It may not seem intuitive business to business brands to implement live chat for B2B conversion optimization. But live chat is no longer only reserved for B2C brands. While Live Chat hasn’t become popular with B2B decision maker just yet, more organizations are adopting this rich media tool to support their conversion optimation efforts.
Live chat can not only assist with customer service, but it can help with customer acquisition and retention. In fact, studies show that live chat can increase conversions by up to 20%.
Furthermore, customers who live chat are three times more likely to make a purchase. When it comes to customer service, live chat shows higher rates of consumer satisfaction when compared to all other customer service touchpoints.
With the uses of live chat for conversion optimization clearly established, it’s time for a complete how-to guide. Here is all you need to know to make live chat work for you in 2018.

Don’t Skimp on Security

For live chat for B2B conversion optimization to be productive, your audience must be assured that their data will be kept private. A full two-thirds of brands promise security to their live chat customers. Doing the same would be wise, and an overall great move on your part.

Put Experts at the Helm

Customers using live chat want instant answers to their questions, which means that proper and thorough training, as well as modern communication, are the orders of the day.

Integrate Add-On Solutions

Live chat can be effective all on its own, but you can enhance your efforts by adding click-to-call functionality and screen sharing solutions, for instance. Both of these technologies will make engaging with customers easier.

Add Live Chat Data into the CRM 

Your live chat agents should be trained to enter all consumer interactions into the CRM to ensure all data is up-to-date. Better yet, you can integrate live chat with your CRM to ensure data is transferred automatically.
Live Chat integrated with Infusionsoft, for example, allows your agents to recognize your customers instantly, making the interaction more personal and efficient.

Live Chat integrated with Infusionsoft

Live Chat integrated with Infusionsoft

Use Preset Responses Appropriately

It’s common for your agents to field the same questions day in and day out, and pre-set responses can help to break the monotony. However, ensure that staff is trained to use preset responses so that customers always know they’re talking to a person instead of a robot.
Instead of
“I am going to put you on hold for a moment.”
you can be more relaxed, such as,
“I’m going to place you on a brief hold while I look up this answer. I’ll return in a moment.”
While still canned, it’s a bit more personal and could reasonably have been typed live by your agent before hunting for the customer’s query response.
It is important to note that a preset response used inappropriately or at the wrong time can make the consumer feel ignored and frustrated, which should be avoided at all costs.

It’s Not About You or the Agent

Your live chat representatives should be trained to focus on the person they are interacting with and their needs. All organizational and personal agendas should be kept at bay until the consumer’s problem is resolved.

Pass on Information Quickly

If the person on the other end of live chat needs to open a support ticket or wants a call back from the head of IT, then that information needs to be passed on right then and there and followed up with.
Consumers should be able to feel confident that live chat agents always have their best interests at heart, and will fulfill all promises made.

Test Live Chat Often

Don’t just set live chat on your website and then forget about it.
Every so often, test the functionality of your live chat integration, and determine if anything can be improved upon, such as the colors, language used, training of your staff, preset responses, or the add-ons that can only improve enhance this amazing consumer-facing channel.

Make it Personal

Agents should be trained to ask for a customer’s name straight away. Using the person’s name and other identifiable information, such as their birth order, job title, and even location, can help to build rapport, and that’s always great for business.
Take SnapEngage, for example. The brand tells web visitors precisely which experts they’ll be chatting with, making the interaction helpful and personal.

Tell visitors who they'll be talking to

Tell visitors who they’ll be talking to

Use the Best Software

In 2017, the best rated Live Chat software options included Live Chat, Capterra, and HelpCrunch. Olark, Smartsupp, and GetSiteControl were some other honorable mentions. They were chosen for their ease of use, availability of convenient add-on options, and ultimate reliability.

Arm Agents with the Proper Collateral

Your Live Chat staff should be trained to disseminate marketing materials depending on which stage the consumer happens to be at along the buyer’s journey.
From awareness to the consideration stage, presenting solutions to consumers in the form of marketing collateral helps to build trust, with 77% of chat users reporting that Live Chat helped to improve their perceptions of the companies they interact with.

Training Should Include Consumer Education

While assisting customers, Live Chat agents should be aware of any opportunities to inform and educate. B2B sales cycles are on the longer side, and the more education your agents can provide the better.
All that education will successfully sway the customer in your favor when it comes to deciding between your organization and the other guys.

Collect Data

While not the focus of any Live Chat interaction, there is no hard and fast rule that you can’t mine your customers for relevant and valuable information.
For example, just before the Live Chat session ends, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask the person if the website performed to their needs. Did they find your content to be of the highest quality? Were their pain points addressed? Did they find the navigation to be intuitive or way too difficult to figure out?
Don’t take up too much of the person’s time, but at the same time, you should never let a customer interaction go to waste.

Action-Specific Chat

You don’t always have to use Live Chat to sell a first-time customer or provide customer service.
Virgin Airlines, for example, only uses live chat to upsell customers who have already made a purchase. Crazy Egg reports that brands that use live chat for upselling report a 15% higher additional order value.

Go Responsive

40% of respondents said that they would be willing to connect with a brand via live chat on a mobile device if such an option were offered. The lesson is clear. Go responsive or get left behind.
LeadForensics makes Live Chat available on desktop and mobile for ease-of-use no matter which device you’re using.

Make Live Chat available on desktop and mobile

Make Live Chat available on desktop and mobile


21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks to Skyrocket Conversions

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21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks

Keep these proven copywriting hacks in mind to make your copy convert.

  • 43 Pages with Examples
  • Assumptive Phrasing
  • "We" vs. "You"
  • Pattern Interrupts
  • The power of Three

Give a Rundown

If you want to be extra helpful, provide your customers with a copy of the live chat transcript. That will keep your brand and the conversation fresh on their mind, which can contribute to lead generation and brand loyalty.

Don’t Be Intrusive

While it is acceptable to have a LiveChat box pop up after the visitor has remained on a page for a certain duration of time, you should not bombard the visitor with popups, noises, or anything else. Live Chat should be available when needed without harming the user experience.
Take pet insurance brand PetPlan, for instance. The Live Chat tag is out of the way and unassuming until it’s needed. That’s how web visitors prefer it.

Live Chat tag is out of the way and unassuming until it’s needed

Live Chat tag is out of the way and unassuming until it’s needed

Add Chat to Email

Inserting a “Chat with an Agent” in your emails to give your customers instant access to a help agent anywhere they happen to be.

Analyze Customer Behavior

Agents should be aware of how your customer has interacted with your site leading up to visiting live chat. This insight into the actions of your consumer can help your agent further provide targeted assistance, leading to a more satisfying interaction overall.

Use Live Chat for B2B Conversion Optimization on Important Product Pages

Mark Tuchscherer, co-founder, and President of Geeks Chicago recommends using live chat on those pages where you tend to have a lot of drop-offs. Live chat can help to overcome hurdles and objections, and that can sometimes be all it takes to earn the deal.

live chat for conversion optimization can help to overcome hurdles and objections

Live chat can help to overcome hurdles and objections

Conclusion

Live chat for B2B conversion optimization can be used to assist customers, generate leads, qualify leads, entice conversions, and foster loyalty. To accomplish all of this, all of the above points about live chat could be condensed to the simple advice of: Be immediate with your audience, be helpful, be knowledgeable, and always pass of information accurately and on time. That’s a helpful live chat agent, which is precisely what customers should expect from your world-class brand.

Telephone sales aren’t what they used to be. It took only 3.68 cold call attempts to reach a prospect in 2007. Today, it takes around 8 attempts, more than doubling the difficulty of landing sales over the phone.

But as you know, phone sales certainly aren’t dead. They just require a higher level of strategy and mastery. A study by Baylor University found that it takes roughly 7.5 hours to secure one referral or appointment through cold calling methods. If you only have one dedicated phone salesperson, your company could have one new appointment or referral every day via cold calling.

For most B2B businesses, where phone selling strategies are most commonly found, one lead per day per salesperson represents a very strong ROI.

Today, we’re going to help you sell over the phone like a modern pro. Here are 8 advanced tactics for increasing your B2B telephone sales.

1. Take Timing Seriously

In sales, as in many areas of life, timing is everything. You will often accomplish more during peak hours than you do the rest of the day, so even if you are in a position that requires around-the-clock calls, it’s important to be at peak efficiency during those peak hours.

So when are those peak hours?

An in-depth study out of MIT gives us several interesting insights:

  1. The best time period to contact leads is between 4:00-6:00 p.m.
  2. The best second best time period is between 8:00-10:00 a.m.
  3. The worst time period to call is between 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
  4. The best days to call are Thursday and Wednesday.
  5. The worst days to call are Tuesday and Monday.

It’s worth checking out the study, because these aren’t insignificant differences. For example, calling on Thursday versus Tuesday increases results by an average of 50%. Calling at 4:30 p.m. versus 11:30 a.m. increases results by an average of 114%!

Timing might seem cliche, but what other tactics do you know of that can immediately double sales?

2. Call The Right People

I’m going to borrow and re-spin an example from Jason Quey.

Sid works at a large SaaS company. When it comes to larger tool purchases, he makes the decisions. However, Sid rarely creates content for the team. Tyler is in charge of content.

If your sales team is attempting to pitch a solution to the content problems Tyler is facing, appealing to Sid around those challenges won’t be effective. The best way to pitch Sid is very different from the optimal way to pitch Tyler.

The Gartner Group reports that in a company of 100-700 people, an average of 7 people are involved in buying decisions. If you aren’t tailoring your pitch around these people, you will struggle to succeed in B2B phone sales. There’s no getting around that.

For help identifying and reaching decision makers, check out this guide from Lead Forensics.

3. Lay The Groundwork

We know that cold calls can work, but there’s a way to make them work better. UNC professor Dave Roberts said it best, “Cold calling is old fashioned… Aim for hot calling.” The more prepared you are when you call, the better that call will generally go.

We live in an age of the internet and social media. Before you call a prospect, Google search them. Learn everything that you can before ever making the call. This can help you know what the customer’s needs are, what their objections might be, and what interests them.

You can even make some level of initial contact before calling:

  • Connect via shared acquaintances
  • Comment on their social posts
  • Mention them in a blog post or comment
  • Etc.

There are many ways to make a superficial connection with someone that quickly turns you into a known entity versus a cold call. For more tips on laying the groundwork, check out this article by Owen Matson, Ph.D.

4. Follow A Sales Script

There are no downsides to using a sales script… only to using one poorly.

