CRO Series: What is CRO Marketing?
CRO Marketing, or Conversion Rate Optimization Marketing, involves creating strategies that enable the optimization of a website’s conversion process to get an increase in the number of people to perform the desired action(s).
The term, “marketing”, added to the initial CRO is aimed at breaking down on different strategies businesses could implore to optimize their conversions.
Some of which include:
- Blog posts
- Landing Pages
- Website Copy
- Call-to-Actions (CTAs)
- Page Speed
- PPC Ads
- Site structure and Navigational experience
- Email campaigns
- Text messages and
- Display Ads
These strategies encompass different variations and iterations that could span from market research down to initial conversions.
Recent reports on the impact of these strategies showed that 7 in 10 marketers use results from their CRO to inform their other marketing initiatives.
This establishes CRO marketing as a benchmark for a business growth strategy.
However, businesses intending to follow this path in their growth journey need to understand that;
CRO Marketing is not a Tactic or Growth Hack, It’s a Conversion Strategy
With only about 22% of businesses satisfied with their conversion rates, it shows that not only are these businesses not converting enough of their visitors, but their customer acquisition cost is relatively high.
The idea of growth hacking your way or creating tactics to push your conversions through the roof is unrealistic and only built for short-term gains.
It doesn’t in any way build your business for long-term success due to an increase in the expectation of quick ROIs.
An Econsultancy and Decibel report on the State of Digital Experience and Conversion found that most businesses approach optimization in a similar tactic-based manner.
…– found that most companies continue to address their digital experience either purely reactively, solving problems as they arise, or in a short-term way based on tactical optimization.
It further relates the survey that:
Only two-fifths of more than 300 companies who responded to the survey adopt a strategic approach based on a deep understanding of their customers’ paths to purchase.
All of which is the complete opposite of the appropriate marketing approach to optimize your conversions.
Businesses like this are mostly viewed as having a “company-focused” mentality. One that trumps the “customer-focused” approach experts recommend.
Those who put customers as a priority in their approach as a conversion strategy generate 60% higher profit than their competitions when they make the customer experience a priority.
Whereas, businesses who focus solely on themselves, have low chances of conversions, as attracting new customers will cost anywhere between 5-7x more than keeping their existing ones.
So, how do you bridge this gap?
Instead of cracking the brains behind your marketing team on the next tactic or growth hack— Do this instead:
Look at CRO marketing based on two fundamentals:
- Before a visitor lands on your website
- After a visitor lands on your website.
- Before a visitor lands on your website
The marketing strategies implored to optimize your conversions don’t start from your website. Rather, it’s in play right before the visitor even lands on your website.
- That blog post you optimized to show up on the top page of Google.
- The Facebook ads you ran to get more visitors
- That thread you wrote on Twitter
- Your LinkedIn post, etc.
All of these are touchpoints that play a role in determining how well you’d convert based on the marketing strategies used.
By creating a perception in your audience’s mind before landing on your website, you’ve done half of the heavy work.
This leaves you in the other part —the most crucial one of it.
- After a visitor lands on your website…
That’s the typical question in every web visitor’s mind.
Yes, you did a great job getting them on the website, but what comes after?
Back to understanding CRO marketing as a conversion strategy, and not a tactic or growth hack, it gives you a breakdown of looking at your whole process as a customer journey.
At each point on the journey, you’re able to know what works and what doesn’t. Right from when they get aware — to when they finally convert.
You can easily optimize parts along the journey that will increase the chances of them reaching their final destination — literally.
Now that you understand the before and after of your visitors on your website, the next step is how to do CRO marketing —this time, the right way.
How to do CRO Marketing
In every marketing book ever written and every conversation had with marketing experts, one single thing they all say is — marketing is a process.
And CRO marketing is no different.
Using marketing strategies to optimize conversion rates follows a step-by-step process that allows for observations, research, tests, predictions, etc.
It’s a process that has no end as it continues to grow based on different parameters or goal metrics your business plans to achieve.
And to set you on this path, here’s how you can do your own CRO Marketing;
- Know which conversion type works for you
Although the end goal for every business is sales — not all of them can have the same type of conversion.
Depending on what type of business model you run and what industry it’s in, what you qualify as conversion will always be different.
This depicts that before the actual primary conversion of all businesses, some other conversions add up before that.
And due to this, conversion types are split into two, namely:
- Macro Conversions
- Micro Conversions
- Macro Conversions
These can be referred to as actions web visitors take that represent your website’s primary goal or objective.
They accrue to be the sole purpose of every business as it’s considered the final conversion of a customer’s journey
A typical example is with an eCommerce whose macro conversion will be having a web visitor make the final purchase.
eBay, for example, records your final purchase of every item as a macro conversion:
Others come in different forms depending on the business and what model they run:
- Member Signups for a freemium-based platform/software e.g., social media apps and websites
- Form completion for service providers e.g., network providers, law firms, individual consultants, and advisors.
All of these macro conversions are tied toward the business’s primary objective. This then helps create a structure on which your micro-conversions can be built.
- Micro Conversions
This is defined as the steps that facilitate a web visitor’s journey in reaching the end goal or primary objective of a conversion process.
For the most part, macro conversions might seem like the most important aspect of CRO marketing to a business due to how much it aligns with the primary object.
