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Have a website with the goal of generating leads or email subscribers? Great news – there are now several awesome low-cost tools to really give your form completion conversion rates, subscribers and sales a huge boost. However, they all vary slightly in features and its often hard to decide which is best to use.

To help you understand the differences and pick one that best fits your needs, I have compared and rated the three major options available – Opt-in Skin, Opt-in Monster and Popup Domination 3.0. And the pop-ups they create can’t be blocked, so are very effective at generating leads – they use lightbox functionality.

You can actually see Opt-in Skin being used on my website (at the end of each article) along with Opt-in Monster (the lightbox pop-up that appears when you move your mouse to leave my website – known as an exit intent popup).

These tools gave me a huge boost in my email opt-in rates – from 2% to 45%!

Here are the ratings and comparisons for these three major opt-in tools:

opt-in skin logo opt-in monster logo popup domination logo
Cost $67 flat fee. $49 for basic version. Exit intent pop-up version costs $199. $77 (extra advanced form themes cost $30 more).
Types of opt-in forms available 8/10 Embeddable opt-in forms (5 styles) but only 1 pop-up form offered. 8/10 Pop-up form (5 styles), slide in form, slide up footer form. No embeddable forms. 6/10 Comes with 5 pop-up form styles (video style costs more). No other form types though.
Quality of pre-built opt-in forms 6/10 Varying quality, but some look very amateurish. 9/10 Good variety of professional designed themes offered. 8/10 Eye-catching high quality themes offered.
Ease and control of setting up opt-in forms 7/10 Easy with good options, including control of when and where forms are seen. Only for wordpress sites though. 7/10 Very easy to setup with good amount of form setup options. Also only for wordpress sites. 8/10 Very easy to set-up using the plugin for blogs, and offers great standalone version for non-blog websites.
Exit intent popup form capability 0/10 Not included. 7/10 Pop-up shown when visitor goes to exit (extra cost to use). 9/10 Offers the most exit-intent pop-up functionality options.
Ability to customize themes and styles 7/10 Not enough options to customize, and non-standard options for each style. Good advanced CSS editing option. 9/10 Highly customizable, including colors, fonts and bullet points for each style. Comes with cool Google fonts too. 7/10 Fairly good ability to customize some elements of the forms, colors and text, but in need of improvements.
Analytics and A/B testing capabilities 8/10 Great analytics, including analysis by page plus A/B testing. 7/10 Standard analytics, with A/B testing functionality. 7/10 Simple analytics, with A/B testing functionality.
Comments Ideal for creating great forms at end of articles, but lacking in customization, and only offers one popup style that is not great. Has great variety of opt-in methods – the best for pop-ups. Is missing embedded opt-in form capability though. One of the original and best popup opt-in tools, but they need to improve by offering other opt-in types.
Overall rating 7/10 The only offering embeddable forms. Lowest cost, but needs improving. 8/10 Excellent for pop-ups, but exit intent option too expensive. Good other form types. 7/10 Good price and features but limited to pop-up form types unfortunately.


My overall advice for choosing a great opt-in tool

As you can see in the ratings, its pretty close between all three tools. Opt-in Skin is quite different though because its the only one to offer embeddable forms (like I use on my site), and personally I use it because I think its a great place to show a form (it’s where visitor’s eyes naturally end up, not in the side bar). They don’t offer exit-intent popups though, which is like the secret-sauce of boosting email opt-ins!

Opt-in Monster and Popup Domination 3.0 are much more similar though and are both great for pop-ups. And while its the most expensive for the very powerful exit-intent functionality, I think Opt-in Monster (shown below) is marginally the best because it also offers slide-up and footer forms, and is currently building new features.

opt-in monster screenshot

All three have a money back guarantee anyway, so don’t just take my word for it – give one a spin, and you can always try another if you don’t like it.

Great incentives and follow-up emails are also essential

However, I think its just as important to focus on what you are offering as an incentive in your opt-in form! To give your opt-in rates a great boost, always try and give away something of value for free (like I have done with my free toolbox). For a few other ideas you could give away a free ebook relating to your website, or a free trial or consultation – visitors love getting something of value for free (and don’t forget to mention you won’t spam them!)

