7 Simple Steps to Quickly Convert More Online Leads
Your business can thrive in the digital world, if you do the right things. And first on that list is learning how to convert more online leads.
You work hard for your leads. You spend a lot of money to get them. Yet only 20% of qualified leads become customers.
Why is that?
These people have given you their info, passed your screenings, and are clearly interesting in what you offer. So why aren’t they converting?
We’ll cover several reasons why your online leads aren’t converting, and - more importantly - what you can do to convert more of them.
As you read, keep your current numbers in mind. Like how much it costs to get a new customer, and what they’ll spend with you over their customer lifetime.
Even a 1% increase in your conversion rates can lead to a 10%, 20%, or higher increase in your overall profit! That means following just one of these simple steps could easily grow your business by 10% or more.
Why should I focus on online leads, instead of other leads?
If you get a lead from a personal referral (good job!), you can do almost anything and still get their business. Referrals are incredibly powerful, and we're trusting you don’t need help there.
Whoever they are, your targets are virtually guaranteed to be online. People spend anywhere from a few hours to 10+ hours online a day!
We’re online for work, for leisure, for entertainment, for just about everything.
That’s why you should focus on getting and converting online leads. It’s where your audience lives!
Another reason - and a big advantage - is that everything online can be tracked.
You can know where each lead comes from, what they do on your site, what marketing messages they engage with, and more.
This data is crucial, because it gives you direction and insight for your future decisions. That’s a lot better than just blasting out commercials!
Normally, it's more efficient and profitable for your business to focus on online leads. So how can you convert more of them?
1. Make it easier.
Whenever you want to improve something between your business and your customers, the default should be to make it easier.
Make what easier?
You shop at the grocery store near your home or your job, because that’s easier than going to the store all the way across town.
You use Facebook to connect with friends and family, because it’s easier than writing letters to everyone.
No one wants to make their life more difficult, but everyone wants to make their life easier. When you simplify what you do and how you do it, everyone wins!
This applies to your website, your marketing, your sales funnel, and your business as a whole.
2. Follow up till you get the “no.”
Most online leads never convert, because your salesmen and your marketers give up.
Well, they should be focusing on the hottest leads, right?
As impulsive as we’d like to think our targets’ buying habits are, the truth is everyone goes through a process before purchasing, particularly if it’s a big ticket item, or if it’s for their business.
This process takes time.
Over 80% of sales come after at least 5 follow-ups. Yet it’s estimated that 44% of salesmen never follow up more than once, and 92% follow up less than 5 times.
You can’t just give up on your leads! Who knows when the time will be right for that person to buy?
Lucky for you, following up is easy.
It might come in emails, phone calls, texts, or retargeting online, but every lead needs to hear from you repeatedly.
If you aren’t following up with your online leads until they either purchase or tell you “never contact me again,” you are substantially missing out.
3. Make it faster.
Do you know how long the average viewer spends on your website?
About 15 seconds.
You might see an “average session duration” of much longer in your analytics. But if you look at individual session times, most of your viewers probably jump ship instantly.
Why would they do that?
Probably because you aren’t fast enough.
But if they’re already a lead, why would it matter how fast we are?
Because those people still need to go back to your website to read your content, buy your stuff, create their account, or learn more about what you do.
If you’re not fast enough, your leads won’t convert.
After all, 40% of viewers leave a webpage if it takes even 3 seconds to load. So your website needs to be as quick as possible.
If you need to get your webmaster on board, both of these tools also give recommendations on what to change.
Just as important as making your website faster is allowing viewers to get what they need faster.
If I show up to your website for the first time, how easy is it to find and get what I need?
How easy is it for me to sign up, view pricing, learn how it works, or see what others are saying about your products and services?
These questions are why so much emphasis is placed on “above the fold” content - everything that’s viewable on the screen without scrolling. Your most important details need to be front and center.
Whatever is above the fold will get the most attention, so plan accordingly.
What do you want viewers to see first? What will be most helpful for them?
To make things easier, you’ll need to understand your typical viewer (Lucky Orange is a good tool for this). When you more quickly give people what they want, you’ll convert more online leads.
When people search online, they don't just look at one company.
They view content, download resources, get quotes, and research several brands before making a decision.
That means your online leads are probably also your competitor’s online leads. Why should they choose you?
People generally don’t care about finding the greatest product in the world, and they don’t always care about the best deal, either.
We care about solving our problem quickly. In fact, speed is such an important factor in consumer behavior that up to 50% of all sales go to the vendor who responds first.
Not the vendor who gives the best answers.
Not the vendor who has the best products, or the most cost efficient option. And not the vendor who creates the biggest “wow factor.”
The vendor who gets nearly half of all sales is the one quickest to respond to prospects's needs. If you want to convert more online leads, you need reach them faster.
Triggered emails are great, but the easiest way to reach your leads faster is to text them.
