How to convince cold audiences to buy from your online store

How to convince cold audiences to buy from your online store

The truth is, you don’t convince them as linearly as you might think.

We’ve discussed this topic before, but today I’d like to focus on cold audiences: those who don’t know you or know very little about you and still don’t trust you.

To this audience there are a couple of approaches you can take to warm them up, arouse their interest and eventually lead to a buying decision.

We’ll also discuss the importance of your expectations, as an entrepreneur, from cold audiences – you need a good dose of realism for your planning to be effective and your business decisions to be right.

Contents How to convince cold audiences to buy from your store

Correcting your expectations of cold audiences

Many of you have probably seen The Wolf of Wall Street. Now I don’t want to focus necessarily on the type of salesmanship or illegal techniques used at Stratton Oakmont, but on the idea of cold calling and cold selling.

These two concepts refer to the idea of selling directly to audiences who don’t yet know or trust you.

Selling like that… it’s hard.

Sure it’s not impossible, but going to them with the right offer, at the right time, using the right message, is out of your control. You can do it, but you have to be an expert at convincing cold audiences to buy in a short period of time.

Most of the time, that means Agitating pain points, creating a false sense of urgency and forcing a buying decision.

People buy without having as valid a need for your product, and often after the purchase their own justifications for their decision lead to frustration.

It’s vital to understand that things that worked at one time don’t work today.

Prioritize your customers’ needs, not your need.

In most cases, people won’t buy at the first point of contact. Nor at the second.

The standard is somewhere around 6-8 points, but depending on what you’re selling (if it’s expensive products or products that impact more than one person), sometimes you need even more.

It’s more effective to make an effort to warm up your first-time audience by launches, lead generation and lead nurturing, creating valuable informational content and educating.

Your chances of retaining your audience increase and so does the profitability of your business.

If you want direct orders from cold audiences, it’s a good time to work on correcting your expectations.

The good news is that most people in the industry will support you with information in this endeavour and, what’s more, you already have plenty of material available to guide you to the right strategy, including on our blog.

Sales Funnel and the role of each audience

A sales funnel is a visual representation of the stages your customers go through, from unknowns to buyers.

We generally go with the idea of TOFU (Top of the Funnel), MOFU (Middle of the Funnel) and BOFU (Bottom of the Funnel), hybridized with intermediate stages (awareness, comparison, decision, post order, loyalty, etc.).


But, simplified, let’s say that in a sales funnel we have 3 main stages, related to 3 audience types:

  • Cold audiences – The unknown or those who have lost interest
  • Hot Audiences – Leads, people who know you, people who already trust you (including loyal customers)
  • Hot Audiences – Those ready to buy immediately, either because of the effort put into warming them up, or because they have an urgent need/pain point (often come through searches with transactional intent), or because they’re ready to buy whenever you have something new (brand ambassadors – think Apple super enthusiasts, for example).

As I said in the introduction, turning cold audiences into hot and warm ones is not a linear process.

It’s easy for a potential customer to lose interest, get distracted, come up with new objections, make irrational decisions, or prolong the buying decision until it drives you crazy.

That’s why it’s so important to have procedures and plans in place for covering multiple scenarios related to your audience’s directions in the sales funnel.

Read also: The basics of a sales funnel [Video]

How to prepare your website to be memorable from the first click

Even if people don’t buy from the first click on your website, that doesn’t mean you have to launch with store optimization.

First impressions count for a lot because the anchoring effect – We tend to “cling” unjustifiably to the first piece of information that comes our way.

So strive from the start to make your site look good, behave exemplary and create a memorable experience… even if a cold visitor spends only a few seconds on the page they landed on.

How you prepare your website to be memorable AND increase your chances of selling:

  • Choose and customize a attractive theme for your type of business.
  • Make sure you have menus that are easy to understand and easy to access – The human should be able to tell at a glance what your shop contains.
  • Activate a hellobar in site to transmit the most important current information you want your customers to know: promotions, gifts, loyalty program, etc.
  • Activate a subscription pop-up, triggered on scroll. If the cold visitor browses longer through the site, you have a chance to capture their email address for a reward (discount on first order, emotional trigger, etc.). Once in your base, you have advanced possibilities to personalize the messages sent = greater power of persuasion.
  • Download trust icons in your shop that consistently conveys your business differentiators.
  • Use Blog module from the platform to display useful, educational content everywhere – on the homepage, category pages, product pages (relevant by tag assignment), menu and footer.
  • Display similar products and upsell recommendations on product pages – Often cold visitors don’t have a conscious need or a clear idea of what they want. With recommendations, you can push them in the right direction.

Read also: Optimizing a website with unosoft: compact guide, from A to Z


Cold hearing warm-up techniques

Before we talk about warm-up techniques, it doesn’t hurt to remember WHAT brings cold audiences to your site.

