4 Conversion Rate Optimization Tactics That Hurt You in the Long Run

mistakes

There are two sides to conversion optimization.

The first one is the one that’s in the open. You perform tests, measure activity, and choose the winner that will yield a better conversion rate for your business.

The conversion rate might be for opting in to an email list, buying products, or signing up for a demo.

But behind that conversion rate number, there’s a more complex factor lurking…

Marketers love conversion rates because they give us something to measure and base our decisions on. But they can be taken too far.

If the rate at which your visitors convert to purchasers increased from 2% to 4%, did you just double your sales for good?

Maybe…maybe not.

That’s because numbers reflect quantity without taking quality into account.

Simply put: If you double your current conversion rate but do so in a way that lowers your conversion rate in the future (i.e., rate of getting return customers), that initial optimization could actually decrease the profit you make.

If this isn’t obvious to you right now, don’t worry.

I’m about to show you four specific conversion rate optimization tactics that can appear to give you positive results in the short term but can do serious damage to your business in the long term.

Download this cheat sheet to get to know about 4 conversion rate optimization tactics that hurt you in the long run.

On top of that, I’ll show you what to do instead. 

1. Discounting your products can destroy your business

Need a spike in sales?

Easy…just send out coupons or put your products on sale.

In almost all situations, you will see a spike. And the bigger the discount, the bigger the spike.

Also, if you do some testing, you can price the discount so that you maximize your overall profit.

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So, what’s not to love?

At first glance, discounting looks like a great way to boost sales, which seemingly might lead to more return customers down the line too.

Most short term case studies support this. They show, for example, conversion rates improving by 13% with a simple 10% coupon.

But the complete picture is much bleaker.

There’s a company you’ve probably heard of called Groupon.

It’s a pretty simple company/app. Groupon contacts businesses offering to send them a ton of new customers if they provide them with a big discountoften at 40-50% off.

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Many companies thought Groupon was an amazing opportunity to grow their businesses for the reasons I mentioned above.

However, they quickly discovered that the big discounts not only didn’t grow their business but indeed hurt it. If you Google “Groupon caused business failure,” you’ll get a slew of results that explain how running a Groupon deal actually killed someone’s business.

And these results are not rare; there are many of such sad cases.

The proof is in Groupon’s share price. After its IPO (in 2011), it was valued at about $13 billion (or $20 per share).

Currently, Groupon’s share price is under $3, which is less than a sixth of its original valuation.

It has steadily declined over the past few years as businesses have learned that massive discounting isn’t effective in the long term.

There are multiple ways that discounting can hurt you.

Problem #1 – You attract the wrong customers: There are many sites, like Slickdeals, that exist solely to promote sales to their user bases.

If your products have a fairly wide appeal, any discounts will end up on these kinds of sites.

The people who use these sites are looking for great deals (called discount hunters) and nothing more.

They don’t become long term customers.

In addition, if you promote your sale (and why wouldn’t you?), it could actually cause you to lose potential long term customers.

That’s because you’ve shifted the focus to your product’s or service’s price.

So, when a potential customer (who cares about quality over price) is comparing their options, they’ll go with the company that’s emphasizing the quality of their product rather than the price.

Problem #2 – You set a bad precedent: This adds on to the problem of having discount-seeking customers.

Once you discount a product for a customer, that becomes their new perceived value of your product.

They are not likely to buy from you again unless they get a similar deal in the future.

This is okay for some businesses that rely on selling huge volumes, but most businesses can’t permanently slash their profit margins.

Additionally, if someone pays a full price for your product and then sees that it goes on sale, they’ll usually feel shafted. There’s a good chance that they won’t want to buy from you again because of that.

Problem #3 – You erode your brand’s and product’s value: Finally, since a discount can lower the perceived value of your product, it can make potential customers question its quality.

Why is this so cheap? Is there something wrong with it?

In some cases, discounts actually lower short term conversion rates since customers care about quality over cost.

How do you get the potential benefits of discounting without giving a discount? Discounts are not evil despite all these common problems.

They can be used effectively in some specific situations.

More importantly, you can learn a few general elements of effective discounting and use this knowledge to increase your conversion rate without hurting your business in the long run.

One of the main reasons why people buy discounted products and services is because they feel they are getting good value for their money.

Think of it like this:

Likelihood of buying = Value of product (or offer) / Cost

When the cost goes down, your conversion rate goes up.

However, you could also just increase the perceived value of your product.

Bryan Harris uses this tactic well. He sells courses related to building an email list.

When he goes through a sales campaign, he doesn’t discount his courses often. Instead, he adds bonuses.

If someone buys the course, they get a free valuable add-on related to the course:

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This way, you still increase your conversion rate, but you don’t damage your product or brand in any way, and you still attract the right customers (who care about value more than a discount).

Businesses that sell physical goods use this tactic as well by sending free samples of products with orders. For example, Bodybuilding.com sends free samples of supplements:

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The second useful aspect of discounts is that they make your product feel less risky.

No one wants to buy something only to find out that it doesn’t do what they thought it would.

The solution is to make buying your product feel less risky by addressing potential concerns. This will be different based on the type of your product.

One option is to create detailed case studies that show how your product works and what results it produces:

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If you sell physical products, create a high quality video that shows your product in action. Remove all doubt.

If you sell software, offer a demo, or create clear video walkthroughs.

2. Buying fake followers on social media for social proof

We all look to friends and experts to guide our purchases.

This is known as “social proof.”

If other people recommend something or simply already use it, it’s a sign that the product is good.

Case studies, testimonials, number of members, etc. can be considered as social proof.

And social proof can have a big impact on conversion rates. One study found that testimonials increased sales page conversions by up to 34%.

While social proof is most studied in the context of sales, it plays a role in all types of decisions (conversions).

Should you join that email list? Well, do any of your friends or mentors recommend it? If so, you’re much more likely to.

Additionally, social proof matters on social media, just not in all the ways that many marketers think it does.

The logic is that if you have a ton of followers on a social media account, other users will think you’re popular and be more likely to follow you as well.

It’s hard to build up a social media account from scratch, so marketers look for a shortcut: buying followers.

It’s easy to go to Fiverr and get a few thousand subscribers on any main social network for $5.

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These followers or likes all come from bot accounts that won’t do anything afterwards.

Having more isn’t always better: There are a few major downsides to faking social proof on social media.

One that most marketers never even consider is that having more social proof doesn’t always improve conversion rates.

Derek Halpern conducted a test and found that social proof in the following form actually decreased his email opt-in rate:

Join 15,000 people already subscribed.

The reason why this “social proof” might backfire is because some people don’t want to be part of a huge crowd.

They want to feel like they could potentially make a personal connection.

It, of course, depends on the demographics of your audience, but you can’t automatically assume that having thousands of followers will improve your follow rate.

Fake followers can kill your reach: The more important issue is that many social networks are determining the organic reach of users based on their engagement rates.

Take Facebook for example.

If a page has 10,000 likes but gets only one or two likes or comments on each individual post, Facebook assumes the posts aren’t very good.

Then, Facebook will start showing that page’s future posts to fewer people unless the business pays for advertising. If you want to improve your Facebook page’s organic reach, read this guide.

When you have fake followers, you have low engagement rates because bots don’t engage with anything. Your profile will look something like this:

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This means that fewer of your real followers will see your content, or you’ll have to spend a lot more than the initial social proof boost gave you.

3. “Clickbait” headlines can raise your email open rates…at first

Clicks equal views, and views equal revenue.

At least that’s a reasonable formula to use when your revenue comes from advertising.

Buzzfeed is infamous for coming up with the concept of “clickbait” headlines.

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These headlines pique curiosity of readers and make them more likely to click through to the content.

In the past years, marketers have used clickbait headlines for content headlines, email subject lines, and social media posts.

I’m not a fan of using them anywhere—but particularly in email subject lines.

When someone is on your email list, they’re giving you access to a valued personal channel of communication. Trust is key.

When you use clickbait headlines, it’s almost impossible to offer your readers content that will match their expectations and make them feel satisfied.

For example, imagine I sent you an email with the subject line:

10 Mind-blowing SEO tactics that will change your life

I don’t think I could come up with a single “mind-blowing” SEO tactic, let alone 10.

Even if the 10 tactics were valuable, you’d still feel unsatisfied after reading that subject line.

If you use these types of email subject lines, please stop.

It might help at first, but your readers will quickly catch on.

study of 9 million subject lines identified clickbait phrases and looked at their effect on the open rates.

It turns out that clickbait phrases have either minimal positive or significant negative effect on open rates.

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The reason is simple. Why would anyone continue to open your emails once you showed them they will be disappointed?

The solution – Deliver on your promises: You should always make your subject lines as enticing as possible, but you need to ensure that they match the content closely.

If you say you have five tactics that will double your subscriber’s revenue, those five tactics had better do just that.

Your subject line is a promise that you need to keep if you want to earn long term trust.

4. Using fake scarcity to boost sales is a double-edged sword

One way to improve conversion rates in almost every situation is to make use of scarcity.

It’s one of Cialdini’s 6 principles of influence.

When there’s a limited amount of a product we might want or a limited time to buy it, we are much more likely to make the purchase.

Landing pages that have countdowns, indicating when an offer will expire, are a great example of this. These pages can improve conversion rates by up to 147%.

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Another example of scarcity is a simple email saying that there’s a limited amount of a product left:

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Both are incredibly effective.

Scarcity works, but keep it real: As always, some marketers get too greedy.

Using scarcity in the form of a timer, for example, is a one-time thing. You can use it once per sales period.

What some marketers do is set up a timer that runs out and then starts again.

If you’re continually sending new traffic to the page, the idea is that you can use scarcity all the time.

But people aren’t stupid. If they come back to the page after the timer should have ran out, they will know that you were trying to trick them.

Of course, once someone feels tricked like that, they’ll never trust you or buy from you again.

So, while you might improve your conversion rate in the short term, you’re also going to scare away some good customers for life.

By all means, use scarcity, but don’t fake it.

If you say you have only five spots left in a course, then sell only five more. If you say you’re selling something for only 10 more hours, stop taking orders in 10 hours.

Conclusion

All marketers and business owners need to use conversion rate optimization to improve their revenue.

However, you need to consider the long term effect of any changes you make based on short term optimization.

I’ve shown you four common tactics that can work in the short term but could hurt your business significantly in the long term.

If you’re making one of these mistakes, fix it. If not, be aware of them and avoid them in the future.

To close off, I’d like to ask you to leave me a comment below telling me one way that you’ve prioritized long term success over quick wins as well as any questions you have.

Comments

  1. Great stuff, as usual. Thanks for posting Neil.

  2. Great post once again Neil! I completely agree with you on this one.
    Just by having for example a Coupon box on your order form, anyone that is looking to buy your product or service right now, stops and goes looking for coupons online… Some of them will get back with a coupon and buy your product for a cheaper price, but others won’t even come back.
    You never want to distract your buyers when they are on the buying form, and just by having there a coupon box, you’re hurting your sales. Don’t you agree?

    Thanks again!

    • Absolutely. Give them something on the spot so they can feel comfortable and proceed vs get distracted. Most of the time if there’s gone, they wont come back. I would suggest using an exit popup to save them the trouble of having to find it themselves.

  3. Great tips Neil.

    I had really no idea that discounts could cause such a harm over the long-term.

    Is there any occasion you would recommend offering discounts?

    For instance, if someone is a long-term customer of your business, shouldn’t you offer him a small discount here and there as a “thank you”?

    (I have done this several times)

    Regards,
    Damian

    • Yeah, I agree with you that over time as you get returns buyers you can offer them special deals not available to the others. If you want to take that one step further, discounts to products and services can also be part of a monthly subscription you offer.

      • Anil Agarwal :

        Great stuff Neil.

        I saw it so many times people using captivating email subject lines. We all know how powerful effective headlines are.

        But if not used them right, they can really hurt your conversion rates.

        Instead of giving promises either on your headlines or landing pages, focus on the benefits and you will get better results.

        • Yah, stay away fro clickbait title as they are often misleading and doesn’t live up to the readers value.

  4. Hey Neil,

    Another great post!

    I completely agree with you, especially on the discounting point, mostly once you go down with your prices you cannot go up again easily, with coupons or without them, I think it is a general rule, I also think that problem #2 and #3 are the real problems you will face.

    Thanks for sharing your valuable inputs, it was a great reading experience!

    • Yeah, the last thing you want to do is program your customers to always expect getting deals from you in efforts to buy. We say department stores do that all the time.

  5. Awesome post! This post contains some points that I never cared.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • It’s not the kind of stuff people usually talk about because it’s something you don’t notice till later on in your business. Glad you enjoyed, let me know if you have any questions I can help you with 🙂

  6. Hi Neil,

    Again, a great and very informative post! I have been reading your posts religiously for over a year and every single one has been tremendously valuable. I just launched my blog yesterday at https://confidenthabits.com where I will soon put into practice many of the great things I have learned here.

