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3 tactics to increase your conversion rates in the early startup stages

by Ana Lopez
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Since you already have a mechanism to make people aware of and interested in your product (or a marketing funnel in other words), conversion rates are perhaps the most important performance indicator for your early start-up.

The obvious reason is that a higher conversion rate will make you more money. More importantly, though, in the long run, a high conversion rate indicates that you succeed in convincing people that your solution would solve the problem you’re targeting and add value to their lives.

In the early start-up phase, product-market fit is all you need to think about – it is the most important predictor of your company’s long-term success. However, it can be difficult to test the value of your offering with a high degree of confidence if you fail in the preliminary stages – convincing your customers to give it a try.

This is not an easy task. As an early-stage startup, you don’t have the confidence that comes with a recognizable brand name (and customer reviews) or access to the resources that business products have.

So, here are three tips to help you convince your first customers to try your product.

1. Provide a smooth buying experience

Not having the resources of a big company doesn’t mean you can afford to provide your customers with an unprofessional and inefficient buying experience.

Consumer expectations are high these days. As mentioned, you don’t have the benefit of a well-known brand name, so you need to build trust from the start. And a professional-looking buying experience is one of the first impressions you make.

Fortunately, having a great looking website and a smooth checkout process is not hard to achieve these days. There are many cheap no-code page builders with well-designed templates and good checkout solutions. Make sure you use them – even if you’re not a tech person, the extra effort here at that stage is more than worth it.

That said, you don’t need to do anything special. When it comes to the buying process, innovation is your enemy. You need something simple and familiar that looks professional.

2. Take advantage of exclusivity

Since you’ve earned a certain amount of trust with your beautiful and informative landing page, one of your greatest conversion rate weapons is to provide exclusivity to your first-time buyers.

Your early adopters would like to be recognized as frontrunners. They take an extra risk by trusting you rather than an established producer, and it only makes sense that you offer them extra benefits for that risk.

The simplest thing you can do is offer a big discount for your first X number of users.

However, there are many other approaches you can take.

For example, you can choose to go for an invite-only route, similar to Clubhouse.

Alternatively, you can offer your first X number of customers direct support from the founder – this would also help you collect invaluable feedback about your product that would put you on the path to product-market fit.

3. Use urgency

Finally, you don’t want your potential customers to delay their purchase decision – in the validation phase of your project you are fighting against the clock. If you don’t watch the product market before your money runs out, you’ll have to close shop.

The easiest way to create a sense of urgency is to make your exclusivity offer a limited one – either limited in terms of time or in terms of users.

With exclusivity and urgency on your side, you should be able to get your first clients. Once this happens, make sure you’re using them properly – understand if they’re getting real value from your product and if they don’t – fix it ASAP. This will be the key that opens the door leading to the next stages of your business.

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