Try This Simple Trick To Increase Online Conversions by 60 Percent

Grow your business onlineToday I am really excited to share a brand new guest post from my friend Scott Costello over at StrugglingInvestor.com.

If you've followed this blog for any length of time, you probably know that I've always placed a pretty high level of importance on my internet presence (because it's an incredibly cost-effective & scalable way to generate new leads for your business).

Scott understands this concept very well and in this post, he's going to share an innovative new approach that is proven to increase the number of leads and conversions on your real estate website (seriously – it's pretty brilliant, I just with I had thought of this years ago). Check it out!

Every year, companies spend millions of dollars on marketing to help drive people to their websites. You can’t blame them because you can’t sell to someone if they don’t know you exist.  I was no different when I first got started building websites for my real estate business.  Even though I didn't have money, all my effort went towards driving traffic to my websites.

Huge Mistake! and I’ll tell you why…

The name of the game is not getting the most traffic to your site.  It’s how well you convert the traffic you DO get, into actual leads. And let me tell you it is not easy.

The average online conversion rate for the “We Buy Houses” website is about 1% to 2%, which isn't very high (i.e. – if you get 100 people looking at your website, you’ll get 1 or 2 actual leads out of that – and I'm just talking about leads here, not motivated sellers).

So how can we increase those conversion rates?

“Small Yeses”

In the book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (if you have never read this it is a MUST!) he goes into great detail on the power of getting quick, small yeses. This sets the psychological process of the your visitors and gets them on the track to committing to you, your product or your contact form.

Here is an example that really illustrates the power of the small yes

Every day, I fight an internal battle with myself about working out (I'm sure most of you are with me on this).  Over the years, I've learned that the most effective method for overcoming my fight with motivation is to just say “Yes” to putting on my workout clothes. It's a small small commitment for sure, but I will tell you… I've never put on my workout clothes and NOT gone to the gym.

Take that thinking to your websites and I promise you – you will increase your conversion rates exponentially.

The Contact Form

To convert your website visitors into leads, you need to have a contact/opt-in form for them to send you their information.  The typical information you'll want to get is…

  • Name
  • Email/Phone
  • Address

That’s not bad but the problem with short contact forms is that you are not going to get enough information to pre-screen the leads at all.  Plus you get A LOT OF TIRE KICKERS and let's be honest – who has the time for them??

Let’s add some more fields…

  • # of bedrooms
  • # of bathrooms
  • How long have you owned the property
  • Is the house vacant?
  • Is the house listed?
  • Square footage
  • Year Built
  • Garage?
  • Basement?
  • What is the current condition of the property?
  • What kind of repairs and maintenance does the house need?
  • Do you need to sell your house fast?
  • What is your ultimate goal with your house?
  • Best time to call

etc…

Your contact form is now getting REALLY LONG!

This can become a huge problem because it will scare away your visitors.  A case study by Brian Malone about the number of fields on a contact form revealed that a form with 4 fields out produced a form with 11 fields by 160%!!

Great!  The contact forms that convert the best don't give us the information we need and the contact form that gives us the information we need sucks at converting. What to do?

The 2-Step Opt-in Form is Better for Online Conversions

Over the last few years, the idea of having a 2-step contact form has been introduced and tested…and the tests are returning fantastic results.

Two-step contact forms increase conversions up to 60%

Remember what Dale Carnegie said… a small yes leads to a big yes.  A site visitor who commits to filling out that short contact form is much more likely to complete the longer contact form afterward.

Renown online marketer Neil Patel of QuickSprout.com wrote a great article about how getting your visitors to invest a little will turn them into customers.  He calls it The Hoop Theory.

How a 2-step contact form works

The premise is to combine the short and long versions of the contact forms.  The initial contact form that a visitor will see is the short version (Name, Email/Phone, and Address). Once they submit (commit themselves) their information they will be sent to the long contact form.

Here is a 2-step contact form that I use on my SellYourNJHouse.com website

Does it Really Work??

Yes!  I've had over 85% of the people who fill out the short contact form continue on and complete the long form.  It really is very effective.

How to Setup a 2-Step Contact Form

The process for setting up a 2-step contact form in WordPress is fairly straightforward and simple.  That is if you have a contact form plugin that can handle it because not all of them do.  I've tested out a few free ones and a couple premium plugins…

Free WordPress Plugins

Premium

Which plugin you choose is up to you. You have to weigh ease of use, price, features, and support.  My choice has been Gravity Forms.  If I had to go with a free contact form plugin I’d probably go with FastSecureContactForm.

OptimizePress and LeadPages look awesome as well and I know some great internet marketers who kill it with these services.

