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The What, How, and WOW Factor of Effective Conversion

Today’s post comes courtesy of Arpine Babloyan, Sr. Manager of Online Demand Generation and Lead Management at Avid, where she manages a team of marketing automation and pipeline generation rock stars.  Prior to joining Avid, Arpine was a journalist in post-Soviet Russia, a telemarketer and inside sales team leader for a global telecom company. Arpine is grateful to her parents for a search engine-friendly name. Follow (and tweet to) Arpine on Twitter @Arpine.

As marketers, we talk and think about conversion every day. To move prospects progressively through your demand generation funnel, your activities must encourage a person to “convert” to that next phase. Sometimes, there are even multiple conversions within the same funnel stage. And if you are successful in driving conversions, ultimately, conversion after conversion, your prospects become paying customers, and later (hopefully) - raving fans.

The “What” of Conversion
One of the most important first steps in becoming conversion-focused is to understand and clearly define what conversions mean to you, in the context of a specific campaign or activity. A purchase would be the most obvious example, but before the purchase there could be an asset download, a website visit, a click, or even… nothing. Yes, nothing! How? I’ll get to this later.

But for now, it is important to remember: the right conversion metric is key to understanding your campaign’s success. If your campaign features a high-level promotional video to introduce your company to a wider audience, you can’t measure revenue or pipeline to decide whether your campaign is successful or not. Instead, you need to measure how many people watched the video – and then you can target this sub-group to convert them further. 

The “How” of Conversion
Once you have defined the “what” of your conversions, you need to understand how your customers can convert in your campaign. Do they need to click a button or fill out a form? This may seem simple. But then think about how easy it is to find a button they need to click on, and how complex the form is that they need to fill out. We’ve all seen it – the invisible buttons, the hidden-behind-eleven-scrolls-below-the-fold-links, the impossible to fill out forms. (My favorite form insisted on entering “a valid first name” – I guess “Arpine” was not in the referenced database). The conversion process should be as easy as possible.

Remember the “nothing” conversion? Have you ever been subscribed to a service where you receive a product or service every month, and to continue receiving the service you have to “do nothing”? It would take you an effort to cancel, but by converting once, and then doing nothing, you, believe it or not, continued to convert, month after month!

The “Wow” Factor of Conversion
You’ve thought about the mechanics of conversion, but have you ever thought about where the word “conversion” originated? It comes from the Latin verb “convertere”, which means “turned around”. This is the most important attribute of your conversion strategy and the WOW of it all. To make your customers convert, you need to change their minds.

Make them interested in that topic they have never heard about before. Entice them in liking your Facebook page they are seeing for the first time. Encourage them to purchase your product. You need to make sure that the content you are promoting and the way you are promoting it resonates with your audience.

Target the right people by segmenting your audience. Marketing automation allows slicing and dicing your data however you desire. You can understand your buyer’s behavior with great analytics, and try to replicate the behavior that indicates purchase. Make sure your message gets across. Use multiple channels to get through to the audience: emails, webinars, events, retargeting and automated nurture campaigns are just a few to mention here. And also – test, test, test. If you don’t know what behavior is best for conversion – there is always A/B testing that can help you figure it out.

In the modern marketing world, conversion is king – are you ready to conquer its kingdom?

The theory of conversion is one thing, but doing it well is another matter. Join the Twitter chat Friday the 25th of April at 4pm GMT/11am EDT. Tweet your questions @Arpine including the unique hashtag #Eloquestions

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