Conversion Marketing: How to convert your ‘almost customers’ into buyers

Converting your leads and ‘almost customers’ into buyers and consumers can be tough, but this week OTB is exploring the ins and outs of conversion marketing.

We’ve all been there; we’ve trailed through a website looking for information and just as quickly left the site without acting upon what we’ve discovered. Or we’ve filled our virtual shopping baskets to the brim, only to abandon them completely without spending a penny. But for marketers this unwillingness of potential customers to take the final step to engage with a brand can be frustrating and leave us second guessing why this initial interest didn’t develop into a sale. This week we’re exploring conversion marketing, and top tips for how to convert leads into those all-important sales.

What is conversion marketing?

So, what is conversion marketing? According to educational marketing site Marketing Schools, conversion marketing ‘refers to tactics that encourage customers to take specific action, “converting” a person browsing your website into a purchaser of your product or service.’ Marketing Schools highlights the fact that even though the initial outward marketing strategy of a brand may be effective at drawing people towards a website, this does not necessarily translate into sales levels which reflect this high level of initial traffic.

Abandoned Basket Syndrome

One example of how initial traffic to a website doesn’t always translate into sales is the case of the abandoned shopping basket. Despite the ease with which it is now possible to shop online for just about any product, there is still a strong trend towards potential customers abandoning their shopping baskets at the crucial moment before purchase, leaving marketers to question why they didn’t commit to the sale.

According to Marketing Week, ‘research from big data specialist Talend reveals that 40% of UK online shoppers desert their baskets at least half the time before completing a purchase.’ Yet Marketing Week also highlights that the reason for this last minute abandonment isn’t always clear. It is argued that a number of reasons could be the cause, such as when ‘people fail credit checks, cannot find what they want, suffer technical problems with the website or simply feel that the final price is too high.’

Yet Marketing Week highlights that it is also possible that this trend is not the result of last minute indecisiveness, but in fact the result of broader shopping habits. The point out that some potential buyers ‘may have to go to the checkout because that is the only way to determine the delivery and payment options that are available, [and] many consumers use their online baskets as part of the browsing process, to generate a wish list or to help calculate costs.’

How to convert these leads into sales

So, what can marketers do to convert these potential customers and leads into buyers, consumers and loyal brand associates?

There are a number of possibilities when it comes to utilising your marketing to generate conversions. According to US business technology consultancy Technology Advice, nurturing potential leads is a good place to start when it comes to conversion. They argue that nurturing potential leads means taking all the leads you capture through forms, blog subscriptions or downloads, coaxing them into the buying stages and then singling out the ones most likely to convert. By focusing primarily on leads which have the potential to be fruitful, while also earning the trust of potential buyers, it is possible to translate traffic into sales.

When it comes to online shopping and the fate of the abandoned basket, Marketing Week argues that a little incentive can go a long way to encouraging potential buyers to spend their money. They pointed out that results from the same survey show that ‘90% of respondents would complete a purchase or return to an abandoned basket if they were offered free delivery.’ Other useful methods of converting buyers include sending targeted emails to follow up on a consumer who didn’t make a purchase, which often include a call to action such as a discount to further encourage potential buyers to return to their basket.

Need more help converting leads and ‘almost customers’ into buyers? Contact us here at OTB today to see how we can help integrate these top conversion tips into your strategy.

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