Content Marketing

4 Quick Conversion Rate Tips That Increased Online Sales by $500,000

Conversion rate optimization is now tied with content marketing as the most important priority for online marketers, ahead of social media, mobile optimization, and brand building.

Online marketers are no longer happy with reporting web traffic as their primary metric. As what’s the use in sending millions of visitors to your website if no one buys anything?

Research shows that for every $92 spent on marketing, only $1 is spent on converting web visitors. This has to change!

Where’s All the Conversion Rate Tips?

Even though conversion rate optimization is just as important as content marketing, you won’t find nearly as many conversion rate optimization posts. If we take a look at Google Trends, we can see there is no comparison when it comes to the demand for content marketing tips versus conversion rate tips. In fact, it’s not even close!

Conversion content trends 4 Quick Conversion Rate Tips That Increased Online Sales by $500,000

But what’s the reason for this?

Most conversion rate experts will tell you there’s a science behind understanding your customer and finding out what triggers them to purchase your product or service. In fact, that’s why the tips and best practice pieces are not as common. Tips about creating high quality content can be applied to any industry in any part of the world. But psychology and science, that’s a different ball game. Or is it?

Some of the best CRO success I’ve had has taken less than 10 minutes to implement. And it has directly resulted in more than a $500,000 increase in online sales. Here’s 4 simple conversion rate tips to help to grow your business.

Conversion Rate Tip #1 – Explain the Benefits

In 2009, Hurtigruten launched online booking. To increase the number of people who initiated an online booking, we created a page that outlined all available Norwegian cruises (five in total), which linked directly into the online booking process.

For 1.5 years, the page received a steady stream approximately 300 visits per day. In order to improve the page, we wanted to explain to visitors that booking online was easier than calling into the call center. So, we created a list of 5 reasons why someone should book online.

  • No online booking fees
  • Online booking guarantee
  • 100% secure order process
  • Easy to use booking system
  • 24/7 Customer support and live chat

These 5 benefits took less than 5 minutes to write and increased the number of initiated bookings by 193%, which resulted in an increase in online sales of approx. $100,000 per year.

explain the benefits 4 Quick Conversion Rate Tips That Increased Online Sales by $500,000

Conversion Rate Tip #2 – Collect Customer Feedback

Surveying customers and collecting feedback is vital to improving your product or service. For $79 per month, Qualaroo allows you to collect direct feedback from your web visitors through an online pop-up questionnaire and with their pre-written templates. Just a few basic questions will give you a great deal of information. Ask questions such as:

  • What information is missing from this page?
  • What can we do to improve our website?
  • Would you recommend our website to a friend?

At nameOn, we implemented Qualaroo in the online order process and created a rule that if the visitor wanted to leave the site, we asked them “What stopped you from completing your order?”

One of the responses we received was that the visitor could not continue their order if Javascript was not supported.

We compared conversion rates and revenue with FireFox, Safari, and Chrome in Google Analytics and found that Safari users were not converting at all if JavaScript was not supported. We tested this and found that the “Continue to Payment” button could not be clicked from iPad or iPhone. We had 3,900 people shop online and not one of them could place an order!

safari issue ecommerce 4 Quick Conversion Rate Tips That Increased Online Sales by $500,000

Conversion rates for FireFox and Chrome are approximately 8-10%, so by fixing this issue, online sales will increase by $60,000 this year.

Conversion Rate Tip #3 - Make Your Website Easy to Use

Another survey tool we’ve used is iPerceptions (formerly 4Q). iPerceptions offers a free survey tool that asks your web visitors three simple questions:

  • How would you rate your site experience?
  • What describes the primary purpose of visit?
  • Were you able to complete the purpose of your visit today?

Using the feedback, you can prioritize content on your website to help visitors complete their goals. At Hurtigruten, we found that 40% of web visitors were seeking pricing information. Cruise prices were available in the booking engine but we wanted to make it even easier for visitors to find pricing information.

We created a pricing page that showed yearly prices per month for the best-selling cruises. This page had an immediate impact and generated more than 60,000 page views within six months – Making it the third most visited page on the website.

pricing page hurtigruten 4 Quick Conversion Rate Tips That Increased Online Sales by $500,000

Thousands of more web visitors initiated an online booking from this page, which has resulted in more than $300,000 in online sales.

Conversion Rate Tip #4 - Contact Visitors that Abandon

Email remarketing is powerful! People who abandon your online order process almost purchased from you. Research shows that on average, you have 90 minutes to contact the customer if you want to complete the sale. Otherwise, they are likely to forget about you or shop elsewhere.

At Hurtigruten, we received a copy of every online booking to our mailbox. This helped us quickly see which cruises were selling, where the bookings came from, average number of passengers, etc. Having copies of the booking also gave us access to see when a booking was started but not finished.

The online booking process offers visitors the chance to book online but with the option of not paying immediately. Once a booking was made, an automated email was sent informing them that the booking would be canceled within 48 hours if no payment was received.

We changed this, and on the second day, we started sending personalized emails from our own mailbox informing the customer that we were extending the period from 48 hours to 72 hours, giving them an extra day to make the first payment.

remarketing email 4 Quick Conversion Rate Tips That Increased Online Sales by $500,000

We sent this email to a group of 25 people, who were chosen at random and we were able to save more than 16 bookings, which led to us saving more than $50,000 in online sales.

Conclusion

Not all conversion rate optimization improvements require a scientific approach. Start by speaking with your customers and collect the feedback they provide. It’s helped me increase sales by more than $500,000.

What’s your best conversion rate optimization tip? I’m looking forward to your comments below!

8cb64672c80a297e7ab6df2f0c435f47 64 4 Quick Conversion Rate Tips That Increased Online Sales by $500,000
Steven Macdonald is responsible for global SEO at SuperOffice and has been working with online marketing since 2005. Steven regularly contributes to the Tribes blog.
8cb64672c80a297e7ab6df2f0c435f47 64 4 Quick Conversion Rate Tips That Increased Online Sales by $500,000

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2 thoughts on “4 Quick Conversion Rate Tips That Increased Online Sales by $500,000

  1. Interesting post, thanks Steven.

    Love tip #1: quick, easy and effective, whilst your example in tip #2 is plain scary – that that wasn’t tested before the potential loss of over 3,900 orders, ouch!

    Under tip #4, I’d like to have known what portion of the remaining advance bookings converted naturally, ie what difference the new email made in comparison to their previous methods. Also, it would have been interesting to have tested another version of the above email, possibly amending the wording from “your free 48 hour cancellation period is almost over” to something more positive, for example “we’d like to give you another 12 hours to confirm your booking – we’d really love you to travel with us and experience …”

    Now we’re going off to see if we can up that 1% of marketing spend that’s spent on improving our conversions :)

    1. Sorry for the late reply, Dennis. I was away on vacation.

      I agree. Identifying the Javascript issue was an incredible find, but I’m very happy we have fixed the issue. Better late than never!

      Unfortunately, I don’t have the data on bookings that converted naturally. I left Hurtigruten last year, and only found the remarketing example by chance while browsing an old presentation.

      What I do know is that every single one of these bookings would have been canceled automatically if we hadn’t sent the email. We had to go in and extend each booking manually.

      I like your suggestion, and it’s something we could have tested.

      Happy converting! :)