Conversion Secrets: 3 Strategies to Turn More Web Visitors Into Paying Participants

conversion-secrets-for-racesWhen you first built your website, what happened? Did you expect to see droves of runners racing to sign up for your events, only to hear crickets?

Your focus probably became traffic, learning how to drive people (the RIGHT people) to your race website and registration page. But then you discovered that traffic numbers don’t pay the bills. You could be driving a million visitors to your site every day, but if you’re not turning any of those visitors into paying customers, what’s the point?

The Point Is Conversion

The point of your digital presence is, ultimately, CONVERSION. Out of all the traffic you’re driving to your site, what percentage of those people are pulling out their wallets and lacing up their shoes to be a part of your event? Because in the end, that’s really all that matters.

But converting your audience can be tricky, and just showing up and being your awesome self might not be enough. If you’re ready to turn more of your web visitors into paying customers, we’ve got 3 strategies to help you hit your sales goals and sell out your events.

Do the Splits

Split testing, also known as A/B testing, is an absolute MUST if you’re trying to increase your conversion rate and race registrations.

Split testing works like this:

  • Take your landing page, and create a second identical one with one minor change
  • Send traffic to both pages (i.e., send half of your email list to one page and half to the other)
  • See which performs better

Once you have some data and can determine which page convinces more athletes to sign up, repeat the entire process with another minor change in your next email send out. Rinse and repeat until your page is pretty close to perfect and your traffic is consistently converting at a higher rate. You can also test your website elements this way.

You can split test pretty much any element on your page, like your headline, page layout, color scheme or offer. The more you test, the better your page will perform. Just keep in mind, you’re only going to want to test one element at a time; otherwise, you’ll have no idea what caused that sudden spike in registrations and won’t be able to replicate it in the future.

And when we say split testing is an absolute MUST, we mean it. There’s no other way to increase your conversions in a tangible, measurable way, so if you haven’t already hopped on the split testing train, the time has come. And it can actually be kind of fun!

(Tip: You can use Target Marketer to monitor your conversion rate and the effectiveness of your split testing.)

Be Copy Conscious

When you’re trying to increase conversions, one of the biggest weapons in your arsenal is your copy. Great copy can convince an Eskimo to sign up for a monthly ice subscription. And bad copy? Let’s just say it can drive potential customers away from your site faster than Usain Bolt’s mile time.

So how do you write great copy that converts?

Easy! Just keep it Conversational, Concise and Consistent.


One of the quickest ways to send your athletes running (in the opposite direction, that is) is to write like some weird corporate drone. Write the way you speak. Your copy should feel like a conversation, and if it doesn’t, it’s not going to convert.


You want to know another quick and easy way to lose people? Toss what feels like a million words in between your introduction and your call-to-action. The internet age has created an army of consumers with laughably short attention spans, so if you don’t get to the point (and get there quickly), those consumers are going to hightail it off your page light years before they get to the part where they can actually register.

Say what you have to say, but say it in as few words as possible. The quicker you get to the point, the better your conversions will be.


Another copy trick that will help to maximize your conversions is consistency. If you have one brand voice for your social media, but that voice feels completely different in your email campaigns or uses a totally different style of language on your website, your potential customers are going to feel confused. Confusion doesn’t inspire the consumer confidence you need to nudge lookers into becoming registrants.

Establish your brand voice and how you want your copy to come across to your readers, then make sure you consistently carry that voice across all channels.

 Think Like Your Athletes

This one’s a little more intuitive as well as analytical, but if you want to move the needle on conversions, try putting yourself in your athletes’ shoes. According to Hubspot, 55% of users will leave your website within 15 seconds. That means that you have 15 seconds to grab (and hold) their attention. And in that 15 seconds, if they find even a small detail on your website that’s confusing, broken or off-putting, you can nearly guarantee they won’t make the leap from “website visitor” to “registered athlete”.

Look at your website or race registration page with a fresh pair of eyes, as if you were an athlete considering registering for your race. Evaluate your site and ask yourself “If I was on the fence about registering for this event, which parts of this experience might push me closer to NO than to yes?”

As an event organizer, your event is like your baby. You’re personally invested in your website, so it can be challenging to see what’s wrong with it. But you’d be surprised at the insights you’ll gain into potential problems when you think less like an event organizer and more like an athlete.

You could discover that your website takes too long to load, or that athletes can’t reach out with questions because your contact information isn’t front and center. Maybe you click your registration link and realize it’s directing people to the wrong event –or worse: nowhere. Approaching your website like a consumer/athlete can help you see things you might have missed and, more importantly, FIX THEM, which can have a significant impact on your conversion rate.

Imagine a conversion rate so high you have to turn away athletes at the starting line. Your great race and these conversion strategies could make it happen!