This post originally appeared on Single Grain, a growth marketing agency focused on scaling customer acquisition.

The Ultimate Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization

As marketers, we’re always trying to get more leads for our businesses.

But the problem is that all the traditional paid traffic channels are only getting more expensive. The average cost per click on Google Adwords is around $1-$2, with the most expensive ads costing $50 or more.

This means that the average small business spends over $100,000 on AdWords alone each year.

Facebook ads are still relatively underpriced, but they’re rising quickly: average CPC is around 40 cents worldwide, an increase of about 10 cents from 2015.  

With the rising cost of paid traffic, it’s important to hit all the “low-hanging fruit” when it comes to boosting your lead generation — and conversion rate optimization is the best way to identify and fix problems that already exist.

By making your conversion flow more efficient, you’ll increase your numbers without spending any extra money, which means that you’ll see a higher ROI on your existing investment.

In this post, we’ll show you how to run conversion rate optimization (CRO) tests on your website, what tools you should be using, and show you a few CRO case studies.

Getting Started with Conversion Rate Optimization

The first step to getting started with CRO is auditing every step of your marketing funnel. Without gathering data, you’re just guessing on what changes you should make, which means that you’ll waste time and effort on tests that don’t get you more leads instead of learning something that will boost your ROI.

Single Grain marketing funnel

What you want to do is gather data in a both quantitative and qualitative way.

Quantitative data helps you break down the numbers at each step in your funnel and figure out where the leaks are, while qualitative data can give you some deep insight into the real pain points of your customers. This can help you refine your marketing copy across the board and boost conversions.

Learn More: Step by Step Guide: How to Build a High Quality Marketing Funnel

Here are some ways you can start measuring qualitative and quantitative data:

Using Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a simple way to figure out how many people are dropping off at each step of your funnel and where the biggest leaks are. By measuring the data around your funnel, you can get better insight as to the cause of confusion for your customers at certain steps.

But first, you’ll need to set up conversion goals and funnels in Google Analytics.

Your conversion funnel in Google Analytics will show you what “flow” users go through on your site. Here’s an example of what this might look like if you’re trying to measure your order flow:

The Ultimate Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization

In the image above, users first add an item to their cart, move to the billing page, then to the payment page, then to the order review page, and finally to the sales confirmation page. It’s pretty easy to see that the largest drop off here between the “add to cart” stage and the billing page.

When it comes to optimizing conversions, you can see that it’s pretty straightforward: you’d focus on reducing cart abandonment. No guesswork here.

Learn More: How to Set Up Goals and Funnels in Google Analytics

Using Customer Surveys

One of the biggest wins you can get when it comes to CRO is optimizing your marketing copy. By making your copy more targeted to your audience’s specific pain points, you’ll increase the likelihood that they’ll stay on your site longer — more so than if you just made design changes.

Surveys are a great way to understand how to optimize your marketing copy. You can use tools like Qualaroo (to survey your website visitors) or SurveyMonkey (to survey your audience from your e-mail list or another source).

For example, here are some survey questions that we asked our audience  (via SurveyMonkey) to see how we could improve our marketing course, GrowthVault.

We matched each survey response to demographic categories with the following questions:

What revenue range does your business fall under?

How many employees does your business have?

These questions are designed to elicit open-ended, story-like responses. From there, we can pick the right stories and write compelling copy to get more customers.

Usability Testing

Usability tests are great to see what barriers prevent users from placing orders or completing a specific call to action on your site.

You can get a group of “test” users who are part of the same demographic as your ideal customer and give them a set of tasks to perform on your site — such as going through the process of placing an order. You can either watch them or have them record their screen as they’re going through this process and have them “think” out loud as they’re figuring out what to do.

Chances are you’ll find that certain areas of your site are hard to navigate or have unnecessary friction.

A quick way to conduct usability tests at once is by using a site like UserTesting.

UserTesting has a wide range of testers from different demographics. To make sure that you’re getting the right people looking at your site, you can create filters and screener questions. For example, you can have people answer what industry they work in before they go through your website.

The Ultimate Guide to Conversion Rate OptimizationSource: UserTesting

You can also set your demographic filters by criteria like age, gender, country, and even what device they should use.

The Ultimate Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization

Source: UserTesting

Setting Up Your First Landing Page Test

Depending on how much traffic you’re getting to your site, a small increase in conversion rates could result in massive amounts of revenue.

For example, Brookdale, a senior living solutions website, was able to boost their monthly revenue by $106,000 just by replacing the home page banner video with an image when they realized that their target audience was not as likely to watch video.

Just by changing the copy of their CTA, Lifeproof was able to boost their monthly revenue by 16%.

Conversion rate optimization is one area of marketing where small changes can result in huge boosts in revenue over time. In this section, we’ll talk about how to run an A/B test.

A/B Testing Tools

There are variety of tools out there today that let marketers run A/B tests without needing to know how to code. Here are some examples:

Which tool you use isn’t as important as being able to run a large number of tests as fast as possible.

What Tests to Run

According to Instapage, here are some major page elements you should consider testing when running landing page tests:

1) Headline

One of the biggest mistakes that marketers make is trying to be clever instead of being clear in their copy. This is especially true for headlines. You only have 10-20 seconds to attract users with your headline, so while you might think that being clever will make your post sound more interesting, it actually just adds more complexity — and complexity reduces conversions.

By making their headline more clear, Movexa, a supplement company, was able to to boost their conversions by nearly 90%.

Their original headline copy looked like the following:

The Ultimate Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization

The headline said “Natural Joint Relief.” The hypothesis was that if they added the word “supplement” to their headline copy (so that it said “Natural Joint Relief Supplement”), it would add more clarity to what the offer is and what the company does.

Once they tested this hypothesis through a variation page, they found that it did indeed beat the control by 89.97%. This just goes to show how even a small amount of vagueness in the headline can reduce your conversions drastically. Be sure to optimize for clarity over cleverness or design.

2) Call to Action

Adding a well-placed call to action is a small tweak you can make on any site to increase conversions.

For example, Consolidated Label, a food label manufacturer, tested a new web page design with a prominent call to action. Their original web page didn’t have a clear call to action:

The Ultimate Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization

They tested a variation page with a more prominent call to action, which asked visitors to request a quote:

The Ultimate Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization

If users can’t tell what they’re supposed to do once they get to your page, then it’s likely that your call to action isn’t prominent enough.

Once Consolidated Label tested this variation, they noticed a 62% increase in conversions.

Learn More: How To Create CTAs that Actually Cause Action

3) Copy Length

Most marketers think that short copy is better. We’ve had it beat into our heads that people don’t have long attention spans, and that the only way to get anyone to take action is by keeping all your copy — landing page, e-mail copy, etc. — brief.

The truth is, shorter copy isn’t always better for conversions. In some cases, longer is better. For example, if you’re selling a high-priced product, then you’ll need to build a longer, deeper relationship with your users before they can trust you and be willing to transact with you.

Even your headline copy can benefit from lengthier rather than shorter.

Check out these two versions of a landing page:

The Ultimate Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization

Version A

The Ultimate Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization

Version B

Most people would think that Version A resulted in higher conversions because of the cleaner design and shorter copy on the hero image.

However, version B increased conversions by 38%. The reason for this is because the additional sub-heading highlights key features of the product in bold lettering, which makes the features easier to see. Reading “let urgent e-mails cut through the clutter and find you instantly” is more compelling than “let us find your urgent messages.”

At the end of the day, of course, the more clear and direct you can make your copy, the more compelling it will be, no matter the length.

4) Form Length

The more friction that stands between users completing an action, the less likely they are to complete that action. Requiring unnecessary fields on a form is one of the quickest ways to reduce the number of conversions you get on your site.

You can also increase conversions by allowing users to check boxes instead of entering text, since this takes less effort.

For example, this B2B company boosted their number of leads by 368.5% just reducing the amount of text users had to enter and changing their button color on the form.

The Ultimate Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization

Version A

The Ultimate Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization

Version B


What works best on landing pages isn’t always obvious.

There are many competing factors that determine whether people convert or not. Simplicity matters (which you can get through short copy), but clarity matters, too (which might require longer copy).

Giving users the information they need about your business is important (i.e. through an explainer video), but it’s also important to reduce the number of options that are available on the page.

