Today I've got a post from Ian Pribyl, someone I know has been doing great things online for over a decade. I asked him if he'd stop by and teach you all about conversions, and he kindly agreed. The rest of this article is all him.
I didn't get really good at increasing my conversion rates by choice. A couple of years ago one of my main sites was hit pretty hard by Penguin 2.0 (an algorithmic update that lowered my rankings) leaving me with two options: Get more traffic or do more with the traffic I was already receiving. If I hadn't chosen the latter, I wouldn't be qualified to write this post today.
Everything I'm going to share below has been tested over time and will absolutely generate results if executed properly. I wish I could say that I'm the creative genius that figured all of this out on my own, but what you'll read below is a mixture of my personal experiences after being in this industry for 10 years as well as what my mentors and various blogs/books I've read have taught me.
Today's Lesson: Dramatically Increasing Conversions
If you follow everything I lay out in this post carefully, the average affiliate marketer can learn how to double or triple their conversion rates – potentially even more depending on your starting point. If you're ahead of the curve and have been doing this for a while, you still might be able to glean a “measly” 10-50% boost as well.
It's not easy, but with some work and a slight mindset shift you can turn a website that's making a little money into a site that's making a lot of money.
Becoming an expert at practicing and implementing all of the steps below will create massive improvements in your overall conversion rate. To simplify matters, if you want to make more money, listen up.
Nothing Can Replace Good Content
Your conversion rates are determined from the moment your website visitor lands on your site. First impressions are always important, but they're especially important if you want to make money as a website owner. People make immediate judgments about how helpful you are or whether you're just in it for the money.
If your website visitor determines that you're just in it for the money or that you won't help them, any shot you had at making a conversion is obliterated, and you'll probably never see that opportunity with that person again.
Your content needs to solve their problems and not serve any purpose but helping them. You can still introduce someone to your conversion funnels while trying to help them, it just requires caring about helping your website visitors more than you care about making money.
I can't emphasize this enough – if you're developing your content around making sales off of your content, your website stinks of it. If your content strategy emphasizes helping your visitors over making money off of them, it's noticeable and is an essential first step in having the best conversion rates possible.
Step 1: Make sure your content prioritizes helping your website visitors solve their problems above putting more money in your bank account.
Get the Visitor to Subscribe to Your Email List
Don't have an email list? Let me introduce you to the final resting place of your conversion opportunities – the vast majority of them are dying here.
Yes it takes practice, and no – you probably won't make money with your email marketing service the first month you're paying for it, but if your website is getting any traffic at all you're really hurting yourself by not having one.
I've used a lot of different ways to incentivize opt-ins, but the most effective are high-quality eBooks and free training courses. Typically what I'll do is get the subscriber to opt-in by giving away an extraordinarily high-quality, highly relevant free eBook and follow that up with a free training course that's sent every-other day for 1-2 weeks. I'll explain why this is so effective later.
Remember, your #1 concern when interacting with people through your website needs to be helping them. Notice I don't say you need to pretend to be interested in helping them.
I don't do anything on my site for the sole purpose of making more money or getting more opt-ins – people opting in to my email list are better off than a one-time interaction because they'll get significantly more help and clarity if they subscribe to my email list. If you can't say that about your email autoresponder sequence or your free giveaway, your conversions are suffering.
Step 2: Get people to opt-in by offering extremely high-quality, highly relevant free information.
Build Your Relationship with Free Information
I don't mean low-quality information your visitors can find anywhere, I mean stuff that's so high quality that they'd usually have to pay to gain access. This builds your credibility, gains trust, and strengthens your relationship with your recent website visitor. Conversions are a relationship game – if you do a good job building a trusting relationship, your conversion rates will soar.
Remember dating? Maybe you're dating right now. Do you propose or try to jump into bed the second you sit down for your first date? The obvious answer here is “no”, and if you answered otherwise, well, that's a completely different website owner's problem to solve.
Email marketing is the same way. If you're going for a conversion immediately, you're doing it wrong. I recommend sending at least 1-2 weeks worth of highly engaging, incredibly relevant, paid-quality free information before sending any product pitches.
