In this episode of the Unbottleneck Podcast, Steve Wiideman is joined by esteemed creative director and brand strategist, Erik Stafford, for an informative discussion about conversion rate optimization and persuasive messaging. 

About Our Guest: Erik Stafford

Erik Stafford is a multiple AAF-ADDY and ARDA award-winning Creative Director, brand strategist, author, and speaker. He is Creative Director at Aimclear, an innovative data-driven marketing agency. As an expert at Direct Response Design and Copy, he is known for fostering engagement and improving conversions.

We are excited to have him here today to share his expertise with us!

Erik Stafford on LinkedIn


  • Understand the Basics of Conversions
  • The Buyer’s Journey 
  • The Call To Action 
  • Content Success: The Secret Ingredient
  • Conversion Rate: How to Measure Your Wins

What is Conversion? 

In digital marketing, conversion is defined as an action that you have predetermined as valuable to your business that you want to track over time. Depending on your business model, conversion can be tracked by using metrics such as cases, leads, subscribers, phone calls, form submissions, click-through rates, etc. 

To improve conversion, you should determine which key performance indicators (KPIs) are most important to grow your business. Once you know what your appropriate KPIs are, you should make it a regular practice to look at your data, study your business / industry trends and set goals. 

Understanding the Buyer’s Journey

It’s irresponsible to blindly sell to people without understanding the process of the buyer journey with respect to your target audience. 

It is important to have the appropriate messaging for each phase of the buyer journey: 

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Decision

Depending on your industry, the need to purchase a product or service will not always be immediate and will require time and research before making a decision. In the meantime, you will need to position your brand as a trusted source in order to build trust with your audience and deepen your relationships. Once you establish trust, you will be at the top of their mind when they are ready to make a purchase. 

With that being said, you must tailor your message to the proper phase. Avoid bombarding your audience with messages that urge them to buy at every phase. Remember the pain points of your audience and focus on educating them and making them brand ambassadors even if they haven’t purchased from you. 

Pro-Tip: Make A/B testing a regular practice to see if a different version of the same page content might resonate better with your audience. 

Call to Action: Let’s Be Clear 

The most efficient way to increase conversion is to have a clear Call to Action (CTA) for users. A CTA is a simple action that you would like the user to take to interact with your business (opt-in, download, call, email, sign-up from, etc.). 

As a business, you should establish how you want to get more leads or sales and be clear on what you want people to do. How should they contact you? What will happen once they contact you? This is something that you will need to determine in order to develop a cadence that can easily convert your online traffic. Clarity in your messaging is going to be helpful especially for users who are interacting with your business for the first time. 

Here are some CTA best practices that can improve your conversion: 

  • Put social media icons in the footer of your website 
  • Get rid of clutter of your website that can interfere with the user experience
  • Use complimentary colors for your CTA buttons that will stand out 

Creating Content: The Secret Ingredient 

Curating persuasive content can help increase conversion – if done correctly

With so much content at our fingertips, it can be easy to try to incorporate popular trends into our business models. However, that can quickly turn into a recipe for disaster if you are not remaining true to your brand voice. 

For example, if you know that you’re uncomfortable on camera, you shouldn’t make it a priority to make a Youtube channel. 

The key to creating great content is authenticity. People know when you are not being true to your brand voice and it can create a disconnect with your target audience. Before developing content, decide which media channels are appropriate to support not only your brand message, but your brand voice in a way that is authentic to both you and your audience. 

Best Practices When Creating New Content 

Here are a few essentials to keep in mind when creating content for your brand: 

  • Be insightful – Share your philosophies with your audience
  • Be helpful – Don’t making selling the focal point of your content
  • Be personable – Don’t be afraid to show more behind the scenes content of your business

Bonus: What is a Good Conversation Rate? 

After all is said and done, the million dollar question that businesses have is “What is a good conversion rate?” The truth is, it depends on your industry and price point. For example, the conversion rate goals for a real estate agency is going to look much different than a clothing boutique. 

To determine an appropriate conversion rate for your business, you should first create a baseline and come up with a goal. After you come up with your goal, challenge your technology and design team to improve conversion with website speed, user experience, and mobile responsiveness to ensure that everyone on the team is accountable for results.  


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