When used correctly, having a sales script results in the following benefits:

  1. They force you to create and refine a consistent sales methodology.
  2. They allow you to provide a baseline for your entire sales team’s performance.
  3. They allow sales reps to spend less time thinking about what they’re going to say and more time listening to the potential customer.
  4. They provide talented sales reps with a strategic baseline off of which they can improvise.

To learn how to create your own sales script, check out this guide from Close.io.

5. Navigate Objections

Navigating objections is a central part of any sales process, but there can be a bit of a misunderstanding about this issue.

Some objections always need to be covered and getting out in front of them can be beneficial. For example, if your product is twice as expensive as every other competitor, it’s almost guaranteed that issue is going to come up, and addressing it before the customer does gives you the chance to frame it in a positive light.

Not all objections are created equal, however, and sometimes, bringing up certain objections simply bogs down the sales process and creates doubts that weren’t there to begin with. Instead, have a plan to overcome these objections IF they are brought up.

For more on covering objections, here’s another top notch guide from Close.io.

6. Stop Talking. Ask and Listen.

Listen. Listen. Listen.

The more your prospect is talking, the better your chance of closing the sale.

Outbound sales and inbound sales followup are an inherently aggressive activity. You are on the offensive. You are seeking out people to sell them something. But often, the solution is simply to slow down and get out of your own way.

The best sales scripts and salespeople are focused on asking the right questions. The prospect doesn’t need you to create challenges for them. They have numerous pitfalls and problems on the path to their goals. Your job is to create a situation where the prospect is articulating those challenges… not you.

Ultimately, B2B sales isn’t about tricking people into getting a product or service that doesn’t work for them. It’s about matching beneficial solutions to the businesses that need them, and that requires a two-way conversation.

7. Focus On Customer Value

Your goal as a salesperson is never to sell someone on a price. Your goal is to sell them on value – such incredible value that the price seems like a no-brainer.

It’s very, very important that you focus on this value BEFORE discussing pricing, for a number of key reasons.

First, if pricing is brought up first, your product/service will be evaluated as a commodity. Once a number has been mentioned, everything will be filtered through that number. You will have zero leverage in presenting your value.

Second, if you don’t pitch you value before getting to pricing, the prospect will consider the pricing based on their preconceived assumptions about the value of your product class. And remember, they aren’t currently using your product, so it’s likely they don’t consider the value to be worth the cost.

Finally, if you don’t understand the prospect’s needs before you get to pricing, you might propose a price that is too low or too high. Too high, and the conversation is essentially over. Too low, and you won’t be considered a serious player. Without getting to know the prospect first, you are playing a dangerous guessing game.

8. To Close Is To Follow-Up

You already probably know your “hook, line, and sinker.” You have your closing speech down to a science. That’s great, but just know that you will talk to a person several times before they’re ready to hear your golden pitch. According to Marketing Donut, 80% of sales require 5 (yes, FIVE) follow up calls. 44% of salespeople quit after just 1 follow up. Don’t be a quitter!

Also, stop leaving the follow-up in the customers’ hands. Don’t say, “Give me a call if you’re interested.” Geoffrey James, author at Inc. said, “I’ve read dozens of so-called sales letters and sales emails that end with a suggestion that the customer should call or contact the seller…The people who send these letters always complain that they don’t get any responses. No kidding–you’re asking the customer to do your work for you.”

Instead, change your follow-up strategy and set up a time to talk again. For instance, “I’m going to call you next Wednesday, after you’ve had time to look at everything, so that we can discuss whether it makes sense to continue discussing our offer.”

Conclusion: Upgrade Your Phone Game

Telephone sales are more challenging than ever, but they are worth the trouble. Use these 8 advanced tactics to improve your B2B sales calls and close more sales.

Rachel Africh Headshot

Rachel Africh

Contributor: Rachel Africh is the CMO of TheLeadsWarehouse.com and is an expert on marketing tactics and generating targeted leads that convert for sales industry professionals.

What if I invited you to go on a trip to nowhere?
Sounds absurd doesn’t it?
Without knowing the ultimate destination, you can’t just pack your bags and leave.
The same is true with PPC.
The ultimate destination of a PPC campaign is the conversion, and when it comes to getting new users in your conversion funnel, few marketing strategies are as effective as pay-per-click advertising.
While a typical PPC campaign is reasonably easy to implement, getting real ROI tends to be a challenge for those who aren’t educated on paid advertising. Initial results are often disappointing and a poorly run campaign can lose a lot of money in a very short amount of time.
As I alluded to above, finding success with PPC ads is all about knowing where you are taking prospective customers and then optimizing the journey in such a way that the maximum number of people convert in the end.
Today, we’ll be looking at 8 proven strategies for optimizing our PPC campaigns to maximize conversions. We’ll start out with the basics, for anyone who isn’t caught up, and then we’ll move on to some more advanced techniques.

1. Make Sure Your Ads Are Consistent With Their Respective Landing Pages

This first point is simple but often overlooked. Your ads should match the landing pages they lead to.
According to iSpionage, PPC ads account for 64.6% of clicks for keyword searches that imply high commercial intent. This means that when users see your ads and click on them, they often have immediate buying intent.
If the landing page’s copy and images don’t match the ad, it can throw ready customers off and cause you to lose the sale.
For optimal results, it’s important that the PPC campaign ad:

PPC ad for Guitar

PPC ad for Guitar


…. match the landing page users see when they click through:
PPC landing page for guitar

PPC landing page for guitar


Go through you ads and make sure they match. Make sure the copy and images are consistent and that users see what they expect to see when they click-through to your landing page.

2. A/B Test Your The Landing Pages

 
This one’s an obvious inclusion on this blog, and instead of trying to summarize a complex subject, I’ll simply say that split testing your landing pages is a mandatory step in optimizing a PPC campaign.
Here are some of Conversion Sciences’ numerous resources on the subject.

  1. The Ultimate Guide To A/B Testing
  2. The Proven A/B Testing Framework Used By CRO Pros
  3. The 20 Most Recommended A/B Testing Tools

Remember that testing is an ongoing process. No matter how good your initial results are, you can always improve.

3. Turn On Retargeting Ads

The remarketing cycle

The remarketing cycle


Most people that come in contact with your brand don’t follow a straight and orderly path to purchase. First time visitors often need more exposure to your brand before they feel comfortable pulling out their credit card.
Retargeting is a form of advertising that allows brands to “retarget” website visitors by placing a retargeting cookie on the visitor’s browser. This allows the brand to display ads to visitors after they leave the site and continue on to other sites like Google, Facebook, or the Weather Channel.
At its core, retargeting ads work based on a social psychology phenomenon known as the familiarity principle, which states that people develop a preference for things simply because they are familiar with them. Thanks to this effect, retargeting ads have become one of the most effective tools in marketing, resulting in 24% visitor return rate and a 1046% rise in branded searches
To learn how to run your own retargeting ads, check out this in-depth guide from WPCurve.

4. Choose Keywords Wisely & Employ On-Page Optimization

Keywords are very important when running a PPC campaign with Adwords.
Google’s #1 goal is for users to find what they are looking for, whether they click on organic results or paid ads. Accordingly, Google will rate your PPC landing page for relevance to your target keyphrases, similar to how it rates organic landing pages.
The less relevant your page is to the keyphrases you are targeting, the more expensive your bid price will be. The more relevant your landing page is, the more favorable your bid rate will be.
 
This is why selecting the right keyphrases and then building optimized landing pages around those keyphrases is so important. You’ll want to treat your landing page as though you are attempting to rank it organically
 
It can also be helpful to use keyword groupings, which can increase your CTR and Quality Score while lowering your CPA.  And of course, don’t forget to incorporate long tail keyword targeting as well.
For a more in-depth look at keyword selection in PPC, check out this guide from WordStream.

5. Be Sure To Specify Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are your friend

Negative keywords are your friend


When setting up a PPC campaign, you will come across a field that gives you the option to select negative keywords.
Negative keywords are words that have no relevancy to your product or offer. For example, if you are an online retailer of clothing, but you don’t sell children’s clothing, you can use negative keywords to filter out any search with the words “children” or “kids” in them. This way when people are searching for kids clothing, your ad will not show up.
Negative keywords can have a huge impact on the success of your PPC campaign. They will not only cut wasted ad spend but also eliminate unqualified traffic from seeing your ads. This will result in an increased in Click Through Rate (CTR) and a reduced Cost Per Acquisition (CPA), saving you tons of money over the course of your campaign.
To be even more effective, use broad or phrase match types when choosing negative keywords. Also be sure to add the plural form of the negative keyword you have selected also to cover all your bases

6. Optimize Your Ads By Device

Users behave very differently across each device, yet many advertisers today haven’t caught up to that reality. Optimizing ads by device type is mandatory in 2017, which is why Google introduced device level bidding in AdWords last year, allowing advertisers to have greater control over how they display ads.
How you utilize desktop versus mobile channels will depend on your product or service. If you’re selling a product online you likely are seeing a trend towards more mobile purchases. According to a CMS Report the average smartphone conversion rate is up 64% compared to the average desktop conversion rate. Service based businesses are also reaping the benefit of mobile with 88% of consumers visiting or calling a business they found through search within 24 hours according to a Google Mobile Movement Study.
For more on optimizing across device, check out some of Google’s resources and walkthroughs.

7. Make the Sign Up and Check Out Process Easy

Simple conversions are usually best

Simple conversions are usually best


When possible try to make the next step for your visitors simple and straightforward. One way to do so is to reduce the number of fields on your sign up form. A study conducted by Quicksprout showed that by limiting the number of form fields to only 3 can result in up to a 25% conversion rate. While 3-5 fields falls to 20% and greater than 6 fields can result in less than a 15% conversion rate.
Again A/B testing is required here; test different signup forms and use the one that gets the best result.
Moving forward you should disclose the next steps to ease the anxiety of the buyer.
Explain what is going to happen

Explain what is going to happen


Try showing the checkout page in stages so you don’t overwhelm them all at once with dozens of form fields. Set expectations for shipping prices and times early so they don’t feel deceived when they reach the final checkout screen. The more transparent and straightforward you are about the purchase process the more the client will trust your brand. Which means a higher conversion rate and in all likelihood you’ll creating a recurring customer.
Symbols near sign up forms and placed in the checkout section of your site can have a profound effect on conversion rates. Including a privacy policy will increase signup form rates and will aid in eliminating all their doubts about getting spam or junk mail.
Add trust indicators

Add trust indicators


Show trust seals to confirm to the buyer that your system is secure and their personal information is safe.
More trust indicators

More trust indicators


Accept different modes of payment to make it more convenient for the users to buy. And lastly do not forget to have a good confirmation page to ensure the customer about the order being placed. Make it clear the order went through and use the opportunity to add some personality to your brand. Humanize the experience by adding some humor or sharing a funny gif or picture. A great example of this was used by CDBaby.com where they created a visual of the journey your newly purchased CD would look like from the warehouse to your front door.

