Converting anonymous visitors into sales leads is an obsession for marketing professionals. This is not without good reason, seeing as they represent future clients. However, while the conversion process may differ between B2B and B2C, good practices remain the same. As do the pitfalls to avoid. Do you think that your landing page is perfect? That your bounce rate is going to tumble down? That everything is ready for the launch of your major commercial operation? Nonetheless, the devil is in the details, as the saying goes. Let’s take a look at the little details which can impact lead conversion.
Unsuitable information forms
The information form is the go-to method for connecting with a visitor in order to transform them into a sales lead. In truth, it’s perfectly normal and logical to want to know all about them. In order to do so, surely it’s necessary to get as much information as possible? The problem is that every study has shown that the size of the information form is inversely proportional to its potential for lead conversion. Put simply: the more fields there are to fill in, the less effective it is. The same is true even if most of the fields are optional.
Creating an effective information form requires a proper definition of the information you need. For example, are the date of birth and gender actually significant variables for you? Make things as simple as possible: in B2C, you can rightly ask for someone’s name, surname, and email. This is more than enough to start a commercial relationship without appearing too intrusive.
In B2B, the name, surname, professional email and the name of the business are sufficient. A good inbound sales procedure will then allow you to add more data through interactions with your sales leads.
Finally, you also need to anticipate how the collected data will be used: what is their intended purpose? What are they for? What is the objective? How will they be protected? This is part of the new obligations introduced by the GDPR, as is an explicit acknowledgment of consent.
Shoddy responsive design
Sure, your website or landing page might be accessible on mobile, but is it really? Certain aspects of web design can negatively impact the user experience and therefore lead conversion. Here are some examples:
Don’t test your mobile site using just one size, one browser or one OS. A four-inch iPhone SE running Safari with iOS 11 will produce a different result to a Galaxy Note9 running Firefox with the latest version of Android. Properly implementing responsive design requires extreme attention to details.
Menu and navigation
Beyond displaying content, how does your menu behave? Unfortunately, it is far too often the case that the menu is hard to read, or the text overlaps, making your landing page unusable. A final thought about the menu: is it really useful to have a hamburger menu or a slider which has been proven ineffective by study after study?
Are your key messages clearly visible above the fold? Between banners for cookies, GDPR warnings and certain advertisements or pop-ups offering newsletter subscriptions, content is sometimes drowned out by a number of irritating layers which don’t encourage the user to keep browsing.
Things have to be quick on the web. Even on mobile and even with limited network capacity. Optimize loading speed as much as possible by reducing the file size of photos, blocking autoplay videos on mobile, facilitating caching, and testing optimized formats such as AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), a page accelerator on mobile phones. Remember that a loading test performed in a city center with 4G is not necessarily representative of the reality experienced by potential sales leads.
A lack of storytelling
Everybody likes stories. Storytelling is what transforms bland facts into emotions which can establish an emotional connection with your audience. If you think that your product or service is the best, then that’s great, but while saying it is good, you have the channel that passion into something.
Storytelling allows you to create a communicative environment which can positively influence the relationship between a brand and a visitor. You need to tell a story and leave your audience wanting more. This is true for all platforms, including mobile: there’s no need for long texts to create emotion, even on a simple landing page.
A call-to-action is vital, as it paves the way forward for future sales leads. It still needs to be functional, however. Usability and ergonomics studies show that CTAs should feature at the top and bottom of the page, in order to be easily visible and accessible.
Each CTA needs to have a well-considered design and colors, and be coherent with your graphic charter. Once put into action, the CTA should facilitate lead conversion. Whether it’s downloading an application, signing up to a newsletter, receiving a promotional voucher or confirming a shopping cart, the next step should be simple and fast.
A CTA is a shopowner welcoming the customer to the store: it needs to be cheery, pleasant and inviting.
Don’t believe your boss’ son, even if he says your page is great. Carry out A/B testing. It’s the only way to be sure that the decisions made are appropriate and statistically proven.
A/B allows you to compare two different versions of the same page. If one of the two performs significantly better than the other, the statistical data will tell you. The more you test, the more you’ll optimize, and the greater your chance will be of converting leads.
What’s more, it’s possible to test everything: the title, the visuals, the layout, the CTA, and so on.
Optimizing a landing page, the website’s homepage, or a product page is painstaking work. There are numerous micro-actions which can increase the chance of lead conversion by playing with the perceptions, emotions and browsing habits of your visitors. If you’re familiar with these details you can improve your results and develop a sense of trust between your brand and your future sales leads.