Live from OMS: Maximize Conversions and Revenue
Posted live from the Online Marketing Summit at the Online Marketing for Marketers blog
Now I’m in the Advanced session, which is [not surprisingly] full considering today’s audience of savvy marketers.
Olivier Chaine, CEO of Magnify360 is waxing poetic about the money pit that websites can be; why Google is often a big waste of money that’s used by misinformed marketers (particularly if its their only strategy); and why people continue to pump money into their websites without increasing conversion rates.
Here are some highlights…
- 97.7 percent of people coming to your site are not satisfied. This is not your site, per se, this is an industry-wide problem.
- Call-to-actions: Take Sprint’s site. What does someone who wants to buy a cellphone see? Olivier notes, “Wow, what a beautiful two-minute flash movie you have here. That’s nice and all, but what do I do if I just want to buy a cellphone? There needs to be a ‘buy’ call-to-action.”
- Conversion: He’s now showing a cookie site (don’t know what brand). Olivier points out that its strategy is based around making people hungry, but notes that catering to a consumer’s present hunger on a website is the wrong approach. (Seems obvious, right?) The consumer knows it’s going to be four or five days for delivery, so that’s not how you’re going to convert them into a customer. The company should showcase satisfied customers who boast the ease of working with the company or other qualities that are more likely to appeal to the end user. Remember: websites are different from physical stores.
- Showcase products against user personality, intent, and usability. For instance, if you’re offering a deal, do the math for the consumer. For instance, instead of “20% off,” do what Amazon does: “Was $27.99; now $23.99; You save $4.00.” Also, don’t force people to fill out unnecessary information on forms. Do you really need the visitor’s fax number and street address? Really? Finally, don’t confuse the consumer with a bunch of unrelated call-to-actions that don’t cater to getting the intended behavior. Google has one box on their site; no wonder they’re so successful. Capiche?
- Keyword-based headlines. Want a free 17% lift in traffic? Get your keywords in your headline.
- Segment, segment, segment! Do not attempt one-size fits all optimization (or one-size fits all anything for that matter). Instead of putting 15 bullets on one page in order to cover all the bases, segment your bullets into different pages based on the different audiences you’re trying to reach. Fill those pages with your keywords, develop link strategies so that certain keyword searches lead visitors to the page that will best help them…and quickly.
- Ah, good old personality disorders and how they affect testing and strategy. Basically, we’re all more than just “clicks,” and therefore traditional testing methodologies don’t work. People all have different stressors; we think differently, talk differently and have different experiences. Some people are competitive, methodical, insecure, neurotic, etc. These people are all having different experiences even if they’re doing the same thing on your site.
- Then there’s demographics: if you were to open shops in NYC and San Diego, they’d have to be completely different. Same thing with websites. This goes back to segmenting your audiences and speaking directly to the needs of each one. And not just speaking to them differently; addressing each of their different needs.
- Some characteristics are more important than others: Knowing whether someone’s tactile, for instance, is often more important than knowing whether they’re a boy or a girl, or where they live. This stems back to direct mail methods and figuring out exactly how people will physically interact with your site.
- Developing Personas: This is ultimately what this is all about. Before you segment your audience, you have to figure out the different personas it’s composed of. Are they looking for a discount? Are they looking for fun? Are they looking for…? How do they buy? Are they impulsive? Do they have to talk to their boss?
- And don’t forget browser types. Do I even have to elaborate here? Remember that visitors’ experiences are often different depending on their browser.
Imagine the consumer walked into your store and said, “Hi, I’m Olivier.” Would you throw your catalogue and tell them to let you know when they’re ready? Nope. You’d ask them questions about what kind of lawnmower they’re buying, what their needs are, how they’ll be using it, etc. So, why would your website be any different?
A lot of marketers come from traditional sales and are used to a certain type of interaction with customers. Sales methods are shifting right along with marketing, though. Whereas once you just had to make the sale and then let the experts deal with the experience, now sales people are required to be the experts as well. Traditional sales and marketing have been abandoned in favor of offering an experience and knowing more than the next guy about everything the consumer needs and how they need it.
Bottom line: Talk in terms your customer will respond to.