The best way, overall, to get better conversion rates is to figure out exactly what your audience wants, be as clear and compelling as possible, and then test it.

What are some interesting CRO test results that you’ve seen in the past? Let us know in the comments below!

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Ethan Denney

Hey everyone, in today’s episode I share the mic with Ethan Denney, co-founder of ConvertFlow, a new SaaS company that helps business owners convert their website visitors into customers.

Listen as Ethan shares how ConvertFlow converts better than any other conversion tool out there by showing website visitors personalized calls to action (and not the same message over and over), how they acquired their first hundred customers after winning a battle of the apps competition at InfusionSoft’s annual user conference, and how their customers are driving 30-80% conversions on the second conversion.

Download podcast transcript [PDF] here: How ConvertFlow Customers Drive a 30-80% Conversion Rate TRANSCRIPT

Time Stamped Show Notes:

3 Key Points:

  1. Do NOT show your customers the same message over and over again, show them the NEXT step.
  2. Building your product and growing your customer base are interdependent—you need to balance your focus and energy into both.
  3. ConvertFlow can be integrated and is compatible with other tools you are currently using.

Resources from this interview:

Leave some feedback:

 Connect with Eric Siu:

This post originally appeared on Single Grain, a growth marketing agency focused on scaling customer acquisition.

6 Cold Email Case Studies with Great Reply Rates

Be sure to check out our previous post in this series: Cold Emailing: Best Outbound Sales Automation Tools

Cold e-mailing is hard.

It’s tough to get people’s attention through all the noise that’s out there. On average, we get 147 e-mails a day, only spend significant time answering about 12 of them, and delete 71 e-mails in under 3.2 seconds.

It takes a lot of work to build a successful cold e-mail campaign. You have to:

And the truth is, your customers judge you on your ability to sell. So if you have an off day, you not only have to deal with not getting any conversions, but also with the negative judgements from your prospects.

When you’re crafting your cold e-mail campaigns, it can be helpful to know what everyone else is doing to benchmark your own numbers so you know that you’re on the right track.

What’s a good open rate? What’s a good reply rate? What does a good cold e-mail template look like? How many people should you be able to convert to a sales call?

Today, we’ll answer those questions for you. We’ll peel back the curtain on some cold e-mail case studies and discuss which strategies companies used to boost their reply rates and conversions.

Case Study #1: Ambition

Ambition is a software product that helps companies increase employee productivity. They built their platform with millennial employees in mind, and are used by such companies as Lyft, Carbonite, and Continuum.

In this case study, they wrote about how they cold-emailed 578 prospects, got a total of 6 responses, and used follow up e-mails to get 67 additional responses (for a total response rate of about 12.6%).

They ran a six-week campaign, targeted 291 VPs of sales as well as 287 VPs of sales operations, and ended up with a total of 73 new leads.

Check out this graph that is instructive about the overall nature of the campaign as well as cold e-mailing in general:

6 Cold Email Case Studies


Around half the recipients opened the initial e-mail but zero people replied.

However, with each additional touchpoint, or follow up, more prospects replied to the initial e-mail. Notice that no single e-mail generated more than 18% of the grand total number of leads. In fact, the eighth e-mail generated just as many leads as the second!

According to Ambition, the factor that mattered most here was just pure persistence. By following up constantly with prospects, they were able to skyrocket the number of leads they got versus if they just followed up once like most other sales reps.

Because they were following up so often, they split the time interval between each e-mail by at least a week:

6 Cold Email Case Studies


In fact, this was one of the problems we had at Growth Everywhere — there was a lot of manual work involved in keeping track of follow ups, and that was a major point of failure that kept cold e-mail response rates low. Once that was fixed, we saw a 333% increase in response rates!

For prospects, your product isn’t at the center of their world, so if they don’t respond, it’s likely just because they’re busy — not because they’re not interested.

The moral of the story is to always follow up more than you think is necessary.

Dive Deeper: How to Write a Follow-Up Email After No Response (With Examples) 

Case Study #2: Shane Snow

Shane Snow is the bestselling author of a book called Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success. He wrote the book to outline the process that highly accomplished people throughout history have used to achieve success in a short period of time. He’s also a journalist at Fast Company.

