This article was contributed by Daren Low.
Customer journey maps, conversion funnels, user flows… call them what you want, but what is the best way to convert your website’s visitors, into paying customers?
Most web designers leave this up to chance. They hope that visitors will slowly find their way to the conversion by themselves. But what if your visitor goes round in circles beforehand? What if they got lost?
Wouldn’t it be easier to plan out that journey for them and direct them where to go?
This is where the user journey map comes in, and it’s a little secret that will take your web design to the next level.
Most website visitors aren’t likely to convert immediately. In fact, studies show that 96% of new visitors aren’t ready to buy from you. Leading them straight to your most expensive product is likely to scare them away.
Instead, you place key stops along the user journey. Each one is designed to build trust and credibility, and make small conversions.
Eventually, you lead them right to the big goal. So, what exactly are the main stops to include?
1. The start point – inform, intrigue, and convince
First things first, you need a clear and defined start point. Try to avoid throwing people in at the deep end with too much information.
Instead, present them with one large and compelling value proposition. For the uninitiated, a value proposition simply tells users who you are and what you do.
It’s a great logo, simple explainer, and a demonstrative image. Most importantly, it tells them why they should stick with you. Check out MailChimp’s value proposition: “Send better email”. Simple, succinct, powerful.
You could also use an introductory video to introduce visitors to your company or product.
Most important of all, direct them where to go next!
2. Prove your worth and expertise with great content
Now that visitors know who you are and what you do, it’s time to convince them you’re the best in the game. They still need to see some evidence before they’ll buy from you.
Content is great for this. You can use the opportunity to prove you’re an expert. Take this chance to solve a problem or offer valuable insights.
Help your visitor get a step closer to their goals, and they’re one step closer to trusting you.
Try to keep this structured. Direct visitors to your best content by highlighting ‘popular’ articles or videos.
3. Capture an email signup
This will be your first conversion, and it’s a biggie!
The email signup should ideally be placed after the value proposition and after the content on your user journey map. By this point, they should be feeling a lot more confident in your service.
Think about it. Asking for an email as soon as they land on your site is like proposing on the first date!
Convince them first, then convert.
As for the email signup itself, try to offer some real value in return. Choose a lead magnet that resonates with your audience (like a report, an eBook, or a content upgrade).
4. Secure a social media following
Visitors keep up with websites and brands in different ways. Some will sign up to an email list, but many will prefer a social media link.
Make sure this is also a crucial stop on your user journey. Make it prominent and give them a good reason to follow. See here for how to prmote using social media.
My advice is to choose two core social media platforms that resonate with your audience. For example, Instagram for fashion or travel sites, Twitter for technology, Snapchat for a younger audience etc.
5. Secure a small sale with an introductory product
By now, you’ve started to convert your visitors. The next big step on their user journey is nurturing them towards a sale.
Again, you can’t just offer them your most expensive product. They’re intrigued and beginning to trust you, sure, but will they pay $250+ for something? Probably not yet.
But they might buy something for $10.
And that’s how you start to build the customer relationship. Now that they’re on your email list or social media channels, offer them a discount for an introductory product.
If you run a teaching course, offer an intro webinar for $5-$10. If you sell products, discount a popular, low-price item and send it straight to them. You’re much more likely to capture a sale when you do this.
Once they’ve bought from you once, they’re much more likely to buy again.
6. Make a big sale with a premium product
That one small sale opens the floodgates. Now it’s finally time to offer them the big, premium product.
Again, do this through email or social media as it feels more personal to your subscriber. You can try discounting this one too as an early offer.
Of course, not everyone will follow your user journey this far. But those that do are your core customers, and you should focus all your attention on them.
7. Reward your premium customers
You might think the user journey is over once they’ve bought your premium product, but don’t stop there.
Now is your chance to create a long-term, returning customer. Use a system of rewards to keep them coming back. It could be as simple as loyalty points, or as generous as a free gift.
Let them record their reward points and send them regular update emails.
8. Secure a referral
The last stop on your user journey is encouraging visitors to refer you to their friends and families.
Uber – the unstoppable taxi hailing app – achieved almost all of its early growth through referrals. Uber offered a discount both to those who referred their service, and to the new users.
The result? Huge growth through word-of-mouth.
Don’t leave your conversions up to chance. Create a specific and direct user journey. Lead your new visitors exactly where you want them, hitting all the right spots along the way.
Do you create a user journey map or funnel for your projects? I’d love to hear how yours works!
Daren Low is the founder of Bitcatcha.com and has a decade of website development and internet marketing to his name. He firmly believes that website speed is the first step in any user journey and the core of user experience on the web. That’s why he created the unique server speed checker; try it now, and make sure your web server is lightning fast.