Sometimes a campaign is just a pay-per-click (PPC) ad leading to a form. Other times, it is something much, much more sophisticated and adheres to a theme that runs across all of your marketing channels, with the underlying topic being consistent but the content being unique to each channel.
In the case of the latter, it takes a bit of work to line up everything for the conversion. The landing page has to be convincing to convert, sure, but all the steps before users reach the landing page need to prime users for the conversion. The visitors need to be ready to be converted by the time they get to the landing page - and that takes some work.
Kicking the tires - checking your analytics setup Something a lot of marketers miss before engaging in a big campaign is checking whether all data required to assess the campaign is ready to be captured. To avoid that mistake, marketers need to do the following, however busy the team is with the campaign:
+ Check that the marketing automation tag is firing, and that the scripts are ready for lead scoring - this is true for the main public website, and all the other digital touchpoints.
+ Double-check analytics tags, whether they're installed manually or via a tag management solution.
+ Check that leads can be isolated within the customer relationship management system.
A marketer's ability to run an optimized campaign depends on visibility. They need this part working seamlessly before even attempting to launch the campaign.
Setting up the paths - optimizing marketing automation processes For many parts of a campaign, the marketing automation setup is nearly as critical as the things that go within emails and on landing pages. Marketers need to make sure their system is tweaked specifically for the theme or campaign:
+ Lead scoring: marketers need to have scoring for hot and cold leads setup for the different touchpoints. Ideally, this will run through all environments for this campaign.
+ Contact optimization: before marketers can send emails to contacts at different stages of the cycle, they need to ensure as much of their contact database is tagged properly. This usually includes emails, names, geography and also the stage they are in the cycle (which prevents marketers from sending bottom-of-the-funnel contacts early stage campaign emails).
Priming the users - data-based email use When most people think of split tests and click-throughs, they usually think of the landing page. That's absolutely critical, but for some campaigns marketers can lose the battle before people ever get to the landing page. They need to have the discipline to use science before people ever get to their page:
+ Split testing email headlines: when marketers are sending emails to a significant number of people, they can use a subset to split test the headline before sending to the larger campaign group. So if a company has an email contact group of 25,000, they can use the first group of 2,500 to A/B test the headline, and send the winner to the 22,500 for better results.
+ Measure your click-through rates: delivered emails are nice, opened emails are great, but the data that marketers need to obsess over is the email click-through rate. That provides marketers a chance to convert their visitors down the line - and it should be the core key performance indicators (KPI) for emails.
Science isn't for the last phase of the conversion, it is for every part of the user journey.
Matching user intent - intelligent AdWords plays If PPC is a significant part of a campaign, there are a number of things marketers can do to make sure the ads feed into the landing page seamlessly:
+ Volume data used: before running their first ad, marketers need to use a tool (such as Google's Keyword Planner) to research keywords and phrases that match the stage of the cycle the users are in for a particular campaign.
+ Title and description match intent: the results of the keyword research should feed into the title of the ad, and marketers need to iterate against that until they have a viable Quality Score.
Some campaigns by nature are going to be more late-stage than others. Marketers need to be cognizant about exactly where users are in the buying cycle for the ad. That will help marketers get people to click on their ad, but perhaps more importantly, help those who click on the ad to stick around.
Closing the deal - perfecting the landing page setup In many ways, crafting high-converting landing pages is dependent on all the steps mentioned thus far. If the email that a company used to get people on the landing page offered something users do not find when they get to the site, they will leave regardless of how convincing the site is. If enterprises used early stage ads and lead people to late-stage content, it won't matter there is a clear call-to-action as people will still leave. That said, even if marketers played their cards right in the first few stages of the campaign, there are a few things that they can do to maximize success:
+ Ensure upstream continuity: the email that was sent or the ad that was used needs to match what's on the landing page pretty closely. If brands have a generic landing page that marketers use for a lot of emails and ads, the page will not convert well - advertisers need to keep the promises they make to users from other channels.
+ Test the page regularly: even if marketers already burned a part of their day split testing the emails they send out, they still need to leave some time for page testing. The science needs to be present under all their digital channels.
Getting Channels to Work Together Having several channels to optimize can be daunting, especially for smaller marketing teams. That said, if they check their tags before running campaigns, make the verbiage consistent between channels and keep using data on all the channels, a marketing team's multichannel campaigns will work together seamlessly, and they will not be leaving money on the table.
Martin Greif brings 25-plus years of sales and marketing experience to
SiteTuners where he is responsible for driving revenue growth, establishing and nurturing partner relationships and creating value for its broad customer base.