How to Make the Most of What You Have: Lead Conversion Optimization Tips from Jim Wang of Microblogger.com

Flat computerWhat is top-of-mind for B2B marketers right now? According to a 2013 survey from The B2B Technology/Marketing Community on LinkedIn, 61% of responders said the biggest challenge they face is generating leads. And not just any old lead, but quality leads that actually convert.

For the B2B marketers who feel held to time-consuming and expensive campaigns, there’s good news: the same study also found that the most effective lead generation tactic used by marketers is the company website, and another survey from MarketingSherpa found that marketers are increasing their spend yearly, with most of the focus on website optimization.

Despite the additional spend, lack of resources in staffing, budgeting, and time makes it difficult for marketers to efficiently optimize business’ web pages. Luckily, there are some simple and inexpensive tactics you can apply to your business website conversion efforts.

Jim Wang from Microblogger.com recently spoke at FinCon ’14, where he offered up some very solid and tactile advice on how to test and improve lead conversions from your company website. In his presentation, “Conversion Optimizaion: How to Make the Most of What You Have”, Wang gave real-life examples of his own tests and actionable takeaways any marketer can apply to their own efforts.

Here are 4 simple tips to optimizing your website for lead conversion:

Determine your buyer personas.

On this 0% credit card balance transfer page, Jim identifies three personas that visit the page: The Arbitrager, The Debtor, and The Planner.

The Arbitrager looks for 0% offers so they can invest the cash, collect the interest, and pay off the card once the deal is over. The Debtor is looking for quick money to bridge the gap until they get on more solid financial ground, and The Planner researches the best credit card offers and uses the card to make a major purchase.

Before:

creidt card offer before

After:

Credit Card Offer Page Final

The original page was already realizing an impressive 10% conversion rate, but when Jim identified his personas and made changes to the page, he saw increased his conversions to a whopping 35%.

Using what he knew about his buyer personas, Jim focused on simple changes: adding emotional appeal in the copy and putting more emphasis on the benefits. Notice how he also simplified the text under the featured product box and also created a sense of urgency in the yellow highlighted text box.

This is an excellent example of how buyer personas are powerful and useful tools that help marketers identify buyers’ needs and pain points so they can make effective and targeted changes.

Takeaway: Test and change the messaging on your company’s web pages based off pre-determined buyer personas. Content Marketing Institute has some excellent advice on how to create buyer personas specifically for B2B solutions, including important questions to ask actual customers, salespeople, and customer service representatives that will help you identify what the buyer is trying to achieve.

Use non-committal CTAs.

Wang also offered some very practical advice regarding CTA copy: “Make it non-committal. ‘Get now’ is better than ‘subscribe now’. By “getting something now”, rather than “subscribing”, the reader doesn’t have to make a commitment or a decision.

Here is an example of a test Wang ran for a meal planning site:

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 1.14.12 PM

Wang tested three variations: no text, “get access to your meal plan instantly”, and “100% risk-free, cancel anytime, no questions asked”. The winner clearly communicates a non-committal message and reassures the reader that they are in control.

Takeaway: Allow your readers to make their own decisions by trying something first. Non-committal CTAs are a digital version of the old “Get it now, pay later” financing model. If you are looking for a range of call-to-action verbs, SmartLab Software has a long list of CTA verbs that don’t include “Click here”. How refreshing!

Capture Lost Clicks

In this example, Wang used Crazy Egg to discover that visitors were consistently trying to click on the coupon code on the product page.

Here’s what the page looks like:

Capture Lost Clicks

Now look at the activity map:

Dealzon Original

Light yellow indicates a high number of clicks, compared to the CTA buttons and text boxes that show in green and red, which indicate fewer clicks. Wang used this behavioral data to add a link to the coupon code, which took buyers to the exact same page the other CTAs and text boxes were pointing them to.

Takeaway: Follow users’ natural behavior instead of trying to get them to follow a path that feels forced or unnatural. The CTA button or hyperlinked text you provide isn’t always the obvious choice for the visitor. Use Crazy Egg or other heat map software to understand where people are trying to click on your company webpage.

Get weird with it.

Wang is a fan of trying weird and random ideas. For example, he had an idea to use a shaking CTA button on one of his sites, Scotch Addict. There were several CTA buttons to choose, from one that gently floated across the page, to one that shook violently like an earthquake. He ended up testing a CTA that had a gentle back-and-forth movement.

Check out the surprising results:

shaking CTA

Of the idea, Wang says, “I had been tweaking this site for years and I thought there was no way this would work, but I decided to just try it.”

Takeaway: No matter what you think you know, or how long you’ve been in the game, testing is a critical part to improving your lead generation optimization efforts.

In an industry full of challenges, conflicting information, fluctuating markets, and limited budgets, sometimes it’s good to go back to the basics and just use what you have to make it work.

What are some of the simple tactics you use to make the most of what you have? 

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“Why, where have you been? You’re exactly what I’m looking for!” (Not!)

As business owners, we can’t help but look outside and wonder “what in the world are people thinking?” when they unsuccessfully market themselves as employees.

Before we cast judgment, though, let’s talk about how difficult marketing our own businesses can be (and the ways it can go just as badly). (more…)

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Yes, you can now translate a page you are viewing on BizIQ into the language of your choice. Just select the language you want from the drop down at the right of every page and you will see the page translate into that language.

Business Intelligence – A Preamble

I still remember the days of DBase, FoxPro and Paradox, when we used to feel pride in writing a report extraction software capable of churning out a few hundred pages of reports which were considered to be of key importance to the business decisions. These reports enabled the business managers and analysts to infer the important stuff about the various aspects of business and they based their decisions upon those facts.

It was very common that a manager would come up with a new metric for the business and thus there would be a demand for a whole new report, which would usually mean a ground up report design, program, test and verification cycle being initiated on part of the report writing programmers.

The managers could wait for days if not weeks for the new statistics to arrive with the improved view of the coveted business aspect, this would sometimes also lead to missed windows of opportunity and delay in response to a market disposition that was disclosed by such a late report.

There was a constant demand in improving the time required to create reports, many companies were born out of this very need and we saw many report writer tools that boasted 4GL capabilities, declarative querying and magical report generation in 90’s and early 2000’s.

The next thing business managers could wish was something that would let them create ad-hoc reports by themselves, thus eliminating the need for reports being written for them, thus giving them access to the kind of insight they had always longed for.
This kind of software has been traditionally expensive, un-affordable for smaller businesses and sometimes even for the not so small companies.

The challenge grew as the businesses accumulated more and more data, that was waiting to be transformed into meaningful information. That has lead to data warehousing technologies that very efficiently store huge amounts of data that is readily available for analysis on the click of a button thanks to data mining and exploration technologies developed to cater this very need. A niche category of such data exploration software is called Business Intelligence software. BI software is specialized for data drill downs and ad-hoc report generation usually based on some kind of OLAP technology.

I feel intrigued to see & use stuff like NoSQL, Hadoop, Green Plum, Infobright, Pentaho and InfiniDB and hence feel the need to share what I have experienced with these. Hence the start up of a new blog focused on Business Intelligence.

Please stay tuned for more as new articles get written. 🙂