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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!

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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.

Callum Connects

Mikyung Kim, TV Commercial Producer

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Mikyung Kim is a savvy producer who runs her own TV and print production business, based in Hong Kong.

What’s your story?
I am a TV commercial and print producer working with advertising agencies and brands to bring their communication needs to the screen. My background is in film production and I started my career in Hollywood working with Oscar winning directors Michel Gondry and Alejandro González Iñárritu. Before starting my own company last year to produce content directly with agencies and brands, I was with Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong for nearly five years as the Senior Producer and Head of TV running the film production department.

What excites you most about your industry?
How it’s constantly evolving! Every day is different and it’s certainly never boring. I love that it’s a creative industry and that my job involves talking to people with creative minds on how we can bring a story on paper to life. It’s exciting that the advertising industry places high value on the creativity and effectiveness of content. I’ve produced a few commercials that creatively push the envelope with fun and sometimes wild ideas that have converted into positive brand awareness. Ever heard of KFC Finger Lickin’ Good…Nail Polish that yes, tastes like chicken? https://www.adweek.com/creativity/kfc-just-made-edible-finger-lickin-good-nail-polish-yeah-tastes-chicken-171245/

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born in Seoul and raised in Hong Kong until graduating from high school at HKIS. I spent my university years in Boston at Emerson College and worked in Los Angeles at Anonymous Content and Partizan Entertainment. But on a brief visit back to Hong Kong in 2010, I decided to move back and continue my career here, and it was the best decision I ever made.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Hong Kong is my home so it will always be my favourite city for business and for me personally. What I love about Hong Kong is that while I am based here, I can actually work with agencies and brands from anywhere in APAC. If I need to attend an important meeting, I can just hop on a quick flight easily. I spent most of 2017 working in Seoul with Korean agency Cheil and Samsung, and currently I am working with Japanese agency ADK and Toyota based in Singapore.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Fake it until you become it,” from Amy Cuddy’s TED talk. Worth a watch. This helped me early in my career when I felt like I was under qualified for the job I was in. I learned to fake my confidence and fake a powerful body language until I truly felt that confidence became something real. It was nerve wracking at first but it worked and now I don’t have to fake it.

Who inspires you?
My friends. Noelle who worked part time jobs while being a full time student to pay her own tuition while we were in college together. Osti who is a lawyer focused on supporting developing nations and a board member of Redress, an environmental NGO working to reduce waste in the fashion industry. Vanessa who runs a real estate company, co-owns the gym Crossfit Asphodel, started a health foods business called Quo and NGO The Keep Moving Project to promote wellness in our community. Cathy who will be the first Asian woman to direct a big budget superhero film starring Margot Robbie with Warner Bros and DC. And too many more to name!

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
5.2 million plastic bottles are thrown away in Hong Kong every day. Plastic pollution is a major issue for the environment and we as responsible citizens can do our small part by reducing our consumption of unnecessary plastic. I do mine by having a water filter at home and carrying my own reusable water bottle with me everywhere I go. I love the brand Hydroflask because the stainless steel material keeps water hot or cold for hours, so I don’t feel tempted to buy a cold water at 7-11 on those hot, humid days we have here.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
About five years ago I purchased my very first stock and put one month’s salary into it, which at the time was a lot of money for me. Knowing how that stock has performed now, I would have put all my savings into it.

How do you unwind?
Exercise is essential in my daily life to help clear my head and de-stress. My go to is a workout at Crossfit Asphodel, running outdoors, yoga and hiking. But a glass of red wine and live music at Soiree in Soho on Sunday night works pretty well too!

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
One of the best trips I ever took was to the island of Lombok in Indonesia. Two girl friends and I did a 3 day 2 night hiking and camping trip to summit the Mount Rinjani Volcano. It was physically challenging but mentally relaxing. There was no cellphone reception, no distractions, we had the company of nature and nights with skies full of shooting stars. It was pretty magical. We then went to the Gili Islands for a few days of scuba diving, yoga and sitting on the beach doing nothing but sipping on coconuts. That was pretty relaxing too.

