The Importance of a Customer Data Platform (CDP) in Your Marketing

Customer data platforms (CDP) are like the connective tissue of your marketing. Like ligaments in our arms and legs, they bind all the different elements together and allow them to move in sync to accomplish the goals of the broader system. 

A CDP isn’t a static piece of software that reads data and spits out metrics or provides abstract insights that may or may not be actionable. A good quality CDP is a bi-directional platform that acts as the “glue” of your marketing platform and also helps inform your intelligence and reporting.

This article will go over some of the benefits of CDPs and offer some tips on using them. 

What Exactly Is a CDP?

According to Gartner, a customer data platform is “a software application that supports marketing and customer experience use cases by unifying a company’s customer data.” An effective CDP should not only help you process and understand the data gathered from your marketing campaigns; it should also provide information that enables you to direct your efforts going forward.

That’s a good definition, but it can be easier to fully understand a CDP when considering the benefits it can bring your marketing team. Let’s dive into a few everyday use cases for CDPs and explain why they will help you better understand your customers and prospects.  

Segmentation of Personas

Distinguishing between the problems and objectives of different clients is one of the most common challenges in B2B marketing. By using a CDP to improve your ability to collect and analyze data from different places, you gain a more thorough understanding of what motivates different clients. A more well-rounded data set means you’re not just relying on interactions with your marketing funnels to get information about people interested in your offering. You can then use this information to segment assets more deeply like email messages, landing pages, pay-per-click ads, etc.

Unification of the Client Profile

Just as a CDP can help you differentiate between your personas, it can also provide a deeper dive into the needs of one audience. This ability allows your marketing team to go beyond vanity metrics and whether or not an offer was converted or clicked on.

Just as a CDP can help you differentiate between your personas, it can also provide a deeper dive into the needs of one audience. Click To Tweet

A common example in the world of B2B software is support interactions. We often see companies taking a siloed approach, where marketing uses one set of data, support uses another, and it’s challenging to put them together to draw overarching conclusions. Even if the raw data is available in some form – for example, a CRM accessible by the entire company – it can be challenging for all sides of the team to understand how to interpret the data and use it to take informed actions.

With a CDP, information flows openly from one part of the experience to the other in a way that is accessible and understandable for everyone who should be involved in its interpretation.

Enhance Data by Connecting It to Other Departments

The right type of CDP platform allows you to track and gather data from every angle of your business and connect everything into a single thread that makes sense in the broader context of the company. You’ll be able to glean deeper insights from some of the data you are already gathering, which can improve many different parts of the business.

Here’s an easy example: think about the data you are currently tracking from your landing pages. Unfortunately, much of this web analytics information likely falls into the “vanity metrics” category like page views, visits, bounce rates, etc. These data can be helpful, but only if you can put them together into a broader narrative that dictates decisions about your funnel.

Now incorporate a CDP into the picture. Not only can you put these metrics into the platform, but you can also enrich these basic web analytics KPIs by incorporating data from your marketing team – conversions, click-through rates, etc. 

This path allows you to go beyond surface-level metrics for your landing pages and understand the specific revenue attributable to each interaction. You can take the normal numbers you look at from a landing page and more clearly understand their direct impact on your sales pipeline. 

How Do You Choose a CDP?

We’ve spent a lot of time reviewing a CDP’s benefits. The next logical step to consider is the process of choosing a CDP. While the entire selection process is too complex to detail here fully, we can offer three general tips:

  • Clearly define your needs. Think about what specifically you are hoping to accomplish, at least on a broad level – you don’t need to go into great detail yet. Do you want to use a CDP to enhance your post-purchase support and improve churn numbers? Maybe you want to plug up some bad leaks in your funnel. Identifying multiple scenarios is okay, but ideally, you should have two or three that drive the process.
  • Incorporate company-wide stakeholders. Representatives from each team responsible for using the CDP in one way or another should have at least some degree of input during the selection process. Even if you want to move relatively quickly, it’s still beneficial to at least keep relevant team members abreast on updates with the selection process. Doing this avoids any unexpected delays or obstacles during the implementation stage. 
  • Optimize for growth. Change is one of the only consistent elements in the B2B technology sector. As new protocols and tools are developed, the needs and goals of your target audience will undoubtedly shift. This shift leads to pivots, growth, and contraction – often in a very compressed timeframe. The best CDP for your company will be able to handle these changes without causing significant hiccups in your data collection.

Conclusion

It’s easy to see why some might initially be skeptical of a customer data platform as unnecessary complexity, another item to check off on the analytics to-do list. When you use a CDP to its full potential, it has the opposite effect: simplification. A CDP helps you enrich the data you’re already collecting and better connect the work of different team members. Ultimately it should paint a more detailed picture of the entire scope of your customer journey, from the first interaction with marketing collateral to repeat purchases over the long term.

Although these are tangible benefits, the process of going from considering a CDP to reaping its positive elements of it can be a difficult road. A CDP is a complex tool that touches almost every side of your business. For someone unfamiliar or new to selecting the right marketing technology, it’s especially critical to have expert input.

Our team at FunnelEnvy has several years of experience in simplifying our clients’ most complicated business software decisions. If you’re looking to use a CDP to go beyond the rote metrics that may or may not have value for your team, get in touch with us today. We can help you identify the key factors that should drive your CDP decision and advise you on some of the solutions that have worked well for companies in a similar scenario.

To get started, fill out this short quiz to learn about our pricing and how we may be able to help you grow.

By |2022-06-16T18:03:44-07:00June 27th, 2022|B2B|0 Comments

Building Your B2B Marketing Tech Stack

Digital marketing is exponentially more powerful today than the techniques used in the early days of the web. Unfortunately, with its expanded capabilities comes more complexity. There are more tools, techniques, and channels available than ever before and that can make it difficult to choose which software to use in the pursuit of your digital marketing goals.

This article outlines a basic framework for addressing this common B2B marketing issue. While we can’t recommend specific software tools universal for all businesses, the principles outlined here should get you well on your way to selecting your own set of software tools – commonly known as a “tech stack.”  

Our Approach to B2B Marketing Tech Stacks

We suggest clients and prospects select two different software tools to be the foundation of their marketing: one customer relationship management (CRM) tool, and one marketing automation tool. A CRM acts as a database of information on your past, present, and future customers as well as a communication log. A marketing automation tool allows you to automate specific marketing tasks across different channels, particularly email and social media.

Why these two specific tools? Here’s the breakdown: 

Core Element 1 of 2: CRM

The most basic version of a CRM is a digital business address book that also allows you to take notes. But in the last decade or so, CRM technology has come a long way. Today the decision about CRM is less about having one, and more about choosing the best one to integrate properly with the rest of your tech stack.

Today the decision about CRM is less about having one, and more about choosing the best one to integrate properly with the rest of your tech stack. Click To Tweet

Another reason we like CRMs is their importance for sales and marketing. The CRM tool acts as a “home base” for many sales reps. It’s one of the first things they check when their work begins (along with their email) and houses critical data that helps them be successful. In an optimal CRM situation, not only is this data used to help your sales team, but it can also be fed to the marketing department so they can use it to flesh out changes to buyer personas, campaign strategy, etc.

Consider our next core element regarding marketing data: a marketing automation platform.

Core Element 2 of 2: Automation Platform

While your CRM will probably be the home base for the sales team (or whoever is handling sales responsibilities at your company), your marketing automation platform will be the primary tool used by marketing. 

At its most fundamental level, a marketing automation platform does exactly what it sounds like: automates your marketing. Typically, it handles tasks that would be impossible or highly arduous for a person to complete manually, including things like:

  • Sending out emails to an entire subscriber list or segment of a list 
  • Indicating which campaign made a prospect aware of the company
  • Scoring leads to determine which ones are most likely to become customers
  • Gathering user data from email and website interactions to determine which elements of your marketing are most successful
  • Connecting all the other elements of your marketing (including a CRM) into one consistent resource your team can use

A few of the most common marketing automation tools include:

  • HubSpot, popular for small and medium-sized businesses and known for simple, intuitive user interfaces
  • Marketo, an automation software platform owned by Adobe that focuses on tracking user experiences and improving cross-channel engagement
  • Constant Contact, which focuses on engaging with small business clients who are interested in using email and SMS marketing

There are many different options depending on your budget and the kind of functionality you want. On which specific factors should you aim your focus? Here are a few tips to consider as you compare different marketing automations and CRM tools available for your company:

  • Your current workflow. The way you currently do things might favor selecting one particular automation tool or another. For example, if you’re already a Salesforce user, you’re probably much more likely to use Pardot instead of a similar tool. It’ll provide the least disruption to your current workflow, which saves money in the long run, even if it means selecting the more expensive option in the short term.
  • Budget. How much can you afford to spend on a new automation tool? Think about areas where you might be able to save money. HubSpot, for example, offers many different pricing options and bundles across its suite of products and services. By tailoring your purchase in this way, you can save money by eliminating services and features you don’t need.
  • Installation and setup. Essentially – how long does it take to go from purchase to being able to use the platform fully? While you might view this as a temporary concern, it’s still important. What if your sales and marketing teams cannot function at full capacity for weeks or even months while you are integrating new software into the company’s workflow? Decision-makers must determine if this kind of sacrifice is worth making for an automation or CRM platform.
  • Service and support. Once things are in place and your company can begin using the software, what happens if there is an issue or something stops working? This factor may not be obvious upfront, but it could be worth investing a little more in a higher-end option that provides better support to users.

