Well, it’s that time of year again: Fourth quarter marketing audit time. A time of extra coffee, the pulling of proverbial teeth, and long nights spent compiling four quarters worth of marketing analytics into an investor-friendly report.


You’re great! No really, you are. We know it; you know it; but if people aren’t visiting your website, how will they know it?


Now that you have a better idea of where in the consumer journey your clients are losing interest (hint-hint, it’s in Part 1), it’s time to crank those conversion rates as high as they can go!

Conversion rates are a useful statistic for any successful business.

A lot of businesses struggle with static or falling conversion rates. Not to worry! A low conversion rate doesn’t necessarily portend doom for a business, but it can be an indicator that something isn’t right.

If your conversion rates are stuck in neutral – or worse – try one of these four tactics to get them in the gear you want.

1) Error 404: Consumer Not Found

We’ve all been there: You’re shopping online, and click on a link for a DVD rewinder offering. But instead of being greeted by a colorful listing advertising low, low prices, you get a bland error page telling you your broadband took a wrong turn somewhere. How infuriating!

Well, maybe you’ve never needed to buy DVD rewinders, but the concept still holds true.

But the 404 experience doesn’t have to be like that. Did you know your business can design its own 404 page to be displayed in the event your webpage is unreachable? (This happens more often than you might think.) Well you can, and you should use it as an opportunity to keep your customers engaged.

A few simple lines of copy like: “Congratulations! You’ve found our secret webpage! But you know what isn’t a secret? Our great deals!” can turn an otherwise unpleasant experience into an amusing one that lessens the frustration of not being able to reach your webpage. But more importantly, it creates a desire for visitors to give your business another chance.

Here’s a website with great examples of fantastic 404 pages to help you learn to error with style.

2) Don’t Cut the Coupons

Not surprisingly, a big part of customer conversion is customer retention. Just because a customer bought something from you once, doesn’t guarantee they’ll do it again.

But if you entice them to continue buying from you with limited-time deals available on the “thank you” page after they make a purchase, they are more likely to return. In fact, a study demonstrated 6 out of 10 customers claim these deals as the reason for staying loyal to a brand. Doing this for the first few purchases goes a long way towards ensuring they stay converted.

This one might seem like a no-brainer, but a lot of businesses don’t make this a priority, and they miss the mark.

3) Can the CAPTCHAs!

Now this may seem a bit counterintuitive, but hear us out: CAPTCHAs. Are. Not. User-friendly.

We know, we know, you need those confounded contraptions to keep all the spambots at bay. But requiring your customers to prove they aren’t robots by typing the Fibonacci sequence backwards while standing on their head and barking like a dog isn’t a great way to make them want to buy something from you.

All right, that was a bit of an exaggeration, but the reality isn’t much better. Let’s look at an example.

Just recently we were trying to set up an email account for a Stealth employee. When we got to the registration page it asked us to fill out a seven-letter CAPTCHA. The letters were warped beyond all recognition, and at one point we had three people pouring over it trying to figure out what to type. Eventually we tried (and failed) to type the CAPTCHA, and they gave us a new one that was 12 letters long – 12!

Imagine if that had been your customer. After two attempts they’d probably never consider using your business again!

But don’t take our word for it. A new study suggests using CAPTCHAs can actually drop your conversion rates by 3%!

Yes, you’ll be dealing with more spam, but your conversion rates will thank you.

4) Move It or Lose It

A lot of ad agencies will tell you the key to eCommerce conversion is creating a sense of urgency. They even recommend things like putting up fake timers to drive a customer’s stress through the roof and nudge them towards making an impulse buy out of fear.

As it turns out, this is more transparent than you might think. Customers can be turned off by these cheap sales tactics.

The real timer starts counting down once a customer makes up their mind to make a purchase from you, and you’re the one on the clock! At this point, customers have decided they want the product, and they want it now! The worst thing you can do is make them wait.

Speeding up your landing pages and simplifying your checkout process are two great techniques to streamline the whole ordeal, ensuring your customer makes a purchase before they close their minds (and their wallets) to anything your business offers. Remember: Buying from your business should be an enjoyable experience. Make sure it’s hassle free!

By the way, Stealth has tons of experience in designing landing and checkout pages that will keep your customers hooked until you can reel them in.

While these four tips are a great start, there are way more tricks for boosting your conversion rates that didn’t fit in this post. If you want to know more, drop us a line today, and stay tuned for more great advice from Stealth next time we go Off the Radar.