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Posted by on Dec 19, 2017 in Conference Recaps |

Converted Conference 2017: The Latest in Conversion Marketing

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Once a year, some of the most cutting-edge conversion marketers head to Minneapolis, MN, to learn about the latest in marketing automation, user experience, email marketing and more. In October, we had the privilege to join in on the Converted 2017 experience.

Converted 2017 Images(Image Source: Morgan Reid and Sally Arnold)

Conversion marketing is defined as the marketing strategies that encourage customers to take specific actions. Traditionally, the approach to conversion marketing was more straightforward and simple. If a marketer built a website and stuffed it with relevant, heavily optimized content suitable for any audience, then the job was considered done. Now, with the advancement of new technologies, marketing is all about knowing your audience and delivering highly personalized, end-to-end messages in a way that drives high-quality conversions.

Among such technological advancements is marketing automation, a rapidly growing field where there is still much to be learned. “Marketing automation is a software platform that helps you to automate your marketing and sales engagement to generate more leads, close more deals and better measure marketing success,” according to Pardot, a marketing-automation software by Salesforce. Using software, conversion marketers create a workflow – a visualization of the marketing tactics that guide customers through your optimized conversion process.

Similar to the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books from childhood, a prospective customer’s outcome has a direct correlation to his or her actions along the way with marketing automation. For example, say a prospect visits a website and registers for a newsletter, which then triggers a welcome email. A series of events could take place depending on the prospect’s decision to engage or not engage:

Marketing Automation Prospective Customer’s Outcome

(Graphic created by Sally Arnold, Marriott International)

Technological advancements like marketing automation work in favor of both the marketer and the prospective customer, particularly when we think about driving quality conversion. Why would a marketer want to keep probing a customer if that person will not be a raving fan? On the flip side, why would a customer want to keep receiving marketing promotions if they’re not interested?

To acquire and keep customers, a multifaceted marketing strategy is key. At the core of this is the Value Journey Road Map, a concept covered by Molly Pittman, VP at DigitalMarketer. Molly began her Converted 2017 presentation by turning the traditional Purchase Funnel on its head. She argued that customer behavior is synonymous with a Value Journey Road Map, which more resembles a zigzagging board game than a straightforward funnel, allowing customers to move seamlessly through each stage. The Value Journey Road Map starts with the cooler Aware, Engage and Subscribe stages, then moves to Convert and Excite, where interest starts to warm up. The Value Journey Road Map ends with Ascend, Advocate and Promote, when customers are most involved and excited about your brand.


Value Journey Road Map

(Value Journey Road Map by Molly Pittman, DigitalMarketer
Graphic created by Morgan Reid, Marriott International)

To move customers through your Value Journey Road Map, Molly suggests using marketing-automation software to create highly converting “traffic plays” with at least three of the five following components:

  1. Offer – Create one that is irresistible (e.g., price, discounts, bundling).
  2. Copy – Articulate why the offer is unbeatable.
  3. Creative – Portray your message through visualizations.
  4. Targeting – Use social ads to target specific interests, not just demographics.
  5. Ad Scent – Create a consistent experience.

One of these traffic plays includes the clever “Facebook Comment-to-Messenger Play,” designed to generate leads or low-dollar sales and create attractive content for warm traffic. To set up the traffic play, publish an organic or paid Facebook ad that is attractive and encourages a comment. Then, using a third-party tool like ManyChat, a Facebook bot automation service, send an automated Facebook message delivering the desired content (e.g., a travel guide, promo code, Whitepages). The increasing commentary and engagement will leave Facebook to view the original post as viral, which will increase the post’s visibility in the News Feed.

For example, imagine a Facebook post targeting Washington, D.C.-based females, ages 25-35, interested in travel. The post would prompt users to comment to receive a promotional code for their next “girls’ night out” hotel stay. An automated message with a promo code would then appear as a private message and simultaneously subscribe that user to your Facebook updates. Post-campaign, you would be able to pull the list of all users who commented and received the Facebook message, then target the highly qualified users in future Facebook ads.  Then, in a second campaign, you could promote your hotel as the best staycation spot and continue to perfect your conversion marketing campaigns based on previous work.

The options for conversion marketing campaigns are endless once you uncover the possibilities of marketing automation by using tactics such as email, social media, landing pages and content personalization.