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What is the Secret Weapon for Achieving Maximum WebSite Sales Conversions in a Start-up?

After creating 3 online start-ups over the past 12 years, together with the experience of investing capital and helping in the growth of another 11 online projects, before launching something new the first thing I analyze is: how are we going to successfully communicate what we are building in order to convert a visit into a new client?

Based on the results of one study, Statistic Brain has shown that in 2015 the expected attention span of humans on average will be no more than 5 seconds. As a result, for those users which visit our website, we will have available no more than this small lapse of time in order to capture their interest.

For this reason, with each passing year it becomes even more important to find an answer to this reality. After years of work and analyzing statistics in order to effectively confirm what gave us the best conversion for transforming a visit into a client that pays for our services, we came to the conclusion that for our start-up the best thing is developing what we call an “introductory video." This generated a result of an increase of 27.6% in conversions compared with sites having only text and/or fixed images.

An introductory video is nothing more or less than a very simple method for explaining to a user in less than 1 or 2 minutes: “what" it is that we do, “how" we implement it, and finally “what" are the benefits they will enjoy.

Furthermore, if one takes into account how the consumer’s habits have gone from desktop computers to mobile phones, as shown by Gartner Technology Research Center, where the screen size has been drastically reduced, we are more and more challenged by having less space to work with in order to communicate with words what we do and thus convince the client to use our products.

But the most important part is: how can each start-up successfully create their own video? In the following we will share what we have learned so that those entrepreneurs, or even small business owners, have the possibility or reaching a maximum conversion transforming a visit to their website into an excellent new client!

1) Simplicity.

As entrepreneurs we are working on our project day and night, and know everything there is to know about our project. However, when we are given the opportunity to explain what it is that we do, it is not necessary that we go into all the details. It is true that we could talk for hours from a technical standpoint about how we turned what was once just an idea into reality, but the client only cares about “what" benefit will be obtained.

I will never forget what happened when we started our first project in 2008. After much of going back and forth we found something unknown at that time: Dropbox. They made something difficult to explain into something simple to communicate through the following video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFb0NaeRmdg):

The first lesson, the most important one, is that with something simple, meaning without a big production and not even any actors, we can create a video reaching 25 million views that even becomes viral particularly for the entire community of designers and developers all over the world.

2) First try it, then perfect it.

The first thing we should do, being a start-up with few resources, is to start with a video that is high in quality but at the same time economic. In our case, for example, we use a tool called PowToon which allows us to create videos without huge costs. The other option is Visualy, which has a higher cost but has professionals which take care of the production for us.

The goal of this point is to first give it a try and see how the conversion rate on our website is changed by having a video instead of just text or fixed images. From there, if the result is positive, we can start trying with different videos, changing specifically the script in order to focus on the client’s most important problems and how we explain to them the fact that we can solve those problems.

An example of this is the start-up New Relic, which began in 2008 with this video:


And from there, the video was substantially improved based on the fact of knowing their clients better together with their problems as can be seen here:


3. Using real people achieves the best conversion rate.

After trying out more than 70 different videos, we were able to come to the conclusion that those which were presented by their founder or CEO were the ones that achieved the best results.

Our opinion in respect to this result is that when a user is going to try something for the first time, if the product is presented by a person, in this case its own creator, it transmits a higher level of trust, which is fundamental!

One example of this is the new application Slack, with their introductory video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6zVzWU95Sw):

4) It doesn’t have to be the founder, it can also be the users themselves.

Another interesting point which we have tried and see other companies experiment with success is by creating a video with the help of their clients. This means transmitting through the own words of the users, with their own experiences and commentaries, what it is that our start-up offers.

An excellent example of this is Unbounce, which made this video with their client Kissmetrics:


Another example is how even a tool such as ZenPayroll, which helps small business pay their employees properly and on time, also communicates on their home page what it is that they do, and even more importantly its benefits, through one of their clients in New York:

5. Show the tool and then end by soliciting a response.

To close, two errors which we frequently see and that we also committed and learned with our own project, is that these videos generally lack two things:

a) The first is to show our tool being used at the beginning or in the middle of the video so that the user can see with precision, for example, the real screen shot of our software.

One example is this video (https://vimeo.com/38858205) by CrazyEgg, where one can see their service working in real time:

b) The second point is that at the end of the introductory video it should explain exactly what one must do if they liked what they just saw and would like to take the steps to go forward. This means inviting them to register and explaining how to begin to use the service right away.

The reference that I like most is what the application Robinhood Markets did in this video (https://vimeo.com/87163777):


In closing, the greatest challenge that we have as creators of a new company is to successfully transmit, both clearly and quickly, what it is that we do and what problem we are going to solve for the user. Today, the best way, without a doubt, is by using an “introductory video." If we are not capable of doing this task efficiently, no matter how excellent our project is, it will unfortunately fail.

Disclosure: This post contains external affiliate links, which means I receive commission if you make a purchase using this link. The opinions on this page are my own and I don't receive additional bonus for positive reviews.
David Carreras

David Carreras Author

Head of Digital Marketing in SegurosOnline for Colombia. Dedicated to the optimization of new channels of commercialization. Graduated from the Universidad Católica Argentina.