After creating a website for your business, the next thing you want to see happening is your audience converting into a customer.
But that is not a day job.
Without knowing how to increase the sales conversion rate, all your effort to convert the audience can be futile.
Using a website to market a business doesn’t only require gaining new visitors but also turning the visitors into customers.
There are many ways to increase conversions while taking your audience through the sales funnel stages on your site.
For this reason, we will be looking at the following issues to make you understand the subject.
- What is a sales conversion?
- How does sales conversion take place?
- What is a sales funnel?
- What are the different sales funnel stages?
- What to optimize in your sales funnel to increase your conversion rate?
At the end of this discussion, you should get the best conversion tips to boost your sales.
But first of all, you need to know that your web traffic or the amount of people that visit your site doesn’t guarantee conversions.
When people visit your website, read all your nice posts, and leave, there is no conversion.
Although it’s important that your website must generate substantial traffic.
But to make sure your web visitors convert, your responsibility is not only to drive the audience to your site.
You also need to make the audience walk through your sales funnel to convert.
If the visitors leave your site without turning into customers, the traffic means nothing but a wasted effort.
Against this, you need to know how to optimize the sales conversion rate for most of your visitors to end up becoming your potential customers.
What is Sales conversion?
Sales conversion can be defined as the ability of your business to convert a prospect into a lead, and a lead into a potential customer.
In sales conversion, a prospect is seen as a person that is interested in the product or services your business offers, while a lead is a direct descent of prospects.
You can term any individual that has agreed to become a potential buyer as a lead.
Oftentimes, brands lose prospects to competitors if they fail to convert them.
For this reason, it takes effective communication to keep your prospects moving down the sales funnel and realize a conversion.
With a good content marketing strategy, you can engage your prospects and move the leads down the sales funnel and generate a sale.
By implication, there is no sales conversion until a lead reaches the bottom of the sales funnel.
As prospects require effective communication (copies and other content strategies), so does lead require it.
Since the aim of every business is to offer what the customers needs, sales conversion is however what takes place when a stranger ends up carting away your products.
How does sales conversion take place?
To know how sales conversion takes place, you need the sales funnel as a tool.
During the conversion process, a serious sieving process will take place to separate your potential customers from the general population so you can focus on the right people.
So, your prospects won’t just become leads, and leads become customers without taking the following steps:
1. Creating awareness
Your potential customers can’t opt for your product if they don’t know the product exists.
That makes “creating awareness” the number one step of the sales conversion process.
You have to make your customers aware of what you want them to buy.
At this stage, the concern of the customers is to familiarize them with your products. So, you have to enlighten the populace about the product.
There are a couple of ways your brand can disseminate information about its offers.
Your brand can choose advertising, which is a very traditional approach, or opt for the use of any effective inbound marketing strategy, such as:
- Content creation
- Advertising or marketing campaigns
- Social media marketing
- Traditional public relations
You can equally read the short description below for each of the digital marketing strategies listed above or skip this section and go to the next stage of the sales conversion process.
Creating awareness with content creation
Content creation is very essential in marketing and that calls for the need to have a business website or a blog to leverage the internet.
You can create content around the common “search terms” or “keywords” that customers use in searching for content related to your business, product, or service on the web.
For instance, if your audiences search the internet for “how to start growing microgreens”, it’s obvious that writing about “microgreen seeds” will expose your brand.
With the kind of content you create, however, your business information will litter the web and so many internet users will find out about your products.
After a while that you have been publishing content that is engaging and your site ranks on search engines, you’ll be garnering leads from search engines.
All you need to do is to write good content that can move your potential customers further down the sales funnel.
Creating awareness with marketing campaigns
With advertising, information can also be spread about a business to any given demographic.
The best approach in creating awareness through advertising is to thread the path of native advertising.
The reason is that people easily get tired of modal boxes and pop-ups.
Native advertising is the use of advertising media that takes on the look and feel of the content that they appear on. They don’t come in forms of display ads or banner ads.
Take for instance, if you’re reading a post on BBC, you’re most likely going to see sponsored posts that are offered by Taboola.
