Over the years I’ve talked with hundreds of clients and potential clients… conversion optimization wannabees & newbies… and optimizations masters as well.
In that time I’ve discovered an easy-to-fix mistake which is one of the key differentiators between newbies and masters.
It’s controlling what happens BEFORE people hit your website.
This is known as preselling.
Preselling is something very few people know about or do. It’s something that the majority of people never give a second thought to.
Yet it can have dramatic increases in your conversion rates.
Why Pre-Selling Helps Increase Conversion Rates
What happens before a person visits your website is equally as important than what happens while they’re actually on your website.
To show you what I mean, let me give you an example.
Say there’s a restaurant in your town you haven’t tried yet. You and your friend are thinking of going out that night, so you ask one of your friends if they’ve ever been to said restaurant.
Not only have they been there, it’s their favorite place!
“Yup, that’s a great restaurant” (Image credit: M. Pratter @ Flickr)
Responses like this give the restaurant a cloud of trust, immediately. In most cases you’ll have already made up your mind that you want to eat there. You won’t check prices, you won’t look at other restaurants, many times you won’t even look at the menu to see if you like it.
In other words, your thought sequence, the key driver in any decision you make, was directly led by the “testimonial” of your friend into a quick YES from you.
Trust, as you can tell, is the key to making preselling effective.
You probably already know that trust is a key driver of increasing conversion rates on your sales page. But it’s even more important when you can build trust BEFORE they go to your sales page.
The reason is because most people visit a website with a negatively preconceived notion about that website.
Because society has conditioned us not to believe what we read online. Therefore before anybody sees your website, they already don’t believe you.
Tough hill to climb, isn’t it?
It is, unless you build trust and credibility before they ever see your website. That’s where preselling comes in.
5 Ways To Use PreSelling To Increase Conversion Rates
Let’s get down to some brass tacks and specific takeaways.
There are many ways to use preselling and build trust. Here are 5 ways you can do it that will increase the conversion rates you’re seeing on your website.
Tactic #1: Use PreSell Landing Pages
One unique test I’ve done with clients is setting up a page before the regular sales page that establishes trust and credibility for the product owner (or the product itself). This is one that works very well sometimes, and doesn’t work as well other times.
(Image credit: SeeWhy.com)
As usual, you have to A/B test.
Tactic #2: Recreate Your Ads To Establish Proof
The ads people see before hitting your website are crucial. Most people only focus on increasing the amount of clicks they get. That’s idiotic. Instead you need to focus on which ads will give you the most overall sales.
(The same applies for emails, by the way)
One of the ways you can do this is by establishing some type of proof in the mind of the prospect inside your ad. You can talk about specific results, or qualifications to working with you, or a number of different messages that make you seem different and unique from your competitors.
Tactic #3: Changing Your Traffic Channels
Every business, bar none, has certain traffic channels that convert much better than other traffic channels.
For example, you’ll be proud to know that clients I receive as a result of posting these guest articles on the Visual Website Optimizer blog tend to be much higher quality than those I get from something like pay per click campaigns.
Referrals also tend to attract a much higher quality, while people finding me via SEO are not.
YOU have that exact same setup in your business as well. You may get a higher quantity of customers/clients from one traffic source, but other traffic sources may give you a much higher quality of customer/client. You’d be surprised the difference it makes when you focus on quality over quantity.
If you want to read more about this idea, I highly recommend the book “The Pumpkin Plan” by Mike Michalowicz.
Tactic #4: Viral Customer Support
Want to know why Zappos is an amazing, billion dollar company? Customer support. Improving your customer support and simply making your business EASY to talk about is one of the best and most effective ways to increase conversion rates.
Click image to see larger version (Image credit: Fonolo.com)
Because it establishes trust. If you get people talking positively about you, the people they tell will hit your website with positive expectations. If you can meet those expectations, or at least come close, you’ll close the sale.
Tactic #5: Diversifying Your Traffic Sources
Building your brand increases trust. When people see your name over and over again, you automatically appear as “THE” market leader in your industry.
Understand, I’m a hardcore direct response marketing guy. I don’t do much with branding (except take advantage of the natural branding that occurs with direct response marketing). But what I do know is that the more people see your name, the more they trust you.
The most effective way to do that?
Be seen in multiple media.
This is neuro-linguistic programming territory. It all happens unconsciously. But it’s one of the main reasons product launches work so well. When you begin seeing someones name on a PPC ad, then by 3 affiliates, then via radio, then on banners, etc. your mind begins to link frequency with trust.
“Even the president relies on multiple sources of traffic!” (Image credit: HitWise)
Here are 10 different traffic sources I recommend you begin utilizing immediately to make this take effect.
- PPC ads on multiple search engines (Google, Bing, etc.)
- Banner ads
- Text link ads
- Solo email ads
- Affiliate marketing/JV’s
- Direct mail letters
- Radio and/or TV (if it makes sense)
- Magazine ads
- Voicemail marketing
If You Want To Increase Conversion Rates Consider The Entire Funnel
The point of this article is to get you thinking a little differently. If you begin thinking about your sales funnel as a whole, instead of separate pieces to a puzzle, you’ll begin to increase conversion rates on your website.
Just as your body moves as a whole, not individual parts, so does your website CONVERT as a whole. Each step of the experience molds together into the single experience your customer goes through.
If you can think of your sales process in that way, you’ll begin thinking of new ways and new ideas you can implement to achieve higher conversion rates.
Good luck, and feel free to comment below!