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How to improve landing page conversion rates by increasing visitor motivation

[In this article sales lead is a website visitor who made contact via an enquiry form, phone call or live chat. Conversions = sales leads.]

The kind of Google Ads I do for my clients lives and dies by conversion rate. High conversion rate and I look like a rockstar. Low conversion rate and I waste my client’s money.

If there was an equation for conversions it might be:


Increase motivation and focus and you get more conversions. Decrease friction and you get more conversions. But, sap a visitor’s motivation, distract their focus or make your site difficult to use and your conversion rate will drop.

Over the years I’ve invested many hours into designing landing pages that promote focus and reduce friction. But I’d never tried to improve conversion rates by working on motivation.

That changed when I took on a client who was pioneering a concept in his market.

Being a pioneer is tough. When you launch a brand new idea you’ve got to convince people that the idea is good, and then you have to convince them to use you. It’s much harder than selling to people who are already comfortable with the idea and are just looking for a vendor.

I’d worked hard to reduce friction and keep the visitor focussed on what we wanted them to do but the conversion rate was still lower than I’d like.

It was time to try increase the visitor’s motivation.

Using fear of missing out to prompt immediate action .

Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a strong motivator and I had a legitimate case for using it. The client has limited the number of contracts available while they’re testing the concept. I used this by adding some text near the top of the page.

Using reassurance to keep the momentum going.

Visitors to the site have momentum. They've searched Google, read our ad, clicked on it and got to the landing page. I needed to find words that would sustain that momentum and convince them to complete the form.

I poured over the 300 or so enquiries we’d got in the first few months. Many included some variation of the question “I have a poor credit record, can I qualify?”

My client's offering is a good fit for people who have poor credit score. We emphasised this in the adverts, but not enough on the landing page.

Chances were good that some of the visitors we lost had been declined in the past and didn't want to risk rejection again.

I had to assure them that it was worth enquiring as there was a very high chance of them being successful. So, I compiled all the ways people had phrased the question about whether they qualified for the deal into a “Yes list”. Here’s a screenshot.

The concept of a yes list came from this 2017 article by Jason Fried

Did the conversion rate increase?

I tested the changed copy on about a fifth of the traffic. After a couple of weeks it was evident that there was a significant lift. A 37% improvement in conversion rate on my test page.

I switched the rest of the traffic to the “added motivation” landing pages. The results have been great so far: just a hair off doubling conversion rate (99.8% increase).

Honest admission: I'm claiming bragging rights, but, we started from a low base and I think there is scope to double the conversion rate again.

Here’s a simple exercise if you’re looking to improve conversion rates.

Grab a bit of paper and divide it into 3 columns. Title the columns “Increase motivation”, “Improve focus” and “Reduce friction”. Jot down as many ideas as you can in each column. It doesn’t matter if the ideas are wild. You’re not committing to them, just getting ideas that might be worth testing.

You might also find my book on high-converting enquiry forms useful. I’ll send you a copy when you subscribe using the form below.

Need some help with this?

I offer 1-to-1 mentoring and consulting. You’ll get help, advice, support and answers without having to commit to a long-term contract. Details here.

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