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Ideas to increase online sales
Valentin Radu

49 Foolproof Optimization Ideas To Increase Online Sales

The marketing world can feel like a formula 1 race track at times. Everything seems to be moving at breakneck speed and things are always changing.

There’s a constant barrage of new strategies and tactics like content marketing, email marketing, SEO, link building and viral marketing. Each one requiring a complex set of skills to wield effectively.

Making it easy for any marketer to feel like he’s sinking in an ocean of information, with concrete blocks attached to his feet. But regardless of the business you’re in – and no matter how much people’s tastes change, or how many new strategies and tactics are released…

Marketers will always rack their brains to answer this super-important question:

How can I increase online sales?

This cheat sheet will lighten the mental load and answer that question. Below are 51 proven ways to increase online sales and soar your business growth.

1. Segment Your Traffic

Traffic segmentation

(Image source)

Clothing retailer Johnny Cupcakes had an email list of 80,000 customers, but their data was incomplete. And everyone got the same marketing messages.

To lift conversions, they gathered additional information from their customers’ social profiles. They also mined data on gender, customer interests, brand preferences, and general media habits to segment their traffic.

This allowed them to tweak their campaigns in a way that resulted in:

  • A 42% lift in click-through rates
  • A 123% boost in conversion rate
  • A 141% increase in revenue per campaign

Marketers are now using more tools, tactics, and strategies to drive traffic than ever before. Which is great for getting more eyeballs on the page. But how do you know which traffic sources are performing, and which ones to pour more energy into?

Traffic segmentation is the key.

Peep Laja

As Peep Laja shows in this great post on the ConversionXL blog, it’s essential that you segment your traffic in your analysis:

“Which traffic sources work, and which are a waste of time/effort/money? One of the easiest ways to improve conversions is to eliminate irrelevant, poor quality traffic, and to direct your marketing efforts toward channels that work.”


So don’t look at aggregate data because you won’t understand anything about your audience. Instead, analyze the most important segments for your business to make the right decisions.

2. Tailor Marketing For Every Main Traffic Segment

Imagine that you’re an online retailer of women’s clothing. A good chunk of your traffic comes from women. Is it okay to send them all similar emails, offers, and discounts?

No way.

Why?

Because – as you’ll learn from segmenting your traffic – not all traffic is created equal, and not all visitors are pursuing the same product.

Generic sales messages are a thing of the past; to increase your sales, your marketing messages need to be as specific as possible.

Let’s say you found three different types of shoppers after segmenting your traffic:

  • Women browsing for formal clothing, suits, and classy dresses
  • Women looking for casual day-to-day wear
  • Women that strictly visit your store for seasonal footwear

By creating personalized marketing messages for each of those traffic segments, you’ll dramatically increase conversions and sales out of existing traffic.

3. Measure the purchase intention

When people visit your site, how willing are they to buy from you?

As shown in this study about branding and purchase intention, brand image, product quality, and product knowledge “were found to have a positive association with purchase intentions.”

Which means, measuring purchase intention will unveil customer’s opinions about your marketing communications, and your brand image. Two crucial elements for increasing online sales.

It’s essential that you predict your customers’ behavior using models and technology. Be warned though: choose your tech tools based on a documented strategy.

Koka Sexton

As Koka Sexton, Social Marketing & Selling Expert at kokasexton.com says:

“Technology is a double-edged sword. Just as sales people are moving into the future, the buyers are already ahead of us.”

 


When surveying customers on purchase intention:

  • Be time specific about their intent to purchase
  • Let them quantify their intent on scale from 1-10
  • Follow-up

4. Don’t Neglect Micro Conversions  

Bryan Eisenberg

Bryan Eisenberg, the Godfather of conversion optimization, says in an article that:

“Conversion rates suffer when sites fail to drive customer micro-actions and maintain momentum through the sales path. Once the path is defined and each of the micro-actions described, you can work on optimizing the most effective call to action for each step.”


When you think of increasing online sales, what’s the first thing that springs to mind?

Probably conversion rates…right?

Conversions rates are the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) websites use to measure their site’s success. And most people only pay attention to macro conversions.

A macro conversion is a complete conversion. If your goal is to get sell a product, and someone buys a product, that’s a macro conversion. If your goal is to get visitors to send an application, then a sent application would be considered a macro conversion.

