10 Ways To Turn Visitors Into Customers

Watching the number of visitors to your site grow is pretty awesome – who wouldn’t want to see results like this?


But, visits alone do not equate to a successful business. To make money, you’ve got to convert at least some of those visitors and turn them into customers. Thankfully, there’s plenty that you can do to get the ball rolling and start turning a popular website into a profitable website.

Read on for 10 growth hacks you can use to help turn your visitors into customers:

Implement Live Chat

Recently, I wrote about how you can leverage live chat to offer an improved service to your customers and increase conversions. In case you missed it, you can check it out here.

The last few years have seen the adoption of live chat by both companies and consumers expand exponentially.


Why? Consumers love it because they can get their questions answered almost immediately, with minimum hassle:


Companies, on the other hand, love it because it’s so cost-effective.

Live chat is an excellent tool for turning visitors into customers, primarily because it allows you to intervene before an undecided customer abandons their purchase.

A key feature of most live chat software is page tracking, which enables you to create “triggers” that will initiate the conversation with a customer when their activity signals they’re having a problem with the site or their purchase.

Of course, this isn’t foolproof – page tracking can’t read minds, and not every customer will accept help, even when it’s offered.

However, Blue Soda Promo tried this recently and achieved a 60% live chat to sale conversion rate. Each of those conversions represent a visitor that, without live chat, may have remained just a visitor.

Further reading:

Conversion Scientist – “Can Live Chat Increase Conversions?

BigCommerce – “Increase Conversion Rates With These 5 Tips for Live Chat”

Tools to get you started:




Offer Something for Free

Before I get started let’s clear something up… I get it – you started your company to make money, so it might seem counter-intuitive to give away something for free. I’ve had the same thoughts myself. However, if your business is built on a subscription model, offering a freebie could be precisely what’s needed to give your visitors the confidence to become customers.

A free trial achieves two things:

  1. Answers those questions that a customer might not think to ask, but that are preventing them from buying.
  2. Demonstrates the confidence you have in your product or service – a confidence that will rub off on potential customers.

Let’s talk about how to execute your free trial for the best results…

Don’t play games

Some consumers are cautious about free trials because they’ve been stung previously by companies who use the trial to try and lock them into something they don’t want. Don’t be that guy! It doesn’t pay in the long run (or, for that matter, for long at all) to try and retain customers with trickery.

Canceling should always be quick, easy, and pain free.

Split test asking for card details

Requiring credit card information is a bit of a personal choice. sujan4

Why? Because I don’t want to risk deterring any potential customers, and I believe a willingness to offer a free trial without even requiring card details shows the ultimate confidence in your product.

That said, it’s also true that asking for card details will “qualify” your audience a little. Visitors are likely to be pretty serious about becoming a customer if they’re willing to hand over that sort of information.


Research from Totango found that when a credit card was required, out of 10,000 visitors, 2% of those signed up to a free trial, but 50% of those went on to be paying users.

While when a credit card wasn’t required, 10% of 10,000 users signed up to a free trial, yet only 15% went onto become paying users. Overall, the “no credit card required” test won: it saw an additional 50 users go on to become paying customers, while double the amount of paying customers remained after 90 days.


That said, this is only one test, and we’re all different. If you’re not sure which model to adopt, test them both.

Offer extended trials to engaged users

If you get the sense that a user is still undecided, offer them an extended trial. They get more time to test out your product and they get a taste of your excellent customer service.

Ask for feedback

We know from the research above that as few as 15% of your free trial users are likely to go on to become paying customers, with those numbers falling further over time.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t take action to boost your retention rates.

When a customer ends their free trial, or becomes a paying customer but leaves a short while later, ask them why, and – where possible – make changes that address their concerns.

Further reading:

Hubspot – “5 Reasons People Say ‘No Thanks’ After Your SaaS Free Trial

16Ventures – “Free Trials – Should You Require a Card?

Tools to get you started:

Good Data



Implement Signs of Social Proof

People like to follow the herd. If they think plenty of other people are buying your product, they’re more likely to do so as well.

Let’s take a look at a few different ways you can implement social proof…


Testimonials are an excellent form of social proof because not only do they show that yes, other people are buying this product, but they show how wonderful other people think the product is as well

If you can bag a testimonial from a well-known face, do so (perhaps by giving free samples to industry bloggers). But if not, even a glowing review from an average Joe will still have a positive impact.



In B2B companies, displaying the logos of your current clients shows potential new clients that they’ll be in good company. Make sure to seek the permission from any clients whose logos you wish to use, of course, but if they say yes, this one’s pretty much a no-brainer.


Big numbers

If the numbers are impressive enough, simply displaying how many people have bought your product or signed-up for your service can be enough to push the odds in your favor.