8. Highlight Special Offers In Your Ads

Highlight your special discount in the ad itself

Highlight your special discount in the ad itself


Offering special offers and discounts to your customers is a great way to quickly draw visitors to your site.The key to special offers is using the right words to motivate potential customers to navigate to your page and learn more. Words like Sale, Off, Now, Best Sellers, and New will grab your potential customers attention and entice them to click through.
If you are giving discounts for a limited time period, don’t forget to mention it because people are more likely to rush in when the offer is for a limited period. Words like Act Now or Limited-Time Offer pack a punch and encourage customers to act fast.
Make your offer worthwhile and drive home the benefits of shopping with your website. Make it clear if you have free shipping and your ship times are 2-3 days. Give them a sizeable discount (20% or more). A/B testing different discounts and offers are highly advisable as well.
Don't forget the matching landing page

Don’t forget the matching landing page

Conclusion

PPC is one of the most reliable channels available to marketers, but there’s not a lot of room for error.
In order to get real ROI, you have to really dial in your campaigns, and that can only be accomplished with consistent optimization and testing.
If you’ve been thinking about getting started with PPC or unsatisfied with your PPC performance, hopefully I’ve been able to give you some helpful pointers today.
Let me know in the comments what your thoughts are on these tips and if you have any of your own to add.
 
Dinesh Thakur is the co-founder of Ads Triangle, a Google Partner and Bing Ads Accredited agency. He is a Google Adwords expert with a passion for PPC and has helped hundreds of businesses grow their revenues through pay per click advertising.

For many of our clients, a phone call is worth seven to ten times more than a form fill. This means that we want to maximize the number of calls, but don’t want to completely shut down the forms on these sites.

Why Phone Calls are So Valuable

Phone calls are typically most valuable to businesses selling high-dollar and high-consideration products.
The term “high-dollar” is subjective. It can mean anything from plastic surgery to mortgage loan applications.
“High-consideration” products and services are those for which the stakes are high, and the buyer will generally do more research before buying. Cars, appliances, and vacations are some examples of considered purchases.
Phone calls are also valuable in markets in which doing nothing is a real option. For example, addiction treatment centers will want to get a prospect on the phone knowing that they will want to delay treatment for their addiction.
For these businesses, a human being will often have more success moving a prospect to a close than the website alone.

Please Add Me To Your CRM

When someone completes a form on the site, you know where the information goes. Someone gets an email. A record is added to the customer relationship management (CRM) system. Lead counts are tallied for your weekly marketing report. Some get contacted. Some don’t. Some get the autoresponder they had hoped for. Most don’t.
Form leads too often wither in the CRM freezer. How can we thaw out our lead funnel and give sales what they need to generate revenue?
Phone Calls. Because phone calls don’t get cold.
Phone calls are answered and voice mails are returned. There is no CRM icebox where your contacts can be sent to chill while everyone updates their lead reports.
Even if you have highly sophisticated marketing automation campaigns that move people through the sales funnel, none of them is as efficient and successful as a human being — listening, answering questions, and handling objections.
In our experience, [pullquote]a phone call is worth between 500% and 1,000% (that’s five to ten times) more in revenue than a completed form will generate[/pullquote].
The business wants more calls. Your sales team wants more calls. However, marketing is rewarded for leads. This is the problem.

Making the Phone Ring

There are three kinds of people coming to your website who need to talk to someone. They won’t be satisfied by completing a form or reading a report.

  1. Those who visit looking for a number to call. We want to make sure that they find the number they are looking for.
  2. Those who would call if incentivized. We want to make it attractive for them to pick up the phone.

There is a group of those who just don’t want to talk to another human under any circumstances. We want these folks to complete the form.
When you say, “Let’s put a phone number on our site because someone might actually call,” you are thinking of the first group, those who will call. This is not going to be effective for the second group, those who might call.
Embrace the phone, or they will go someplace else.
Evaluate the location of phone numbers on your site the same way you would evaluate call to action buttons. The phone number needs to be prominent, frequent, but not too pushy. Below we talk about where to place phone numbers.

You Can’t Take Credit For What You Don’t Measure

In order for this to work, dear marketer, you first need to get credit for these calls. Instead of slapping the company sales number on the website, you need to be able to measure calls sent from the site. Inexpensive services will give you a unique number. We use Grasshopper for our 800 number service. Google Voice is a source of local phone numbers. Counting calls will be largely done by hand.
To tie calls back into an analytics package, we’ve worked with a number of services, including Dialogtech, FiveNines, Five9, Convirza, and Invoca. This allows you to calculate a conversion rate with more accuracy.
Watch our phone leads webinar with Convirza.
The ways these packages work are different and beyond the scope of this column. Nonetheless, they let you take credit for real activity in sales.

Nail The Offer

We too often think that those who would prefer a call will think of calling. It ain’t true. Someone predisposed to call still needs to understand why they should call and what to expect. The only number that doesn’t need a call-to-action is 9-1-1.
Those who bother to write an invitation alongside their phone numbers resort to engaging messages such as, “Call,” “Call us,” “Call us today,” or the daring “Contact us.” None of these offers a why or tells you what to expect. Adding an exclamation point doesn’t help.

Home Instead Senior Care is really working hard to get visitors to pick up the phone.

Home Instead Senior Care is really working hard to get visitors to pick up the phone.


There are four things that you can use to make your phone number more enticing to those who would call:

  • Alignment means that your “call-to-call” mirrors the need of the visitor. Often, it is sufficient to match the invitation in the ad or link what brought them to the page.
  • Adding Emotion shows that you relate to their real non-logical pain or desire.

In the example above, “Struggling with caring for a parent” would be aligned, but not emotional.
“Feeling guilty about caring for a parent?” definitely carries emotion. If you think that this kind of message is too bold, think again. We had a 43% increase in calls for an invitation that read, “Ready to stop lying to yourself? We can help. Call …”
Emotion is a powerful tool.

  • The visitor wants Clarity about what will happen if they call. Who will be on the end of the line? Will they be an expert? Will they try to sell me or educate me? Can I call on weekends? Be clear about what will happen on the call.
  • Finally, you must build the Value of the call. Like all good calls-to-action, the call-to-call must reek of WIIFM (“what’s in it for me”). It has to promise enough to the visitor that they would prefer to call you over any alternative. Lay it out there.

These four components — Alignment, Emotion, Clarity and Value — make for effective calls-to-call, and are great for other calls-to-action as well.

Put Things In The Right Place

Just sticking the number in the upper right corner isn’t going to get you those calls that make you powerful. The number should be there, as this is where callers look. But the other two places that make the phones ring are:

  • In the headline at the start of content.
  • About 75% down a page of content.

The following image shows a wireframe of a typical content page with proper placement of calls-to-call. We’ve tested them all over the page.
a wireframe of a typical content page with proper placement of calls-to-call. We’ve tested them all over the page

Smartphones Have Phones

On your small-screen mobile site — as opposed to your tablet-formatted website — click to call is an intuitive way to get more calls.
[pullquote]For our call-oriented customers, their mobile sites now out-convert their desktop sites.[/pullquote] How do we do it? Here are some steps.

Make the phone numbers click-to-call

Click to call is crucial for mobile conversion rates.

Click to call is crucial for mobile conversion rates.


Sometimes, that’s all it takes. Write “Tel” links explicitly.

Keep Calls to Action Available in Sticky Header or Footer

This sticky header offers several ways to take action.

This sticky header offers several ways to take action.


You never know when the visitor will have the information they need to take action. Plus, they may find it’s their turn in line and need to take action quickly. These are mobile devices, you know.

Reduce Forms

Completing forms on a mobile device is grueling, frustrating and could scare the children. Look for ways to take action that don’t require long forms to fill.

Ironically, this is for a Webinar on mobile marketing. Too many fields.

Ironically, this two-screen form is for a Webinar on mobile marketing.


Consider using auto-fill from a social network, like LinkedIn or Facebook.
Filling in forms on mobile is hard. Consider social login auto-fill.

Filling in forms on mobile is hard. Consider social login auto-fill.

Bonus: The Power Of A Long, “Nasty” Form

If you’ve read this far, I have a bonus for you. You may have noticed an item on the wireframe image above: “Long, ‘Nasty’ Form.”
To maximize the number of calls you get and cast fewer of your visitors into the frigid desert of the CRM, make your forms long, and ask for some personal info. Yes, this is the opposite of what we tell you to do when you want visitors to fill out a form.
This will cook your noodle. When trying to maximize the number of calls we get, a long, nasty form works better than no form at all. That’s right. No form generates fewer calls.
I think this highlights the way our visitors assign a price to their time and attention. On its own, a phone call may seem “expensive”. However, when a long, nasty form is on the page, it makes the cost of taking action by form more “expensive”. The call looks cheap by comparison.
This is a pricing exercise, but the cost isn’t money. It’s time and attention.
The power of a ringing phone gets noticed. If visitors to your site start calling your sales team, it will be noticed. You need to be able to measure the calls and toot your own horn as well. Unlike leads, calls have a power beyond a graph in a PowerPoint presentation. To become an indispensable marketer, make the phone ring.
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This article first appeared on Marketing Land.

How would you find a 508% increase in leads from your most important landing page? Here’s how Comnio did it.

What Makes Up Your Value Proposition

I’m often asked questions like, “What would you test first on a landing page?” and, “What do you test on landing pages that most often increases conversions?” At Conversion Sciences, we ask ourselves these questions almost every time we start designing a test. When we “place a bet” on a landing page test, we are most likely to start with the value proposition.
The catch is this. [pullquote]Your “value proposition” is communicated by the offer, copy, images and proof. It’s complex.[/pullquote] So, when we say “start with the value proposition,” we’re talking about several potential tests.

Case Study: Comnio

I first came to know Comnio shortly after they had made a change to the over-arching component of their value proposition: the brand promise.
They had originally considered ShtLst.com.

The original concept did a great job of communicating the value proposition in a NSFW way.

The original concept did a great job of communicating the value proposition, but in a NSFW way.


