3 Tips for Quicker Conversions

As a marketer, sometimes just getting people to convert on your site isn’t enough. In the name of growing your company and hitting your goals, you need them to convert faster. Instead of coming back to the website multiple times, or researching competitors before making a decision, you want them to buy from you or sign up for your service right away.

Good news is there are things you can do to encourage such speed.

Here are three tips for quicker conversions:

  1. Special Offers. Deploying specials and discounts on your website are a surefire way to get more people to commit sooner. When they come to your website for the first time, they are evaluating what you have to offer. But maybe they’re not in immediate need of your products. What will make them buy anyway is if they can take advantage of a special offer that might not be available next time they visit.
  2. Deadlines. Even better than a special offer is a special offer with a clearly defined deadline. Companies use deadlines to add a time element to the sales decision where there otherwise would not be one. Consumers weigh a number of options in a purchasing decision, no matter how small. By adding a time limit on their decision-making process, you are encouraging speedier decisions.
  3. Sales. A sales team is an important part of marketing. Without a sales team, you rely on the customer to make a decision on their own. This may take time. They may not feel that they have all the information they need to make a decision. With a sales team, you give the customer someone else to help them make a decision. Through inbound or outbound sales calls, you give the customer all the information they need, and walk them right through the buying process.

You don’t have to wait for the customer forever. These three tips are just a few of the things you can do to encourage faster decision-making, and boost your sales today.

Break the Rules – Part 8

Welcome to the latest edition of our brand new weekly series, Break the Rules. Each week our plan is to highlight something you will have heard from some marketing expert as a best practice to be disobeyed at your peril. And we’ll tell you why it’s a rule you should break.

Last week’s rule was Charge Enough to Cover Your Costs.

This week’s rule = Offer Discounts

Special offers bring in new business. That’s a fact. It’s been tested and proven over and over again.

But not every company does it. You would think that if discounts work to bring in customers, everyone would offer them. But they don’t. Why?

The answer to that question is the reason I’m telling you to break this rule.

Discounts and special offers can carry a negative connotation. In the mind of the consumer, you are changing the value of what you offer. And offering too many discounts can train consumers to look for discounts, meaning fewer and fewer people pay full price.

It’s a nasty spiral that many companies get caught in. Business is slow, so they start discounting to drive new business. It works so they start offering more discounts, bigger discounts, more frequent discounts. Soon, you have no choice but to continue to offer discounts because stopping would mean no more customers.

Companies that don’t discount at all are protecting their brand’s integrity. Luxury brands don’t discount, because discounting would mean they are no longer luxury.

So you have to decide as the marketer or brand manager how you want the consumer to view your company. If you want to compete at the high end of the price scale in your market, own it. Don’t fall into the discount trap when business slows down. All of your marketing efforts should go toward supporting the value you offer over and above the competition. If you succeed in that effort, you won’t have to discount.

So decide, and decide fast. Because once the discounting bug takes hold, it’s hard to shake it off.

Don’t believe me? Ask JCPenney.

Have a “rule” you think we should write about? Share it with us in the comments below or post it to Twitter @zheller using #marketingrules

If You Only Do One Thing – Part 8

Welcome to the latest installment of our new weekly blog series, If You Only Do One Thing. Every Monday, we will discuss one thing that you can start doing today to improve your marketing performance.

With so much advice floating around from so many different sources, it can be tough for marketers and small business owners to know where to focus. This series aims to help you out. Last week’s thing was Attend a Tradeshow.

Today’s Thing = Promote Special Offers

Consumers in most industries are price conscious. This means that you can get their attention with special offers.

Pricing is a key piece of marketing. It is one of the levers you can pull anytime to drive increased sales and generate interest in the marketplace. And if you’re not using that lever enough, now is a great time to start.

Special offers, sales, or discounts – however you want to refer to them – will help you drive business. And they can come in any number of forms.

A few of the most popular are free or discounted shipping, a dollar amount or percentage off, bulk or volume-based discounting, bundle or add-on pricing. Most companies see success when they offer a variety of these and other types of offers, instead of doing the same thing every time. It is a good idea for your business to try a number of different offers to find out what works best with your audience.

