Explode Your Inbound Marketing Lead Generation

lead generation tipsIf you needed any evidence that inbound marketing is every bit as much of a science as an art, consider conversion optimization. It’s the process of continual improvement cyclcing – run experiments and tests, act on the results, and improve. A/B testing and conversion optimization shouldn’t ever stop – unless you wouldn’t like the 30+% higher lead generation that smart testing can produce. To inspire you to step up your game, we’ve curated a long list of the sharpest conversion tips we’ve found anywhere:

1. Color has Meaning – @NeilPatel

Never underestimate the color of your backgrounds, text, and images. In fact, many conversion experts believe it’s the most disruptive element, and should be tested first.

2. Pilot a ‘Lite’ Alternative – @Sherice

For organizations who have the ability to quickly pivot and adjust their product or service offerings, consider testing conversion rates of your service in smaller, lower-priced quantities.

3. A/B Testing Doesn’t Affect Your SEO – @NeilPatel

This is one of the most pervasive and unfounded SEO myths online – unless you’re A/B testing a page that doesn’t adhere to Google’s guidelines, you’re probably in the clear.

4. Incentivize Your Colleagues – @mathauser

Your coworkers could have some untapped, brilliant ideas on new and innovative experiments to run that have the potential to make your conversion rate skyrocket.

5. Think in Terms of “Get” – @ContentVerve

If you’re stumped on concepts for CTA copywriting, start you brainstorming process around headlines that begin with the word “get.” It makes you analyze what your prospect is getting by converting.

6. No Unpleasant Surprises – @Sherice

If your advertised “$99.99 special” doesn’t include twenty dollars in shipping and handling and tax, don’t advertise it. Higher lead generation is meaningless if you aren’t closing deals.

7. Social Proof isn’t Always the Best Proof – @NeilPatel

While social proof is often a powerful factor in optimizing conversions, it doesn’t always work that way. Never assume anything!

8. Be Cautious of Lift vs. Shift – @GPryzklenk

If your sparkly new call-to-action is just causing lower conversion on other landing pages, that’s an example of shift -conversion on your website has shifted. If your SEO-optimized landing page is drawing in a high volume of visitors from search, that’s shift. Strive for shift.

9. Don’t Say “Buy” – @ContentVerve

Unless your brand has an especially short sales cycle, avoid asking people to “buy” in a call-to-action or banner ad. In Michael Aagaard’s experience, it rarely works.

10. Be Careful with Hype – @GPryzklenk

Well-meaning inclusion of social proof can have undesired consequences. Always get your customer’s written permission to use their words, faces, and logos on your website before optimizing around them.

11. MacroConversions Matter – @NeilPatel

What are you really measuring? A 10% higher conversion rate on a CTA doesn’t have too much meaning if your lead-to-customer conversions are extraordinarily low. Patel recommends looking deeper into your inbound marketing analytics to determine your “macroconversions” – lead to customer close ratio, and we can’t help but agree!

12. Button Copy Matters – @ContentVerve

The color of your calls-to-action really matters, but Aagaard believes your words matter just as much. In fact, he’s referred to content-optimization as “low hanging fruit!”

13. Know Where You Can Compete – @PaulRouke

Maybe your brand isn’t the cheapest in your space – and that’s fine. However, your buttons and offers should emphasize the quality or convenience you offer instead.

14. Use Image Captions – @ChrisGowan

Not every CMS easily supports the inclusion of image captions, but they’re a prime place to put links to your landing pages when convenient.

15. Your Websites Should Be Your Best Sales Person – @ConversionFac

Stephen Pavlovich recommends designing landing pages to be a digital version of your company’s best sales rep – brilliant!

16. Long form copy isn’t always the worst – @Sherice

There’s no law that says you can’t test out longer landing pages or calls-to-action with more text. You should, however, ensure that your content is tightly-written, persuasive, and to-the-point.

17. Choose Responsive Design – @Mobify

Did you know that no single screen size has more than 20% market share? Your optimization testing may be worthless if you’re not using responsive or mobile-optimized design.

18. Survey Your Customers – @ConversionFac

Great marketers get data and insights anywhere they can – including surveying and interviews of their current customer base!

19. Put Your Privacy Info in a Pop-Up -@ChrisGowan

For the rare users who want to delve into your privacy policy before converting, keep them on the page by setting your privacy policy to open in a pop-up, not another page.

20. Test Factual versus Emotive – @ChrisGowan

Do your prospects respond better to data-driven, or emotional value propositions? You’ll never know unless you test.

21. Remove Promo Code Boxes – @PaulRouke

Unless you’re offering a widely-available promo code, eCommerce retailers should remove the box in between special promotions. Paul Rouke has found that it just encourages shoppers to leave the site in search of a promotion.

22. Consider Your CTA “Scent Trail” – @ChrisGowan

One of the funniest ways we’ve ever heard anyone describe the process of matching your website’s language to your call-to-action text is a “CTA scent trail.” Keep it consistent.

23. Stretch the Limits of What’s Normal – @Sherice

Sometimes, the most powerful way to increase conversions is to offer something your competitors don’t. Sherice Jacob advises offering 60 or 90 day guarantees if your competitors just offer 30 days.

24. Be Trustworthy – @GaryPryzklenk

For small businesses or newer brands, establishing a trustworthy website should come before any complex testing. If your website doesn’t have a well-written privacy policy, a clear “contact us” page and contact info on each page, establish those first.

25. Consider a “Big Orange Button” – @ChrisGowan

Every marketer should have a few foolproof conversion tricks up their sleeve. For Gowan, it’s big orange buttons – his site is sprinkled with them. In fact, he’s even nicknamed his buttons “B.O.B.”

26. Banish “I” – @Sherice

There’s few absolutes in the world of conversion optimization, but self-centered language may be one of them. Jacobs recommends banishing the terms “I” and “our” from your website, and focusing on customer-centric language like “you” and “your.”

27. Be Cautious With Promotions – @GPryzklenk

While special deals can cause your conversions and sales to quickly spike, these new buyers could have limited lifetime value. Gary Pryzklenk points out that many internet buyers are conditioned to get the most for the least. Don’t give out rates that you can’t afford unless you’re converting customers for life.

While this list is by no means a comprehensive snapshot of the conversion brilliance available to inbound marketers, it’s a start. Apply conventional wisdom to your optimization practices, but never be afraid to see what results an unexpected idea will yield. Conversion can surprise you.

What are your most-valued and brightest inbound marketing conversion tips?

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