7 Unconventional Ideas to Increase Your Conversion Rates

Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash

I want more conversions. You probably do too. Online marketers and entrepreneurs prioritize conversions because they can take even a modest flow of traffic and turn it into a goldmine.

Anyone interested in this process of maximizing conversion rates, known as conversion optimization, usually Googles best practices, and easily finds helpful tips for doing so. There are many fantastic and readily-available tips, but there’s a limit to how far they can take your strategy.

That’s why I’ve assembled this list of seven strategies that go beyond those commonly-known best practices, serving as unconventional and sometimes counterintuitive tips to increase your conversion rates:

1. Show examples in your form fields. This is a simple step you may not think to include because form fields are so intuitive and commonplace these days. Fields like “first name” and “last name” are straightforward, and everyone knows his/her full name, but still, showing an example of these can help you increase your conversion rates. If your brand has a sense of humor or a playfulness about it, you can make up something funny to include here, like a fictional character’s name or a pseudonym that’s a pun. Otherwise, you can use a member of your team as an example.

2. Offer a coupon code or discount. This is an especially powerful strategy for websites selling products. It’s a well-known marketing gimmick to “slash” the prices of your products to show your users that they’re getting a good deal, but this effect is amplified when the deal is made even better with the provision of a coupon code. You can present this at checkout for certain types of orders, or offer it to users who remain on a product page for an extended period of time. You can even use it as a last-ditch offer to users attempting to leave your site in an attempt to get them back.

3. Start here. If you’re a service-based business, or if you’re a B2B company, considering using a “start here” style tactic to funnel your prospective leads to one place. Depending on the complexity of your offer, your site is likely full of explanatory text and persuasive copy — this is a good thing, but it can ultimately be distracting to a new prospective user. Introducing a progression of content, beginning with a prominent “start here” link, can help you give your users the information they need most and introduce them to a final call-to-action sooner.

4. Traffic-specific landing pages. Chances are, you’ve already considered using custom landing pages to funnel your traffic to different products (or funnel different segments of your target audience to different places). But have you thought about using landing pages set up specifically based on the source of your referral traffic? For example, you may create a landing page for Facebook traffic, or for traffic that comes from one of you external guest post sources. Doing this can make your offers seem more relevant, and give you the chance to customize your copy and design even further.

5. Make the most of thank-you pages. Thank-you pages are usually presented to a user after he/she has completed the conversion process, but don’t overlook them as potential sources of more conversions. A thank-you page is a perfect opportunity to give users an incentive to come back for more, such as a cross promotion with another product/service they may like, or a coupon code or exclusive discount for their next order. You could also include social sharing options, social follow buttons, or other means of reaching a wider audience with your latest conversion.

6. Utilize 404 pages. Your site’s 404 page is probably hit more commonly than you realize. Most users don’t give it a second thought, and most webmasters don’t put much time into them. Instead, you can use your 404 pages as a kind of landing page in their own right, taking advantage of the opportunity to speak to a specific audience (one that’s gotten lost on your site) and present a formal CTA. Be clever here, and people will respond.

7. Make short-term offers. One of the biggest hurdles for achieving conversions is getting people to act quickly. People have short attention spans, and they’ve come to rely on a degree of permanence in the digital world. If they find any excuse to delay making a conversion decision, they probably will — and they probably won’t come back. To counteract this, you need to imply a greater degree of urgency in your CTA presentation. You can do this by making more short-term offers, such as products or sales that are available for one day only. And if you don’t feel like doing this, you can replicate the effects with a countdown timer or something similar.

Hopefully, these conversion optimization ideas have given you some new experiments to try and some new ground to cover in your online marketing campaign. In addition to following basic best practices, they should be able to yield you a higher overall conversion rate.

However, remember the most important element of a successful conversion optimization campaign; experimentation. User behavior is too unpredictable and variables are too numerous to reduce to any one series of recommendations. Try new things constantly, and keep what sticks.

CEO of EmailAnalytics (emailanalytics.com), a productivity tool that visualizes team email activity, and measures email response time. Check out the free trial!