5 Tools to Boost Software Sales in 2011

4 minutes

Both 2010 and 2011 have been called Year of Conversion Rate Optimization. And there certainly isn’t any mistake in that, given the burst of both knowledge and tools out there on the topic. And the best part of it is that most online businesses now have access to all they need to increase their sales, newsletter subscribers, followers etc. (and no more excuses if they don’t).

When it comes to selling software online, conversion rate is probably the metric with the highest impact on sales. So, to get you started I want to share with you  a list of 5 tools that I have tested both with the Avangate team, as well as during my recent period as software vendor.

Landing Page Platform: Unbounce

Unbounce is a landing page platform that makes creating, publishing and optimizing of landing pages really easy. It’s a great tool for marketing departments as they can roll out landing page after landing page without help from the IT department.

Landing pages often prove decisive when it comes to optimize conversion rates and sales. Different segments of your traffic have different expectations or needs from your website. Greeting each segment of traffic with a specific landing page for their needs can only help that segment of traffic reach the goal faster and in greater numbers. In other words: give a user what he is looking for and he will take it.

Besides the product, the Unbounce blog is a great resource for starting with landing page optimization.

Remote User Testing: Verify

Verify is a great set of remote user testing tools to help you determine how well a design will perform, before publishing it on your website. The tools will make it easy for you to decide what to keep in a design and what to take out or what to change in order to make sure the design will actually increase conversions on your website.

When developing consumer driven products, feedback is crucial. Getting feedback before launching a new page or feature can prove to be a gold mine by not wasting developing resources on things you don’t know if will work or not.

Email Marketing: PadiAct

(Disclaimer: I am co-founder of the company)

PadiAct is a neat tool that helps you optimize your email subscription rate. When it comes to increase the number of your email subscribers, there aren’t many methods out there. One method is to ask users to give their email address when they download your software. Jason Cohen shared some tips on how to ask for user information before the trial starts in his 5-part series: How to convert more software trials to purchases. But this method can also be seen as blackmailing: you give me your email address, I give you a trial – definitely not permission marketing.

This tool allows you to define a segment of traffic whom to ask, in a friendly manner, to subscribe to your newsletter.  Here is an example you could start with: all new visitors that have already downloaded your product. You accomplish 2 things by using targeting to increase subscription lists:

  • you don’t interrupt users already within a conversion funnel (downloads, sales);
  • you collect good quality email addresses from users that didn’t convert so you get a second chance with them.

A/B Testing: VWO

VWO is an easy to use A/B testing tool. These days you can’t really talk about increasing conversion rates and sales without talking about A/B and multivariate testing. There are many tools out there to help put in place a testing strategy, but VWO makes it so much easier. No IT departments or programming skills needed to get started.

Another cool thing about VWO is their blog with tons of great info and case studies on A/B testing. Now there’s no excuse for not testing.

For shopping cart testing, you can of course use the A/B testing module from Avangate platform. If you never made a test – share with us your ideas about increasing your shopping cart conversion rates and the most creative ones may be tested in your Avangate account.

User Feedback: KISSinsights

KISSinsights gives your customers a way to tell you what they need. It’s an user feedback platform, really easy to integrate on any website. The best thing about it is that it’s contextual. You can ask your users on your pricing page if there is anything they don’t understand about the pricing or you can ask them on your blog if there is anything else they would like you to write about.

What we love most about KISSinsights it’s that it is not intrusive. After starting collecting feedback with it, most users get the “Aha” moment which usually leads to ideas of better optimizing the website, therefore increasing conversion rate and in the end, sales.

See it in action on this blog and on our website. While you are at it, let us know what topics you would like us to cover more. :)

How will you increase conversion rate in 2011?

In the end it all comes up to provide better experiences to your online visitors in directing them towards the conversion point. What are you plans for improving your conversion rate in 2011?

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