I like the modest way Basecamp incorporates this into their homepage:


Further reading:

Entrepreneur’s Journey – “What Is Social Proof and Why Your Business Can Live Or Die By It

KissMetrics – “7 Things Your MUST Understand When Leveraging Social Proof in Your Marketing Efforts”

Hubspot – “5 Ways You Can Add Social Proof to Your Landing Pages

Tools to get you started:




Create Product Demo Videos

Selling online can be difficult, especially compared to selling in a brick-and-mortar store. Technology is helping us to bridge some of the gaps – live chat, for instance, allows us to emulate the effect of approaching, and helping, a confused-looking customer in a store.

One issue that can’t be mimicked, however, is the ability to pick up and closely observe a product. Sadly, we can’t jump out of the screen and hand the customer the product to hold, but we can come pretty close.

Product images are a key part of this – especially if they’re large, hi-res, and allow the customer to zoom in on points of interest.

In fact, quality product images are an absolutely fundamental element of product pages and without them, you can consider yourself screwed.

InlineVision said, “the single most important part of any product page is the product image,” further arguing that “great product images can increase your e-commerce conversion rate by as much as 30%.”


That’s a pretty impressive stat, but, according to KissMetrics, product videos have been shown to increase the chance a customer will buy by anywhere between 64% and 85%!

Of course, creating a product video – especially a good one – will come at an expense. Ideally you’ll want to:

  • Hire a professional company to shoot the videos. You might think any video is better than no video at all, but a poorly-made video could actually hurt your conversion rate.
  • Show the product from every angle and make sure to highlight its best features.
  • Where possible, don’t just show the product – employ someone to actually be in the video and talk the customer through the product. It works for QVC. UK home appliance specialists, com do an excellent job of this across the site. Just visit any of their product pages to see what I mean.

Further reading:

Screenlight TV – “How to Create Compelling Demo Videos: 7 Key Principles

GrooveHQ – “How We Created a Product Explainer Video That Actually Got People to Buy

FirstRound – “Your Product Demo Sucks Because It’s Focused On Your Product”

Tools to get you started:



Google Hangouts

Leverage Your Visitor’s FOMO

FOMO, or the “fear of missing out” is that nagging feeling that if you don’t do something – say, check Facebook or go out with your friends – you’re going to miss out on something great.

Despite these fears generally being unfounded, most of us are affected by FOMO to some extent, which means that as marketers, we’d be crazy not to exploit it.

To buy or not to buy

There are lots of reasons a customer might choose not to buy, but a big one is because they tell themselves, “I’ll do it later.” It’s procrastination, basically. In theory, that’s absolutely fine. I don’t care whether a customer makes their purchase now, tonight, tomorrow, or next week. The problem is that – a lot of the time – later never comes.

Thankfully, the solution to this problem is pretty straightforward. We simply need to show the customer that if they don’t complete their purchase now, they might miss out on the chance to complete their purchase at all, (or, at least, at that price).

This strategy’s nothing new – most big e-commerce sites are utilizing it in one way or another. Let’s take a look at a few examples:

Amazon shows you how long you have to order if you want to receive your purchase by a particular date:


And while you’re browsing Hotels.com, the site displays pop-ups that show time-sensitive information, such as how many times that particular hotel has been booked in the past 24 hours, as well as how many people are looking at the hotel “right now:”


A key element of Groupon’s business model is the fact their deals are all available for a limited time only, or in a limited volume; a fact they highlight on every offer (product) page:


There are many different ways you can profit off people’s FOMO – give one or more of them a try today.

Further reading:

Stephan Brady – “The FOMO Effect: Marketing In an Over-Connected World”

Hubspot – “3 Ways to Make FOMO Work for Your Ecommerce Company

Tools to get you started:




Implement an Exit Overlay

Exit overlays are those messages that pop up as you try to leave a website. Chances are, you’ve been annoyed by them (I’ve been there). Chances also are, that – on occasion – you’ve been intrigued by the message displayed and, subsequently, have converted (I’ve been there too).

The reputation these pop-ups hold for being intrusive and annoying means that many site owners are afraid to use them. They’re missing out, though, because the data shows that they do work. Not every time, obviously, but tests by Rooster found that found that implementing an exit overlay “saved” 7.16% of their visitors.

There are a number of different ways an exit overlay can be used to do this…

To grow your email list:


Offer a freebie:


Or prevent basket abandonment:


Further reading:

Conversion Scientist – “7 Best Practices for Using Exit Intent Popovers

GetRooster – “5 Scientific Reasons Exit Popups are So Freaking Effective”

Tools to get you started:

Bounce Exchange


Exit Monitor

Steal Your Competitors’ Customers with a Comparison Page

If you’re in a competitive market, chances are your potential customers are already comparing your product against your competition before making their purchase.

Thankfully, you don’t have to sit idly by and let them make their decision unaided – by creating a landing page that’s specifically designed to capture “you versus them” related search terms, you can demonstrate to potential customers why they should choose you over your competition.

