by Rogers Brian
Website marketing is undergoing an evolution, just as it did several years ago when marketers realized the benefits of creating and promoting valuable content. The advent of inbound marketing saw websites move from digital brochures to content producing machines. This opened the top of the funnel, enabling marketers to draw in more and more traffic. However, strategies for converting this newfound traffic haven’t really changed, and this is where the next evolution, real-time marketing, is going change the game.
To understand how real-time marketing will increase conversions, first you need to realize your website is not just a marketing tool, but also a sales person. Its job is to engage, educate, and convince traffic to convert. A good sales person will learn about the visitor, and based on what they learn, help that visitor find the product or service that’s right for them. Most websites don't do this today. Instead they try to immediately convert visitors by throwing offer after offer at them in hopes that something grabs their attention. Imagine a sales rep taking this same approach. The conversation would go something like this:
Prospect: "Hello, my name is Bobby and I heard that Evergage can personalize my site, can you help me?"
Sales Rep: "Hi Bobby! It's a pleasure to meet you. Yes Evergage is the leader in website personalization, enabling you to promote the right actions to the right people at the right time. Would you like to give me your credit card so we can get you set up right now?"
Prospect: "Whoa, I don't even know much about you yet! Tell me how you can promote the right actions?"
Sales Rep: "Of course! We monitor what people do on your site and then you can segment users based on their behavior and deliver the right content, in real-time! Its really amazing stuff. If you don't want to use a credit card, please know we also accept invoices. Do you have a purchase order number I can write down and then fax the invoice to you?"
As you can imagine, the prospect would pretty quickly get tired of the conversation and move on. So, if you wouldn't treat a prospect like that on the phone, why would you treat them like that on the website? Instead, you should learn about them, educate them on how you can help them (based on what you learned about them), and during this digital conversation get them to become a lead. You personalize everyone’s experience, in real-time, based on who they are. This is real-time marketing.
Now that you know what real-time marketing is, let’s dive a little deeper into exactly how this digital conversation takes place. Obviously your website can’t literally talk with your visitors like a sales rep, but what it can do is listen to what the visitor is ‘saying’ by looking at their behavior. What web pages do they visit? What blog articles do they read? What features or services do they deep dive into? From the very first click on the site, you’re learning about your visitor and can now personalize their experience.
It is for this reason that we consider the visitor’s first click the real first conversion on your website. For example, if you visit www.evergage.com, you’ll notice right at the top of the homepage there are 2 ways for you to drill into the site and at the same identify what you’re interested (click the link to see it in real-time). If you select one of those options we immediately know which profile you fall into. Now, as you browse around the site that information can be used to personalize your experience.
What this does is change the top of your funnel. In a traditional marketing model, you’ll look at how much traffic you have and then how many leads you get, often times leading to a funnel that looks like:
You have a pretty big drop off from traffic to lead (and ask yourself this, what is your visit-to-lead conversion? 5%? 10% if you’re really lucky?). With real-time marketing, you can stop this attrition and turn your top of the funnel into:
Getting a visitor to click something on your site has a much lower barrier to entry than getting them to fill out a form and become a lead, so your conversion from visit to click will be high. As we’ve mentioned above, now that you have the click and you know something about the visitor, you can begin personalizing their experience. Because they’ve just taken one click, you might start with minor personalization, such as changing sub headers to make them more relevant, or calling out specific features you know are relevant to them. As you start to personalize their experience, the visitor will get engaged with your site (the next step in the funnel) and continue to dive deeper. As they drill into your site, you can learn more about them and continue to message them and personalize their experience further, showing them exactly how you can help them based on what you know. Just like a sales rep, you’re learning their pain points and then educating the visitor on how you can help them with their pain.
At this point, the visitor is primed to become a named lead. You can do all sorts of things, like make dynamic call-to-actions, change content on landing pages to call out the most important features they’re interested in, use bounce detection to promote the right offer as they leave, give special discounts and promotions, and so on. With this type of personalization, we’ve seen websites get a 6x lift in leads, reduce bounce rates by 10%, and other amazing results while receiving the same level of traffic! It is for this reason real-time marketing is the next evolution for internet marketers.
If you want to get similar results or would like to learn more about real-time marketing, then please join Evergage and Acquia on Oct 3rd at 1:00 pm for a webinar where we’ll further explain real-time marketing, offer examples, as well as answer your questions. We look forward to seeing you there!