Finally, remember that most of the major marketing automation platforms available will have their own CRM tool built-in. While it is possible to use separate tools for CRM and marketing automation, make sure they integrate well or it could create more work than necessary.

A Word on Google Analytics

No matter what kind of marketing automation platform or CRM you use, we also recommend incorporating Google Analytics into your stack. It’s one of the most popular and universally compatible tools around, especially for marketers who rely heavily on website-based interactions to generate leads. Most of the major automation platforms will easily be able to understand and integrate data from Google, which provides another valuable source for insights without complicating your current workflow.

Bringing It All Together

Marketing technology can feel complex, but it doesn’t need to be. The best way to cut through all of the noise and complexity in marketing automation and technology is to focus on your specific needs. Before you compare the various options available to meet your CRM and automation needs, a strong understanding of your target audience and how your business intends to market to them will make the search much easier.

Above all, keep things as simple as possible and as close to your current workflow as possible. Make sure to “close the loop” so that all of the different tools and platforms you use for marketing can work together to form a single, reliable set of data that will inform your strategy for attracting more leads and converting more of them to customers.

Want personalized help trying to figure out which of the many marketing software tools is best for your business? Take this quiz to see how FunnelEnvy can help ensure you’re choosing the digital marketing platforms that empower and improve your business.

By |2022-05-06T08:44:45-07:00May 16th, 2022|B2B|0 Comments

Optimizing Campaigns & Websites by Integrating Offline Conversions into Google Analytics

Integrating offline conversions into Google Analytics can help you optimize your campaigns and website experiences. This is something that we commonly do for our customers when we’re optimizing their inbound funnels. In this post I’m going to go into some of the details about how it actually works.

So, what do I mean by offline conversions? If you’re doing demand or lead generation you’re capturing those leads onsite, typically through a form or  a chatbot. As you know that’s only a small part of the much larger funnel, most of which happens offline. Your Marketing Qualified Leads, Sales Qualified Leads, opportunity stages, closed won revenue. Those are all captured offline – and can think of them as offline goal conversions.

In addition to being offline, you also have the distinction, if you’re in B2B, of having individual offline conversions, like qualified leads versus account or company level conversions, like opportunities or revenue.

demand generation funnel

This can also exist in the e-commerce world, especially if you’re in B2B. You might be selling products on your site but also have volume based quote functionality where larger buyers are initiating quotes online and the quote generation and order capture is actually taking place offline.

The biggest optimization mistake that we have seen over the years is using the wrong success metric. And if you’re only measuring online goals, clicks and leads, that can lead to inefficient spend in your paid media campaigns and wasted activity and low quality leads from your website experimentation and optimization.

A solution on the paid media side is ultimately being able to adjust your bids based on those offline conversions. And for your website, assessing the results of experiments and making decisions based on those down funnel conversions.

channel optimization

Google Analytics is often the source of this analysis and decision making. By default Google Analytics is only tracking individual onsite activity. How traffic gets to the site, the bounce rates, page views, etc. Even the goal conversions typically stop at the form completion (on-site).

Google Analytics is great at digesting paid media campaign information website activity, and linking to ad platforms like Google Ads. But the majority of your offline conversion information is happening in different systems. Marketing automation platforms, CRM, or maybe a quote and order management solution.

To solve this we need to integrate those directly into Google Analytics. By doing so we can actually see those offline conversions, like marketing, qualified leads, opportunities, revenue as goals directly in Google Analytics and even evaluate the performance of campaigns, channels, landing pages, everything else in Google Analytics by down funnel goals like closed won revenue.

Backend integration to GA

offline goals in GA 2022-02-07

So here are the main requirements to accomplish this integration:

  1. Understand the important identifiers that Google Analytics uses and store them in your backend platforms.
  2. Capture those offline conversions from those backend systems.
  3. Translating them into the identities and events that Google Analytics expects.
  4. Send  hits to Google Analytics via the offline API known as the Measurement Protocol.

full GA integration

Let’s start by understanding the identifiers that Google Analytics uses.

Here, I’m going focus on Universal Analytics. GA4 (Google Analytics 4) is still being rolled out as at the time of this post. A lot of the concepts in GA4 are very different. So we’re still very focused on Universal Analytics.

First off, Universal Analytics has a Tracking ID. This identifies the account and property that you’re going to be sending hits to. If you log into the Google Analytics interface, you’ll be able to see that Tracking ID. You can also retrieve it using JavaScript from the browser.

The second identifier that we care about is the Client ID. This identifies a device or browser. It’s automatically set by the Google Analytics script, persisted in a cookie on the browser and has a predefined structure.

GA tracking id client id

The final identifier is the User ID. This is less commonly used in these use cases. But it is important to understand because this lets you identify an individual user on the site. Unlike the prior two IDs, this is actually set by a site owner, typically post authentication, where the user might be logging in with multiple devices, to identify an individual user and as such it has no predefined structure.

Importantly, when you send offline hits to Google Analytics, you need to include the Tracking ID and either the Client ID or the User ID. So the approach that we’re going to take is to store these identifiers alongside the lead in your backend solution.

And really, there are two options here. If you only care about individual goals and you only care about the Google Analytics tracking, you can store that Google Analytics Tracking ID and Client ID directly in your backend platform.

The second option, which we use at FunnelEnvy and gives us a little bit more flexibility across different implementations and other identifiers that we have to track is to actually capture those GA identifiers, the Tracking ID and Client ID in the browser, and associate them with another Visitor ID that we set as a cookie. Then we store that single ID, that Visitor ID in the backend platform and translate it when we’re setting those hits to GA.

To actually send them to the backend platform, you can populate the IDs that you’re going to use as hidden input fields on the form. When the lead submits that form, the GA identifiers will be saved in your backend platform.

This is relatively straight forward to do in platforms like Salesforce, Marketo or HubSpot, in which you can create custom fields or properties in that backend platform. And then populate with hidden fields in the forms using JavaScript. We commonly do this using Google Tag Manager.

storing GA identifiers in backend

The second step then is capturing the offline conversions that are happening in those backend platforms. The first thing you have to do is identify the offline goals that you care about. If you’re doing demand generation, it’s typically marketing, qualified leads or sales qualified leads at an individual level.

New opportunities closed won revenue, are very common, and if you’re generating offline orders, the generation of the quote or the order itself.

The most common way that we actually capture these offline conversions is triggering a webhook from the source platform for each offline conversion. A webhook is simply an HTTP request that’s made to our system.

Again, these webhooks will have to include the Google Analytics IDs that you’re storing on the backend, or the visitor ID, if you’re taking that approach. And importantly, where you do have an amount, like an opportunity value, a closed won value, an order value, you want to include that because you’ll be able to send that as well to Google Analytics in either the event or order that you’ll be submitting.

Now you can configure webhooks very simply in a variety of these solutions. HubSpot has workflows with webhooks, Marketo natively supports webhooks. In Salesforce, you can code webhooks in Apex or use an application like the Hooked app to visually create workflows and webhooks. Now for some reason you can’t create a webhook as an alternative you can poll through the API or directly from a database.

webhook options hubspot, marketo, salesforce

Once you’ve captured the offline conversions, you’re going toto translate those into the format and the identities that Google Analytics understands. If you’re storing the Google Analytics Tracking ID and Client ID directly in the backend, and you only care about those individual goal conversions, that you don’t really need to do any identity translation. The identity is encapsulated within that Tracking ID and Client ID.

If, however, you are storing the visitor ID then you’ll translate that into the relevant Google Analytics IDs. And if you are tracking account level goals, like opportunities, deals, or revenue at an account level, then you’re going to need to translate your account to all of the contacts that you have available. To do this you’re probably going to need to pull some kind of account to contact mapping from your CRM.

