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6 Reasons Why Your Conversion Rate Is Zero

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Nothing is worse that abandoning a good idea because it ended with zero % conversion rate. That’s called a false negative.

Here are a few things to check when our conversion rate looks so low that we’re considering abandoning the idea. This list is in order of least likely to most likely based on personal observations and experience.

6) Can’t find the button!usability testing for low conversion rates

It doesn’t happen that often, but it does happen. Maybe the hero image is a bit too colorful and it’s obscuring the CTA. Maybe there’s a cross-browser issue making the button hard to find.

How to fix it:

A simple round of usability tests can fix most obvious landing page issues. For a single page, a handful of usability tests can be done on paper prototypes and then full color mockups in an hour or two. It’s a small cost to make sure the page has basic functionality.

5) Customers don’t want it

Product/Market FitYep…sometimes. It just so happens that customers aren’t interested in our product. While it’s not surprising this is on the list, it’s not the top reason.

How to fix it:

Back to the drawing board. Time to pivot the value prop or the customer segment.

4) The wrong people

If your conversion rate is zero, make sure you're sending to the right peopleSometimes its not that the idea is bad, it’s that we’re showing the value prop to the wrong people.

As entrepreneurs, we’re often trying to conquer the world with products for “everyone.” This is a terrible waste of a great idea that might be perfect for a growing niche that will soon become the mainstream.

Poorly targeted channels means our early adopter niche might get washed out by an overly general (and uninterested) audience.

How to fix it:

Use customer discovery interviews to create good customer personas and use those personas to pick highly targeted marketing channels. Only send people who fit our early adopter profile to the page!

3) Not enough people!

a low sample size can lead to a low conversion rate if the target audience gets drowned out but a more generalized audienceStatistics is not a common skill set. When we look at the results of the test, are we including a margin or error? Do we know what the desired confidence level is?

If not…consider reading a good book on the subject. Naked Statistics is a fairly good read.

Another simple option is to google “Sample size calculator” and playing around with one of several margin of error/sample size calculators available.

By changing the numbers, we can understand which variables have an impact on our interpretation of the data. It’s worth digging into details.

Still struggling with this? Tell @TriKro to write a post on statistics by clicking here: Hey @TriKro, please write a post explaining statistics for Product Managers!

How to fix it:

If we can easily increase our sample size, send more people!

If we can not increase our sample size, test big changes that are likely to have big effects. With 100 people visiting a landing page a week, testing 41 shades of blue is not going generate a detectable difference. Go for big bold changes in the value proposition.

2) They don’t understand it

Comprehension test - stop clubbing baby sealsAs experts in a particular domain, we sometimes talk in our own specialized language that a user may not understand. This can’t be emphasized strongly enough…

USERS WON’T BUY WHAT THEY CAN’T UNDERSTAND

Once simple real example: “Increase your customer LTV”

Guess what? SMB eCommerce owners don’t know what LTV stands for.

Try: “Increase your customer Lifetime Value”

Oops….what does “lifetime value” mean?

If only 50% of visitors can clearly understand our value proposition, we’re throwing away 50% of our sales.

Keep it simple! e.g.: “Get your customers to stay longer and spend more money”

How to Fix it:

Run a comprehension test before running a landing page test. Here’s a toolto track your tests. Come up with a few understandable variations and then A/B test them.

1) The analytics are broken

Zero conversion rate? Check if analytics are brokenYep. The most common reason for an unexpectedly low conversion rate is simple that there’s a bug in the code or analytics. Could be we’re not screening out internal traffic from our team in the results or that a javascript snippet got mangled.

It seems ridiculous that this is the most common reason for a low or zero conversion rate, but I will swear up and down that it’s true. I’ve personally seen very very smart people screw this up. Sometimes a small typo will break things.

How to fix it:

Just test it before deploying! Manually if needed.

It’s a decent idea to have more than one analytics package installed to double check things. Most are asynchronous javascript and won’t add to page load time and tools like segment.io can let you still one bit of javascript and send the data to multiple analytics services.

HeapAnalytics.com is also worth checking out for early stage startups as they allow for retrospective analytics. Tools like Google Analytics may require detailed configuration of a conversion funnel. When the funnel changes, adjusting the GA settings may happen too late and data is lost. Heap saves all the data and can be reconfigured even after the fact.

Conclusion

Don’t panic! Don’t give up on your vision because of a bad result. Debrief and do a retrospective and understand why the numbers are bad before passing final judgement.

Happy testing!

