67 Kick-Ass Conversion Rate Optimization Secrets [Part 1 of 7]

If you’re a business owner, CEO, or executive looking to boost your profits by implementing some simple conversion rate optimization strategies, then you’re in the right place.

What I’m about to show you in this blog post series is a proven sequence of landing page optimization, email marketing optimization, sales funnel optimization, and CRO tricks to give you a CRITICAL advantage over your competition.

Hi, my name is Garrett Strong.

It’s my pleasure to share with you these marketing and sales conversion tricks because I’ve used these very same strategies to help my clients get BIG results in their businesses.

How These Simple Conversion Optimization Strategies Were Used To Grow IntegrateiveHealthcare.org’s Immediate Optin Sales By 1,650%!

When the CEO over at integrativehealthcare.org contacted me to improve the front-end of their sales funnel, I used many of the CRO strategies I’m about to share with you.

They had tried everything up to that point, but were only making around $400/month in immediate sales with a 10% off coupon offer you get when you optin. Almost nobody was using it.

After looking at their offer, it was clear why that was. First off, they had a “sign up for our newsletter” optin form. These types of offers are so un-compelling because they don’t solve an urgent problem, and there is nothing specific about it.

Then when I looked at the 10% off coupon offer they were making I saw why people weren’t using it. They gave them no urgent reason why they should use it now. So, I fixed that.

I wrote them a new free report to entice subscribers. Most importantly, the report was something their audience found very helpful.

The idea being to give MASSIVE value up front, rather than start the relationship asking for something we promise to give you down the road (discounts). Many newsletter offers use the benefit of “savings”, but when you start a relationship with someone by saying “here’s something of incredible value, even if you don’t decide to buy anything from us”, it transforms the relationship.

You now become an advisor in your market, and someone who gives great value up front.

I also wrote the company a one-time-offer sales page they hit after opting in, along with a follow up email sequence.The result?

They went from making a measly $400/month to making $7,000/month after the new offer was in place. That’s the power of these conversion rate optimization strategies I’m about to share with you, and that’s why you should pay close attention to this blog post series.

Using these strategies I’m about to share with you, I have seen these types of results:

  • A 1,650% increase in immediate optin sales for integrativehealthcare .org
  • A revenue increase of 509% for makemoneywelding.com  in just one month
  • A 137% increase in optins for liversupport.com. You can see more of my results on my homepage

I’m a direct response copywriter, sales funnel consultant, and marketing strategist helping businesses grow exponentially. Let’s talk about you, your business, and how you can easily grow it to unthinkable levels fast. All it takes is a little willingness to learn and implement these strategies.

It’s all laid out here for you to STEAL these tricks and profit handsomely.

So, are you ready to discover some powerful secrets for boosting your conversion rates?

Great! Let’s get to it.

67 Kick Ass Conversion Optimization Strategies

Conversion Rate Optimization Strategy 1: Using Stories to Profit

Did you notice that the first thing I did in this report, before delivering the content, was to tell you a story.

I did that for a reason…

It’s because stories are engaging. They suck your readers in, and if done correctly, they won’t let go of your readers until you’ve taken them down the path you want them to go on.

I’ll reveal a “devilishly” clever trick later that can be used in your emails, sales letters, blog posts, and more to create so much suspense in your audience that they can’t stop reading it, even if their life depended on it.

The #1 rule in marketing is don’t be boring. Your prospects are bored with the same old marketing that says the same old things like “Product X is awesome, and it will change your life!”

Yawn… Heard that before.

People are hammered with this kind of marketing daily.

This is lazy marketing and this approach to selling doesn’t work anymore. People want a personal approach. People want to know about you, and they want to build a relationship with the person they’re buying from.

They want to trust you. They won’t buy from you until they do.

One way to earn that trust, and dramatically boost your conversions, is by telling stories in your marketing that bring prospects into your world.

Things like…

  • Family Stories
  • Stories about your pets
  • Vacations you went on (include pictures)
  • Your hobbies

People won’t buy from you unless they know, like, and trust you. This is how telling personal stories can dramatically boost your sales.