The following diagram illustrates this. For an individual goal, like MQL, you can web hook that directly from the CRM into Google Analytics. Just get the Tracking ID and Client ID and send that on a one-to-one basis to Google Analytics. But if you are sending an account level goal, there’s another step involved of pulling the account to contact or individual mapping, then translating account identifiers into contact IDs, and then into Google Analytics Tracking IDs so that you can send those offline hits to Google Analytics.

individual vs account goals

What you’re really going to want to do is identify all of those offline conversions and then map those to the types of hits that you’ll be sending to Google Analytics through the Measurement Protocol. You’ll want to identify the type, whether that’s account or individual.

Typically for demand generation type of scenarios we use events as the hit type whereas for e-commerce we use orders. As part of this mapping you can identify the relevant fields in those hits and make sure you’re accounting for all of them, including the value, which can be either an actual value coming from the offline conversion or predicted value if you can do that.

map offline conversions

The final step is actually sending those hits to Google Analytics. So for this again, we’re going to use the Google Analytics Measurement Protocol. This is an offline API to be able to send hits directly to the GA servers over HTTP. Now Google Analytics includes a pretty helpful tool that allows you to build and test those offline Measurement Protocol hits.

measurement protocol hit builder examples

So here you can see an example of an event and the event structure that’s sent to Google Analytics. As well as an enhanced e-commerce purchase example that you might use for an offline e-commerce order.

If you are sending event hits, then you’ll want to create a goal of type event so that the goal is triggered on the offline event hit that you’re sending to GA. And if you are sending an event value along with that measurement protocol hit, you’ll want to set the goal value as the event value.

GA goal setup

Unfortunately the measurement protocol has been abused over the years by bots. In the view settings Google Analytics has the ability to block bots. We’ve seen that if you leave the IP address blank, and don’t set an IP address on that Measurement Protocol hit you’re more likely to get that traffic blocked as bot traffic. So we typically recommend setting the IP address of the hit to the same visitor IP that initiated the prior session (that submitted the form), and send that along with your Measurement Protocol hit.

The other thing that you can do that’s really helpful is set a custom dimension along with those measurement protocol hits. One example is to send the buyer stage. So if the visitor is an MQL, if they have an active opportunity, send that as along as a dimension to Google Analytics so you can further segment that traffic and understand what they’re doing on site.

And then finally you can backdate hits, but only up to four hours reliably using the queue time parameter. What that practically means is you can’t expect to send hits days or weeks in the past, you need to be pretty on top of it and this process needs to be running relatively frequently because you can really only backdate those hits by four hours.

I want to spend a little bit of time talking about attribution. By default, the measurement protocol hits that are going to be sent are, will attributed to the direct channel in a new session. The default reporting in Google Analytics uses the last click non-direct attribution model for reporting.

Practically, what that means is that when that conversion comes over offline from the Measurement Protocol, it’s going to be in a new session. But the conversion will actually be attributed to the prior non-direct channel.

So to visualize this that let’s say we have a visitor coming along, hitting the site, viewing a few pages and then submitting a form, and that visitor came in from a paid search ad. When we send over the offline conversion, that’s going to generate a new session which by default it will be attributed to the direct channel. So the conversion is actually going to be attributed to the prior session’s (paid search).

offline conversion attribution in GA

I want to wrap this up with some final thoughts. To be able to track these offline conversions and associate them to marketing campaigns, as well as website experience, you don’t need an entirely new tech stack. You can use Google Analytics in the same way that you have. You just have to integrate the data into it.

As I mentioned the number one mistake that we see when doing optimization of any kind is picking the wrong success metric. And without measuring these meaningful outcomes, optimization experimentation, things like segmentation and personalization are really just vanity exercises.

With these offline conversions, however, you can optimize your bidding through your ad platform, for example, by linking Google Analytics and Google Ads and triggering goal conversions that occur from offline events. And you can optimize your experiences, most importantly, your offers and your form experiences that are most likely to have an impact on those down funnel KPIs.

Finally, if you do have a long sales cycle and a relatively low volume of revenue conversions, you can take this a step further. You can actually take a more frequent, upstream conversion and use a predictive model to predict revenue and optimize faster. As we see from the table below, more frequent conversions (a higher number of conversions in a certain time period), in Google Ads will actually allow the algorithm to optimize faster. So sending along a predicted revenue value with your MQLs can allow that algorithm to optimize traffic much faster, while those down-funnel actual closed won revenue conversions are coming in.

google ads impact of conversion volume

By |2022-02-07T15:05:30-08:00February 7th, 2022|Analytics, The Funnel, B2B|0 Comments

Optimizing the Account Based Revenue Funnel

Transcript

Let’s assume that you’re targeting B2B companies and you built out your account list. And if you have a heavy ABM strategy, those accounts probably represent the vast majority of your potential revenue. So how do you go about converting that opportunity into conversations and qualified pipeline? Generally it all boils down to some combination of inbound and outbound funnels; but what if you’re not getting them to convert?

Just because you’re doing ABM doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll magically alleviate the common B2B funnel problems, such as low conversion rates, qualified pipeline, high customer acquisition costs and low quality leads.

When you’re facing this, it’s very easy to be critical of the factors that are under your control, like messaging, campaigns or list building. But it’s also very often the case that there are factors outside of your control. Most notably buyer behavior. It’s relatively well known that the buyer journey in B2B is long, especially for net new customers. And it’s only getting longer.

long buyer journey

There are a lot of frameworks that try to describe buyer behavior, and they all look something like this.

buying stages

This is what we and the experts out there think buyers are doing when they’re going through a purchase decision.

I think that’s a somewhat limited view. Let’s zoom out a little bit to understand our buyers over a longer period of time, not just when they happen to be looking for products or services. The reality is that outside of this relatively short buying window, they’re not thinking about you at all. In fact, they’re likely doing other stuff like executing projects, managing their teams, or, after they’ve actually made a purchase decision, implementing the solutions that they selected with no immediate need to find another one.

If you think about this in terms of actual purchase intent of the buyer, it’s usually quite low for anything that has a significant price tag associated with it.

buying window

Usually we only see it shift dramatically within that buying window. This doesn’t mean that you completely ignore accounts that are outside of the buying window, but it does suggest that you’re more likely to see buying motions within it when they have higher purchase intent.

Of course, an important point here is that unlike account selection, campaigns offers purchase intent is largely outside of your control. It starts when buyers become aware of a problem or solution and it progresses from there. So your goal is to engage them in a conversation as early in that process as possible.

What’s the value of the purchase intent within the buying window? Let’s do some funnel math to solve for it. The expected value of an account at any point in time can be modeled as the revenue expected from that account, either on an LTV or annual contract value basis multiplied by the probability of conversion at that point in time.

From our experience the probability of conversion to opportunity is largely determined by the customer’s purchase intent and the offer that you put in front of them. What if you could allocate more budget and therefore create higher impact offers to those high in 10 accounts that are within the buying window?

expected value and targeting

There are several ways to model this, but here’s one approach. In it we assume some percentage of the total accounts that you’re targeting are in the buying window at any point in time, that you have a fixed budget for acquisition and you’ve established an average cost to generate an opportunity from your accounts.

high intent targeting model

If you’re distributing that budget evenly across all of your target accounts, irrespective of their intent (known as the spray and pray model), then you have less total budget available for those high in 10 accounts. If however, you’re able to focus and optimize, so that 80% of your budget is focused on the high intent accounts and 20% on the rest, then you’re able to actually generate eight times more opportunities from accounts that are in that buying window because of the higher spend.

Of course this assumes that there’s a correlation between the budget you can spend per account and the conversion rate, which in this case is a sales conversation. Now, typically that involves higher touch and more expensive plays like high touch outreach, personalization, increased PPC bids or direct mail.

conversion rate optimized

But if you are confident that you can generate more conversions at high intent accounts by focusing your budget and spend, the next step is being able to identify when an account starts showing intent. To understand this, we can think about all the various activities buyers go through when they go through your purchase stages. That could be everything from internal activities, like recruiting and fundraising and coming to your website, engaging with your content ads and outbound campaigns and actually filling out forms and piloting solutions.

buying signals

All of these are signals that can be captured and tracked by different sources from third parties to analytics and marketing automation platforms. And although intent data is often discussed as something you buy exclusively from a third party, recognize that most of these are first party data sources often siloed away. General intent is useful, but it’s actually more important to establish an intent for your specific product or service.

signal sources

Our recommendation is before you run out and buy expensive third party intent data, make sure you’re fully taking advantage of your first party data sources that can help you try and triangulate buyer intent. The final point here is even if we’re running ABM campaigns, the traditional conversion points, when a customer fills out a form on your website or schedules meeting from an outbound campaign, can be way too late in the journey. Any sales rep is going to tell you that the earlier they can engage that account, who’s entering the buying window, the better they can control the conversation. And if you don’t do that, your competitors sure will.