And finally, not only do you need an email marketing tool to capture opt-ins and send marketing emails, but you really need to design a compelling series of engaging auto emails with the aim of ‘softly and gradually’ converting your visitors for your main website goals (like a purchase or additional orders).

Now over to you – have you used any of these tools with great success? Or maybe you use another opt-in tool – please comment and let us know – thanks!

Today I’m going to give some love specifically to landing pages. These are standalone pages that usually have specific goals of generating leads or selling a product. Smart online marketers make use of these in addition to their regular website to boost their conversion rates.

To increase the chances of the highest conversion rate from them, its essential you test elements on them to find the best performing variations. To help you do this, rather than repeat basic landing page tests, I thought I’d create a list of more unusual landing page tests that you probably haven’t tried yet. So let’s get started…

Test #1: Create a completely different style of page to test

Testing small changes like headlines and call-to-action buttons often works well, but to really push the conversion needle much higher you often need something more radical. And creating a completely different style of landing page to test against can often give your conversion rates a big boost.

The best way to do this is to create a few versions with much different layout than your current page (like moving major page elements around or changing column layout) and even change the style and color scheme. You could also change your call-to-actions and headlines to emphasis different key points. WriteWork.com gained great results from doing this type of radical test.

radical test

Test #2: Use a tabbed mini-site instead of a long sales page

One of the biggest mistakes that long landing pages make is trying to cram too much information on one page, often hoping that some of it will ‘stick’ with visitors. Unfortunately it is often hard for them to find key details buried within the non-essential information, resulting in much lower conversion rates.

A high-potential unique test idea is to actually turn your landing page into a mini-site with tabs instead. These tabs should contain key details for visitors to learn more about, without actually leaving the mini-site. In the very least it’s vital you have a ‘why us’ and a ‘testimonials’ tab to build value proposition and social proof. Here is a great screenshot of a landing page to learn from that is making great use of tabs:

landing page tabs

Test #3: Show a prominent video testimonial

Want an even greater impact from the testimonials on your landing page? You probably haven’t tried turning one of them into a fantastic compelling video testimonial. Doing this helps make your testimonial seem even more believable, and its pretty cost-effective to film your testimonial giver. You can also add a great call-to-action button at the end of the video to learn more about what you are selling, or see more testimonials.

To take this social proof effect even further, you should try obtaining and using a testimonial from an expert in your field. For example, if you are selling online services, you should obtain a testimonial from someone who is known in that industry (think of someone like Avinash Kaushik or Neil Patel).

f0620

Test #4: Offer great free incentives to sign-up or purchase

A great way to get your visitors to sign up for your landing page offering is to tempt them with something of value for free to sweeten the deal. For example, you could try creating an ebook relating to what you are selling and give that away, or you could offer a free trial of what you are offering.

Don’t forget to mention how much your freebie is worth (people love getting something of value for free), and if possible try to mention the incentive in your main call-to-action button, as you can see in this example:

free trial

Test #5: Ask a compelling question in your main headline

The first few seconds on your landing page are critical. If your headline doesn’t engage and intrigue them to read the rest of your page, your chances of them converting drop considerably – with many visitors leaving, back to Google to find another site.

To help prevent this and engage your visitors better, one great angle to try with your headlines is to test asking a question that will help identify with and solve your visitors main problems – test a few question types until you find the best converting one. Here is a great example of a great headline question on a landing page:

good headline

Test #6: Make use of great tweets as testimonials

What makes a great testimonial? It has to be authentic, and short and sweet. A great simple unique way to achieve this is by showing tweets on your landing page that contain testimonials from your customers. These tweets make it much easier for visitors to read testimonials because they are short, and are more believable because they can see the person that gave the tweet.