    Thanks, Tristan

    • Awesome! Great job on the design and it seems like you have a particularly interesting topic. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask 🙂

  7. Hello Neil,
    Awesome as always.
    At some point i have seen many clients prefering to buy fake followers only for the sake of show off because it’s a mindset the more the followers the stronger and powerful the brand. But i have been always against that.

    Also i noticed you didn’t talked about Typography at all, it makes a huge difference in conversion rates.. The coincidence is i just wrote a full article on this topic 3 hours ago .
    Take a look ( http://www.designzzz.com/typography-boost-conversion-rates/ ) if you have a few mins to spare and your feedback will be really helpful.

  8. Randy Kauffman :

    Good advice. There is no get rich scheme and you cannot fool people. They are smart about marketing techniques and getting smarter all the time.

    That’s why we need people like you to keep us up to date.

    Thanks!

    • I think there’s definitely a growing number with the whole get rich quick stuff, but those typically don’t last too long.

  9. It’s worth noting that if you are selling online and you run a Groupon, the Groupon deal will appear in your organic search listings, and usually in a one or two position. This means that anybody who researches your product will immediately see your discounted offer so it will definitely hurt your sales overall. Also bear in mind that Groupon deals are not typically for a finite period…they are always available. So imagine every time somebody researches your company, product, service, the number 1 search result is a 60% off deal (the revenues of which you will share 50:50 with Groupon). We did it and it was about a break even for us.

    • Good point! Having discounts rank for your product or service will damage your brand. I haven’t really heard too many positive things from businesses who have used groupon or similar coupon sites.

  10. I usually can understand what your article is about and how helpful it can be, this is the first one that most of it when right over my head. Even reading more than once. This is the first time I just do not understand. 🙁

    The only part I did understand was about Groupon and the use of coupons you buy off it. I had a friend who bought a coupon off Groupon and the business (getting your nails done) they kept trying to talk her into lots of other things that added to what she paid for.
    Which turn into about double what she paid for the coupon she bought using Groupon. I am sure that most of the brands who use Groupon can afford to give you that super deal.
    As well as using coupons, but what sites like Etsy?

    • I’m sorry you had difficulty with this, let me know if you have any specific questions I can help you answer.

      I think etsy is great to get started with, but ultimately I would focus on building your website location.

  11. Hi Neil,

    I think what you are trying to conclude is to be real. Being real and being yourself may get you there slow but as they say – slow and steady wins the race. Talking about scarcity and social media, a little bit of fakeness is ok but not much. We can’t depend solely on that and be happy about our brand.

    • I think it’s common for new marketers to play around with these strategies because they’ve haven’t had enough experience running a business yet.

  12. Thanks for the tips about the scarcity Neil! I have never thought of this technique earlier.

    • You’re welcome Sameer, glad I could help. Keep me posted on your results or let me know if there’s anything I can assist you with!

  13. Great read Neil as always.

    Conversion rate optimization is very important to any online business. I edited and tested one of my blog posts few times to maximize the conversions and revenue. Finally, I selected the best call to action and the headline which gives more conversions.

    I followed Quicksprout and Neilpatel blog over a year. These strategies help me to double my blog income.

    Thanks Neil.

    • Wow, that’s awesome and congratulations! It’s great how making small adjustments and tweaks can lead to big changes over time. Well if there’s anything else I can help you with, please don’t ever hesitate to ask!

  14. Alex Rodriguez :

    Hi Neil,

    I never write you but I follow you on social and read a ton of your blogs and I think you’re definitely a thought leader in the digital space. I like the way you outline your topics and how the use of images breaks up the content but you also point out the benefits. I’m currently the only in-house SEO marketing manager at my job and we do well, my channel is in the top 3 highest earning channels. We’ve tried all the above tactic and we’ve seen some benefits and negatives to it… but we also aren’t just web based, we also have a call center in-house. (sometimes its a see-saw and a headache to prove ROI for a call center & SEO)

    Long story short, I wanted to ask you a question (I might know the answer but experience trumps everything), how do you quantify the value of a high traffic page without an immediate action being placed on the page? (no lead form, ebook, no capture action?) the page is beneficial and does lead to conversions… but it’s purpose has turned more into a tool rather than a mid-funnel capture page (mid – because I don’t consider it top… the user is there for a specific action, does the action and exits)… how would you quanitfy a page like that?