Users respond more to ads that are native because they blend naturally with the main content they’re reading or watching.
That is if a user is reading an article, and an advert comes in the form of an article, the user is likely to turn to a prospect, then a lead, and maybe a customer.
Nevertheless, if the ad takes a different form, the audience is less likely going to pay attention to it.
That is why marketers are now turning to native advertising solutions.
Alternatives to native advertising can be contextual advertising (Google Adsense, Propeller, Media.net, etc), programmatic advertising, or even pop-up advertising.
Creating awareness through social media marketing
A lot of prospects and potential customers rely on advice, referrals, and reviews that they get from social media.
They turn to Facebook pages and Twitter handles as they look for answers about pain points, tutorials, how-tos, and reviews about a product.
Typical examples of social media platforms where people get concise answers are Reddit, Quora, Twitter, Facebook pages, groups, etc.
Brands that have an online presence tend to have social proof and consequently a lot of trust that can help them increase their sales conversion rate.
A passive or active presence on social networks, however, can make the most sense of your business.
Creating awareness with traditional public relations
A lot of modern-day marketers neglect public relations that they deem as old-fashioned.
Truth is, these public relations outreach strategies are still in vogue and can be used to create awareness and attract customers.
Some of the traditional public relations practices that can be used to create awareness for brands are television commercials, radio jingles, print publications, live events, and direct mails.
The prospects of traditional public relations may be offline, but with the availability of smartphones, they have the tendency of coming online and boosting your sales conversion rate.
The second and most important part of the sales conversion process is interest.
This is where the prospects show interest in the product or service you offer.
When you use well-optimized and persuasive copies, a lot of people will be interested in your brand.
You can go on to ask close-ended questions that would push the potential customers in declaring their interest in your business once and for all.
3. Decision making
This stage of sales conversion brings to light your skills of persuasiveness or the effectiveness of your marketing strategy.
Decision making is the second most important stage of your brand’s sales conversion process. Taking this step will move the prospects down the sales funnel.
For you to fully exploit this stage, your potential customers need to grasp the fact that your product is a good fit for them. So, this stage involves your ability to persuade the prospects to make an actionable decision.
For this reason, a lot of marketing practices come into play. You should use calls to action cum content that is super persuasive.
This doesn’t mean you should overwhelm the readers with unnecessary content. If the content is clumsy, it fails to take the prospects through the sales conversion stages.
In a marketing scheme, the tangibility of any decision taken is in “the buyer action”.
So, action is another important stage of the sales conversion process.
In this stage, the prospects are already leads and on the verge of converting into a customer.
Meanwhile, a sales action can be negative or positive.
So, a lead is negative if it fails to convert. The action taken here is that the customer leaves you for a competitor.
But on the other hand, the action is positive if the customer buys from you.
The action stage of sales conversion can also be said to be the reward stage.
This is where all your marketing efforts pay off.
At this stage, you would reckon whether your copy was persuasive enough, or the call to action did a good job!
So, action is the last stage of a sales conversion process.
What is a sales funnel?
Simply put, a sales funnel is a tool that is used to visualize what sales conversion stage your prospects are.
And the most important stage of a sales funnel is the conversion of a lead into a customer.
What are sales funnel stages?
There are different stages that can be used to interpret the journey of a prospect who converts into a lead and then into a customer.
Below is a breakdown of different sales funnel stages you should be aware of to monitor your customer journey.
#1. The awareness stage – This is the stage wherewith the prospect becomes aware of the existence of the product or service rendered by a particular company.
Your business organization can employ either traditional public relations, advertising, or content creation to create awareness of the product or service they have to offer to your prospects.
This stage is the most critical stage of any sales funnel.
Awareness is the first impression your business gives prospects about your product or service.
It’s just like the worm on the fishhook that baits prospects into going down the sales funnel.
#2. Interest stage – This is the second most interesting stage of a sales funnel.
At this stage, prospects show interest in a product or service that is rendered by your brand.
After the prospects get aware of your product, their interest becomes the only factor that can move them further down the marketing funnel.
#3. The evaluation stage – The evaluation stage of a sales funnel is the stage that follows the interest stage.
