by Mike Fleming
Everybody wants the online sale. But are you relating to your customer in ways that make it easier for them to buy? You might be thinking, “How can it get any easier to buy from us? All they have to do is click add to cart, fill in some boxes and hit checkout!” Sure, it might be easy for them to physically buy from you, but how about psychologically? How easy is it for them to make the decision that you are specifically the right choice for them?
They can go to any one of your competitors and hit a few buttons to purchase, get a quote or make a contact. But, there’s a buying process that customers go through. For lots of industries, they research and feel out their options before making a choice. So, what’s going to make them eventually buy from you specifically? Here’s a suggestion…micro-conversions.
Gain a small commitment
What are micro-conversions? They are little commitments made by customers to your site that fall short of becoming a paying customer, but keep them connected to you. For example, they sign up for your email newsletter, download the free version of your software, sign up for a 7-day free trial, fill out a request for quote, or download a whitepaper. None of these are what you’re truly after. You’re after the sale. But, what must be remembered is the importance and presence of micro-conversions along the buying path.
They are ultra-important because of two psychological principles that work in tandem with each other: commitment and consistency. You see, it’s psychologically proven that people have an innate desire to be consistent. In fact, in most societies, people that aren’t consistent are looked down upon. Therefore, once a person makes a commitment to something, they have a desire to stay consistent with that commitment.
This can apply to all types of situations. For example, you ever come across a situation where an elected official gets re-elected despite their jurisdiction’s conditions being worse since they took office? You may be baffled at how this could happen. But really there’s a simple explanation for what seems otherwise ludicrous. For those that voted for the incumbent the first time around, they have a hard time admitting they were wrong. Their desire to stay consistent triggers reasoning in ways that justify their original position; even if hard data says otherwise. It takes more to change their vote the 2nd time around than it took to win their vote the 1st time. After they made a commitment to the candidate, selling them again wasn’t as difficult. This is why it’s so hard to un-seat an incumbent.
Go from single to dating
For marketing purposes, the micro-conversion can work this way. If you can get a customer to make a small commitment to your brand, it’s easier to persuade them to go all-in on your solution than if they never made the initial commitment, especially if that micro-conversion is one that incorporates the principle of reciprocation while delivering high value. Instead of asking to go from single to married in one touch point; you ask to go from single to dating, and then really impress them when you’re together! This has much higher conversion rates.
You know those micro-conversions that you don’t have in your online marketing mix, or those that you are not tracking, or those that you haven’t applied an economic value to? It’s time to re-think their importance and value to your business, as well as strategize how you can better take advantage of them in your sales process.
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