Keep in mind that these people don’t know us, so some part of our marketing message convinced them to click, not our brand or product, specifically.

In general, cold audiences arrive at your store because of the informational searches they make or your push & pull marketing efforts:

  • SEO
  • Blog
  • SEM, including Google Shopping (not remarketing)
  • Social Media Ads
  • Listing in comparison sites or other sites


Now let’s look at some effective techniques for cold audience warm-up strategy:

1. Understand who your target audience is

First and foremost, do you know who the people are who need to buy from your store? Furthermore, do you know who your profitable customers are so that you can focus your efforts on them?

You see, not all customers who come to your site are also preferable to buy. At the end of the day, the fact that you have dozens of single-product or small-value orders means you have more costs for marketing, order preparation and delivery.

And that’s not good.

So, although you probably have some idea of what kind of audience needs your products, it’s important to clearly note the characteristics, interests and objections of your ideal customers.

Automatically, you will also find it easier to formulate persuasive marketing messages, choose the channels you are most likely to reach them through (no matter what stage they are at) and plan your next steps for warming up.


2. Provides relevant and interesting content

People who have seen a few seconds of one of your videos and then walked away cannot be considered a warm audience. Neither are people who logged in for a few seconds.

That’s where the content comes in.

If you only have filler content, boring and redundant, your audience, regardless of stage, will skip it and go to those who make an effort to offer them something of value.

Now, cold audiences are attracted to informative and entertaining content.

What forms can it take? Blog articles, guides, webinars, case studies, videos, infographics, etc.

More important than form, however, is substance: the topics covered, the depth of information displayed and the promise of value relevant to the visitor’s current need or interest.

After all, these people have neither the intent nor the loyalty to stick with you if they don’t feel comfortable with you.

3. Focus on brand ambassadors

Especially social proof. Recommendations, testimonials and content received from satisfied users have a powerful impact on all types of audiences, including cold audiences.

Brand ambassadors and super loyal customers help you cement your brand in the perception of cold visitors, so you can quickly bring them to awareness.

Even if they leave your site at first contact without making a purchase, their familiarity with you will be higher at the next contact.

Sometimes social proof is a strong enough incentive that it covers a good deal of the visitor’s objections and decreases the number of touch points needed to buy.

4. Make themed offers and discounts

Consider inflation and the general state of economic fear at the moment. Besides having cold audiences hard to convince to buy, most consumers spend more time researching and making the decision.

So right now, the discounts and offers you make are very important. I know, they affect your profit margin and you don’t do them lightly. But they are necessary.

Even for a visitor who doesn’t have an immediate intent to buy, discounts and offers work as a status quo destabilizer, a stimulus to birth a buying intent for a present or future goal.

As is usually the case with Black Friday gift discounts, which people buy with December intent.

5. Use remarketing

Once a cold visitor has arrived at your site, your responsibility is to make the necessary efforts to keep their attention. That’s where remarketing helps.

But you’ll need a mix of messaging to stay relevant even with remarketing, AND not go to the other extreme, annoying with display frequency.

You can remarket through multiple channels, preferably with messages tailored to the subject or content initially accessed.

6. Turn visitors into leads


Lead generation strategy refers to techniques for converting a visitor into a lead/prospect by obtaining their contact information:

  • Through subscription forms or access in blog articles, landing pages, sign-up pages, etc.
  • Via subscription popups
  • Through contests and giveaways (also with an entry form)
  • Through physical forms in offline locations (events, fairs, expo, etc.)

For a totally unknown user, the lead generation approach will not work the first time. But if you keep up your awareness efforts, using remarketing and SEO optimization to create informative content, you can speed up micro-conversions.

After lead generation, I recommend that you put your users through an onboarding and lead nurturing process, with educational materials, relevant content and soft sell & hard sell.

All this in time, of course.

But if you make a combination of acquisition and loyalty actions, and take into account your type of products (maybe it would be useful to bring accessories to the site, who knows?), you can create a loop constant buyers.

But that’s a topic for another article πŸ™‚

Read also: How to sell online: Online Marketing and Selling Guide + Checklists

How do you convince cold audiences to buy from your store?

Well, you don’t convince them right away. Not all the time.

You warm them up first, because you want them to be happy with their decision after all, so they’ll come back to the site in the future to buy more.

Use unosoft features and applications to the fullest, because they really support you in your actions to increase profitability.

And if you’re not selling with us yet, now’s the time to do it. You have 15 days to try the platform for free, to see what works and what doesn’t for you. And subscriptions start at just 7 euros.

Go on, see for yourself. You have absolutely nothing to lose.

Cosmin Daraban
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