The conversion process we’re discussing today is a method created by HubSpot that takes a website visitor and turns them into a lead. In short, the conversion process starts with a call-to-action to receive a content offer, takes the visitor to a landing page to fill out a form, and then finishes with a thank you page that provides the content offer. By following a few simple steps, you too can drive website conversions using the conversion process.
When you are following the conversion process, for it to work, you must have a content offer that is interesting to the visitor. Ideally, you have already created buyer personas and know your target audience and the type of content they prefer to consume. Your content offer serves as the piece of information a visitor is willing to provide their email address in order to receive. I’m sure you’ve been to many sites where you go to download something, and it asks for your email first in order to get the content. If you’re like me, you just give it up so you can get the content, no big deal. In that instance, the company has been successful in getting me to give up my email in order to receive their content. That’s what we’re trying to accomplish here, we want to provide an offer, such as a white paper, or a top 10 things to consider guide, that is interesting to your buyers and makes them want to share their email address with you.
Now that we know our content offer, we can start to build the conversion process, starting with a call-to-action.
A CTA is a button that promotes an offer and links to a landing page. It is a critical first step in the conversion process because it’s that first step a visitor takes before actually converting to a lead. The CTA should be action oriented, meaning it asks your visitor to do something. Use words like ‘download’ or ‘sign-up’ so your visitor knows exactly what they are about to do. Your CTA should also include keywords that are consistent with your offer and your landing page. This way, when visitors click on your CTA and are taken to your landing page, they are familiar with the content on that page already. CTAs should also be attention grabbing. The CTA should be the only way your visitor can find the content offer, so you want it to stand out from the rest of the content so the visitor can find it easily. To build the best CTA possible, you should read more about CTA best practices from HubSpot.
Now that you understand how to get visitors’ attention, how do you get them to convert?
The landing page is your ‘do-or-die’ moment. This is the last chance to get the visitor to convert. A landing page should be brief and specific only to the content offer. There should be minimal copy on this page and it should include a form for visitors to fill out in order to receive the content offer. The form on the landing page should mirror the value of the content offer. For example, if you’re offering a white paper that is specific to an industry, it would be appropriate to ask the visitor what industry they’re in. If you’re offering a top 10 things guide, then you should probably only ask for minimal information like first name and email. You don’t want to drive your visitor away by asking for too much information for a small content offer. But if you’re offering content that is more valuable, such as an ebook, it is completely acceptable and understandable to ask for more information.
Do not include a navigation menu at the top of your landing page. You don’t want visitors leaving this page without filling out the form, and a navigation menu can distract them away from the core action you want them to take: sharing their information. The landing page should literally include only a paragraph or two about the content offer, and then a form. HubSpot does a great job of explaining all aspects that should be on your landing page.
Once the user has filled out the form, it’s time to thank them and give them the content offer.
Thank You Page
Some people believe that you don’t need a thank you page - that you can just thank the visitor with an inline message and email the content offer to them. Sure, you can do it that way, but if you do, you’re missing out on an opportunity. We always recommend a thank you page for a content offer because it gives you a chance to provide the visitor with more information, such as similar blog posts or website pages at the same time you are thanking them. The thank you page is also where you provide the content offer to the person. They shared their information, now we have to uphold our end of the deal by giving them the content offer. Once visitors have completed this conversion process, the next step is to drive them to more information that is going to be valuable to them and keep them on your website.
Unlike a landing page, a thank you page should include the website’s navigation so visitors can continue browsing your site even after they’ve completed the conversion process. Filling out the form for the content offer helps you understand the type of content that interests your audience, and you can enhance the thank you page to help encourage more engagement. A couple of examples are adding CTAs to other content offers on the thank you page, or adding blog posts that are relevant to the topic of the content offer they just downloaded. You should also add social sharing to the thank you page so the visitor can share what they downloaded with their followers, since the visitor is most likely connected with people who have the same interest.
Overall, the conversion process helps increase website leads by streamlining the content offer process and giving those leads the opportunity to stay engaged on your site and/or share their experience with your brand with their networks.
Have you tried the conversion process before? Are you ready to drive more website conversions? Let us know how it goes in the comments!