Adapting Conversion Funnels to Suit Consumer Behavior in the New Normal
From a marketing perspective, digital acceleration has been accompanied by noticeable changes in the purchasing behavior of consumers. Data shows that consumers across several global institutions are shifting to more value-based purchasing – with a greater emphasis on value for the consumer in return for the money they spend.
Most significantly of all, marketers have observed a shock to brand loyalty. The pandemic has taken on the role of a catalyst to push consumers towards trying out new brands with usual purchasing patterns interrupted.
But how exactly can meaningful connections be fostered in the brave new world of marketing in the age of the ‘new normal?’ The answer lies in promoting resonant values surrounding your brand.
Sales funnels are more frequently exited and reentered at different stages as customers absorb more marketing materials and view more social media campaigns. This means that a lead that exits in your funnel midway through is by no means gone forever.
Adapting your funnel
1. Get to know your “new” customers with social listening
The critical difference between pre-pandemic consumers and those looking to make a purchase today is that modern consumers demand to feel valued by a company that can be seen to care for both their customers and the broader world around them.
As a result, social listening has never been more critical to brands. The term social listening refers to businesses actively monitoring multiple online channels to research what their customers, leads, and target audience are thinking when it comes to matters relevant to their industry.
Use social listening and audience segmentation tools to identify the interests of your most prominent leads and craft your campaigns around them. Whether you’re promoting a giveaway, offering premium quality freebies, or announcing a charitable partnership – you can generate value by tapping into the new interests of your audience and what matters most to them.
Social listening can help you tackle several components, including:
- Avoid crises before they happen
- Listen to what your audience is saying about your brand
- Gather data and analyze your competition
- Fill up your funnel with quality leads
The key with social listening is to avoid hard-selling. Don’t just jump into people’s conversations and start selling. Instead, offer free advice — this approach will be appreciated a lot more.
So, how do you start social listening effectively?
Monitor what people are saying about your brand, but you can also monitor the experiences customers have with your competitors by simply adding a few keywords and hashtags.
Then, the possibilities are pretty much endless. If somebody had a negative experience with your direct competitor, why not chip in and offer some free advice or solution to their problem. If you were the one who helped them, they’d probably give your service/product a try.
Again, don’t oversell, as it might put them off.
2. Be flexible
Covid-19 has conspired to make life largely unpredictable, especially in a financial sense. Therefore, those companies that can accommodate their funnels and offer greater flexibility are more likely to prosper during difficult times. Increased flexibility will gain the trust of your customers, but it will also improve your conversion rates.
The average cart abandonment rate is shy of 70%, which means that only 30% of your prospective customers are making the purchase. So instead, look to offer your customers a buy now pay later (BNPL) purchasing option.
For example, incorporating BNPL services needs to be seamless for online businesses. By introducing a BNPL option for your customers, your conversion rate could improve by 20% while allowing your customers to spread the cost over a few months.
3. Help make a decision, don’t sell (but if you do, sell by offering helpful content)
As consumers crave empathetic and flexible companies, the notion of overselling is a dangerous one. Instead, businesses need to be regarded as helpful without selling hard.
For example, if you are traveling at this time — you’ll want a dedicated, interactive map that illustrates travel updates and restrictions. You can select where you’re traveling from, your destination, and whether you’re fully vaccinated.
Once you select your options, a CTA appears with links to the best flights, hotel deals, and arrival rules. This is a beautifully executed conversion funnel that not only sells but gives immense value before trying to sell.
You can look up most companies according to Ahrefs to help you find the best fit for yourself in travel. This is helpful for their prospective customers, but they also came up with an intelligent way of linking the free tool to flight and hotel deals.
Look for a company with a copywriting service provider as part of its long-term strategy to build a network of loyal brand ambassadors (otherwise known as affiliates) that promote services in return for a generous commission.
4. Personalize and automate
In the age of the new normal, you must work to personalize your content for the leads you discover.