The value proposition starts with, “Keep your company off of peoples’ Sh*t List.” I loved this approach mainly because I got the value prop in a very humorous way. The company uses customer complaints to market their services to companies that need help managing complaints. It’s hard to market a product to corporations that requires (Not Safe For Work) NSFW warnings, however. Here’s the original video (NSFW).
They decided to go with a safer corporate approach, branding the product as Comnio. The more customer complaints they are trusted with, the more businesses they can approach to sell their service.
So, the home page is an important landing page.
When I spoke with Ross Clurman the site offered a straight-forward value proposition to the consumer.
The Comnio home page served as a landing page for people needing customer support.

The Comnio home page served as a landing page for people needing customer support.


Visually, the most important parts of this value proposition are:

       

  1. The company. Note the large logo and company name top center.
  2.    

  3. The features of the service – History tracking, Rapid Response and Friendly Feedback.
  4.    

  5. A chance to offer an Email address. The white field is the most visually distinct item on this page.
  6.    

  7. The white glove treatment. See the large background image.

The Second Evolution

This value proposition didn’t work well, and this lead Ross to reach out to me for a free consultation.
My recommendations for Ross would certainly have been to focus on the company less and on what will happen more and to use a hero image that is more relevant. By September 2015, the home page was taking a different approach, focusing on the service value and defining the steps that make it work.

In September of 2015, this page had a conversion rate of 3.6%.

In September of 2015, this page had a conversion rate of 3.6%.


In this case the “proof” comes in the form of the logos of companies that Comnio has worked with. This can be a very effective way to increase conversions.
In September, the new landing page enjoyed a 3.6% conversion rate with 822 visits over 30 days.

Evolution Number Three

Updated Home Page Design
Again, included full-size version so you can scale down as needed…

The revised page that ran in October 2015 had a conversion rate of 18.3%.

The revised page that ran in October 2015 had a conversion rate of 18.3%.


In October of 2015, Ross’s team launched a new version of the page with a different approach to the value proposition. With just over 1000 visits, this page delivered a mind-blowing 18.3% conversion rate. That’s a 508% increase over September’s version.

What They Changed

The Comnio team changed several things to make their value proposition more effective. In their own words, here’s what they changed.

       

  1. Changed main tagline to explain what we do (as a benefit, not a feature)
  2.    

  3. Added secondary tagline to explain the pains/problems Comnio solves for users
  4.    

  5. Changed email [field] placeholder text from “Email address” to “Enter your email address” (a directive to visitors – people respond to being told what to do)
  6.    

  7. Changed CTA button from “Sign up for free” to “Try Comnio For Free” (resonates, and sounds like less of a commitment if people don’t feel like they’re “signing up” for something)
  8.    

  9. Added social sign-up options
  10.    

  11. Swapped out the position of company logos with the position of testimonials from users
  12.    

  13. Added a gradient line below hero area to separate it from the rest of the page

Which Elements Made the Difference?

Since all changes were made at once, it’s hard to know which contributed most. One of the changes may have even reduced the ultimate conversion rate. I think that, in this case, all elements work together to make one compelling value proposition. The sum is greater than the parts.
By translating the page into prose, we can see clues as to why.

Speak Your Value Proposition

If we were to write the value proposition of each page as a paragraph, you can see why the latter made more sense to visitors.

September Page

“Comnio offers on-demand customer service for any business at any time for free and it works on your smartphone. Just share your feedback. We contact the business and your issue gets resolved. Signup for free and start using Comnio now. We want your email address to sign up for free. Companies that you recognize use us, like beats by dr. dre, Lufthansa, Panasonic and more. You can trust us because @Kane007 tweeted that they are very grateful to us for helping.”

The italicized text is taken from the background image.
I think that this value proposition sounds like it focuses on the businesses, not end-users.

October Page

“Comnio deals with customer service so you don’t have to and it works on your smartphone. Submit your issue. We contact the business and your issue gets resolved. No waiting on hold. No repeating yourself. Just real, good customer service. Enter your email address to try Comnio for free. Or connect with us on Twitter or Facebook. You can trust us because we took just days to fix a problem for JASON that he’d had for years. We work with companies you recognize like beats by dr. dre, Lufthansa, Panasonic and more.”

The addition of “No waiting. No repeating yourself” really drives the point home that this page is for the consumer, and does it in a way that helps the visitor imagine what they are in store for if they do this themselves.
Overall, the new value proposition is more powerful and logical – about five times more powerful.
Our tests are showing that the contents of testimonials are very important. I believe that the message told by JASON is superior the the tweet by @Kane007, especially since JASON sounds like a person.
Finally, the company logos have been moved from the meat of the value proposition to a supporting role. This removed confusion about who this page is for, companies or consumers.

Social Signup Success

The impact of the social sign-up options in the October page is two fold. First it’s easier to do on a mobile device. Second it puts well-known brands on the page. This is a way of “borrowing” trust from Twitter and Facebook. There may be few social sign-ups, yet more form completions with this approach due to the increased trust on the page. In this case, Ross reports that about 49% of leads used the social sign-up buttons.
The magic question here is, did people who were going to sign-up use the social buttons for convenience, or did the social buttons drive visitors to sign-up who wouldn’t have otherwise done so.

Missing Ingredients

There are some specific elements we like to see in every landing page. The thing missing from this value proposition is proof. At some point they are going to be able to say something like, “15,324 issues resolved successfully.” The number doesn’t have to be that large, in my opinion.
For a potentially disruptive service like this, media mentions would be another nice addition to the page. This delivers more trust building and more proof.
To learn more about what makes landing pages convert at higher and higher rates, watch our free webinar The Science of the Landing Page.

Write Out Your Value Proposition

Whether you’re selling an application, a report or a free consultation, your value proposition should unfold in the visitors’ minds through the words, images and emphasis you place on the page. If your page is compelling written as a paragraph, you can enjoy high conversion rates like Comnio.
If not, test your way through to a value proposition that works.
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Feature image by stan via Compfight cc and adapted for this post.

In a previous article, we looked at five examples of companies that had success using online quizzes. We’ve seen the end result to each of these success stories and the marketing strategies they incorporated along with their quizzes, but what about the journey they took to get there?
Without the proper guide, creating an effective quiz like those highlighted in the first article can seem intimidating.
Following is a step-by-step guide that will walk you through the creative process behind quizzes with the help of a case study.
Throughout this article, we’ll examine The Elephant Pants and their quiz “Which Pair of Elephant Pants Are You?” We’ll give you some pointers on how to distribute a quiz and how to use marketing automation follow-ups to convert leads into paying customers.
Let’s get right to it.

Part I: How To Create A Quiz To Drive Online Sales

In the early stages of their company’s lifespan, The Elephant Pants brand relied on the fundraising support of a Kickstarter campaign. They created a quiz titled “Which Pair of Elephant Pants Are You?” with personalized results that recommended a specific kind of product to their customers, in this case, a particular kind of Elephant Pants.
The Elephant Pants included a link to their Kickstarter campaign to encourage customers to fund their project, additionally opting them in for updates and any new developments on the brand. By the end of their campaign, The Elephant Pants’ quiz helped them raise over $8,500 which was enough for a successful launch.

The Elephant Pants' quiz helped bring in the support of enough backers to launch their company

The Elephant Pants’ quiz helped bring in the support of enough backers to launch their company


Here’s what it takes to create a similar quiz that can help any online retailer make the most out of social media to help drive their e-commerce sales:

The Idea Online Quiz Title

Most pieces of interactive content start off as an idea, correct? The same applies for the idea behind your quiz. In The Elephant Pants’ case, their quiz revolves around recommending the perfect pair of Elephant Pants for everyone.
The Elephant Pants modeled their questions on relatable places, objects and activities to get a sense of your style, attributing it to the most suitable pair of pants for you.

This quiz question is full of relatable images that are associated with different personalities

This quiz question is full of relatable images that are associated with different personalities


So when it comes to your quiz, make it about something your brand is known for. Once you’ve got that sorted out, here are some ideas for the types of quiz you can go for:

        

  1. Product Recommendation Quiz -This type of quiz revolves around a single product recommendation based on the answers a quiz-taker gave. It allows you to suggest a single product tailored specifically to an individual based on their personal preferences. This is perfect if you want to sell a single type of product. The Elephant Pants used this kind of a quiz to recommend a particular kind of Elephant Pants to each and every person that took their quiz.
    The Elephant Pants created a Product Recommendation Quiz

    The Elephant Pants created a Product Recommendation Quiz

  2.     

  3. Style Personality Quiz – This kind of a quiz is centered around the idea of categorizing people into a certain style personality. This allows you to recommend multiple items that fit a quiz-taker’s description of what their style personality is based on the questions they answered in your quiz.

Craft Your Online Quiz Questions

We’ve reached the body of your online quiz. This is where you want to establish a connection with your customer base through a one-on-one medium. Communicate with them through your quiz, but keep these things in mind when creating your questions:

        

  • Inject Personality Into Your Quiz – Put a part of you into the quiz, have it become a representation of you and your brand. Don’t be afraid to speak to your quiz-taker as if you were talking to them in person. Let the questions become as personal as possible.
  •     

  • Utilize Images To Your Advantage – If you haven’t noticed already, a lot of the more popular quizzes use images. Make sure that you do too. Pictures keeps things fun and relevant; and they make the quiz feel more like a game show if anything. The Elephant Pants used fun and familiar images to let their quiz-takers get comfortable which helps in encouraging opt-ins later on.
    This question relies solely on images

    This question relies solely on images

  •     

  • Make Sure To Keep Things Short And Simple – Using between 6 to 10 questions is the sweet spot when it comes to the length of your quiz. People’s attention spans are short, so let’s keep our quiz the same way. The Elephant Pants excelled in this category by keeping their quiz at 5 questions.
    This quiz is short - only five questions long - and notes where you are in the quiz at the bottom of the page.

    This quiz is short – only five questions long – and notes where you are in the quiz at the bottom of the page.

Add Lead Capture To Your Online Quiz

Creating a lead capture form and placing it right before the online quiz results builds an email list of subscribers to target by email.
The Elephant Pants were more focused on driving their fundraiser, but most businesses will employ a lead capture form. Here are some things to take note of when creating your own lead capture:

        

  • Promise Value To Your Customers – Incentivize your lead capture to give your audience more than just their results. Throw in things like a free contest giveaway entry, a free resource like an e-book or e-magazine, coupons/discounts, or even just personalized advice.
  •     

  • Make Sure You’re Honest With Your Marketing Strategy – Be honest about your marketing strategy by telling your audience exactly what they’re opting in for. If you’re going to send infrequent emails to your customers, make sure they know about it.
  •     

  • Only Ask For What’s Needed – When it comes to the information that you request via your lead capture, only ask for information that you will actually use. For example, don’t ask for a phone number if you’re not going to call it.

