Want to get better results from your current marketing efforts? (Who doesn’t?) Maybe we can help.
I’d like to share 5 basic Conversion Marketing Best Practices that you can incorporate into your marketing tactics immediately – without increasing your marketing spend.
#1: Let Data Drive Decisions
A study by the Data & Marketing Association – the industry’s most respected direct marketing organization – found that three out of four advertising agencies don’t use data to make important marketing decisions.* It’s not just agencies that are struggling: in a 2017survey, seven out of ten CMOs admitted that 70% of the projects undertaken by their departments don’t utilize data to make key strategic decisions. **
Take a look at your own customer database. Identify the demographic, psychographic and geographic factors that unite your best customers, then use that data to target prospects who look like those customers. Review engagement data – clicks, visits, bounce rates, likes and shares – to get a picture of how prospects interact with your brand. Finally, take a close look at transactional data and see if you can attribute bottom-line results to specific marketing tactics.
Chances are, your head is spinning right now. Start small: build a profile of your current customers and try to target prospects who look like them. Chances are, you’ll see a big lift in marketing performance.
#2: Build a Messaging Architecture
Let’s start with what a Messaging Architecture is not. It’s not a mission statement. It’s not a set of brand values. It’s not the sort of adspeak so common – and entirely unconvincing – in today’s marketing messages.
A Messaging Architecture is a series of statements designed to create a truly actionable argument for your product or service. It’s a dialogue between the consumer and the brand, and, as it should be, the consumer has the first word.
And the first word is a rejection: I will not purchase your product or service.
Next the architecture spells out all the reasons why a consumer would choose not to buy from you. This can be a painful process: It demands that you take a frank, honest look at your company. The goal is to identify all of your shortcomings (real or imagined) in the eyes of the consumer. Ouch.
Once you feel you have a comprehensive list of objections, you can begin to craft answers. Remember, you’re not writing ad copy. You’re having a one-to-one conversation with a prospect who needs to be convinced.
Most important of all: don’t tackle this alone. Bring in others from your organization to provide fresh perspectives. Openly discuss objections, and work together to craft honest, effective answers. Your message will be stronger for it.
#3: Challenge Your Assumptions
Assumptions can be the death of a marketing campaign. In our experience, the #1 cause of poor campaign performance is guesswork. Do you really know what you think you know?
Start making a habit of challenging every assumption. If you have any doubt, test. Start small: conduct a simple A/B test by changing one element of your current campaign. It could be as simple as variable messaging on a direct mail piece, or an alternative image on a paid social ad. The cost is negligible, and what you learn could be extremely valuable.
As you begin to see the value of testing, you’ll want to implement a highly-disciplined, comprehensive testing strategy encompassing audience, offer, message, tactic, creative and channel tests. It’s not as daunting as it sounds. And the rewards will be well worth the time invested.
#4: Craft a Strong Call-to-Action
We see it all too often: a marketer invests time, money and sweat equity to craft a compelling message, and then wastes the opportunity by failing to ask the prospect to act.After all the ultimate goal of marketing is to generate an action that leads to a conversion. A good call-to-action answers the question: what do I want the prospect to do after reading or viewing my message? Pick up the phone? Visit my website? Drop by the store?
It’s critical that you keep your call-to-action clear, concise and direct. Don’t give the prospect too many options for responding – it can dramatically reduce response rates. At the same time, make sure that you understand how the prospect prefers to respond, and create your call-to-action accordingly.
#5: Use Real Business Metrics to Measure Success
What metrics are you going to use to determine whether or not your campaign is a success? Think carefully: your answer will impact every one of the best practices listed above. Use metrics that can be tied to real business goals: qualified leads, conversions, sales, cost per acquisition, Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) and Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI).
Once you identify your success metrics, draw a line in the sand. Set a measurable goal and hold your campaign accountable for meeting that goal. In short order, you’ll create a culture of accountability throughout your entire marketing team – a culture that will lead to improved performance.
Begin implementing these 5 Conversion Marketing Best Practices today, and you’ll see better marketing results in no time.
*2017 Data & Marketing Association study
**2017 RSW Agency Search New Year Outlook Survey