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Don’t be anxious about conversion rates: improve them

Hands up who’s created a web page with a simple call-to-action and been disappointed with the conversion rate. We got the right people coming to our offer, from an advert that stated clearly what they were going to be offered, and the offer was a good one. So why did only 5% take up our offer?

One possibility is anxiety. If the call-to-action asks for something in return, it’s probably personal data. More than ever, people are wary about handing this over. “Surely they know all that’s likely to happen from giving out their email address is that we’ll email them product information”, you may say. And that’s true. But even in these days of GDPR, few people have a default setting which is to trust a company they may not know. We need to assure them, explicitly, what’s going to happen. Their anxiety needs to be relieved at source.

For example, if I see a call-to-action saying “Request the catalogue by email now”, my reaction is: “Why do they need to email it to me? They could just put it online, a click away. So they must have some other purpose in mind for my email address.” Immediately I’m anxious.

If that’s the case, why not say so? If we’re going to follow up their catalogue request with some sales emails, we could be honest about it. The sales material should be a good thing, not something we’re embarrassed about! Instead of “Request the catalogue by email now”, we should say: “Join our mailing list to receive our catalogue and future updates and offers free”. And we should experiment in also making the catalogue available online, for the prospects who don’t want us having their email address until they’ve looked at the catalogue.