Create Share-Worthy Results For Your Quiz

As important as the questions and the lead capture form are, the results to your quiz have an equally large impact on your audience. This is the part of your quiz that gets shared on social media, so you want to make sure it’s worth sharing and appealing enough to encourage others to take your quiz.
Here are some pointers to help you out with that:

        

  • Come Up With Positive, Truthful Results – Positive results means positive emotions, which in turn generate shares. Compliment your quiz-takers with their results, but be truthful about it.
  •     

  • Use Attention Grabbing Images For Your Results – When people post their results on social media, the results are usually accompanied with an image. Include relevant images with your results to attract more people. In The Elephant Pants’ results, they use an image of the perfect pair of pants for you.
    A flattering quiz result increases interest in buying this pair of pants and the likelihood of the result being shared

    A flattering quiz result increases interest in buying this pair of pants and the likelihood of the result being shared

  •     

  • Lead Your Quiz-Takers To Something More – Your interaction with your audience shouldn’t end at the result screen to your quiz, it shouldn’t be as long as a paragraph either. Keep your results down to 3-5 sentences and include a personalized link to a specific product or a group of products. The Elephant Pants originally included a link to their Kickstarter to help fund the project, but after launching, their results now include a direct link to the pants that you got.
    Your quiz result takes you to a product page like this one

    Your quiz result takes you to a product page like this one

Part II: How To Distribute Your Quiz On Social Media

After creating your quiz, you’re not just going to let it sit there and wait for people to take it. You have to take action, and by action, I mean distributing your quiz across social media for it to be taken and shared.
Here are some good practices to follow when sharing your quiz:

Allow Your Results To Be Shared On Facebook And Twitter

        

  1. Use a captivating image to represent your quiz.
  2.     

  3. Come up with an attention-grabbing headline.
  4.     

  5. Share both the image and the caption with a shortened link to track results.

Use Paid Advertising To Promote Your Quizzes

Promoting your quiz on Facebook is fairly lengthy process, so we’ll cut it right down to its basics so that you can get on with the promotion of your quiz as quickly as possible.

        

  • Selecting Your Target Audience – You can select your target audience via location, demographics, interests, behaviors and connections. Each category can be narrowed down even further. For example, if you chose location as your way of targeting, it can be broken down to country, state/province, city and zip code depending on how close you want your audience to be.
  •     

  • Create A Custom Audience – Facebook allows you to create a custom audience based on a pre-existing list that you’ve uploaded. Facebook can generate a custom audience similar to your current customer base.

Part III: How To Utilize Marketing Automation To Follow Up And Drive Revenue

Picking up from where left off with your lead capture, once you’ve obtained some leads, your job is to convert them into paying customers. You can warm these leads up by keeping them interested through a series of marketing automation emails. Warm your leads up by keeping them interested with a series of marketing automation emails.
Here’s a four-step follow-up sequence that you can use:

        

  1. Thank Your Audience For Taking Your Online Quiz – The first step you need to take is to thank your audience for taking your quiz. It reminds them that they opted-in in the first place, and it also asserts your brand. Skipping this step is the difference between someone being reminded of who you are, versus someone that regards your email as a form of spam. Don’t forget this step!
  2.     

  3. Recommend Other Possible Outcomes for Your Quiz – After a couple of days, send your audience a list of other possible results they could have gotten through your quiz. It keeps the audience engaged and interested, and may prompt several retakes of the quiz as well. It’s a natural but relevant transition from your original “thank you” email to sending out other content.
  4.     

  5. Share Some Customer Case Studies Or Testimonials – After about a week, send another email that showcases customer case studies or testimonials. This helps to build up trust with your potential customers, especially if you target them based on the result they got.
  6.     

  7. Close The Sale – The final step. After two weeks, it’s time to finally convert your leads into customers. Use incentives like coupons/discounts or a webinar signup to close the deal. Give your audience a reason to buy into your brand.

Recap And Takeaway

And that’s it! The last time we met, we went over five different brands that implemented their own strategies in conjunction with quizzes to personalize the online retail experience. This time, we provided you with a guide on how to create your own quiz.
We broke down the quiz creating process from the idea formulation to title choices, question crafting to lead capture forms, and finally how to create shareable results. After getting the basics of a quiz down, we highlight several ways to promote your quiz through social media. Lastly, we went over marketing automation follow-up to nurture your leads and convert them into customers.
Hopefully you can walk away with quite a bit from today’s article. Creating a quiz isn’t as complex as you think it might be, but successfully utilizing one and promoting it is a different story. This guide gives you a solid foundation, so take advantage of it and use it for your brand’s success.

About the Author

JP Misenas headshotJP Misenas is the content marketing director and audio/visual technician/engineer of Interact, a place for creating entertaining and engaging quizzes that generate email leads. He writes about innovative ways to connect with customers and to build professional long-lasting relationships with them.

How does one build traffic to a blog? That’s easy. One writes. One posts. One shares.
Unfortunately, not all posts are created equal. Not all topics interest the same number of readers. And not all keyword phrases get the attention of the great granter of traffic, Google.
Having blogged since 2005 on marketing topics, from email to conversion optimization. Every post has it’s own signature when I look at it in Google Analytics. There are Eagles, Icebergs, Burps and more.
I thought I would share them with you.

How We Look at Traffic

Our subscriber list gets an email each week of with new posts. We publish new posts three times per week. We put new posts on LinkedIn and Facebook, and will generally share with on Twitter multiple times over the course of a week or two. Our most active posts will get reposted on LinkedIn.
We count on this initial outreach to drive relevant backlinks for search engine optimization. I use Referral Traffic as a proxy for backlinks. While backlinks aren’t about generating referral traffic, there is a correlation between the amount referral traffic and the number of backlinks a post has.
So, when evaluating the performance of our blog posts, I’m examining:

  1. Email traffic
  2. Social traffic
  3. Referral traffic (for backlinks)
  4. Organic traffic

With these segments, I look at the Google Analytics Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages report for individual posts that rank high in traffic generated, and go back more than a year.

The Google Analytics Landing Pages report can be used to isolate the most visited entry pages on the blog.

The Google Analytics Landing Pages report can be used to isolate the most visited entry pages on the blog.

Separating Social Referrals from Referral Traffic in Google Analytics

First of all, Google Analytics seems to include social referrals in it’s “Referral Traffic” filter. I want to look at social separately, so I created a filter based on the social networks that send traffic to us.
^t\.co|facebook\.com|twitter|pinterest|disqus|linkedin|
lnkd\.in|quora|plus.*\.google\.com|digg|netvibes|
scoop\.it|slideshare|instapaper|
meetup\.com|paper\.li|stumbleupon

The difference between Referral and non-social Referral Traffic-Graph-Arrows

This article shows that Google’s “Referral Traffic” advanced segment includes social referrals.

The Kinds of Posts You Find in Analytics

Every post is unique. Each has its own signature in analytics. However, there are some common themes I’ve seen in the data and I’m going to share them with you here.

The Burp

The Burp is a post that gets all of it’s juice from email and social media. There is a spike of activity followed by near “silence,” if you can say visits make a sound.
These are topics that may have been interesting to people when shoved into their inbox or social media timeline, but didn’t grab the attention of the search engines.

Burps are the most unsatisfying of all blog posts.

Burps are the most unsatisfying of all blog posts.


Burps can be blamed on poor search optimization, poor choice of keywords or just boring content. The post shown above had a nice email spike and got some referral traffic. But the referrals didn’t seed organic visitors like some. See below.

The Burp and Fizz

A variation of the Burp is the “Burp and Fizz.” This traffic pattern burps when email and social sharing are being done. Then it sizzles with search traffic – just a little – over time.

Strong email, social traffic and referral traffic resulted in only a rumbling of organic visits.

Strong email, social traffic and referral traffic resulted in only a rumbling of organic visits.


Only a small amount of organic traffic emerged from this post.

Only a small amount of organic traffic emerged from this post.


These may be long-tail topics, or the small amount of search traffic may be driven by less-relevant backlinks.

The Iceberg

Like its frozen namesake, the iceberg is massive and floats through your analytics, slowly melting over time. In our case, the iceberg has been one our most visited post since it was published in March of 2011. It has generated a large volume of search traffic, decreasing slowly.
Icebergs can be misleading. In our case, email is not how potential prospects find us, so traffic to this post is largely poor quality from a lead generation standpoint. As more visitors come to this post, our conversion rates drop.

This Iceberg generated a great deal of traffic, but is slowly melting over time.

This Iceberg generated a great deal of traffic, but is slowly melting over time.


We can see the influence of key backlinks here in driving search relevance. A new resurgence in traffic came after a swelling of referral traffic. A little investigation showed that the post was featured in January of 2014 on the Crazy Egg Blog.

Beach Ball at a Concert

Sometimes a post just won’t fly without frequent support. Here’s a topic – Generating Mobile Phone Calls from the Web – that looked like it was going to iceberg on us (see below). However, every couple of months we did a presentation on the topic of mobile and generating phone calls from the web.

This topic kept trying to die, but was buoyed by presentations and publication on other sites.

This topic kept trying to die, but was buoyed by presentations and publication on other sites.


Each presentation included being mentioned in blog posts and online show marketing. So, we got new life from each, like popping a beach ball back into the air at a concert.

The Celebrity Curve

This post mentioned SEO celebrity, Rand Fishkin.

This post mentioned SEO celebrity, Rand Fishkin.


I did one of my live Instagraph while Rand Fishkin was presenting at Business of Software 2014. Rand is well known in our industry as the founder of MOZ and it’s various products.
Our email list gravitated to his name, which you can see in the orange line below. His our social channels responded with less enthusiasm. However, we were on the search engines’ radars for his name, at least until his next thing became more relevant.
Celebrity posts offer short-lived organic traffic.

Celebrity posts offer short-lived organic traffic.


Celebrity is a fickle master, even when creating content.
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The Eagle

These are the posts you write for. You seed them with some email and social media attention, and then they spread their wings, riding the winds of the search engines. [pullquote]The Eagles are the posts that your blog is built on.[/pullquote]

This post took on a life of its own thanks to the search engines.

This post took on a life of its own thanks to the search engines.


