Practical Ways to Implement A/B Testing on Conversion Funnels

A conversion funnel is what we call the path a user follows to convert on a landing page. You can read more about the basics here, but the parts that make up a conversion funnel are the CTA, Landing Page, Thank You Page, and the Thank You Email. As marketers and business people, we want people to convert, but sometimes our marketing underperforms or our guts say that good performance could be better. So then we test. Here are practical ways to implement A/B testing on conversion funnels and improve their performance. 

Implement A/B Testing

A/B Testing CTAs

CTA testing in HubSpot could not be any easier. By creating two versions of your CTAs- A and B- HubSpot will naturally serve the CTAs equally. When running multivariate CTA testing, we’re focusing the majority of our attention on the Click Rates because clicks are the main goal of a CTA. Submission rates are a secondary factor because they are mostly an indication of your landing page performance. The caveat here is relevance, though. High clicks and low submission rates can be an indication that the promise of your CTA is incongruent with that of your landing page. The messaging of one or the other may need to be adjusted. 

Not all leads are created equal! Download our Lead Scoring Guide to learn how to automate your lead qualification.

In this example, version A and B were created at the same time. After a few months of testing, both have nearly identical views, but the clicks on version B are a full percentage point higher. At this point, since we have a decent amount of data, it might be time to create a new version “A” to see if we can beat or at least match version B.

Implement A/B Testing

A/B Testing Landing Pages

HubSpot also makes implementing A/B testing on landing pages super easy. What you’re looking at when testing landing pages are submissions. WordStream tells us we want 10% or higher to be considered among the best. Some of the things you could vary are your headlines and copy. You can even try testing the medium of your offer- guide vs eBook vs infographic etc.- to see what your audience is more compelled to utilize.

One of the biggest advantages to A/B testing a landing page is to see how the length of a form affects your submissions. As marketers, we of course want as much data as we can get, but we also know that there’s a breaking point in what we request. High-value offers have a higher threshold for longer forms. To test, create two variants of your landing page- one with a shorter form and one with a more complex form- to find out where your persona’s threshold is. If you can get away with having a longer form and requesting more information without your submissions rates suffering, go for it.

If you’re not sure where to start with your landing page testing, you can try setting up heat mapping to see exactly how your users are interacting with your page. You might find people are leaving right away (a better headline or more appealing design, perhaps?) or abandoning the form (shorten that sucker up!). Bounce rates can also indicate where to start.

Bonus: are your landing pages optimized for SEO? Learn more about it here.

A/B Testing Thank You Pages

You create Thank You Pages (TYPs) variants the same way you do Landing Pages in HubSpot. So what are you looking for here? Engagement. You want people to access their offer (via a link or a button) and then go on to engage with the site. This is where you have the opportunity to move them through the funnel or charm them with delight. You can create full variants of your TYP or try testing a CTA within your TYP as we discussed above. 

A/B Testing Thank You Emails (Kind of)

Thank You Emails are the automated emails that send after a user submits a form. They can be set up directly on the landing page form or via a workflow. Unfortunately, you cannot implement A/B testing of automated emails in HubSpot. But, there are a few ways to get around it. What you want to measure by testing thank you emails are your open rates and click rates.

Lead Scoring Guide

Open rates are correlated to the strength of your subject line. To test, benchmark your current views and opens then manually make and publish your updates to the same email. Allow your updates to gather data and then measure performance against your benchmarked data. Rinse and repeat.

You can test the click rates in your thank you emails by creating multivariate CTAs as discussed in the CTA section above. You can also manually update the copy and hyperlinks to your “next step” offer (whatever action you’ve included in your TYE that you want your user to take next such as downloading a different offer or contacting you for a consult). Benchmark your stats and revisit often to check the efficacy of your updates. 

The Conversion Funnel: Inbound Marketing Basics

Conversion funnel by definition can mean a few different things depending on the source, but here at Lake One, when we talk about conversion funnel as it relates to an inbound marketing program, we’re talking about the call-to-action, landing page, thank you page, and follow-up email that supports our inbound efforts. 

Read on to learn more about the key components of a conversion funnel along with some insider tips for implementation.  

conversion funnel

Call-to-Actions

With content consumption at an all-time high among consumers, Call-to-Actions (CTAs) are uber important. 

In Marketing, a call-to-action (CTA) is an instruction to your target buyer designed to provoke an immediate response. Figuratively speaking, CTAs are a hand wave or an arrow saying, “Hey! Look over here. We have something you might like!” 

CTAs use action words to direct the user. For example, ‘download this white paper now’, ‘click here’ and ‘watch the video’. There are so many examples of CTAs, but a few elements stay consistent across the board.

  • Headline: Write a header that makes it clear and easy to see what it is you’re offering.
  • Sub Header: Explain the value to the user of what you’re offering, but keep it concise. Space is limited. 
  • Image: Include an image that relates to what you’re offering to catch the user’s eye and add additional context.
  • Action Words: Here’s where you actually say what action you want the user to take (download here) typically called out by a button or highlighted differently in some way.

Below is an example of a Lake One’s CTAs. Go ahead. Click on it 

LinkedIn Marketing Guide

Landing Page 

Although the majority of B2B businesses are using landing pages, not all landing pages are created equal. 

Landing pages are different than your other website pages for a few reasons and should contain at a minimum, the following elements.

No Page Navigation

Landing pages should be designed to be lean mean converting machines and the full navigation menu can distract users. We want them to submit the form and get down to business. 

Above the Fold

Keep the main gist of your offer (body copy, image, form, CTA, etc.) above the fold. If the CTA is below the fold and requires a scroll, conversion rates could suffer. You want to make it as easy as possible for the user to convert.

Landing Page Copy

The copy should have a header, a subheader, a few sentences that explain your offering in more detail, and then roughly 3 – 5 supporting bullets that talk about the user benefits of your offer and what the user can expect by submitting the form.

Image

Include an image on your landing page that depicts the offer. The image should be sized appropriately and placed in close proximity to the copy and the CTA making sure to add value and not distract the user from converting.

Here’s an example of the type of image we like to use. Click to see the full funnel in use.

conversion funnel

Form

Forms are an absolute must. They are the method you’ll use to capture the lead’s information in exchange for whatever your offering. Make sure that your ask matches the value of the offer. For example, if you have a form 10 questions deep for an infographic, you’ll likely scare away your user.

Insider Tip: My favorite form field is ‘Role’. Role is imperative because it essentially identifies the lead by persona. Role identification allows us to better tailor our workflows, and, not to mention, it gives us better insight into who is actually submitting our forms and engaging with our content. Oh and the bonus is, we’ve found that ‘Role’ is a light ask for the user as it doesn’t hold the same trepidation that company name or phone number can.

Needing help setting up your conversion funnels and forms might be a sign it’s time to hire a digital marketing agency. Learn about the other indicators here.

CTA 

All landing pages must have a CTA that’s clearly visible and intuitive to the user as to what they’re getting and what step to do next. 

Truthfully, the above just scratches the surface on the information available on landing pages and best practices. Here is an awesome infographic by Unbouncedescribing additional elements of a landing page if you want to learn more. 

Thank You Page

Some conversion funnel implementations don’t use a ‘Thank You Page’ (TYP), but we are big fans. In short, a TYP is just that- a page thanking the now lead for submitting their information via the form to obtain whatever it was you were offering. The TYP also hosts an actual link to the file, guide, case study, etc. 

If you’re peeking ahead and seeing that we deploy a follow-up email that also contains the asset link and thinking TYPs are pointless, they aren’t! TYPs have an important job and here are a few highlights on what they bring to your conversion funnel:

  • Trust: For some leads, submitting information via the form in hopes of obtaining an asset can feel a little uncomfortable. They are likely wondering if they’ll actually get the asset, will they start getting spammed and harassed, etc. TYPs are a chance to build trust with your lead by showing them you’ll give them what you promised and you’ll do it fast. 

Learn more about lead follow up strategies here.

  • Conversion: TYPs have prime real estate for additional CTAs. Make sure the CTAs are relevant and helpful in aiding in the next step of the buyer’s journey. Also, insider tip: Make sure the CTAs are not interfering with the user clicking on the asset to download it. It can go from helpful to intrusive quickly.
  • Brand & Site Exploration: Unlike landing pages, TYPs have a full navigation menu and can incorporate links to the company’s social media pages as well. It’s a chance for the lead to explore more on their own.
  • Tracking: Without getting too technical for the sake of this post, the TYP is a perfect place to fire your conversion pixel for tracking. Why? Because in order for the TYP to render, the form submission must be completed. You get the lead’s info, they get the asset. Bam. Conversion.

Follow-Up Email

Follow-up emails consist of a direct link to the piece of content (or whatever the CTA promised) and then an additional CTA to interact with your brand an additional way like a newsletter sign up or to check out your blog.

The emails are pretty simple, but we send them for a few reasons. 