In this post, he wrote about how he explored a cold e-mail strategy for anyone who wanted to connect with important people for mentorship and advice.

To start off, he got the e-mail addresses of the 1,000 busiest business people in America — C and VP level executives from Fortune 500 companies and C level executives from the Inc 500.

The average person gets 147 emails a day, but these execs get significantly more as a result of their status. Shane wanted to see whether he could come up with a strategy to “cut through the noise” in their inbox to grab their attention and get a response from them.

After gathering the e-mail addresses, he wrote a cold e-mail with a simple CTA where he asked them what type of cold e-mail they preferred to receive. Here’s a sample e-mail script he and his team sent out:

Hi [Exec’s First Name],

I’m doing a study on cold emails and want to ask if you could share some thoughts on what differentiates an effective cold email from a bad one?

Your insight will contribute to research I’m conducting to help a lot of people get better at email, which will make the world a little better for us all.



He then changed different elements in this “base” e-mail to test out the results when adding in differences. For example, he tested variables like:

Here’s a quick summary of the results he saw out of the 1,000 e-mails sent to high level executives from Fortune 500 and Inc 500 companies:

However, according to the case study, the previously mentioned variables (i.e. subject lines, length, purpose, etc.) played a much lower role in determining the results than expected — only 1.7% of those who received Shane’s e-mails actually responded.

Shane came to the conclusion that the one thing he could have implemented in the study which would have made all the difference in terms of bumping up his reply rates was personalization. He wrote: 

“With the right subject line, it’s not inherently harder to get a busy executive to click on your email than someone else. The important part is making the content speak to the question, ‘why me?’”

Case Study #3: Jake Jorgovan

Jake Jorgovan is a creative strategist who helps consulting companies win dream clients. He wrote in this post how he was able to generate $12,030 just through cold email — including some Fortune 500 clients.

According to Jake, there are two different ways you can approach cold e-mailing.

Once you define your approach, Jake suggests that you create at least one high-quality case study. The case study should show a portfolio piece that you’re proud of, feature a raving testimonial, and outline three major things:

  1. the situation the client was in
  2. the solution that you provided
  3. the end result for the client

Then you should choose your specific target audience. Ideally, this target audience should be similar to the customer you helped in your case study. For example, if you’re reaching out to dentists, then you should have a case study where you helped a dentist. If you’re reaching out to a Fortune 500 tech company, you should have a case study where you helped a tech company.

It’s a psychological fact that people believe that they’re special and that their situation is unique. Because of that, they want solutions that feel like a “tailored fit” for them. If you worked with a tech company, you might be able to use those same fundamentals to help dentists, but dentists won’t feel like you can help them unless you show them that you’ve already worked with dentists.

Next, Jake writes that you need to find a list of prospects. The ideal place to look for this kind of information is in sales or trade organization directories for the industry that you’re in.

Finally, it’s time to write an e-mail that actually gets responses. Here’s an e-mail script that landed Jake a $4,250 client:

[Prospect names],

Recently I came across [Company name] in the [Directory where I found their information] and I wanted to reach out. My name is Jake Jorgovan and recently I finished up a website design project for [case study client] and wanted to reach out to similar companies.

When I came across the [Client’s website], I noticed [review of 2-3 things that I found wrong with the client’s website]. With the [case study client], we were able to build a professional site and get it up and running in under three weeks. Their site is mobile friendly and extremely easy for anyone at the company to update.

If you are interested in rebuilding your website, please let me know and we would be more than happy to help you out. Also, I have attached a case study for [Case study client] with a raving testimonial from the owner of the company.

Thank you [Prospect name] and I look forward to hearing from you.


Jake Jorgovan

According to Jake, the most important part of the e-mail is in the second paragraph where you list the 2-3 things you found regarding the client’s site/product/service that you feel you can fix. If you’re writing blanket statements that don’t feel tailored to the prospect’s specific situation, your response rates go down.

Jake also sends follow up e-mails 7-10 days after the initial inquiry. Here’s a sample e-mail script he uses for this:

[Prospect name],

I wanted to send a quick follow up to see if you received my e-mail from last week in regards to your new website design. Please let me know if you are interested and I look forward to hearing from you.