In terms of finding inspiration for personalization, I don’t think any company does it better than Netflix. Not only do Netflix’s algorithms identify shows to watch based on your taste, but they even worked to deliver personalized thumbnails of the movie or series presented to its users. So, for instance, if you’ve been identified as someone who watches more romantic movies, you’re more likely to be presented with romantic thumbnails. At the same time, the algorithm will endeavor to give a more comedic image if you regularly watch comedies.
Personalize your landing page by testing different ones for each segmented audience group. Although it may take some time, it’s undoubtedly worth building a comprehensive insight into your various target audiences and their likes and dislikes.
5. Create and track goals
Use Google Analytics to create conversion funnel goals to track how you’re getting on.
To set conversion funnel goals in Google Analytics, follow these steps:
1. Log into your Google Analytics account
2. Click ‘Admin.’
3. Navigate to the third column on the right, entitled ‘View,’ and click ‘Goals’
4. Click ‘New Goal’ or ‘Import from Gallery’ to start.
As the image above shows, there are plenty of new templates available for users to create new goals efficiently — and users can select goal templates based on the securing of reservations, appointments, or purchases.
Make sure to A/B test your landing pages to determine which one generates the most clicks and conversions. Sometimes, better page design means fewer conversions. Hence, don’t focus on making your pages look the best; instead, focus on what brings the desired outcome.
There are some great tools to make your A/B testing as seamless as possible. Generally, we use Leadpages, but Optimizely is also a great option.
6. Upsell intelligently (but only when relevant)
Your business should always be ready to make helpful recommendations to consumers that could generate more revenue — but it’s essential that upselling or cross-selling is never conducted in an irrelevant manner.
That said, upselling and cross-selling don’t always have to be associated with simply selling more similar products (like Amazon does). Instead, you can encourage your existing customers to do the selling for you. You can offer them a free product or commission (referral fee) in return.
I’ve talked about affiliate marketing above, but there are other exciting strategies you can use to help grow your business.
Once a customer signs up using a referral link, their account gets credited with a free share.
- It’s a win for new customers as they get a free share
- It’s a win for the referrer as they get a commission for bringing in a new customer
- It’s a win for the company as it gets a new customer
Of course, giving something out for free doesn’t always work for all businesses, but there are numerous ways to incentivize a customer.
We once ran a free WordPress installation offer for customers and generated over $ 10,000 in a single month. The only requirement was to sign up with one of our partner hosting providers. The offer was entirely free for the customer (apart from purchasing hosting, which they’d do anyway), but we were still getting paid.
7. Utilize social proofs
In post-pandemic marketing, it’s vital not to overuse hard-selling CTAs. However, the impact of a strong call-to-action offers can be replicated by strong social proof.
Social proofs aim to instill a sense of urgency while increasing consumer confidence. There are many forms of social proofing, but some of the most common ones are:
- Pop-ups that showcase the number of views, purchases, or orders made during a period of time (e.g., 24 hours)
- Number of live views on a particular page/product
- Earned media coverage
- Certifications and licenses
For instance, here’s an example of a pop-up social proof:
I’ve personally used these pop-ups for various clients, and although some visitors consider them annoying, they can positively impact your conversion rates as long as you don’t overuse them.
These social proofs aim to heighten a sense of urgency while others provide customers with extra confidence.
Use quotes from some industry-leading publications to instill a sense of trust and expertise. For example, everyone in the investment community knows about Bloomberg, and when you have Bloomberg saying “their recommendations are the best,” it sure means a lot for prospective investors.
Use social proof and CTAs but don’t be intrusive. Pressure or invasive information will often put people off. To integrate social proofs seamlessly, you can use a tool like TrustPulse.
For your business to better adapt to consumer behavior in the age of the new normal, you must be just as reactive as you are proactive. The pandemic has altered some aspects of consumer behavior forever, and the dust is yet to settle on what modern consumerism looks like.
As more companies rush to embrace digital transformation, the companies act fastest to accommodate customers that have the best chance of thriving into the future.
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