Stories should also be used to sell your products and services. Claude Hopkins did exactly this when he took Schlitz beer from the number 8 beer producer in the U.S. to #1 in a matter of months. He told the story behind the beer. He told about the minute details behind the product.

…How the beer bottles were tripled distilled before filling.

…How the air uses a unique purification method to help make the beer as fresh as possible. Here’s the ad he wrote.

When I rewrote Eddie Bauer Jr’s entire Sikk Shades™ site, I made sure to write a story for his about page that was not only engaging, but sold his product and brand.

I want to give credit to copywriter Jeremy Reeves for this approach.

Bottom line, if you’re not using stories in your marketing you’re leaving tons of money on the table.

2. How To Write Hook-Worthy Headlines

If your headline doesn’t hook your readers it doesn’t matter how great your body copy is, nobody will read it anyways!

Remember this. The whole point of a headline is to be clear, hook your readers, and reach out to your intended audience. This is not the place to be cute or clever in your marketing. If you aren’t great at writing headlines, don’t worry. I’ve got some simple formulas below you can use.

Many businesses (and marketers) think they have to be outrageously creative with headlines.

The truth is, you’re better off being direct and clear with headlines. This way your market won’t misinterpret what you’re trying to tell them. Most direct response copywriters, including myself, spend 90% of their time writing the headline, and the other 10% writing the sales copy.

It’s that important!

An example of a headline I rewrote for Listen Up Espanol is below. You can see how they tried to be clever with this headline. Bad Idea!

Reading that first headline, you wouldn’t know what this company does.

So, I rewrote it to be extremely clear. First, I started by engaging the reader with a question, then I went on to tell the reader what it is they do. They’re a Spanish speaking direct marketing call center, so they should say it.

Here are some high converting headline formulas I’ve used as a starting point, or to give me ideas when writing headlines.

Also, Google “Giant Headline Swipe File.pdf” by Robert Budoch. It’s a great FREE reference with hundreds of headlines you can tweak for your own business. Some of these were swiped from copyblogger.com as a quick reference.

  • Who Else Wants [blank]?
  • The Secret of [blank]
  • Here is a Method That is Helping [blank] to [blank]
  • Little Known Ways to [blank]
  • Get Rid of [problem] Once and For All
  • Here’s a Quick Way to [solve a problem]
  • Now You Can Have [something desirable] [great circumstance]
  • [Do something] like [world-class example]
  • Have a [or] Build a [blank] You Can Be Proud Of
  • What Everybody Ought to Know About [blank]
  • Give Me [short time period] and I’ll Give You [blank]
  • If You Don’t [blank] Now, You’ll Hate Yourself Later
  • The Lazy [blank’s] Way to [blank]
  • Do You Recognize the [number] Early Warning Signs of [blank]?
  • See How Easily You Can [desirable result].
  • You Don’t Have to Be [something challenging] to be [desired result]
  • Do You Make These Mistakes?
  • Warning: [blank]
  • How [blank] Made Me [blank]
  • Are You [blank]?
  • [Blank] Ways to [blank]
  • If You’re [blank], You Can [blank]

 

One of the top copywriters alive today is John Carlton. He has become famous for his “gun to the head” approach to writing copy that sells BIG!

He’s an expert on writing headlines because John knows that the headline is the most important piece of content on the page. He’s also a great storyteller.

One of his golf ads has run successfully for years, pulling in millions of dollars for his client. Here’s the successful headline he wrote for it.

“Amazing Secret Discovered By One-Legged Golfer Adds 50 Yards To Your Drives, Eliminates Hooks And Slices… And Can Slash Up To 10 Strokes From Your Game Almost Overnight!”

This headline leads the reader into a story about this one-legged golfer who dominates other golfers off the tee box! Talk about an amazing hook.

If you’re a golfer, and you read that, you would almost be forced to sit down and read the entire letter, and maybe even buy the coaching course.