Jake Jorgovan

Much like the Ambition case study, Jake was surprised to find that many prospects responded to the second e-mail after ignoring the first.

Learn More: 4 Reasons Why You Should Be Pushing Email Marketing

Case Study #4: LeadFuze

LeadFuze is a lead generation product that helps salespeople quickly gather contact information of prospects and automatically send personalized e-mails. They’ve been used by companies like Bidsketch and CrazyEgg.

Justin McGill, the founder LeadFuze, used cold e-mail to grow his company’s revenue to $30k/month in 12 months.

As a first step, he used his own software to find leads and build out his outbound campaign. Here’s how he used the search feature within LeadFuze to find the e-mail addresses for his target audience:

6 Cold Email Case Studies

Source: Pagely

Free Bonus Download: Want to receive the PDF version of this entire post? Click here to download it absolutely free.

From there he was able to look at a list of prospects that he could potentially add to a list. Once the relevant prospects were added, the software pulled information about the prospect.

Once you have your leads, the next step is to write a high-quality cold e-mail. Justin has a formula for writing cold e-mails which he calls the “QVC Formula” (Question, Value prop, and CTA). Here’s how all those components fit together:

Here’s an example of a cold e-mail that Justin sent on behalf of LeadFuze:

6 Cold Email Case Studies

Source: Pagely

Like a normal e-mail blast, it’s important to let your prospects know that there’s a “way out” from receiving your e-mails and your follow ups. If you’re sending out e-mails to a list, then you already have an “unsubscribe” link that readers can click on to opt out of your e-mails.

For cold e-mails, Justin uses the following line in his “P.S.” below the signature:

6 Cold Email Case Studies

He explicitly states that it’s okay for the prospect to tell him not to follow up anymore.

After the initial e-mail is written and sent, you should also have a follow up sequence ready. As we’ve seen before, the magic is in the follow up. Most salespeople never follow up, or if they do, they stop after the first or second time.

Steli Efti from writes that he follows up as many times as necessary until he gets a response. In fact, once he followed up with an investor 48 times before getting a meeting — which led to that person investing in

In follow up e-mails, you shouldn’t just “check in” or rehash the same exact message that you already sent the first time. Instead, you should use this opportunity to send new, valuable information that could help your prospect move closer to making the decision. For example, you might want to include a relevant case study, or results that you got for someone else.

Justin from LeadFuze writes that he has seen success with the following cold e-mail sequence:

  1. Initial “QVC” outreach e-mail
  2. Case study (follow up #1)
  3. Value add, i.e. blog post link, relevant news article, another case study, etc. (follow up #2)
  4. Let them know that you won’t be writing to them anymore (break-up e-mail)

Here’s an example of a break-up e-mail:

6 Cold Email Case Studies

Source: HubSpot

By using a sales automation service like Outreach, Sendbloom, or Reply, you can craft your own custom follow up sequence for prospects who don’t respond so that you don’t have to manually go in and send every single e-mail.

Using this simple process, LeadFuze scaled to $30k/month within just one year.

Learn More: How to Find Emails Quickly Using This Tool

Case Study #5: Crazy Eye Marketing

Crazy Eye Marketing helps small businesses and entrepreneurs plan, build, and optimize sales funnels. They use marketing automation systems to convert more leads into customers.

In this case study, they wrote about a cold e-mail campaign they ran for a small mobile app company: they sent out 4,897 cold e-mails and analyzed what worked and what didn’t.

First, Crazy Eye started off with a list of leads provided to them by the client, a mobile app company. After removing duplicates, they ran the list through a service called Kickbox, which helps verify whether the e-mail addresses are actually legit or not, and had a final number of 2,160 good addresses.

Next, they used Reply to set up a cold e-mail autoreponder campaign. This way, you won’t have to comb through your inbox to see which prospects responded and which didn’t, and then copy and paste the right follow up e-mails to the right prospect. There’s a lot of potential for human error in this process, which is why using an outbound sales automation tool can save you lots of valuable time while doing the work more effectively.

