Hello. I’m Emily and today I’m going to discuss the information architecture implications from the book Honest Seduction: Using Post-Click Marketing to Turn Landing Pages into Game Changers.The primary audience for this book are digital marketers, particularly those interested or involved in marketing automation. For the most part, the book focuses on B2B strategies, where the end goal is more often lead generation as opposed to B2C e-commerce, where the end goal is a sale. But many of the concepts can apply to B2C.Regardless, understanding post-click marketing strategies is important for IA/UX/IxD folks, because you’re going to be working with marketing departments to develop these sites.
Honest Seduction was written by Scott Brinker, Anna Talerico, and Justin Talerico, all of whom have been working in the field of digital marketing since 1994 and currently serve as executives at ion interactive, which is a digital marketing firm. They are also the creators of an enterprise post-click marketing software called LiveBall—that ion interactive sells. LiveBall provides post-click marketing automation, testing, and analysis for many Fortune 500 companies… including Cigna Healthcare, American Greetings, General Mills, and DHL.
This book, their company, and their software product all focus on post-click marketing as the ultimate solution to this problem. The vast majority of people who land on a site via an online advertisement do not convert. Whether that conversion is signing up for an email list or providing contact information in order to download a white paper… or, purchasing a tropical vacation package… most people leave. And with traditional websites or landing pages, not only do you not know why that happens… you don’t know anything else about these visitors, except for where they came from. Post-click marketing aims to change that… both increasing conversions and providing useful marketing data about site visitors.
So, let’s define it. Again, these techniques are most often used in B2B lead generation or high-end B2C sales because those are sales situations where buyers require a more traditional, linear sales pitch. This doesn’t mean that post-click marketing is only used in these markets… the techniques can be applied wherever it makes sense for marketing goals.
Honest Seduction contends that there are seven principles of post-click marketing, and that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Meaning, you could use any of these techniques to increase conversions on a site, but you will see the greatest gains when you use them all together.
The foundation of post-click marketing really lies in conversion paths, which are a series of screens where, unlike a random access website, the prospect’s choices are limited, controlled, and purposeful. They are crafted together to win trust, build selling propositions, and result in a conversion… a sale or lead generation.Conversion paths are comprised of a series of segmentations, where visitors are split categorically, ultimately resulting in an offer page that is specifically designed for that particular market segment, increasing the likelihood that they will convert. The screens in a conversion path are very honest, very clear, and very focused in requesting a call to action—whether that be another click or responding to an offer.In addition to increasing the likelihood of conversion, using these paths enables you to collect information in real time as users move along the conversion path, which can be used to qualify respondents and assign them a score based on their relative importance to you. Something you can’t do with a static landing page.
The second principle in post-click marketing is message match—the idea that every message—from segmentation page through conversion—features the same content and tone as the message that directed respondents to the path in the first place, confirming the match between what you offer and what they want. So, you are keeping the promise that is made in the ad when the first page they see is message-specific to what they just clicked on. A consistent message between the advertisement and the site content builds trust and makes it more likely that they will assume your call to action.
Segmenting—the principle function of a conversion path--is a simple series of clicks that direct respondents to self-select the experience of your message that is most tailored to their interests. You can visualize segmentation as a tree that ends in your individual market segments.
Now here is an example of a segmentation page. It is simple, direct, and provides minimal content. The call to action is very clear and communicates that you are going to deliver on a promise that is the most appropriate for that individual visitor.
The scoring of visitors is known as qualification and it provides a way to assess the relative attractiveness of respondents and conversions from a particular path. It can be calculated from what actions took place on the path, where they came from, day of the week, etc.
The underlying idea here is to focus your energies on optimizing your site for the visitors that matter the most. Instead of designing your website or landing page to increase quantity of conversions, optimize it for the market segments that are most likely to result in a sale. These factors are going to be different from industry to industry, but this is where the authors of Honest Seduction advocate working closely with your sales team to determine exactly what a quality lead or sale is.
Another principle of post-click marketing is conversion, which can be a variety of actions depending on the industry or market segment. Conversion is usually defined by the percentage of respondents who “complete” a path out of the total number of respondents who first land on the path. Often cost per click—or CPC—is used to measure online marketing success. However, the authors assert that it isn’t the best metric for gauging success…. cost per conversion is because it more accurately represents your costs versus your returns.
Here is an example of an offer page in a conversion path. The conversion here is the email sign-up. Visitors that aren’t ready to convert can continue on the path for more information about subscribing to the journal.
Testing is another key component of post-click marketing. Rapid deployment and rigorous testing gives you the ability to easily experiment with substantially different paths, and over time recognize patterns of what works best in a variety of circumstances. A/B testing and multivariate testing are discussed in Honest Seduction and can be used to determine not only the best paths for visitors, but also site factors such as content and visual design.
Ultimately, all the data collected from site visits and testing provides you with reliable information on what will work best to get your visitors to convert. What kind of keywords work best, what kind of content, when, and where it is most effective, etc. The authors remind us again and again that knowing who’s not converting is much more important than knowing who is converting. With that information, you can constantly wok to increase your reach or focus on your core market.
All of this testing and analysis has serious implications for IA/UX folks… lots of revisions, which is why the authors developed a software to automate it.
Information Architecture Implications from Honest Seduction
InformationArchitectureImplications fromHonest SeductionEmily BowmanExperience ArchitectOrganic Detroit
The AuthorsScott Brinker Anna Talerico Justin Talerico
of online advertising respondents abandon without converting
What is post-click marketing? “techniques to improve a user’s landing experience when they respond to online advertising… with the objective to increase conversion of the most qualified respondents while increasing real-time marketing knowledge” Flickr user: riekhavoc
Analysis“Knowledge about your most valuable traffic sources and most qualified leads enables you to make the right media buys, capture the right audience, and convert the best leads with the right fulfillment…”
The Post-click Ecosystem Create Adjust Test Analyze
Questions?Don’t buy the book… read the blog atwww.ioninteractive.com/post-click-marketing-blog