This headline was so successful because of the uniqueness (one legged golfer), the benefits (adds 50 yards), it answers objections (eliminates hooks and slices), and it gives a clear timeline for achieving it (almost overnight).

No wonder he gets paid $100,000 or more per sales letter he writes. He brings in the money!

Here’s another headline example I wrote for SkinLYcious™. I told the story about how the owner suffered from acne for years, and why she started the acne medication company.

This is the headline that led into it:

“How Did This 31 Year Old Single Mother, Crippled By Severe Acne, Manage To Finally Get Clear Skin After Desperately Struggling For 14 Years?”

3. How The Right Guarantee Can Boost Your Conversion Rate By 40%

Never underestimate the power of a guarantee when selling your products and services. Not having one WILL decimate your sales. Here’s Why…

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes for a second. We’ve all been here. We shop for a product online, read all about the benefits that this product can provide us, yet the moment we hover over the buy button, there’s a moment of hesitation.

This is buyer’s anxiety.

We start to ask ourselves:

“Will this product really do what it says it will do?”

“What if it doesn’t? Am I just going to get ripped off again?”

There is a lot of mistrust that goes on in our minds when we make a purchase. That’s why our anxiety goes away and our defenses come down when someone offers us an unbelievable guarantee.

Giving someone a 60 day or even 12 month 100% money back guarantee will take away this buyer’s anxiety, and reverse all the risk. Now the buyer feels like they have nothing to lose. They feel like…

“Well hell, if he doesn’t deliver what he promised then I don’t have a thing to worry about!”

I was recently writing a sales letter for a client in the skin care market, and I mentioned to her that her previous copy didn’t have a guarantee. This was her response…

“Well, I’m really not offering a guarantee. I’m not at the point in my business where I can afford to just start handing out refunds.”

This is backwards thinking.

I told her to look at it this way. Would you rather have 1,000 sales because you offer a guarantee, with maybe a 5% refund rate, or 50 sales because you don’t offer a money back guarantee at all?

The choice is clear. There will always be freebie seekers, but they make up a very small percentage of people who buy from you. Do it! You won’t be sorry you did. Here’s a sample guarantee I’ve used, and that you can implement immediately to boost your conversions. I have an enormous swipe file I use when writing copy for my clients. I did a quick swipe from “Swipe Files for The Lazy Copywriter” from freelancewriting.com.

“There’s absolutely no risk to you with my 100% Money back guarantee. To prove everything I have promised is absolutely true, here is my offer to you: Use the information and techniques in my ______ for a full __ months and If the _______ isn’t everything I say it is, if you aren’t absolutely thrilled, if you are dissatisfied in any way shape or form and if you fail to earn at least __ times your money on the ______ price within __ months of purchasing it, I’ll give you a prompt courteous refund. No questions asked… and keep the free bonuses. You are legally 100% protected – what could be fairer than that?”

4. Using Price Drops To Force Your Prospects To Buy Now!

When announcing your price to your prospects, you won’t do yourself any favors by coming right out with it. You’ll lose a lot of customers this way.

Instead, compare your product with another, much more expensive option. This makes your product seem like a complete bargain.

Here’s an example from a product I sell in the welding training niche:

“Why spend $20,000 at a welding school to learn exactly what I teach in this course at a tiny fraction of the price?

I normally charge just $197, but since I’m doing a market test to see if a lower price will sell more units, you’re in luck. Today I’m practically giving away the full program for just… $197 $97 $47 today.

Plus you’re covered by my rock solid 12 month money back guarantee.

That’s the price of a cup of coffee a day for 1 month, and you’re risking absolutely nothing.

And all you have to do to get started is click the big ADD To cart button below.”

I did a few things in this copy. I increased the value of my course by comparing it to a $20,000 welding school. Also, I went on to compare their purchase with the price of a cup of coffee.

I recommend always breaking the price of your product down, and comparing it to small things like a meal, a soft drink a day, etc. It minimizes the investment they have to make.