Crazy Eye then connected Reply to Gmail for the cold e-mail campaign. They created five different e-mail series and sent them to a few hundred people to test the effectiveness. From there, they sent the most effective series to the rest of the list.

The winning series was a three-email sequence along with a CTA that asked for 15 minutes of the prospect’s time:

Email 1

Subject: Quick question


Hi [first name]

My name is Nathan and I am the founder of the Car App. We work with used car dealerships to help them stay connected with their prospective customers.

The Car App is a mobile app for used car dealers. Our solution is 7 times more likely to result in vehicle sales than Craigslist, Autotrader, and eBay combined.

Is it possible to get 15 minutes on your calendar to further discuss the benefits the Car App would bring to [company]?



Email 2

Subject: (replied in the same thread)



I’m sorry to trouble you again. At my company, the Car App, we make keeping in touch with prospective customers a breeze through our one-of-a-kind “push” messaging system that instantly, and automatically, notifies them when the car they want is in stock.

Our mobile app not only makes your life easier, but generates more sales and revenue without any added effort. Who would be the person to speak to about this at [company]?



Email 3

Subject: Just checking


Hi [first name],

I wanted to make sure that you saw my earlier message. I’d like to learn about the struggles you have with staying in touch with prospective customers at [company].

If you’re the appropriate person to speak with, what does your calendar look like for early next week? If not, who do you recommend that I talk to?


These were the results of their three-email sequence.

6 Cold Email Case Studies

Source: Crazy Eye Marketing

They received open rates around 50% for every one of their e-mails, and got reply rates just under 10%.

Notice how the reply rate for the second and third e-mails is similar to the reply rate for the first e-mail. This shows that your follow up e-mails are equally as valuable as your initial outreach e-mails.

Salespeople who don’t follow up are leaving a lot of money on the table.

Free Bonus Download: Want to receive the PDF version of this entire post? Click here to download it absolutely free.

Case Study #6: Marco Massaro

Marco Massaro runs a web consultancy that works with tech companies and high-growth startups. The consultancy works on UX design and web development.

Marco closed a $15,000 consulting project with a cold e-mail campaign.

Before diving in and blasting out e-mails to hundreds of people, he started off by outlining who exactly he was targeting. He needed to identify his ideal clients.

The more specific you can get at this step, the more targeted your cold e-mails will be when you send them out. Marco got extremely specific about who he wanted to work with. Here are the main categories he filtered companies by:

Next, he had to find companies that matched this profile.

He used Crunchbase because his target was mostly early stage tech companies, but other lead gen sources might include AngelList, or even software products like LeadFuze. Outreach also has a Chrome plugin that allows you to quickly extract contact information from professional profiles on LinkedIn which makes lead gen more efficient.

The next step was actually writing up the cold e-mail pitches and sending them out.

Marco crafted a quick e-mail with the goal of grabbing the recipient’s attention right off the bat, and getting them interested in his services:

Subject: Work together

Hi [first name],

I wanted to find out if you have any design needs at [company] (redesign, landing pages, UX, etc)?

We can increase sales, engagement, conversions, and more through our design and UX strategies.

Interested? Email me back, I’d love to chat.

Notice how this e-mail doesn’t jump right into an introduction in the first sentence? People don’t care about you until they are interested in what you have to offer first. You shouldn’t waste your valuable first few sentences talking about something that your prospect isn’t going to read anyway.

The e-mail also addresses the recipient by name. However, it could be a bit more personalized as it doesn’t include how web development or design consulting could help the prospect with their specific situation.

Marco sent this e-mail to 500 prospects, received 67 replies, and got a response rate of around 13.4%.

Apart from personalizing it more, other ways that the process could be improved include 1) A/B testing subject lines or CTAs, and 2) integrating with an outbound sales automation tool to keep the campaign more efficient. According to Marco, the lack of structure here made it confusing at times to remember where they were in the sales process for each prospect.


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: cold e-mails are tough. There are many steps involved, and for most people it can be pretty time consuming.

You have to identify who exactly you’re targeting, scrape the Internet to figure out where those people are hanging out, and then figure out what their e-mail addresses are.

Finally, it comes down to how well you conduct your research of the people and the companies you’re targeting, how personalized your message is, how much of an attention grabber your subject line is, and how specific your call to action is.