____________________________________________________

About the Author

This article was written by Tristan Kromer of Grasshopper Herder. Tristan helps product teams go fast. As a lean startup coach, he works with innovation teams to run at least one experiment/research per week to improve their product and business model.To do this, they apply lean startup principles and break down big problems in small steps.For early stage startups, Tristan volunteers his time Lean Startup Circle. For larger companies and governments, Tristan’s team at TriKro LLC coaches teams on an ongoing basis and help design Innovation Ecosystems.

Callum Connects

Benjamin Kwan, Co-Founder of TravelClef

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Making music to create a life for his family, Benjamin Kwan, started an online tuition portal and his music business grew from there.

What’s your story?
I am Benjamin and I’m the Co-Founder of TravelClef Group Pte Ltd, a travelling music school that conducts music classes in companies as well as team building with music programmes. We also run an online educational platform which matches private students to freelance music teachers. We also manufacture our own instruments. I started this company in 2011 when I was still a freshman at NUS, majoring in Mechanical Engineering.

I was born to a lower income family, my father drove a taxi and was the sole breadwinner to a family of 7. I have always dreamed of becoming rich so that I could lessen the burden placed on my father and give my family a good life.

After working really hard in my first semester at NUS, my results didn’t reflect the hard work and effort I put in. At the same time, I was left with just $42 in my bank account and it suddenly dawned on me that if I were to graduate with mediocre results, I would probably end up with a mediocre salary as well. I knew I had to do something to gain control of my future.

During that summer break, I read a book “Internet Riches” by Scott Fox and I knew that the only way I could ever start my own business with my last $42 would be to start an online business. That was how our online tuition portal started and after taking 4 days to learn Photoshop and website building on my own, I started the business.

What excites you most about your industry?
Music itself is a constant form of excitement to me as I have always been an avid lover of music. As one of the world’s first travelling music schools, we are always very eager and excited to find innovative ways to a very traditional business model of a music teaching.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in Singapore and I love the fact that despite our diversity in culture, there’s always a common language that we share, music.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Hands down, SINGAPORE! Although we are currently in talks to expand to other regions within Asia, Singapore is the best place for business. I have had friends asking me if they should consider venturing into entrepreneurship in Singapore, my answer is always a big fat YES! There’s a low barrier of entry, and most importantly, the government is very supportive of entrepreneurship.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
I have been blessed by many people and mentors who constantly give me great advice but right now, I would say the best piece of advice that I received would be from Dr Patrick Liew who said, “Work on the business, not in it.” This advice is constantly ringing in my head as I work towards scaling the business.

Who inspires you?
My dad. My dad has always been my inspiration in life, for the amount of sacrifices that he has made for the family and the love he has for us. He was the umbrella for all the storms that my family faced and we were always safe in his shelter. Although my dad passed away after a brief fight with colorectal cancer, the lessons that he imparted to me were very valuable as I build my own family and business.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
You can not buy time, but you can spend money to save time! With this realisation, I was willing to allow myself to spend some money, in order to save more time. Like taking Grab/Uber to shuttle around instead of spending time travelling on public transport. While I spend more money on travelling, I save a lot more time! This doesn’t mean that I spend lavishly and extravagantly, I am still generally prudent with my money.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have taken more time to spend with my family and especially my father. While it is important to focus our time to build our businesses, we should always try our best to allocate family time. Because as an entrepreneur, there is no such thing as “after I finish my work,” because our work is never finished. If our work finishes, the business is also finished. But our time with our family is always limited and no matter how much money and how many successes we achieve, we can never use it to trade back the time we have with our family.

How do you unwind?
I am a very simple man. I enjoy TV time with my wife and a simple dinner with my family and friends.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Batam, it’s close to Singapore and there’s really nothing much to do except for massages and a relaxing resort life. If I travel to other countries for shopping or sightseeing, I am constantly thinking of business and how I can possibly expand to the country I am visiting. But while relaxing at the beach or at a massage, I tend to allow myself to drift into emptiness and just clear my mind of any thoughts.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Work The System, by Sam Carpenter. This book teaches entrepreneurs the importance of creating systems and how to leverage on systems to improve productivity and create more time.

Shameless plug for your business:
If you are looking for a team building programme that your colleagues will enjoy and your bosses will be happy with, you have to consider our programmes at TravelClef! While our programmes are guaranteed fun and engaging, it is also equipped with many team building deliverables and organizational skills.

How can people connect with you?
My email is [email protected] and I am very active on Facebook as well!
https://www.facebook.com/benjamin.christian.kwan

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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Entrepreneurship

Before you enter a Startup or before you choose your founding team or new hires read, “Entering Startupland” by Jeff Bussgang

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Before you enter a Startup or before you choose your founding team or new hires read “Entering Startupland” by Jeff Bussgang.