Conversion Rate Optimization Strategy 5: The Power Of Event Based Marketing

You may have done a product launch, or heard about the massive effect they can have on your sales. The reason is because you’re creating an event with a start date and end date.

Everyone hates to miss out on something, especially if it’s really cool and it’s not going to be returning for a long time. This is how some marketers can make a cool million dollars or more in a matter of a few days. There are several ways to do this.

The first is by having a product you only release to the market once every few months. The other way is to run a sale with your existing product, but offer something that goes away in just a few days.

Many people choose to do the latter because it doesn’t require you to completely take your product off the market.

Here’s how it works:

Create a bonus gift to give to your prospects. Then create a start and end date for your launch (preferably a week).

Next send out an email and let your list know that you are running a 20% off sale, and you’re throwing in this really cool bonus for the first 100 who act.

Anyone else who comes in after that you must not offer the bonus to. This is important, because you want to train your prospects that you mean what you say. So, in future launches for other products they know you mean business.

Plus, it’s the right thing to do. You’re keeping your word.

6. Why You’re Losing 76.1% Of Your Profits By Not Segmenting Your List

Email list segmentation is probably the coolest, and most profitable step you can take in your online marketing efforts.

Essentially, by segmenting your email list you’re only marketing products and services to people who have raised their hands and said “Yes, I’m interested in that.”

The old way of email marketing was to create a main list, then send people to your squeeze page, and follow up with those prospects with autoresponder messages.

So, let’s say you sell car parts online, and you want to tell your list about a new high performance muffler you developed.

Chances are, only about 10% to 20% of people will even be interested in a new muffler. So the other 90% of people on your list are getting marketed to about products they have no interest in.

This Result Is Unhappy Prospects, And High Unsubscribe Rates

With the new autoresponder services out there like Infusionsoft and Ontraport, you can include links in your email that cleverly add people to segmented lists when they click on a link pertaining to a certain subject they’re interested in.

This allows for very targeted marketing, resulting in higher conversions.

I’ve been using Aweber for the past 8 years and I love it.

Plus, when you add AWProTools on to it, it gives you this email segmentation ability at a much cheaper price. I highly recommend it.

How To Reduce Buyers Anxiety

We talked about reducing buyer’s anxiety just a second ago, but I want to return to it for a second.

When you send people to a checkout page on your site, this is where sales resistance is the highest. Approximately 90% of people who reach this page will leave without buying.

So, what can you do?

One thing you should do on every checkout page is add a testimonial right under or next to the buy button, talking about how great your product is and the results they got. Another thing you should do is restate the guarantee on your checkout page. Again, this further enhances trust and removes the risk.

In fact, there are many copywriters who go as far as writing the order form copy first, before they write any other copy. It’s that important!

Do this and you’ll be happy you did.

7. Why Customer Referrals Are The Easiest Way To Boost Your Sales

The amount of work it takes just to get 1 customer is incredible. First you plan out your product, buy a domain name, write follow emails, write your sales page, set up your payment system and membership software (if applicable), and more.

You’ve just spent many months doing work that doesn’t pay you a single dime, so that’s why you need to optimize your sales funnel to get as many customers through the doors as you can.

This is where customer referrals are helpful.

If you’ve built up enough trust in your prospect to get them to spend money with you, they will be much more likely to spread the word about you and your products immediately after buying.

But most businesses never ask for a referral, and this is a HUGE mistake.

Rather than having to start at day 1 with prospects, warm them up, and then hope they make a purchase… when they come to you already “pre-sold” by a friend, they’re worth way more.

But how do you get your customers to refer others to your product?

Well, you can create a free bonus to give to your customers, or offer a $20 OFF coupon for your other product offerings if they simply spread the word about your products.

If your product becomes a blockbuster hit, and it shocks the people who bought it, then you won’t need to provide these gifts. I always try to over deliver in my products. It helps sales and it helps word of mouth promotion.