So if we’re not waiting for prospects to fill out forms, how do we identify them? Well, your website is probably your most important source of intelligence and you own it. Knowing who’s coming to it, how they got there and what content they’re consuming can tell you a lot about their purchase intent. So one way you can identify so-called anonymous visitors before they fill out a form is through what we call reverse IP.

Let’s walk through how it works. Every website visitor coming to your site requests pages from the site, and with that sends their IP address. That’s the key. Now various services, including AccountMatch by FunnelEnvy can turn that IP address into an account record. And that account record contains various firmographic attributes like the company website, industry number of employees, revenue ranges, and potentially even the technologies that they’re using.

reverse ip with account match

AccountMatch isn’t the only solution out there. There are plenty of other services that also provide the same capability. The important point is that record can be pushed back to your webpage and also to various analytics tools, your CRMs, Zapier or anyone else that needs to go. So again, account match determines firmographic or account level attributes based on that visitor’s IP address. Here’s a couple of things you should know about them. First off, as I mentioned, they work for anonymous visitors, and don’t rely on someone filling out a form on your site.

They will not match a hundred percent of traffic. Match rates typically vary around 10 to 30%. It can vary significantly based on the nature of the traffic coming to your site. The good news is that for larger organizations with known IP blocks, you tend to see much higher, effective match rates. That’s good because most of the time in our high value target accounts, tend to be comprised of larger organizations. Finally, some of the providers tend to be better at real time responses and it allows for not just intelligence, but also targeting and personalization on your website.

So one of our goals then is to be able to quantify the intent of any account by generating an intent score for each of those accounts. This obviously starts with our target account list or our TAL, which includes within it, the expected revenue for each account. To score these, what we need to be able to do is factor in the various different buying signals we reviewed on the earlier slide. We can model all of these as events, each of which has a source, a type and a score value associated with it.

event types

As you can see a source like the website can have different event types, with different scores associated with them. For example, filling out a blog page generally indicates less intent than viewing a pricing page or filling out a form. Similarly, you can model out all the various different types of events from multiple sources that are relevant to your buying journey. As far as the scores themselves, you can start by taking educated guess at them, using your analytics and attribution models as well as your intuition to guide you. If you do have submission volume, you can also take predictive machine learning, one to one approaches to generate scores as well. Once you are capturing events from your sources and you can tie them back to accounts, you sum those over a period of time to get an overall view and then normalize those across accounts to get a relative account score from zero to one.

To actually integrate those events and set things up correctly, you’ll need a database of some kind in the middle. This can be a traditional relational database, a customer data platform, or even your CRM if it’s flexible enough to accommodate this. You’re going to start by feeding it your TAM spreadsheet, which includes your accounts and expected revenue or a fit score. And then we’ll start integrating your website data. For this, we usually sync that reverse IP data as account data into Google analytics, and then send the relevant events over to the database. And then depending on your event sources, you can integrate all of them from outbound to your ads, third party data and your marketing automation platform into the same database. Finally, from that, you’d be able to run the queries, generate an account, prioritize report, showing both fit expected revenue as well as intent.

data architecture

What do we actually get from this report? So we take our expected revenue from our target account list and multiply that by the intent score from the events that we came up with, to arrive at a present day expected value. That is the value in today based on all of the events and the intent that that account is shown. If you establish a customer acquisition cost ratio target, maybe a third of the ACV, or if you can come up with one, then you can establish a present day budget that you can expand for each account for acquisition.

expected value and budget

So this is what that report could look like. Now, instead of a list of accounts that you spray and pray against you have. So what do we get from this report? Well, if we take our expected revenue from our account list and multiply that by the intent score, that score from zero to one, we can arrive at a present day, expected value per account.

accounts prioritized by value and budget

That’s the value of each account in the present day based on the behaviors and the intent that they’re showing. If you established a customer acquisition cost ratio target (or if you can come up with one) then you can establish a present day budget that you can spend for acquisition per account. So this is what that report could look like. So now instead of a list of accounts that you spray and pray against, you actually have a prioritized list that has both expected value and the budget that you can use to focus your SDRs and other high cost plays at your most valuable accounts, which means the one that have both high value and are demonstrating higher intent to purchase. So sort descending by budget or expected value and prioritize accordingly.

So with that only give us some takeaways. Account based revenue funnel optimization is largely an exercise in intent based prioritization. You want to adjust your goals for low intent, inbound and outbound impression. So if an account is not showing intent, you may not want to sell them right away. Instead, you may want to build brand awareness, positioning and use it as a vehicle to evaluate intent through content. For this to work, you obviously have to be able to develop higher touch plays, both outbound and inbound to take advantage of that increased budget. But don’t silo your channels, recognize that outbound, inbound impressions whether ads, your website or outbound on emails are all an impression that can be counted towards the overall intent score. And finally, you might come up with one score, but certainly you’re going to need to be able to test, measure and iterate on the model over time.

By |2021-09-29T22:47:42-07:00September 29th, 2021|Digital Marketing, The Funnel, B2B|0 Comments

Optimizing Conversational Marketing: A Data-Driven Deep Dive

Transcription

Hey everyone. I’m Arun from FunnelEnvy. I’m sure all of you are aware of conversational marketing and probably many of you have deployed chatbots on your own sites for lead capture and conversion. Now, I’ve been digging into some of the data around them myself and I wanted to share some more that I learned along the way along with some hypotheses on how you might be able to improve conversational marketing performance on your own funnel. So let’s get started. I wanted to establish some shared context first. Now, web chat on B2B and demand generation sites used to be used primarily for customer support, but increasingly whether it’s because of actual results or FOMO, you see the chat widgets all over the place as part of the revenue funnel.

chatbot

Let’s start with some shared context. Webchat on b2b & demand gen sites used to primarily be for customer support. Increasingly, whether it’s because of actual results or FOMO you see the chat widgets all over as part of the revenue funnel. Conversational marketing presents an alternative to the website funnel & forms to engage visitors in what is supposed to be a more human, interactive medium.

Does conversational marketing actually work?

The Google featured snippet here tells us that it’s the fastest and most effective way to guide prospects through the sales funnel and that it provides an authentic experience and real value for your customers. This is despite the fact that 99% of the time it’s a bot on the other side (and everyone knows it). 

Let’s start with the first customer, who uses Drift on their site. 

Customer Engagement with Drift

First up we’ve got a customer who uses Drift on their site. Now, we’re going to be looking at the engagement and conversion metrics based on the number of new visitors coming to the site over a certain time period and using the metrics that each platform sends to Google Analytics. Now, as you can see here, this site isn’t doing too well when it comes to chatbot engagement, less than half a percent of visitors are actually engaging with the Drift bot, but it’s doing even worse when you look at the email and phone number capture rates, less than a 10th of a percent. When you compare that to the form baseline, contact us form in this case, it’s certainly outperforming the chat experience.

Conversion with Qualified. 

When we look at another customer who happens to have Qualified, we see pretty similar results. In this case, again, we’re seeing a small fraction of visitors engage with the chatbot and of those that do, we see a pretty small percentage actually proceed to book a meeting or give their email address. Again, when we look at the form conversion rates, in this case, it’s a request a demo form, it significantly outperforms the qualified chatbot.

But of course, I’ve just been showing you top of the funnel numbers and this is demand generation. So it would be a mistake to only focus on the top of the funnel leads. So in the third example, let’s fit a customer that is Intercom and take a few steps further down the funnel. Now, the top of the phone numbers looks pretty similar. The baseline contacts us form outperforms the chatbot for lead conversion. However, in this case, we segment it by known leads and try to evaluate the effect of engagement with Intercom on the conversion to pipeline or opportunity. And what’s interesting here is we get about 10% of the 4,600 or so known leads engage with Intercom.

down funnel with intercom

So a small number of engaging with Intercom, but those that do convert to pipeline at a much higher rate than the leads that did not have any Intercom interaction. So what can we observe from all of this? Well, despite the fact that Drift used to tell us that forms are dead, from this data here, they clearly are. In the data that we looked at, the top of the funnel engagement with chat is relatively low on an absolute basis and the forms on the site, static web forms outperform chat for lead conversion. But both from the example that I showed you as well as conversations that I’ve had with other marketers, chatbots can have a significant impact lower in the funnel on lower-funnel leads and accounts and their conversion to the pipeline.

Observations

So how do we think about this? Well, like everything on your site experience is all about the friction for the visitor and the value that you’re providing. It’s important to recognize that conversational marketing and chat are a form of interruption marketing. The question you need to ask yourself, of course, is, is that interruption adding or removing friction from the buyer’s journey? So some ways to think about that in the context of your visitors are, what is the context of buying stage and intent of that visitor? What are they actually trying to accomplish in that session on your site? How does that impact and affect their behavior? And finally, what value will interrupt that experience with chat have on their experience and their objectives?