Eagle posts take flight and drive organic traffic to your site.

Eagle posts take flight and drive organic traffic to your site.


It’s hard to tell what causes Eagles to soar. Some enjoy early social traffic. Others get early referral traffic. There doesn’t seem to be a pattern to jump starting an Eagle post. However, most of our Eagle posts are not on conversion-related keywords, but focus on Adwords, Facebook, Live Chat, and Exit-intent Popovers to name a few.

The Blue Bird

It’s unclear how a blue bird post gets started. There’s little support in the way of email, social or backlinks. Yet, it nonetheless finds an updraft and takes flight.
 

Even with little help from email and social outreach, some posts will fly. We call these Blue Birds.

Even with little help from email and social outreach, some posts will fly. We call these Blue Birds.


A blue bird is just a gift of the search engines.

Dodo Bird

This form of post takes a while to get off the ground, but soon evolves into a workhorse.

It took a while, but this post eventually caught on with search traffic.

It took a while, but this post eventually caught on with search traffic.


For some reason this post didn’t take off for months, and it’s unclear what got it going some seven months after it was published. Who are we to argue. This looked like a classic Burp Fizz post for most if that time.

Identifying Blog Posts that Drive Organic Traffic

The signatures you use to grade your blog posts may vary from ours, though this approach has proven to be very effective for the business.
You need to take a long-term approach to content. It’s never obvious when a Burp Fizz is going to turn into a Dodo Bird.
When you understand what makes Eagles, Blue Birds and even Dodos soar; when you understand the impact of icebergs on your reports; when you can see the impact of celebrities on your traffic, then you can select the right mix of content to grow your site.
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What are you doing today to ensure that your business brings in a continuous flow of qualified leads on a daily basis? Do you have a refined procedure, or are you throwing content out into the abyss of the interwebs with fingers crossed, hoping to score new leads and make some money?  If you can’t map out your strategy and don’t know where to fine tune the rough edges over time, chances are your business won’t be around for long. At Conversion Sciences, we take the time to build blue prints, formulate hypotheses, test strategies, and analyze data to keep our business and clients growing and moving forward.

Optimizing our content strategy, we’ve found takes an important attention to detail, consistency, and patience to bring in quality business. If you’re ready to accelerate and improve your lead generation strategy, you must first understand the path you took to close the deal with your first clients or buyers. Who was the person you engaged with? What was their job description and social interests, and why were they an ideal lead?

Knowing this can help you understand who your target audience is and how to reach them on social media. Does this lead attend a specific type of conference or event each year? Do they read a certain publication or regularly visit an industry website?

Once you have identified your target audience, you can begin implementing advanced techniques to grow your business. Here are ten ways to enhance your social media lead generation strategy.


 

Choosing the Right Social Media Platforms for Lead Generation

Don’t invest time and money into every social media platform until you know what will work for your business.

The key to social media is not just a presence, but how followers engage with your brand and if those followers turn into leads.

If you’ve already established a presence on all platforms, see how your traffic correlates with each social site via Google Analytics or a comprehensive social media sharing software like Oktopost that allows for conversion tracking. What sites are bringing you more traffic and leads?

Based on our conversion tracking efforts using Oktopost, we can track how many leads are generated in each social network. We consider leads to be anyone who joins our email list, downloads a report, joins our blog course, or fills out a contact form. Last month we created a campaign that offered a free report for the higher education marketplace. Our large Twitter audience brought in the most clicks and leads. However, our data tells us LinkedIn leads convert at a higher rate than Twitter leads. We’ve begun focusing more on LinkedIn as a result.

For a clearer perspective on how to choose the right social platforms for your business, we recommend reading these tips from Wishpond.

Educating Your Buyer: Reports and Whitepapers

By offering free white papers, reports and ebooks are a great way to make your prospects experts at buying your products. They are also a great way to create email lists to better segment your audience. Pragmatic Marketing says, “if you provide something of value to prospects, they will give you their respect, time, loyalty, and ultimately their business.” If only it were that easy.

The cost of creating content is falling as the web gobbles it up. We use blog posts to test topics of interest to our audience. We will prepare a live presentation or webinar on hot topics. These presentations get cast into case studies, blog posts, reports and social media posts.

But writing a report simply isn’t enough. Targeting your whitepapers to the right audience is of utmost importance and can be done in several ways, including Facebook Ad remarketing, LinkedIn Groups, or Twitter hashtags and discussions.

[sitepromo]

Why LinkedIn Groups Are Lead Hotbeds

A hotbed is defined as “a place or environment favoring rapid growth or spread”. In our recent research, we’ve discovered LinkedIn to be a valuable hotbed for B2B lead generation, particularly when it comes to engaging with LinkedIn Groups. In the past, most marketers or brands were taught to create a main page where all content would be shown to followers or ‘likes’. In recent years, we’ve seen a surge of engagement and activity in social groups with defined interests and demographics due to the change in algorithm from Facebook and LinkedIn updates.

Now LinkedIn Groups have been a hotbed for Conversion Sciences when it comes to generating new leads or subscribers. A few months ago, we launched our industry report for Higher Education Marketing and created a comprehensive campaign targeted to Higher Education professionals. By researching groups and engaging with members, we were able to build relationships and grow our lead pool in just a few months.

Screenshot 2015-06-16 20.10.07

By researching groups, and engaging with members, we were able to build relationships and grow our lead pool in just a few months.

At the end of the campaign, we generated a total of 24 leads in under a month; 80% of those leads were from Higher Education Facebook groups we engaged and shared content with. However, always remember that

one of the most important ways to gain new customers is to create an authentic relationship

. Groups are not for spamming or sharing irrelevant content.

How Ad Targeting and Retargeting Builds A Lead Magnetic Field

Did you know the Earth produces its own magnetic field which is important in navigation? It also shields the Earth’s atmosphere from solar winds that are capable of destroying humanity as we know it! When it comes to lead generation, you should think of your business as the Earth, Facebook Ads at the magnetic field, and your competition as the solar wind.

Facebook Ads will help discover and navigate your leads to your lead-generating content, and bring them back to “Earth,” aka your business. Let’s say you were a software company looking to draw attention to a new service targeted to apparel companies. You could create an ad directed toward people who like specific pages, job titles, and keywords, or install a Facebook retargeting pixel on your website. This will help a potential lead see your ad immediately over the duration of your campaign.

Take Google Fiber for example. I was recently referred to its site by a friend who mentioned it will soon be available in the Austin area. I snooped around the site but lost interest, since it isn’t making itself available in my part of town. In the days following my visit, this is what I saw in my Facebook News Feed.

I saw a retargeting ad about Google Fiber when I logged into Facebook

I saw a retargeting ad about Google Fiber when I logged into Facebook

Fancy schmancy. It’s a Retargeting Ad! The fun stuff happens when I click on the “Sign Up” button. I’m directed to a landing page to enter my address to see whether Google Fiber will be in my neighborhood. Total bummer though: it looks like they won’t be available for a little while, so I decided to sign up for their email list. Guess what? I’m a lead now.  Not exactly a bummer for Google Fiber. We recommend Facebook for Business for further insight on how to create the perfect campaign.

I'm now a lead because I've signed up for alerts

I’m now a lead because I’ve signed up for alerts

Mapping Out Your Traffic Using Hashtag Targeting

Hashtags are the perfect place to find new business. By doing a simple hashtag search, you can find various tweets and discussions that direct you to new leads. Think of them as the magnetic field lines that map out all directions of the magnetic force. Hashtags direct content to communities, who in return will engage (like, comment, and share content). Let’s go back to the Higher Education report data. On Twitter, we found several hashtags corresponding that to this topic including #higheredmktg #hemktg #highered. This puts us in direct contact with many professionals we engaged with through content marketing.

Take for example our hashtag streams we created on Oktopost when targeting our Higher Education Report to industry professionals. We’ve created a comprehensive directory of conversations aimed at this topic. In it, we were able to locate specific professionals we could engage with and place our brand in front of by participating in their discussions. Look at this! @markhoddell works for the University of Chester in the Marketing Department. Potential lead? We think so! If you’re not taking part in hashtag targeting, the time is now.

Screenshot 2015-06-16 20.32.32

Learn more on Hashtag.org.

Juicing Your Lead Generation With Content Marketing and Blogging

Building reports or whitepapers, and launching them with comprehensive organic and paid Facebook Ad strategies, is just the tip of the iceberg in online lead generation. But, how can you continue to engage your community and build your customer base without reloading them with offers or retargeting ads?

By implementing an enriched content strategy in your marketing funnel, you will intrigue and entertain your audience, as well as leave a footprint online that will increase your organic SEO and reach. Infographics, videos, images, and podcasting are just a few content ideas that drive traffic. Think of your entire content marketing strategy as the great magnetic force that pulls in new leads. The strength of that force determines on the strength and creativity of your content.

Screenshot 2015-06-21 17.29.42

According to a recent study by the Content Marketing Institute, only 48% of businesses have a documented Content Strategy.

A recent study from the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs states that over 80% of B2B respondents use Content Marketing in their business practices, yet only 38% of these businesses say their strategies are effective. However, the study also indicates that 48% of these businesses were not documenting their strategies effectively. In the end, there’s no way of telling what practices are showing results, or hurting business. Here are a few creative examples on how we incorporate content marketing elements in our online lead generation strategy to ensure maximum results.

Webinars

Webinars offer exclusive information and help grow your email list and lead base. LinkedIn groups are the perfect foundation for generating new leads through webinar promotion. You can target groups based on your field of expertise, or type of audiences you aim to reach. This avoids spammy sales letters and overbearing ads. WebinarNL says, “webinars generate a lower cost per lead and high level of engagement with prospective clients.” They also detail several benefits to hosting webinars including:

  • Direct contact with your target group
  • Reaching your target group both live and afterwards
  • Interaction with your target group
  • How webinars save time and money

So, we decided to put this statistic to the test and hosted our very first webinar “UX vs. CRO: The Digital Fight of the Century” As a special incentive for attendees, we had them ask several questions on UX or CRO. The people with the most creative questions won a free website evaluation from Brian Massey himself.

After an extensive social media promotion, we were surprised to find 212 conversions in just 20 days of implementing our content strategy.  That’s more leads in a short period of time than any other strategy we’ve executed. So ask yourself, “What benefits do webinars offer your business?” To see how our first webinar panned out, watch the webinar replay.

Screenshot 2015-06-21 17.52.40

Data from our most recent webinar “UX vs. CRO”

Screenshot 2015-06-21 17.52.31

Conversion Data from our most recent webinar “UX vs. CRO.”