  • User Experience: For example, if your offer is a download of a white paper, how convenient for the lead is it to have the white paper sent to their inbox vs needing to download it and save it right away? 
  • Conversion: It opens the door of communication with the lead via email and provides them with more ways to convert and interact with your brand right from their inbox. 
  • Lead Nurturing: Simple follow up emails can be a great segway into lead nurturing as the lead will have already received their first email from you. It seems more natural after sending the high-value first email to continue a cadence.

Key Takeaways

In summary, now that you know about the elements of a conversion funnel, here are a few reminders to take with you if you put the elements above into practice.

SEO. SEO. SEO.

All conversion funnel elements must be optimized for SEO. Think images, landing pages, meta descriptions, URLs, etc. All of it. 

Optimize. Rinse. Repeat.

Nothing in marketing is set it and forget it, including conversion funnels. Let the numbers be your optimization compass. They’ll point you to where you need to focus your attention first.

Marketing is for Humans.

When in doubt, always remember you’re content was created for humans and so were your conversion funnels. Where is your eye naturally drawn? Can you understand what you’re offering quickly and easily? A little humanity gut check can go a long way.

10 Quota Crushing Sales and Marketing Alignment Statistics

“The leads from marketing are junk,” says sales. “Sales can’t close to save their life,” says marketing. On and on it goes as the two teams responsible for driving growth bicker. If only sales and marketing were in alignment. But wait! It’s possible. More and more organizations are putting in the time to align their revenue teams – and it’s worthwhile. We’ve compiled ten statistics that show sales and marketing alignment isn’t just a nice to have – it’s a must-have for consistent quota crushing teams that move the top line.

sales and marketing alignment statistics

1) 61% of B2B marketers send all leads directly to sales; however, only 27% of those leads will actually be qualified. (Source: Marketing Sherpa)

2) 63% of teams without alignment report an inability to calculate marketing ROI (Source: Hubspot 2018 State of Inbound)

3) 58% of aligned teams say sales and marketing alignment improves customer retention. (Source: LinkedIn)

4) 78% measure alignment through revenue growth. (Source: LinkedIn)

Smarketing Statistics

5) Companies with Sales & Marketing alignment are 67% better at closing deals and drive 209% more revenue. (Source: Marketo)

6) B2B organization’s with tightly aligned sales achieved 24% faster three-year revenue growth and 27% faster three-year profit growth. (Source: Wheelhouse Advisor)

7) Decreased sales productivity and wasted marketing efforts due to misalignment costs $1 trillion a year. (Source: Hubspot)

8) Highly aligned organization’s average 32% YoY growth while their less aligned counterparts see a 7% decrease. (Source: Aberdeen Group)

9) Only 1 in 2 companies say marketing and sales have a formal definition of a qualified lead. (Source: Marketing Charts)

10) Misaligned sales and marketing can cost companies 10% of revenue every year. (Source: Kapost)

New call-to-action

Secrets of Top Construction Company Websites Revealed

From residential to commercial, the buying process for building and construction trades is changing. No matter your role in building, whether you are a contractor, designer or vendor, at the heart of mapping out your construction marketing strategy sits your website. It’s time to rethink the critical role it plays in attracting, converting and retaining construction customers, B2C and B2B.

Top Construction Websites

Your domain is the hub where research is done and your pipeline funnel gets filled up. It’s no longer enough to just have a portfolio or brochure style website. But what are the must haves? Instead of telling you, we’ll show you. Here are three examples of websites from the building and construction industry that are doing it right. We’ll break down who they are and why their websites are something to aspire to for brands looking to up their marketing game.

Why do websites need to be updated? Because most people visiting them aren’t ready to buy. Digital media has put buyers in the driver seat, completing an overwhelming majority of their research before they ever reach out to a brand through their website or sales team. That means in order to connect with prospects, websites need to be refactored to provide value early in the buyer’s journey, and opportunities to convert prospects beyond “contact us” or “request a quote”.

Websites need to be refactored to provide value early in the buyer’s journey and with opportunities to convert prospects beyond “contact us” or “request a quote”. #ConstructionMarketing #ContentMarketing  [Click to Tweet]

Superwarm

Superwarm is a UK based gas boiler and central heating systems installer. As a home services vendor, they need to compete with a sea of other heating vendors – so being found, building brand and building pipeline is critical.

What their website does well

Superwarm is a great example of a full funnel, modern marketing journey to emulate. First, their website is fine-tuned for conversion driving visitors to “get a free quote”.