So we can make this a little bit more concrete by considering visitors at various stages of your funnel or buyer journey. Starting with that top-of-the-funnel visitor, they’re typically in an awareness stage with relatively low commercial intent. Now in this stage, visitors are first trying to figure out if what you are selling on your site is even relevant to them and then maybe educating themselves and seeing if they can trust you for a future commercial decision. Now, this type of behavior is characterized by passive content consumption, and introducing or interrupting that experience with chat is likely to increase their friction in that experience.

And let’s contrast that with a lower-funnel visitor that is in the consideration or decision stage that has greater commercial intent. Typically, they’re seeking answers to very specific questions on your site. And unlike passive consumption, they’re actively trying to answer that question, and then they’re doing some focused research. And if they can’t find it on your site, that introduces friction. So in this case, reaching out to chat can actually add value by alleviating that friction of not being able to find the answer to the question on your site and connect them either with a bot or with a salesperson.

Conversations shouldn’t be limited to chatbots

So how do we think about this to improve our conversational experiences? Well, first off, when we think about the top of the funnel, recognize that the concepts of conversational marketing don’t have to be limited to chatbots. They become synonymous with chatbots, but conversations are how we as humans engage with other humans and the traditional static website form which asks for all sorts of personal information upfront is daunting. And that’s why we see a lot of conversion drop-off. But we can adapt that form to be more conversational in nature, more interactive. And when we do that through our multi-step forms at FunnelEnvy and we’ve tested these, we average about 53% improvement in lead conversion.

Strategic Interruptions

This obviously is the added benefit of keeping the visitor on the site experience on the page and presenting less of an interruption than the chatbot. If you’re going to try this yourselves, we recommend leading with some easy-to-answer questions to establish both intent and conversion momentum. Typically two to three questions, initially not asking for personal information, making them very relevant to the visitor and also setting proper expectations along the way, both in terms of the steps that they have to go through and the outcome when they fill out that form.

Strategic Interruptions

Now, when you do choose to interrupt with chat, do it strategically, don’t settle for the standard out-of-the-box transcripts that you get, welcome to our site, do you have any questions? You can be very effective with the chat by understanding and answering and handling common or, and specific questions or objections from that visitor. If you can identify visitors with specific intent and a common example is if they’re on the pricing page lingering there, they usually have a specific question and are close to making a decision. You can very effectively intercept them, interrupt them with chat and answer those questions, or even connect them to a sales person to get them over the line.

Of course, they don’t have to be on a specific page. You can use data to identify known leads, target accounts, even use real-time predictive scoring to identify those high-value, high intent visitors and answer their questions and get them in front of a salesperson faster. One thing to think about might be to reduce the interruption by have them opt into that chat experience through an online and onsite CTA.

Key Takeaways

First off, know your own numbers. I presented some examples from what I observed, but certainly, you should know your own chat and conversational marketing engagement and conversion rates, not just at the top of the funnel, but all the way through by buyer stage and to opportunity and revenue.

Secondly, recognize that forms aren’t dead. And you can apply those same interactive conversational marketing principles outside of your chatbot and to your onsite experience. When you do choose to interrupt, do it strategically, check, and be very effective to handle common questions and intercept those high-value, lower-funnel leads and accounts.

And finally, recognize that not everyone is going to engage with chat even further down the funnel. So there are ways to use the investment in chat to improve your onsite experience. You can do that by studying your chat transcripts, understanding the common questions, objections that your visitors have, and testing different site experiences to better meet those.

If you’re going to go to the trouble of targeting lower funnel visitors with chat, you can also use that to personalize the site experience and change your offers and content to better meet the expectations and needs of your lower funnel visitors. So with that, I want to thank you for listening today.

How To Improve Your Site Experience In A User-Centric World (And Still Generate Leads)

The algorithmic world of web optimization is rapidly moving towards a user-centric paradigm. To keep up, brands will need to prioritize their site experience like never before. 

In this post, we’re going to cover why site experience is key to your success and give you some actionable tips you can use to improve your site experience today. 

Let’s get into it!

Your site experience is key to generating leads

Website experience, or UX, encompasses everything your users encounter when they visit your website. It’s the visuals, the ease with which they can uncover information, and the process they go through to make a purchase. 

In a world that is becoming more user-centric, focusing on user privacy and moving away from keyword-based SEO, lead generation is going to become increasingly entangled with the performance of your website. The better your site experience, the more leads you’ll generate. And, with that in mind, here are our top ways to improve your site experience…

5 ways to improve your site experience

1. A great site experience starts with pages that load quickly

The first thing that anyone is going to notice when they visit your website is how quickly it loads. Or, ideally, they won’t notice this at all.

The goal for any website should be for any page on your site to load in less than three seconds on an average WiFi download speed. If your website takes longer than this to load, you have some work to do. When it comes to mobile, things need to be even faster. Less than two seconds is ideal for reducing your bounce rate. 

One of the first things you should do to reduce a web page’s load time is to compress all of the images on your website. There are free resources online (like TinyPNG) that will quickly compress images for you. 

Plus, white space is also important. Not only is it important to a pleasing design, but blank space loads faster than content-filled space. 

And, finally, ensure that the most important and visible elements of your webpage load first. Typically, buttons and navigation bars should appear first, then your text, then images and media. 

2. Simple and efficient registration and sign-up forms are crucial

Another crucial component of a great site experience is simple registration and sign-up forms. These are the forms on your website that visitors use to sign up for your newsletter, subscribe to your service, and register an account on your website. 

If these forms aren’t easy to use, then visitors aren’t going to use them. When you ask your visitors to complete a task, you aren’t just asking for their attention span, but also their mental effort. Seamlessness is key. 

A simple form process uses as few fields as possible, doesn’t needlessly violate the person’s privacy, and keeps everything on one page if possible. The more information a visitor has to give and the more pages that have to load for them to give, the more likely they are to bounce.

3. Have clear CTAs –– and not too many of them!

Everyone working in the marketing industry knows that CTAs dramatically increase engagement. Direct CTAs, such as “Order this product today!” as well as indirect CTAs like colorful buttons both count. They give a webpage purpose, guide visitors down a path, and most importantly, close sales!

Despite the overt marketing at work here, visitors like CTAs. They’re on your website because they are curious about your business. CTAs make their journey simple. Click here for this information, go here to buy this, and subscribe in these three steps. 

On the other hand, you can overdo your CTAs. Try to keep it to just one CTA per page, and don’t have every CTA be aimed at landing a sale. Maybe have a CTA to your newsletter on your blog instead of a CTA for a product you sell. Or, work on personalized CTAs (or smart CTAs) tailored to different audiences and their specific needs. 

And use clever design and logical flow when placing your CTAs. You don’t need a big red arrow telling visitors to look at your CTA if you place the CTA where they’re already looking. 

4. Follow conventions creatively over creatively ignoring them

A common pitfall that businesses run into is the idea that everything they do needs to be unique to them. So they overcompensate when doing something simple (like crafting a great site experience) and try to stand out by breaking convention.

This more often than not will scare visitors off. Design conventions exist for a reason –– because they work! And because conventions are popular practice, they’re what users expect when they visit your website. 

Moving the navigation bar to the bottom of the screen adjusting all of your text to the right, and having images of your product flash around the screen will help you stand out –– but probably not in the way that you hope for. 

Instead of trying to be quirky, stick to tried-and-true web design conventions. Then, put your personality into them! Follow traditional functional practices while adding unique and personalized aesthetics to your website. 

A pleasing color scheme and clever animation in an otherwise standard website will take you much farther than an obtuse (albeit original) site experience.

5. Save your writing for the blog

Our last tip is pretty simple. Save your writing for your blog! Articles and content marketing perform great there, but they’re not going to perform as well on your landing pages. 

Instead, try to replace text content on your home and landing pages with graphics, blurbs, and bullet-point lists. Video content performs particularly well on landing pages (not so much on your home page). Use text in short sentences to give clarity, flow, and concise information. For everything else, stick to visuals!

Eager to keep learning about how to improve your site experience?

The tips listed above are just a few of the ways that you can improve your site experience. To become a lead generating pro, you can check out the rest of the posts on the FunnelEnvy blog.

And if you’re ready to take your marketing and site performance to the next level, reach out to the FunnelEnvy team for expert advice, guidance, and optimization. 

By |2021-06-04T00:02:20-07:00June 2nd, 2021|Uncategorized, Conversion Rate Optimization, Analytics, Strategy, B2B, Experimentation|Comments Off on How To Improve Your Site Experience In A User-Centric World (And Still Generate Leads)

Revenue attribution: Everything You Need to Know to Ramp Up Your Marketing ROI

Revenue is a top priority for any business, no matter how big, no matter how small. It’s fundamental: without money coming in, you’ll have nothing to cover overheads or invest back into the company. 