However, if you over deliver and provide free bonus gifts or discounts, you will boost your sales even more. There is something called “Viral Referrer Script” that you can add to your website that lets people spread the word about your product. Here’s how it works.

8. The Power Of NLP and Embedded Commands In Marketing

NLP stands for neuro-linguistic programming, and it has been proven time and time again to increase sales. However, this can be abused if it falls into the wrong hands.

I want to be clear here. The NLP copywriting I do is not about manipulation tactics, or trying to “get one by you”. However, the tricks I’m about to reveal are very powerful at moving your prospects towards the sale when used responsibly. NLP has many components to it, but the first I’ll reveal is called an embedded command.

As you read this entire paragraph, you’ll start to realize just how powerful NLP is when selling. Imagine how good you’ll feel when you double your sales almost overnight! You won’t mind reading the rest of this section, will you?

That last paragraph you just read has embedded commands placed all throughout it. For one, I started it with “As you read this…” which makes the assumption that you will be reading the entire thing.

I then went on to tell you to “imagine the feeling”. This is another NLP technique to get you to start visualizing, even without you realizing it.

The last sentence asks you a question, but it doesn’t leave any room for argument. Again, you’re helping them make up their minds, with a yes response.

Another powerful way to use NLP when you want your readers to read the entirety of your writing, is to say something like this in the beginning… “As you read each word of this report you’ll discover…”. See how it has a hypnotic effect on the reader?

Negative Embedded Commands

The purpose of a negative embedded command is to distract the conscious thinking process so you can reduce your readers’ sales resistance. It’s a way of not sounding aggressive while putting your readers at ease.

Rather than using a direct command like “say yes”, a negative embedded command would say “don’t say yes just yet”. By wording it in this way and highlighting the command, your readers’ mind will first process the command, “say yes”, before they process anything else.

Also note the bolding of command words. Bolded words get processed in your readers’ minds first. Here’s another example.

“Don’t decide to buy now until you’ve read our 12 month money back guarantee”

Notice that I highlighted the command again. By telling the reader not to buy from you, it comes off as not selling and not aggressive. It doesn’t sound like you’re desperately telling them to buy.

I won’t go into NLP sensory modalities here, but just know that using them is super effective and can boost your sales by 20% or more. I will be giving you a free training on modalities in an upcoming email.

Again, please don’t abuse these tactics. They’re simply there to bolster the effects of your sales copy. If you don’t feel comfortable using them then please don’t feel like it’s necessary.

9. High-Converting CRO Landing Page Tricks That Most Marketers Don’t Know

If you’re not sure what a landing page is, it’s pretty straight forward. A landing page is a stand-alone page on your website that collects information like emails, names, phone numbers, etc. While I was working as the conversion rate optimizer for the ad agency Saleamp in Austin, TX, I wrote landing pages almost every day.

I’m very familiar with what works and what doesn’t.

For example, when sending traffic from Facebook ads, short copy landing pages work best because of where the traffic is coming from. They’re on a social network, and don’t really want to spend lots of time reading an ad.

On the other hand, long copy landing pages will work for Google Adwords simply because the person is searching for what you’re offering.

From a landing page copy perspective, remember this formula:

  • Promise
  • Paint
  • Prove
  • Push

Make a promise to prospects, paint them a picture of how their life can be with your solution and how it will be without it. Then show some proof from others who have used it (usually in the form of testimonials), but you can use graphs, charts, etc that show proof. Lastly, give them a call to action.

After rewriting hundreds of client landing pages, one of the biggest mistakes I see is people leaving out the call to action. This is a HUGE mistake. Never assume your prospect knows what to do. Tell them to “enter your information in the form to the right and hit the big orange button that says Get Instant Access” (Again, notice I bolded the command).

Now, from a design perspective one thing to always remember is that you want to draw eye path. A simple way to do this is to add an image of someone looking or pointing at your optin form or headline.

Here’s an example:

Something that I’ve seen over and over again is designers who create a page with a color scheme and think it’s a good idea to go ahead and make the optin form and button blend in with the design colors.

