You Probably Don’t Have a Traffic Problem. You Have a Conversion Rate Problem
Traffic tips are everywhere we look. Traffic is sexy. Big traffic numbers make us feel good. But for most side-hustlers, we don’t have traffic problems.
Our content marketing produces a steady stream of new prospects, interested in our work.
Once we choose our best marketing channels, most of us have more traffic than we need. The problem is our conversion rates, not the number of people landing on our sites.
If you can increase your conversion rate, even a half-point or a couple points, you can change your bottom-line overnight. You can go from struggling to profitable–just getting by to dominating your niche.
…all without any increase in traffic.
It’s not the big traffic numbers that matter (as much). What matters is how many of these prospects we convert into buyers.
We’ve got big holes in our marketing. With a few, tested copywriting (and value) tweaks, we can boost the conversion rate and the price of our work. We’ll find the perfect offer combination that resonates with the right audience.
Most Marketing is too Lazy
It’s easier to focus on traffic. Conversion rates are tough to boost. They’re scientific. Conversion requires better copywriting.
Traffic is more of a hustle. If we want traffic we can throw more money at our advertising. We can write more content, moving from one story per day to five.
It feels good to work harder on our marketing, because we think we’re doing some good for our business. Sales might even increase if we increase our traffic.
But while we do need a steady stream of new customers to replace the ones we’ve lost, that steady-stream is a lot smaller than we think it should be.
Most marketing is lazy.
It’s easier to throw more money at a problem than it is to try and improve our sales copy, our offer, or the value of what we sell. But conversion rates will change the face of your business, almost overnight.
It’s important to take a less-lazy approach to our marketing and focus more on converting the prospects we have, instead of worrying about bringing new faces in the door.
Convert More Cold Email Subscribers
If you have an email list (and you should), this is the first hole we must plug in the conversion rate. Most of the people who see your email landing page won’t join your email list.
If you have 1,000 visitors to your landing page per month, but you only convert 20% of them to subscribers, this initial hole in the bucket will affect your sales in the end.
With a 20% conversion rate you gain 200 new email subscribers.
Maybe you convert 2% of those people into buyers of a $497 product. This gives you $1,988 in sales from 1,000 visitors per month.
What if you split-tested the headline (and the free offer) on your landing page?
What if you boosted the conversion to 40% of new visitors becoming email subscribers?
With our 2% conversion rate on new subscribers this gives us a whopping $3,976. We’ve doubled our income with a simple change to the headline (or offer) on our email landing page!
Convert More First-Time Buyers
Now we take the conversion process a step further. Currently we’ve got a 2% conversion rate on our $497 product. If we can change that offer a little, even boosting the conversion a couple points, we can double our monthly income once-again.
Let’s say we tweak the headline on our sales page, and boost the offer a little. We now have a modest 4% closing rate for our $497 product.
With a 40% conversion rate on new subscribers, coupled with a 4% sales conversion rate, we now have $7,952 in new sales per month!
Remember, we haven’t increased our traffic at all. We didn’t increase prices (yet). All we did was tweak and test our current sales page, from lazy copy to better copy.
Increase the Value of Your Offer
The next step is to increase the value of the product you sell. Most of us sell wants, not needs. Needs are things like basic shelter, medicine, pasta, and toilet paper.
When you sell wants, you’ve got to provide more value in the product than the cash in your customer’s hand.
If your offer isn’t worth 5-10 times the value of the cash in your customer’s hand, she won’t buy your product. It’s our job, as side-hustlers, to give our customers to much value they feel as if they’re stealing from us.
With increased value comes the ability to raise prices.
When you increase prices (and maintain your conversion rate) you can double your income again. Work to increase the value of your product so much, that you remove all barriers from the purchase decision.
You want to make the decision as simple as possible, for the right customer.
Not everyone is your customer, but for those who are, you want to make the buying decision a no-brainer. A high-value offer will help sell even the most-mediocre sales copy, but a low-value offer won’t convert even the best copy.
Give so much value it hurts. Go above and beyond until you feel like you’ve got nothing left. Then give a little more. This is the level of value we’re working with.
Let’s say you added so many bonuses and additional goodies, you’re able to increase the sales price of your product to $997. With testing, you find your conversion rate only dropped by one-percent, to 3%.
With this increased value in your product, even with a small drop in conversion, you’ve boosted your monthly sales to a new high of $11,964!
Remember, we started the month with $1,988!
Double or Triple Your Sales in One Month
If you have enough daily traffic you can test your conversion changes fast. Not every idea you try will work. But if you run 250-500 people through each change you make, you can quickly move your way through each bottleneck in your conversion rate.
- Start with your subscriber rate. This is a place where many business owners leave instant-money on the table. With a few simple tests you can boost your email subscribers by multiple percentage points.
- Next, move to your first time buyer conversion. If you can boost your offer, even a little, you can convert more new subscribers into customers.
- Finally, increase the value of your product and subsequently, increase your prices.
Every step of the process should be tested alone.
Don’t change five things at once, else you’ll never know which change created the higher conversion rate. When you test your marketing, take a scientific approach.
Good Marketing is Math
When we take a scientific approach to conversion rates, we test one item, run it through a significant number of new prospects, then we test the next change.
While this can feel tedious, it’s the best way to single-out your successful marketing efforts.
Change the big items first.
While you can increase sales with the color of your ‘buy’ button, the graphics you choose, your page’s load-rate, and a thousand different tedious options, there are only a few ‘big rocks’ to test initially:
- Your headlines
- Your email subject lines
- Your offer (if you sell something we don’t want, no amount of copy changes will boost your sales)
- Your value/price
Always be testing.
Once you get the main offer dialed-in, only then should you worry about moving conversions up a quarter-point with a different button color, or the image you use in your header graphic.
If you’re always testing, you optimize your income.
Your offer won’t work forever. Tastes change. A headline that closed well for six years will eventually need to be replaced with something better.
Your Business Needs Better Conversion Rates
What if you could convert your side-hustle to a full-time gig? What if you could transform a ho-hum sales rate into a high-converting, thriving, money-making business?
You can with a higher conversion rate.
While a constant flow of traffic is important, you don’t need more traffic as much as you’d think. Most of us have plenty of traffic, but we use traffic as an excuse to prop-up our lazy marketing.
Good copy is discovered through testing, not guessing.
Every niche responds differently. What works for one industry may not work for yours. You’ve got to test your conversion, find the holes in the bucket, and work to boost your conversion rates one step at a time.
With all your conversion holes patched, you can take a low monthly closing rate to a rate that allows you to earn more in a month than you previously earned all year. And you can do this without any increase in traffic.
Now think of how much you’ll grow if you increase both conversion and traffic.
A small boost of traffic into your newly-tuned system will trickle-down into all your high your high-conversion steps.
What if you added only an additional 250 new visitors?
This gives us 1,250 visitors, into 500 subscribers, into $14,955 in sales, up from $11,964!
Conversion rates matter more than most people notice. You can take your side-hustle to the next-level by focusing more on the traffic you have, with better copy, than by taking the expensive and time-consuming approach, spending all your time on more traffic.
August Birch is an author, email expert, and entrepreneur from Michigan, USA. As a self-appointed guardian of writers and creators, August teaches indies how to make more work that sells and sell more work once it’s made. When he’s not writing or teaching, August carries a pocket knife and shaves his head with a safety razor.