Campaign Consistency: Avoiding the Conversion Hall of Shame

By Sarah Etter

July 27, 2012

“The number one driver of conversion is matching your visitors’ intent when they get to your website,” says Tim Ash, CEO of website optimization consulting service SiteTuners. “Your job is to make the connection between the audience and the offer, and avoid possible disconnects between your visitors’ intention and the experience you’re presenting them with.”

And that comes down to making sure the offer your visitor clicks on is echoed throughout your website, landing page, and even checkout.

During Wednesday’s ClickZ webinar, “Inbound Marketing Consistency: Maintaining the Scent Trail,” Ash teamed up with Nathan Richter, Monetate’s Strategic Services Director, to take an in-depth look at maintaining message consistency across channels to drive conversions.

One of the highlights of the webinar was Ash’s Conversion Hall of Shame, which featured a list of inconsistent multichannel campaigns and how they were failing to live up to visitor expectations.

Want to make sure your campaigns resonate with visitors and end up in the Conversion Hall of Fame? Then follow Ash’s steps:

Land visitors on a campaign-specific page.

Let’s say there’s a banner ad offering a free demo and 10% off of a specific service. Once you click the ad, you land on the company’s homepage. But what was your expectation? A free demo and a 10% discount that isn’t mentioned anywhere on the homepage. This is a perfect example of building a visitor’s expectation through an ad, but then letting them down once they click-through. Dumping campaign-specific traffic onto a homepage is a conversion killer. Send that traffic to a dedicated landing page or section of your website that reflects your offer, every time.

Show the right price or lose their trust.

One mistake that pops up all too often: Prices or offers aren’t echoed properly throughout the channel and landing page. Think of a paid search ad offering a service for $10 per month. The visitor clicks on the ad, and is taken to a landing page that offers the service for $9 a month. Ash points out that even though the price is lower, the switch in the offer reduces the amount of trust a visitor has for the campaign and the company, lowering the chance of conversion

Don’t bait and switch.

Let’s say an ad offers 30% off all suits on an apparel website. However, once the visitor clicks the ad, they’re taken to the website’s suits section. In the product grid, certain suits are 20% off, while others are still full price. There’s a disconnect in messaging, since the offer that brought the visitor to the page is only found on some of the products. That inconsistency is enough to turn off most visitors, as is making them work to find the advertised deal. So build specific landing pages with products that qualify for the offers your visitors are looking for if you want to increase conversions.

Have a specific call-to-action.

An ad that says “Learn more now!” isn’t specific enough to drive interest or revenue. There must be a purpose and a clear call to action to your upstream messaging and landing page. Tell visitors what you’re offering, what you want them to do, and then echo that message and offer throughout the channel, landing page, and entire website experience.

Don’t make them work hard.

Let’s say you’re running an email campaign that offers 20% off of certain products in a category. Visitors who click through land on the category page, where there’s no mention of the 20%, or any steps about how to activate the offer. The result: It looks like the offer that brought them to your website has disappeared. Best bet: Implement banners that echo the 20%-off deal throughout the website experience, and automatically apply coupon codes for traffic that enter your sales funnel through that channel. Making it easy to cash in on your offers makes visitors more likely to complete the conversion.

For more best practices on achieving cross-channel consistency, catch the full webinar.

Sarah Etter is the former the senior editor at Monetate. Before joining Monetate, she was a writer for various online and print publications, and served as the associate editor of The Internet & Marketing Report newsletter. Sarah also loves fiction writing and ice hockey... yes, ice hockey.

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