What to Do When Your Startup Is Not Converting Enough Customers

Shaan Chagan 🤠
Nov 28, 2019 · 6 min read

ou’ve just launched or you’ve been around for a few years. Either way, you’ve put in the hours, blood, sweat and tears to push growth. But for some reason, things are still just going OK.

But why? Your customers rave about your product, your retention is sky high, what gives?

You pull a report and you noticed you see a huge dropoff from people visiting your landing page and converting into actual paying clients.

Ah-ha! You found out the problem…your website isn’t converting strong enough. Well…where do you start?

These 6 practices can help you convert more customers at a higher rate — and they are simple to put in place:

  1. Declutter
  2. Writing like you’re in 3rd grade
  3. How’s your email marketing strategy?
  4. Are you upfront about your pricing?
  5. Conversational Marketing
  6. Nailing the Persona you’re marketing to

Read on if one (or all) of these speak to you. It might just be the difference in booking your next big client.

1. Declutter

A study done by Microsoft says that our attention span is 8 seconds… which means you can’t afford to have a cluttered landing page. It’s too common that Startup websites and landing pages have excessive content.

And you’ve probably seen a site or two do this.

Start limiting the distractions on your website if you aren’t doing so already. Project exactly what your company does clearly and concisely right when they land there.

Creating more white space avoids confusion and increases the chances of the potential customer taking the next step.

Think…visual breathing. Here is an example of good vs. needs work:

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A great example of decluttering your space, Appcues.com
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While this can be overwhelming, a few quick fixes can work wonders.

Notice how different these landing pages are? Do you feel overwhelmed in the second example? You should.

2. Write Like A 3rd Grader

Don’t make the common mistake of writing copy on your website, blog and social media that’s too detailed.

Avoid jargon, complicated words and run-on sentences. Think about writing your copy and headlines as if you were speaking to a 3rd grader.

If you’re speaking out loud, what sounds better to you?

“My day today has been astronomically, fantastically exceptional.”


“My day has been great.”

The first phrase is awkward. If your copy is the same, it probably sounds awkward too.

Keeping it simple and readable can make a huge impact on the experience of your readers and how they engage with you.

If you’re not the best at copywriting, that’s OK. Use the Hemingway Editor to help you. Plug-in your content and make edits. If your sentences are tough to read it can provide simpler alternatives and make you rethink your word choice.

3. Create an Email Marketing Strategy

Not everyone will make a purchase with you the first time they land on your site. That’s a fact. But there is a way to leverage this to your advantage.

Give your potential customers a reason to want to work with you. It can be the most important driver in converting them into paying clients.

Create an email capture system and a newsletter. You can use free tools like MailChimp to create landing pages, manage your emails and create content for your subscribers.

Make your newsletter about interesting topics. Avoid using it to consistently sell your product. That’s not what it should be for.

What problems does your business solve for? Talk about those things.


Let’s say that you are a Software-as-a-Service startup that provides bookkeeping services. Provide simple tips and tricks on how they can solve simple bookkeeping mistakes without having to use your service.

You build trust, show that you are an expert and that you’re not in it for just the money.

Once they have a severe problem, guess who the first person they are going to think of when they need that service?

4. Be Upfront About Costs

The key here is to take away any obstacles that can impact acquiring new customers. Gary Vee often talks about speed and convenience and how it’s a very important factor in how customers make decisions.

“It’s all about SPEED.” — Gary Vee

The first thing you need to do is address objections that may come up about working with your company. On your pricing page, put together detailed FAQs about your services and industry.

Your potential customers will likely have concerns, and if they can’t get an answer to them right away, you will lose them.

Another tip is to be upfront about your costs. Even if it ranges depending on features or services.

Be careful not to lead with too many options. Because we are so indecisive, adding too many options can take attention away from a customer in your buying process.

5. Conversational Marketing and Chatbots

Your customers expect more. Conversational Marketing can impact your business and drive potential customers through a sales funnel, faster.

It is also the way to have real-time conversations with your potential customers through the entire buying process.

These key benefits of Conversational Marketing are from the company that invented the category, Drift:

  • You create a more human buying experience by engaging people in real-time on your website, while they are browsing
  • You learn a lot more about your buyers and customers including why they came to the site and their biggest problem that you can solve
  • You convert more leads by taking steps out of the typical buying process
  • You can shorten your sales cycle by qualifying your leads in real-time
  • You can grow your sales pipeline because you can have more conversations, quicker

You can install Drift for free. Plug it into your home page and give it a try. You’d be surprised at how much it will impact it can make.

6. Nail Down a Persona

It’s important to take the time and think about who your ideal customer is. Establishing a specific vertical to go after can be the key to strong growth.

Ask yourself a couple of questions about your ideal customer. Who are they? What is their problem? What do they do?

The route you don’t want to go down is targeting a customer that won’t convert. You wouldn’t sell football equipment to a baseball player, would you?

Get as detailed as possible with your persona. Make up a name, pinpoint an age, even write a story about their life. The more real that you make this, the more you will attach yourself and your brand to this type of customer.

Example persona profile:

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Credit: Daniel Walter Scott

Avoid the spray and pray method. You can go down a slippery slope if you spend marketing dollars on people who won’t buy your product or service.

Create cohesiveness from the time that your ideal person learns about your brand all the way to the close.

This will make it easier for you to build your brand because you will have a specific persona in mind. You also help increase your conversions on your website when you know you can solve this specific person’s problem.

Now that you’ve read through, you’ve probably realized that there a few things that you can fix.

Go out there and get em’, your future customer is waiting.

Shaan Chagan is a media professional at The Hustle. He is the founder of the podcast marketing company Wittier Company. You can reach him at shaan@wittier.co for feedback, questions, and inquiries.

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