LeadPages CEO Clay Collins Shares 5 Smart Conversion Strategies for Startups
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If you think that the brilliant mind behind LeadPages, one of the web’s easiest-to-use landing-page generators, comes from a hard-core sales and marketing background, you’d be wrong.
Clay Collins, LeadPage’s co-founder and CEO, isn’t a sales guy at all. He’s a PhD dropout in developmental neuropsychology, a field from which he approached issues in psychology using a highly scientific perspective.
But the science world’s loss is the software world’s gain, as Collins' unique background allows him to translate his understanding of human behavior into tools that get leads and turn prospects into conversions.
Here are just five of the strategies he shared in a recent interview with Growth Everywhere:
1. Treat every piece of content like a lead magnet.
Early in our conversation, Collins made it clear that startups shouldn’t treat landing pages as a once-in-a-while pursuit. Instead, he argued that every single piece of content you publish -- from blog posts to podcasts, and live talks to demo pages -- represents an opportunity to get a new prospective customer into your funnel.
To prove his point, Collins shared a presentation he gave at ICON, Infusionsoft’s annual user conference. While on stage, he encouraged people to download the presentation’s slide deck by texting a specific code to “ICON.” The result? He converted 70 percent of the seminar’s 500 people, adding 350 new leads to his list that day.
2. Use content upgrades regularly.
The idea of content upgrades isn’t new, but if you aren’t already using them, Collins' experience should convince you to make them a top priority.
Essentially, a content upgrade is a supplementary piece of content that expands on the subject of the original piece, such as a downloadable PDF checklist that complements the information found in a blog post. Collins points out that while most blog posts convert between 0.5 percent to 2 percent of global users, he’s seen conversion rates as high as 30 percent to 75 percent for blog posts that incorporate content upgrades.
The bottom line is: Content upgrades are an easy way to get more out of readers by giving them more value. So, start adding content upgrades to your site today.
3. Involve everyone in the content-creation process.
I advocate for the use of content upgrades, but I can hear you thinking, “Eric, how am I supposed to find time to create even more content on top of the work I’m already doing?”
The simple solution from Collins is to leverage the people you already have on your team.
At LeadPages, he employs a full-time YouTube person, as well as a full-time podcast creator. And every time he publishes a new video or podcast, these people create the content upgrade that will be associated with it. Not only does this take the burden off your writers and designers, but it creates higher-quality work. After all, who could do a better job creating expanded content than the person who put the initial piece together?
4. Test headlines and copy.
Given its focus on landing page conversions, it’s no surprise that LeadPages actively tests its website and encourages users to do the same. The problem, according to Collins, is that so few clients are testing the right things.
“The problem with most people is that they tend to split-test the smaller things rather than bigger things," Collins said. "The typical split testing that most businesses do is to play around with button color -- which is not the most effective use of your time. Generally, the best things to test are headlines and copy, rather than layout.”
So pick a good CTA button color and then leave it alone; focus your split testing on bigger things like content and value.
5. Provide massive value up front.
Finally, if you’re serious about building your brand’s reputation and dramatically growing your list, you can’t be afraid to do something different -- especially when it comes to the way you provide value to your followers.
In LeadPage’s case, Collins' commitment to serving users has resulted in the company giving away several training courses that other companies might sell for $200 to $400. It’s a loss up front, but Collins said he had found that by offering free content, you create a kind of tension in users’ minds that ultimately results in their opting-in to the company’s list to see what else is available. (This is where his background in developmental neuropsychology comes in handy!)
In fact, this approach has been so successful that LeadPages has seen an eight-to-ten times' increase in opt-in rates and a 60 percent conversion rate off landing pages that feature this huge amount of free information.
To learn more about Clay’s experiences at LeadPages’ helm, check out our full conversation below:
Are you using any of these strategies? What have your results been like? Share your experiences by leaving a comment below.