Drop all the thoughts you may be having right now and think about this: What happens to your website visitor in the time between their initial visit to your site and the time they swipe their card on your site? Now think specifically: Which steps does the visitor have to take on your website to to feel comfortable purchasing your service? How long would it take a user to take all these steps? Are you presenting the right triggers at the right time?
You recently read about the different triggers we used to achieve kick ass conversions with Verify. Now it's time to learn how we actually come up with trigger points for our apps. Short answer - we use what is called a customer lifecycle map. This map isna''t some diagram to make you sound smart at a meeting. Ita''s what you use to convert and retain your website customers. Ready to see how we used it for our flagship app Notable? Sure you are if you want to make money with your own app.
Engage: Why do visitors even look at your site?
Take a look at this little lifecycle map which we created for Notable. The first step was to figure out why our customers started poking around on our site. Why would they register for the free trial? Answers to these questions help us understand how to convert these window shoppers down the line. Here are a few tips for getting answers to these questions:
- Intercept a few folks with a chat tool when they arrive on your site and chat with them
- Take a look at where visitors go on your site and what they click on
- Talk with a few new users over the phone and ask them
Acquire: What do we need to do in order to convert visitors to buyers?
List all the key actions the user has to do before they perceive enough value in your tool to buy your product/service. For Notable it was easy:
- Sign up for Free Trial
- Capture a site and annotate it
- Share an annotated post with someone else
- Get comments back from someone on your shared post
Boom! The magic occurs after step #4. A user sees enough value in the tool and would be willing to transact. So the problem now becomes how can you get them to step #4 as fast as possible? In Notable's case we've learned that people drop off on steps #3 and #4. We've investigated the reasons for people dropping off and are now working to revamp the sharing/commenting features and tour to do a better job at encouraging people to perform these steps.
Acquire: Triggering users to follow the next step
The key is to keep the customer moving along from step #1 to step #4. How can you do that? For Notable we came up with a number of ways to push the user to do the next step in the chain. Here are just some of the ways:
- Conversion emails work great. If we see that you have not captured anything or have not shared a post or have not received a comment within a certain time wea''ll send you an email stating why you should perform the next step. Wea''ll send a total of four emails in the first 30 days of you starting to use the tool. We actually give you reasons of why your life will be better if you do the next step. It goes without saying that you should have an opt our link in these emails.
- We're currently working on adding tips throughout Notable pages triggering folks to perform the next step depending on the state they are currently in. For example: You havena''t shared anything yet, by sharing youa''ll be able to do Xa''
Retain: Reduce downgrades and cancels
How long do customers continue to subscribe? 3 months? 6 months? Your job is to keep them engaged and happy so they don't downgrade. This means that you're constantly:
- Monitoring activity on your site and figuring out if people are moving through the steps above.
- Giving users a reason to stay engaged with your tool through useful tips and information you publish on your blog.
- Chatting with at least 1 customer everyday and learning about their hardships.
You need to know how customers use the tool, why they cancel or why they keep using the tool. The reasons for these decisions change all the time so you need to stay on top of it.
Generate a lead, acquire, and retain your customers. All these activities are timed and require actions to take place in a certain order. As you see on our map above the questions correspond to a time. Use the answers to these questions to drive your customers through your timeline.
Thata''s all. Remember the goal is not to create a diagram for a meeting that only a handful people understand at your company. The goal is to convert customers and retain them. In order to accomplish this youa''ve got to outline the steps users take to get there.