We all know that a hard-working sales team is key for bringing in new business and increasing revenue. But revenue is increasingly a priority for marketing teams too. 

Many marketers turn to ROI (return on investment) to determine the profitability of a promotional campaign. In fact, more than 40% of marketers claim their main priority in 2021 is to “better measure the ROI of [their] demand generation initiatives”. 

It makes sense: effective marketing should achieve a healthy return on investment (ROI) and generate new revenue. A portion of this can then be invested back into marketing campaigns to keep bringing in more money, and so on. It’s a cycle of profitability that can help businesses grow and grow. 

And revenue attribution can help you create more effective, successful marketing campaigns. But what does it mean and involve? 

In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about revenue attribution and how it relates to improving marketing ROI. 

What is revenue attribution? 

Revenue attribution (also known as marketing attribution) is a reporting process that involves matching revenue brought in, to a specific marketing output. 

For example, you might utilize revenue attribution techniques to monitor the impact that a particular piece of thought leadership content made on sales within two months of its publication. Or you may prefer to track the effect that a new series of videos made on revenue over a shorter or longer period. 

Businesses have more channels — and more opportunities — to reach consumers than ever with targeted marketing campaigns. But it’s unbelievably competitive and marketing teams must take advantage of real creativity to make an impact, especially in the most crowded sectors or niches. 

Employing revenue attribution techniques empowers marketers to hone in on their most effective work and understand how they can keep refining their techniques over time. 

Why is revenue attribution important and how can it help?

Revenue attribution is crucial for marketing teams who want to gain a clear insight into their strategies’ value and learn how they affect customer engagement. Fortunately, there’s a wealth of data available online to help marketers build an accurate overview of campaign performance and ROI. 

Identifying how specific campaigns and strategies have been received by audiences (target and/or general) enables you to make more informed, calculated decisions on future campaigns. 

You’ll have a tighter grasp on what works, what doesn’t, and what elements should be combined to cultivate the most impactful marketing campaigns. You’ll be able to capture more leads, close more sales, and improve ROI thanks to continued analysis. 

Another key benefit is that revenue attribution helps businesses (particularly those in their infancy or experiencing financial challenges) get more out of their marketing spends while still streamlining their budget. 

Essentially, it can make your money go further. You’re not throwing ideas at the wall to see what sticks — you’re basing your decisions on provable facts. 

You can jettison those marketing techniques and campaigns that fail to bring in satisfactory ROI. All resources usually dedicated to those will be put to better use on more effective options instead. 

How can you use a revenue attribution model to measure and ramp up your marketing ROI?

We understand what revenue attribution is and why it matters. But how do you put a revenue attribution model to work and start improving your marketing ROI?

While it can appear complicated for newcomers, and more than a little daunting, it will seem far simpler when we take a deeper look. In this section, we’ll cover how to use this model to both track and measure ROI — and improve it. 

What types of revenue and marketing attribution models are available?

First-touch attribution 

The first-touch (or first-click) attribution is one of two single-source models (along with last-touch attribution, below). 

In this model, the first channel with which a converted user engages receives all credit for generating revenue. This could be an in-depth whitepaper, a blog post, a video, or any other piece of marketing content that captures the lead’s interest enough to drive a conversion. 

For example, around half of marketers describe webinars as the top-of-the-funnel format generating the most high-quality leads. 

While a spectacular piece of content can be enough to push users towards a sale, the first-touch model may have a blindspot — a failure to take other interactions following this first one into consideration.

As a result, you may not have an accurate insight into how effective other channels are in swaying users’ decisions. 

Last-touch attribution 

Last-touch (or last-click) attribution is regarded as another easy model. Why? Because it involves looking at the final touchpoint before the sale is completed, which is usually simple to find.

The last touch could be something as straightforward as a well-researched sales call or a webinar that whets the lead’s appetite and inspires them to commit to a purchase. 

However, the last-touch attribution model may overlook previous interactions with a user. These could include a visit to your website or hearing an ad for your business on a podcast. And, again, this could cause you to overlook the value of other channels 

Multi-source attribution

As you can probably assume, the multi-source (or multi-touch) attribution model focuses on all channels that lead to a conversion. Multiple touchpoints will be attributed instead of just one. 

Still, while the multi-source attribution model is more of a holistic approach to measuring marketing success, there’s a crucial factor to consider: it doesn’t provide an accurate reflection of a specific touchpoint’s actual contribution to a conversion. It could lead to a false representation of certain channels’ role in the customer journey. 

Six multi-source attribution models are available:

  • Linear: This is the easier model to implement, providing all touchpoints with the same weight, though it can be hard to determine which were most important (as mentioned above). 
  • Time decay: Touchpoints will be separated by bigger and bigger gaps in long sales cycles. With the time decay model, you’ll apply greater credit to those in the later stages than those in the earlier period. They might not have been as valuable to the eventual outcome, and in particularly long sales cycles, the buyer might have totally forgotten about their initial interactions with your business anyway. 
  • U-shaped: A U-shaped revenue attribution model applies the credit to two main touchpoints, with fixed percentages. These are the initial touchpoint and the last, as well as any between those points. The first and last touchpoint receive 40% of the credit each. The 20% remaining is split between those touchpoints taking place in between. 
  • W-shaped: A W-shaped model is similar to the one above, but it adds an extra touchpoint: when a prospect is converted into a lead. So, this covers the first touchpoint, the last touchpoint, and the occurrence falling somewhere between them. These receive 30% of the credit each, while the remaining 10% is shared among other touchpoints that may be detected between them. 
  • Full path: The majority of the credit is assigned to the key steps in the customer journey and the rest goes to those touchpoints between. Unlike the other models explored so far, this includes follow-up chats between the customer and the sales team. 
  • Custom: Teams can come up with their own weighting shares according to the channels used, customer behaviors, etc. For example, you may decide that a user who subscribed to your newsletter should have more weight than someone who clicked on an ad. 

Weighted multi-source attribution 

Weighted multi-source attribution involves accounting for every interaction during the sales cycle and assigning weight to the most important touchpoints. This model can lead to the most reliable views of a customer’s journey. 

However, it’s one of the most challenging to put into effect, as weight must be applied to a potentially large number of touchpoints. 

Why is it so important for marketing and sales teams to work in partnership?

Traditionally, businesses tend to keep sales and marketing activities separate. They consider marketing teams’ role to create leads and sales teams’ to transform them into paying customers. That’s simple enough to understand — but it could be a big mistake. 

Why? 

Because overhauling and refining your marketing to achieve an increase in leads won’t guarantee a rise in high-quality leads. 

Yes, marketing teams can drive clicks and interest, but a large proportion of leads could be of a lower quality than expected. 

The aim should be to bring in leads more likely to evolve into conversions, based on carefully targeted marketing with specific demographics in mind. 

By uniting your marketing and sales teams, you can start to develop a clearer understanding of which marketing efforts bring in the most valuable leads and, ultimately, conversions. Those that consistently generate the weakest leads and harm ROI should be replaced. 

What are the key benefits of using these revenue and marketing attribution models?

Here are five key benefits of using revenue and marketing attribution models:

  • Improved ROI
    Effective revenue attribution provides businesses with an accurate insight into how much return they gain on their marketing investments. Over time, you can start to cultivate a better awareness of those techniques and strategies that engage your target audience best.

    And you’ll keep reaching the right people with the most appealing messaging. This will increase the number of conversions you can expect to achieve and, eventually, the ROI you earn.

  • Save money on ineffective marketing
    Attribution models reveal the most important touchpoints throughout sales cycles and show how marketing money is best invested. Fewer funds will be wasted on dead-end marketing.

    That may free up money to channel into better marketing or other areas of your business, including sales or post-purchase support.

  • Hone your audience targeting
    Audience targeting is one of the top methods through which advertisers increase demand. And studying attribution data reveals which types of content, messaging, and channels engage your ideal customers best.

    Marketing teams can keep sharpening their material to consistently engage your target demographic(s) and minimize the risk of missteps.

  • Learn how to make products or services better
    Marketers can get a better understanding of target customers through attribution data analysis.

    Over time, this can open your eyes to ways in which you can improve products or services to suit your audience better. For example, the response to a blog post covering specific software features could inspire future releases.

The power of Revenue Funnel Optimization 

Hopefully, you’re now in a place where you can see the key benefits of revenue and marketing attribution to your business. But, one of the most important aspects of attribution strategy is acting on attribution insights. And, that’s where we come in…

We’ve designed our Revenue Funnel Optimization strategy so you can get the most out of your revenue insights. 

FunnelEnvy enables you to generate revenue insights by updating analytics to measure the complete end-to-end customer journey. You can pinpoint the most valuable funnels, offers, and other factors that drive revenue. 

