First it was “Build and they will come.” Then it was “Advertise and they will click.” Next came “Search engine optimize and they will find you.” And although the cost of acquiring traffic–using SEO together with affiliates, email campaigns, and so on–probably runs higher than most companies would like, it is possible now to say: “If you spend your money right, they will come.”
The question then becomes, “What do you do with them when they arrive?” The web is so huge (180 million sites and counting) that the attention span of web users is, by several measures, amazingly short. When someone clicks through to your site, you had better be prepared to work to keep their attention. And it turns out that this, the post-click part of the marketing cycle, is not so easy to get right.
Or to put it another way, the post-click phase is frighteningly easy to get wrong. This was documented a few months ago by Compete.com, which produced one chart that speaks a thousand words (we were going to say “launched a thousand clicks” but that is just too cliché).
What the chart shows is the success rate at four different financial sites that sought to get people to apply for a credit card. This could be considered a conversion metric: the landing page visitor started the application. Look at how widely the results varied between these four big names firms:
The value of getting things right, in the case of Citibank, is a 66 point improvement in conversion rate over not getting it so right, as in the case of American Express and Capital One. (Not that this study means any of these companies are doing things badly or brilliantly every time, this was a test over a limited time frame.)
So what does “getting it right” require? Some banks and online retailers are putting a lot of resources into complex testing and analytical platforms that require a ton of internal IT work to implement. Some of these produce a ton of data that can be both informative and somewhat overwhleming.
Sure, you need to analyze your site traffic. And you should be testing the effects whenever you try something new. But shouldn’t the focus should be on the goal of presenting visitors with personalized messaging that makes them feel welcome and wanted, so they stick around long enough for you to convert them?
That’s definitely our focus here at Monetate. Yes, Monetate can track and test, but the emphasis is on making it easy for the people who do the marketing and merchandising at your firm to quickly create and tweak campaigns that deliver custom messaging and promotions to site visitors, enabling a tight but nimble alignment between all of your marketing efforts. Unless you are confident that your current efforts would put on the right side of a comparison chart like the one above, you might want to look into what Monetate can do for your post-click initiative.