How do you sell someone a contract-until-death?*

Let me rephrase that, how do you get people interested in a product that is tough to sell quickly, needs some thought process and a lot of trust?

According to Regis Hadiaris, a “Pursuer of WOW” and Director of Internet Marketing at Quicken Loans, one way is to learn what makes them tick, and specifically what makes them click.

In his talk on the 14 secrets to improve conversion rates presented to the Social Media Breakfast Twin Ports group last Friday. Hadiaris, delved into the science of how Quicken Loans converts its thousands of daily visitors into leads, and eventually customers.

Saying that the team of marketers at @QuickenLoans likes to experiment is an understatement. (Tweet this)

Learn faster than the competition

Similar to lean start-up principles, Hadiaris believes experimenting and learning faster than your competition can help you get ahead in your niche.

Closing the feedback loop is something that proponents of lean start-up methodology, like Steve Blak and Eric Ries, often talk about as a  vital part of success for start-ups.

Bloggers should embrace a spirit of experimentation

Now Regis Hadiaris has a whole team of people he works with to churn the rates of conversions at Quicken Loans, but even a single blogger doing things on the side can learn a few conversion tactics from their techniques. I was particularly fascinated by one of the secrets that Hadiaris shared with the group that focused on the form, a tool that is essentially the gatekeeper to conversions.

Here are some tips that Hadiaris shared that I think bloggers and business can use to increase their form submission rates.

Increase form conversion on blog

  • Quicken loans submission formHeadlines grab attention, so put something more up there than “Please fill in this form”. From changing their headlines, the team at Quicken where able to close more visitors into leads.
  • Color and for that matter images matter, in running tests at Quicken Loans, they learned that their conversions changed when they changed the color of the form from tan to blue, and adding images affected their forms negatively. While this is not going to be the same for every industry it it still worth experimenting with different colors and images to see how it affects your numbers.
  • The order of the questions in a form go from general questions to very specific personal identifier type questions, this has also changed their conversions. If you have a form with several fields don’t start by asking for e-mail information right away.
  • Click-through rates increased by more than half when the team changed text in the submit button from “Get rates” to “Submit”
  • Although recently featured logos did not impact the amount of leads that submitted the form, it did affect the lead to close ratio because it made the company seem more credible.

Start testing your form fields

The main theme that was woven through the presentation was to test, test, and test again. All the concepts Hadiaris covered were learned from getting out and testing theories, seeing which ones worked, which ones did not and moving on.

If you put up a call-to-action that does not convert your visitors then you need to go back and revisit why it’s not working and try and change one thing about the item (also known as multivariate testing).

The faster you learn the sooner you can get ahead of the pack.

*The word “mortgage” is derived from a french term meaning “death pledge”, i.e. the pledge ends (dies) when either the obligation is fulfilled or the property is taken through foreclosure.

Daisy Quaker is a freelance internet marketing consultant, specializing in social media strategy, content marketing, e-mail marketing and internet marketing strategy. In her spare time she writes a personal style blog. Find her on <Twitter and Google+ and tell her what strategies work for your business.

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