Revenue funnels comprise strategy sets focused on maximizing your website’s revenue generation through targeting the most effective offers to the priority buyer segments in your top conversion funnels. 

Funnels can also be personalized by the user’s stage in the customer journey to maximize revenue further. You also can run campaigns and experiments on your most important funnels. Use direct response best practices to optimize offers, messaging, and more. 

With Revenue Funnel Optimization, your decisions are driven by data and genuine insights into the buyer journey. 

You’ll make stronger choices for your marketing and sales teams — and your business as a whole — by studying the facts. 

Many companies are already achieving success with Revenue Funnel Optimization, with up to 250% growth in revenue and a 10x increase in Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)

Want to try Revenue Funnel Optimization? Start using FunnelEnvy and drive real revenue growth for your business! 

By |2021-06-04T00:02:29-07:00June 2nd, 2021|Uncategorized, Conversion Rate Optimization, Digital Marketing, The Funnel, Strategy, B2B|Comments Off on Revenue attribution: Everything You Need to Know to Ramp Up Your Marketing ROI

Website Analytics & Attribution in the Privacy Era

If you’re wondering how the new privacy landscape will affect your ability to track visitors and customers you’re not alone. In this conversation, we dig deep into the governmental, technology, and other considerations that marketers need to be aware of. Hopefully, we’ll clear up some confusion and misconceptions along the way!

 

 

By |2021-06-01T09:51:21-07:00May 27th, 2021|Uncategorized, Analytics, Testing, B2B|0 Comments

Multi-Step Interactive Experiences (Going Beyond the Form)

Transcript

Hi everyone. My name is James Niehaus from FunnelEnvy. And today I want to talk to you about multi-step interactive experiences and going beyond the form. So this is the third video in a series that we focus specifically on a technique we call multi-step interactive experiences. In the first two videos we talked about how to use this on B2B forms to really drive massive improvements in conversion rates. And today I want to talk about how to use the same technique on other parts of your site.

We Will Cover

  • A quick recap on multi-step interactive experiences
  • Why they work
  • How they can work on other parts of your site
  • 5 popular ways to leverage interactive experiences on your site

Full Recap of Multi-Step Interactive Forms

If you have not watched the introduction and multi-step advance use cases videos, watch these in these given links.

Examples of Multi-Step Form Flows

Here are just some examples of past client interactive experiences. So this should be self-explanatory, but as you see here, all we’re doing is taking your typical static B2B form, breaking it up into interactive steps, and leading with intent questions that make it easier for the user to raise their hand, provide you information, commit to the process and convert at higher rates. And we say convert at higher rates, we do mean higher rates. So here are just some examples of recent conversion lifts we’ve seen on client forms just by moving the static forms to multi-step experiences. So as you see here, it’s definitely pretty powerful and effective. And this is also a reason why we kind of then explored using this technique on other parts of the site.

multistep form examples

Some Key Takeaways from previous videos

With a multi-step form experience, you usually want to ideally lead with intent questions that’s more about what’s in it for them. What features do they care about? How big is their company? What are they looking to do? What’s their role? But the whole idea here is that asking them easy to answer intent questions, helps guide them down the path towards finding a better outcome or helping you better guide them down to the right solution. So that’s the first takeaway.

The second takeaway is also ideally asking them a couple of those questions first because what you want to do is make it easy for them to get started, continue, and create that momentum and commitment to completing that process. And that’s how we get the higher conversion rates.

And then the nice part about this technique is that you then layer on additional strategies, and this is where it gets even more powerful. So on the left, you see an example where we actually start personalizing step two and step three of the form experiences based on what they provided as an answer in step one. So this is where it can get a little more targeted and personalized. Or on the right is a good example where you can use their information to then potentially route them to a different funnel or flow. An example there, they’re using company name, based on the email address, to decide whether they should send them to a scheduler as you see there, or to just give them the rest of the regular form. So this is where you can potentially provide custom experiences based on company size or target account or their role or what they’re looking to do. But this allows you to then go from a one size fits all static experience, to providing smarter, routed experiences that align with your personalization and ABM strategies.

More Powerful w/ ABM + Personalization

Personalize the rest of the form by their inputs

Multi-Step Works Beyond Forms

Multi-Step isn’t just for forms. They can work on most parts of your website. I mainly want to focus on five key areas of the site, or techniques.

Step #1 Homepage: funnel them to a multi-step form flow on the entry

So starting this all off, starting the funnel on the home page. So for most B2B sites, the homepage is typically a static billboard that tries to communicate one message to a broad and diverse set of visitors. So recognizing that you’re probably not going to align exactly to what that user’s intent is, the idea here is that you actually use the homepage real estate to engage the visitor. And in this case, engagement means trying to get them to raise their hand, express intent, and get started with you, and go down a certain conversion funnel right at the homepage. So whether you start interacting then with them, with engaging questions on the left, you see examples there. Or, if they click on a certain action, present out that type of experience. But the whole idea here is that, rather than guess at what their intent is, or how they want to get started, give them some options to make it easy for them to kind of start exploring. And ideally, without even knowing, go start kicking off that conversion funnel from the home page.

Step #2 Homepage: guide and route users to the right content by intent

Use the homepage strategy, and instead of taking them to a form flow, guide and route those users based on their intent, to a better page or a better flow.

So that here is we’re trying to help them by skipping steps and helping them land on the right page so you can cut down on the cycles to get them to where they want to go. So this is more about routing and navigation. But again, the whole benefit of these techniques is that we’re engaging them from the get-go. We’re not forcing them to kind of decide themselves, try to find the right information, and leave it up to chance that they find the right place to go. And this same strategy makes a lot of sense on product pages.

This is an example of one of our clients, where on the left you see their traditional static page. As you see there, it’s your typical solution type page where you provide a lot of content. And give them their choice but through a lot of text and diagrams.

Step #3 Product Page: help them find the right solution

On the right, it’s taking that same content and packaging it up into interactive questions to make it easier for them to kind of, again, find what they’re looking for, raise their hand, express their intent or interest, and you help navigate them to the option that makes the most sense. So we saw some very positive engagement and conversion metrics when we did this technique on product pages like in this example here. But the whole idea here is you’re trying to provide that educated, guided hand that helps them find better what they’re looking for based on what they told you. So in this case you’re being helpful, helping them complete their job better, and in a more timely fashion. And of course, this makes sense on your product and pricing pages. So when you have packages and plans, most B2B sites have your typical good, better, best, here are three or four plans, whether it be based on company size or number of seats needed, or whether it be based on certain features, that’s your typical layout that we’re all used to.

On the product pages, a nice technique is to really use the strategy to help them find the right solution.

Step #4 Plans/Pricing Page: help them find the right package

The plans and pricing page is also another great place to use it to help them find the right pricing package or combination.

So we’re not saying you have to move away from that, but in these examples here they still show those tables of plans, but in both examples here they give options where, if you want to specify your interests or what you’re looking to do, or maybe talk through a questionnaire about who you are and what you’re looking for, they can then narrow down the plan packages to fit what you provided them as far as intent or profile. So the whole idea here is that, when you have a little more complex set of packages and pricing plans, rather than have them guess or maybe choose incorrectly, or maybe just waste their time combing through all of this, you give them an easier path of which they just simply specify what is their key intent, profile questions, and use that information to help narrow and guide them down to the right package or pricing plan that works for them.

Again, you know your product more than anyone else. You’ve seen the success of your products and packages on a variety of clients across your industries. This is all about using that intelligence to better guide new visitors, who first come to your site, come to your pricing page, and help them find a solution that fits their needs and best matches their profile. Because you want them to be successful, and this is your chance to guide them down that path in a more direct way. And both sides will win in the end.

Step #5 Quizzes/Calculators: help them get insights

    And lastly, we shouldn’t forget the fact that, for most B2B sites, they do have interactive experiences typically in things like your ROI calculators, your organizational assessments, your company benchmark, and your various quizzes, right? So by all means, these are great options and techniques. We encourage you to keep using them. So in the end we’re just fans of anything that provides that interactivity. We’ve seen, from years and years of testing, that whenever you can give the visitor a chance to interact, raise their hand, you make it easier for them to get started, you reduce the complexity of that visit by allowing them to be guided down the right path. And you actually end up having more control over where they go through their journey, which is what we really want to do. Ideally, if we had a choice, we’d want to guide each visitor on the right journey for them.

    Since we can’t really predict who they are and what they want, we think interactive experience are the best way to meet in the middle and provide them a set of choices that allow them to kind of really narrow down to their best options based on what their profile is and based on what their intent is. So it’s really a win-win for both sides.