Step By Step Guide For Setting Up a 2-Step Contact Form

Gravity Forms

Fast Secure Contact Form

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

The 2-step contact form technique can really make a difference when it comes to converting your visitors to leads.  However – you should always test out different configurations to make sure you get the optimal performing setup.  Don't be afraid to change up the information you're collecting on each step.

If you have any questions regarding the setting up of a 2 step contact form, feel free to leave a comment below!

meScott Costello is an active wholesaler with limited funds, a full-time job, and a growing family.  He is the founder of StrugglingInvestor.com where he writes about his experiences in wholesaling real estate in New Jersey. You can follow him on Google+Facebook and Twitter.

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  1. Dante says:

    Hi! Great post! I use the 2 step form as well. I’m still working on getting traffic to my site, but I know it’s only a matter of time (and a lot more effort) before that starts picking up. 🙂

    -Dante

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Absolutely Dante. Building traffic is a long-term commitment, but MAN is it worth the trouble when that traffic comes! Makes things a heck of a lot easier.

    2. Scott Costello says:

      Hey Dante,

      It’s never a bad idea to prepare for the traffic a head of time. You don’t want to miss out on any really motivated people early on because your site wasn’t setup to convert well.

      However it’s a balancing act, don’t spend to much time getting ready to be ready if you know what I mean. The best way to know if something is working is to already have traffic to your site.

  2. Bryce Robbins says:

    Another fantastically useful and insightful blog post! I’m planning on building a new WordPress site with BlueHost this weekend and will definitely look into implementing this technique.

    I look forward to visiting your blog every week to see if there is content that I’ve missed, it is always worth my time!

    Cheers,
    Bryce

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Thanks for letting me know Bryce – I’m glad you found this one helpful!

    2. Scott Costello says:

      It really is easy to setup Bryce. One tip is to make sure you get notified that someone filled out Step-1 of the process as well. There are always people who get to step-2 and don’t have time to fill it out now and plan on coming back later to do it…then forget.

      A follow up email the next day saying something like…”Thank you for your interest in selling your house. We noticed you didn’t finish the second form. This extra information will help us give you the best offer we can.”

  3. The Patrick Grace Group says:

    I highly recommend Gravity forms. Great product and the support is solid. I’ve used Leadpages before but the service is sub-par and it’s better suited in building lists and FB fans.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Thanks for your input! It’s good to hear this from someone who has first-hand experience with the product. 🙂

    2. Scott Costello says:

      Interesting to hear your thoughts on Leadpages…I’ve always heard good things.

      1. Bryce Robbins says:

        We have been using gravity forms for a few months as well and it seems to be really solid! While it is highly customizable using css, we’re not very html savvy. Do you happen to have any tips on how to create a nice looking form (background, font, color, size, etc…)?

        1. Scott Costello says:

          Unfortunately I’m not very good at design so any tips I could give might mess you up more. If you go fiverr.com or even 99designs.com you could probably find someone cheap that does a good job.

          1. Bryce Robbins says:

            Thanks for the feedback Scott! Turns out that my coworker is a very talented website programmer and he showed me the ropes on some simple css code that I can use to spice up our forms. I love the idea of going on Fiverr though! Might give it a shot, for $5 you really can’t go wrong.

  4. Eve says:

    Now I understand why some pages requires 2 step forms, thanks!

    1. Seth Williams says:

      You got it Eve!

    2. Scott Costello says:

      I never thought about it before I discovered the 2-step method myself. There is also a similar method for increasing signups to blog mailing lists. Instead of putting the typical “enter your email and name and click Sign Up” contact form, you just put a button that says…”Sign Up for Our Email List” and when they click that it then asks for their Name and Email.

      The idea is that clicking the button is simple and requires only one action. Once the click that button they are more committed and will almost always fill in their Name and Email on the Popup form.

      I’m going to test this out on my blog soon to see if it increases signups

  5. No Nonsense Landlord says:

    Great tips. I am just starting my blog, and need all of the tips I can get. Most of my blog is about rental property success, so I focus on cash flow and quality tenants.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      That’s awesome – thanks for stopping by this one and checking it out. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help!

      1. No Nonsense Landlord says:

        Thank you!

    2. Scott Costello says:

      Best of luck with your blog! Like Seth said if you need any help or suggestions feel free to drop me an email.

  6. seo tips says:

    That’s awesome –BrOo Thankz

  7. Jonathan Doe says:

    More scheming online marketing techniques that chip away at consumer privacy. New technology hides under the cloak of progress when really it takes away personal freedoms previously enjoyed by customers. Google, Twitter and Facebook tracks and stalks trends like predators in the digital age which is sickening and repulsive when viewed objectively.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Okay. Thanks… I guess?

  8. Mason Nettles says:

    Great article. I love Carrots and now have 5 of them. The conversions are great. Thanks for the post and keep up the good work.

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