Conversion rate by industry

Image source

But singling out macro conversions is not optimal for increasing online sales.

Because only a small amount of visitors – especially first timers – result in a macro conversion. For example, conversions in the travel industry hover at 4% – and 3% in the retail industry.

Micro-conversions on the other hand, are tiny stepping stones on the conversion path. Which – depending on your business – could be:

  • Adding a product to a cart
  • Clicking to the checkout page
  • Requesting additional information
  • Giving an email address
  • Downloading content

By tweaking micro conversions, you boost the chances of macro conversions.

Micro conversions can be measured easily in Google Analytics. You just create goals for each micro-conversion you want to track from your admin page. But don’t expect immediate wins. Improving micro-conversions is a long-term strategy that snowballs into  more sales over time.

5. Send Behaviour-Based “Triggered” Emails

Triggered emails are emails that are triggered by events like:

  • A subscriber being non-responsive, triggering a reactivation series
  • A visitor subscribing to an email list, triggering a welcome series
  • A customer abandoning mid-purchase, triggering a purchase abandonment series
  • A customer purchasing a high-grade product, leading to an upsell series

Triggered emails have the ability to put your email sales on steroids.

They have yielded over 100% higher click rates than non-triggered emails and 71% higher open rates. One study even showed how a retailer used automated emails to generate 175% more revenue and boost conversion rates by 83%.

Why are they so effective?

  • They environmental triggers to engage subscribers

Triggered emails act on your customer’s behavior. This allows you to follow up and tackle objections to help increase sales.

For example, when your customer has whipped out his credit card and is punching his details in, it’s safe to say he’s interested. If your customer stops for whatever reason, your purchase abandonment series will take over and help you make the sale.

  • Eliminates you from the equation

Triggered emails do the heavy lifting for you. Once created, you have a reactive system that will boost your bottom line.

6. A/B Testing Your Key Pages

Ever heard of Aikido? It’s a martial art backed by the philosophy of using minimal energy for maximum impact. Instead of trying to force your opponent into submission, you simply step back, and use the momentum from his incoming attack to defeat him.

So what does this have to with A/B testing?

Quite a lot, actually…

In a way, A/B split testing is like the Aikido of marketing .It lets you use the momentum from your existing traffic to pluck out more conversions. Think of it as a marketer’s shortcut to increasing online sales.

You can spend thousands on acquiring more traffic to increase sales– or you can boost sales by tweaking your conversions with existing traffic.

This type of conversion-oriented testing has led to rapid growth and millions in revenue.

But before donning your lab coats and whipping out your marketing flasks and funnels, follow the rules below to squeeze the most out of your split tests:

  1. Start with your biggest, costliest leaks and high traffic pages. Need help finding those pesky leaks? Start with Google Analytics reports.
  2. Run tests for at least a month.
  3. Never stop monitoring results and testing. “Every single day without a test is a wasted day.” Peep Laja, Conversion Xl.

7. Pop up To New Visitors

As mentioned before, most first time visitors are unlikely to buy from you. In fact, research suggests that “Only 0.25% of new visitors to your site will make a purchase.” Which begs the question…

How can you get more people to come back after their first visit?

Pop ups: are a good answer.

Nikki McGonigal, a food craft blogger, wasn’t happy with her email opt-ins. So she tested a pop-up box form for her opt-ins, and guess what? After 8 months she found that it netted her 7,000 additional subscribers.

And subscriptions jumped from 40 to 350 a day when blogger Darren Rowse gave pop-up boxes a try.

Give pop-up box forms a shot, they’re proven to work.

8. Cross-sell To Your Customers

You’ve shopped on Amazon before, right? Then you’ve experienced how they send you emails based on what you’ve been searching for. I recently searched for some health supplements. Look at what Amazon sent me after…

Cross-sell example

Because the email leaned towards my interests, it resulted in me making a purchase.

If someone has bought from you, they’ve already invested time and attention in you or your products. They are already trusting you to serve their needs, which means they’re more likely to buy from you again.

Are there any products or services you can add that complement your customer’s purchases? Can you add more time and volume options to your services or products? If so, take a page out of Amazon’s book and cross-sell to your customers.

