Steve had a great insight the other day: "Get visitors to the next steps" and, like a good business partner, I'll steal his quote, claim it as my own and then blog about it.
Let's look at this in a different situation like dating: If you're in a bar looking to talk to the hot ladies, you aren't walking up to them asking them to marry you. You're not even asking them for a date. You're trying to get one of them to look at you, smile, ask a question back and start a little small talk. Duh, right? Obviously, it's not until she's cooking you dinner and doing your laundry that you ask her to marry you (That's a joke and a helpful tip to all the single ladies out there).
As web app builders, we're so focused on getting those visitors on the signup page, that we forget they need to be sold—they need to know our value proposition. In our recent A/B testing, I've been blown away at how much people actually read. In the past 30 days of LessAccounting, the average visitor spends two minutes per page reading. Maybe they're picking their nose. Either way, they're on the page looking around—looking for a reason to go to the next step.
A visitor finds your website, there's maybe a 10 second window of opportunity to grab their attention. They're looking for something. What are they looking for? (This obviously depends on the application and the visitor) The front page of your app is about teasers. Tease them into reading more.
Get a click. Get feedback. Get something. Get them to read more about your application or service. After they've clicked, they're digging for information. You've gotten their attention. Now what? Is this potential customer coming from another app and comparing it to you? Are they looking for a new workflow? Are they looking for keywords? This is where good content is key. Read my article on writing content.
Force them too quickly to the pricing page, and you're screwed. Woah, woah, you're app costs how much? If they've gotten here too quickly, they'll see the price and run. Maybe your price is just too high. Look at the bounce rate of your application on that pricing page. LessAccounting is about 70% exit rate for the past 30 days.
Now they're on the pricing page, but you have to explain your offerings clearly to them. From what I've seen, around 5% of people will click on the cheapest option. 5% of people want to just see your app (developers & designers). 1% want the most expensive package. 5-10% will never end up paying you no matter how amazing your app is, they're just not ready to buy. I've seen that having fewer packages increases overall conversions.
Now this "almost customer" has picked their package and they're on the signup form. The task has a varying degree of difficulty, depending on whether or not you're forcing them to give a credit card number. Your difficulty goes up if you're having to still convince them to put their credit card information into the form. Either way, collect the least amount of information you can on the signup form. If you need more information, break the form into steps. If you can get a user through the signup form, it's now the job of the app to sell the product and keep the customer happy. It's time for a good, on-boarding experience.
If you'd like me to review your app's brochure, just ask.
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