6 ways marketing automation can improve your website's conversion rate

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Are you frustrated by your website’s low conversion rate?
You’ve already optimized your sales copy, updated your design, and tested for usability.
No matter what you do, your conversion rate remains lower than your industry average, and you’ve got a sneaking suspicion your closest competitors are doing much better (judging by what they can afford to spend on Adwords).
What else can you do?

It’s likely your conversion rate has less to do with your website and more to do with everything that happens (or isn’t happening) after visitors leave.
Most visitors won’t purchase the first time they visit your site:

  • It’s difficult to convey all the value you provide in a single session
  • It takes time to form the strong relationship that precedes a major purchase
  • It’s easy to forget about a company you only made contact with once

Persuasive, personalized, and perfectly-timed automated follow-up, that makes use of today’s best marketing automation tools and techniques, can dramatically improve your conversion rate.
Here’s how…

Nurture leads with extremely targeted follow-up messages

It’s 2015 and social media dominates. Meanwhile, email marketing is quietly generating a 4,300% return for anyone smart enough to stay focused on it.
One of the reasons it’s so effective is that today’s top marketing automation tools allow you to deliver marketing that is customized to individual contacts… that’s something you can’t do with social media.
This type of personalization, which matches content and calls-to-action with contacts, can give your marketing a quick conversion boost:

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To create effective follow-up sequences that delivers personalized content you’ll want to gather data on:

The exact interests of each contact – Which product are they interested and why?
The contact’s stage in the buying process – Are they researching or ready to buy?

The stages of the buying process in detail
With just these two data points you can:

  • Deliver content appropriate to their current stage of the buying cycle and in line with their interests
  • Strategically move them to the next stage of the buying cycle
  • Use calls to action that mention the exact product they are interested in and why

One of my favorite ways to figure out what a contact is attracted to is to offer them a choice of free reports — each covering a particular benefit of a product. Based on what they choose to download, you can assume that is the benefit they are looking for, and tag them accordingly. This is bound to be an accurate reflection of their interests, and you didn’t have to bother them to fill out an additional form field.

Send perfectly-timed marketing triggered by behavior

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With Site Tracking ActiveCampaign is able to see what a contact does on your website so you can automatically respond to their behavior and adapt your marketing.
There are too many uses for this feature to list them all here, but one useful application is to automatically contact people who view an important page of your website, such as your pricing information (a solid indication they are interested and considering a purchase).
An email along these lines…
send this email on page view
… would help you gather insight on your prospects thought processes as they consider purchasing. You could use this information to improve your sales copy, create useful content for this stage of the buying cycle, or adjust your funnel in ways that address common concerns.
This email would help you improve conversions by getting contacts one-on-one assistance at the exact moment they are considering your solution.

Pass your best leads to sales… at the perfect time

Score leads by fit and behavior

Your sales team might be talented and well-trained but they can’t make up for poor quality leads that aren’t ready to make a purchasing decision.
With a good lead scoring system you can evaluate a contact’s fit and engagement and assign them a numerical value. When they cross a threshold score or perform certain interest-indicating behaviors you define, they can be tagged as sales-ready and and assigned to a salesperson for one-on-one attention.

Use interest tags to guide your content marketing

App development firm Codal makes extensive use of ActiveCampaign’s tagging feature to gain insight into the exact interests of their contacts.
By applying tags throughout their relationship with prospects, and then monitoring the number of contacts tagged with specific interests, they can get a feel for what topics they should focus their content on. Some of these tags are applied automatically when contacts submit forms on landing pages and some are applied manually as salespeople learn more about their interests during one-on-one discussions.
Using a “customer only” segment, they are able to see which topics are attracting contacts who go on to sign deals. This is an important distinction because content can create a lot of traffic, and even a lot of opt-ins, without necessarily leading to revenue.
If they notice an increasing number of contacts tagged as “non-profit” or “iBeacon”, they can create content around those topic to attract more of those leads. In this way, their content creation stays responsive to a particularly fast-changing industry.
Learn more about how Codal is using marketing automation to improve their sales and marketing processes in our case study.

Encourage word of mouth marketing and referrals

Leesa referral program tweets

The same marketing automation tools that help you convert leads into customers can help you turn customers into brand evangelists and raving fans.
Customer evangelism is free, it’s viral, and it’s the most persuasive marketing there is. A lead is many times more likely to convert if they come to you because of a recommendation.
Word of mouth marketing statistic
Online mattress retailer Leesa uses a referral program to encourage word of mouth marketing with great success (they just received another $9 million in funding).
You can’t do research on these direct to consumer mattresses, like Leesa and Casper, without encountering multiple recommendations with a referral link pasted in. Part of their success is they incentive two ways — the customer get a discount for using the link and the referrer gets a reward when someone buys through their link. This is smart because it makes the referral program work better for the promoters motivatin

The foundation of word of mouth marketing is customer satisfaction and, assuming your product/service is the best it can be, one of the easiest ways to increase customer satisfaction is with excellent customer service and support.
After someone becomes a customer, you can drop them into an automation designed specifically to increase satisfaction by delivering value-added resources, unexpected bonuses, introducing them to customer support channels, and periodically checking in to make sure everything is okay.
That way when you introduce them to your referral program, they’ll be receptive to the idea of recommending you because they’ve seen firsthand how your company goes out of its way to make sure customers are happy with their purchase, proactively resolves issues, stand behind your products, and you’re there to help them should they need anything.

Upsell and cross sell for repeat sales

By introducing existing customers to other related products they may be interested in based on their purchase, you can increase your order frequency.
Amazon famously uses these “If you like this, you’ll also like this…” offers with great results. In 2006, Mr. Bezos himself revealed that over 35% of their sales come from cross-sells!
Quite a few services are popping up to help you leverage customer history to display personalized offers but you don’t need anything beyond marketing automation to implement the same style offers.
For instance, to include offers for similar products in an email receipt you could use conditional content to display certain products on the basis of the product tags the customer has.

This post is the first in a series of posts on solving specific business problems with marketing automation. Stay tuned for the next post covering how to use marketing automation to increase the responsiveness of your email list.

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