Move Prospects Through the Customer Journey With a Solid Content and Digital Marketing Strategy (PART 2)

NOTE: These are my personal notes from Digital Summit 2019 in Phoenix. They contain no copyrighted material or links to any copyrighted material offered during the session.

SPEAKER: Samantha Kermode - Vertical Measures

Conversation Rate Optimization (CRO)


CRO: A testing process designed to get an increased an understanding of HOW to get users to take a desired action.


It is vital not only to DRIVE TRAFFIC to your site... but to INCREASE your conversation rate.


Focus on User Experience... design your experience around what the USER WANTS, not the way you think the design SHOULD BE.


Site Navigation Should be Painless – ESPEICALLY on Mobile


Be very clear with your Calls to Action. Don’t have too many. Make it clear where the user should go!


Design your Calls to Action around what PHASE of the journey the user is on. If they’re “considering” – make the CTA about finding more information. If they’re “deciding” make the CTA about scheduling an appointment.


[IMAGE of Conversion Data Here]


It cannot be understated how important your Form Fill and CTA is. Understand your audience and design around THAT... not design in the way you think your User should react.


CRO Starts with Measuring Analytics

Then – set up a Test Page (A/B Testing) – Your current page and then a new page designed to do the same thing. See what works best – but AFTER you’ve measured data and designed around that.


CRO is never static, trends and users change... revisit it on an ongoing basis.


Tool to help you understand revenue gain (estimates)




Once you get a first date with someone... it’s not your job to get them to like you... it’s to get them to want to keep you. – not mess it up.


Benefits of Lead Nurture:

·      Increase Business by providing value

·      Keeps company top of mind (brand recognition)

·      Moves people through buying process

·      Creates Trust and Brand Loyalty


We know that they are ready to spend money at some point – you want to keep them from going back to Google. You want to keep them on your site.


Audience: Anyone who has interacted or will potentially interact with your brand.


Types of Audience members:

·      Short Term – They have expressed a little interest, you can use retargeting, but you don’t have any of their information

·      Non-Owned – Followers of your content, but you don’t OWN THEM. Note that only 2% of your organic followers see your posts.

·      Owned – You have their data (email, phone, etc.) – You can reach out to them directly. BUT remember, the easiest way to do this is to provide a LOW BARRIER to entry. Offer them value, but ask something in return (name/email)


Advantages of Owning your Audience – 60% of sales come from Digital Channels. Digital Sales keep costs down. You can reach out to them directly AT ANY TIME.


Once you have a database of users – you MUST HAVE A PLAN on how to reach out to them and what to say.


EMAIL remains the most effective Digital Conversion Tool – They GAVE YOU THEIR INFORMATION.


Increase number of OWNED customers by - Analyze your forms

o   Simple offers should ask for simple info

o   Use Forms to segment your audience

o   Build custom workflows depending on who they are and where they are in the journey. Get them to convert.


Create an automation workflow that will segment the audience and give them the information that is pertinent to THEM! The more specific your message is to your audience member... the more you’ll convert.


Continuously A/B test – Check Open Rate and Click Through rate of pages and emails. WHAT IS WORKING?


Best Email Practices:

·      Visually Appealing and Branded

·      Let Data inform your Lead Nurture Program

·      Incorporate Content Needs into Editorial Calendar – good content takes time to develop

·      Segment with Targeted Messaging specific to that audience member

·      Stay Brief: Use words like “Read More” or “Get More Details”

·      Great Subject Lines

·      Keep Nurturing until your Contacts Tell You to Stop


Top Reasons People Unsubscribe:

·      Sending too many emails – make your email rate match your Sales Cycle

·      Emails look Spammy (make them branded and classy)

·      Stating Content that is not relevant – remember, if you segment your message by audience member, the content will be MORE relevant

·      They didn’t know they had signed up for email

·      Too Much or Too Little Content

·      Not mobile Optimized

·      Always trying to Sell – remember to INFORM and ENTERTAIN as well as SELL


Set up LEAD SCORING – Determine the value of each lead and tailor your EFFORTS and MESSAGE to them based on their score. Examples: Level 1  - 3.


Check out for some visual examples of high-converting emails.




What Google Analytics can show is:

·      Who is visiting

·      Where they’re coming from

·      What they’re looking at

·      Who is buying – Are you meeting your goals?


You should have KPIs for your Google Analytics.


If you set up a good KPI system for your Analytics and set up your marketing BASED ON THAT – You can Increase your Leads +937%


Things to monitor:

·      User flow – how did they get in and what was their path?

·      What are the most popular pages?

·      Traffic by device

·      Behavior by source

·      Bounce Rates – Are they finding what they’re looking for

·      Exit Pages – What page causes them to leave the website

·      Content Assisted Leads – What content is converting a Lead


“Best Practices for Creating Goals in Google Analytics” –


Connect your platforms:

·      Google Search Console

·      Google Analytics

·      Google Adwords


Measurement process:

1)    Test

2)    Learn

3)    Iterate

4)    Repeat




10 – Build Your Audience

9 – Amplify Your Content

8 – Must be led by Executive Team – Get Executive buy in

7 – Foster a Culture of Content – get people to help you create content

6 – Set up a Strategy and Share it with everyone involved with it

5 – Optimize your Content

4 – Prioritize Audience over Brand

3 - Nurture Your Leads

2 – Test, Learn & Iterate

1 – Implement