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(This is one of a series of articles, the first of which is here.)
When we ask a website’s visitors why they didn’t buy, we hear them say the same things over and over again. Lack of trust comes up a lot, as does lack of understanding, and inability to find a suitable product.
However, some objections aren’t widespread—they are product-specific. For example, there might be a hundred reasons why a buyer isn’t ready to buy customer-relationship-management (CRM) software, and each of the reasons is specific to CRM software. Each objection has to be tackled individually. What can you do if your visitors have tens—or even hundreds—of different objections?
This is where conversion gets hard. For a marketer who was hoping just to add a few testimonials and a guarantee, the problem can seem overwhelming. It can only be solved by a combination of process, diligence, and skill.
If your business has many different objections, this article (and the next two) describes how you can overcome every objection, and hugely grow your profits.
Elsewhere, we describe how you should use our lists of tools and questions to research your visitors’ objections. To manage all the responses, it helps to create what we call an “O/CO” table—a table with two columns, one for objections and the other for counter-objections. Here’s a template O/CO table in Google Docs format (not that you’d struggle to create one of your own).
To begin with, the visitor type and visitor intention should be broad—for example, “All visitors to ABC.com.” However, if you work for a large enterprise—T-Mobile, say—it may be something narrower, like “Visitors who are under contract with another carrier, who are looking for an iPhone.”
Into the “Objections” column, add all of your visitors’ objections, as revealed by your research. To make your list more manageable, you may wish to rank the objections by how frequently they get mentioned.
In the “Counter-objections” column, write down the most effective responses you’d give to overcome each objection. You can identify good counter-objections using the following techniques:
Your website will need to contain at least as many words as you’d use when selling face to face.
But this raises an important point. Selling what? If your company makes customer-relationship management (CRM) software, you have a wide choice over what you sell at each stage:
If you ask for less, you don’t need to use as many words. So it pays to explore how you can redesign your conversion funnel so that each step becomes less commitment. We brushed upon this topic of commitment in the section about hot dogs in this article. We will cover it in more detail when we write about the “costs” side of value propositions.
Of all the possible low-commitment steps, squeeze pages deserve a special mention, because they are particularly effective. A squeeze page is a page designed to capture the visitors’ contact details—often their email addresses. The “submit your email address” field on a squeeze page represents a low perceived commitment to the visitor, but a high value to you as a marketer—because it allows you to lead-nurture the visitor with long copy ad infinitum (or, at least, ad tedium).
Of course, if you lower the commitment at an early stage, bear in mind that you may have simply deferred the commitment—and the persuasion required—to a subsequent stage. Sometimes a free trial of the product or service does that persuasion well. Also, it allows you to capture the visitor’s contact details. Sometimes a free trial doesn’t work, though, especially if the product or software unavoidably requires the user to commit time or resources. (Commitments can include money, work, time, and risk.) Beware of sub-optimizing a particular page only to discover that the problem pops up further down the funnel. A supermarket could get more customers to the checkout by dragging them there—or by closing off the rest of the store—but it wouldn’t increase profits.
For its own products, Amazon does both: It reduces the commitment required from the buyers, by pricing its products aggressively low, and then uses many words.
In many situations, it’s most effective to offer a dual path: to provide direct, low-commitment calls to action, plus long copy. Streak provides a low-commitment way forward (a free install), plus detailed information for those who would prefer it:
So does Basecamp:
So does Tesla:
So does Earth Class Mail:
1. We have already grown companies just like yours. (We have helped to grow clients in 37 countries in 11 languages.) So wherever you are in the world, if you’d like us to work on your website—to dramatically increase its profits—then claim your FREE website strategy session. On this free phone consultation, one of our experts will discuss your conversion goals and suggest strategies to double your sales.
2. If you’d like to learn conversion for free, go to our “Learning Zone” page, where you can download templates of million-dollar winning pages. Or, if you’d like us to build your company’s in-house capabilities (not for free), then contact us and we’ll discuss your requirements.
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