9. Use Testimonials

People will be skeptical about what you say about your product, but are inclined to believe someone else’s opinion about your product. That’s why social proof is an excellent way to cram more selling power into your website.

Groupon uses social proof to show potential buyers how many people have purchased the same product:

Social Proof

This works well because it does two things:

  1. It shows that a lot of people have purchased the glasses so they must be reliable.
  2. It makes it easier for people to buy the glasses because everyone else has bought them.

Testimonials and reviews are excellent forms of social proof. In 2014, a consumer study by BrightLocal.com showed that:

  • 88% of consumers read reviews to judge local businesses
  • 72% of consumers will act after reading a positive review
  • 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations

When using testimonials on your site, be sure to use headshots (if possible) and add specific details like location, profession, and what product was bought to boost credibility.

Angie Schotmuller

As Angie Schottmuller says in a presentation:

“Social proof must inspire trust and likeability, show participation, and reduce fear/ anxiety. To ensure that social proof is persuasive you must make it:

 

  • Credible – try to avoid the common credibility fails
  • Relevant – use dynamic text replacement for retargeted visitors
  • Attractive – use emotional hooks
  • Visual – use real customer photos
  • Enumerated – quantify (3,500+ companies) and show only high share numbers
  • Nearby – test placing social proof near Call to Action buttons
  • Specific – be specific about the problems solved with your product in the testimonials”

For a more in-depth analysis of how to use social proof to increase conversion rates and sales, check out Angie’s full presentation. Even if you’re a newbie or an expert, you’ll get valuable insights into how to make your website more credible and persuasive.

10. Use Buyer Personas

Customer personas

(Image source)

Who are your customers? Why are they choosing you? Which competitors might they consider jumping ship to?

These questions can be answered by developing a solid customer persona or two. And when you do answer them, you’ll have powerful data that will improve and focus all your marketing and sales activities.

Customer persona survey questions

Source

Talia Wolf

As Talia Wolf writes in a Conversioner blog post,

“Sending out a survey is a great way to collect demographic information about your customers that they may not feel comfortable sharing in an interview. You can also reach out to customers via social media. “

 


11. Increase Sales With Tutorials

Tutorial example

(Image source)

Luxy Hair is a wildly successful online store selling hair extensions for women. The company has thousands of worldwide fans and now does 7 figures a year. And the amazing thing?

Up until recently, they’ve never dabbled in paid advertising. The majority of their sales and traffic were organic.

How did they manage this?

Youtube tutorials that their audience valued.

Their tutorials have generated over 173 million views and have resulted in a ton of business. Creating video based tutorials created a connection with their audience and educated them.

But creating videos isn’t optimal for every business. If your product isn’t as visual, try other forms of content like articles, Q&As, or podcasts.

12. Use Powerful Psychological Triggers: Scarcity and Urgency

Act soon” while “stocks last”

Ever wonder why almost every sales letter/landing page urges you to do the above?

It’s because marketers know they can springboard desire for their products or services to dizzying heights with scarcity and urgency.

But what exactly are scarcity and urgency?

Urgency is when a buyer feels the need to act quickly because of how important something seems to be.

Scarcity is when a buyer feels the need to snatch up a product/service because supplies are short, but demand is high.

Online Travel Agency Expedia does an awesome job of using scarcity and urgency:

Expedia scarcity

(When using Expedia’s hotel search for hotels in Downtown Mexico)

They know what makes their customers tick. Not only do they deploy a ton of social proof, but they tactically use urgency and scarcity to lift demand and spur people to action.

The first search result above uses urgency. It has a room availability countdown and tells searchers to “Hurry!”. This prompts people to act quickly to secure the fleeting deal.

The second search result uses scarcity.

Searchers will find that only 5 rooms are left. This inspires people to act quickly and boosts demand, because nobody wants to let a good deal slip through their hands.

You can implement these triggers by highlighting when product availability is limited, or when special packages or discounts are going to end.

13. Use Marketers/Influencers To Increase Trust

Reaching out to influencers can be a great way to instantly boost sales. Not only can it boost trust and credibility, but it can directly impact your sales. Because just a mention (or two) from a respected authority can result in an avalanche of traffic.