To make things more efficient, remember that you can always use software tools to automate your processes. Tools like Outreach, Sendbloom and Reply can help you craft the perfect follow up sequence for your prospects (so you never have to remember who’s in what part of the sales sequence) and also track all your data.

Now that you’ve had an “insider’s look” into some highly successful cold e-mail campaigns, you know exactly what sort of templates to use, what numbers to expect, and how to improve the templates going forward.

If you get all these points right and send out a massive volume of e-mails, you could see a number of responses that are large enough to change the course of your business.

How will you craft your next cold e-mail campaign? Leave your answer in the comments below.

This post originally appeared on Single Grain, a growth marketing agency focused on scaling customer acquisition.

SG - How to Use Scarcity on Your Landing Page to Skyrocket Conversions

Let’s begin this post with a short marketing lesson narrated through history.

In 1774 King Frederick II of Prussia, locally known as Old Fritz, issued an order for his subjects to grow and consume potatoes. The King’s subjects, however, were prejudiced against the vegetable.

Instead of convincing them to eat potatoes, he planted a royal field of potato plants and stationed a heavy guard to protect it. The guarded field made people feel that potatoes were precious, because “anything worth guarding is worth stealing.” This led to people breaking into the field and stealing the apparently scarce spuds only to grow fields of their own and reap, sow, and consume the vegetable in abundance.

In the end, King Frederick II got his way.

Letting people know that there is only a limited amount of an object — or a limited time to get it — makes them motivated to get it because soon they won’t be able to. That’s just how the human brain functions. According to Psychology Today, “Scarcity orients the mind automatically and powerfully toward unfulfilled needs.”

Let’s explain how scarcity works for your offer. This is a pop-up promoting Single Grain’s free SEO guide in exchange for your contact details. It’s a limited time offer, and may not be available again:

How to Use Scarcity on Landing Pages

This is another pop-up that offers free marketing tips in exchange for your e-mail address:

How to Use Scarcity on Landing Pages to Generate Conversions

The time limit on the SEO resource lets the visitor know that it is precious. If the visitor doesn’t act now, he or she may not get this chance again. The time constraint inspires visitors to complete the form and enter Single Grain’s marketing funnel.

Using scarcity on your landing pages works to your advantage — you just need to know how to implement the principle on the pages to increase your conversions. This is exactly what we’ll do today.

Let’s begin by defining scarcity.

What Is Scarcity?

To understand the role of scarcity in landing page optimization, it’s important we discuss the definition from both the psychological and economics points of view.

In economics, scarcity is defined as “limitations—insufficient resources, goods, or abilities to achieve the desired ends.”

Robert Cialdini defines the principle of scarcity as the desire to want something we’re afraid we can’t have: “Fear of losing out on something can be an extremely powerful motivator.”

This is how the definition combines on your landing pages: When you convince your visitors that your offer has limitations (either in time or quantity), the fear of missing out urges them to click on the call-to-action button.

There are essentially two tactics of implementing the scarcity principle on your offer:

  1. Quantity: When the offer is in short supply.
  2. Time: When the offer is only available for a certain period.

In the following paragraphs, we’re going to discuss how you can use both of these scarcity tactics on your landing pages to generate conversions.

Learn More: How To Create CTAs that Actually Cause Action

How to Use Scarcity of Quantity on Landing Pages

Steve Worchel conducted an experiment on the effect of supply and demand when rating the value of an object. Participants were shown two jars, one with ten cookies and the other with two cookies. When participants were allowed to select the cookies they wanted, it was found that the cookies in scarce supply had higher demand because they were more desirable. So, we place more value on things that are less available to us.

When it comes to landing pages, scarcity of quantity can be used by telling your visitors exactly how many discounted items are left before the stock runs out, or how many seats remain in your workshop.

Here’s a Groupon promotion that offers 70% off of thousands of Chicago deals:

How to Use Scarcity on Landing Pages to Generate Conversions

The offer also specifies that there are only limited quantities available — letting the visitor know he or she must act now if he wants the discount.

An A/B test case study featured on ConversionXL reported that including scarcity on a landing page almost tripled their conversion rate.