Podcasting

Perhaps the most underrated form of generating new business leads comes from podcasting. It’s free and accessible, and makes radio quality audio shows available for download through an RSS feed to a computer, MP3 player or mobile phone. Listeners only have to subscribe to a podcast once.

First, you’ll need to conduct a keyword search that will get your content noticed in the podcast world. Then, be sure to create short blogs of no more than a few sentences to capture the reader, launch your podcast, and have them listen.

Interviewing an industry expert or hosting a panel debate can help maximize reach and listeners. Be sure to keep discussions focused on topics you can actively talk about with your leads. This is the perfect way to begin establishing yourself as an industry thought leader.

“The goal of the business podcast is to create a conversational thread that you can pick up with your lead on the next call,” says Benchmark. Think of this as a first experience with future customers. You are building trust and proving them with valid information to nurture a business relationship. Again, podcasts are easy to market via LinkedIn groups, hashtag targeting, and Facebook Ads. Also, fan page Apps like 22Social help incorporate podcasts into your Facebook page so followers can listen in.

Guest Blogging

What does your business specialize in? Moving, fitness, prepping, or social media marketing? By writing as a guest blogger, not only will you be showing off your knowledge, but it adds credibility to your business and brand, while introducing your chops to an entirely new audience. This also gives you the opportunity to grow your social media following by adding social follow-back buttons or a Twitter handle to your posts.

Begin by creating a list of publications in your niche market that offer guest blogging and dive into what kind of content they are pitching.

KissMetrics layouts three important goals for Guest Bloggers:

  1. Positioning yourself as an authority and well-known name in the industry.
  2. Getting exposure (traffic) back to your website.
  3. Building backlinks to your website.

Again, you want your potential customers to know that you are an expert in your field, and in the process you’ll be increasing traffic back to your site. We recommend reading KissMetric’s Ultimate Guide To Guest Blogging for more insight.

Video Marketing

Did you know 80% of internet users recall watching a video, and 46% of those viewers actually take action after watching the ad? Now, YouTube is making it an even more refined tool through annotations. By implementing annotations in your videos, you can direct viewers to a landing page on your website where they can sign up for your services, download a free report, etc. YouTube Ads also amp up this strategy, especially since they easily incorporate with your Adwords strategy.

Let’s take this Heineken YouTube Ad for example. Apparently, the internet knows that people like me – people who are my age, have my interests, and share my browsing and search history, for instance – love beer. Again, this is the whole idea of remarketing.

As I’m watching this ad, what do I see in the corner of the video? It’s an annotation that says “Visit Advertiser’s Site”. Since I’m curious, I click on the link and low and behold, I’m on their site and enter for a chance to win in their sweepstakes.

Screenshot 2015-06-09 19.22.19

The sad thing is, the campaign was over before I landed on the page, and Heineken missed its chance to get me on its list. Will I see a remarketing ad in the future? Possibly!

Screenshot 2015-06-09 19.29.57

Are You Ready To Map Out and Fine Tune Your Lead Strategy?

So what will you do today to insure that your business brings in a continuous flow of qualified leads on a daily basis? Can you begin to map out a refined procedure? Remember, don’t just throw content out into the world and expect a beanstalk to grow in your backyard overnight. The business world is not a fairytale.

If you incorporate just a few of these social media strategies into your overall lead generation plan, not only will you be able to grow your business, but you will start a snowball effect that brings in new prospects for the long term. Now put your thinking caps on and start outlining your strategy, or if you’re looking to generate more B2B leads watch our latest webinar.

As a scientist, I’m obsessed with data in every aspect of my life. I calculate wait times in lines based on number of customers and speed of the checkout clerk. I check multiple spreadsheets and websites to optimize cash back rewards and airline points before purchasing anything.
So when I decided it was time to look for a lab coat that matches mine, joining an online dating site with plenty of data points was the perfect choice for me.

My Online Dating Profile: The Most Romantic of Landing Pages

An online dating profile is essentially a lead generation landing page, so it’s the perfect platform to create an optimization project that’s entertaining to read about as well as fairly practical for me: a single woman looking for a dating partner.

[dating-series]

Before we can attract the ideal date (or customer), we need to know how to measure “ideal”. Most of our visitors won’t be the ideal. We need to have a good understanding of our base qualifications and the deal-breakers that mark a visitor as outside our target market.
One of the most difficult questions a business can answer is, “Who do I not want to focus on?” or, “Who am I willing to let go of to better serve my best prospects?” If we try to speak to everyone with our value proposition, it gets watered down so much that we don’t engage any visitors effectively.
This is essential for efficiency in time and cost of acquisition. [pullquote]You don’t want your sales staff spending hours with leads that will never be customers.[/pullquote]
And I don’t want to spend hours with men that will never be a good date for me.
With this in mind, I’m putting aside the idea of a “match” in favor of looking for “leads”. However, not everyone is a good “lead” for me.
For this experiment to work I needed to be armed with a list of traits that could easily be spotted from a dating profile or early interaction, and a site with a lot of data points to examine.
I chose the free site okcupid because it has a large user base in my target market (Austin, TX) and uses both quantitative and qualitative data points which will make sussing out a qualified lead much easier.
With all this data at my fingertips, the job I have before me is to put together a rating system that will allow me to quantitatively judge what is a fairly subjective task.
But how do I do that?

The (Quite Literal) Formula for Love

For a dating landing page, I need to be able to numerically rate a lead – someone who messages me – instead of using my intuition, and I need to be able to gauge whether I’m attracting the kind of person I want to spend time with. Otherwise, I’m just congratulating myself on receiving mountains of messages with no regard to quality.
We experience the same challenges on landing pages. Our conversion rate tells us how many visitors respond to an offer, but we need another way to determine whether or not our page is engaging qualified prospects: quantity and quality.
Fortunately, my work as a data-driven analyst has prepared me for the task… I hope.
For my lead rating system, I will rate the profile based on observable evidence in his profile and initial message.
I’ve organized my rating system into three different levels:

        

  • Free of deal-breaker traits (db) rated as a 0 or 1
  •     

  • Traits that are of importance to me (ti) rated on a scale from 0 to 1
  •     

  • Traits that are of critical importance to me (tomg) rated on a scale from 0 to 1
    Note: this is weighted more heavily in our formula

It all boils down to this First Date Probability formula:
P(first date) = db x (∑ti x 2∑tomg)

Deal-Breakers

The deal-breaker variable is binary. If a curious courter has even one deal-breaker trait, his First Date Probability goes to zero.
In both the dating world and the business world, deal-breakers are pretty important. They quickly eliminate prospective paramours from the running early on. Businesses, however, don’t often incorporate these all-or-nothing deal-breakers in lead scoring algorithms.
What are the deal-breakers in your online business? We all want web prospects that have a problem you can solve, and who have the money to pay for it.
Common business deal breakers include:

        

  • Title: They don’t have the authority to make the decision.
  •     

  • Purchase Timeframe: They aren’t ready to buy in a reasonable time.
  •     

  • Location: We can’t service their city.
  •     

  • Language: We can’t communicate with them.
  •     

  • Budget: They can’t afford us.

At my company, we really can’t do scientific optimization unless a prospect gets 200 transactions or leads from the web in a month. For us, this is a deal-breaker.
Asking about deal breakers in your lead generating landing page forms is one way to let visitors know that they are in the wrong place. They won’t waste your time and you won’t waste theirs.
Deal-breakers for me include:

        

  • Younger than 25 or older than 45
  •     

  • Already in a relationship or not interested in monogamy
  •     

  • Living outside of Austin, Texas
  •     

  • Smokers

I would score these with a zero if I find them in his profile.
my dating landing page data
my dating landing page about me dataq
Finding evidence of my deal-breakers is pretty easy on okcupid as these are simple questions provided in a basic profile. Either you’re a smoker, or you’re not. Here are some of my answers, totally spelled out for me – 37, non-smoker, Strictly Monogamous, Lives in Austin, Texas.
Non-smoker
Evidence of monogamy
If a lurking Lothario contacts me who is prison-bound for living out the storyline of Psycho, I will say “no” to a date and consider none of the other attributes. If these items are present, the inquirer receives an appropriate rating of 0.
For our experiment, anyone who contacts me outside of this range will still be considered a lead, but they’ll just be an unqualified lead. In business, these are the folks we just can’t help. They might get a short, polite email or a referral to a more suitable business.

Important Traits (ti)

This next group of traits aren’t deal-breakers. I’m willing to make compromises here, though they’re still important.
In my formula, I will find a value for important traits (ti) by finding the sum of rated items.  Some items will get a negative rating, meaning a score of one will be subtracted from the total.

        

  • Negative Rating: If there is a religious mismatch, a prospective Romeo will get a negative rating. It’s important that we have similar values.
  •     

  • College graduate – Tells me he values and respects education. And he can read. I’m most turned on by smarts, so someone with a well exercised brain is a must.
  •     

  • Adventurousness – Not afraid to try new kinds of foods, sky-diving, road trips — almost anything you couldn’t do in your cubicle.
  •     

  • Love of travel – Traveling is part of being adventurous, but it’s also a distinct part of my rating system. I have friends all over the country and would like to hear more about interesting places.
  •     

  • Appreciates dry/sarcastic humor – My sarcastic voice sounds a lot like my regular voice (bonus points for Joss Whedon fanboys and knowing where that line comes from)
  •     

  • Creative and appreciates art – Creative hobby a plus! (I dance, love the theater, paint and write – I want someone that can come with me to the theater or an art museum.)
  •     

  • Healthy/physically active lifestyle – It isn’t about body type; it’s about lifestyle. I’d love to find someone who will join me at the gym or go hiking with me.

You can that rating leads based on these traits isn’t going to be as straightforward as the deal-breakers, but it can still be pretty clear whether someone is stacking up well.
standardized questions
This snippet of standardized questions helps me get an idea of how this person feels about his religious beliefs.  It’s actually a two part question answered by choosing your answer from a drop down menu.  Part one is choosing the religion, and part two is where you choose the degree to which you follow the religion.
Dogs, food, and travel
This question is open-ended, but this guy still managed to cover one of my important traits and also a critically important trait by mentioning his dog.
It won’t always be easy to assign a value, however. Sometimes I’m going to have to look at the profile as a whole to make a decision.  This next profile gave me some mixed messages.
not into exercise
loves bike riding
When you answer standardized questions on okcupid, it will use your answers to rank you among other users of the site.  In the bar graph above, the midline represents the average okcupid user, so this person is much less into exercise than the average person.
But he has also indicated that he rides his bike often in his response to an open-ended question.  Since I’m looking for someone who lives a healthy lifestyle, maybe not exercising is ok. It could mean that he just really hates going to the gym, but he loves being an active person.