    Note – I didn’t want to drop links because im looking for real insight and not just backlinks.

    Thanks in advance if you do read this.

    Alex

    • Are you tracking

      -If the user does the action and buys
      -Does the action and doesn’t buy
      -Doesn’t do the action and buys
      -Doesn’t do the action and doesn’t buy

      How do you know it helps conversions?

      What’s the link?

      • Alex Rodriguez :

        We are currently tracking the page, YTD organic traffic is at 24k with 91% of that being new users coming from the SERPs. This is the page: http://www.dentalplans.com/dentalsearch/howtofinddentists

        We own a majority of the keyword universe around ‘near me’, ‘find dentist’, etc… terms.

        We’re finding that from a usability standpoint the user wants to use our site like a tool, when in fact it’s more of a mid-funnel action that (we would hope) would get us conversions. I just feel more can be done… we are currently working on a conversational/guided approach and then will test the results… I just feel like more can be done for such a high value term.

        Thanks.

        • I think the form can feel like a smoother process. For example, when I typed in City, State, and Zip, it gave me an error saying only write city or state, not both. Maybe you can present an offer for a free guide after they click search (maybe as an exit popup).

  15. Great post Neil

    It’s interesting to see how certain keywords effect the read rate but like any metrics that doesn’t always show the complete picture.

    Some markets respond to words like “secret” and others don’t.

    What are your thoughts on that?

    As a side note: I’ve currently got a new e-commerce client where I’m responsible for their email marketing and it’s difficult to get the list to buy anything without a discount.

    • Using that kind of language will work in the beginning and for new users, but the rest of your list will begin to feel burned out from it. If you’ve trained them on buying from coupons, then you’ll need to train them off. Focus your marketing efforts on providing content through blogs.

  16. From the section about how clickbait headlines disappoint users:

    > I don’t think I could come up with a single “mind-blowing” SEO tactic, let alone 10.

    But the end of this post shows an opt-in box titled, “Revealed: Explosive SEO Secrets Worth $5000 per Hour”, which is both a clickbait headline and contradicts the above quote.

    Other than that, great article.

    • That’s a good spot and kinda expands on my point about certain keywords being effective in certain markets.

      If Neil has it there it must be because it’s working so just viewing how keywords affects readership is only part of the story because in most cases you want to repel people who aren’t a good fit for your business with your positioning, themes and word choice.

      “Explosive” SEO seems like an oxymoron as well as everyone knows SEO is a slow burner 😛

    • I test a lot of stuff… some things work, while others don’t. You will actually see all of those optins removed with the new QS design. Can’t wait to roll it out.

  17. Yes, We should learn bad tactics to prevent it.
    I am completely agreed on the discounting point. It is really helpful. 😀
    Conversion rate optimization is very important <3

  18. Andrew Smallwood :

    Another awesome post. You never really think about how the “good deal” might drive customer in relation to that they will always expect the deal later. Big problem I have bc I am just trying to get the business. I’m like “sure I’ll take care of that for you easy, and it blows up in my face lol.

  19. Your assessment of Groupon touched a nerve. We’ve been approached a number of times to offer discounts via Groupon, but have refused. Indeed, despite the fact that others in our industry regularly offer sizeable discounts for their services, we have never done so. What we find particularly disturbing is the growing practice, in our industry and elsewhere, to offer a certain percentage discount in exchange for a favorable Google review. We strongly disapprove. Reviews, on Google and elsewhere, should be earned, not solicited and certainly not bought. We wish there was something that could be done to stop this practice. If you hear of a method, we’d love to know what it is.

    • I wouldn’t focus your attention on it. Most of those companies just come and go, as you’re discovering, you just need to stay strong. Focus your efforts and providing a better experience and customers will happily pay the premium for it.

  20. Eduardo Cornejo :

    Hey Neil,

    From the extreme discounts being bad, to the FB thinking your posts lack value if you have fake followers, this was a great post.

    I’ve been looking at Kajabi like you said yesterday, and it is super complete and everything I am looking for. However, does it integrate with WordPress, or do I have to give it up and do everything there? Also there is 2 versions of it, and the best one is supposedly launching March 1st. I like to follow your steps, and I know you center everything around WP…

    Thanks a lot!