To test this you can either directly embed the tweets on your page (allows visitors to interact with them and retweet them) or you can just take a screenshot of several of the testimonials together (see example below). To learn more about other ways to embed Twitter for improving your testimonials, read this great guide.

twitter testimonials

Test #7: Use multi-step sign-up form instead of long form

Another more unique landing page test you can try is to split your sign-up form up into multiple steps, and really simplify the first step. This is particularly beneficial if you are asking multiple questions in your signup form, or have multiple offerings to sign up for that meet different types of visitors needs. The other benefit of this is that because the form is much shorter, it takes up much less valuable real estate on your landing page.  Here is a great example of this in action on a landing page:

multi step form

Conclusion

Don’t just try testing simple things on your landing page like images and buttons, think outside of the box to come up with more unique tests that are highly relevant to your audience. Hopefully these 7 unique test examples gave you some good inspiration.

What ways have you created unique landing page tests to boost your conversions?

Exciting news today folks, I have put together a pretty epic free conversion rate optimization toolbox, packed with guides, PDFs, spreadsheets and more to really help boost your website conversion rates, leads, subscribers, sales and customers.

These 7 tools are unique brand new conversion rate optimization content and you won’t find these tools anywhere else on the web. Not bad for free, right?

Here are details of the free tools in my website conversion rate optimization toolbox:

  • 20-Point Conversion Rate Optimization Checklist (PDF)
    Perfect for helping see what needs work on your site to boost conversions
  • Conversion Rate Revenue Uplift Calculator (Excel)
    This one is for you and your boss – helps you measure conversion rate uplift
  • 15 Low-Cost Tools to Boost Your Conversion Rates (PDF)
    Testing, analytics and usability tools to boost conversions but don’t cost much
  • 60 Awesome Conversion Rate Optimization Case Studies (PDF)
    Handpicked case studies to help you kick-start your conversion rate efforts
  • 10 Quick High-Impact Conversion Rate Test Ideas (PDF)
    These easy to set up A/B test ideas will quickly boost your conversion rate
  • 30 Inspirational Conversion Boosting Call-to-Action Buttons (PDF)
    These 30 great CTA buttons will help inspire you to improve your current ones
  • 20 Highly-Engaging Headlines to Magnetize Your Visitors (PDF)
    Great headlines help boost conversions – learn from these 20 best practices

Check out this video overview to see the toolbox in action:

I’m very proud of this toolbox and it took me a long time to create, so please help spread the word by using the social buttons below. Thanks!

How to get access to the free toolbox:

It’s easy! Simply fill in this form below to get my toolbox.You will also receive updates to my blog and I won’t spam you.

Update: Grab it for free before I start charging $29 for it!

I’ve been told I’m crazy for giving this toolbox away for free. It’s proving so popular I’m going to start selling it for $29 soon. So grab it for free while you still can.

Do you have a corporate website? One that is a brick-and-mortar business website that doesn’t sell anything on it directly (like a lawyer or insurance broker)? Do you think its doing a great job of engaging your visitors or generating leads from them? I have bad news for you. It’s probably not doing very well. But why?

Unfortunately because corporate websites don’t actually sell anything on them, they are often overlooked and neglected by their owners – failing to realize their huge potential for generating leads and engaging their visitors to a higher level. Many of them make mistakes that kill their conversion rates – resulting in high bounce rates and low lead generation rates. To help I have put together a list of conversion killers so you know what to avoid, and how to fix them. Let’s get started…

Killer 1: It looks like an online brochure or TV ad

Many corporate website make the mistake of looking like just an online version of one of their brochures or your latest TV ad – with little interactivity, unique content or value to visitors. Not good for visitor engagement!

How to fix: Treat and design your corporate website like a distinct entity from your other marketing material, and make sure it solves the needs of your website visitors. Give it its own online personality and make it as interactive as possible – create engagement and conversion with your visitors!

Killer 2: It contains long blocks of text with few images

Yawn. People on websites don’t read, they scan. And people are drawn to good images. Many corporate websites don’t seem to understand this and its a sure fire way of increasing your bounce rates and lowering your conversion rates.