Remember the Luxy hair store mentioned earlier? They experimented with different forms of exposure to get more traffic. In their early days, their biggest win was getting reviewed by a Youtuber with 15,000 subscribers.

This did way more for us than any magazines mention can do as we’ve been featured and it’s nothing compared real people on YouTube.”

Check out this great post by Sujan Patel for more info on how to get influencers to promote you.

14. Find Your Highest Converting Headline

Take a look at the following headline from Upworthy:

Upworthy old headline

Below is another version of the same headline:

Upworthy new headline

The second one is obviously more “clickable”. But just how much of a difference did this change make?

Upworthy reports that it resulted in 16 million more views. Not bad for changing a single headline.

Upworthy’s secret lies in testing their headlines. Out of 25 headlines, they pick the top two; A/B test them against each other and pick the winner.

To create headlines that increase your sales, do the same. Find your optimal headline.

15. Setup Cart-Abandonment Recovery Measures

Cart abandonment

 

The average online cart abandonment rate is 68.6%. Which translates into 3 out of every 4 visitors on your site failing to complete a purchase. Business Insider even reports that $4 trillion worth of shopping carts were abandoned in 2014 alone.

By not following customers up, you’re letting a ton of business slip through your fingers.

To combat this, have cart abandonment emails in place. They’ll help recapture leads and will work wonders for increasing sales.

16. Test Different Call To Action Buttons

Your CTA might be a small element, but it’s a pretty powerful one. This post from Copyblogger shows just how powerful tweaking your CTA can be:

A/B test CTA

(“Variation B (the green button) saw an 81 percent lift over the control, and Variation C (the orange button) saw a 95 percent lift over the control”)

 

When A/B testing your CTA button, you can test:

  • CTA button copy
  • CTA button colour
  • The size of your CTA button
  • Different phrases or words

17. Identify Your Winning Value Proposition


Unique Value Proposition

(Image source)

According to research by Marketing Experiments, “the biggest hurdle companies have is creating an effective value proposition; the second is communicating it clearly; the third is testing/measuring the value proposition.”

The value proposition is one of the most overlooked aspects of marketing.

It’s responsible for turning the heads of potential customers, holding interest, and making them leap at you instead of sneaking to your competition.

If your value proposition is weak, you’ll be as unique as a self-help paperback in a bookstore. And visitors won’t buy from you because they won’t have a reason that motivates them to do so.

A strong value proposition on the other hand…helps customers realize what makes you special and unique; and why you’re the perfect match.

Value proposition facts

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We won’t dive too deep into the process of creating a value proposition. It’s a colossal subject. But the basics of a solid value proposition are:

  • A Great Headline

Usually, the biggest benefit being offered or the biggest pain being solved. Either way, it has to quickly hook attention. Your headline is the first things that hits your customer’s eyes; it determines whether he’ll continue investing time and attention.   

  • A Visual Element

Images are powerful communicators. Be sure to include images that reinforce your message.

  • A 2-4 sentence paragraph

The specific details of what you offer. Who is it for? What exactly does it do? And what makes you special?

  • Bullet Points

This is where you’ll list your main benefits and key features.

Check out our detailed value proposition guide for more info.

18. Personalize Your Site Based On Visitor Location

Can the geographic location of your visitors’ actually impact your sales?

Yes, it can.

UK online watch retailer, Watchfinder, wanted to find out how to improve site engagement with their visitors.  After digging into their Google Analytics, the feedback they got wasn’t promising.

Watchfinder example

They found that not even 1% of visitors completed a transaction on the first visit to the site.

In response, they drew customer segment insights by documenting users based on language, location, and what stage of the purchase funnel that user was in; leading up to a remarketing campaign with Google ads.

Focusing on the origins of traffic lead to a stunning realization: Conversion rates and engagement were higher from ISP addresses in the London Financial District.

Using this knowledge, they re-targeted these site users with messages tailored specifically to employees at large investment banks.

Not only did this slice customer acquisition costs by 34%, it also boosted the average order value on site by 13%. With an overall 1,300% return on investment after 6 months.

Tracking the location of your users might not always lead to a big insight. But it can reveal an important part of the marketing puzzle when targeting – and communicating – with customers.

