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2 Vital Questions Every Marketer Should Ask of Lead Gen Forms

July 17th, 2014 1 comment

We’ve all seen them.

Web forms that ask for an exhaustive amount of information in exchange for a paltry white paper – or worse, a static thank-you note that lets someone know Sales will soon start their phone and inbox bombing runs.

But is this truly the best we can do to serve prospects effectively through a balanced exchange of value?

I think not. In a world where Web 2.0 is here, mobile is soon to be the new desktop and content is king, lead generation must do a better job of offering value for a prospect’s information.

In this MarketingExperiments Blog post, we’ll look at the two most important questions every marketer should ask about their Web forms to help refine the lead generation process.

 

Question#1. Does our form only collect the information that is really, really needed?

Assessing the importance of the information your form collects is one of the best places to start.

Far too often, older forms are part of legacy marketing practices, or even worse, I would argue, are new forms with inadequate strategy planned around them.

However, no matter where your form falls in terms of strategy, here are two important questions you should ask about your Web forms:

  • What information do you absolutely need to collect in the form?
  • What additional information would be nice to have?

This will help your team identify which fields can be trimmed so that you’re only asking for information that is highly targeted and relevant to your sales process.

Also, don’t forget to build a review process for your forms that give them a health checkup at fixed intervals. It could be six months, a year, maybe even two – so as long as you dedicate time to assess a form’s effectiveness and performance in meeting business goals.

 

Question#2. How can I increase the perceived value of every field in my form? 

web-forms-value

 

I love the illustration above because it really drives this point home. This is truly how most prospects see form fields.

It is how I see them.

It’s probably how you see them, too.

It’s also how you should mercilessly look at your own form fields when assessing the value they are delivering to prospects in exchange for the desired information.

Consequently, if the value of what you’re offering is not perceived as being worth more than the information you want from prospects, then why should they give it to you?

Read more…

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Lead Generation: Customers are looking for a solution to their problems

April 17th, 2014 No comments

At MarketingSherpa Lead Gen Summit 2013, Jon Ciampi, Vice President of Marketing, Corporate Development, Business and Strategic Accounts, CRC Health, recounted his challenges with PPC ads and how using A/B split testing helped him better understand his customers and use his marketing budget more effectively.

Jon and the team went through the arduous process of purging a majority of the 3,000 keywords the company was bidding on in an effort to optimize the PPC campaign for one of its rehab facilities.

“[Customers] are not looking for a value proposition,” he said.

Rather, he continued, they were looking for a solution to a very real problem – alcoholism, drug addiction or eating disorder rehabilitation. When the tests were analyzed, he saw that customers weren’t searching using the words that the company used. For example, customers might use the word “clinic” instead of “facility.”

The first step in this process was getting the customer and the company to speak the same language. Customers were not clicking through to the value proposition – Jon knew that the conversation had to change.

 

Although CRC Health had something very valuable to offer, Jon realized that he couldn’t “change the conversation” from what motivated customers to the value proposition “until [he started] the conversation” with customers by using their motivations.

Jon found the most effective way to start this conversation was to group keywords together. Rather than bidding on high-traffic words like “rehab,” – a very competitive and highly trafficked word – the team tied several words together, such as “methamphetamine rehabilitation facility” to find the highly motivated customers. This separated real leads from the users trying to find out which celebrities checked into rehab that week.

“The value proposition isn’t the motivation of the buyer, the motivation of the buyer is actually driving their decision,” Jon explained.

In order to get customers into the sales funnel from a search, he first had to address why and what the customer was searching for. Using PPC ads, he could assess, test and optimize his campaigns to discover and understand his customers in a low-pressure environment.

See his entire presentation from Lead Gen Summit 2013 in the MarketingSherpa Video Archive.

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Web Optimization: Simple CTA change increases conversion 77%

March 20th, 2014 5 comments

Small changes can make a big difference in the user experience.

In today’s MarketingExperiments Blog post, I want to dive right into one of those small changes shared by James Coulter, Marketing Optimization Specialist, Sophos, during his presentation at Optimization Summit 2013.

