. it can be leveraged for encouraging customers to share certain, pages, content on social media accounts or like and comment on your social media accounts. These social indicators would drive further customer engagement and may help you to improve your on page ranking.
Setting up live chat is also easy and has high ROI. The operational costs and the time taken to train your sales staff and get them ready is less. However, your staff has to be sensitized so that it doesn’t try to offer run-of-the-mill responses and it has to be sensitive to customer’s expectations. It can’t be apathetic and unprofessional. Sometimes customers expect a little handholding. At other times, they may require general guidance or answer to specific questions that empower them and help them to navigate through the conversion funnel on their own.
A live chat executive needs to understand the exact needs of the customer and try to help them with clues and pointers that help the customers to articulate their expectations better. However, at no point should they appear to be condescending or dominating. They should also have the capacity to envisage possible questions that customers can ask on different stages and prepare suitable answers in accordance with the company policy and guidelines.
5. Checkout & Payment process
The checkout page is one of the most important pages that a digital marketer has to deal with. Not only will the UI have to be neat and user-friendly, the content, click stream and the visual aids and CTAs are all too important in this page to be ignored or left ‘un-optimized’.
In order to increase chances of conversion from the checkout page, following some of the strategies we follow at Globibo Media.
- Add the checkout button at the top and the bottom of your landing page.
- Add the security seals and industry logos that instill confidence in a lead and gives them the courage to convert into a customer.
- Try to have minimum number of pages per stage, leading up to conversion. If you do break down the process into multiple stages, provide visual cues that help the customers understand how far they are away from the checkout stage.
- Don’t have your checkout page to be hosted on a different URL. It creates suspicion and confusion in minds of potential customers and they may not feel comfortable sharing their credit card details as well when they have to leave the domain that they had been present previously.
- For ecommerce sites, it may not be a good idea to force customers to create accounts. They may be making a one-time purchase and may not be interested in sharing their contact details. Just offer it as an option. You may even incentivize the account creation process by providing free content or e-books or special promotional codes that can be used to get discounts. But, don’t make the registration process mandatory.
- Share your contact details so that they can reach out. This will be helpful even if you have a live chat feature. Some customers don’t feel comfortable with the live chat functionality and expect an alternative channel of contact. You can also have the option of a contact form, in case somebody has a question or a query that they want answered.
- Having safer payment gateways and options is a must. According to this PayPal report, almost 24% of leads abandoned their transaction from the checkout page since they didn’t find their preferred payment option.
- Use asterisk to highlight mandatory fields in a form you want your customers to fill. Hitting checkout and realizing they haven’t filled in a mandatory field leaves a bad aftertaste.
- Use a reliable server. No one wants to see either their transaction fail or being made to wait so long that they get confused and hit refresh only to find that they have paid twice for the same product or service.
- Keep testing to find out the flaws in your checkout and payment page so that the page is perfectly optimized. This improves customer engagement and experience and increases chances of conversion.
- Offer incentives for customers to accept your up-sell or cross-sell offers. Also offer them incentives to sign-up for your email newsletter and loyalty programs. However, also have an unsubscribe button clearly highlighted.
- Have an option for your customers to return to shop again from the checkout page. Also allow them to add products to their ‘wish list’ or even offer to save details of their cards for future transactions.
All this can help jack up the conversion rate. At Globibo Media, we place tremendous stress on improving customer experience after understanding the needs from the client brief. Our software works like a mojo that guides prospects to covert in big numbers. Using lots of data and analytics software, we can help you set up highly optimized channels of communication that complements the logistical and other customer support that you provide.
For more information, getting in touch with us today and learn more about our product and ideas that will help you to revolutionize your website and increase the effectiveness of your conversion funnel.