You’re prone to discover insights you may have skimmed over or previously missed. You can then use that information to increase sales by:

  • Creating tailored ads and targeting for those visitors. Just like Watchfinder
  • Sending segmented marketing messages
  • Tweaking or creating new packages or offers
  • Adjusting your landing pages to involve those visitors better

19. Slice The Number Of Form Fields

When Imaginary Landscape, a web design company, reduced the number of opt-in fields from 11 to 4, they increased form submissions by 160%, and received a 120% increase in conversion rates.

It’s not hard to understand why though. I mean, would you rather fill out a form like this?

Form fields

(Image source)

Or this?

Single field form

(Image source)

The choice is obvious.

20. Invest At least 20% Percent Of Your Marketing Budget In Optimization

Attracting fresh customers is incredibly important. But if that’s all you’re doing to increase sales, you’ll be stuck with a one-dimensional strategy that stunts business growth.

Plugging up the sinking holes in your sales is equally important. And that’s’ where conversion optimization comes in. You get to squeeze the maximum ROI out of your existing traffic and customers.

Our conversion calculator shows the impact boosting conversions can have:

Let’s say you run a store that does $37,500 in revenue and you want to double that:

Traffic - conversion rate calculator

You can take the costly route, and do so by doubling your number of leads. Which means you will need to gain 15,000 additional visitors per month:

More traffic

 

But what if you focus solely on conversion optimization?

Higher conversion rate

You won’t need to touch your traffic. Because a tiny 5% bump in conversions gives the revenue boost as an additional 15,000 visitors.  

If you want to increase sales, spending on conversion optimization is not a luxury, it’s a must-have investment for growth.  

21. Make your return policy easily available

Imagine you’re a farmer, and you want a pony for your little daughter. There are only two people selling them in your town. And both ponies are exactly the same.

The first seller demands $550 for his pony. Take it or leave it.

The second guy is selling his for $600. But, he tells you he wants your daughter to test the pony for a month before making a decision. He offers to deliver the pony to your home, along with a month’s worth of hay.

If you do buy, he’ll even send a stableman once a week to show her how to care for the pony.

He then tells you that after 30 days, he’ll take back the pony and clean up the stall if you’re not satisfied. If you are, he’ll ask for the $600 then.

Which option would you choose?

There’s no competition. You’d be losing out if you didn’t take the second offer.

And that’s the way you should want your customers to feel.

You want to shoulder the risk so that your customer is completely confident in buying from you.

This is one of Zappo’s secrets. They have a generous, one-year, free-return shipping policy that “zaps” away any morsel of risk. And customers love them for it:

Free returns Zappos

22. Use Live Chat For Higher-Converting Customer Support

Customer support methods

(Image source)

The sales boosting power of live chat can’t be disputed. Research shows that:

  • 62% of customers were more inclined to purchase products online if live customer support is available.
  • 38% of customers have said that they have made a purchase due to a good live chat session itself.
  • The availability of live chat assistance has been found to decrease cart abandonment by up to 30%, which resulted in an increase in sales.

Consumers prefer communicating with businesses via live chat. If you’re not already using it, start now.

23. Test Different Product Images/Visuals  

Visual elements plays a huge role in the conversion process. They help visitors subconsciously form judgments about:

  • What your business is like
  • What type of service you provide
  • How they will feel when doing business with you

A case study from Mindvalley shows how profitable a simple design change can be. In their A/B test, they tested this header image:

A/B test header

Against this variation:

A/B test header variation

Not exactly a huge change, is it?

Well, this small design tweak boosted conversions by a huge 230%.

If you want to amp up conversions, don’t neglect images, logos, and design.

24. Make The Most Out Each Visitor’s Session

Customer Behavior Phases

Image source

A new visitor has just landed on your site. He’s probably not going to buy. How do you plan to make the most out of the shrinking amount of time he’s spending on-site?  

If your response was “I don’t know”…you’re in deep “doo doo”. Because your site will constantly hemorrhage sales.

Ask yourself:

  • Are you getting the most out of every visit to your site?
  • Do you know where your visitors are coming from?
  • Do you have ways to communicate with them again? Can you retarget, or get their email?
  • What’s your visitor looking for when landing on your site?
  • Can you offer your him something he’d be interested in?