    P.S. Joined your program! 🙂

    • Eduardo Cornejo :

      I asked them this and they said “we give you the tools to build your site, your blog, create and host all of your digital products, and market and sell your business – all in one platform”.

      Since this means no WordPress, would you recommend it? Something tells me you wouldn’t do it…

    • Use it at as your learning management system, but keep your blog on wordpress. I haven’t seen the new version yet, but I suggest waiting and then giving it a try.

  21. Oh my goodness, the buying of fake social followers is the worst! I once advised a client against this, for all of the reasons you mentioned. Then he went and did it anyway. We didn’t work together for too much longer (it was just a small indication of how he ran his entire business). Thanks for sharing these!

    • I’ve known a number of people who do that too. They get too fixated on the vanity and it winds up hurting them in the long run.

  22. Hell yeah, Neil! As a copywriter, I’m so over the hyperbole of cheap tactics that buy clicks but no engagement. As an entrepreneur, I’ll take a select audience of highly engaged advocates of my brand over a throng of anonymous passersby any day. Thanks for the deeply thoughtful post!

  23. Great article Neil. As always very informative.

  24. Ajay Damraliya :

    Hello neil ,
    Great article. Thank you very much for sharing. !
    Keep sharing. Waiting for more.

  25. Hamir sisodiya :

    Hi Neil, Nice post. I’m going to subscribe so that i can come to know every updates. Thanks !

  26. Hey Neil.
    very informative article. Thanks !

  27. Regarding groupon, there will always be a crowd looking for a deal but there are other people that would have naturally been a sale without a discount but because a discount was offered, they took it.

    • It really comes down to the type of crowd you want to attract. Do you want bargain hunters looking to shoot your prices down or do you want people who are looking to pay for that amazing experience. Usually can’t be both.

  28. Wow Thanks man.Some of these I already have but there are definitely some in your list that we missed. I can’t wait to add them.

    • Great! Keep me posted on how everything works out for you Sunil or let me know if you have any questions I can help you with.

  29. I see a lot of marketers do fake scarcity, and this has made me realize that buyers are more likely to remember a tricky seller.

  30. Great article as usual just wondering if u can refer me to landing pages guide as im a bit confused how to link it to my wp site .my plan is to promote some high tiket affiliate products until I have mine .I was told that I need multiple domain for that ! Is it possible to do with subpages in same domain that will include like this formula : my site.com/landingpage that will lead to
    My site.com/thanksupage den leading
    to my site.com/salepage

    Can this be done in single domain without so called sales funnel . I understand that this is out of topic here .hope to positive response

  31. Great post Neil. I have an eCommerce website since last 2 years, and we don’t use these tactics for the exact reasons you have mentioned. Guess you reiterating the same points we have implemented means we are doing the right things.

    Also, we have generally noticed that customers who opt to purchase through coupons on our website are generally not the best customers. Our highest rate of returns due to perceptive difference in quality, come from customers who have used coupons to purchase in the first place. That just reduces the margins further on an already discounted order, and we usually lose money on returned order when a refund is issued, because of return shipment costs.

    • Also, I see a lot of online shopping sites offering coupons on reviewing the purchases for the customers. What do you think is the best way to increase the chance of customer reviewing the purchase. People are more keen to leave a review if their experience has been bad, than if they had a favorable/good experience. Please do touch on this topic in one of your future posts.

      • Offer your customers a bonus/reward in exchange for an honest review. Just like when a customer is motivated by a bad experience, a good experience can inspire someone to action on writing a review too.

    • They say that 80% of your business comes from about 20% of your customers. The other 80% of customers only bring in about 20% of your business. When you learn how to shift your focus so that you’re giving the 20% of high quality customers 80% of your effort and energy, you’ll experience a multiple on your returns.

  32. Hi Neil,

    This is my first comment for one of your articles. I’ve just started a new company and have been reading your blogs for the last few months., I’m learning a lot and your advice has really fast tracked me to knowing what works and what to avoid!

    Thanks!

    🙂

    • It’s taken me almost a decade to get where I am today, so I’m happy I can help you learn from my experiences and save you time 🙂

  33. Very truly said Neil. Even I give discounts which increases my conversion rate. This post is really an Eye opener. thanks for it.

