What Causes People to Convert?

We’re always trying to nail down the elusive formula for conversion. How can I get people to click, sign-up, or buy? While it’s a subject that could be discussed at length, here are some high points for you to think about.


Are you going after the right market? You’re on a sinking ship if you’re doing your dance for the wrong audience. Who’s the person you should be marketing to? Don’t know? You need to figure it out and fast. First, segment your customers and build profiles around them. Next, compare your conversion rate across different profiles and from different channels. Last, check out your competition. See what you can find out about their conversions and how you can apply that information to your own situation.

We all know the term top of the funnel and we’ve all felt the struggle of figuring out the best way to reach it. The best way to overcome this is to be inventive with your content, so that you’re not only helpful but inpactful. Lately, there’s been oodles of marketers pleading for meaningful content. But how do you make your content meaningful? It’s obviously easier said than done.

It seems like a more feasible feat for all of the B2C companies out there. For example, say you’re a company that sells socks. I can see an emotional commercial with adorable siblings with bedhead shocking each other after shuffling across big fuzzy carpets. Their adorable dogs, golden retrievers the family dog, take naps on the floor and drolly roll their eyes at the adorable shenanigans of their tiny hoo-mans. (If you use my idea I expect to be richly compensated!)

Now, I know all my B2B data driven brethren out there are thinking, “but what about me?” I understand my friends!

The truth is there is value to your product, or it wouldn’t exist. Making meaningful content means understanding the limitations of your industry and using those limitations to your advantage. If your product helps your customers save time, you’re helping them capture that unicorn creature known as work-life balance. That may not seem like a big deal, but helping people focus on what they do best is a win-win situation for everyone. Think about how you can capture that message and share it with your prospects.

No jargon, please.

Your prospects are people, so talk to them like it. They don’t want to hear about the latest buzzword in the industry loosely associated with something in your hemisphere. Industry jargon creates a whole mess of visionary clutter that can distract (or worse get rid of ) your prospects. This circles back to our previous point. Who are you marketing to? If you’re aiming for the top of that imaginary funnel those customers probably have no idea what you’re talking about when you start throwing around industry lingo. I know it’s hard when you don’t have your vernacular crutches but, trust me it’s worth the effort. Not only does it get easier with practice but it’s the only way to write genuinely good content.

Wistia is a company I admire for their droolworthy content. Their library of informative videos is a wondrous place for video DIY. But these videos serve a bigger purpose. They help turn interested prospects into customers by showing them how to make videos that their platform could host. That’s strategic marketing. Do yourself a favor and go browse their shelves.

A/B Testing

This goes beyond reaffirming everyone’s loathing for comic sans. A larger goal is testing to create segmentation of your customers. Yes, test placement of your CTA’s but also test if prospects like your emails at breakfast or bedtime (Disclaimer! Reading emails in bed is a health hazard!).

Take it a step further and test customization. If you’re a B2C company, don’t just remind someone via email that they left an item in their cart, make a suggestion based on an item they’ve previously purchased. Maybe they need that perfect pair of boots in red too.

Being from Texas, I’ve always chuckled at stores trying to sell me sweaters in October when it’s still eighty degrees outside. So instead of making a generic countdown to fall for all your customers, think about where your customers may be physically located and tweak your marketing strategy to accommodate and wow.

Web Design?

Your website shouldn’t look like you’re stuck in the early 2000’s unless you’re selling something not quite retro or are George RR Martin. (His LiveJournal does exist.) If you’d like some helpful tips about having an optimal website in 2015, read this pre-approved article.

You should also consider the speed of your website. Kissmetrics says that 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. When you make visitors to your site wait their attention-span-clocks are ticking, and a lagging load time is a quick way to lose viewers. Check out industry leader Neil Patel’s article on simple ways to convert prospects into customers in which he talks more in depth about this issue.

Give ’em What They Came For

Once your prospects have engaged with your website, don’t fussy up the process with information they don’t need. You need to streamline your messaging and hand them the information they want. It might seem like a no brainer, but your homepage should clearly tell them about your product or service.

A company that does this well is Quip. I know you’re thinking, “What’s to explain? They’re like Google docs without the Google.” Zip over to Quip’s website to see what I’m talking about in action. When you get there you’ll see a homepage that’s clean and immediately asks you to sign in (or up) for their service. Scroll down and check out all the big name companies that already use Quip. Keep scrolling and they give you compelling reasons as to why these big name companies use their services. By keeping their information to the point and their visuals to a minimum Quip exemplifies a company showing themselves off in the best light.


Here’s the recap for all my skimmers out there:

  1. Knowing your potential customers and how you’re going to reach them will help you fill your top of funnel.
  2. Test for segmentation to create a better experience for prospects and make them into customers.
  3. Great web design includes optimization as well as aesthetics.
  4. Give people easy to understand info about what you do or offer.