You created the email or the digital/tv/print/radio ad and it worked! People saw it and then they displayed interest. They clicked and visited your website. They went to your retail store. They called you. They connected with you on Twitter. They signed up for a newsletter. Whatever. Success! Right?

Not so quick. Because interest is just the illusion of success. You still have to CONVERT that interest into action. And by ‘action,’ I mean buying something…actually buying something.

The reality is most brands are not very good at conversion. And, if you are not good at conversion, you are wasting media traffic, ad dollars, and, ultimately, your customer’s time.

To fix the problem, though, you have to know you have the problem. The first place people go wrong is that they track the wrong metrics – giving them the illusion of success. Look at email marketing, for example. People love to focus on opens and clicks. They do A/B tests and say things like “Subject line 2 provided an 18% lift on opens” or “Email Copy 4 provided a 40% lift in click through rates.” Which one, however, provided a higher likelihood of CONVERSION? Of actually turning that traffic into a sale?

But, you might say, conversion is not the responsibility of the advertising. That is on sales (or the extension of sales that the customer deals with in making an actual purchase decision – like the website). I disagree.

We will get to the role the actual destination (whether it be the website, retail location, phone call, etc.…) plays in conversion in a moment. But let’s not pretend that lead generators don’t play a role. Think about spam and click bait. If sneaky enough, they may generate opens and clicks – but rarely do they go beyond. Because they are likely attracting a non-targeted (or wrongly targeted) audience and they create unrealistic expectations.

Now, spam and click bait might be extreme examples. But, think about what you might be saying or doing in your advertising that could be having a similar effect. If you are spending money and attracting the wrong audience or attracting them in a way that makes it very unlikely you will be able to convert them once they get where you sent them, then that money is being wasted.

Let’s assume, though, that you do craft the perfect messaging that attracts the right audience and sets expectations correctly. You still have done nothing but generate INTEREST. That, oftentimes, is the easy part. Now you have to convert that interest into action.

You have to design their destination in a way that maximizes the probability that once they get where you sent them, they actually buy something and become a paying customer. That means that your advertising and the final destination have to play hand in hand. They have to be crafted together – not seen as separate entities with separate goals.

Let’s be real. Regardless of the business you are in, you are likely doing some level of advertising (if not all of your advertising) with the goal of sending potential customers to your website. And, if you are like most businesses, you spend exponentially more time and energy planning the journey (the advertising) than the destination (the webpages on which they land). For most, the concept of designing specific pages (Landing Pages) for people depending on who they are and the journey they took to the site is a foreign one. And even if it is not, actually designing the pages to focus on maximizing conversion is not common activity.

Brand ManageCamp 2018 marketing conference speaker Oli Gardner has seen this scenario play out more times than he cares to remember. His research has shown that OVER 90% of marketing and advertising traffic is being sent to the wrong place. And the clarity of the value propositions presented upon arrival is usually so poor that the brands are forcing their visitors into the hands of their competitors.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that this is a problem that is not that hard to fix – when you use the principles of Conversion-Centered Design.

The even better news is that Oli will be at Brand ManageCamp to teach us how to use Conversion-Centered Design to ensure that when our advertising works…we actually sell something!

As Oli’s company Unbounce puts it, “In a perfect world, conversions would flow like fresh spring water. But in real life, you need to guide your visitors toward a single call to action with a combination of persuasive design and psychological triggers.”

In a nutshell, Oli’s vision of Conversion-Centered Design revolves around 7 core principles of how to “create – and optimize for – delightful, high-converting marketing campaigns”:

1 – Attention – Are you giving the visitor more than 1 choice when they land? If so, you are probably giving them too many choices to maximize attention…

2 – Context – The information you deliver when they land should build on the information they had before they arrived. But everybody’s incoming knowledge is different. The trick is matching the two. It’s not as hard as it sounds…

3 – Clarity – Confusion abounds and your job is to eliminate it.

4 – Congruence – Does every element on your landing page align with a singular campaign goal?

5 – Credibility – In this day and age, distrust is the default. And belief is unlikely without trust. So, the visitor’s destination must convince them that the source of the content is believable and trustworthy. Right away.

6 – Closing – As Oli’s Unbounce says, “There’s nothing more simple yet complex than asking someone to make a decision. Yes or no. Do it or don’t do it. Now or later. Now or never.”

7 – Continuance – Your work does not end with a conversion. What do you want them to do NEXT?

Of course, this is just a brief taste of all the knowledge Oli Gardner can impart. If you are interested in learning more about turning interest into action, join Oli and hundreds of other brand marketers at the Brand ManageCamp 2018 marketing conference in Las Vegas (September 25-26).

I hope we get to see you there!

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