CRO: Converting Visitors into Customers and Retaining Them

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Is your conversion rate where you want it to be?

If not, you’re not the only one: most businesses have room to improve. According to a 2019 report from Statista, conversion rates for online businesses were at an average of 2.58% in the second quarter of 2019, which is the lowest they’ve been since the year prior. 

Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is a powerful tool that can drive up your conversion rate beyond the ideal 10% marker. It also has significant potential to drive up your bottom line. However, not all CRO practices are effective. If you’re new to this game, it’s easy to waste time and miss out on valuable conversions without an understanding of which CRO tactics work.

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Securing Conversions

Securing your conversions is a difficult task, especially for small up-and-coming businesses. Here are some strategies you can try to increase your CRO.

Run Tests on Your Landing Pages

Running tests on your website’s pages is a great way to identify the components that are limiting your conversions. 

To start, you should dedicate most of your attention to your landing pages. These have a singular goal: to convert customers. While blog posts and homepages can be useful, they have information that can distract potential buyers.

With this in mind, perform your initial tests on your website’s landing pages. We recommend performing A/B testing, as you can compare different versions of your webpages and see which one performs best.

With an A/B test, you can identify the most effective:

  • Web copy
  • Content offers
  • Form questions
  • Images 

Use A/B testing to identify the best content features and the overall design for your target audience and leads. 

Add Messaging Options to High-Traffic Pages

Incorporate a live chat feature into your website pages that encourage visitors to ask questions and stay on your site. A live chat feature will offer real-time support and guidance that customers need to finalize their purchase decisions. 

Live chats work best on pricing and product pages, but check your analytics to determine the high-traffic pages for your company. You can also make your chat features action-based. After a customer has spent a certain amount of time on a page, you can program your chat feature to inquire if they need assistance. 

Take Advantage of Retargeting

Not every visitor will take the action that you want them to. To get some of these potential customers back, you can take advantage of a technique known as retargeting. 

In summary, this strategy involves re-engaging lost customers. You track the people who visit your site and display your ads to them as they browse other websites. 

To experience optimal success with retargeting, you’ll need to perfect your retargeting ads.

Ensure that they contain:

  • Well-written copy
  • Stimulating visuals
  • Enticing offers, promos, and discounts

These factors encourage lost customers to return to your brand. 

Post-Conversion CRO

Once you’ve landed a customer, your CRO efforts shouldn’t stop there. Here are some best post-conversion CRO practices so you can retain the customers you’ve worked hard to get.

Optimize Transactional Messages

CRO doesn’t end once your customer completes a purchase. When you send an order confirmation, processing status updates, and shipping notifications, you have a chance to encourage customers to shop again.

Be selective in the types of transactional emails that you send out. The welcome email is the most effective form. It generates four times more opens and five times more clicks than a traditional email campaign. So, you may want to focus your efforts on a compelling welcome email with an effective call-to-action worked in. 

Welcome emails aren’t the only transactional messages that can help you retain customers. Here’s an example of an order confirmation email sent to a customer. At the bottom of the email, the seller listed some potential products that the customer may want to purchase in the future based on their past purchase.

content rate optimisation example

Some other effective transactional messages include:

Encourage Referrals

Word of mouth is one of the most powerful marketing tools out there. According to AdWeek, 74% of consumers identify it as a key influencer when it comes to their purchasing decisions. Take advantage of the power of word of mouth by encouraging referrals.

Depending on the model of your company, there are a couple of ways to go about this:

  • Run an affiliate program where your customers earn points every time their referrals make a purchase
  • Provide a discount code to your customers and their referrals

Setting aside your marketing budget to encourage referrals WILL put you in touch with customers who were informed by their friends and family, which is an effective way to drive up your conversion rate.

Ask for Reviews

Online reviews are just as compelling as personal recommendations. The Week reported that nearly 90% of trust online reviews just as much as endorsements from people they know. To ensure you have a variety of product reviews, ask for them from your past customers. 

Send out an email to a customer asking for a review of your product after they have received it. Before asking for this review, allow enough time to pass to ensure that it has made it to their doorstep. 

Leaving a review can take several minutes out of a customer’s day, so make sure to offer an incentive. You can provide a coupon that they can use on a future purchase, offer cashback from their previous purchase, or enter them in a raffle. 

CRO Best Practices: Final Thoughts

All of your customers are valuable, no matter what stage of the conversion process they are at. That’s why you need to have tailored strategies to reel customers in and keep them for the long term.

When you follow these conversion and post-conversion practices, you WILL notice a dramatic increase in your customer conversion and retention rates. 

Author: Kurt Philip

Kurt Philip is the founder and CEO of Convertica, a done-for-you conversion rate optimization agency. You can get the Convertica team to audit your site for FREE. Visit convertica.org for details.

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