If you’ve been in business for longer than a day, you know the importance of nurturing prospects before expecting them to become loyal customers.
But the nurturing process isn’t always straightforward.
One minute a lead engages with your blog post, and the next, they’re buying from your competition.
So, what gives?
Unfortunately, there are countless reasons why a prospect will dip their toes in the water and then back out.
But it’s not all bad news. By uncovering these reasons and strategizing solutions, you can market to passive prospects and win them over using behavior-based conversion optimization.
Let’s dive into how behavior-based conversion optimization can improve conversion rates with passive prospects.
What are passive prospects?
Passive prospects are leads that learn about your brand, engage with your brand, or ask their friends about your brand, but never make a purchase.
Passive prospects might be in a hurry when they come across your business, or they might have other reasons why they’re not buying, such as:
- Your website is loading too slowly
- They don’t align with your vision and values
- They don’t understand how your brand can help them
- Your website doesn’t offer a pristine customer experience
- You didn’t ask them for the business
- You didn’t provide a solution to their problem
- They got busy and simply forgot about your brand
- They were hoping for a lower price
And the list goes on.
What’s behavior-based conversion optimization, and why does it matter?
Behavior-based conversion optimization starts with understanding how prospects are currently interacting with your brand and why they’re not making a purchase. You then use their behavior metrics to come up with a personalized strategy to nurture them to conversion.
For example, suppose you are promoting affordable moving services and know that summertime is the most popular time for moving. In that case, target your advertising towards converting customers during the summer months. And you’ll need to nurture them throughout the non-summer months so you can earn their trust and win them over by the summer.
Or, if you own a pop-up bakery in LA, you might discover that leads don’t make a purchase when they hear you don’t offer lactose-free or gluten-free options. Naturally, adding allergy-friendly options to the menu is a simple solution that can encourage them to purchase.
Bottom line? Behavior-based conversion optimization is essential if you’re serious about serving prospects that have demonstrated interest in your brand but aren’t buying from you just yet.
Marketing to passive prospects using behavior-based conversion optimization
Now that we’ve laid the groundwork, let’s dig deeper to uncover how to market to passive prospects using behavior-based conversion optimization.
1. Share personalized product recommendations
Harnessing the power of personalization is the secret to turning passive prospects into customers.
Research shows that companies investing in personalization can increase the return on investment by 75.5%. And that’s no drop in the bucket.
When a lead interacts with your site, they leave behind a trail of information — their browsing history, search history, and any other activity they engage in on your site.
Using this information, you can create personalized product recommendations for each customer based on their past behavior.
And with 66% of consumers expecting companies to understand their needs, tailoring the shopping experience is a recipe for success.
It’s pretty simple. Instead of showing all visitors the same products, customize the selection of products they see based on:
- Browsing activity or purchase history
- Customer location or profile
- Product affinities
Amazon is the king of recommending products based on past behavior.
In this example, Amazon immediately reminds the user where they left off in their search for women’s running shoes and about their past purchases from Whole Foods.
The result is a more satisfying and personalized shopping experience for the user, resulting in a higher likelihood of purchasing the running shoes after multiple online searches.
Don’t underestimate the power of convenience and personalization to get your customers to pull the trigger on a purchase.
2. Send cart abandonment emails when they leave your site without paying
Ask your fellow entrepreneurial friends to lay out the kinds of passive leads they have, and you’ll likely have many complaining about abandoned cart prospects.
In fact, in Q2 of 2022, three-quarters of all baskets created on computers in the US resulted in an uncompleted order. Ouch. That’s a lot of missed opportunities.
But just because a prospect abandons their cart doesn’t mean you can’t encourage them to come back to complete their purchase. In fact, you absolutely should.
The simplest solution to cart abandonment? Send a cart abandonment email. With the right marketing software, you can automate cart abandonment emails, so customers immediately get them in their inboxes without your marketing team lifting a finger.
Take this email from Tailor Brands, for example.
In the example above, the customer abandoned their cart after they designed a logo with Tailor Brands’ logo service. After they abandoned the purchase, Tailor Brands sent out a personalized email from the CEO with an attached discount code to entice the customer to return.
The 30% discount is an effective solution for price-sensitive leads.
It’s important not to train your prospects to expect a discount after abandoning their cart. You may lead with a reminder email first. Then if you don’t get them to take action, send a follow-up email with a discount.
Tarte Cosmetics is another example of a brand that utilizes cart abandonment emails to win back purchases.
In this example, Tarte Cosmetics creates urgency by adding a time stipulation (aka reserving their products for a set time). This urges the lead to consider finishing the purchase or risk losing out if the products go out of stock.
