Posted on 4 December, 2019 | 5 mins
Customers have a digital world of options at their fingertips. How do you make your offering stand out and encourage customers to buy from you? We consider lead nurture and the art of the conversion
A conversion is when someone responds to your call-to-action (CTA). It’s not always the purchase of a product or service – it might be a visit to a landing page, a download, a subscription to a newsletter or a membership, or even a click to learn more.
Your conversion rate is an important metric that indicates if people are engaging with your product, your website or your marketing campaigns and, critically, measures the effectiveness of those campaigns and/or your sales funnel. It answers a fundamental question: are people responding to your message?
Nurture your potential leads
To increase your conversion rate, you need to nurture your leads by setting up multiple touchpoints with potential customers. Analysing data from various touchpoints can help you to discern who’s a potential customer and who’s simply passing through. For example, if a visitor to your website signs up to your newsletter, they’re likely to be interested in your business and can be considered a lead.
We traversed the internet to find proven ways to increase your business’ conversion rate. Here are some essentials:
NUMBER 1 Map your content throughout the marketing/ sales funnel
Mapping your content throughout the sales funnel ensures that you’re familiar with the dynamics of the sales funnel and that your content strategy is aligned with it and effectively covers its broad remit – no gaps!
Leads tend to be at varying stages of the funnel – whether awareness, consideration or moving from the purchase to the loyalty stage – and it’s important to tailor content to match the touchpoints along that journey. B2B inbound marketing agency Weidert recommends breaking your lead nurturing strategy into ToFu, MoFu & BoFu – also known as top of funnel, middle of funnel and bottom of funnel.
ToFu content casts your lead-net wide to attract relevant traffic. The content staples at this stage are blogs such as this, tip sheets or infographics. There’s no sales tie-in, it’s about sharing something useful with potential customers.
Leads in the MoFu stage tend to be diverse and not yet fully qualified. Content is educational and should position your company as a thought leader or solution provider – think ebooks, videos, case studies or white papers.
Then comes the crucial BoFu stage. It’s more hands-on and might include a demo, an in-person conversation, a free evaluation or trial. If you’re in eCommerce, you may leverage a discount code to encourage a transaction.
NUMBER 2 Automate lead nurturing email campaigns
Launching a lead nurturing campaign costs 33% less than other marketing strategies and generate 50% more sales-ready leads – and is as simple as sending the right content at the right time (at least it sounds simple). With your content mapped throughout your marketing/ sales funnel, the next step is to build a robust lead nurturing strategy supported by content and including data analysis.
To ensure a steady and sustainable campaign, consider automating the process. Marketing automation software enables you to deploy personalised emails based on triggers, i.e. when a lead takes a specified action. For example, if someone downloads an information pack (where their name and email are required to download) the software automatically emails them to confirm the download, perhaps including a link to the pack, and they’re entered into a drip campaign. In a drip campaign, a series of emails are sent out at specific times or dates set by you, these work to maintain contact with a lead.
Tracking delivery rates, open rates, monitoring click-through rates and bounce rates, etc., gives you a better understanding of what you’re doing right and what to improve. It also provides an overview of what’s resonates – which subject lines result in higher open rates, which CTA earns the greatest click-through rate – allowing you to tailor your offering and target your marketing.
NUMBER 3 Focus on your landing page
Better informed customers, unafraid to ‘shop around’ and looking for the best deals, rarely make a purchase the moment they land on your website. If your landing page fails to engage your lead, you might lose them.
The landing page should provide clear information, address a single problem and have an uncomplicated CTA. It has one purpose and that is to provide a touchpoint for your potential customer wherever they are in the sales funnel – so make it count.
Online advertising agency WordStream advocates experimentation when it comes to landing pages and recommends trialling landing pages with varying offers, flows and messaging to maximise conversion rates. Remember quality trumps quantity. Focus on your top-performing landing pages.
NUMBER 4 Perfect your call-to-action
CTAs are important touchpoints that guide your leads through the funnel and to be effective they should be strategic. A CTA is a prompt that encourages a specified action to be taken – they are the ‘learn more’, ‘buy now’, ‘sign up’ buttons. It’s also a signpost and an opportunity for you to lead the customer journey, indicating which steps to take next.
Variety is the spice of life and you may find it useful to have multiple (although not too many!) CTAs on a page, providing visitors with the option that suits their level of interest – be that purchase or more information – but, either way, keeping them engaged. Perfection requires experimentation and it’s worth testing different positions on the page or email, various forms such as wording or icon, as well as what’s required of your lead, for example, ‘add to basket’ might be too much of a commitment, provide an ‘add to wish list’ option.
Measuring conversion rates on your CTAs not only reveals what works but the impact it has on your bottom line.
HubSpot provides an extensive list of simple and effective CTA examples that are worth reviewing for some inspiration.
NUMBER 5 Simplify the purchasing process
Customer experience is so important. The purchasing process must be straightforward and effortless, with as few obstacles or clicks as possible. Using CTAs and clear instructions, guide your customers through the purchasing process – ensuring that the next steps are obvious.
Marketing agency CXL advises that you don’t give users too many options – the more choice you give users, the easier it is for them to choose nothing – adding that if you have a lot of products use filters so potential customers can quickly and easily find what they’re looking for.
Where customers are required to fill in a form – for purchase, sign up or other – keep it to as few fields as possible and don’t ask for information that you don’t need. Provide sign up options – perhaps they prefer the convenience of signing up via Facebook or Google. CXL further recommends that you do not force people to sign up to complete a purchase, give them the option to do so as a guest. Finally, free shipping matters! People love free shipping; according to a study conducted by eConsultancy, it was the most popular motivation for 82% of UK and 80% of US consumers.
Number 6 So long, but not goodbye
Retarget your leads! According to research by Baymard Institute, 69.23% of shopping carts are abandoned. However, all is not lost. There are various reasons a potential customer walks away from a purchase or abandons their basket, understanding why is important – for example, there may be obstacles in your purchase process such as shipping costs.
Weidert suggests retargeting theses leads – via email or other – with content that reminds them their purchase is incomplete and inviting them back to complete it. Businesses that retarget leads using social media ads and other content increase conversion rates by 51% and increase repeat purchases.