There’s something of a paradox happening in many business marketing circles today: everyone wants to ensure their funnels are well-optimized for the user experience, but relatively few marketers can tell you what user experience (UX) actually means!
The truth is, there’s a good reason for this paradox: UX is a huge umbrella term that can encompass several different things to many other groups and individuals. This article will focus on some of the UX concepts most relevant to B2B marketing funnels. The key to successfully incorporating these ideas is thinking about how they may apply to your funnels and marketing campaigns.
Let’s dive in.
Incorporate as Much Feedback as Possible
According to their definition, The Norman Nielsen Group says user experience “encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.” The key term there is “user.” Some misguided or inexperienced marketers might believe they can optimize their user experience without input from their prospects. This approach simply isn’t possible if you want to maximize the improvement of your funnel UX.
For the best results, remember the idea of a specific audience and diverse methodology. In other words, you should have a highly detailed target persona already mapped out before you seek feedback from anyone – otherwise, you’re just wasting everyone’s time. Be as specific as possible about the kind of people you want to take UX information from because this data will ultimately shape your product or service’s development.
Once you’ve settled on a specific type of audience, do your best to offer them several methods of providing input on your funnel and other marketing elements. In an ideal situation, you can build intimate relationships with prospects by creating a community centered around their characteristics and business objectives. Think about what HubSpot did to grow its Inbound.org community, a forum for marketers to share experiences and tactics for the inbound methodology. At its peak, the site was bringing in over 300,000 visitors per month.
Consider building a community within your customer group, even if it’s on a smaller scale. In the era of remote work, plenty of tools are available to bring people together, including Slack and Discord. You can use a more traditional forum-based system for your community – whatever fits best into your operating methods and your customers’ preferred ways of learning about potential business solutions.Consider building a community within your customer group, even if it’s on a smaller scale. Click To Tweet
Think About Your Microcopy
Adobe defines “microcopy” as “tiny tidbits of copy found on websites, applications, and products.” You probably run into dozens of examples of microcopy every day – think about form fields, button text, disclaimers at the bottom of a page, headlines on popular articles, etc. Even the captions on your images can technically be considered microcopy.
These items may seem pretty small individually, but taken together, they can have a severe impact on the perception of your funnel by users. We already know headlines are important, given statistics indicating that an average user only reads about 20% of the content on any given website. You can find similar studies on the importance of key microcopy within your funnel, such as the call to action found on a button at the end of a form.
While your specific approach may vary depending on the type of microcopy you’re looking to optimize, generally speaking, it’s wise to eliminate as much as possible: the shorter, the better. Most of your prospects don’t have time for unclear or lengthy instructions. Be concise and direct with your microcopy.
Review Your Funnel for Unnecessary Elements
As marketers, there tends to be an obsession with adding the next “thing” that will make your stack even better. In describing his 1980 Los Angeles Lakers team that failed to defend its championship, the legendary coach and executive Pat Riley coined the term “disease of more.” Each player wanted more accolades, money, and playing time, to the point where it started harming the collective team.
Thinking about this in a marketing context, we see parallels to software, email scripts, video courses, new form options, etc. There are lots of shiny “widgets” we can add or tweak with the idea that it will improve our funnel. In reality, several of these add-ons may not be necessary to make prospects convert. Some of them may even negatively impact your funnel’s conversion rate.
One of the best things you can do to optimize your funnel’s UX is to go through the entire thing (start to finish) and see if you can identify unnecessary things. Do your best to put yourself in the shoes of a prospect, trying not to think of it as a marketer. Think about forms, text, images, menu items, footers, headers – anything and everything should be considered. The fewer elements you have on the page, the more likely it will push visitors to the result you desire.
Even with this mental exercise, fully adopting your prospect’s mindset may be challenging. It may be better to ask a trusted customer or outside consultant to give you accurate insights.
Test Constantly and Seek Outside Perspective
Whether you incorporate these or other tactics to improve user experience, it’s important to remember the fundamental tenet of conversion rate optimization (CRO): always test your changes. Collecting data that shows the performance of a new strategy or idea in your funnel builds a concrete foundation from which you can understand what’s working and what isn’t. UX ideas can change quickly, but data will ground your funnel in the specific concepts that get results.
We also suggest that you seek perspective beyond yourself and, if possible, beyond your entire organization. As much as you can try to embody the mindset of your ideal prospect, you’ll never fully be able to get there simply because you aren’t that person. Even if you are a doctor-turned-marketer offering a product or service to the same kind of doctors, you still have the mental experience of developing and selling that offering, which colors your judgment and beliefs.
The best way to overcome this challenge is to get outside help with your UX optimization. Even if you don’t have the means (or desire) to hire an outside contractor to help you, there are options to get an external opinion. You might consider reaching out to a loyal customer, as well as some newer customers, for help evaluating the current elements in your funnel and any ideas you are thinking about implementing.
Of course, working with a group of experts with years of collective experience working on UX improvements for clients can also be helpful. We’ve helped startups and software companies in several industries increase their conversion rates by making their funnels more user-friendly and accessible so that prospects only see what they need.
If you’re interested in getting some UX assistance from the FunnelEnvy team, click here to fill out a short questionnaire, learn more about our pricing and determine if we’d be a good fit to work together.