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A Simple Way to Improve Blog Conversion Rates

TL;DR – Add Hootsy to the end of your blog posts like this one so your readers can easily connect with you.

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Blogs are a great way to drive organic traffic to your site, but converting that traffic into leads or customers can be a challenge.

You might try pop-ups and see a slight uptick, but at the cost of irritating most of your readers. You might try forms, but forms feel impersonal.

The ‘about author’ section at the end of blog posts does seem like a simple way to increase credibility and trust, but I think we can do a lot better. If your reader has a question or problem, showing you’re easy to connect with and open to helping goes a long way in convincing them to check out your product and become a customer.

So with that thought, we built something that’s easy for you to add to your blog posts, and that makes it easy for your readers to connect with you and ask a question. At the end of this post is an example.

Some will choose to chat with you, which is great. It’s an opportunity to build a relationship with a potential customer. Yet, even if they don’t, they’ll appreciate how easy you made it to connect with them and how open you are to helping, which should improve your conversion rate.

To add this to your blog, simply sign-up for Hootsy, and follow the onboarding steps.

If you have any questions, let me know. I’d be happy to help.

Live Chat Isn’t Enough

The SaaS market is quickly becoming overcrowded. There are now over 100,000 companies on G2 and that number is growing 120% year over year. (G2)

To illustrate this better, let’s zoom in on one of the many categories that exist on G2, marketing technology, as an example. This category has seen a 5,233% increase in the number of companies over the past 9 years.

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Here is what it looked like in 2011:

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Here is what it looked like in 2020:

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This trend exists across all software categories. A survey of SaaS founders showed that you would have 4-5x more competitors if you start a software business today than if you started it 5-6 years ago. (ProfitWell

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To win over customers in this highly competitive market, it’s critical that sales teams understand what customers want.

When asked what qualities customers value in a sales professional, ‘trustworthy’ ranked #1 at 58% followed by ‘transparency’, a trait closely related to trustworthy, at 37%. (LinkedIn State of Sales) In addition, 86% of customers expect a trusted advisor relationship with sales reps, and 82% reported that a company’s trustworthiness matters more than a year ago. (SalesForce)

Despite this, SaaS is facing a crisis of trust. 94% of SaaS buyers don’t trust sales teams (G2), 99% believe companies need to improve their trustworthiness, and 66% feel like they are treated like a number (SalesForce).

It’s clear that focusing on how to build customer trust is the best way for a sales team to stand out and close more deals in this hyper competitive environment.

Enter Live chat (and it’s good friend the chatbot)

Live chat is one of the most popular ways to connect with customers.

When you visit SaaS websites, you’ll often see a pop-up in the lower right corner like this.

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This is often referred to as ‘Conversational Marketing’ (i.e. chatbot pop-ups). It’s hard to find reliable data on performance and customer sentiment that wasn’t paid for by a company that sells chatbots and live chat, but I have a lot of experience in this area. I started a conversational AI company in 2017 and later joined Paychex to lead their conversational AI strategy. I’ve analyzed hundreds of thousands of customer conversations and my findings align with what others often say in message boards. In short, this does NOT build trust.

The best case scenario is that the bot gathers some basic info and there is a sales rep who is available to quickly take over the conversation. Even in this scenario though, text alone is not a great medium for building a trusted relationship.

The more common scenarios are either:

  • Scenario 1: The bot gathers info and the customer waits a while for a response with no clear indication that a real human will ever respond. This is especially concerning given that the odds of making a successful contact with a lead are 100 times greater when a contact attempt occurs within 5 minutes, compared to 30 minutes after the lead was submitted. (HubSpot) Or…
  • Scenario 2, which is most common: The customer closes the pop-up and is annoyed that the message bubble interfered with what they were trying to view on the website.

Let’s use the analogy of walking into a store. Which experience do you think most customers prefer?

  1. The store appears empty. You can roam freely without being interrupted, but there is no way to check if there is a human to help if you ever need it. Or…
  2. A robot immediately walks up to you and asks if you need help. Maybe you do, but the last time you chatted with a robot hoping to eventually speak to a human, the human took a while to respond. Or…
  3. A sales rep immediately walks up to you and starts asking questions. Or…
  4. A human is behind the counter. You see them and you know they’ll help you if you need it, but they aren’t being pushy.

Options 1 – 3 are most common with live chat and SaaS sales today, but I believe the majority of customers would choose Option 4.

Option 4 can be accomplished by combining the best qualities of live chat and chatbots with the use of live video and voice calls. This is the best approach to build customer trust at a time when it’s so desperately needed, and this is the approach we are focused on perfecting with Hootsy.

If you have any questions, let me know. I’d be happy to help.

Selling as an Introvert

I love building things. As a child, I would spend all day outside building tree forts and daydreaming about what they could look like. Now that I’m older, I do the same thing but with software.

The challenge with software is that a lot of the joy comes from seeing other people use and love what you built, which means you have to sell it.

As an introvert, I’ve never been comfortable selling. Every social interaction takes away some of my energy (no matter how enjoyable), and I have a bad habit of overanalyzing every human interaction I’ve ever had.

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This is probably why I’ve spent many years now building conversational experiences (chat, chatbots, etc.). I find how we interact to be so fascinating.

One thing I learned over time is the power of trust. The more trust you can build, the less you have to ‘sell’. Hootsy is built around this belief. The large profile images, the links to LinkedIn and Twitter, the use of live video and voice calls; it’s all with the goal of building trust before a conversation even starts.

While I think introverts might have some initial hesitation to using live video, they’ll quickly find it makes the subsequent conversations much easier because of the extra trust it provides the customer.

If you have any questions, let me know. I’d be happy to help.