What's really to blame for low conversion rates?

At 4AM we have a pretty cool perspective. We’re not only trying to scale our own company, but we’re also helping our clients scale theirs. In the process, we find we hear a lot of the same pain around demand-gen repeated from client to client. We’re all in this together, so we thought we would start talking about these pain points and how we worked through them with customers here. If we’re all having them, you must be too. We’re here to help. Let’s consider this series our own little demand-gen support group. 

In the last few weeks, we have heard a lot about digital programs. A sampling of some of the conversations we have had go something like this: 

  • We’re getting decent engagement & clicks from our ads, but our conversion is low. It must not be working.
  • We seem to be able to drive traffic to our website, but bounce rates are high. What are we doing wrong?
  • We’re getting some conversion on our ads, but the cost per conversion is through the roof! This isn’t cost effective, maybe we should turn it off.

Are you sensing a theme? We were. All of these conversations ultimately came back to two things: The call to action (CTA) and the website. In other words, what happens after your prospect engages with your perfectly targeted, superbly written, ad?

It’s all about the CTA

The first road we went down was to examine the CTA’s. And, this has to happen in two parts.

First, what is the specific call to action from the ad? If your CTA goes straight to a product demo request, contact us form, or free trial sign up, you may have a case of skipping straight to paying the bill before you’ve actually eaten the meal or even sampled your appetizer.

If your cost per conversion on these leads is high but they are willing to skip straight to a sales call, they are likely highly qualified. So, you have a few options:

  1. Since these leads are considered more qualified, your close rates may be on average much higher since a lead filling out a contact form is signaling high intent. Therefore, you may be okay with a higher cost per conversion because they may also generate more revenue. In this case, you would leave this as-is but closely monitor these leads as they make their way through the funnel to ensure they actually are generating revenue.

  2. If you still want to bring down the cost per lead and generate more conversions, you may consider testing a new CTA. Driving them to a webinar sign-up, or a content download may increase conversion and lower your cost per lead. These prospects aren’t signaling as high intent as the others, but you may generate more of them. Once you capture the lead this way, and they further their understanding via your content marketing, then you can raise the stakes on higher-intent CTA’s.
The second road to go down is to look at your website. If you are able to drive traffic to your website via SEO and paid search, but bounce rates are high and conversion is low, examining how optimized your website is a good next step. Here are some questions to consider when looking at your website:
  1. Is your website easy to navigate?

  2. Is it easy for a prospect to quickly understand what you do and how they’ll benefit?

  3. Do you have compelling content in different formats and for all stages of the buyer’s journey? (Web copy, video, longer form downloadable content)

  4. Is your site optimized for additional conversion opportunities? Both in differing formats (content, contact us, etc) and in easy to see locations?

Buyer’s aren’t going to want to spend a lot of time determining if your solution is close to what they’re looking for. We talked in a previous blog post about making sure you nail your messaging before spending on demand-gen and this is one of the reasons why.

In addition to the message, ensuring it’s optimized for conversion will hopefully help to lower bounce rates. Make sure you have multiple opportunities to convert prospects into leads and in varying places in the buyer’s journey. As mentioned earlier, a prospect who is still trying to learn may be willing to give their information to download a compelling piece of content, but less likely to skip straight to a contact us form.

Remember, your website is one of your leading sales people. It’s the face of your business and it needs to meet prospects where they are.

Digital marketing is everything these days and the beauty of it is it’s really easy to test, pivot, and measure. If you’re struggling with conversions and bounce rates, ask yourself the above questions. Of course, we’re here to help too. We’d love to continue the conversation.

We’d love to connect!

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