5 Missteps that Lead to High Conversion Rates, But Kill Your ROI
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5 Missteps That Lead to High Conversion Rates, But Kill Your ROI

Last updated on November 9, 2016 by Ted Vrountas in Conversion Rate Optimization
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You’re pretty proud of yourself, aren’t you?

You wrote a killer headline, crafted some beautiful copy, made your prospects an irresistible offer, and your landing page conversions are through the roof because of your efforts. Seriously — you didn’t think conversion rates could be this high. You nailed it on the first try.

Or did you?

Contrary to popular belief, there is such a thing as a landing page that converts too well. It sounds farfetched, but it’s true.

If your conversion rate is absurdly high, but it’s not having an impact on your bottom line, which could indicate that there’s a disconnect somewhere in your marketing funnel.  

When that happens, consider A/B testing your landing page. Here are the five biggest things causing high conversion rates that are hurting your ROI.

5 Things causing high conversion rates, but hurting your ROI

1. You’re using too few form fields  

There’s generally an inverse relationship between the length of your lead capture form and the quality of leads you generate. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it: The less information you ask someone to divulge about themselves, and the less time they have to spend filling out your form, the more likely they are to claim your offer. That often means a form as short as this:

This picture shows why having too few form fields is good for conversions, but bad for ROI.

… will convert more leads than a form that looks like this:

This picture shows why a long form can be bad for conversions, but great for ROI.

With 13 form fields, 12 of them being mandatory, far fewer people are going to convert to get HubSpot's ebook. Whether they don’t feel comfortable sharing all that personal information, or they don’t have the time, odds are the first page is going to have a higher conversion rate.

However – if they do fill out all those fields, it means that they really want that ebook.

And the people who really want what you have to offer are the people who are most likely to make it all the way to the bottom of your sales funnel – to complete the buyer’s journey.

Test: A longer form to see if the quality of your leads improves, and your salespeople have an easier time nurturing them to sale.

2. Your offer is misleading

I once worked for a client who asked me to optimize a landing page for their vacation package service.

At first glance, the page looked good. It had a benefit-packed headline, an appropriately-sized form, bullet-pointed copy, and no exit points. That’s why I was surprised when the business owners told me they were generating leads, but those leads weren’t buying. So I did some more detective work.

When I asked them to explain the offer to me in person, I found the disconnect.

As it turns out, there was a discrepancy between the landing page copy and what the business was actually offering.

The headline read “Get 72% Off A Las Vegas Vacation,” and the body copy promised an all-inclusive 3-4 night getaway (flight discounts, food & drink vouchers — the works). But when leads were followed up with by call center representatives, they were told:

  • They “may or may not” be eligible for a flight discount depending on where they were traveling from
  • They would have to sit through a presentation led by the hotel staff, where they would be offered membership to the hotel at a price
  • The discounts they received would depend on where they stayed
  • They would have no control over which Vegas hotel they spent their vacation in
  • They would have to schedule their vacation several months ahead of time

…among other stipulations. It was basically a timeshare. But that wasn’t communicated effectively to the prospects on the business’ landing page. Therefore, those who gave up their phone number felt deceived when they received a call from the company’s sales staff.

It’s similar to the way prospects feel when you don’t message match correctly, and your landing page doesn’t deliver on the promise that your ad makes.

The funny part is, the timeshare was actually a pretty great deal. But after feeling deceived, nobody wanted to hear about it. If only this business had taken the time to fully explain the offer in the first place, they may have gotten entirely different results.

Test: Your copy by asking a stranger (friend, family member, etc.) to explain the offer to you. If they can’t understand it, you need to go into greater detail.

And that brings us to our next issue...

3. You’re not taking enough time to explain your offer completely

In the case of the vacation business, prospects were converting at a high rate because they didn’t fully understand the offer.

When you have a complicated product or service like that, it’s important to spend enough time explaining the details on your landing page. That means more copy, subheadlines, images, testimonials, and anything else you can think of that will inform your prospects thoroughly.

Neil Patel found that out after enlisting the help of an outside team to boost conversion rate. Here’s what the page looked like before, and after the Conversion Rate Experts finished optimizing it:

This picture compares a short page and a long page and explains why high conversion rates are bad for ROI.

The result was a 363% increase in conversions.

Now, making your landing page longer won’t always boost conversions. In this instance, you don’t want it to grow them since your conversion rate is already too high.

What you do want is to boost the quality of the leads that convert on your page. By making your page longer and more thorough, you ensure that everyone who clicks your call-to-action knows exactly what they’re getting.

Test: The length of your page. Try something longer to see if the quality of your leads improves.

4. Your offer isn’t relevant to your product or service

I was once asked by a real estate agent if offering free movie tickets in exchange for an email address was an effective lead generation strategy.

Of course, I want to see a free movie, but I don’t have any interest in buying or selling a home. There’s no connection between the lead magnet and the real estate business.

Because of that, the real estate agent is likely to have a high conversion rate, but low quality leads. A more effective landing page offer would be a free ebook that teaches sellers how to maximize their home’s value before putting it on the market, or a white paper full of questions for buyers to ask homeowners before they purchase.  

Test: Your offer. Make sure it’s relevant to your business, and that you’re giving your prospects something nobody else is offering.

5. You’re not nurturing your leads

Research has shown that 30-50% of leads aren’t ready to buy at the time they click your call-to-action. That’s as many as half of the people that convert on your landing page. So what do you do to convince them that your product is service is worth spending money?

You guide them down your marketing funnel with a great “thank you” page, educational content, targeted ads, and personalized emails, through a process known as lead nurturing.

Lead nurturing is essential to creating a great post-conversion experience, and turning your leads into customers.

According to studies done by MarketingSherpa, almost 80% of leads never transform into customers, and marketing departments that use lead nurturing campaigns reported a 45% higher ROI than marketing departments that don’t.

If you don’t already have a lead nurturing strategy, start creating one by following these five easy-to-follow tips.

And if you do, it might be time to…

Test: A different, more organized strategy for email follow-up. Try these three alternative strategies for turning landing page conversions into paying customers.  

Most of all, remember…

When your landing page conversion rate is high, but the impact on your bottom line is minimal, you need to focus improving the quality of your leads, not the quantity. Your conversions may drop, but your sales should grow.

To create and A/B test a landing page without technical staff, start here for free. To improve a landing page you’ve already created, check out the template importer in our professional and premium plans, and optimize in a matter of minutes.

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