Ever feel like your marketing efforts aren’t paying off? You’re producing valuable content, investing in social media marketing, and running PPC campaigns to capture search traffic, but still having a difficult time converting leads into customers.

You’re not alone. Enticing prospects to make buying decisions is a challenge for any marketer. As technology changes, buying habits change too, and finding the right techniques to usher people through your marketing funnel takes a bit of trial and error.

In this post, we’re sharing practical tips and tricks to help you get customers to buy your product—and hopefully, to come back for more.

Build more accurate buyer personas

Sometimes the reason your marketing efforts aren’t bringing the expected results is that you’re marketing to the wrong people. It’s important that you target an audience has a real interest in your product, and that means doing a little planning ahead to create buyer personas.

A buyer persona is a realistic profile of your ideal customer that paints a picture of them as a fictional person. It might include things like age, gender identity, hobbies, pain points, and career.

Having a clear and thorough buyer persona helps you increase the efficiency of your marketing campaigns in the following ways:

  • You can narrow your audience and target the specific people that are likely to buy your product. Targeted traffic means better leads, which help you increase conversion rates.
  • You can more easily identify pain points your prospects have. Personalized marketing messages that offer solutions to these pain points are will bring in qualified leads.
  • You can create a customer-centered marketing strategy, leading to better customer loyalty and retention rates and therefore higher revenue.

If you’re looking for a smart way to manage buyer personas for your business, HubSpot offers a free tool called Make My Persona. The tool lets you craft detailed profiles of your ideal customers to help you attract the right people into your sales funnel.

Speak a language your customers understand

You create content, optimize it for search engines, and try to follow best practices to increase the leads in your sales funnel. And something is still missing—no one is clicking through on your CTAs.

Are you speaking the same language as your prospects?

Here’s the thing: you need to learn the terms your audience is using and include them in your messages. That might mean ditching technical terms, acronyms, and industry jargon, even if you think they’re the most accurate way to describe what you’re offering.

Research online forums and publications in your industry to identify the right terms to use to make your point. “Listen” to what your social media followers are talking about online to get used to the way your audience speaks. Do keyword research to understand what words and phrases people use to look for products and services like yours.

Use what you learn to craft valuable content that engages audiences and generates reactions, and keep in mind that things change quickly online—make it a point to keep up with your research so that you don’t fall behind.

Promote your products on unconventional channels

Today, digital marketing goes beyond social media and blog posts. Take advantage of modern techniques and out of the box ideas that can put your brand in front of broader audiences. While a broader audience might not match your buyer personas exactly as a whole, it will certainly include some people who do.

To capture a broader audience, try cobranding techniques like affiliate marketing, subscription boxes, or insert advertising. They’re becoming increasingly popular because they are cost-effective and allow you to engage with a captive audience that’s different from your own.

Focus on benefits

An important part of your marketing strategy is to clearly define the features that make your product unique among competitive products on the market—your unique value proposition, or UVP.

But, it’s not enough just to promote a list of features. You need to emphasize how these characteristics will improve your customers’ lives as well. You’re just not going to convince someone to buy by telling them you have a good product. You have to tell them why it’s so good!

Build your message around your customer’s needs. Tell them exactly what problems your product will solve for them and convince them it’s all but necessary for their wellbeing. That “here’s why you can’t live without it” kind of message is what will really convince people to buy.

Don’t make assumptions with your messaging. No matter how suggestive your product’s name is, your customers still may not think of it as the solution to their problem. This is where great storytelling, case studies, and social proof come into play. Tell people exactly how your product will benefit them.

Remember: no matter how great a product is, it still takes promotion and storytelling to sell it. Even the world’s most famous brands—think Coca-Cola or Nike—invest significant resources into in storytelling and brand awareness.

Use social proof to gain trust

84% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust their friends and family. Moreover, 91% of people read online reviews before making a buying decision. Put simply: social proof is the modern version of word-of-mouth.

Think about shopping on Amazon. Before you buy, you check the reviews and ratings to be sure the product is a good choice. Most of us even filter out low ratings entirely to help us decide which products to consider in the first place.

To benefit from social proof, you’ll need to start collecting feedback from your customers and putting it somewhere highly visible. Think landing pages, your homepage, and social media. Let prospects see right from the start that your customers trust you and your product.

Encourage high profile or repeat clients to share their experience with your brand in a short narrative or video. A video testimonial or a simple review alongside the client’s photo can go a long way in positioning you as a trustworthy brand.

Offer free trials

Offering free trials is a somewhat controversial technique among marketers, but depending on the type of product you sell, it may be just the right thing to close a deal.

Think about buying a new car. Yes, reviews and testimonials can help you decide whether to seriously consider any given vehicle, but it’s the test drive that seals your buying decision.

If you do offer free trials, make sure to communicate with your leads while they’re using your product, for example with a welcome email, midway check ins, and reminders when the trial is about to expire. Make your team available to answer questions and accept feedback throughout the trial period. You can also maximize your chances of a sale by offering a special price for customers who decide to buy the product before the trial expiration date.

Segment your email list

Email is 40% more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter, so you simply can’t ignore it as a marketing channel when looking to convince prospects to buy from you.

One of the main advantages of email is list segmentation, which means creating sublists based on specific criteria so you can send personalized messages rather than generic, blanket emails. According to MailChimp, depending on the criteria you use to segment your list, list segmentation can increase your open rates by as much as 29% and click-through rates by 100%.

There are endless ways to segment your email list. You can segment by address, demographics, interests, sign up date, or even by the way subscribers interact with your website. To collect this information, consider adding a specific question to your sign up forms (not too many questions though, or people won’t fill it out) or implementing customer surveys. The more information you have, the more personalized your communications will be, and the closer you will be to your next sale.

Start a loyalty program

Customers who come back time and time again are a significant resource for your business. Not just because returning customers spend on average 67% percent more than new buyers, but also because they help you consolidate your market share.

With so many buying options online and offline, creating loyalty is more difficult than ever before. Think about starting an innovative loyalty program that delights your customers and makes them feel like they’re part of something.

What do we mean by that? We mean you need to go beyond rewards and use your loyalty program to solve problems and ease pain points. Create a loyalty app with exclusive discounts and purchase incentives, grant them access to exceptional members-only facilities—it’s all about creating an experience for your clients, not just offering the occasional coupon code.

Craft effective CTAs

When there’s no clear call to action (CTA), people don’t buy. Website visitors get distracted easily online, and if you don’t tell them exactly what you want them to do, you’ll lose them.

Try not to let visitors take their own path on your website. As best you can, you want to minimize choice and usher each visitor straight down your sales funnel by using clear, persuasive CTAs in blog posts, emails, social media messages, and landing pages. Better yet, personalize your CTAs and you can increase conversion rates by as much as 202%.

Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to creating the perfect call to action. Testing and comparing results is the only way to identify what makes your audience react the way you want them to, so test various trigger words, colors, and placements one at a time until you’re satisfied with the results.

Final thoughts

To get prospects to bite, start by creating buyer personas that let you target the right people. Create helpful content that solves problems for your target audience. Optimize the customer experience with personalized messaging, strong CTAs, and loyalty incentives. The more you invest in creating personalized experiences for your customers, the higher your chances to get them to buy your product.