Another good idea for getting the most out of special pricing is to make it time-sensitive. Adding a deadline, and keeping the amount of time the offer is made limited, adds urgency to the decision-process, and will get more people to sign up.

Simply offering the special on your website isn’t enough if nobody knows about it. Make sure you announce it, both on the website and in any advertising you are already doing. This will drive more people to the site and should increase the conversion rate once they get there. Meaning more people will visit, and a greater percentage of them will buy.

If you’re not offering specials or discounts, this is one thing you should definitely start.

Share “If You Only Do One Thing” with all your marketing friends, and suggest future topics in the comments below or on Twitter @zheller. 

What to Test – Part 9

Welcome to the latest edition of our new weekly blog series, What to Test. Each week, we will introduce a new test idea. We’ll explain why it’s important to test it, what you might learn, how to carry out the test, and what to measure in order to determine a winner. Last week we tested Homepage Images.

The Test = Promotions


Testing different promotions is an essential part of the job if you’re a marketer. Discounts and special offers are key ways to generate sales. And it’s not enough to think you know what will work or stick to what you’ve done in the past. Good marketers are constantly testing different offers to find what works best and generates the most revenue.

There are a wide variety of different offers that you can test, but I will name a few of the ones you should think about starting with here.

Straight discounts are when you offer people a certain amount or percentage off. Discounts tied to quantity force people to spend a certain amount in order to save money. Free shipping, either on all purchases or purchases over a certain dollar amount, are a great way to sell physical goods online. Buy one get one is another example of a quantity discount. Free trials allow your customers to try your product without making a commitment and pay later.

Each of these promotions will create a different level of response from your prospective customers. Some will work at driving more traffic. Some will work at creating more sales. And some will work to create higher order values for each sale.

It’s important to test in order to know which offer, presented in the right way, generates the highest return.


Testing promotions can be done in a number of ways. If you have software that allows you to create different versions of your website and split visitors between them, you can test multiple promotions at once. Email marketing would also allow you to split your lists and send different offers to different people.

But if testing multiple offers and measuring them simultaneously does not work for you, can you still test different offers consecutively and learn which attracts more people and more customers. The key is to isolate what visitors and sales come from that specific offer that you would not have otherwise gotten. This can be measured with promotional codes or distinct landing and order pages.

Remember that it’s not just about which offer works best. You should also be testing the way in which you display or announce the offer. The placement of the promotion on your website, the email you use to announce it to your customer list, and the ads you run to promote the special should all be considered part of the test.

Anything to add? As always, use the comments below or Twitter #whattotest to keep the conversation going!

How to Add Urgency in Marketing

Urgency in marketing often leads to higher sales and more successful advertising or promotional campaigns. When you create urgency in the minds of your customers, you are in a sense forcing them into a quicker decision. You are turning a purchasing decision that would otherwise not be an impulse buy into one.

So how can you add urgency to your marketing?

1.       Deadlines and Expiration Dates.

Special offers and promotions are a great way to add urgency because you can make them only available for a limited time. Advertising an expiration date for people to take advantage of a discount encourages people to make a decision and sign up sooner. This can be utilized on the website in your sales or specials section, in email and direct mail marketing, and on landing pages for your online advertising campaigns.

Make sure people know what the deadline for the offer is, and make the process for signing up or checking out quick and simple.

2.       Limit Availability.

Urgency is immediately generated when supplies are limited. A limited availability strategy lets consumers know that if they don’t act now, others might and the product or service will sell out. Technology and consumer goods companies like Sony and Apple have long used limited availability to generate demand for new products, allowing people to preorder knowing that products will likely sell out very quickly.

When you purposely limit the supply of an item, you can increase the demand. Think about a class with only so many seats to fill, or an event with only so many tickets available. The urgency created with a limited availability offer can often lead to higher prices and more revenue than a deadline or expiration date on a promotion.

Think about how you can add urgency to your sales process, and begin to see higher conversion rates today!