Answering these questions will allow your marketing to adapt to the behavioral stages of your customer’s journey.

25. Test Different Forms Of Social Proof

Are customers more receptive to written testimonials with pictures? Or are they more receptive to Groupon – style numeric displays of people who’ve taken a specific offer? Or would a star rating work better?

Maybe a combination of all three will be effective?

Test to find your winner and attract more sales.

26. Simplify Customer Choices To Kill Friction

According to Unbounce, friction is:

The psychological resistance that your visitors experience when trying to complete an action. Friction is a conversion killer usually caused by unclear messaging, lack of information or poor layout.

Looking to boost sales? Then friction is your sworn enemy.

Friction confuses customers and dents conversions. It sinks its teeth into your bottom line. The less you have, the easier it is for your customer to take the action you want.

One of the biggest causes of friction is choices. Too many choices, that is.

A case study by the New York times tested the influence of choices and options on our buying decisions.

The test was carried out on two different saturdays and had some interesting results.

On one Saturday, 24 different flavors of jam were given. The next Saturday, people were only presented with 6 different flavours.

On the day with 24 different flavors, 60% of the people tasted the jams. Only 3% actually bought anything.

On the day with 6 flavours however, only  40% stopped to taste, but 30% of them made purchases. Resulting in 600% more jam sold.

The lesson here? Contrary to what people might think, too much choice decreases sales. Keep things simple. You can always offer extras after someone has expressed interest.

27. Be Mobile Ready

Mobile vs Desktop Users

(Image source)

Given that mobile now accounts for 40% of retail sales. And that most people spend nearly 60% of their time consuming digital media on mobile devices…

A responsive landing page and website is a no-brainer.

28. Use Language Your Audience Is Familiar With

Ever heard of cognitive fluency?

The idea behind it is fairly intuitive: the brain prefers to think about things that are easy to think about. The easier a choice is, the more desirable it becomes.

Cognitive fluency is closely linked to The Mere Exposure Effect, which states:

The more you’re exposed to something, the more you prefer it.

Which is why your copy, descriptions, landing pages, emails, and all other points of contact with customers should use language they are familiar with

29. Survey Customers About Their On-site Experiences

Do your customers like the way your product pages are designed? Do they find your site easy to navigate? Are you giving them what they want?

You’ll never know until you ask.

30. Create An Attention Grabbing CTA Button

Your call to action can single handedly spike or reduce conversions.

That’s why it’s important to make it as strong and prominent as possible on the page.

Make your CTA more visible by:

  • Using a color that stands out
  • Making your button look clickable. Give it a distinctive shape. Have enough space around it
  • Make sure it’s a sensible size
  • Experiment with visual cues
  • Don’t use vague copy, invite your reader to take strong, swift action

Need examples? Here are 17

31. Arouse Emotion With Images

Research shows that:

  • 67% of consumers consider clear, detailed images to be very important and carry even more weight than the product information and customer ratings (MDG Advertising)
  • Travelers are 150% more engaged with listings that have more than 20 photos than with properties that have only a few photos (TripAdvisor, 2013)

Images pack a huge emotional punch and can help turn casual visitors into customers. Providing that you’re using them correctly.

32. Instantly Increase Sales With Faster Site Speed

Site speed

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Sites with 3 second load times get 22% fewer page views, 22% lower conversions and a 50% higher bounce rate than sites with 1 second load times.

And sites with 5 second load times are worse. They get 35% less page views, a 105% higher bounce rate and 35% less conversions.

Further research even shows that reducing page load time from 8 – to 2 seconds, can boost conversions by 74%

To improve your page loading speed:

33. Use More Relevant Designs And Images For Higher Conversions

CTA copy A/B test

(Making copy more relevant raised conversions by 213.16%.)

Strongview.com’s case study shows how increasing relevancy in email marketing boosted cooking.com’s open rates by 500%, and dropped unsubscribe rates by 29%.

IDIO published a case study in which making relevant content boosted CTR by 32%.

Contentverve.com reveals that making CTA copy more relevant to customers yielded over a 200% boost in conversions.

The more relevant your images, design, and content are, the higher your conversions.

