I think this next statement is a bit off-putting, but I’m not making fun of it. When I was researching some of the other experts speaking about conversion headaches, the first site to pop up was Harvard Medical School. I learned that there is such an illness known as “conversion headaches (conversion disorder).”
But that’s not at all about what this article is built. Lead conversion is the topic. Removing the roadblocks, constraints, frustration, ambiguity, and headaches that come when your lead to customer conversion isn’t doing well.
The absolute first thing we need to discuss is your conversion strategy as compared to that of your marketing strategy. The path to purchase at the point of conversion is where the handoff of marketing shifts to sales. In traditional sales and marketing, that process was clearly distinguished by the precise nature of sales and marketing being two distinct functions, departments if you will.
Today the lines are blurred to the point that in small organizations, marketing is sales. In addition to attraction, persuasion, nurturing, relationship building, and educating, the marketer becomes the “closer.”
I hate that word closer. It brings back bad memories of “Glenn Gary Glen Ross,” the film about a ragtag batch of sales guys fighting over leads. The situation degrades when they learn that there will only be two left in the group at the end of the month. But I digress.
Unlike the take “2 aspirin and call me in the morning” message, there is a prescription that works. Here’s what you must correct, so your conversion headaches dissipate.
Do You Have a Real Conversion Plan – Understanding the buying cycle is one of the pre-campaign processes for the team or person responsible for conversion. There are a lot of moving parts involved, and they all must interact cohesively and with precision. Are you offering both gated and ungated content?
The plan must include every step along the path to purchase; the buyer’s journey if you will.
Does your content align with your highly accurate Avatar? You may believe your ideal consumer is one set of demographics, psychographics, and behavioral markers when it is a different set altogether. Have you considered all of the facts you’ve uncovered in your research? Have you researched as to what their real challenges, needs, and desires REALLY are?
Lack of Traffic - Performing a content audit is the first step. If you are not receiving enough traffic even to warrant interested candidates to raise their hand, a complete examination of all of your content is in order. First of all, is your Avatar spot-on? If so, that’s great. If not, go back and refine your ideal audience one more time and study them.
Audit the content in its modality (video, audio, print, digital print, radio, etc.) as well as by Keyword. The Keyword is the key to making sure you are addressing the right audience with the proper content.
Content is not focused - using the right SEO with the correct style of content is critical. If your objective is to reach your audience for an information piece, there are specific keywords that correlate with doing so, and so on with the remainder of these four styles, as taken courtesy of optinmonster.com
• Navigational, where people search for a specific site
• Informational, where they’re trying to get the answer to a question
• Investigational, where they are narrowing down pre-purchase options
• Transactional, where searchers are ready to buy
Content Marketing Strategy – Yes, Martha, there such a thing as a content strategy, and everyone should have one. Without going into the nitty-gritty, a marketing strategy includes all of the components of the marketing department will employ in the various campaigns. It also should cover what action steps are to be taken in proper intervals and encompass a daily, weekly monthly, and quarterly series of tactics.
Data Cleansing – have you verified your data capture? Yes, you captured the interested party’s name and email address, but is it correct? Or, was it a ghost or guerilla mail address? Does the name match up with the address if it’s a business address (company business email account)?
Before simply uploading the respondent emails from an event you’ve attended, or email that has invited you to begin communicating, verify.
CRM and Automation platforms – If you are utilizing a CRM system as well as an email platform, are they integrated, or capable of being so? This step removes a whole lot of worry and mishaps as the complete action occurs automatically as long as the human originating the action knows what she/he’s doing.
Lead scoring correct – You’ve successfully got the suspect to become a prospect by persuading them to trade their contact information for your free download, hurray. What you don’t know is if the “new lead” is of a high-enough quality to be considered of value. Quantity doesn’t mean quality, so the lead nurturing and scoring processes go hand-in-hand. How frequently do they download, answer quizzes, comment on blog posts? How often do they share on social media? And, what about other “annotations” that reflect their interest? Where do they stand in the buyer’s journey? If they remain at the top or middle of your funnel, you know they aren’t ready to present an offer to them.
Where are you marketing – Does your Avatar research reflect where they “hang out” and gather information? It might be a particular social site, but it could be an airline flight magazine. The spectrum for media is so vast it could span the equator. Make sure you are spending your hard-earned money and time in the right places.
Is your lead magnet worthy – Is what you are offering of any value? Or, is it something that you are “hoping” your targets will enjoy and react positively to it? Does your content offer some real answers to their challenges, or merely window dressing for your offer?
Your landing page(s) - Need to be engaging, persuasive, and highly functional. Do you have enough content to feed your audience? Is it the right quality, format, and delivery mechanism? There are a lot of questions that must be answered before you can simply post a landing page and hope for the best. There is a science to all of this stuff, and the landing page is included. To learn more about landing page creation, go here.
Using the right tools – If you are fortunate enough to utilize WordPress to have your website built upon, there are all sorts of tools available to boost conversion if you have a WordPress site. You might want to consider using one, two or more of these to help boost conversion.
Follow Up Failure – Here’s where many, many organizations flat out fail. It has been determined that it takes 7-10 touches before anyone even notices a brand or a particular product or service provider. Why do sales and marketing people give up following up after one, two, or three attempts? People are busier in their jobs today than in the history of humanity. We’re so overwhelmed with responsibilities that we can’t take every call, open every email, or even open the snail mail like the “good old days.” So don’t abandon that lead so off-handedly. You’ve spent money and time that you can never recoup, so get as much as you can out of it before you toss it into the burn pile.
At eLaunchers, we have a policy on lead follow up. We continue to touch by phone and email until the prospect does one of two things. Either they die, or they tell us to shove it and leave them alone forever.
Summing it Up
The world of marketing is a minefield of challenges, dangerous encounters, pain, frustration, headaches and the lot. Why do we do it? Because we love it, pain and all. All we need from time to time is a little meds and we're back at it.
Your conversion process is critical as you may have discovered by this article. Each step along the buyer's journey is important, but when they get to this point, it had better be handles right. As you may have suspected, your leads are also someone else's leads too. We don't operate in a vacuum, there are others in our unverse. The job is to differentiate oursleves from anyone in our space. With a proper and well-designed conversion process, your headaches will be minimized as much as possible. Follow this doctor's advice.