Reverse Your Way to Success

If you are trying to determine what works in your inbound marketing strategy and still not progressing, you should reverse your way to success. Here's how.

Filter out Failures to Develop Winning Strategies

When it comes to delivering great service to your clients, deciding what that service looks like can be difficult. You’re in a marketplace which requires you to add value and deliver what the client wants – yet all clients are different. Or are they?

Perhaps you are looking at things the wrong way. Instead of thinking about all the things that customers do want, perhaps your starting point should be to decide what they don’t want. Then you can work on how to differentiate your content marketing so that you stand out in a crowded marketplace.

I call this ‘reversing your way to success’, and it’s been used by many organizations to reboot underperforming inbound content marketing at all stages of the sales funnel.

Reversing into the Evolving Customer Journey

I’ve written before about how the customer journey is evolving. It’s no longer linear. They are entering the sales funnel at different points, and taking a meandering journey along the route to a buying decision.

Customer journeys are more unique today, and their search journey bounces back and forth. By analysing at which points visitors to your website exit the sales funnel, you can take action to retain them – by deleting what the customer doesn’t want.

Effectively you have reversed into the customer journey to discover what you must reverse out. By determining this, you should be able to figure out what works to retain the visitor and lead them to conversion.

Here are three things that you may be surprised to learn from experiments that we have undertaken for our clients.

1.      Don’t Define Success, Filter Out Failure

What is success? It is incredibly difficult to define success. For example, During Usain Bolt’s heyday, no one was expected to beat him in the 100 metres. There was simply no beating the guy. So, silver became a mark of success. If you’ve never completed a marathon before, finishing in under five hours is a triumph. Even though tens of a hundred million people or more can drive in the United States, a first-time test passer feels an overwhelming sense of achievement.

The point is that success means different things to different people. The same is true of your online efforts. Instead of defining success as the number of hits a web page receives, filter out the failure of those who leave and don’t return. Figure out what isn’t working.

For example, have you ever been tempted to click on an article, and halfway through you get a pop-up that says ‘Hey, if you want to read the rest of this article, create an account’? Most people abandon the article. That’s a failure you can filter out. Instead of asking them to create an account to read the remainder of the article, let them get to the end and then ask them to give you an email address to receive more articles, like this:

You seem to have enjoyed this article. We want to provide you more like this. All you have to do is leave your email address in the box below, and we’ll alert you every time we post something you want to read.

Other things that we’ve found annoy the hell out of visitors include:

  • Irrelevant landing pages
  • Videos that automatically load and cover half the article being read
  • Long-winded checkout processes
  • Ad pop-ups
  • Slow-to-load pages

For membership pages, people have expressed that they don’t like having to log in every time they visit.

The thing is this – if you eliminate these annoyances and make your website more user friendly, then visitors are likely to stay longer and come more often. When they do this, you have more opportunity to convert them into clients.

2.      Distinguish Real Data

The chances are that you know how many visits your site had last month. You probably understand cost per click, and how much each lead costs you to convert. Are these meaningful numbers? Sure, they hold some value – but it is open to interpretation how much. For example, knowing how many visits a page receives won’t necessarily lead to higher conversions or sales. You must distinguish real data – the numbers that will help you determine strategy.

Conversions tell you only a snapshot of how your strategy is working. They tell you what is happening now, the second someone converts. Great for sales today – but what about tomorrow?

By measuring other factors such as search performance, downloads from your site, and customer lifetime value (CLV), you gain a truer measurement of what works and what doesn’t. You can then feed these numbers into your strategic planning.

These elements allow you to identify the real value factors on your website, and discard those elements that are not working well. For example, if you know that people who download your eBook have a higher CLV, then you can create a marketing strategy to encourage more downloads. You have their email address, and now you can cultivate this connection to the point where they convert into a client.

This type of insight will help you understand the customer journey better, and to produce more effective interactions to compel long-term growth.

3.      Relish the Real Time

There is a treasure trove of data to be mined from your website. This data tells you what visitors do, how they act, and how they interact with your content. All this is available in real time, and you should utilise it when it is fresh. There is little point in analysing data that is three or six months old – the world has moved on already.

Your data tells you how people behave on your site or other channels. This will give you the heads up as to what likely behaviours will be. For example, if 75% of visitors reading a blog post click on a link to a landing page, and 50% of those convert, this is pretty good information that informs your expectations. If on another page, no one clicks on the link to your landing page, then this tells you which page you should be promoting – the first one.

While every visitor has a unique customer journey, understanding their interactions on the site will help you develop a strategy that leads each visitor along their own meandering path to conversion. You’ll know which visitors act like someone who will convert in 20 minutes or 20 days – and can engage them with meaningful content on their unique customer journey. Content that you know helps to convert visitors that have acted the same way previously.

There are two ways to reverse your way to online success. The first is to collect data, spend days crunching it manually and hope you don’t make an error. The second is to employ AI and machine learning tools to do all the legwork for you – in seconds. This allows you to segment your audience and market to them more effectively.

To learn how we help our clients to define their online strategies with real-time automation that identifies what doesn’t work and exploits what does, contact BlabberJax today:

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