Jeff knows how to spot and groom good culture, as the book session was held in Zestfinance a company he invested in and now, “The Best Workplaces for Women” and for “The Best Workplaces for Tech”, by Fortune.

These are the questions during the Book Launch.

How to know if a hire including the founder is Startup material?
Jeff says to watch for these qualities.

First, do the hires think like an owner?
Second, do the hires test the limits, to see how things can it be done better?
Are they problem solvers and are biased toward action?
Do they like managing uncertainty and being comfortable with uncertainty? And comfortable with rapid decision-making?
Are they comfortable with flexible enough to take in a series of undefined roles and task?

How do we know if we are simply too corporate to be startup?

Corporate mindsets more interested in going deep into a particular functional area? These corporate beings are more comfortable with clear and distinct lines of responsibility, control, and communication? They are more hesitant or unable to put in the extra effort because “it’s not my job”.

If you do still want to enter a startup despite the very small gains at the onset, Jeff offers a few key considerations on how to pick a right one.

He suggests you pick a city as each city has a different ecosystems stakeholders and funding sources and market strengths. You have to invest in the ecosystem and this is your due diligence. Understand it so you can find the best match when it arises.
Next, to pick a domain, research and solidify your understanding with every informational interview and discussion you begin. Then, pick a stage you are willing to enter at. They are usually 1)in the Jungle, 2) the Dirt Road or 3) the Highway. The Jungle has 1-50 staff and no clear path with distractions everywhere and very tough conditions. The Dirt Road gets clearer but is definitely bumpy and windy. Well the Highway speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

Finally Please – Pick a winner!

Ask people on the inside – the Venture Capitalists, the lawyers, the recruiters and evaluate the team quality like any venture capitalists would. Would you want to work for the team again and again? And is the startup working in a massive market? Is there a clear recurring business model?

After you have picked a winning team and product, how would you get in through the door?

You need to know that warm introductions have to be done. That’s the way to get their attention. Startups value relationships and people as they need social capital to grow. If you have little experience or seemingly irrelevant experience, go bearing a gift. Jeff shared a story of a young ambitious and bright candidate with no tech experience who went and did a thorough customer survey of the users of the startup she intended to work with. She came with point-of-view and presented her findings, and they found in her, what they needed at that stage. She became their Director of Growth. Go in with the philosophy of adding value-add you can get any job you want.

And as any true advisor would do, Jeff did not mince his words, when he reminded the audience that, “If you can’t get introduced you may not be resourceful enough to be in startup.”

Startupland is not a Traditional Career or Learning Cycles

Remember to see your career stage as a runs of 5 years, 8 or 10 – it is not a life long career. In Startup land consider each startup as a single career for you.

Douglas Merrill, founder of Zestfinance added from his hard-earned experience that retention is a challenge. Startup Leaders to keep your people, do help them with the quick learning cycles. Essentially from Jungle to Dirt road, the transition can be rapid and so each communication model that starts and exists, gets changed quickly. Every twelve months, the communication model will have no choice but to break down and you have to reinvent the communication model. Be ready as a founder and be ready as a member of the startup.

Another suggestion was to have no titles for first two years. So that everyone was hands-on and also able to move as one entity.

Effective Startupland Leaders paint a Vision of the Future yet unseen.

What I really enjoyed and resonated with as a coach and psychologist was how Douglas at the 10th hire thought very carefully what he was promising each of his new team member. He was reminded that startups die at their 10th and their 100th hires. He took some mindful down time and reflected. He then wrote a story for each person in his own team and literally wrote out what the company would look like and their individual part in it. In He writing each of the team members’ stories into his vision and giving each person this story, it was a powerful communication piece. He definitely increased the touch points and communication here is the effective startup’s leverage.

Douglas and Jeff both suggested transparency from the onset.

If you think like an owner and if you think of your founding team as problem solvers. Then getting transparent about financials with your team is probably a good idea. As a member of a startup, you should insist on knowing these things
Such skills and domain knowledge will be valuable. There is now historical evidence of people leaving startups and being a successful founder themselves because they were in the financial trenches in their initial startup. Think Paypal and Facebook Mafia.

What drives people to enter a startup?

The whole nature of work is changing. Many are ready to pay to learn. Daniel Pink’s book Drive showed how people are motivated by certain qualities like Mastery, Autonomy and Where your work fits into big picture. Startups do that naturally. There is a huge amount of passion and the quality of team today and as it grows then the quality of company changes.

The Progress principle is in place, why people love their startup jobs is not money rather are my contributions being valued? Do I see a path of progress and do I have autonomy over work and am I treated well?

Find out more about StartupLand on Amazon

And learn from Zestfinance

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