It however doesn’t paint the full picture of users’ engagement and experience.
Micro conversions, on the other hand, do this by indicating web visitor’s reaction to changes all through different stages of conversion.
Taking on a SaaS business, for example, a typical macro conversion would be a paid subscription.
On the other hand, micro conversions such as free trials, demo requests, newsletter signups, social media follow, PDF downloads, etc. — are all key to the final conversion.
By analyzing your micro-conversions, you can easily spot places in your sales funnel that cause either a spike or drop-off in conversions.
All of these tie back to knowing what type of conversion works for you, and how you want to set up each part of that conversion process.
A good way to start is by identifying key metrics that contribute to your conversion goals. With this you’d be able to compare results before and after you’ve made changes.
- Align your Sales Funnel with your Buyer Persona
It’s a good thing for your business to know how to map out the perfect conversion strategy.
But strategy won’t work in CRO Marketing unless you create a buyer persona that aligns perfectly with that sales funnel.
In a sales funnel, all that’s involved are the steps that someone has to take to become your customer.
For the most part, this is simply a lead generation for your sales team to get many of your prospects to the part of the funnel that makes conversion easier.
However, what happens when your sales funnel doesn’t fit in with your buyer persona?
Simple answer —It leads to poor conversions.
Right off the bat, there shouldn’t be a sales funnel at all without a buyer persona. Or rather, even if you had a sales funnel — it won’t be a good one.
Meanwhile, with a buyer persona, you can be able to single-out and humanize your audience. What this means is you’re picking specific data out of your “target audience” data.
Contrary to what most businesses do in their sales funnel — they focus on the masses.
You technically cannot convert your “target audience” as a whole—instead, you can convert particular type(s) of customers in your target audience.
i.e, A section of your audience that have common similarities.
This then provides you with a relatable mental image that allows you to employ mental and emotional triggers that drive customers to the ultimate goal of the conversion process.
A question you might have in mind is — why do all this?
Here it is, the most critical aspect of CRO marketing is “your ideal customer” and in this case, is your buyer persona — which makes your understanding of them and how they relate to your product or services an important part.
It’s the same reason 82% of companies using buyer personas were able to create effective value propositions. And 47% of companies who exceed sales and revenue goals consistently maintain their personas.
A quick example is how we do ours at Edgemesh —
Also this Journey for our personas:
- Run an Experiment, Observe, and Analyze Results
You’ve scaled from step 1 — knowing what conversion type works for you.
In step 2 — you got to know why you should align your sales funnel with your buyer persona.
Now, the next step is putting it all into practice.
Before this step, you’ve had your conversion process all set up and running — now it’s time to change up a few things.
- Running the Experiment
As said earlier, CRO marketing is not a one-stop-shop for conversions, it’s a continuous process. This is why you need to test what works with what doesn’t for your business. This will help measure KPIs in your overall conversion process.
Let’s do a mock-up example of how this can play out.
- You run a SaaS business that works on a subscription-based model and you’re trying to see how you can optimize the conversions of a new landing page tailored to fit your Facebook ad.
- There are two variants of the landing page. One has testimonials from past customers —while the other doesn’t have that.
Your observations should span from micro-conversions to macro conversions. This is because, along with the build-up in the customer journey, different situations and circumstances can influence the interactions with your service.
Some of this can be accounted for — and some cannot, for example, a web visitor’s internet connection.
From our example, what you’ll be observing are:
- Website interaction according to customer stage in the sales funnel
- Navigation pattern in different sections of the landing page
- Analyzing the Results
The results you get here are what determines if all micro conversions are all worth it at the end —or what needs to be tweaked.
Comparing your results, you need to be able to get enough statistical data to back up your changes.
If you get a drop-off on weekends, for example, and an increase on weekdays irrespective of the number of changes you make on any variant, that should give you an idea of how your audience works.
As a result, there’s no need to make drastic changes to your landing page — unless the situation calls for it (especially on public holidays).
Back to our example, the results you analyze become the changes you make.
- Percentage of click-throughs when there are testimonials on the landing page –and when there are not.
- Percentage of bounce rate on both variants.
- Percentage of Click-through rates.
Giving an overview of this mock-up example and relating it to an actual business you’re likely to get similar or close CTRs from the Facebook ad to the landing page since there are no changes made in that section.
However, after visitors get on the landing page, the whole experience becomes way different with the impact of micro-conversions such as social proof (in this case, testimonials).
Although this is based only on testing the effectiveness of social proof on a landing page to an audience, there are several other factors you should keep an eye out for and also worth testing and optimizing.
Some of them include:
- Page speed
- Font size and color of choice
- Wording of CTAs
- CTA button and construction
- Page content
- Header image
- Website navigational and structural experience, etc.
This is why as much as CRO marketing can set a path for growth, it needs to be done right for it to align with the business.
At every point, you need to run a test and analyze different elements in your conversion process.
In a nutshell, CRO Marketing is important to your business
And it literally never stops getting better because there’s no limit to the possibilities of testing you can do to different elements on your websites.
Sometimes, a little 2-minute adjustment on a thing such as a font can drastically improve user engagement, experience —which leads to an increase in conversions.
And that’s all for CRO marketing, and how you can do yours to get the maximum results.
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