Here, prospects don’t just stop at showing interest but move on to perform their market research.
An example can be a buyer going through a product reviews blog to see the “pros and cons” of a product or service.
You can hook on to your prospects by following them up with content that aids them in evaluating your business offer.
#4. The decision stage – Aside from the awareness stage, this is another super important stage of any sales funnel.
After a prospect becomes aware of a product, shows interest, does his research (evaluation phase), then he makes up his mind (decision phase ) to opt for your product or not.
Only the best marketing campaigns can take a prospect this far down the sales funnel.
In fact, this is the sales funnel stage where a prospect becomes a lead.
#5. Purchase stage – This is the third most important stage after the awareness and decision stage of the sales funnel.
This is where a lead becomes a customer.
#6. The re-evaluation stage – In this stage of the sales funnel, the customer becomes familiar with the product or service you offer, and as the product comes to expiry or the service draws to a closure, the customer would re-evaluate the product or service.
This is where they analyze and determine whether what they opted for was worth it.
At the re-evaluation stage, the buyer has transformed from being a prospect to lead and now a customer.
#7. The re-purchase stage – This is the stage where the customer, after making re-evaluations, considers the product worthy of re-purchase.
If your product didn’t fulfill its promises, it would be difficult to cross this stage.
How to optimize and increase sales conversion rate?
Before you can increase your sales conversion rate, you need to know what to optimize in your sales funnel.
A sales funnel has some elements that make it an effective tool to increase sales conversion rate of your business.
For this reason, you have to do the following:
Optimize your calls to action
Optimizing your calls to action can turn out to have a positive effect on your sales conversion rate, no doubt about it.
The tendency that your website will convert depends on CTAs that effectively prompt users to move further down the sales funnel.
There are so many practices that industry leaders employ to get the best results of their sales funnel conversion rate off their CTAs.
Whether it is an email call to action, a landing page CTA or even a popup CTA, optimizing your CTA can help achieve better results and drive more sales.
One last tip for optimizing this click funnel element is to validate your CTA using A/B test.
This way, you know which graphic forms of your CTA should be considered in order to land better results.
Whether it is your form submission CTA, your lead generation, social sharing, or even your read more button, you should optimize the one with more potential.
Any CTA that isn’t optimized doesn’t have the ability to create urgency, or even make crystal clear points to push prospects down the sales funnel.
Optimize your landing pages
A landing page is a page that prompts a lead to buy a product. It is a page that brings the decision stage of a sales funnel to light.
Optimizing your landing page promptly can make the lead subscribe to your service. In that case, the sales conversion rate of your website will increase.
Landing pages are not supposed to be cluttered. That is, they don’t need too many calls to action to be effective.
A fully optimized landing page can have just only one CTA and can also be used to collect the contact information of the prospect for further marketing purposes.
Optimize your content marketing strategy
A content marketing strategy is another important element of a sales funnel.
Optimizing your content to rank in any search engine is known as search engine optimization (SEO).
This practice can increase your sales funnel conversion rate.
As part of the SEO effort to optimize your content is focusing on common search phrases, so many people will discover you online. And down the line, they will become your prospects.
You can adopt this SEO checklist while writing your content so it can rank high and get more leads from search engines.
Optimize your social presence
Online customers depend on social media to find advice and answers to pain points about a product they opted for or are about to opt for.
In optimizing your social presence, your Twitter handles, Facebook pages, etc should be optimized in a way that they satisfy your target customers.
For example, extending the function of your social media page or group by using it as a medium for effective customer service is a good practice.
A sales conversion is pushing a prospect from one stage of the sales funnel to another.
Although, converting a prospect into a customer is not the end of a sales funnel.
As the sales funnel goes beyond the purchase stage, it’s very important to know how to increase sales conversion rate so your prospects can freely flow through all the stages of the sales funnel.
Having dissected the issue, you should be able to push your prospects beyond the customer stage and take them further down to re-evaluation and re-purchase stages of the sales funnel.
Your brand should adopt practices that would boost its customer retention rate.
On this note, one key takeaway of this piece is to make you not only focus on the conversion rate of your website, but also the customer retention.