I was recently approached by a company that helps German citizens save money on gas and electric bills by switching to a cheaper alternative.
The company uses a calculator to help people estimate their savings and then signs them up directly for the service (which I presume to be a dashboard of sorts).
The problem they were facing was that people would use the tool but then not register.Of course, I explained that I could audit the process and provide some recommendations.
The thing is, this is not the first time I've seen this problem. Clients have contacted me complaining of the same thing.
And every time, it boiled down to the tool being one step and asking nothing in return for calculation.
This is fine, if you are relying on organic traffic and the use of a free tool. But, if you are buying ads and sending people without capturing their email address, well... it's a waste of money.
So, how do you increase conversions using a calculator lead generator?
Break up the tool into multiple steps. Start with the email address. Let people have skin in the game right away in order to use the tool you created.
Yes, this will result in some people leaving right off the bat. That's okay. If this happens too often, we can flip the flow and test one more thing. But, before we get to that, let's look at the email-first approach.
Enter the email, get access to the calculator. Simple as that.
But, Gene, why don't we show them a bunch of fields to save time?
We show one field at a time to increase the sensation of having spent time in the flow. If we show a few fields and all they need to do is click "Next", the user has not invested any time in the flow.
Yes, it's a bit weird, and some would say evil, but we're here to increase conversions and make more money, not to make it so easy that they leave after one click. Remember, we are spending money, this is not an organic SEO tool - in which case it might be best to serve the best user experience.
The point of a calculator tool is to present the results, but also try to collect enough information within the flow so that the final form is not asking for too much information. This means we'll need to ask for personal information in between questions that are necessary to perform the calculation. We'll start with easy fields like Full Name.
In this step, before we ask for additional information or present the calculation, we want to prime the user with a positive expectation and feeling. We do this by showing testimonials from other happy users. We can even add "social proof" in the web app itself so that it's always visible.
Priming in psychology is exposure to one stimulus to influence another. In this case, we show the user that people are happy with the service and set them up to feel positive about signing up. Remember, we want them to go through with the signup and not just perform the calculation and leave.
If you have any other non-sensitive fields, you can ask them after priming the user.
In this step, we simply point out that signing up takes seconds or minutes, even on mobile devices. We want to set the expectation that the service is super simple and gets results right away.
This can be in the form of making more money, saving time, saving money — whatever it is that your app or service provides. We tease the user that the results are positive and all they need to do to see them is to provide a few more pieces of information.
This step is optional and you can try flipping it by showing the actual results first. Many people will get angry if you ask for more information before showing the calculation. In many cases, they will just leave and not return.
It's up to you how you want to handle it — show the results first and ask for the final few bits of sensitive info (less likely to convert), OR ask for the info first, and then present the findings.
Both have advantages and disadvantages, so you should test that for yourself.
At this point, you should have enough information to create an account for the user. You can ask them to sign up with a click (or by using a social signup)
If you have the google pixel set up, you can retarget the user who leaves your website. By setting up an event on the calculator, you can see who engaged with it and serve them ads for your product or service.
Now that you have their email (since you collected that first), you can set up a drip sequence for a classic email funnel.
Here are the sorts of things you can start sending your prospects: