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1 5 Facets of Superior $ 1

2 How do you attain a conversion rate that is 9X the industry average? Here s some insight: 9x 9x industry average: That s what your return could be with true conversion-focused . Superior conversion is a consequence of a variety of tactics, strategies, optimizations and a never-settle attitude that push your campaigns higher and higher. It involves learning about your database, developing a unique plan around it, and setting up a custom experience for your visitors. Industry Average Here are 5 time-tested facets to superior conversion: Facet #1: Continuity From the moment subscribers see your subject line in their inbox to after they convert, they should be nurtured and cultivated. One Seamless Experience from Subject Line to Thank-You Page Continuity can mean different things in different circumstances, but its meaning in marketing is very clear: To generate the most long-term revenue from campaigns, you need to provide a seamless experience from the moment your visitor views your subject line to the completion of a desired action on a thank-you page. Subject Line First Touch Introduce Message Message Landing Page Thank You Page Repeat or Establish Branding Reinforce Message Establish Basic Functionality Continue Branding Reinforce Message Continue Functionality Clearly Define Call to Action Continue Branding Confirm Action Introduce Add l Touchpoints Engage in Social New Touch Points Continue Branding Foster Engagement The most important piece of the experience is the message. Your message needs to be clear, concise and consistent throughout each step of the conversion process. If your message is lost along the way, your chances of conversion success decrease dramatically. A good test for this is to show someone your landing page (for example) for two seconds, and then take it away: Is this person able to tell you what the main message of it was? If not, you need to rethink the way your call-to-action (CTA) is coming across. 2

3 Supplemental pieces that contribute to a cohesive experience are seemingly more obvious, but still overlooked time and time again. Creative: Look & feel, layout and branding all need to be consistent and instill confidence in your visitor that your site is legit. Functionality: Keep it simple, intuitive and when possible carry the same experience from your main site onto your landing pages, i.e. the way your nav works and forms validate should be retained to capitalize on familiarity already created by your main site. Intangibles: Things like domain name, title tags and footer content can also effect the perception of your campaign. For example, if your visitor is expecting to be taken to but ends up on instead, the experience is jarring. Visitors, especially the savvy ones, will notice. Facet #2: Template Design & Functionality Make a Good First Impression The tried-and-true capital F format is still optimal for layout. Having an opening CTA across the top, a left column of offers and buttons, and the main body of the message in the center/right side of the template has been proven. Most importantly of those, the main calls to action will perform better if they re on the left side of your template. F The F layout worked well on a desktop, and with increasingly more people taking to mobile devices, the need to prioritize space is even more important now. The vertical swiping motion of phones especially will naturally take users down the left side: Some may never even see the right half of your message, let alone interact with it. Two other conversion essentials are: 1. Use HTML text whenever possible, which will reduce download time and not force your recipient to actively enable images to view your content. 2. Use HTML-based buttons. They employ the same principles, but will produce an even greater return on your investment since the CTAs will always be visible regardless of image-blocking (another reason to put your CTA buttons in the top left of your template, right?). 3

4 Speaking of mobile, some of you might have significant mobile readership and reasonably be wondering, What about a responsive template? Responsive means the code automatically adjusts the layout of the message to the width of the device you re using, so you re not limited to a one-size-fits-all template. For techies, this is pretty cool and certainly provides a better user experience on a mobile device... when it works (guilty: Gmail). As of the time of this writing, support is still limited, although it is gaining traction. The question right now, as with any marketing initiative, is What s the return? Responsive design represents a significant increase in sophistication, development, quality assurance, and maintenance, and depending on the database, the bump in click-throughs may or may not justify the extra effort. Facet #3: Landing Page Design & Functionality Continue the Good Vibes You Just Earned from Your Upon arrival to the landing page, your now-intrigued visitors should immediately be greeted with clear direction. As mentioned above, they should know exactly what they need to do to get what they want within seconds. Like an template, elements requiring an action on their part tend to perform better on the left side of the page, although on a landing page there is slightly more leeway. Different from an template, however, a landing page can offer the full web experience. Whereas providers don t allow many of the features that define the web, a landing Adding a mobile version can increase conversion rate by 20-30% for mobile traffic. page can employ elements like videos, JavaScript (including jquery and other frameworks that account for a lot of the slickness of websites these days), hover states, and many other forms of interaction. Videos can help sell a product. A jquery validator can help guide a user through a form more smoothly. Navigating microsites is simple and intuitive with CSS or a touch of JavaScript. Another increasingly important conversion aspect of is mobile traffic. While a responsive design might not yet be widely accepted across providers, there is no such limitation once you re on the landing page. Fathom s own testing has found that adding a mobile version of a landing page or microsite can increase the conversion rate of that page by 20-30% for mobile traffic. If your database is mobile, this could mean sizable recurring ROI for your campaigns. 4

5 Facet #4: Macro- vs. Micro-Conversions Just Because They Didn t Convert Now Doesn t Mean They Won t Ever You re not going to convert 100% of your visitors the first time: To think otherwise is unrealistic. But that doesn t mean those visitors weren t interested; they just weren t interested at that moment. One surefire way to get your visitors to unsubscribe to your campaigns is to blast the same irrelevant message over and over. Repeated misses are annoying and may tarnish an otherwise good lead that will now be difficult to regain. One way to increase the odds of reaching the right person at the right time with the right message is by using predictive analytics and lead-scoring. If your customers have a long sales cycle, they may not be ready to commit 6 months into a campaign. While you can still provide the option to commit (the macro conversion), the main focus of your message should be brand awareness: Reading your blog or interacting with your company through a social avenue (the micro conversion). In this case, maintaining contact and keeping at the forefront of your customers minds will greatly increase the chance of their converting down the road. This strategy applies to not only the template, but the landing page as well. If someone is not ready to convert, don t force the issue. Give other ways to connect with minimal commitment, but much to gain in the form of information or other engaging/helpful content. Facet #5: The Importance of Thank-You Pages Post-Conversion: Is the job over? KTHXBYE! Hardly. There s nothing worse than filling out a form or shopping cart to have the next page only say Thanks. At this point, this is the most engaged your customer will be. Do: Show them how to get back into their account if they just bought something. Thank You Page Offer interesting content such as a video of the product, or ways to get more information on how to use it once they receive it. Engage them in social media, but don t just say Follow Us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook like so many do. Tell them why someone would follow or like 5

6 Don t: you. What can someone expect to see? What benefits are there: Coupons? Industry tips? Announcements? Offer contact information and reassure them that a confirmation will be sent shortly with all order information and status updates as they come. If they didn t come from an campaign, this is a good time to ask them to join. But once again, don t simply say Join and expect a huge response include a compelling why to boost the conversion rate. Change the look and feel of the site drastically or redirect to a new domain. Careless changes are disruptive and will breed confusion and contempt. Give people things they don t want. Amazon may be able to get away with suggesting more items to buy, but chances are the person who just completed a purchase isn t likely to buy another item immediately. The thank-you page should be treated as the most immediate opportunity to keep a user involved. Don t overlook its potential: You don t want a paying customer to leave without feeling fully engaged. The thank-you page presents the perfect opportunity to finish up strong. Conversion: The Bottom => When all the different factors that influence conversion are considered in campaigns, senders get the greatest return. Increased engagement, repeat visits, and multiple purchases over the long term all become more likely if campaigns are conceived and designed with a broad perspective on conversion. Creating newsletters is easy; maximizing revenue per send takes more skill and attention to detail. From initial inbox deliverability to the final conversion, tailoring the entire experience to give subscribers what s most appropriate for their individual circumstances brings greater returns. Greater returns equals more revenue per marketing dollar. Since the only way to directly generate revenue through is by creating the clearest and most relevant paths to conversion, emphasizing care for the customer journey at each step ensures the greatest possible profit from your database. $ 6

7 About the Author Chris Nichols Chris is Fathom s Director of Template and Landing Page Conversion. After graduating from Baldwin-Wallace College as a Marketing Major, Chris has worked at Fathom for over 6 years as a project manager, lead designer and now his Director role. He has made significant gains in conversion optimization through rigorous testing of usability and design for a variety of clients from smaller local businesses, to our largest enterprise clients. Chris specializes in conversion-driven landing pages, microsites, display ads, templates and mobile websites. About Fathom We believe that all investments in marketing and advertising should be held highly accountable. Fathom is a full-service digital marketing and analytics firm that delivers profitable revenue for its clients across multiple digital touch points. Our results-oriented approach aligns well with mid-cap and large enterprises alike. Our proven track record of success across multiple industries including manufacturing, technology, education, healthcare and sports allows us to back up our promise to deliver results that matter. Companies that want simple answers to the digital world s complex marketing questions choose Fathom for the assurance that the return on their advertising budgets will be highly profitable. Hours: 8:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m. ET, M-F Tel: Simple. Accountable. Results that matter. 7

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