Conversation to Conversion

This post was partly inspired by my colleague – Ken Foong. He was sharing a step by step guide on introducing company profile.

You saw a potential customer walking down the escalator and he was looking at your booth. You gave him a quick nod and a charming smile, then you started walking towards him. Now, what would you first say to him?

The best part about this scenario is that it is way too common to the extent where we could simulate the whole process and map out the best possible response at different stage. Here is what I find interesting in the role play session that day:

  • None manage to introduce company profile in the simplest manner (some simply find it hard to introduce).
  • None introduced themselves FIRST before any other qualifying questions.

Now if you do not know how important it is to have the right flow while introducing your company, your product or even yourself, think of your experience for being on duty in an exhibition. There was a research shown that once you made an eye contact with someone, you only have 7 seconds to either walk away or speak with him for the best first impression.

Some Best Practices on Introducing Yourself

If we can make this whole introduction process less friction, people will open up more to us and it’ll be much easier to ask high gain question (since people is willing to give out information to you too). Ken shared some guidelines such as:

  • Always introduce yourself first.
  • Follow up with greetings (how was your day / why are you here).
  • Make yourself relevant by showing credibility & capability (i.e. company profile / solutions we offer).
  • Follow up again with in-depth questions / high gain questions.
  • Close with actionable item (instead of saying goodbye, setup for appointment or get them to subscribe something.)

Whilst these are not a step-by-step guide, but we do find better success by doing so. It is a solid best practice for any form of communication.

It is always about making the conversation flows as naturally as possible.

On a 1:1 scale, I find this to be surprisingly same as marketing concept (regardless of offline or online). All we need to do is to make sure our conversation to the audience flows naturally. Here are some questions to ponder upon:

  • Why did it felt natural for you to buy at e-commerce sites like Lazada & eBay?
  • What makes you open up an email from Jobstreet.com?
  • Why would you sign-up for a training through an email?

The examples I raised above are the most common yet powerful tools we own as a marketer today – website & email. As a marketer, our challenge has always been replicating the best experience every single occasion.

How can I replicate the experience of conversing face to face to website & email?

Making Landing Page As Conversational As Possible

It’s all about content flow. Let’s take landing page as an example:

Landing page example
A landing page I did with unbounce for Rapid Model. There is a video section down below but I didn’t screenshot it.

This is a dedicated PPC landing page for industrial guys on 3D printing. This page was showing some pretty good result, sitting at 4% conversion (a standard industrial landing page sits at 2%). Here is how it looked like before the optimization (was running 5-10 A/B tests at the same time to test multiple checkpoints).

This page was working pretty well on it's own, sitting at 3% conversion ra
This page was pretty good on it’s own, sitting at a 3% conversion rate.

Putting the technical aspect aside, the most visible improvement of the page is the content flow that makes it conversational. Instead of asking people to fill up form, the call to action was prompting people on issues that they are interested to solve.

  • A clear headline on industrial grade machine.
  • 3 simple key points on how these 3D printers can help in your businesses.
  • Subsequently followed by subtle hints on “finding out new ways to improve manufacturing process” on top of the form.
  • The winning part? The first question on the form prompt them on issues that they want to solve.
  • CTA says “Tell me how”.

I strongly believe that to make an interactive web interface requires a combination of design, layout and copywriting. You will need to understand the general principles of how people read (left to right), perception towards fonts (sans serif & serif) or even colors. All these minor tweaks help in making a landing page conversational.

When people vet through websites, here are a few crucial things that they look for:

  • What is the page trying to tell them? Is it relevant? -> Header should be straight forward (refer to newspaper).
  • Legibility -> Make sure your site is easy to read and not cluttered by copy and images. This is why web design these days are opting for cleaner and simple layout (CTAs are extremely clear too).

But if I were to boil it down to one single thing, I would say it is addressing the critical business issue faced by potential customer.

  • Instead of saying product X is great & highlighting features, say how it would benefit their company.
  • KISS (Keep it simple stupid), make sure it’s idiot proof. Avoid fluffy stuff and make your point clear.

This final landing page which I’m using now is a combination of multiple elements, I would say it’s a synergy of all items from header to CTA, it makes reading so much more natural than before (that you don’t even realize that you’re reading it in such a manner).

Here is a few sites that I refer to when I was designing the landing page (I still read them from time to time):

Straight to the point on copy writing when it comes to landing page. Straight forward works best.

What About Emails? Do They Work The Same?

Have you ever wondered why companies these days try to grab email before anything else? Here is the underlying assumption:

    • If you’re willing to give out your email, you’re giving me a chance to contact you.
    • Easier to obtain compared to phone number.
    • The cheapest yet most efficient way to reach out to people.

I mentioned about using email to engage with your audience in my previous post, and I’m a firm believer of that. Email is probably one of the best and most efficient tool when it comes to nurturing & engagement simply due to:

    • Scalability of the medium (telemarketing still works best for B2B industry, but there is a limit on scalability i.e. man hours).
    • Tracability (You have metrics such as open rates, CTRs and conversion to look at).
    • Consistent experience.

I’ll be deep diving into the details of crafting eDMs journey so you would get the gist of it. This is called DRIP marketing.

To start off with, Zapier had a great guide on crafting email journeys:

Drip campaigns, as mentioned above, are automated sets of emails that go out based on specific timelines or user actions. They enable you to stay in touch with groups of people based on events like when a user signs up for an account or how often that user visits your site. Each time a drip email is sent out, it comes from a queue of already-written emails—there’s no need to manually write and send each one. They can even be personalized with your contacts’ name, company info, and more.

Simple DRIP campaign by Pardot
Simple DRIP campaign by Pardot

The idea of this series of email is to get users to take action – step by step. Whether it’s a tutorial on using a CRM to promotional emails, DRIP campaign is extremely useful in getting the best out of your database. Here are a few scenarios where DRIP plays really well:

    • New subscription (they know nothing about you & your product).
    • Dormant leads (leads that have been inactive for 6 months or more).

DRIP’s essence is getting the right information to the right audience at the right time, it is surprisingly similar to how conversation works. In fact, it is a pre-set response to engineer a desired response that you want your audience to take. Online marketing is science.

Here is what I find to be most effective:

  • First layer:
    • Sending out first email with Whitepaper by asking questions on critical business issue. While doing this, setup a progressive profiling system where you get them to update their profiles naturally.
  • Second layer:
    • For people who take action (such as clicking or opening), follow up with case studies based on their response earlier.
    • For those who did not take any action, send them a short video on how the product works (general introduction video, need to make sure the video is within 3 minutes).
  • Third layer:
    • Those who took action from case studies will now receive a call from the sales team based on their response.
    • Those who viewed the video would be directed to case studies.
    • Those who did not take any action will be removed from DRIP entirely (to undergo cleansing later).

Avoid cluttering your eDMs with messages like “X feature saves 90% of your time!”. Start writing your copy from customer perspective, try to construct the sentence with I want to _____, the blank part would be your answer.

The best part about DRIP is you can segment how sales ready are they and most important of all, the continuous engagement with these group of audience. The rapport that you built over time will accumulate and eventually they might get something from you.

DRIP is about driving activation, the less friction that the customer experience, the higher chances the customer will purchase something from you.

Conclusion

Marketing communication is always about making conversation with people.

From the era of face to face speaking to cold calling, now we’re in the digital era which we as marketers need to find ways to replicate the experience to device screens. This is why it is extremely challenging yet fun.

As long as we can make our collaterals as conversational as possible, we will be getting responses from them, our audience not so wood lah kan!

Do you find making conversation through digital medium to be effective? Share your story with me!

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