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Spooky Stories for Marketers: Beware of the Walking Dead Audience

Angie Tran

Content Marketing Manager @ AdRoll

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A small and terrified group of marketers have been trapped in their startup office for days. Moaning and growling from the shadows just behind their front door is an undead terror: Users who engage but don’t buy. 🙀 They’re so close to converting, but instead, they just sit there, taking up the company’s valuable marketing budget. 

The marketers should have seen the walking dead coming. After all, their complacency had led them into this situation. After seeing that target customers were visiting the website and adding items to their carts, the marketers thought their job was done. Little did they know, they had failed to prepare. 

The marketing team has to improvise makeshift tools to fight back, bouncing ideas desperately. What about a website audit to ensure conversion points are clear and work? Maybe tweaking the email copy to boost click-to-open rates? Or an ad audit to make sure the audience is being properly segmented and hit with the right messaging? Perhaps a product survey to guarantee the pricing is appropriate, and the product fits the howling mob? The team was running out of time!

The shambling undead audience is getting restless, ready to knock down the door and overrun the startup. The marketers scrambled to their desks, crossing their fingers and executing every idea they have to help the undead audience convert. Days pass, and the howls slowly died down. The company’s marketing budget is back in the green.  The marketers live to see another day.  

Moral of the Story

A visually appealing ad, website, or piece of content with fancy e-commerce features can be useful for click-through rates — but if it doesn’t compel your visitors to travel through the sales funnel and click the checkout button, then it’s ineffective. The average conversion rate on the Google AdWords search network across all industries is 3.17%. At 0.46%, conversion rates for display ads are even worse. 

The truth is: Traffic, engagement, and conversions don’t come easy. Struggling to convert clicks into actionable behavior is a common problem that marketers face. To compete with the millions of digital brands, it’s not just a matter of writing compelling copy, producing attractive designs, or developing intriguing content. Instead, success requires melding strategic thinking, monitoring and reiterating, and other optimization processes. Ultimately, you need to use all the tools at your disposal to discover and align your marketing efforts with your customers’ goals. 

Some pro tips to take away from this chilling tale:

Make sure your messaging is consistent

Aligning messaging across the customer journey — including ads, landing pages, and supporting marketing materials — can improve conversions by more than 200%. Instead of trying to get as creative as possible with your ad copy or spending hours honing on keyword targeting, take a step back and ensure your messages throughout the sales funnel make sense. Most importantly, make sure you’re conveying how your product can solve problems or improve your customers’ lives. 

Remarket to those stubborn visitors

Remarketing is a valuable solution that all digital marketers should have in their arsenal. By showing ads to people who have already demonstrated some interest in your product or service, you can help your brand stay top-of-mind for potential customers, which will significantly improve your chances of conversion. Segment your audience and create retargeting ads that supply an extra push, whether it’s through an exclusive discount or a reminder that the product they want might sell out soon.

But be careful — creating personalized experiences that span multiple channels to push your customers to convert requires a delicate balance between expecting and understanding their needs without coming off as creepy stalking. Be sure you stay up to date with privacy regulations

Experiment and try something new

Every marketer will experience the moment when the most innovative idea they have just doesn’t land the conversion rates they expect. Instead of becoming disheartened, tweak and test. Sometimes, a small design change or copy edit can go a long way — make sure your team has access to user behavior reports that can reveal hidden, unexpected details in the user experience. Perhaps website visitors were confused by an image they thought was clickable. Or, maybe the landing page load time was too slow. Maybe the mobile experience wasn’t user-friendly and intuitive enough. By continuously testing, you can find these insights and implement a plan to address them — the key to e-commerce marketing is experimentation. 

Craft unique selling propositions

Sometimes, copy or visuals are not the cause of low conversion rates. Instead, unappealing offers are to blame. To differentiate yourself from your competitors, be sure to deliver deals, savings, bundles, or features that are unique. And with many ads and websites stating unclear and muddled offers, conveying the value proposition of your brand and product (which includes more than just monetary value!) with clarity and persuasiveness is a skill to master. A winning formula is merely recognizing the most significant pain points that potential customers are experiencing and expressing how your solution can help them. Don’t let branding or unclear jargon get in the way. 

Make sure the customer journey is straightforward

Too many e-commerce websites nowadays are overloaded with options, causing site visitors to suffer from analysis paralysis. Do an audit to ensure that every page on your website has a clear, singular goal, takeaway, and call-to-action. It’s better to break up complex pages into smaller sub-pages that are more user-friendly and easier to navigate rather than cram all the information. Remember: if your site navigation or user pathways are not intuitive, visitors will abandon your site. 

If you're craving for more tales of horror, you're in for a wild ride with the legend of Draculad.

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