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Entrepreneurship

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!

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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.

Entrepreneurship

Women on Top in Tech – Laina Raveendran Greene, Co-Founder at Angels of Impact

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(Women on Top in Tech is a series about Women Founders, CEOs, and Leaders in technology. It aims to amplify and bring to the fore diversity in leadership in technology.)

Here is our interview with Laina Raveendran Greene, Founder of GETIT Inc. and Co-Founder of Angels of Impact, an impact network focused on women social entrepreneurs helping to alleviate poverty. She is an entrepreneur and social impact investor, whose passion is female empowerment, and enabling women to be key agents to help alleviate poverty in Asia.

What makes you do what you do?
As a minority female Singaporean from relatively humble beginnings, I have never taken anything for granted. I learnt early on that I have to work doubly hard to overcome the “glass ceilings” but if I persevere, I can succeed. That is why I chose to focus on helping women-led social enterprises as I know how hard things are for them and I hope to make things a little easier for them.

How did you rise in the industry you are in? 
I rose by being courageous enough to push against the “glass ceiling” and seizing opportunities open to me no matter where they were. Early on, I realized I would have better opportunities overseas, so I worked in many countries, including Switzerland, USA, and Indonesia and used these opportunities to learn and open new avenues for myself. I now come back to Singapore with many more networks and skill sets.

Why did you take on this role/start this startup especially since this is perhaps a stretch or challenge for you (or viewed as one since you are not the usual leadership demographics)?
Yes, as a minority Singaporean, it may appear that I am not the usual leadership demography in Singapore. In my own way, however, I think I have amassed my own international accolades and work experience such as serving as the first Secretary General for the Asia Pacific Internet Association, CEO of one of the first few tech startups in Singapore in the early 90s, being on the International Steering Committee of the Global Telecommunication Women Network, and most recently selected as one of the 2nd cohort of Edmond Hillary Fellows in New Zealand.

I am now moving to the next phase of using these networks and skills to help other women to social enterprises, which seem to be exactly what I want to do in my next phase of life (after more than 25 years of global work experience).

Do you have a mentor that you look up to in your industries or did you look for one or how did that work? 
It was harder in my younger days, as one of the few women in tech to find mentors but today I do.  Men were reluctant to mentor me for fear of rumors.

How did you make a match if you did, and how did you end up being mentored by him? 
I found my mentor when I was taking an executive program at Stanford. He was one of the keynote speakers and I went to talk to him. Intrigued by my background, when I asked if he would mentor me, he said yes. I meet with him at regular intervals and I always ensure I have put his ideas to test before reporting back to him. I feel that I value his time if I do actually listen and act on his advice.

Now as a leader how do you spot, develop, keep, grow and support your talent? 
The key qualities I look for is an eagerness to learn and humility to be open to new ideas. Also, when asked to be a mentor, I usually give homework and see how proactive they are. Only the ones who do their homework, take the advice and act on it, are the ones I actively mentor.

Do you consciously or unconsciously support diversity and why?
I consciously and unconsciously support diversity, as I see the importance of diversity on true innovation. You never get anything new, talking to like-minded people. It is always good to have different perspectives to create new ideas. I am also an active supporter having faced racial and gender discrimination in my life and want to ensure that others are given a better chance.

What is your take on what it takes to be a great leader in your industry and as a general rule of thumb? 
A great leader to me is one who has empathy and humility, and a genuine spirit of service. Today’s challenges such as climate change and social injustice, requires many players to apply their knowledge and skills to solve and have a sense of ownership in solving these issues

Advice for others?
The only advice I can think of is do what you are strongly passionate about. You need to persevere to succeed so it helps if you truly care about the endeavor you are working on.

If you’d like to get in touch with Laina Raveendran Greene, please feel free to reach out to her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laina/

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Callum Connects

Denise Morris Kipnis, Founder & Principal of ChangeFlow Consulting

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Denise Mossis Kipnis’ curiosity in people and the world, lead her to set up ChangeFlow Consulting.