    Key Takeaways

    1. Multi-Step experiences, especially on the forms, work great as a great conversion tactic
    2. It works even better when combined with your ABM/Personalization strategies. So this is a great example where your conversion techniques and your strategic techniques should really work well together because they really compliment each other very well.
    3. They really work well in a couple of key places, like your homepage, your product pages, your pricing and packaging pages, as well as your traditional quizzes and calculators.
    4. Here are 5 ways to get started:
      1. Homepage: Start them in a conversion funnel
      2. Homepage: Route them to the right page by intent
      3. Product Pages: Find the right solution(s)
      4. Pricing/Plan: Find the right package
      5. Quizzes/Calculators: Provide custom insights

    So really want to say here, we want to advocate for it, try it out, explore this on your site, you really won’t regret it. This is, again, better experiences for all.

    And then lastly, as I said, if you haven’t had a chance yet, go visit our site. We have a couple of other videos that talk a little more in-depth about the strategy, especially as it relates to forms and personalization, and ABM. So check it out if you haven’t had the chance yet.

    1. Introduction to Multi-step Interactive Forms
    2. Multi-step Interactive Forms (Advanced Use Cases)

    If you have questions, just drop me an email. And if you want to see our own interactive quiz, you can hit our website. And that quiz will actually help you evaluate whether you’re the right fit for working with us. So check it out and hopefully we can talk soon. With that, take care.

    Multi-Step Interactive Forms Advanced Use Cases(ABM/Personalization)

    Hey everyone. My name is James Niehaus, and today I’m going to walk through some advanced use cases for multi-step interactive forms. Specifically, where it can help you with ABM and personalization on your website. And this is actually part two to an initial video I did around introducing everyone to interactive forms, why we love them so much, why they’re pretty effective for our clients, and how you can get started with them as well. So this is kind of part two of that series. All right, let’s jump right into it.

    So we’ll cover here the following things.

    • A quick recap on multi-step interactive forms
    • Why they work
    • Why they are ideal for your ABM and Personalization programs
    • 5 ways multi-step forms can enhance your ABM and Personalization programs

    All we’re doing here is taking your longer static forms on your website, breaking them up into steps, making them interactive, and leading with intent questions that get them to raise their hand and express who they are and what they want to do. So this has converted really well for our clients. As you see here, these are some examples of actual lifts we’ve seen with form conversions on forms that get started and talk to sales and get demos.

    Full Recap of Multi-Step Interactive Forms

    Before we jump into those, just a quick recap of why we think it works well, and what some best practices are.

    So always lead within 10 questions if possible. So what’s in it for them, who they are, what they’re looking for. As opposed to starting with, “What’s your first and last name, your email, or your phone number?” Right? We want to make it easy for them to get started and engage. Secondly, we want to ask a couple of those 10 questions initially, before we show them the rest of the form, because we wanted them to, one, commit, get some easy answers out of the way, and get momentum towards completing their task. So we found that this is definitely a sweet spot to kind of maximize conversions on a multi-step experience. And then lastly, just really set proper expectations. How many steps are involved, and what happens after you submit the form? Just so they right context about time and what’s going to happen next. All makes sense hopefully? Good.

    Examples of Multi-Step Form Flows

    multistep form examples

    Some best practices of multi-step interactive forms

    Results we’ve seen from multi-step interactive forms

    multi step form results

    So let’s jump right into why multi-step forms are ideal for targeting and segmentation. Hopefully, it’s pretty obvious, but in these experiences, and in those first couple of questions where we ask for either profile or intent questions, we’re getting valuable information that they want to share to better customize their experience or get better information from us.  So we want to use that information to provide, one, them a better experience, but also ideally personalize based on who they are and their company. So that’s what ABM and personalization are all about. Personalizing based on who they are and the company they’re from. Based on what you know about them and based on what you hopefully want to achieve with them in partnership.

    1. Use their answers to assign them to a segment

    Use their answers to better assign them segments for analytics and campaigns. That seems pretty obvious. More importantly, use those answers to personalize the rest of that form experience. So as they provide you information about them, provide feedback that you can support their needs, you can provide specific information about their product interest. But use that moment to actually provide reinforcement for what they’re looking for. Also, you can actually potentially use that information to route them to a different funnel or experience. So the whole idea is that not everyone should be treated the same. Your higher value prospects may be given a shortcut to talk with sales. Maybe the less valuable users may be given more of a self-service route. But use their answers and their profile to route them in the most appropriate place to maximize your limited resources, but also provide them the more appropriate experience.

    What’s even more compelling and potentially more exciting is the idea that we actually change the experiences based on who they are and what company they’re from. Now, rather than simply have one form for everyone, the idea here is that we take their answers or their inputs, and based on our business strategy we may serve them a different next step. So an example on the right, you see here based on the email and company domain, based on whether that matches a target account or not, they either can skip the form and go right to the scheduler. Or if they’re maybe not our targeted account, they would get a regular traditional form.

    Here are some examples of getting their answers and then assigning them to a segment

    2. Use their answers to personalize the rest of the form

    Customize the remaining questions, messaging, and visuals to reinforce the benefits of their selection. By using these answers to personalize the rest of the actual form experience. So if they express certain product interest or indicate they’re from a smaller enterprise, you want to reinforce that you are the right business for them, that here are the benefits of that product, or maybe here are the reasons why you’re great for SMB or enterprise, or for this industry, or for this type of role, technical or maybe marketing focused.

    You see an example, a very simple example where, on a contact us form, we just simply asked for their product interest in step one, and we then personalize the rest of the form based on that answer. So this is where you can use that information at the moment to reinforce the benefits of your business, your offering, your expertise, in a way that’s going to reinforce based on who they are and what their intent is. We’ve done this with a couple of clients and we’ve seen pretty nice positive upticks in conversion rates from this simple concept.

    3. Use their answers to route them to a different funnel

    If you identify a top target you can:

    • Skip form
    • Shorten form
    • Change questions
    • Trigger Drift/Chat

    4. Target and personalize in future sessions/other channels 

    We can target and personalize not just at that moment, but also in future sessions, in other channels. We don’t have to stop at the form. So that’s by the information we know about them, use it wherever and whenever you see them again. And then lastly, target. Over time you actually can create different questions based on their profile. So if you have certain key segments that come to your site, you can potentially target them ahead of time and actually serve them with a different actual form experience. A little more advanced, but again, as you’re committing to this strategy, you’ll see more and more ways to use it to your advantage.

      5. Target intent questions based on their profile

      The idea here is, don’t let go of the information after they complete that form. What you want to do is repeat that message, reinforced that information, and follow up interactions, whether it be a session to the site, whether it be another channel like email or display, retargeting perhaps. But the whole idea here is you’re getting valuable information at the moment from an engaged user. Use it for your advantage. Okay. So that would mean if they express certain product interests. When they come back, maybe that homepage here will change to show that product, sort of that category affinity type technique. Or based on their role, reinforce the use cases for their role. Or based on their industry, show again, case studies for their industry, for their size, or any other ideas. An example on the right you see here, where we’re targeting the homepage here all based on their different stages they’re in that we identify in the process.

      And then lastly, the idea here is … and over time, as you refine the strategy, this will become its own strategy. So much as you have with, say, your Marketo email programs, you have different nurture sequences. Or in Drift, you may have different Drift playbooks. The idea here is, over time, you recognize that you have certain key target accounts, segments, and ICPs that you’ll want to route through different form experiences. So rather than having one interactive form for everyone, you may eventually end up where you have different forms for your top segments and groups. So I don’t recommend doing this day one, but as you evolve the strategy, actually see what works, what doesn’t work, you’re going to see natural segments that perform better, or might need more guidance or handholding. This is where the strategy, once it starts getting those double-digit improvements, these are natural ways to further enhance and refine the program. And again, this is going to only make your personalization and ABM programs more targeted, because you’re targeting based on those same attributes that you care about and you want to personalize for.

      So the quick takeaways here.

      Multi-step forms. great conversion tactic. And we recommend you do this on your site today. But we think it works even better, as you’ve hopefully seen here when you combine it with your ABM personalization strategies.

      5 ways to get started:

      1. Segment by their answers they provide you
      2. Customize a form based on those answers for a better conversion rate and better experiences.
      3. Route them by their answers
      4. Target them in return sessions/other channels by their answers
      5. As you get more advanced and more mature in this strategy, start building different forms for your top use cases and your top segments.

      Learn More on Multi-Step Experiences

      Go to our website, funnelenvy.com/blog, and you’ll be able to check out the content and hopefully enjoy this and other content that’s similar. And with that said, thank you for your time. If you have questions, just drop me an email. And if you want to see our own interactive quiz, you can hit our website. And that quiz will actually help you evaluate whether you’re the right fit for working with us. So check it out and hopefully we can talk soon. With that, take care.

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