Hi everyone, thanks for tuning in to the fifth and penultimate installment of “Lunches with Brett.” This lunch includes a special guest appearance by marketing guru Bryan Eisenberg (a member of Monetate’s Strategic Advisory board).
I have to say it’s amazing what you can learn over half a sandwich and a bowl of soup when two marketing mega-brains like Brett and Bryan get together. As I see it, the best practices that are now emerging in the ecommerce space are being driven by insights from user experience and site optimization gurus like Bryan Eisenberg, then enabled by the amazing technological advances in website marketing tools.
When Bryan joined us during a recent mid-day break he shared with us the importance of “maintaining the scent” (hint: he was not referring to the lingering aroma of grilled Reuben sandwiches).
To quote Bryan’s Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestseller Always Be Testing: “a scent trail starts whenever a potential customer encounters one of your messages and decides to act upon it.” You see this when, for example, someone is searching online and sees a text ad you placed with Google AdWords then clicks on it, bringing traffic to your website.
According to Bryan, “if you want to convert [that traffic] then your AdWords, banners, landing pages, and site must serve the content and path that match the intent of the search term.” In other words, “scent is essentially about relevance and continuity in the buying process.”
This thinking is the foundation of the best practice I want to focus on today, the incredible importance of establishing a consistent look and feel across a given ad campaign and the landing pages and site experience to which it connects.
According to Brett, whose experience spans many thousands of tested and targeted marketing campaigns, “Consistency minimizes bounce rate by maximizing user relevance and comfort, and ultimately conversions.”
At this point, Brett went on to share the manifestation of this best practice that he dubbed “Ad Echo.” The goal of Ad Echo is to reinforce a site-owner’s paid search ads and maximize user-relevance by placing a dynamic banner with the exact same ad copy that the user clicked.
You display this banner on the primary landing page, but you also echo it everywhere else the visitor browses while on the website. For example, if I search for “North Face Winter Jacket” and I click on your paid search ad that says, “20% off all North Face Winter Jackets,” then I should see “20% off all North Face Winter Jackets” in a banner on the landing page to which the ad takes me, but also on every other page I browse as I make my way through your site to the shopping cart and order the North Face winter jacket of my choice.
Here’s how Brett summarized things: “Ad Echo ‘maintains the scent’ of the site owner’s search ad campaigns throughout the entire site experience, from the moment the user clicks through, maximizing potential conversion and consequently optimizing the effectiveness of their ad dollars.”
The effect? Some savvy e-retailers using Ad Echo are seeing double digit conversion lift. As the saying goes: You do the math. Seriously, figure out what a 10% increase in conversion on each search ad campaign would mean to your sales and marketing goals.
Of course, Ad Echo is closely related to the concept of a landing page anchor that Brett described in our second lunch. Combine the two and you stand a good chance of keeping even the most distracted shopper on track to complete a buying process that started with a search that triggered your ad which persuaded them to click through to your site.
I love it! I’m not a site optimization expert or user experience guru like Bryan or Brett, but as a consumer this is like a splash of cold water to my face. I now see how critical “maintaining the scent” is to making the sale, which is obviously good for the seller, but also satisfying for the buyer, who gets a good deal on exactly what they were looking for.
Ad Echo is clearly a best practice when it comes to maintaining the scent. Do not be left on the sidelines on this one, you will regret it.