I usually send an email every-other day early on, which comes out to about seven emails. I try not to overload people by emailing them daily, and typically I'm providing such high quality information that they need a couple of days between each message to digest and apply what I'm teaching.
Step 3: Strengthen your relationship by giving away paid-quality information for free for at least 1-2 weeks.
Only Send Highly Relevant, Helpful Offers
Are you starting to pick up on the relevance/quality theme here? I've seen people promote Subway restaurant contests on magic sites – WHAT?!
If it's not relevant, don't send it. If it only serves to earn you a commission and doesn't add value to their lives or help them in any way, don't send it. I don't care how much the affiliate offer pays, relevance is absolutely key for conversions. If it's not highly related to the niche you're in and/or the information your subscriber initially expressed interest in, it won't convert.
The greater the difference in relevance between your audience's interests and the affiliate offers you're promoting, the lower your conversion rates are going to be.
Don't send a sales-driven, “Hey check out this cool new product I found!” message either. Continue sending paid-quality free lessons, but work the tools or services you're promoting into your lessons. It's a much “softer” sell which preserves your relationship with the subscriber and shows that you care more about referring them to helpful resources than you do about making a commission off of them.
Step 4: Send helpful resources that are relevant to your subscriber's interests, even if the offers don't pay quite as well. Sacrifice the quick dollar for a longer-term, higher-paying relationship with your subscribers.
Send 2-3 Free Lessons for Every Pitch
If you think giving away free information is just for the early stages, you're wrong. If you want your subscribers to keep opening emails and trusting you, you need to send at least 2-3 free lessons or resources for every paid offer you promote. If you don't give away at least twice as much high-quality, free information as the number of “pitch” emails you're sending, your conversion rates are going to suffer dramatically. Ultimately people will just unsubscribe or stop opening your messages, which means you'll never have a successful conversion with that subscriber again.
I know this is hard work, but it's essential for maintaining a strong relationship and optimizing your conversion rates. Just remember that if you do this, you'll make more money. Your financial worth is directly influenced by how much value you're offering the world.
Step 5: Keep giving away free information if you want to keep making money – at least two free lessons or tools sent for every paid product or service you recommend.
Never Betray Your Subscriber's Trust
The moment someone buys a product or service that you recommended and has a negative experience, you've probably lost that subscriber forever. If you repeatedly send offers or information that your subscribers haven't expressed an interest in and have no need for, you'll probably lose that subscriber forever. Noticing another pattern?
Remember, you need to maintain that strong relationship if you want someone to continue opening your messages and generating commissions. The moment you lose sight of that you risk your entire stream of revenue from this website begins to crumble.
Step 6: Never betray your subscriber's trust by sending low-quality or unrelated product offers just so that you can make more money. You won't make more money this way, and you'll jeopardize your income.
Now Go Forth, Add Value, and Boost Conversions
You now have all of the information you need to start making considerably more money by boosting your conversions. I didn't mention it earlier in the post, but ALL of your conversion rates will boost if you focus on value and helping your subscriber.
For example if you pitch one offer early in your email sequence but don't pitch anything else although you continue emailing high-quality, free information that first conversion point will convert much better than it would have if you stopped emailing or followed-up with more emails persuading them to buy. I've seen this time and time again in my sales funnels.
You have all of the information you need here to take your business to an entirely new level. With some time and testing I hope your conversions increase massively, but more importantly I hope you begin helping a lot more people solve their problems and improve their lives. That's what the most successful bloggers in the world are best at.
About the Author of this Lesson
Ian Pribyl runs his affiliate marketing business out of Austin, TX in the United States and is the author of the consumer education website StoppingScams.com where he provides 100% honest, unbiased internet marketing product reviews and advice. He's saved thousands of people from getting scammed by low-quality product publishers and focuses on helping people build legitimate, thriving internet marketing businesses.
Have a Conversion Tip You're Willing to Share?
Leave it in a comment below! Also, if you have any questions or need some clarity on any of the points above, feel free to ask it below in the comments section.