Pop quiz time! True or False: The only way to measure the effectiveness of your website in driving leads is through contact form submissions and completed sales.
Answer: So false it hurts. But, don’t worry if you answered “true.” You’re certainly not alone, and that’s why we’re here to help.
While e-commerce companies can easily measure the success of their website and digital marketing efforts through online sales, and service-based companies can count contact form submissions, manufacturing companies face a completely different set of rules. For example, most companies don’t hop online to throw down several thousand dollars on an injection molding order or a few tons of steel like they would, say, decorative napkins for a company picnic. The sales process is a little more convoluted.
That’s where micro conversions come into play. Read on to learn why they’re important and what to look for:
A micro conversion is a small (but mighty) action a prospect takes that conveys interest, but doesn’t yet classify them as a sales qualified lead (SQL). In other words, these actions are the breadcrumbs prospective customers are dropping along their path to becoming an SQL. They tell an important story about which efforts are working as well what tactics or campaigns could be improved.
Don’t let the name fool you, though. Micro conversions can be just as important as macro conversions and, when handled correctly, will help you increase your overall conversion rate. But, in order to start making your micro conversions work for you, we have to first determine what they are.
There are five primary types of micro conversions manufacturing companies should be measuring.
One thing all manufacturing marketers and sales professionals know to be true is, manufacturing customers have a lot of questions. In some cases, your primary contact throughout the process is only minimally immersed in your industry. It’s up to you to help them better understand. Because, if you don’t, your competitors will.
Well-written, well-researched white papers, eBooks, best practice guides and other downloadable content offer your prospects a goldmine of helpful information. A resource library is an opportunity to share your knowledge and prime your prospects. This information is so valuable, in fact, your visitors will happily offer up a little information in return. (Emphasis on “little.”)
Unlike a form a prospect may fill out to contact a representative, these forms should be fast and simple with only the most important fields, such as their name, email address and company or title. Also, unlike contact forms, these are not prospects reaching out to initiate a sale. They’re still in the awareness phase of the buyer’s journey, so make sure your response is appropriate.
For example, send an email thanking them for downloading the guide. Include a link they can use to download again, or share with a friend, and a polite reminder you’re available for any questions.
Much like downloadable content, captivating blog posts and visually engaging videos offer your prospects a mini treasure trove of helpful information. These types of content allow you to whet their appetite with little nuggets of knowledge.
Blog posts and videos help you accomplish three important goals:
If potential customers are reading your blog posts and watching your videos, this is a good sign. If they’re returning to consume more content, it’s an even better sign. Although you may not yet have their contact information at this stage in the process, you can use these micro conversions to determine which types of content are garnering the most attention and work to replicate this success.
Today, we guard our email addresses like precious gems. Giving your email address to a company means allowing them direct contact and a spot in your inbox. When you provide your email address to a business, you trust they’re going to use it to send you information and offers relevant to your needs. In other words, it’s kind of a big deal.
Email subscriptions are a micro conversion that show your customers believe in your brand. Also, because few people subscribe to manufacturing company’s newsletters for light Sunday reading, this is a pretty significant hint they’re interested in taking things a step further. Solidify their belief in your brand: Instead of bombarding them with sales messages, send updates about relevant blog posts, new eBook releases or industry trade shows you’ll be attending.
Let’s say a prospect downloaded a piece of content or subscribed to your blog or newsletter. You then followed up with an appropriate email, like those suggested above. Now what?
Email engagement is an excellent way to gauge interest. Using your marketing automation software, you can track his next step. Did he open the email? Click on something? Respond? Or, did he delete it? Unsubscribe? Leave it sitting in his inbox to remain untouched for all eternity?
Take note of these actions because they offer two important types of information. First, they help you determine whether or not the prospect is interested. Second, collectively, these email actions will help you determine the effectiveness of your emails in general. For example, if your emails sit unopened, you may need to re-asses your subject lines.
Whether it’s a several thousand dollar solar panel system, or a small piece of hardware for a company server, a product view is an indicator of someone strikingly close to becoming an SQL. Like the others, this micro conversion provides you a wealth of information on the effectiveness of your efforts.
For example, if you’re receiving several page views, but not many website leads, you may want to consider whether or not you’re making the next steps simple to follow. For example, are your calls to action clear? Is the contact form easy to locate? Like all pages, the goal of a product page is to guide the prospect on to the next step as quickly and seamlessly as possible.
Now that you’ve defined your micro conversions, it’s time to set goals and begin monitoring. Start by looking back through your historical data to get a better idea of what’s expected for each micro conversion point. Just as with macro conversions, such as contact form submissions and sales, you need to set clear, quantifiable goals. If you’re not hitting these goals, reviewing data for your micro conversions will help you identify the areas you may need to improve.
By making an effort to better understand and track micro conversions, you can improve your company’s overall conversion rate and better allocate time and resources to the right strategies.