34. Use A Personal CTA

Tweaking the pronouns in your CTA copy is a lower hanging fruit for higher conversions.

In this case study from Contentverve.com, changing button copy from “your” to “my”, increased click-through-rates by 90%.  

Personal CTA

(Image source)

Will it work for you? Maybe, maybe not. Nothing is black and white in the world of conversion optimization. But it’s a worth a shot.

35. Use Directional Cues On Your Landing Pages

Numerous case studies have shown that visual cues are great for directing attention to specific elements on your website.

In the image below, Sunsilk directed way more attention to their copy by using the woman’s gaze as visual cue:

Heatmap

(Image source)

Directional cues can be used to subtly draw more attention to crucial page elements. Like CTA, copy, or testimonials.

36. Increase Sales By Rewarding Your Customers

When Sony wanted to promote their “Sony Credit Card” they could have simply sent out emails telling users about it. But they didn’t.

Instead, Sony highlighted how “the cardholder could receive up to $250 in rewards and $100 credit for any friend referred.”

This simple reward based strategy “rewarded” Sony with a 300% conversion boost and 2.8 times more people using their card.

Want to increase the chances of customers promoting you, or buying from you?

Reward them.

37. Offer Special Vouchers For Further Purchase

If a customer has expressed interest (like subscribing to your list) but hasn’t purchased, sometimes sending a small discount can help. This might be a small step, but over time it can snowball into a large amount of sales.

38. Keep Your Design Simple

According to a Google study in 2012, visually complex websites are seen as less effective, and simpler designs tend to do better.

In another study by Business Insider, 25% of people reported they didn’t buy because a “website [was] too complicated” to navigate.

Why do shoppers leave

(Image source)

Keep your design as simple as possible. Flashy signs and colorful banners might beautify your page, but they’ll make your sales ugly.

39. Use Color Psychology To Increase Sales

Color influences our perception. And can change the way we think about things.

For example, studies show that yellow stimulates appetite, whereas blue suppresses it. And that darker colors like red and black can increase visual weight, while lighter colors reduce it.

Color visuals can even increase willingness to read by 80%, and boost attention spans and recall by 82%.  

In a study by psychologist Thomas Sanocki, he experimented with color relations and how color can impact memory.

He found that:

  • The contrast of surrounding color impacted the memory of the main color
  • People remember “harmonious”, or pleasant color patterns better than harsher patterns
  • Color combinations with two color patterns are easier to remember than combinations with four color patterns.

So how can you use his findings to increase sales?

  1. Use pleasant color schemes for cognitive ease.
  2. Have a strong contrast between your visual content and background.
  3. Simplify color combinations for complex pieces of text or visual content.

40. Have A Way For Customers To Quickly Get In Touch

Did you know that 78% of consumers will fail to purchase because of poor service?

Regardless of how good your product is…customer service is the lifeblood of your business. Solid service constantly magnetizes people to your brand.

Zendesk’s extensive research shows that customer service is the #1 factor impacting vendor trust. They also found that 66% of customers stopped buying after a bad customer service interaction, and that 62% purchased more after a good customer service experience.

When your customer is in a time of need, the needle gauging your customer service is hypersensitive. If you’re prompt and effective in your response, you’ll leave an enduring impression of your business that your customer is likely to remember, and mention.

41. Don’t Let Visitors Click More Than 3 Times To Buy

Ever heard of the three-click rule?

It’s an unofficial web design rule suggesting that visitors should be able to find desired content within three clicks. Why three clicks?

Because many UX (user experience) professionals believe that visitors will abandon a site out of frustration if they can’t find something within three clicks.

There’s a stark difference of opinion on this rule. But regardless of your stance, embracing the idea behind it can increase online sales.

The three-click rule is basically about making things easier. Strip away anything your customer doesn’t need.

Unnecessary information in your copy? Cut it. Extra fields in your forms? Kill them, or save them for after the purchase. You get the idea.

42. Make Your Secure Shopping Certificates Visible

Your landing and checkout pages are instrumental to the sales process. Between them two pages a lot hangs in the balance.

They draw the line between bounce or conversion. And this is where showing secure shopping certificates can help.

You’ve seen an online transaction in progress, right? Despite having shopped online before, you still have a gnawing feeling that you might lose your money. And this may prevent you from buying.

