Chris Mechanic, the CEO and co-founder of WebMechanix, explains what the upcoming conversion revolution is and why most conversion rates suck in the B2B industry. He explains the psychology behind effective conversion rate optimization best practices in B2B and breaks down some tips for increasing conversions.

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Hey, what's everybody, Chris Mechanic here.

I'm co-founder here of WebMechanix.

Got some really exciting stuff to talk with you about today. I want to talk to you today about the coming conversion revolution.

So conversion is this idea of getting a higher percentage of your website visitors to do something: to fill out a form, to pick up the phone and make a call, to make a purchase. 'Cause everyday every website, you know, gets tens, or hundreds, or even thousands of visitors, but only a very small percentage of them are converting or doing something useful.

So a lot of what we do here is try to figure out, well why are such a small percentage of people converting, and how can we increase that?

And if you think about it, it's not surprising that the average conversion rate is, say, like five percent or 10 percent.

People get excited if there's a conversion rate of say 12 percent, which is kind of odd because there's not a lot of endeavors in life, in general, where like a 10 percent or a 12 percent success rate is considered to be good.

But if you think about it, it's not very surprising, why the conversion rate is so small, because everybody is doing the exact same thing.

We run these ads that are very specific, you know, some, whatever, white paper about corporate compliance, and then people click on these ads, they're sent to these landing pages, and they're presented with a landing page, a squeeze page, some people call it, which basically looks like everybody else's squeeze page.

You've got a form over here on the right, you've got a little bit of content over here on the left. And basically we're asking these users, that are interested in this white paper on compliance, for their first name, their last name, their company name, their phone number, their email address, their job title.

All of these very personal and very specific things, that are also very irrelevant to the actual white paper that they asked for.

And so we wonder why such a small percentage of people actually fill that out, because unless that white paper is super compelling, it's like, why do I have to answer all of these irrelevant questions, just to get my hands on this individual white paper?

And so, there's something about it, psychologically, that doesn't connect with human psychology. If you want a metaphor of what it's like, it's like imagine if you, say I walk into a bar and I see somebody that I think is attractive, and I want to, you know, spark up a conversation.

If I walk up to her and I'm like, "Hi, give me your name, give me your first name, your last name, your email address, your phone number, and your physical address, and then maybe we can have a conversation, or then maybe I'll buy you a drink," the success rate on that is gonna be very low. I've tried it myself, actually, it's less than five percent.

No, I'm just kidding, I haven't actually tried it. But you can see the success rate is gonna be very low. But on the flip side, if you walk up, and you establish some rapport, you know, make a joke, get them laughing, get them comfortable, then you can get all the information that you need. And so we've been doing a lot of testing recently around this idea, and around basically flipping the order of the questions, changing the order of the information, so that you're starting by asking very specific questions, which are very relevant to whatever the ad was, for whatever the compliance white paper.

So you're starting with compliance related questions that are non-personally identifiable information. So they're asking for anonymous, but very relevant things. And then if you can get that individual clicking, like if you get them clicking around, the chances of them finishing the process are much, much higher.

So when you introduce, sort of, interactive and engaging and very relevant conversion mechanisms, in lieu of just this, you know, very non-personal, or very personally identifiable and very irrelevant set of form questions, like name, phone number, address, what you find is that bounce rates just go through the floor, like a very high percentage of people are gonna start engaging in clicking to answer these questions, and then, if you're clever about it, you can set it up so that, even if they leave, like say midway through the process, say they answer just a couple of questions and then leave, you can actually track that within Google Analytics in place of cookies, so that you sort of remember them, and then you can re-target to them with messaging that's very specific to how they were answering those questions.

And you'll find that lead quality improves, to a large degree, and generally it just makes campaigns much, much, uh, much, much better. So try this out--basically change the order of the questions, if you want to try it out. Instead of starting with the information that you need, that your sales team needs, to convert these users, or acquire these users.

Take a more empathetic approach. Start with questions that are relevant to the user, and then obviously you're gonna have to get your information for the sales team on the other side, but start with the things that are relevant for the user, and you'll find that it works wonders for your campaigns.

Thanks very much, guys, talk with you soon, give me a shout. There's probably a guide up, down, left, or right, that you can download for more information and examples of very, kind of, empathy-driven, user-focused conversion paths. Thanks very much.