BAD Idea!

You want your optin form to draw eye path, so make it stand out. Use bright button colors that can’t be missed.

You can see several landing pages I’ve written for clients. Click here to see my landing page portfolio.

Conversion Rate Optimization Strategy 10: Why Prospects Won’t Buy Until You Answer Their Objections

It doesn’t matter what you’re selling, people are always going to have objections to your product.

Think about if you were going to pay to have an in-ground pool put in your backyard.

That’s a big investment, and the pool company knows that, so if they’re good at what they do then they’ve already trained their sales staff to answer objections.

Think about everything you would bring up to the guy trying to sell you the pool, and if he knows what he’s doing… he will know the exact questions you’re about to ask.

  • It’s going to take up my whole backyard, and I won’t have a lawn anymore…
  • It’s very expensive.
  • Pools are a lot of work to maintain.
  • I’ve got kids and a pool is a drowning risk.
  • Chlorine is unhealthy for your skin.

You get the idea. People will go on and on about why they shouldn’t buy, and it’s the salespersons job to answer those questions in a way that turns them into a benefit for the prospect.

So, Here’s How A Good Salesperson Would Respond…

Objection: It’s going to take up my whole backyard and I won’t have a lawn anymore…

Answer: You’ll have less grass to mow, and you’ll be replacing that unused yard with a great way to cool off during those hot Summer months.

Objection: It’s very expensive.

Answer: Well, it’s affordable when you compare it to taking a Summer vacation every year, or the hassle of dropping your kids off and picking them up from the pool every day. How much is your time worth to you?

Objection: Pools are a lot of work to maintain

Answer: With our patented auto cleaning pump, you can clean your pool with the push of a button. No breaking your back with one of those clumsy nets.

Objection: Pools are a drowning risk for my kids.

Answer: We provide you and your kids a full training on proper pool safety. This includes keeping your kids safe from drowning accidents, and talking to them about the dangers of being around the pool unsupervised.

Objection: Chlorine is unhealthy for your skin.

Answer: Our pools use a salt water solution to maintain 99.99% clarity. We don’t use any harsh chlorine products to clean the pool, resulting in much healthier skin for you and your family.

When you’re writing any sort of sales piece, whether it’s a sales page, video sales letter, webinar, email, etc…

…always try to think about what your customer is going to object to, and then answer those objections.

You don’t have the luxury of selling face to face, so you won’t exactly know what the customer is thinking. That’s why it’s so important to cover EVERY possible objection your customers could think of.

Then, answer it in a way that provides some sort of benefit to them.

Another example would be…

Objection: It sounds too good to be true.

Answer: “Well, that’s what I thought when I first heard that I could make $10,000 per month, but when I bought the Power Email Marketing course, and started going through it, I knew that anyone could do this… even someone like me.”

Ok, Got It?

Just remember, always brainstorm what your prospects are thinking. Try to get inside their minds, and pick out what it is that they’re thinking about.

A good exercise is to imagine your prospect lying in bed at night, unable to fall asleep.

What is it that they’re worried about? What’s keeping them from falling asleep? Is it that they’re thinking about that pool and how bad they want to buy it, but they can’t quite commit because of the price?

If so, then think of a way you can answer that very objection.

If you need help with your sales copy, marketing strategy, sales funnel consulting, or business growth strategies, that’s what I do for a living. I help companies grow to exponential levels, and in certain circumstances I do it on a pay-for-performance basis. Contact me here or download my free report “How To Hire A Copywriter Without Getting Scammed”.

NEXT: 67 Kick-Ass Conversion Secrets [Part 2] ==>

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About The Author

Garrett Strong

Hi there, Garrett Strong here. I'm a direct-response copywriter, marketing consultant, and sales funnel strategists who helps businesses uncover new profit centers, and grow exponentially as a result. Drop me a line and I'll be sure to get back in touch with you. You stand to gain big profits if you qualify. Thanks, Garrett Strong

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