CRO: No I will Not Marry You! Courting Customers Before You Pop the Question

So a guy walks into a bar, orders a drink and settles in at a table. Across the room he sees the most perfect woman he’s ever seen. She’s not the most beautiful or most exotic or arbitrary standard that typically comes to mind, but she’s the most perfect for him. He knows it, and he knows he has to act, for both their sakes. If he doesn’t act, then he risks missing out on a once in a lifetime connection.

The following scenario is dripping with cliché, but it does bring to mind a series of interesting questions. If the same thing were to happen to you:

  • Would you ask a random stranger to marry you?
  • Would you ask her to commit to you before she knows anything about you, what you stand for, or what you can offer her?
  • Would you ask her to marry you before she’s even decided she likes you?
  • Would you ask her to marry you before she even knows how credible you are? Would others vouch for your character, or are you going to take her for all she’s worth and bolt?

Chances are good that you aren’t the type of person who’d ask a random stranger to spend the rest of their life with you. It takes a very special combination of ego blindness to be that sort of person. But if you wouldn’t ask a random stranger to marry you before courting her, why would you ask your potential customers to engage with you, do business with you, before you’ve established who you are, what you can offer, and the value you provide?

It happens all the time in CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization). Business after business is popping the question before they court their prospective customers. So, it’s not terribly surprising that many sites these days have high abandonment and low conversion rates. They’ve made the consumer journey cold, impersonal, and confusing. In some cases, the come-on is so strong and so without a set-up that it can be almost frightening.

Ask yourself, and be honest: How is your website presented to your users? Do they feel like you actually get them; that you’re actually working alongside them to meet the need that brought them to your website in the first place?

Here are five ways to court your potential users before you pop the proverbial question.

CRO: 5 Ways to Court Your Potential Customers

1. Actually Get to Know Them

There are a variety of 3rd party data tools that can be used to see how users engage with your site. Heat mapping, user videos, user polling, and on-page analytics can all reveal exactly who your user is, what they like, what their interests are, where they come from, what they don’t like and how you can make them happy.

You’ll also want to investigate how your users are interacting with your site. What do they need to know in order to do what you want them to? And, most importantly: How does the information they are looking for need to be presented in order to get them to do what you want them to?

2. Gain Their Trust

Users arrive at your site, already loaded with misgivings and preconceived notions. It’s up to you to show them that the value of proceeding far outweighs the potential cost. Your website must demonstrate that what you are providing them with far outweighs any obstacles (a long checkout process, multiple form fields, etc.) they may encounter throughout the consumer journey.

3. Don’t Violate Their Expectations

No matter how your users arrived on your page, whether they clicked on a display ad or search ad, or through an organic search or referral, whatever the vehicle was, it must’ve piqued their interest just enough to bring them to you.

Make sure you maintain that motivation momentum. Make sure that navigating your content is easy and that what they’re looking for is identifiable and immediately discoverable. Getting them to your site is the hardest part; don’t chase them away once they are there.

4. Offer to Buy Them a Drink

Well, maybe not a real drink, but they’re more likely to engage if you incentivize interaction with your content, if they perceive that there’s something in it for them. A little incentive can go a long way in enticing engagement and, eventually, conversion rates.

Consider sweetening the pot with whitepapers, free trials, offers for free shipping, or discount codes. If you sweeten the pot, they’re more likely to become invested in the conversion process.

5. Be Approachable

Everyone likes confidence in a potential partner, but they also like to know that other people have gotten to know you and like you. Give them a value proposition by communicating what sets you apart from everyone else out there. Or use a social proof that reveals your number of satisfied customers. Or, better yet, let your satisfied customers tell them in their own words through testimonials.

Find a Real Way, a Human Way to Set Your Company Apart

At the end of the day, people don’t buy from websites, they buy from people. How you court your users will ultimately make or break your proposal. So remember to think CRO! Make sure when the time comes to pop the question, there is no doubt in your user’s mind: you’re everything they’ve been searching for, and it’s time to finally settle down convert.

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