Critically Important Traits (tomg)

        

  • 27-37 years of age
  •     

  • Loves dogs – I own a giant dog named Remus and he’s here to stay.
  •     

  • Negative Rating: Negativity and pessimism.
  •     

  • Career oriented – My ideal match has his own career and professional direction because he’ll understand my own ambition, and we’ll be able to encourage and support each other.
  •     

  • Enjoys quiet evening at home – I love being downtown or out where the action is, but I need quiet and mellow to recharge and be my best.

Critically important traits
If this person contacted me, he would be a strong lead based on this small part of his profile.  Humor?  Check. Career oriented?  Check!  Education? Check.  There are many personality traits I’m looking for that I didn’t include in my rating system because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to find solid evidence without meeting in person, but this guy is also demonstrating some strong elements of the Type A personality I really like.
Deciding whether someone is negative or pessimistic will be another item that requires looking at the big picture.  It’s one of those “know it when you see it” traits, but strong indicators are lists of unacceptable attributes in another person and making repeated comments about how past relationships have ended poorly.

Scoring Qualified Leads

So now what? We have a bunch of leads that aren’t obvious mismatches. How do we determine which ones to spend our time and energy on? Who will have the highest ROI?
For our experiment we’ll count a lead as anyone that initiates contact.  We’ll then rank our leads based on the following system:
Qualified lead: Scores a one on all deal-breakers (meaning there aren’t any deal-breakers I could find)
These are the profiles I’ll take time to look at and see if they’re worth spending time on.
Ideal candidate: Scores zero on all negative ratings and ones across the board other than that.  We can skip the screening portion and start lobbying hardcore.
Candidate Level 1: Scores in the top third of my formula.
I will devote time and energy talking to this person and getting to know him with an emphasis on setting up an in-person meeting sooner rather than later.
Candidate Level 2: Scores in the middle third of my formula.
I will respond to his message and ask leading questions.  He may have other qualifications that are not on the list that appeal to me, so he might be worth an in-person meeting.
Candidate Level 3: Scores in the bottom third of my formula.
These are the leads that are worth talking to if times are lean. If lead flow is up, and we’re swimming in qualified leads, these will fall to the bottom of the pile.  We’ll get to them if we have the time and resources to do so.
[sitepromo]

Case Study

To see how well my equation works on a real person, I’m putting it to the test.  The screenshots below are from a single profile.  He hasn’t messaged me, so he doesn’t count as a lead for my experiment, but he should be good practice for my rating system.
I’ve started with profile basics looking for deal breakers.
Age Location Data
Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 11.59.22 AM
Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 12.13.54 PM

Deal-Breaker Traits

        

  • Younger than 25 or older than 45: 1
  •     

  • Already in a relationship or not interested in monogamy: 1
  •     

  • Living outside of Austin, Texas: 1
  •     

  • Smokers: 1

He’s off to a good start, so now I’m moving on to look for important traits.  Some of them popped up in his profile basics.

Important Traits

        

  • Negative Rating – Religious mismatch: 1
  •     

  • College graduate: 1

He’s agnostic, and I’m Episcopalian.  We might be able to make it work, however, which is why this trait isn’t a deal breaker.
Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 11.59.59 AM

        

  • Adventurousness: 1
  •     

  • Love of travel: 1
  •     

  • Healthy/physically active lifestyle: 1

He describes himself as fit in his profile basics which made me think he probably leads a pretty healthy lifestyle, but this paragraph made me certain.
He also has a tone here that seems humorous when he says he runs for his own “feel goods”.  I wanted to give him a score of one based on that line, but it seemed like it would be based on fairly thin evidence.  His self-summary gave me more data to make me think a score of one is appropriate.
Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 12.00.21 PM

        

  • Appreciates dry/sarcastic humor: 1
  •     

  • Creative and appreciates art: 0

I looked for responses to questions about art, photos that could be in a museum, mentions of favorite artists, but I didn’t see anything artistic.
He didn’t nail all of my Important Traits in his profile, but I still found evidence of most of them.  Now for Critically Important Traits.

Critically Important Traits

        

  • 27-37 years of age: 1
  •     

  • Loves dogs: 1
  •     

  • Negative Rating – Negativity and pessimism: 0

I found his age and pet ownership status in his profile basics.
Of course I can’t prove the null hypothesis with negativity since I’m trying to figure out whether he isn’t a positive person, so it’s possible that he’s a pessimist.  That’s what makes this trait one of the more difficult ones to score – but there wasn’t enough evidence to give him anything other than a zero.
Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 11.59.41 AM

        

  • Career oriented: 1
  •     

  • Enjoys quiet evening at home: 1

If he wants to spend Friday night talking about business ideas, I can say with confidence that he’s a career oriented person.  Takeout, movies, and TV shows all sound like a solid night in to me.
Now I can plug in some numbers into my formula.
P(first date) = db x (∑ti x 2∑tomg)
db = 1
∑ti = 3
∑tomg = 4
P(first date) = 1 x (3 x 2(4))
P(first date) = 24
He is a candidate level one using my criteria.  Let’s hope he sends me a message!

Attracting Ideal Qualified Leads

It may turn out that people aren’t up front about something I thought they would be or that a particular flaw that bugs me turns out to be so common that I would be remiss to keep paying attention to it.  So I may need to make adjustments here and there in my description of an ideal lead.
The process of creating my rating system, however frustrating, was a good experience because knowing what I’m looking for is half the battle. I now know what I’m aiming for in my profile/landing page, and I can share things about myself more strategically.  I won’t be lying on my dating profile, so when I say I’m being strategic, I’m not changing who I am to meet someone – I’m simply emphasizing certain things about myself and not mentioning other things.
Best foot forward, right?  Your landing pages should do the same.  If you’re a family-oriented small business, but your ideal lead isn’t, why share that information?  It’s still important, of course, but it’s ok to withhold information that doesn’t get right to the point.
Now you know quite a lot about what I’m looking for, but you know relatively little about me personally.  To find out more, you know what to do: subscribe to my series!  You know you want to…

[dating-series]

We recently began the split-testing process for a B2B ecommerce company. This is only remarkable because we signed this deal over a year ago. What happened to delay testing so long?
A website redesign.
The four-month redesign turned into a six month redesign and then into a 14-month redesign. This is not unusual in our experience. The new design has launched and, after all this time, the conversion rate and revenue per visit remained about the same.
We see this as good news. Too often, redesigns actually decrease site performance for a period after launch. There are storied website redesign disasters, such as FinishLine and Marks&Spencer.
Nonetheless, the conversion optimization testing was delayed. They can never recover the revenue or the lost testing time.

How to Make More Money During Your Website Redesign

Conversion Scientists look at websites quite differently. You may see a valuable online revenue engine. We see a laboratory for growing sales in petri dishes, and then scaling that to business-changing proportions.
When Wasp Barcode came to us, our vision fell on the ears of a brave and daring team. The approach allowed them to grow the number of live demos by more than 200% in just a few months.
We started with our Conversion Catalyst, a six-month process designed to grow revenue quickly and permanently. We started by getting Wasp setup for website optimization. This included setting up the digital lab, a set of tools that includes analytics, click-tracking, session recording and split testing.
[sitepromo]
Then, we went to work in a very unusual way.
Wasp Barcode sells inventory and asset tracking solutions. Their most profitable offering is a complete inventory- or asset-management system that may include software, scanners, and labelers for the things businesses need to track. The most effective way to help their prospects choose the right system is with a live demo. During this demo, a sales person will walk the visitor through their software and answer any questions they have.
Our main goal was to increase the number of visitors filling out a form to request a live demo.
We did a stepwise redesign, in which all of the assumptions about the new design were tested to ensure that they had a positive or at least neutral impact on demos. Our approach was this:

Step One: Test Things that Can Be Used in the Website Redesign

Our first step was to find the calls to action that would move more visitors to request a demo. This was a series of tests to find out what language should be placed on buttons. For example, we learned that language offering “Free Live Demo” or “Free Consultation” generated more clicks to the demo landing page and more completed demos.

Step Two: Test the New Page Design on a Portion of the Site

Their design team integrated what we learned into a redesign for one of the site’s product category pages. We tested this new design against the existing category page, the control.
Our tests showed that the new design did a great job of getting more visitors to the Demo Request page. By driving more visitors to this page, we had more resources to test lower in the funnel.

Step Three: Optimize the Demo Landing Page

We then went to work on the Demo Request Page, a page on which the prospect can complete a form requesting a Live Demo.
Our tests here revealed that removing video and adding a product shot increased form completions significantly.

This key landing page went through several tested iterations to reach a high-converting design.

This key landing page went through several tested iterations to reach a high-converting design.


The redesign was just getting started, and we had already begun generating significantly more demo requests for the business.

Step Four: Move to Another Section of the Site and Repeat

The Wasp design team designed another category page for the next section of the site. They integrated elements that visitors were clicking on frequently, such as feature lists.
While the visitors in this section of the site behaved somewhat differently, we saw a positive lift in visits to the Demo Request page. This page was optimized, and delivered more demo requests to the sales team.

The step-by-step Wasp Barcode website redesign sped up.

The step-by-step Wasp Barcode website redesign sped up.


The Wasp design team then took what we had learned and redesigned the home page. This drove a significant increase in visits to the high-converting Demo Request page.

250% Increase in Demos over Six Months

Most website redesigns would still be sitting on a staging server. Wasp has enjoyed significant increases in demos during their first six months. Together, we rolled their redesign out step by step, testing along the way to ensure each change had a positive or neutral impact.

Breaking the Rules of Design

Designers and UX people may be rolling their eyes. It is an old truism that a visitor should have a consistent experience across a site, or they will feel lost.
During our stepwise rollout, we violated this rule. But when we have completed the process, providing this consistent experience, we can expect another increase in demos.
This approach also allowed us to change the design for different sections of the site. Those visitors looking for Inventory Management solutions are fundamentally different from those looking at Asset Management tools. One design would not have worked well for both.
Not everything we tried increased the conversion rate, and the Wasp team made adjustments accordingly.

Let Us Guide Your Redesign

Your website redesign doesn’t need to be an “all in” gamble. Find out if your website would benefit from a stepwise redesign with a free consultation.
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