When asked what constitutes a conversion, businesses often think ‘sales’ and ‘customer acquisition.’ This is a very narrow view of your business, however. Purchases aren’t the only type of conversion that is meaningful. Consider all the things that that lead up to making a sale. Below are 6 other valuable types of conversions that should be a priority for your business. Not only are they important, but they can lead to an increase in sales when nurtured properly!
1. Phone Calls
Phone calls are definitely at the top of the list for conversions. In fact, they’re the hottest leads you can get! What makes phone calls so valuable, you ask? A potential customer who takes the time to find your number and place a call, likely has an urgent request – whether they’re seeking more information about your products or services, or hoping to connect with your team for assistance in making a purchase, these customers are actively engaged. They’re no longer in the ‘just looking’ stage of their purchase; they’re seeking out a deeper level of connection and require immediate attention. You have a much higher chance of closing a new sale or upselling to an existing customer that has placed an inbound call to your business.
How your business can make the most of phone calls:
Savvy businesses train anyone on their team who answers a phone how to transform phone calls into sales. Whether that means having a phone script, or a more organic customer service oriented approach will depend on your business. Also, if your company receives a high volume of phone calls, consider trying phone tracking for all your marketing initiatives (especially online marketing) to measure, analyze and improve your company’s response to phone calls, and also understand the sources that drove those call conversions.
2. Contact Forms
Your website’s contact form is another valuable source of leads. While a contact form isn’t as hot a lead as a phone call, it still represents a customer who is seeking information and is looking for somebody to get back to them with answers. They may still be in the research phase and potentially putting an inquiry through on several sites to compare answers; however, how your business responds to that lead and how quickly you get back to them, may sway that lead to do business with you versus a competitor. Nonetheless, their precious contact information is an opportunity to close a sale.
How your business can make the most of contact forms:
Make it easy for customers to find your contact form anywhere on your website. Consider including a short 3-5 field contact form on every page of your website, or make sure each page includes a noticeable call-to-action button that links directly to your contact form. Also, keep your form brief. Request a name, email, phone number and comments in order increase the response rate. Get the info you absolutely need. The less you ask for, the better!
3. Email Subscribers
When a customer trusts you with their email, they’re handing you a precious key into their daily routine. According to Business Insider, over a third of people check their email frequently (more than 10 times) throughout the day. Only 1.6% of respondents said they check their email less than once a day.
As you can imagine, having a line of communication into this ubiquitous medium is incredibly valuable to your business. Email puts your brand front and centre on customers’ and potential customers’ phones, keeping your brand top of mind. Best of all, email is the gift that keeps giving. As long as you don’t abuse your email marketing privileges (and irritate customers into unsubscribing), it’s a way to keep in touch for the foreseeable future.
How your business can make the most of email marketing:
Given the instantaneous nature of email marketing, the medium is ideal for sharing of-the-moment updates, such as promotions and sales that have a time limit. It’s also useful for keeping customers up-to-date about your business, such as through a monthly or weekly newsletter. Just make sure not to email too frequently! Studies show that about once a week is the sweet spot. Any more, you risk oversaturation. Any less, you might not be using email marketing to its full potential.
However, depending on the nature of your business, especially if you’re a B2B operation, once a month may be all you need to stay connected and top-of-mind with your connections.
4. Social Media Likes & Follows
Whether it’s a ‘like,’ a +1, or a retweet, social media engagement is incredibly important to businesses in the digital age. Much like email, social media offers a direct line into your customers’ daily routine. However, unlike email marketing, customers place more trust in social media marketing. Where email marketing is often viewed as very sales-oriented, social media marketing is deemed more organic and customer-oriented. Engaging customers on social media not only humanizes your business and makes it more likable, it can also help form ‘brand ambassadors’ who share your content and extend your brand’s reach.
How your business can make the most of social media engagement:
Social media is built on the notion of interaction. When customers engage with you, engage back! That can mean responding to comments, following customers back, or simply sharing a steady stream of relevant content visitors find genuinely useful or interesting. You’ll find the more you interact, the stronger your social presence becomes! When you engage with your social followers, you’ll find they’ll share, post, like and interact with your brand in return. Every time they do, they are helping extend your reach to their followers, thus helping grow your brand organically.
5. Downloading Information
You might have noticed a common theme among many of the types of conversions listed above: more often than not, they involve a potential customer seeking additional information from your business. Naturally, downloadables such as white papers, informational PDFs, menus, infographics, presentations, brochures and instruction manuals fall into this category as well. A customer who downloads any of these things is likely in the research phase prior to making a purchase decision. Your business simply needs to nudge them over the edge.
How your business can make the most of downloads:
Make sure that the downloadable item is well branded and has your business’s contact information displayed throughout. After all, when the person who downloaded it is ready to make a purchase, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to connect with you. There’s nothing worse than providing great information for your customers to download and keep, then missing out on a sale because they ended up on Google searching for competitor instead! If they download from you, make sure they make their way back to you.
6. Positive Online Reviews
Of all the types of conversions on this list, online reviews are one of the most valuable long-term conversions for your brand. Online reviews of your business build your company’s credibility and are often a deciding factor in future customers deciding to do business with you. A whopping 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from a friend.
As you can imagine, a handful (or more) of glowing reviews can lead to more future business than just about anything else on this list! As if that wasn’t enough reason to be clamouring for reviews of your business, they’re often an important ranking factor for search engine algorithms. Positive reviews indicate that your business is credible and trusted, so your website is given a competitive edge in search rankings.
How your business can make the most of online reviews:
As you probably know, customers are more likely to leave a review after a bad experience. If this does happen, respond swiftly with decisive action. Check out our blog on the subject of collecting and responding to reviews. Also, make sure you encourage customers who have a positive experience to post review as well. Consider handing out a card or sending out a Thank You email with your Google+, Facebook or Yelp review links, to encourage customers to leave a review. You’d be surprised how often a small nudge can help!
Do you find that these types of conversions are valuable to your business? How do they factor into your cost per acquisition (CPA)? We’re interested in hearing what types of conversions your business values.