“Allegiance, after all, has to work two ways; and one can grow
weary of an allegiance which is not reciprocal.”
James Baldwin, Nobody Knows My Name
When you set out on this journey you swore an oath of allegiance to your prospective audience; now you’re glazed over, vaguely staring through your screen at the window reflection behind you waiting for that ‘New Lead’ notification to drop into your inbox.
As you refresh Google Analytics and the 2% conversion rate staring back at you flickers downward to 1.96% you begin to question whether the feeling is mutual between you and your website visitors.
So what did you do wrong?
Well, as with most relationships you’re probably over-scrutinising yourself. Indeed, this number should be higher but there are other factors you’re probably not considering.
I’ve been personally responsible in a CTO capacity for developing a lead gen/nurturing platform and we worked with 10+ clients to roll this out so we’ve had a unique birds-eye view on the challenges in lead generation. Funnily enough and somewhat controversially standard advice including better calls to action, more split-testing, landing pages are “the stubborn last 10 pounds” of the analogy between CRO tune-up and trimming the fat.
So here are the first two factors to consider:
Not every visitor is ready right now
Sure, it screws up your numbers but modern browsing methods demand a research journey for every prospective customer. The more friction your product, the more true this fact is (think shelling ?1,000 on a new TV vs renewing that ?25/year hosting).
Moral Re-position your thinking on the larger visits number; look out for new vs returning visitors.
Parachute for this visitor type Offer compelling top of the funnel content which ensures you take control of that information gathering process by emulating their journey by email.
Not every visitor is the right fit for your product/solution
Generally tied to technical complexity and/or monetary limitations there isn’t a huge amount you can do to persuade even the most interested user that your ?10,000/month solution is right for their ?50k / year part-time business.
Moral Don’t beat yourself up over visitors that wouldn’t convert anyway.
Parachute for this visitor type You should invest in these grass roots visitors within your “how-to” blog content. Although these may not ever become customers they can evangelise your message and circulate your content to circles which may overlap with “that” customer.
So that leaves the visitors you SHOULD be crying a tear over, users who are ready right now and fit your ideal persona these are the ones you need to focus all of your attention on.
I didn’t want this to be ‘Yet another X tips to improve your conversion rate’ post so I’m hoping I’m painting a picture here around the core point, which is that you should switch your mindset away from focusing on the 90-98% and focus on the core group which match the above criteria.
So with that in mind, here are the 5 things you can do to turn these passive visitors into leads.
1. Know who exactly they are
To do: Review and rework content if you’re “content-hedging”.
Yes, this is Inbound marketing 101 but with it being such a crucial step, which can be constantly revisited I’ll mention it here.
It’s about building your buyer persona, getting inside the heads of your prospective customer. You should be specific too, age-range, likely job roles and interests should be taken into account. Start by looking into your customer roster at your most valued, take a cross-section of 3 or 4 and look to build the ideal persona.
With most clients we’ve worked with on the development of Leadbox, the most common issue is “content-hedging”. This occurs when you spread the messaging of your content too thinly to cover all eventualities.
When you do this, you serve no one party 100% and fail to engage the majority of visitors leading to a lack of conversions and more passive visitors.
2. Make them understand [it]
To do: Take second opinions on the benefits of your service from your customers and reflect that in your conversion path messaging.
The next factor which will result in more passive visitors is that of a lack of clarity on what your product/service actually is. Again, this should be something you should have done right out of the gate but in line with the first factor; you’re probably sat at the wrong side of the table for explaining problems and solutions.
This often results in lengthy superlatives around the features of your product/service without addressing the benefits to that person you identified in point 1.
Survey your model customers, take from them a quick explanation of your service. What is it called? Could you explain that? What are the benefits to you.
It’s the difference between (real-life example):
“We deliver parcels across the UK and Europe”
“We reduce distribution costs & call your customers 2 hours before delivery”
The first page in your primary conversion path should serve to tick the box “I understand that” and display a solid call to action to move to the next section.
