5 Colorful Sketches On Conversion Optimization

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But are five sketches are worth approximately one column’s worth?

Doodling with a new drawing app on the iPad — 53′s Paper, which is a real beauty — I took a pass at illustrating what I consider to be five important ideas in conversion optimization.

The Conversion Funnel

The Conversion Funnel

As marketers, we obsess with the prospect-to-customer funnel. Getting more people in at the top. Moving more of them through the middle faster. We talk about top-of-funnel (TOFU) tactics and middle-of-funnel (MOFU) tactics. All of which is good to a point.

But the real art of conversion optimization is crafting our marketing through the eyes of our audience. From a prospect’s perspective, their funnel progresses through four questions of you:

  • What do you do?
  • Why should I care?
  • How do I believe you?
  • Where do we begin?

If your funnel aligns with their funnel, answering those questions, good things happen.

Why Landing Pages Are Awesome

Why Landing Pages Are Awesome

I’ve spent 7 years working on landing pages and post-click marketing, yet every day I still wake up amazed and inspired by the possibilities.

Why? Because landing pages are at the intersection of three innovative forces in marketing: content marketing, performance marketing, and technical wizardry.

You need terrific content to be relevant and engaging. You leverage performance marketing principles for testing, analysis, and measuring success. And you use technical wizardry to create remarkable user experiences and to optimize the entire process end-to-end.

Each of these fields is fascinating on its own. The combinations of them are electrifying.

Modern Marketer’s DNA

Modern Marketer's DNA

Bryan Eisenberg said it best: as marketers, we need to Always Be Testing.

Test early, and test often.

A/B testing should be more than a capability. It should be more than a best practice. It should be rooted deeply into the culture of every modern marketing team. Our genetic code — at least metaphorically — should consist only of A-B pairs.

Brand Impact vs. Conversion Rate

Brand Impact vs. Conversion Rate

There can be a perceived tension between conversion rate optimization and brand impact, which dates back to the early rivalries of direct marketing vs. brand marketing.

But it’s a false choice: you can — and should — do great on both dimensions.

Sure, there are cheesy used car salesman type tactics that you can use to squeeze short-term bumps to your conversion rate. (“I promise you the world, just give me your email address and click ‘Boom!’”) But such chicanery costs you brand equity.

On the other hand, great brand-building content is often published without any direction towards a “next step.” It leaves visitors dangling like a sailboat in the middle of a lake with no wind. Sure, they can paddle their way to a conversion step. But paddling is hard work.

The sweet spot is pushing the Pareto frontier of brand and conversion to achieve both. That’s brilliant post-click marketing.

Eschew Cookie-Cutter Landing Pages

Eschew Cookie-Cutter Landing Pages

Okay, so this sketch only makes one big point: differentiate.

There’s an art to producing seductive landing pages, and it doesn’t emerge from boring, cookie-cutter webpage layouts that look like they came out of Microsoft Word.

Stand out from the competition. Don’t just be branded — be a brand.

In the end, 100% of visitors to your page see what you produced. What percentage will be impressed? What percentage will find it memorable? And, of course, what percentage will convert?

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Analytics | Search & Conversion


About The Author: is the president and CTO of ion interactive, a leading provider of landing page management and conversion optimization software. He also writes a blog on marketing technology, Chief Marketing Technologist. Follow him on twitter via @chiefmartec.

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  • http://roshanjoshi.com.np Roshan

    excellent! those sketches are begging for more. That’s exactly what your business landing page should do too.

  • Joe Large

    Nice post and proves the point on sketches and written word. 

    Think it equates with Whiteboard presentations where you keep an audience more engaged as you draw/write/tie-in ideas into central theme or project.

  • http://twitter.com/malcolm_gibb Malcolm Gibb

    Nice article, brilliantly illustrates real points. As a PPC marketer that’s been my main moto since I can remember – “test early, and test often”

  • http://webdealswatch.com/ Ron Coachman

    Much more thought out approach than my standard landing page thinking “how do i get the visitor to click my button/link” :)

  • http://www.prussakov.com/ Geno Prussakov

    Excellent post. Special thanks for including “performance marketing” as one of 3 “innovative forces in marketing”! More people (merchants and affiliates alike) should view it as such.

  • http://www.shiftfwd.com Naomi Niles

    Would it be bad if I said that my favorite sketch was the cookies? :) This is creative, different, easy to grasp, and useful. Thank you!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/rtarga Renato Targa

    Thank you, you just reminded me why I love my job!

  • http://twitter.com/chiefmartec Scott Brinker

    Thanks for all the positive feedback! And my 7th grade art teacher thought I was hopeless. ;-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/erik.bortzfield Erik Bortzfield

    Excellent post. I feel that a lot of people tend to overlook some of the simpler steps like the art of creating a successful call to action and reminding them the importance of catching their attention and funneling that into results is great!What do you feel would be the next step after these five basics? Further testing or design work?Thanks again!Erik Bortzfieldion interactive

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffeckman Jeff Eckman

    These are beautiful illustrations, but moreso, they are simple and powerful visual verbal expressions of the principles by which marketing professionals should live by. And I love the fact that you showed how and why direct and brand marketing need not be mutually exclusive. Awesome, as usual.


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