This is variation A:

How to Use Scarcity on Landing Pages to Generate Conversions

The page shows a clear discounted price, but the page doesn’t include any elements of scarcity.

Here’s variation B of the landing page:

How to Use Scarcity on Landing Pages to Generate Conversions

Not only does the variation include time scarcity (urgency) by letting the visitors know how much time remains to download the bundle, but it also tracks how many bundles have been purchased, and that the bundles are almost gone. Amazon is notorious for using this tactic on Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

This is what the conversion rate jump looked like for variation B:

How to Use Scarcity on Landing Pages to Generate Conversions

You can use scarcity of quantity in your headline, CTA button copy, body copy, and images. If you do, just make sure the quantity you showcase in your ad is the same quantity as on your landing pages.

It’s vital that you establish message match and relevancy between your ad and the corresponding landing page. If your ad headline says 20 items left in stock, your page headline should say the same.

How to Use Scarcity of Time (Urgency) on Landing Pages

Time is a valuable asset for all of us, so telling visitors that “time is running out” to get something that they need inspires them to make a decision faster. The e-book featured in this article gives some examples of how marketers can write landing page copy that conveys urgency, especially when you highlight the urgency with countdown timers.

We do this on Instapage’s webinar landing page:

How to Use Scarcity on Landing Pages to Generate Conversions

The ticking time counter is a great way to persuade visitors that they may not get the opportunity to get this great offer again.

Merlin’s Pest Control home page also showcases urgency with copy:

How to Use Scarcity on Landing Pages to Generate Conversions

Not only does the copy instill urgency by telling visitors that if they call by 1 pm, they will get same day service, but the copy next to the phone number tells the visitors to “call today.”

Urgency can be conveyed by using specific terminology such as “final chance,” “last offer” or “don’t miss out.” This is what Cosmopolitan does with their promotion e-mail and landing page.

Here’s a screenshot of the e-mail:

How to Use Scarcity on Landing Pages to Generate Conversions

The e-mail subject line proclaims, “Final Notice: Cosmopolitan for $5.” And the e-mail copy follows through by confirming that this is the last chance you’ll get to purchase a 12-month subscription of the magazine for $5.

Read More: 7 Emails to Add to Your Conversion Funnel

And, here’s the landing page connected to the e-mail:

How to Use Scarcity on Landing Pages to Generate Conversions

The landing page reinforces the urgency initiated in the e-mail by using words like “hurry,” “order now,” and “last chance” to motivate the visitor to convert on the CTA button.

Free trials are also a way to illustrate urgency on your landing pages. When you make visitors aware that there are just 30 days of a free trial and that they need to sign up now to sample the free account — they are more inclined to do so. The same isn’t true if you announce that your product is free forever, which is what Intercom does.

In contrast, the Moz Pro landing page tells the visitor that they can sample the tool free of charge for 30 days:

How to Use Scarcity on Landing Pages to Generate Conversions

Using the word “now” on your landing pages also helps add urgency to your offer because it inspires action. Urgency can be very persuasive for time sensitive campaigns, e.g. Christmas sales or Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions. You can also use urgency for special occasion sales, such as a company anniversary promotion.

Finally, Julep used urgency to promote their end-of-season sale by offering up to 85% off on their inventory. The thinking here is that since the discount is so big, that inventory will go fast — and for consumers to “act now” before it’s all gone:

How to Use Scarcity on Landing Pages to Generate Conversions

Scarcity Creates High Converting Landing Pages

Landing pages with time scarcity and urgency can be very persuasive at getting prospects to click your call-to-action button. However, when implementing scarcity, you must be honest about your offer.

Don’t create artificial scarcity. For example, if there are hundreds of seats remaining for your writing course, don’t lie to visitors that there are “just a few seats left” because when the truth comes out, your credibility will take a hit and you may lose future customers as a result.

Only promote scarce offers with scarcity and you’ll find that your visitors are ready to take advantage of what you’re offering.

This guest post was written by Fahad Muhammad, a Content Marketer at Instapage. He writes about landing page examples, marketing trends, Instapage updates, and conversion psychology on the Instapage blog. When he’s not busy hunting down landing page examples, he can be found glued to an episode of Top Gear.

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