But as we established in our opening paragraphs, it’s not enough to just make it easy for people to reach out for a quote. Only a small percentage of your visitors are ready for this stage. To build a scalable, forecastable marketing machine, we need a marketing strategy and website that maps to your buyers’ needs throughout their journey. Here’s how that looks at Superwarm.

First, they create blog content that addresses various questions buyers may have at various stages of the buyer journey. As a refresher, we think of the journey in three segments: awareness, consideration and decision.

The blog posts attract traffic from organic search, social media, email and potential paid media (search, social and display ads).

As a reader scrolls through the post, they are offered an opt-in, a bonus piece of content from a library of resources, also mapped to their stage in the buyer journey.

These offers help educate the buyer, providing value but also help Superwarm build a marketing database of prospects they can market to and nurture.

how to build a website that converts

PorchCo

The Porch Company is both an online store, offering porch components for building as well as a construction team.

What their website does well

The Porch Company is a prolific blogger. I mean – prolific in focus and volume. Just look at their category structure and number of posts.

Yes, 52 posts on blog design, at first glance I’m already sold on their authority on porches.

But here’s where this gets really awesome. If you dig into their content – it’s really really focused. So often we run into the “I’ve blogged for 6 months and nothing has happened so I give up” syndrome.

Here’s the deal. Your blogging tactic is failing as part of your overall digital strategy for 1 (or all) of 3 reasons.

  1. You don’t stick with it. Blogging and content is about the long game. Each month builds exponentially on the month before in terms of traffic and lead generation capacity. Here’s what that looks like in terms of growth over time based on research conducted by HubSpot.
  2. Your content is haphazard. Blogging for blogging sake isn’t helpful. It needs to be tied to your buyer personas, their buying journey and the topic you are trying to rank for. That means you have a lot to think about as you plan out your content strategy. You can’t just pick topics to write about willy-nilly.
  3. Your content isn’t supported with promotion. The Porch Company didn’t just grow a strong organic traffic channel by publishing consistently. They have a ton of backlinks to help the content rank. Backlinks come from creating great content – but also active promotion and digital outreach. Reaching out to influencers and others who will carry your message for you.

The Korte Company

Korte is a design-build construction company with a diverse set of industry experience and expertise. They are another great example, like Superwarm of a website that works, for today’s buyer.

What their website does well

One of the best things Korte does well is showcase expertise and thought leadership within their verticals. Let’s walk through one example to see how this plays out. Let’s say you are a project manager assigned to work with your local city on building a new hangar at your regional airport. But you’re not sure where to start. Like most people, you might start with a search.

There may not be a ton of monthly searches for this phrase every month, but those searching it are pretty good candidates for a firm like Korte. Look at that, they have some content where they share their expertise. Let’s click through and see what we find.

From blogs to resources, Korte has everything I need at this early stage. This guide, start to finish looks promising.

Before I get my copy, I share some information about myself. Korte uses that to follow up with me.
construction marketing guide

Construction/Building Website Best Practices

What all of the examples show, is that building modern marketing programs require a website that does more than just showcases your latest work. The three key themes from these case studies are: conversion, content and user experience.

Construction websites that convert

Make sure your website is built to convert. It’s not enough to just have a contact us or a request quote. We want multiple conversion paths so we can build a marketing database and sales pipeline of active prospects.

Marketing content throughout the journey

The best way to build websites that convert, is to host marketing content throughout the buyer journey on your website. Provide resources when people are early in the process of research all the way up to the point where they are comparing you to the competitors and need a final nudge.

User experience that’s concise

Make sure users can get through your site to the goals that best suit them. From research to contact, make the flow intuitive and helpful, don’t bog down their journey by cramming everything about your company – on every single page.

Final word

We’d love to hear from you. What construction sites have you found that are built for the modern buyer? Leave us a comment with a link and why you think it works well for today’s buyer.

How to Build Landing Pages that Convert

The landing page is the conversion foundation to your lead generation machine. No matter your industry, creating a landing page that conveys a strong offer and incents conversion is critical to driving opportunity. In fact, Marketing Sherpa research points to a 94% effectiveness rating for both B2B and B2C companies leveraging landing pages.

How_To_Build_Landing_Pages_That_Convert_Blog_Title.png

While it’s always a good idea to test and evolve your conversion funnel, including your landing page, where should your landing page get started? What are some of the best practices for creating a landing page that converts?

Here are some key compenents of highly functioning landing pages.

Want the tips to go? Download our guide to building a lead generation machine.