99% of texts are read, virtually all within a few minutes. Texts have an average response rate of 45%, and an average response time of 90 seconds.
What’s faster than that? When you can reach your leads faster, you’ll inevitably convert more of them.
4. Be direct.
When left alone, we tend to do nothing. It’s like when your spouse asks you to do something.
Would you have done it without them asking? Probably not. You at least would have waited longer to do it.
But when they asked you, and then when they asked you again (and again), you moved closer and closer to getting the job done. The same applies to your leads.
You need to ask them, tell them, and prompt them to take action.
Otherwise, they won’t do anything! And all those resources you spent getting those leads will be wasted.
Do you want them to read an article? Schedule a demo? Purchase?
Give your online leads a very simple call-to-action whenever you interact with them.
The call-to-action shouldn’t always to purchase. If they’re only cool leads, make the call-to-action something that will move them to the next stage of your funnel, like scheduling a webinar, or reading a customer case study.
Once they’re far enough along in your sales funnel to be considered a hot lead, then ask them to purchase.
If you don’t encourage leads to do something at every stage, they’ll just sit around and do nothing. When your call-to-actions are clear, simple, and direct, you’ll convert more online leads.
5. Grease the wheels.
When something isn’t working smoothly - like a door hinge or a part of your vehicle - the go-to solution is to add a little grease.
When your sales funnel gets sticky, and leads aren’t flowing like they should, do the same thing. Add a little grease.
Add something to your sales funnel that will help it run more smoothly. But what?
The exact answer depends on your business and what you’re already doing, but here are a couple of options.
Add another step.
Leads often won’t make it from one stage of your funnel to the next, because you’re asking them to take too large a step.
Instead of taking a lead from new visitor straight to purchase, for instance, you might need to slip another step or two (or several) in between.
Maybe ask them to read a case study on one of your other customers (and what the ROI was, if applicable).
Instead of trying to take an email subscriber straight to purchase, maybe you should share a piece of content on the problems your product or service solves, or to watch a video.
At the end of the article or video, maybe you should ask them to schedule a call.
People are much more likely to take smaller steps than bigger ones. If you want to convert more online leads, try adding smaller steps in between stages.
Change up what you’re doing.
Doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity, right? So if your calls, emails, and other campaigns aren’t working well for you, switch it up!
Try different advertisements and channels, different emails, different content, and different methods of communication.
Something simple that’s proven to boost sales by 100% or more is texting - actual conversations, not just blast marketing.
Whenever you get an online lead, follow up with them with a text. It’s simple and effective.
If you’re not converting online leads like you want, add a little grease! Add an extra step or change up what you’re doing to smooth out the process.
6. Focus on a few key numbers.
There’s a lot of data out there, and if you try to focus on all of it, you’ll just get bogged down. That’s not helpful.
Instead, hone in on a few important figures, like:
- cost per qualified lead
- cost per acquisition
- bounce rate, and
- new visitor to lead conversion rate
Lifetime value of a customer is also an important figure, but it falls more into customer success than customer conversions.
What these numbers can show you is where to focus your efforts. What part of your funnel needs to be easier?
If your new website visitor to lead rate is low (benchmark is 4%), you know to focus on improving your lead capture.
What can you do to get more conversions on your top pages?
Exit forms, content downloads, or other on-page lead capture forms might be right for you. You can also offer discounts and promotions.
There are plenty of options, so start by trying one or two and seeing what happens. Then repeat.
If your new user bounce rate is bad (benchmark is 25% - 30%), you might need to make your pages more relevant to your target audience.
What do people actually want when they get to your site? And what are you doing that’s driving people away?
(Note: Blog bounce rates are always way higher, and that's normally okay.)
After you get a lead, can you ever reach them again? After someone’s done a demo, how quickly do they convert (or tell you to shove it)?
The purpose in gathering data is to see what you can improve. To convert more online leads, focus on just a few key metrics, and take action where you can.
7. Test, optimize, repeat.
The golden rule in converting leads is to test, optimize, and repeat.
If you have the resources, the easiest way to test is to pit two options against each other.
Send half of your viewers or leads option 1, and the other half option 2. This A/B testing lets you directly compare which option works better - with real results.
You should test and optimize for:
- copy and phrasing
And every other aspect of both your website and your sales funnel.
If you don’t know what works better, you won’t be able to improve, and you won’t convert more leads.
Test a couple of options, optimize accordingly, and then move on to the next thing you want to test. T
o convert more online leads, you need to know what they engage with best. The only way to learn is it to test.
There are plenty of things you can do to convert more online leads, but truthfully, it will always boil down to one thing.
Make it easier!
People always want an easier way, and that makes your job simple. Cut the fluff, and walk your leads through simple stages.
By focusing on making things easier at every turn, you will inevitably convert more online leads, and build an amazing business along the way.