A conversion path is a collection of digital assets on your website, whose entire goal is to turn a website visitor into a lead. But not just any lead -- the right kind of lead, the right kind of person, at the right time, and in the right context.
There's a collection of related tactics or building blocks that come together for an effective conversion path. But the big thing to keep in mind is all of your conversion paths need to be tagged and should be built with a specific buyer persona and a particular stage of the buyer's journey in mind.
Buyer Personas and Buyer’s Journey Stages
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of one of your ideal clients, based on actual research and some educated speculation. For most companies that are new to doing digital marketing, inbound marketing, or content marketing and building conversion paths out of the gate, I'd recommend that you start with two buyer personas -- a primary buyer persona and a secondary buyer persona.
Also, think about negative buyer personas. What kind of information do you want to capture on your form and your conversion path to help disqualify certain people? Each of your conversion paths should have a buyer persona in mind and a buyer's journey stage in mind -- where they are in the active research process, in between when they're a stranger and when they become a customer or client.
Premium Downloadable Content
In addition to having that in mind, you need to provide value in order for somebody to be willing to go through your conversion path. That's where premium content comes into play. Ebooks, downloadable checklists, special reports, white papers, webinars, webinar recordings, events -- all that good stuff that helps educate and build trust.
We need an asset that is a prominent part of your conversion path, and then we need a landing page to help explain why somebody needs to basically give you their business card information to get access to what's on the other side of that landing page. A landing page is a specialized website page whose entire purpose is to convert a visitor into a lead.
A landing page isn’t particularly useful without a form. A form will have the contact properties. It'll have the fields that you think are most important to gather from that person at that stage of the buyer's journey. The amount of form fields or the amount of contact properties you can ask for is always going to be proportional to the perceived value of that piece of premium content.
Once somebody fills out a form, they'll be sent to a confirmation page or thank you page whose purpose is to deliver on that premium content that you promised. If it's done well, that conversion path will help to accelerate the sales cycle by taking them to the next step in the buyer's journey. That thank you page or confirmation page should also be reinforced by a confirmation email that is sent to that person that repeats very similar information to what's on that confirmation page or thank you page.
The Bottom Line
So the essence of a conversion path is all about taking visitors, converting them into a lead, understanding who they are, where they are in the buyer's journey, and helping to populate your sales funnel with future clients.
Is your company following these best practices for setting up your conversion paths? Share your thoughts in the section for comments below.
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