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Increase Web Profits By Boosting Your Conversion Rate

Updated on February 26, 2008

How To Make Them Want What You Have

As you market your product or service online, you may be focusing on bringing traffic to your website. After all, if nobody sees your site they can't buy anything!

But I wonder if you've considered what happens to that traffic once it lands on your site, and whether or not you're squeezing every possible penny of profit from it.

Because simply getting more traffic can be a giant waste of time and money if you're not. Increasing the number of visitors who "convert" into customers (or raising your "conversion rate") is almost always a matter of making your web copy more persuasive.

As you keep reading, you'll learn how a master copywriter would go about revamping your website copy to wring more sales out of your traffic, and help you make more money online.

Do You Know What Will Make Your Prospect Happy?
Do You Know What Will Make Your Prospect Happy?

What You Must Know Before You Start

The best copywriters will tell you that most of the work for any project takes place before the first word is ever written. Massive amounts of research guarantee the writer thoroughly knows the product, the customer, and how the site is currently performing so that he or she can create laser-targeted copy that increases sales.

You must know your potential customers inside and out. Demographics such as age and sex and income are obviously helpful, but they're just the beginning. Psychographics are much more important.

What do your potential customers believe? Are they politically liberal, conservative, or apathetic? How do they view the world, and more specifically, your type of product or service?

What keeps them awake at night? What are they afraid of, what do they long for above all else in the world?

What do they think about themselves, and how do they want to be seen by others?

Once you understand what makes your prospect tick on the deepest levels, you'll begin to understand how your product or service will best meet her needs.

Next, you must take a long, clear look at your current situation. It never ceases to amaze me how many people try to do business online without taking full advantage of the information available to website owners.

You can (and must) know exactly how many unique visitors you have each day, precisely where they come from and at what cost, and how much revenue they bring.

If you do any PPC advertising, you can have access to these numbers for free with Google Analytics. If not, there are other tools you can buy to provide this information -- and whatever you spend will be worth many times the price.

When you thoroughly understand what's actually happening on your website, you can begin to purge the things that don't work and improve the things that do.

Target The Emotions That Will Motivate Your Prospect
Target The Emotions That Will Motivate Your Prospect

Discovering The Emotions That Will Explode Sales

Once you have a crystal clear picture of your potential customer, you can begin to think about her emotions. More precicely, which emotions you want to stimulate in her with your website.

ALL sales decisions are triggered by emotion. If your web copy relates "just the facts" you are leaving massive amounts of money on the table. The key is to trigger the specific mix of emotions that will make your prospect want your product or service.

Look back at the research you gathered on your prospect. You see what his core beliefs and desires are, what he's most concerned about and what keeps him awake at night.

Will he be motivated by fear? Does he care about his image and status? Does she want to be seen as a good mother?

While the answer to the above questions would be "yes" for nearly everyone, the key is determining what is the most important to your prospect.

One thing to remember: you're not looking for a single emotion. Just saying "fear" isn't enough -- you have to trigger a mix of relevant emotions to be successful. If your prospect can be made to feel afraid that some bad thing will happen or some oppportunity will be lost without your product, you must also show him the positive emotion he'll feel when he does "order now."

Come up with the top 3-5 emotions that will motivate your prospects, and list them in order.

Matching Benefits To Emotion Creates Desire
Matching Benefits To Emotion Creates Desire

Matching Your Product's Benefits To Your Prospect's Desires

Now you're starting to realize why simply listing the features of your product doesn't drive sales - because those features aren't going to connect with the emotions we've just decided are going to compel them to purchase.

In order to do this right, it helps to understand the differences between features and benefits. And yes, that sounds like elementary marketing, but I constantly run into internet business owners who get the two confused.

Anything your product does or possesses is a feature. What the prospect gets from using that feature is a benefit.

For example: the information in your ebook is a feature. What happens when your customer applies the information is the benefit. The fact that your widget slices and dices is a feature. The time saved by using it is a benefit, as is the praise the cook receives from her dinner guests.

When your prospect uses your product or service, what will happen that stimulates the emotions you listed? These are the benefits you want to focus on.

You'll want to paint a vivid picture of your prospect's life after she's gained those benefits. Make her see herself enjoying them - or experience the loss of missing out on them.

Use language that engages as many of her senses as possible. Tell stories when you can. Make reading what's on your landing page an emotional experience for her.