What’s your story?
I’m driven by curiosity. Having been the only one in a room who looks like me for most of my life, I developed a curiosity about who stays, who leaves and who thrives in minority/majority situations including when and how connection and collaboration happen. I was a systems thinker long before I knew what that was, always asking why and so what; and seeing the pieces, the whole, and the places in between. So helping people and organisations move through the complexity of transformation feels natural to me.

What excites you most about your industry?
I see change and inclusion as two sides of the same thing; I don’t practice one without the other. Some people see change as death, as loss, as exhausting. And it can be. But I see in the work I do as an opportunity for something new or hidden to emerge. When an organisation understands that it is first a group of people, who themselves represent and belong to groups of people, and it begins to tackle what it would mean to understand and learn from all that talent, all that diversity, to have them all working for and not against the organisation, to truly unleash all that their people have to offer; that’s magic.

What’s your connection to Asia?
Change and inclusion are personal values as well as professional strengths. For me, living and working outside of the States was a bold experiment to see whether any of the stuff I’d learned about change and inclusion would work outside of the US. My husband and I targeted Asia specifically: it would be the greatest contrast, culturally speaking, for me; and a unique career springboard for him.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Although I’ve practiced in other cities, I am biased towards Singapore. In some ways it’s what Los Angeles is to the rest of the United States, a microcosm of sorts. The regional/global nature of it means that so many different nationalities and cultures are represented. As a result of this mix, you never know what you might get. In some situations, cultural dynamics are obvious, sometimes subdued. The variability is compelling.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Never ask anyone to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself.” Michael Rouan.

Who inspires you?
Often it’s a “what” not a “who.” I can get inspiration from a passage in a book or a situation in a movie, as well as a turn of a phrase or watching people interact. I often make the biggest connections between the various threads I’m working on when I’m sitting in someone else’s event.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I’m honestly not blown away by much. Instead, I’m struck how circular things can be: ideas often come back around with a slightly different twist and I watch the way it shakes things loose for people. I recently sat through a workshop on Self as Instrument, and despite being thoroughly versed already, I learned something. In preparing for a panel on design thinking, I unearthed a new language to describe things.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
You’ve caught me at a good time. I’m sitting in appreciation and gratitude for all my experiences, because I wouldn’t be who I was today if all that has happened, didn’t. And yet one thing comes to mind: It wasn’t until I redesigned my website two years ago (shout out to Brew Creative!) that I realised I hadn’t made explicit agreements with my past clients as to what I could share publicly about our engagement, or whether I could use their logos in my promotional materials. In my business, confidentiality is so important, and yet I need to be able to talk about the work as reputation and experience leads to the next success, and so on. It turned out a lot of the contacts I had known had left the organisations where the work was done, so they couldn’t help at that point. So the practice I’m carrying forward is to get those agreements up front, and to make sure my relationships in client systems are broad as well as deep.

How do you unwind?
Science fiction, puzzles, wine.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Home. I don’t travel to relax, I travel to learn and explore.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Built to Change, by Ed Lawler and Chris Worley. To my knowledge, it’s the first pivot from advising organisations away from stability and toward dynamism, from strategic planning to strategizing as an action verb; to blow up the traditions and rigidity that impede organisations from developing change capability.

Shameless plug for your business:
We’re taught that there are two kinds of people: those who see forests, and those who see trees. There is a third type, my type, and we see the ecosystem. Worms, climate, birds, the spaces in between. This is the perspective organisations need to be successful in solving complex problems and thriving in change.
ChangeFlow uniquely blends four disciplines (two of which are multi-disciplinary in themselves): organisation development, culture and inclusion, change management and project management.

How can people connect with you?
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChangeFlowConsulting/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dmorriskipnis/
LinkedIn Company page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/4862954/
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.changeflowconsulting.com

Twitter handle?
@ChangeFlow

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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