Tag Archives: marketing ideas

Boost conversions with simple registration changes

The thought of testing big new campaign strategies may be as scary to businesses as an eight year old watching “Friday the 13th” – both can give you nightmares.

Instead of sticking their neck out with a new marketing idea right now, many companies are switching the focus to improving successful tactics that have lived up to their investment year after year.

The content registration form is one of those most proven tactics – and it’s a place where simple changes can make a big difference in your conversion rates.

The gurus at Marketing Sherpa recently dug through all of their best past case studies and B2B marketing research to find the most effective registration form tweaks that deliver the best results.

Here are some of the most simple ways B2B marketers have improved conversion rates of their registration forms:

Keeping it short. Long registration forms = higher abandon rates. Yes, you want to get as much information as possible, but you could be scaring prospects away with your long form. Instead, focus the questions on the information that’s most essential. Keep it basic, but add a follow-up communication strategy to collect more data once the prospect shows added interest.

Make it voluntary. Give prospects the information they want, whether it’s a product demo or white paper, then ask them for personal information. Strategically positioning voluntary registration forms alongside online demonstrations, and telling visitors that it was voluntary, has the potential to deliver “impressive” conversion rates.

Use secondary offers carefully. It’s usually best to limit landing pages to a single call to action, but in some cases, giving prospects a second option can boost conversions. If prospects aren’t ready to give you all of their contact information, but have the option to download a white paper, for instance, it could significantly improve your conversions.

Pre-populated fields work. If you have the advantage of knowing some of the prospect’s key information, pre-populate fields on the registration form to make it easier for them. One company found an almost 95% conversion rate increase after they started using pre-populated fields.

Take the “reset” button out. “Reset” or “clear form” buttons are a lingering, old-fashioned registration form trend that has worn out its welcome. You don’t want prospects to make it to the end of the form and accidentally hit “reset” instead of “submit.” Chances are, they’ll leave your site before the go back and fill in everything again.

What other tips do you have for improving registration form conversions? Please leave a comment and share what works for your company.

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Don’t drop the price, fatten the offer

Yes, everyone is well aware that we’re in a recession and customers everywhere are looking for a great deal. But relying on that fact alone is the wrong reason to start reducing the price of everything you sell.

Instead, during these lean times it’s best to fatten your offer, according to Judy Kirkland from Echo Point Marketing partners in a Business Management Daily post.

The problem is, she says, is that when you “only focus on price you’re vulnerable to any competitor who undercuts you by a couple dollars.”

When you “fatten your offer” with something extra, you’re giving customers an added reason to buy from you.

Don’t have the money to add anything extra to the sale? No problem. It’s easy to find “extras” in things you’re already doing for your customers.

For example, the Wyndam hotel print ads offering to make sure your favorite snacks and beverages are in your room when you arrive. Since the hotel already stocks mini bars with a variety of snacks, allowing guests to make requests requires little to no extra effort on the hotel’s part.

Or the kitchen remodeling company that offers an added concierge service to help clients clear out their cabinets. The company had been doing it for years until they started positioning the service as an added bonus for signing a contract promptly.

Whatever your product or service is, odds are you can find something “extra” to help fatten the offer.

Think about giving customers added content with their purchase, such as a white paper or tip sheet. And what about offering free customer service for the life of the product?

In what ways does your company “fatten the offer” when selling their product or service? Any ideas to share with the rest of us? Leave a comment and let us know.

B2B agencies showing “gloom and doom” the door

Business-to-business ad agencies had it tough last year, with total ad spending down 2.6% from 2007, according to Nielson Monitor-Plus.

Though advertising took a hit, many b-to-b agencies were able to grow their business last year, with some reporting their most profitable years ever.

How did they do it?

According to a BtoB Online Special Report, those businesses found success by focusing on three major areas:

  1. Understanding their clients;
  2. Developing relevant, compelling creative
  3. Expanding into new areas such as green marketing and social media

Winners from this year’s Top Agencies Special Report added that in order to succeed in today’s market, B2B businesses will need a healthy dose of “optimism, boldness and creative thinking.”

“If you are smart, you get lifted up by the recession, not pulled down by it,” said Rick Segal, CEO of HSR Business to Business, Cincinnati, winner of the midsize category. “It is an opportunity to grow and become more profitable in terms of building your business and bringing new ideas to clients, even if they’re not asking for them.”

With an increase in revenue by 30%, 2008 was HSR’s best year on record. The agency explored new opportunities in online video and social media, even with some of the company’s most traditional clients like John Deere & Co.