As with any product-based business, Tarte Cosmetics doesn’t have unlimited inventory available, so this extra nudge could be enough to seal the deal.
3. Use video marketing to educate prospects
Sometimes prospects are passive because they’re still trying to get to know what your brand is about and how you can help them.
That’s why it’s essential to take inventory of the information you currently have on the web about your brand. This could be information on your website, landing pages, ebooks, social media pages, blogs, ads, and other marketing channels.
After reviewing your channels, ask yourself the following questions:
- Have we conveyed our brand mission, values, and goals clearly?
- Do we clearly state who we help and how we help them?
- Do we provide tutorials, answers to frequently asked questions, and/or guides?
- Can a lead quickly understand what we sell and how to purchase it?
If you answered no to any of the questions above, it’s time to come up with a solution.
Enter: Video marketing.
Prospects can get to know your brand quicker if they’re presented with information in a way that’s professional and easy to understand. That’s why video marketing is such an effective tool.
By recording bite-sized videos on Youtube, you can boost your brand identity and give leads the information they’re looking for. YouTube videos are also great because you can easily embed them into blog posts, other social media posts, email marketing campaigns, your website, and more.
Follow the lead of The KyLeads Growth Lounge YouTube channel. It features a well-designed YouTube banner with a color scheme that matches their website and gives a quick snippet of what type of videos to expect on the channel.
If you serve a younger audience, like Gen Zers, consider taking advantage of TikTok and Instagram Reel trends to record mini informational videos.
Whatever channels you use, make sure to add a relevant call to action, so prospects are encouraged to buy something after watching your videos.
4. Analyze and segment prospects by behavior, then create a conversion plan for each segment
And finally, our best advice to market to passive prospects is to segment them by behavior and then create a conversion solution for each group.
Let’s break this down a bit.
Let’s say you’ve analyzed your prospects and broken them down into the following segments:
- Segment One: Prospects that abandoned their shopping carts
- Segment Two: Prospects that viewed your product but didn’t buy anything
- Segment Three: Prospects that attended your webinar but didn’t enroll in your new course
- Segment Four: Prospects that viewed your group posts on Facebook but didn’t engage
- Segment Five: Prospects that clicked through your Facebook ad but didn’t make a purchase
- Segment Six: Prospects that read your emails but didn’t take action
Next, look for patterns among each segment.
For instance, maybe you notice that prospects are abandoning their carts after 10 seconds of waiting for the page to load. Could a slow page load time deter prospects from following through on their purchases? Unfortunately, yes.
It may sound simple, but improving your page load speed might be the fix you need. If there are other reasons prospects are abandoning, be sure to note those, too.
For instance, maybe the prospect felt that the product cost was too high after they added custom features. Or maybe the shipping time was too far out, and they’re buying the product for a birthday that’s right around the corner.
In this case, you’ll need to come up with a strategy to help prospects get their hands on cheaper features and faster shipping options.
Let’s take a look at another example. Let’s consider prospects that view your emails but don’t take action. After analyzing patterns, you might discover that prospects don’t take action when you have links to your offers embedded throughout your emails, but they do take action when you include conspicuous calls to action (CTAs) throughout your emails.
So? It’s a quick fix. Simply add obvious formal CTAs to every email you send out.
If you still have a few stragglers that don’t take action after including CTAs, consider asking them what the hold-up is. A simple “hey, we noticed you’re reading our emails, but you’re not taking action — how can we help?” might be enough to give you the answers you need.
But, there’s a caveat here. Never ask a prospect a question if you don’t intend to reply to them after they give you a reason. Make sure you have a dedicated team member ready to communicate with these leads so they know you truly care about them becoming a customer.
So, go through each prospect segment with a fine tooth comb, notate the behavior patterns you notice for each, and then create a solution based on their behavior to nudge each one toward conversion.
Nurturing prospects is key to building lasting customer relationships. But when a lead turns passive, it’s time to break out additional strategies to revive their interest in your brand.
That’s why it’s essential to implement behavior-based conversion optimization into your marketing strategy. You can strategize solutions and win even the most passive prospects by peeling back the curtain to reveal these reasons.
Leverage personalized product recommendations to improve the shopping experience. And send targeted emails to leads that abandon their carts.
These, along with a few other strategies mentioned in this post, will help you tap into the power of behavior-based conversion optimization to turn passive leads into sales.
What strategy has been the most effective for you when marketing to passive leads? Let us know in the comments below.
Kelly Moser is the co-founder and editor at Home & Jet, a digital magazine for the modern era, and content manager at Login Lockdown. She’s also an expert in freelance writing and content marketing for SaaS, Fintech, and ecommerce startups.