Miles Scudamore, Managing Director, Promodo UK Ltd
There is a wealth of information available offering advice about the best conversion practices for eCommerce, but these generalised tips don’t always work to generate leads.
The following is a list of practical steps you can take that are easy to implement, that can significantly improve conversions.
Adjust your headers – demonstrate that the signup process is straightforward
The signup process should be easy. You’ll need to convince potential users that they could be using your site within moments using statements like ‘Sign up in under 10 seconds!’ and ‘Signup process is quick and easy!’ on your form.
Headers and "Call To Action" buttons should demonstrate the value of using your service
This is one issue where a lot of businesses fail in using meaningless terms such as ‘Submit’ or ‘Try it now!’ These say nothing about the site or the service. CTA buttons need a short statement showing visitors what will happen next.
The above example demonstrates relevant information between the header bar and call to action button. This is a good example as both refer to the blogging experience of the site in question.
Make sure the signup process really is simple
Most visitors don’t want to fill in a long form unless they have already started the process.
Use signup forms that are quick and easy. Alternatively, you could integrate your website with other popular services – try to stick with those that are relevant though. The screenshot above shows Podio using the most popular social media platforms. It also links with GotoMeeting as its core consumer base tends to use their products. Always remember that the plain signup button (as shown on this screen) is not the most ideal method.
You don’t need “password confirmation”
Many companies still persist in requesting their users put their passwords in a second time as confirmation. It isn’t necessary as most people are careful to put it in correctly the first time – we advise eliminating it entirely.
Don't ask visitors for a username
Many websites now use the OpenID Bridge but still ask users without an OpenID account for a username. In some cases it might be logical to request a predefined username for security reasons, but we recommend avoiding this where possible. Try asking for a nickname instead.
Make it possible to skip fields on your form
It’s important to make the form as user-friendly as possible. Split the form logically and use help buttons for fields that might confuse some users. There are web tools that can help you analyse the form filling process: Heat-Mapping and Google Goal Tracking.
Simplicity is the key here and we advise the following:
Show any mandatory fields upfront and offer guidance on how it should be filled in. This screen shows interactive confirmation on availability of a specific name; plus it also has an icon showing that the data in the field is verified.
Highlight the field upon selection:
Do a real-time error-check. Highlight each field; each error message should explain the problem clearly.
Explain the different in packages and price plans – highlight them clearly
Many web businesses work with SaaS platforms so it is essential to show their packages so that the user is clear about what is on offer.
Set out a clear showcase of the packages and highlight the key differences between each option —the client needs and wants to see the difference between each plan. Also consider testing the packages in different orders on the screen. In the above image, the most expensive plan appears in the middle. This is not the traditional way to present it.
If there is a special offer with an annual subscription, then highlight the best savings option. People might initially shy away from the most expensive plan unless you can show them they are getting a real bargain.
It’s also important to consider the components that might follow the signup form. First, demonstrate on your payment page the value to the customer of using your service(s):
Provide examples of other users who are already using the service:
Use customer feedback with accompanying photos, comments from industry leaders and their corporate logos to convince visitors that they are making a wise decision in using your service.
The payment instructions must be clear – they will want to know if their credit card will be charged immediately or whether this really is a free trial.
Play with button styles, colours and sizes. The CTA needs to stand out from the background and the CTA message is the final step in the process.
Many clients still use an email verification system.
These days, you can add an option for users to change their registered email address and then resend them a verification code. Extra verification steps may be needed.
These simple rules could increase your conversion rate by 30 percent or more.
Remember to monitor and track all amendments made using your analytics to perfect your conversion rates.