What are Conversion Rates?
Conversion Rates are the percentage of prospective customers who take a specific action you want. For example, the following are specific conversion rates that an organization may track:
The percentage of website visitors who fill out a form, call your company, or purchase something from you online
The percentage of callers who are issued proposals
The percentage of proposals you win Etc...
Increase Conversion Rates to Improve Profits
No matter how good your current conversion rates are, they can always get better. And improving your conversion rates dramatically improve profits.
For example, if you spend $1,000 on advertising, you may bring 1,000 prospective customers to your website. If your online sales conversion rate is 5%, then you’ll secure 50 new customers. Alternatively, if your conversion rate improved to 6%, you would gain 60 new customers. In this latter scenario, you’d gain an additional 10 customer for no additional advertising cost, thus boosting your profits significantly.
How to Increase Conversion Rates?
There are numerous ways to increase conversion rates. Below are several ways to improve your rates, broken into two main categories:
Increasing Online Conversion Rates
Social Proof: adding social proof, via customer testimonials and/or case studies, to your website virtually always increases conversions.
Clear Contact Information: clearly showing contact information, perhaps a phone number and/or live chat options, typically increases conversions by giving visitors confidence that your company is “real” and is there to answer any questions they have.
Credibility: Having “trust” seals, such as from the Better Business Bureau or from web security firms like Verisign, will nearly always conversions.
Guarantees: offering a guarantee gives customers more confidence in your offering and thus generally increases conversion rates. Likewise, having a longer guarantee (e.g., 365 days vs 30 days) will generally increase conversions even more.
Headlines: the headlines on your website pages are typically the first thing visitors read, and often compels them to read more or exit your site immediately. The right headline could dramatically increase your conversion rate. So test new headlines frequently.
Increasing Offline Conversion Rates
Much of the same strategies that improve online conversion rates should be used offline. For example, showing pictures and testimonials of other satisfied customers nearly always helps conversions. Likewise, offering more credibility and longer guarantees helps too.
A couple other ways to increase offline conversion rates are as follows:
Trial Closes: trial closes are questions you ask prospective customers that don’t ask for a final buying decision. For example, you might ask the question, “If we were able to offer you this for a price that works for you, is this something you’d like to move forward with?”
Get customers to invest time. For bigger purchases, the more time customers invest in the process, the more likely they often are to buy. So, rather than quickly giving customers a price, it’s often best to have a few conversations. Perhaps in the first conversation you learn about their needs. In a second conversation, you present some research/information you think they’d find helpful. And in a third conversation, you present a proposal to work together. Although this process might slightly lengthen your sales cycle, it gets prospective customers to invest more time in working with your company; this often prompts them to want to do business with you. With such a question, if the prospect says “yes,” you’ll know that price is the only potential thing standing in the way of them buying. Alternatively, if they say “no,” listen to find out what their objections are so you can overcome them before offering your price.
Tracking Your Conversion Rates
Of critical importance, always remember that you can’t improve what you can’t measure.
That’s why you need to track your conversion rates on both a daily and monthly basis. Doing so allows you to immediately correct problems (e.g., why is our conversion rate so low today? …oh my, it’s because our website isn’t loading properly) and make sure you are improving your conversion rates over time. Use conversion tracking tools like Guiding Metrics, which is an amazing tool to expertly track your metrics and improve profits.
Your conversion rates are absolutely key to your sales and profits. So, figure out the most important conversion rates in your company (e.g., online visitors to sales, proposals won/lost) and start improving and tracking them today.