Don’t Say It’s Over – A Second Chance at Conversion

Here’s the scoop cowboy: They came. They saw. They didn’t care. Sad, and perhaps a little painful – if you take these types of thing personally.

Maybe they weren’t ready? Unprepared even.

I’m not here to instill false hope about your business model or promise you a golden chalice of optimized redemption. Really I’m not. That would be silly. If you want to improve your conversions you need to figure out why the horse bolted, and whose fault it was.

George Costanza knew what he was talking about.

Why Did They Leave?

There are a few reasons why your wannabe customers skedaddled without paying the toll. If you can analyze them, you might get a second chance at conversion:

  1. They were blog post transients: blogs have an inherently high bounce rate. People visit (often via social media), read your content and leave.
  2. You sent paid traffic to your homepage: tsk tsk rookie. Read my last post about ping pong balls to see why this was a bad move.
  3. A communication breakdown: your messaging wasn’t clear enough to be effective.
  4. You suck: Not much I can do to help you here.

Bringing them back

I started writing this post while thinking about our friends at ReTargeter, halfway down the left coast in California. Their idea is to serve up banner ads to people who’ve visited your site (as they travel around other sites). The thinking is that by repeatedly exposing visitors to your message, it has a higher chance of sinking in. This is in agreement with the thinking of many email marketers, who suggest that it can take up to 7 instances of communication before the “average” prospect becomes a customer.

The message follows your visitors as they visit other popular sites. Then the repeat exposure draws them back in.

It’s a cool concept, and one we’re about to try out for ourselves here at Unbounce. Which brings me back to my inspiration for the post. If you’re going to bring visitors back for another kick at the can, you need to ensure the new experience is better than the first one. This requires focus, clarity and the ability to communicate quickly to people with attention issues.

Another way to bring people back to your site is via email marketing.

This assumes that you have the prospect on an email list – generated via a lead gen campaign. You captured their interest at some level (perhaps by offering a free whitepaper), sent them a follow-up email and they didn’t convert. As I mentioned above, with email marketing you typically need to communicate several times before you hook the customer with the right message. This is equal parts luck, timing and relevance. Even the most targeted of customers has better things to do most of the time and may not be stirred into action until the timing is right.

Luck can’t be helped. Timing can’t be predicted. And relevance comes down to how you generated the lead in the first place!

I know it’s all starting to sound like mission impossible, but given how hard you worked to gain even this small amount of interest from a prospect, the critical lesson here is to maximize your opportunity when it does arise.


If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you should be able to read into all the foreshadowing and predict what I’m about to suggest as a solution: yup, a landing page. Landing pages are fundamentally designed to capitalize on this opportunity.

Making the Most of Your Second Chance by Using a Landing Page

Here’s a 5-step process you can use to improve your conversion opportunities if you’re re-targeting your customers (via a service like ReTargeter, or via an email campaign) :

  1. Walk a mile in your user’s shoes. Step back and try to think like a customer. What is the main message they see when they hit your homepage? If you show it to a few strangers, can they summarize what you do after a few seconds of exposure? What about arriving at your site on a blog post? Is there a message on the page that communicates what you do?
  2. Do a pain-point analysis chart. This is an experience path exercise where you plot a curve of emotional reaction. Pick a typical flow and “walk the path”, adding a positive or negative score to your chart at each step. An example would be searching in Google, finding a search result, clicking the search result, arriving at your homepage, not being able to find the product you were looking for etc. For each step, add a dot on the chart either moving upwards (+ve) or downwards (-ve) from the last step. You’ll be able to see where the experience breaks down (a big negative turn) and address this point in your experience.
  3. Nail your elevator pitch. Take a friend or co-worker to an “actual” elevator. Travel up and down until you’re confident describing your core value proposition in a succinct manner.
  4. Design a landing page that bleeds clarity. Using your elevator pitch as inspiration, design a new landing page for your next marketing campaign. Read about how to create a landing page design concept in 10 minutes.
  5. Send your re-targeted marketing traffic to the landing page. Track the conversion rate of your new landing page and don’t forget to start testing new messaging and design ideas.

Not everyone deserves a second chance – and similarly, your visitors don’t deserve to have to show up twice to be convinced. So if they do happen to come back, you’d better make sure you treat them right.

Oli Gardner

About The Author

Photo of Oli Gardner

Co-Founder of Unbounce. Oli has seen more landing pages than anyone on the planet. He is an opinionated writer and international speaker on Conversion Centered Design. You should follow Oli on Twitter
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Comments

  1. kenmediaco says:

    Rather than a seperate landing page that perhaps requirements more time/design investment a triggered website optimizer page could be used with content referencing the previous visit to personalise the experience.

    • Oli Gardner says:

      Yeah, not a bad idea Ken. It comes down to your familiarity and comfort with tools such as GWO. Some feel overwhelmed by the complexity involved.

      Regardless of the tool you choose tho, I think you bring up a good point in that it’s just important to recognize the repeat visitor as being exactly that – “someone who’d been there before”. and treat them accordingly.

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