How to fix: Simplify and shorten your website text, take out the ‘fluff’, focus on important text only and make use of bullet points. Then add complimentary images that add value – not canned generic images – ideally of real customers.

Killer 3: It doesn’t offer good incentives to contact you

Many corporate websites just rely on having a ‘contact us’ form or link, and expect visitors to use them simply because they offer them. This really is no different that just having your phone number of your website – they don’t excite or give visitors good reasons to use them, resulting in few leads generated.

How to fix: Offer a free consultation or a free guide or ebook as a reason to contact you – and state the value of it to increase it’s worth to visitors. Clearly mention this incentive on your homepage to increase chances of it being seen.

Killer 4: It doesn’t show prominent compelling testimonials

A common mistake is for corporate websites to either not show any testimonials, make them way too long (so are hard to read) or don’t show any on their homepage. Testimonials really help build social proof that people are liking your company and increase the chances of others liking it and using it.

How to fix: Show some compelling short testimonials on your homepage, ideally above the page fold. Twitter testimonials are great for this.

Killer 5: You show mission statement, not value proposition

A mission statement is all about what your business wants to achieve (and are often very boring). They are great for your training your employees, but awful for meeting the needs of website visitors – they are often a waste of space and contribute towards high exit rates.

How to fix: Remove your mission statement and add your unique value proposition on your homepage instead – i.e. why someone should use your company instead of a competitor. This will help explain what you offer and your value to visitors, increasing engagement.

Killer 6: It uses too much technical jargon or many acronyms

Businesses love to make up their own acronyms and use jargon and then cover their websites with them, expecting website visitors to know what they are or mean. Very often though visitors don’t understand, resulting in confusion and higher exit rates.

How to fix: Dumb down your jargon (at least explain it clearly) and reduce usage of uncommon acronyms (at least spell them out!). Go ahead and review your text right now, put yourself in the shoes of your visitors to see what needs fixing.

 

Killer 7: It proclaims you are the best but offers no proof

Many corporate websites love to proclaim there business is the greatest or #1 in their field – yet many don’t back it up with proof. This makes the company look very ego-centric, not customer-centric.

How to fix: Show awards on your homepage that your business has won, along with expert testimonials/reviews, and the amount of years you have been in business. These all help build trust and credibility for your website, increasing conversions.

Killer 8: It doesn’t show business accreditation seals

Apple and Microsoft don’t have to show business accreditation seals on their website to build trust and credibility – people know these companies really well. There is a high chance they might not know your business though, particularly if you are a new company – increasing chances they won’t know or trust you.

How to fix: Join your local business councils or organizations (like Better Business Bureau) and add logos/seals for those in your website footer.

Killer 9: It uses bland non-engaging headlines

Many corporate websites are often guilty of using boring business headlines. These don’t intrigue and compel visitors to stick around and browse their website, meaning higher bounce rates from visitors.

How to fix: Create and use better headlines that intrigue your visitors – try using ones that ask relevant questions or solve for visitors needs, or action-based ones. Here is a great in-depth look at writing better headlines.

Killer 10: It has no good homepage call-to-action button

The homepages of many corporate websites act as dead-ends. People read them, and then often don’t know what to do next because there is no good main call-to-action button, or simply inundate and confuse the visitor with a plethora of links. And then there is the dreaded uninspiring ‘click here’ call-to-action link…

How to fix: Always place a good call-to-action button above the page fold, and at the end of your page. This call-to-action should intrigue your visitors to learn more, or take the next step in the decision making process. Don’t forget to test the wording, color, size and style of it to maximize clicks.

Now over to you – what are the things that drive you crazy with corporate websites? Who do you think has the worst corporate website?

If you are looking for a website creation tool that offers better options to help you increase your website sales and conversion rates, well you have found the right article! This review of website creation tools is perfect for small business owners who are looking to create a well-converting website, or looking to improve their current one.