Security badges help douse that doubt in your customer’s brain.

43. Improve The Quality Score Of PPC Ads

Google uses Quality Score to gauge the quality of your ads. This influences where ads rank on the results page and how much you pay for them.

The better you score is, the higher your ad rank will be. And the higher your ad rank, the lower your cost-per-click. Which means you get a better ROI.

Quality Score can be boosted by improving the following:

  • Your click-through-rate
  • Keyword relevance within an ad group
  • Landing page quality
  • Previous account performance
  • The relevance of your ad text

44. Reduce Waiting Time As Much As You Can

It’s easy to get bogged down in business and lose sight of what really matters.

Matt Heinz

As Matt Heinz says:

“Social tools are great. Email still works. But the phone remains the most important tool in your communication arsenal.”

 

 


Yes, clicks, segments, conversions, and personas are all important. But at the other end of your screen are living, breathing, human beings. And like you and me…

They hate to wait.

To reduce waiting times:

  • Create self-support opportunities. FAQs and knowledge bases are great for this
  • Make things clear from the get go. Make sure customers know which person/department to contact before they take any action
  • Track interactions with customers. Find out why there’s a lot of waiting time and see if you can reduce it.

45. Personalize Your Emails

In a study from MarketingSherpa, using a named greeting boosted open rates by 137%.

If you have access to the names of your subscribers, give personalized greetings a try. There bound to help develop a deeper connection and increase sales.

46. Tweak Your Copy

Good copy flows smoothly when you read it.

There are no mental gymnastics needed to understand what’s being said.

It shows customers how you fill their needs and overcome their objections to buying from you.

Bad copy, on the other hand, creates jagged, friction-riddled thoughts. It doesn’t address the needs of your customer’s and fails to spark any kind of emotion or interest.

47. Up Your Emailing Frequency

Email marketing experts like Ben Settle and John Mcintyre are huge advocates of daily emails.

Hold up, daily emails?

Yes, Ben even believes that anyone serious about email marketing should be sending out at least one email a day; and that you should sell in every email.

Kareem Mayan from SocialWOD started sending frequent emails to his list. He saw improvements with each email he sent, and his click through rates climbed from 5% to 25.2 %.

Do you have to email every day? Not really. But you should try sending more than you are now.

When increasing your email frequency, be sure to:

  • Educate and give value before selling
  • Use stories and open loops
  • Be personal and engaging

48. Increase Ad Visibility With Extensions

Ad extensions can have a noteworthy impact on your PPC advertising.  

They show extra information about your business on the results page. This improves your ad visibility; because ads with extensions tend to appear above search results rather than the sidebar.

Ad extensions also allow you to:

  • Link to other pages on your site
  • Display product images, titles and prices from your Google Merchant Center account
  • Leave a click-to-call number
  • Display a map with your location
  • Boost your business’ seller ratings

Mobile heatmap

A case study by Bing reveals that mobile users pay more attention to ads with extensions.

The study also claims a 15% boost in click-through-rate with ad extensions.

With the extra benefits and no additional costs, ad extensions are a must for PPC activities.

49. ABT: Always Be Testing

Which of these two game ads below do you think converted better?

This one:

Ad example

(Image source)

Or this one:

Another ad example

(Image source)

The second one was “expertly crafted” in Microsoft Paint.

And guess what?

It performed better.

Most people would just assume that the first ad would perform better without testing, and they’d be starving themselves of conversions and profit.

Don’t make the same mistake.

Ken Krogue

As Ken Krogue, Founder of InsideSales & KenKrogue.com says:

“When I hit the wall I go learn something new. That picks me up and gets me going again.”

 

 


The same happens in online testing and optimization. When you want to increase online sales, you can’t afford to take whimsical stabs in the dark and “go with your gut”. You need to ground your actions in raw results and data. And the only way to do that is to test and improve over time.

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Comments

3 Comments

Joanna: Value pricing

There is some great stuff on this list – most of it quite advanced and if you were to implement even half – you would be ahead of most online e-commerce sites.

Elena Dobre

Hello Joanna,

Thank you for reading!

Elena

Anila Jain

I have a question on how much effective it is to send triggered email? We are planning to do that, hope it works for us well!


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