After receiving some brutal user feedback, James realized that optimizing the user experience was vital to the organization’s success.

James’ strategy to improve the experience was simple: Start with small changes and test your way into a big impact.

Let’s take a look at some of the research notes and get a little background information on the test.

Background: Sophos, a provider of IT security solutions for businesses.

Objective: To increase leads from quote requests.

Primary Research Question: Which CTA copy will result in the most leads?

Approach: A/B split test

 

Control

sophos-cta-control

In the control, James’ team identified the “Request a quote” call-to-action copy as a point of potential friction in their lead generation process.

 

Treatment  

sophos-cta-treatment

The team hypothesized that changing the copy in the call-to-action to “Request pricing” would increase conversion based on user feedback.

Read more…

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Lead Generation: Capturing more leads with clear value prop communication

October 3rd, 2013 1 comment

According to the MarketingSherpa 2012 Lead Generation Benchmark Report, 51% of marketers surveyed indicated the most effective platform for testing their value proposition was through email marketing campaigns.

This is no secret to savvy marketers. Austin McCraw, Senior Editorial Analyst, MECLABS, also discussed how to discover the essence of your value prop through email at Email Summit 2013.

Jon Ciampi, Vice President of Marketing, CRC Health, did just that and revealed his strategy at Lead Gen Summit 2013, happening right now in San Francisco.

In his session, “Lead Capture: How a healthcare company increased demand for services 300%,” Jon shared with the Summit audience how understanding customer motivations, driving traffic, and clearly communicating the value proposition all helped his company capture a higher quality of leads.

At CRC Health, Jon developed nine value propositions, and broke that list down into problem- and solution-focused messages. He combined the company’s in-house list with a purchased list consisting of psychiatrists and therapists who refer their patients to CRC Health. Then, the team crafted email subject lines reflecting the different value propositions to test where the customer was in regard to researching the problem, or looking for a solution.

Through testing, Jon discovered a 14.49% clickthrough rate in the top-performing subject line, and this was problem-focused messaging rather than solution-focused messaging. For CRC Health, the process of searching for a rehabilitation center is most likely a first-time experience for customers. Therefore, understanding that these prospects are looking for different options related to their problem, rather than immediately solving the issue, was extremely important to targeting their needs. 

 

“What we found is with rehab, everyone is focused on the problem. With our in-house list, patient-focused messages were more motivating and increased clickthrough rates,” Jon said.

Even though he made a breakthrough with testing value propositions through email, he did encounter the fact that one size does not fit all, particularly with his audience, and even more specifically with a purchased list.

For psychiatrists opening CRC Health sends, their top message for open and CTR was scientific-based. The subject lines and topics that most resonated with this segment were “improving addiction treatment with science and research,” “outdated addiction treatments fail patients,” and “CRC Health as the strongest clinical supervision in the nation.”

However, the audience that preferred more relationship-based messages was therapists. Messages like “Treatment fails when therapists & clients aren’t aligned,” and “Most rehabs can’t provide effective clinical supervision” were the top performers for this segment of CRC Health’s audience.

“Overall, self-serving messages performed far worse than patient-focused messages. Patient-oriented problem statements motivated them as well,” Jon said.

Through value prop testing with his audience via email messaging, Jon learned much more about his audience and their motivations.

As an exciting result of value proposition testing, he discovered a 3x to 4x increase in demand for services. According to Jon, when testing began, both inquiries and admissions increased.

“One of the top things I learned is to look at funnel. What are the motivations of your customers? … Also, understand their language. Different buyers with different perspectives will affect how your messages are interpreted,” Jon concluded.

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Lead Gen: The 3 pillars of lead generation

September 26th, 2013 No comments

Most marketers of the world can be broken down into two groups – lead generation marketers or e-commerce marketers (and perhaps, Beatles or Elvis fans).

While in the worlds of A/B testing and optimization, sometimes the focus seems to be on e-commerce, lead gen marketers can utilize these techniques to learn about their customers and improve their marketing performance, as well.