Why is choosing the right tool so important? Well, there are now hundreds of online tools for quickly and easily creating your own website or online store.  But which ones give you the best features for obtaining higher website conversion rates and greater more? Luckily many of them are now beginning to offer new features to help you do this, so I’ve reviewed the major tools to help you see which have the best conversion rate boosting features. Let’s get started…

Shopify


These guys are one of the biggest players online for creating online stores. While they offer outstanding features for creating an online business, unfortunately they don’t really give you many built-in features to help increase conversion rates. They do offer a good integrated web analytics tool to help you monitor conversion rates and have effective mobile optimized versions to boost your mobile commerce conversion rates.

However, they seem to focus more on offering lots of conversion improving plug-in opportunities (like emailing targeting integration with MailChimp) – they really need to offer more built-in things like product reviews and ratings, and product recommendation options. Surely a huge opportunity for them in the future to improve.

Best conversion rate features: Mobile optimized websites and built-in great web analytics reporting.

Conversion Rate Score: 6/10

Big Commerce


They used to focus on creating shopping carts only, but they are now offering some amazing tools to build any kind of website (and claim to have built over 36K websites now). They were smart enough to include many features to help increase conversion rates and sales. This includes built-in product reviews and ratings at no extra cost (helps build social proof), single page checkout options to make it easier for visitors to checkout, product recommendations options to increase chances of visitors buying, and a fantastic abandoned shopping cart recovery email tool (available on premium plans only though).

They also offer conversion rate analysis with their integrated web analytics tool. Overall, fantastic for building a well converting website! No built in A/B testing tool though – however I couldn’t find any website creation tool that does (disappointing!)

Best conversion rate features: Product reviews and ratings, single checkout page option, and abandoned shopping cart tool.

Conversion Rate Score: 9/10

SquareSpace

SquareSpace are another one of the big boys in the website creation market, but they are very disappointing in terms of what they offer to boost website conversion rates and sales . They offer good features like built-in web analytics, and email marketing tool plugins definitely help too, but they don’t offer many integrated features needed for improving website conversion rates and sales. Very disappointing for such a big player in the market – must try harder.

Best conversion rate features: Built-in web analytics tool.

Conversion Rate Score: 5/10

Wix.com

One of the new website creation contender s who are advertising often is Wix.com. They offer the ability to create some amazing websites and online stores, but unfortunately they come out bottom of the heap in terms of built-in features to help improve conversion rates and sales. They offer even less than SquareSpace and Shopify, with not even any built in web analytics tool, and only offer the ability to bolt-on apps from other web tools. At least they are cheap though!

Best conversion rate features: None.

Conversion Rate Score: 3/10

1ShoppingCart.com

Similar to BigCommerce, these guys are also branching out beyond just offering shopping carts, and are now offering fully fledged website creation tools. Not quite as good as BigCommerce in terms of conversion rate improving features that are offered, but they do offer offer a great recommendations/product up-sell option to help you sell more products.

They also place much important emphasis on building trust and security to increase sales with the usage of prominent security badges and wording. Promising.

Best conversion rate features: Product upsell/recommendations tool.

Conversion Rate Score: 8/10

Goodsie.com

This less-known website creation tool offering is fairly new and very reasonably priced in comparison to the others reviewed above. They offer some good integrated conversion rate boosting features like a targeted email marketing system (the only tool reviewed that offers this built-in at no extra charge), integrated web analytics and sales reporting, and good mobile optimized website versions. They are lacking in the high-end design features and capabilities of the big boys, but keep an eye on these guys as they improve these other features.

Best conversion rate features: Fully integrated email marketing tool (at no extra cost – and no other tool offers this).

Conversion Rate Score: 7/10

Review wrap-up

So there we have it, reviews of the most popular website creation tools and their conversion rate improving features – BigCommerce definitely comes out on top! Strange though that none of these tools offer built-in A/B testing features though – surely this has to be coming soon? But don’t forget that while you can’t really use it for designing whole websites, you can use Unbounce.com to design and A/B test landing pages to boost your conversion rates.

Now over to you – which website creation tools have you used to help improve your website conversion rates and boost sales, and what experiences have you had with any of these tools mentioned?

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