3. Make them value it
To do: Ensure your conversion path addresses the value your product/service can provide and begin to close in for an opt-in.
I’m always surprised how few businesses actually push the emotional buttons that make for buying decisions. If in doubt, go find some classic infomercials on Youtube for a masterclass on triggering an emotional “I need this”, you’ll probably find it in the first 10 seconds of each one.
I’m not suggesting you ham it up as much as this but you should be able to identify with real issues your target audience is.
This is the first time an opt-in should appear, you should produce top-of-the-funnel content which addresses these specific pain-points which prospects can download in return for email & content information.
If you get the lead at this point great, you only needed three improvements but let’s move on to the more passive.
4. Make them believe you
To do: Validate your claims with easily verified trust factors and introduce these into your funnel
So you should introduce your trust indicators at this point. This can be within the “value” page above and the point is to use factors such as:
If you can, use video it’s much easier for your prospect to identify with the human emotion within the testimonial. This is a killer technique.
Written testimonial with headshot
This is the next best thing, but for extra cayenne pepper include a link with the option to “don’t take our word for it, contact this person yourself” for a verified response. You’ll be surprised how few people will take this up, but the mere offer of a direct email to one of your customers is so powerful.
If your sector allows for it, Facebook comments on a particular point really underlines a following but for more B2B elements you need to have an active suite of social profiles and you can “favourite” particularly positive responses and feed those into that area of the funnel.
As featured in
Sometimes it’s difficult to see the wood for the trees as this technique is used so frequently but in certain tech situations it does carry some clout!
Again, your opt-in should remain present at this point and I do recommend A/B testing everything here but as I say the big gains have been from re-positioning content.
5. Give them the no brainer opportunity to kickstart the funnel
To do: Repackage your top-of-the-funnel content into a hard to refuse bundle which you can give away in return for data.
Okay so we’ve been able to implement four key levers now and we’ve slickened the flow so there is less opportunity for that visitor to go passive. Now it’s about hitting them with the big (free) sell.
You’ll have put together lots of value already if you’re doing a good job of content production and traffic generation (being the good Unbounce users you are!) so you should be able to repackage particularly insightful blog posts into eBooks, videos and even webinars.
You’ll know exactly what pushes your ideal customer’s buttons so you can offer this packaged bundle to give you the best chance of swapping it for their details.
It goes without saying that you’ve got a particularly great lead nurturing funnel in place by now but you can actually use the framework I’ve laid out here for email communication too. The point of this post was to give you ways to get them from passive visitor to lead though.
You’ll find that if you’ve implemented these 5 blocks you’ll be in position for a much higher conversion rate overall and a better mental state now you’re only focusing on the important visitors.
Bonus / 6. Get clever, chase them (Pro tip)
To do: Get really really good at remarketing.
So this is a bonus tip but something that’ll keep me staring at the ceiling all night if I fail to mention it, it can be described quite simply in one sentence:
You have an awesome opportunity to maximise each visit for very little cost, why wouldn’t you?
With barriers to entry all-but removed (pretty much no lower limit on remarketing audience size) and with costs and complexity tumbling to within reach of even the smallest business, remarketing should be pretty much a no brainer.
You can segment out users who have visited any of the steps above and show them ads which go heavy on the messaging from the next stage.
For example, if you find someone exits at point 2 (understand it) you might show them ads which give short, insightful explainers about what your product actually does. On click you can then take them to point 3 and you’ve been able to leverage other sites around the web to push visitors down a conversion funnel on your own site.
In summary, you need to dust yourself down from your visitor reciprocity troubles and refocus on the red hot core of your visitors, who are ready right now and who fit your criteria. Address them individually by being objective about the way you’re explaining your service and address emotional triggers within that path.
You should see an instant improvement by looking at this overhaul-esque list of action points then its time to knuckle down and lose those stubborn last 10 pounds by testing everything in isolation until you’re too busy opening ‘new lead’ notifications to even bother hitting refresh.
Author: Liam Veitch