But, the lead gen marketer interested in conversion rate optimization can have a bigger challenge than the e-commerce marketer since they are dealing with a complex sale and, usually, many more moving parts.

Next week, the MarketingExperiments team will be heading out to San Francisco for MarketingSherpa Lead Gen Summit 2013 (both MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa are owned by MECLABS).

We’ll be interviewing brand-side marketers about A/B testing and landing page optimization, along with many other lead gen related topics. We’ve aligned the Summit around the three pillars of lead gen, and I’ve included some further reading about these pillars in this post to help marketers interested in discovering more about their customers through testing understand all of the factors at play.

Plus, for those marketers joining us in San Francisco, I hope this serves as a good background prep so you’re ready to dive into the content on day one.

 

 

Capture

This is the main focus of many lead gen marketers. Capture as many leads as possible. Here are some related resources to get you thinking about ways you can improve, test and perhaps radically change your process:

 

Lead Generation Optimization: How Expedia CruiseShipCenters’ increased previous customer conversions 22% by removing its lead capture form

Lead Generation Optimization: Two simple changes increase lead rate 166%

Landing Page Optimization: Test ideas for a B2B lead capture page

 

Qualify

While lead capture is undeniably the focus for many lead gen marketers, and will be a major element of Lead Gen Summit 2013, it is also important to understand not all leads should be sent directly to Sales.

By determining which leads are ready to go directly to Sales, and which need to be nurtured (more on that in a bit), you can optimize not just your lead capture forms, but your entire lead gen process. Here is some further research on lead qualification:

Universal Lead Definition: Why 61% of B2B marketers are wasting resources and how they can stop

A Proven Playbook for Growing Your Leads

B2B Marketing: How to auto-qualify new leads without a CRM or lead scoring

 

Nurture

There are often many steps an individual and an organization needs to go through from initial interest in a product to the purchase.

Those steps usually involve questions like:

  • How can my organization use this software platform to be effective?
  • Why should I trust this company with my business?
  • How much do these products cost?
  • Will I be successful in implementing them?

Lead nurturing content can help you nurture the leads you’ve captured until they qualify to talk to a sales representative. Below is some further reading to learn more about nurturing:

Lead Nurturing – Ripening the Right Bananas

The difference between lead nurturing and lead generation explained in two minutes

Marketing Research Chart: Messaging tactics for effective lead nurturing

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Lead Generation Optimization: Two simple changes increase lead rate 166%

June 3rd, 2013 9 comments

One of the most effective ways to increase conversion is by decreasing the amount of perceived resistance and aggravation your prospects experience in your lead capture process – or in short, dialing down the levels of friction.

In today’s MarketingExperiments blog post, we’re going to get our hands a little dirty by diving into some evidence-based marketing to learn how the MECLABS research team made two simple changes to a lead capture process that increased lead rates 166%.

 

What is friction?

Before we get started, let’s get clear on what friction is exactly.

At MarketingExperiments, friction is defined as “a psychological resistance to a given element in a sales or sign-up process.” In other words, it’s a psychological element present in your marketing that prevents prospects from acting on your offer.

It’s also important to mention here that your goal is not to eliminate all friction. Anytime you ask for information, there is going to be at least some amount friction present. Instead, you want test and optimize your way into identifying and mitigating as much friction in your lead capture process as possible.

Now let’s take a look at the research notes for a little background …

Background: A luxury home builder seeking to sell homes to families with a higher-than-average income level

Goal: To increase the number of leads

Primary Research Question: Which color scheme will result in a higher conversion rate?

Approach: A/B multifactor split test

 

Control 

 

The control featured a two-step lead capture process that started with a “request more information” call-to-action that redirected prospects to a second form field page requiring users to provide their first and last name and email address into the form fields.

 

Treatment

 

For the treatment, the team removed the second step completely, changed the form field layout to appear fewer in number, made providing information optional for users and removed the questions and comments field.

Read more…

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