What’s more, a page that’s optimized for your competitors’ brand names could actually drive traffic from potential customers that weren’t, initially, searching for you (and may have not even been aware your brand existed).

There are a number of ways you can implement this strategy…


Don’t forget however, that search engines can’t usually “read” the content of images. A comparison chart like this one should always be accompanied by an optimized blog post that makes full use of the image’s ALT tag.

  • With a “price comparison calculator,” like the example below from SugarCRM:


Once again, a tool like this should sit on a well-optimized page. Remember too, that a price comparison calculator only compares products based on price. Most consumers will be swayed by much more than just price, so ideally, use this calculator as part of multiple-pronged comparison page.

Further reading:

Shopify – “8 Tools to Research Your Competition

Robbie Richards – “How to Steal Your Competitor’s Backlinks, Rankings, and Traffic”

The Next Web – “Steal Your Competitor’s Customers With Highly Effective Comparison Pages

Tools to get you started:

Keyword Planner



Redesign Your “About Us” Page for Conversions

Most “about us” pages feature a jargon-heavy blurb about what the company do, alongside – if you’re lucky – a series of staff profiles. Ring any bells? If this description hits too close to home for your website, you’re missing out on a big opportunity.

I’m not saying there’s anything essentially wrong with an “about us” page that simply tells visitors about the company and their employees. When done well they can be really interesting and a lot of fun.

How, for example, can you not love this page from Lateral?


Or Moz’s dedicated “About” section?


There’s just so much more that can be achieved with an “about us” page. Namely, you can use it to sell.

In addition to the obvious – your company story, mission statement, and team profiles – you could also include:

  • Social proof
  • Testimonials
  • Statements that illustrate why you’re the best at what you do
  • CTAs and/or an opt-in form

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples…

Help Scout’s “About Us” page includes plenty of useful information (much of it is pretty standard stuff, albeit nicely presented). However, what they choose to include above the fold is especially telling:


The three statements above are essentially “reasons to buy.” Instead of detailing what the company has achieved, they outline instead how the company can help you, the customer.

On the surface, Groove’s “about” page looks pretty formulaic:


But once you actually begin reading, it comes quickly apparent that the content is, in fact, rather clever.

Head over here and have a read of the “Note from Alex, our CEO” to see what I mean.

Alex’s note isn’t really about the company. It’s about their customers. He talks about how Groove set out to help its customers and wraps up with a couple of CTAs:


You can do something similar on your own site. Here’s how…

Further reading:

Moz – “9 Simple Tips for Making an About Us Page that Works for Your Brand

Susan Greene Copywriter – “How to Write a Killer About Us Page

Tools to get you started:


Google Analytics

Track Your Visitor’s Movements

Don’t worry, this isn’t as creepy as it sounds. It involves using a tool like CrazyEgg to track how your visitors move around your website – primarily, what they click on and what they ignore. You can then visualize the data using heat maps, like the one pictured below:


The insights gained from this tactic can be priceless, and can lead the way to changes that have the potential to drastically up the rate at which your site converts.

My Wife Quit Her Job, for instance, let their visitor’s movements drive changes to the site and saw the conversion rate of their online store increase by 9.3%.

Conversion Rate Experts did the same, and saw a 25.9% increase in opt-ins.

Pretty cool stuff, right?

Further reading:

KissMetrics – “7 Marketing Lessons from Eye-Tracking Studies”

ConversionXL – “19 Things We Can Learn from Numerous Heatmap Tests

Tools to get you started:




Always Be (A/B) Testing

A/B tests are one of, if not the easiest way of, identifying what changes you can make to your website to turn more of your visitors into customers.

Put simply, an A/B test involves pitting two slightly different versions of a webpage against each other – for example, ersion A might have green CTAs, while version B might have red CTAs.

You’ll then send 50% of your visitors to version A, and 50% to version B.

Before long, you should be able to identify which version of the page results in more conversions.


Whichever version performs best “wins.” At that point, you might make the winner a permanent fixture on the page, or perform another test to find out if another variation on the page could perform even better.

You might think the sort of changes often explored with A/B tests would result in only small uplifts in conversions. But you’d be wrong.

Formstack changed just three words from their main menu – “Why Use Us” became “How It Works” – and saw a 47.7% increase in clicks.


While California Closets made a few small changes to their homepage copy and saw a 115% increase in leads.


Further reading:

Smashing Magazine – “The Ultimate Guide to A/B Testing

Conversion Rate Experts – “Split-Testing 101: A Quick-Start Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization

ConversionXL – “12 A/B Testing Mistakes Businesses Make All The Time

Tools to get you started:



Google Analytics

Have you been implementing any other growth hacks to help you turn visitors into customers? Let me know which ones you’ve used and the results you saw by leaving a comment below:

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