Everyone in business should read this book:
“Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office” by Lois P. Frankel and “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg. Essential reads for every working woman and/or man who wants to know how to support the working women in their life.

Shameless plug for your business:
I am a TV commercial and print producer that can plug into an existing advertising agency or brand team to produce their communication needs. Many advertising agencies these days are scaling down so they have creative directors and account services but may not have an in-house producer, so I can fill that gap by becoming a part of the existing agency team. For brands that want to produce content directly without involving an agency, I can also bridge the gap by bringing my production knowledge in-house and working as part of the marketing/brand team and liaising with the other departments in the company such as product team and ecomm.

How can people connect with you?
They can email me at [email protected]
or visit my website at mkimproducer.com

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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Callum Connects

Renne Ballard, Owner of Renée Ballard Communications

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Renne Ballard runs a social media agency working with business women, helping them find their business’s voice.

What’s your story?
I began my career in PR/communications ten years ago in Australia, after arriving home from two years in Dubai. In Dubai I was working for Emirates Airlines as a flight attendant and flying around the world non-stop for two years. This really sparked my interest for how people communicate. I started out as a community manager for an online advertising company, then moved into the corporate world of outdoor advertising, managing internal and external PR and communications. After having a baby four years ago, I decided to leave the safety net of corporate, and stride out on my own. I now run a social media agency and I specialise in working with business women, helping to find their business’ voice so they can use social media to achieve their business goals.

What excites you most about your industry?
I love the open accessibility online provides. It’s free for businesses to get online and connect with their target audience. Twenty years ago, advertising and PR was insanely expensive and quite elitist, but through incredible platforms like Facebook or Twitter, any business can connect with who is looking for their product/solution. Social media is particularly effective for small businesses because they have the edge when it comes to authenticity and a clear voice.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m in Hong Kong because I’m a trailing spouse. I know it’s such a daggy term, but I love it, it makes me sound so dedicated to my husband! Alas, we came to Hong Kong for my husband’s work. He’s the Design Director of Asia for an international retail design agency. We’ve been here for almost two years and it’s been a huge learning curve in terms of business and culture. We love the fast-paced nature of Hong Kong and the fact that everything is open late – it suits me perfectly because I’m nocturnal.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
That’s easy, Hong Kong. It’s the perfect blend of start-ups and mothership-sized institutions. I love the small business side, watching the collaborations between workshare spaces with galleries, networking groups and foodies; it’s a hothouse of creative partnerships here.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
When you’re are feeling scared about your next step, lean in and feel the difference. Is it fear mixed with excitement? Or fear mixed with dread? Always go with the former and cut loose the latter.

Who inspires you?
I love Tamara Mellon (Jimmy Choo founder). She has created multiple empires and she never stops trying new business models and pushing her limits. It helps that I love shoes too.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I just turned 40 years old. At best, I’m probably halfway through my life. It makes me constantly question, “Am I where I want to be?”

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have asked more questions to the people I looked up to, and listened less to the people telling me I won’t achieve my goals.

How do you unwind?
In this day and age, it’s scandalous to say, but I love sunbaking. At any chance, you’ll find me poolside, laying in the sun in a trance-like state.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Northern Danang in Vietnam. We were there at Christmas, at the foot of the mountains and it was beautiful. Heaps of wildlife and jungles and enough five star resorts that I was never parched once.

Everyone in business should read this book:
‘The E Myth’ by Michael Gerber. It’s an oldie but a goodie because it succinctly outlines how to transition from a one person operation to a global business like McDonalds. Once you see how important systems and processes are, you can recognise shambolic companies a mile off.

Shameless plug for your business:
Renée Ballard Communications is a social media agency that works with business women who are ready to make social media work for them. We create effective, powerful social media strategies that are tailored to the people who will be breathing life into them. We hand on heart promise to never use annoying, marketing buzzwords and that we value laughter above everything else.

How can people connect with you?
[email protected] or www.reneeballard.com or +85296670115

Twitter handle?
@ballard_comms

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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