How do you generate more clicks? Hint: personalization. Columnist Steve Olenski discusses three custom tools that will help you create an irresistible offer and engage your audience.
According to a recent study, the average human attention span is now shorter than that of a goldfish.
This means that if you are to have any hope of engaging your audience, your number one job is to create content that can command attention for longer than eight seconds.
Easier said than done.
Even harder: getting your audience to act on that content. In other words, to click.
According to Smart Insights, which drew on cumulative data from both Google and WordStream, the average click-through rate (CTR) across all platforms is a depressing 0.06%. Google AdWords is still the top performer, hovering around 2%, while Facebook Ads are a steady (and again, somewhat depressing) 0.12%.
So what can you do to not only attract eyeballs, but generate clicks?
What you need is some irresistible offers.
Crafting an irresistible offer — one your audience can’t help but click — should be your number one objective. Without it, your business is just another annoying company looking to sell a product.
The key is personalization: tailoring your offer to meet the needs and wants of your audience in a one-on-one sort of way.
To craft your own personalized, irresistible offer, four of the most effective strategies are:
- Custom coupons
- Adaptive pricing
- Personalized CTAs
- An enticing narrative
Below I’ll discuss these strategies, along with some custom tools to not only get your audience’s attention, but actually get them to click.
Gone are the days of sitting around the kitchen table cutting out coupons and saving 50 cents here, a dollar there.
Today, we’ve gone mobile, and instead of handing over a coupon for 10% off, we simply show the clerk our smartphone or click “Redeem Now.”
But don’t be fooled. Even though how we use coupons has changed, we still enjoy getting a discount.
In fact, coupons are anything but irrelevant, especially online:
- An estimated 96% of consumers use coupons (RetailMeNot).
- In 2013, some 2.8 billion coupons were redeemed in total (Inmar).
- Also in 2013, more than 66 million digital coupons were redeemed (Inmar).
- A staggering 141% more coupons were redeemed online in 2013 than in 2012 (Inmar).
- Experts predict that by 2016, 59% of US internet users — 124.4 million people — will redeem digital coupons or codes at least once annually (eMarketer).
Today, it’s easier than ever to customize your digital coupons and make them look like each and every one was designed specifically for your recipient.
To tech-savvy business owners, custom coupons can also be more than just a way to entice consumers to visit your site. Instead, they can be utilized to produce affiliate relationships, track customers and understand the buying habits of shoppers.
Here are just a few ways of taking advantage of custom coupons:
- Offer discounts to followers and fans on social media and reward them for their loyalty.
- Track which traffic channels are performing the best or worst with discount codes.
- Link your custom coupons to specific emails and ads to measure those different channels.
- Establish relationships with affiliates so they can provide deals to a wider audience.
To create personalized onsite coupons, FanPlayr is a great tool.
Because it analyzes visitor traffic, segments this same traffic, targets offers and optimizes campaigns, FanPlayr has achieved substantial results for its clients. When retailers add intelligence to their campaigns, they experience — on average — an 18% increase in conversion rates, a 23% jump in average order value, and a 20% boost in offer-based margins, according to FanPlayr.
Pricing anything is difficult. So what is adaptive pricing?
Adaptive pricing is essentially automated pricing: using data on elements like supply, demand and your competition’s price to automatically adjust your own.
Why should you care?
Because not only does automation make your life easier, on average it improves gross margins by 10%.
In other words, if you’re living in Green Bay, Wisconsin, bathing suits, barbecue grills and suntan lotion won’t be popular items to purchase throughout the year. Just like toques, snowsuits and gloves won’t be popular in Miami.
There are four aspects of adaptive pricing:
- Above-market pricing
- At-market pricing
- Below-market pricing
- Cost-plus pricing
How does all this translate to boosting clicks and sales?
Your business can easily adapt its prices to the current market by means of automated pricing software, like Wiser, which makes the process simple.
By tracking each visitor’s history, buying paths, overall traffic, and your competitors’ prices (see “Spy Agent” image below), adaptive pricing automatically updates your entire inventory without any heavy lifting.
It’s not enough to simply advertise a product or service.
The rise of content marketing means you now have to add value to your prospects’ lives, even before they become customers.
Blogs, email courses, webinars, white papers and podcasts are all strategic ways to do this. Just remember: The key is to actually solve your audience’s problems.
But how do you connect your content to real-world sales?
It all comes down to your calls-to-action (CTAs).
Each and every CTA has one job: to tell your audience exactly what’s next, and (once again) get them to click.
While there are lots of great resources on CTA best practices — like this one, “5 Ways To Put Your Email Call To Action To Work” — the most effective CTAs are personalized.
In fact, personalized CTAs have become the go-to technique for brands, retailers, charities and even political campaigns to get their prospects to the next step. You’re even more likely to get paid if you include them. Thank-you pages are a great place to start. Simply create a default CTA related to something in your email sign-up list and a personalized CTA to hold your prospect’s hand through the next step in the sales process itself.
Another example of a personalized CTA would be if you have a blog and you write about several different topics. Start by establishing different CTAs that offer a targeted next step for each of your most popular topics or posts.
The reality is that “targeted calls-to-action convert 42% more visitors into leads than untargeted CTAs,” according to HubSpot.
Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to create your own personalized CTAs. What you need is real-time adjustments to real-time data. As Adobe found, a full 60% of marketers “struggle to personalize content in real-time,” and yet 77% agree that “real-time personalization is crucial.”
One solution is TrenDemon, which automatically calculates the most profitable next step for each visitor, whether they’re on a blog post, a landing page or a product description page. This next step is presented as a personalized CTA:
An Enticing Narrative
Going beyond personalized pricing and calls to action, you will need a stronger way to influence your target audience to take action.
According to research, a narrative has a much larger influence on a person’s decision-making process than facts.
The so-called narrative influence has a big impact on the thought process. Human brains are hard-wired to respond better to an impactful story than to numbers, names and bullet points.
Here’s where a cloud platform called Roojoom plays a big part.
Roojoom presents content in a narrative through an interactive user experience that encourages users to engage. Here, you can incorporate effective calls-to-action and customized content.
According to Roojoom, click-through rates can increase by 500% or more. You can actually measure it: Quick integration with popular analytics platforms makes it easy to manage performance and impact.
Publishers can easily customize or even automatically generate an impactful story with Roojoom, which makes it easy to engage users even further.
The Key To Compelling The Click
Here’s the truth: Personalized marketing is the dominant strategy of 2015.
Because it’s the key to crafting an irresistible offer.
Don’t be left behind.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.