  34. hey Neil i read the whole article and it was out standing and i think if someone fix those steps then they can easy achieve their goals in future! thanks

  35. Hi Neil sir,

    All of these content are great, that’s very interesting. I’m so tempted to try that myself, but you would think if it were effective, more people would do it.

    • I think most people into the trap into doing it because they are desperate for sales (We’ve all been there), but knowing the long term affects will hopefully shift you way in thinking about it.

  36. Brendan Martin @ Gravitii :

    The email optin proof is an interesting thing. I had SumoMe setup without the number of people already subscribed in the popup and I saw okay results. Once I added that 700+ people have already subscribed, I saw the conversion increase substantially. I wonder how large the number has to be before it starts having a negative impact.

  37. Christian Cros :

    Hello Neil,

    This is awesome. The advice you give about increasing the perceived value of the product by offering bonuses is really amazing! you’re the best buddy.

  38. Margaret Spencer - ContactDB :

    This article has opened my eyes to the long term effect of discounts and sales. I have never thought offering frequent sales and coupons would hurt a business in a long run… You are great Neil for making us see what could be the possible outcome if a business continue to do this. Maybe giving occasional discounts wouldn’t hurt. But giving it almost every month is the way around…. Very helpful.

    • If you’re going to give discounts, I suggest you only do it with returning customers you consider to be your VIP. A VIP program may also inspire infrequent buyers to purchase from you regularly.

  39. product discount is an amazing marketing technique for all affiliate marketer

  40. I agree and thank you for point out the follower dilemma. Your revenue will tell the truth. Keep the posts coming, Neil! Thanks!

    • At the end of the day, that’s the number that matters most to keep your business growing. Sounds good, keep me posted on your progress!

  41. Thiago Ghilardi :

    Hi Neil, great article as usual. One thing I hate seeing is “experts” claiming they are X times best sellers, authors of blablabla, speaker at blablabla with no proof to their claims. I see consultants in our field doing this often because they think their customers won’t do background checks on them. It is unethical and very dissapointing. Hint to these consultants: Show proof or create epic great content like Neil does.

  42. Great article as always Neil. I have to say I cannot stand clickbait titles, whether on an email subject, blog post heading or video title. Immediate unsubscribe from me. If the writer’s have to resort to that, the content must be poor or unhelpful.

    • I imagine the people write this kind this way all the time see it like a drug. It only gets worse the more you keep using it and people become repelled by you.

  43. Limited time offers with fake countdowns are a common tactic used by many web hosts. Even some of the big names in the industry use this deceptive tactic. I always find it insulting to my intelligence – even if it is real!

  44. I have talked with a business owner once where he asked me “How can we increase our sales?”. So I gave him marketing tactics on how he can reach his target market by simply advertising or being present on where they are active. But then he wanted to give a discount. I told him it will not have an effect and may even downgrade his product. But then he still did it. That left me thinking – Why is he even asking me about it?

    • Sometimes people are stuck in their own ways. Everyone wants to get validation for their ideas and sometimes even try to force others into their way of thinking.

  45. I love that you just did not present the mistakes. You also explained in detail on how you can avoid it. I agree especially on the fake social proof. I don’t even know why people go into the trouble into getting those when it can not do anything for their business.

    • I think people just get sucked up into the vanity metrics of everything get a little to carried away with it.

  46. Vijay Malakar :

    Conversion rate has been the issue since i started my career in marketing. Thanks for bring in light some great techniques and caution.

  47. aanchal saroha :

    dear patel ji,
    i went through your blog, and you are really doing a good job for noobs like me. i am very thankful for you for providing such information and rather i would say, you are really a teacher for me. hope i can have a personal session with you maybe on skype or so.
    keep growing. thanks

    • That’s awesome Aanchal, and the pleasure is all mine. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  48. Mohan Kumar :

    Very Useful for me as I’m a newbie. I hope this helps me a lot

  49. Hey Neil great insights. I guess some businesses are so desperate for business that they resort to all sort of discounts which kills them in the end.

  50. Sue J. Maselli :

    Great post ever

  51. Your website is misleading itself, I have found it and you are writing the blog about what to do and what not. I think you should have optimise your website and publish this article. Anyway the content is good in this page.

    • SEO is a ever changing world, so yes some older content could be looked over again. I do appreciate the honest feedback and will consider how I can improve this.

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