As she begins to see herself reaping the benefits of your product, desire is born. The more vivid the images she sees, and the more relevant they are to her, the stronger that desire will become.

Your Prospect Wants Experts She Will Trust
Your Prospect Wants Experts She Will Trust

Now Prove Your Case

Now it's time to take the emotions you've triggered and give them a logical foundation.

Because while desire is born in the heart, it can be overridden in the mind. So no matter how badly you can make them want what you have, you still have to give them logical reasons to justify making the purchase.

Now you can finally make use of those features most business owners are so proud of -- but only to prove that your product or service really will deliver the benefits you've promised.

As you do this, you'll also want to make use of two specific kinds of proof: social proof and expert proof.

  • Social Proof is what other customers have to say, and most often you'll see it used as the ever-present testimonial. Unfortunately (and this may shock some people), there is evidence to suggest that testimonials are losing their effectiveness online. In fact, several sites I've worked on in the recent past have shown no change at all in conversions when testimonials were added or removed -- most likely because they've been used so often that they've simply lost impact.

    So has social proof lost it's importance? Hardly! You've just got to come up with creative ways of providing it. Perhaps you've gotten good reviews on Amazon, or some other social networking site that you can point to. Maybe you can get customers to send in videos about their experience with your product as some kind of contest.

    The key is doing something different and unexpected so that your social proof gets noticed, and more importantly, believed.

  • Expert Proof is endorsements from any kind of Doctor, scientist or study, or even a celebrity or leader in your product's field.

    The key here is to match the expert to the audience -- an endorsement from Britney Spears might sell millions of items for your pre-teen fasion line, but it won't do much for your stock trading service. Likewise, Donald Trump might put your Real Estate course over the top, but be the kiss of death to a line of environmentally friendly pet supplies.

    What kind of expert will your prospect respect and respond to the most?

Spare no expense and leave no stone unturned here -- prove your case in every conceivable way so that your prospect feels fully justified in making your purchase.

The Results Of Great Copywriting
The Results Of Great Copywriting

Closing The Sale: Urgency, Risk and a Call To Action

People are basically pretty lazy, and if they can put something off, chances are they will. Which is why you must make sure your website visitors have a good reason not to click away before they "buy it now."

Unfortunately, most of those visitors have been to hundreds of sites that created a sense of urgency in a very fake and manipulative way.

The "special discount" that claims it ends at midnight tonight -- yet is still in effect two weeks later. The "limited time offer" that never really goes away. These tactics make you look like a used car salesman in a bad suit, and they repel more potential customers than they attract.

But if you give your prospect a legitimate reason why your offer is limited, or why he'll miss out if he waits, he'll go ahead and buy.

Of course, there's a good amount of risk in making any kind of purchase, so be sure and have a strong guarantee that puts that risk on you, not your prospect. Buying online adds a greater element of risk, so you'll want to have links to your privacy policy and a note about the security of your server close to the purchase button -- and reiterate all of this on your shopping cart page.

Finally, you have to tell them what you want them to do, and when you want them to do it, so be specific about your call to action: "Click the "buy it now" button to get yours today!"

These are the basic steps a top-level copywriter will take to increase your conversion rates. Do them well and watch your profits soar!


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    • yojpotter profile image


      10 years ago from Iloilo City

      Great hub Lisa..^^..I saw it in our Facebook group..decide to drop by and read it..and rate it as well..^^..

    • Lisa Packer profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisa Packer 

      10 years ago

      Thank you, Caregiver! You are very kind. I'm glad you found it useful!

    • Caregiver-007 profile image

      Margaret Hampton 

      10 years ago from Florida

      Lisa, this is an extremely good Hub - with well organized, clearly presented, important and actionable information, laid out attractively with great photos. Your excellent writing style on top of that... Well, this is a clear winner! It's also information I will come back to for a periodic reminder. We all need to get re-focused at times, so this is a good place for even the experienced marketer to visit.

    • Lisa Packer profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisa Packer 

      10 years ago

      Mike, Karen & Lesley -- Thanks so much for your kind comments. I'm so glad you found it helpful!

    • Karen and Lesley profile image

      Karen and Lesley 

      10 years ago from United Kingdom

      Really informative and well put together. This has been one of our biggest challenges but you have some great ideas in here of how to overcome them. Thanks again for the great hub.

    • Mike Stokes profile image

      Mike Stokes 

      10 years ago from Baton Rouge, LA

      Very good information that will help me with my business. Great article and laid out very well. Mike


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