“We live in a time of extraordinary change—change that will be amplified and accelerated by the recession, ushering in perhaps a new age of business transformation,” said John Favalo, managing partner-group B2B at Eric Mower & Associates, runner-up in the midsize category. “Business models, marketing and communications will transform, and successful agencies will be instrumental in helping clients through the dramatic changes.”

Read the full BtoB Online article.

How has your organization responded to the changing market? Are you using new media, including online video and social media to improve your chances of success?

Still think you can’t have fun with B2B marketing videos?

So, you still think there’s no way to create fun business-to-business marketing videos? Watch this:

Fun business to business marketing video

Fun business to business marketing video

The xCELLigence from Roche Applied Science “monitors cellular events in real time without the incorporation of labels by measuring electrical impedance across interdigitated micro-electrodes integrated on the bottom of tissue culture E-Plates.”

If a company that technical can create fun B2B marketing videos, so can you.

Three types of people in B2B sales, who are you?

According to marketing guru Seth Godin, There are only three kinds of people in business to business sales:

The “Stallers”
– These people make up the majority of the population and are “empowered to stall.” They’ll ask for so much more information that you’ll feel like you’ve been sent “after the broomstick of the wicked witch of the west.”

The “No” People
– Those that have the ability to stall, but also possess the authority to hand you a big, fat “no.”

The “Yes” People
– This group is the smallest of the bunch, but full of those with the power to say “yes” to your offer. They may participate in stall tactics, but just for the fun of it.

If you’ve ever been part of a business to business sales team, most of your experience comes from dealing with “stallers” and “no” people. It’s a great day when you get to deliver your pitch to one of the “yes” people, but it may only happen rarely.

“You have no chance (zero) of moving someone from one category to another. The reason this system evolved is straightforward: the yes people are rare in a typical organization, because they have responsibility and power. So they are busy and need to be protected. The no people are easy to train at saying no, and they’re waiting to be promoted to yes people. And the stallers? They represent the dip, the barrier salespeople have to get through to show that they are serious.”

Instead of trying in vain to move someone from one category to another, Seth says to get up and start playing offense if you want the best deal.

“The opportunity for marketers in search of media is not to play defense, to stall people with clever ideas or small platforms, but instead to stop stalling and start looking. The bargains are there, just waiting.”

It’s a great post that hope everyone had a chance to read, visit Seth’s blog for even more great advice.

So, who are you? “Staller,” a “no” person or a “yes” person? Leave a comment and let us know why.

Mixing social media and B2B, it can be done

Think your B2B products are too technical for social media? Don’t think B2B buyers would participate?

One company is proving that social media and B2B can work together to achieve greatness.

IBM recently found success using social media marketing tools to create buzz around an otherwise “dry” technology product.

The campaign was targeted at a few hundred thousand IT professionals to inform them of their latest product that aids developer collaboration.

They created a character named Mr. Fong, and sent him off into space. Mr. Fong must now try to use every available tool to reconnect with his team.

Users can follow Mr. Fong’s progress via YouTube videos, video email messages, Facebook and MySpace profiles and a Twitter account. The central focus of the campaign is at the website www.connectmrfong.com.

Mixing social media and B2B

Mixing social media and B2B

In the past, IBM’s marketing team would have used a direct mail campaign to target potential customers. Today, the team is using a variety of online tactics in their marketing mix.

IBM has found the video email introduction to the campaign to be one of the most successful tactics. Email open rates are at 20% with 3.4% click-through rates over the past 11 weeks, according to Adweek.

Visit www.connectmrfong.com for ideas on how to leverage the power of social media to promote a seemingly “dry” product of your own.

CMOs say traditional methods are “broken”

Almost nine out of ten (87%) of U.S. CMOs and marketing managers believe branding initiatives need to be more adaptable in today’s market than in the past.

Of those surveyed by the Verse Group and Jupiter Research, 63% of marketers and CMOs think traditional brand positioning and advertising are not as effective as they once were and are “broken.”

CMOs say traditional marketing methods are “broken”

CMOs say traditional marketing methods are “broken”

Survey findings also revealed that most marketers credit the recession for pushing them to become more innovative and discover new ways to position their brands on various marketing platforms. The economy is also the main reason behind the increased scrutiny marketers are getting from their managers to deliver better marketing ROI.

Other key findings of the survey include:

  • 62% of marketers say traditional advertising efforts are no longer as effective as they once were in attracting new customers.
  • 62% are seeking breakthrough methods that are more effective than brand positioning.
  • 89% say that marketing is under greater scrutiny than ever before.

In response to the findings, Verse Group said “that companies that adopt narrative-based branding strategies that cut across many delivery platforms have greater success potential than those who don’t.”