Conversion Rate Optimization for Beginners
“Inbound Marketing” is the new black – SEO companies across the land are falling over themselves to reposition their brand as inbound marketers. Inbound is touted as the opposite to traditional, ‘interruptive’ advertising methods, in that you produce content and place it in front of users so that they find you.
The irony of it is, in many B2B situations, once these ‘inbound’ methods have worked their magic and achieved a conversion – by capturing a lead, phone number or email address – the sales prospect is still marketed to using the same old ‘interruptive’ methods.
And that’s where data quality comes in.
Why Is Good Data Important?
You data is valuable to you on many levels, for both short term and long term ambitions. Quite simply, if you have more accurate data from your lead source, you will be more likely to close a sale. For instance, if you have the name of contact who may be interested in your services, this could get you past a ‘gatekeeper’ when you ring the company.
The more comprehensive your data is, the more targeted your marketing can be – allowing you to segregate by industry, location, company size, job role, etc… and market to a specific audience.
Perhaps most importantly, you data can be your biggest asset when looking to sell you business – but only if it is decent data. Good data is simply data that is accurate and useful. Since ‘useful’ is entirely subjective, it will be determined by what your company actually uses the data for. If you qualify prospects by ringing them up, for example, then an accurate phone number is crucial.
CRO Can Actually Damage Data Quality
Every (decent) marketer knows that it’s all about the conversions. There is no point in having shedloads of traffic if nobody actually buys anything from you. Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) seeks to improve the value of traffic by increasing the likelihood of conversion. One of the most successful methods involves form optimisation – reducing the amount of ‘work’ a prospect has to do in order to perform a task, such as filling in a quote request form. In theory, you can get more conversions by asking for less data from people.
By reducing the amount of data you ask for, you can get more leads, but potentially worse data. For example, you may choose to drop the ‘Company Name’ field, which then becomes data you need to capture at a later stage.
Of course, CRO isn’t the only reason that your data may be less than perfect – users make mistakes or sometimes simply don’t want to give you the information in the first place. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find it…
#1. Use Their Website – The most obvious one. If you know (or can guess) the company’s website then you can go and grab data from there. You can normally find a phone number, find a ‘Team’ page to ID your prospect, or get at least one contact email address.
#2. Use Whois Data – If you know their website but don’t have a contact name, try a Whois lookup on their domain. This will give you the name of the person and/or company that registered the domain, unless they have deliberately hidden this information.
#3. IP Lookup – In addition to any data you set as mandatory on your lead generation form, you can also set it to return the user’s IP address, which you can then track using a reverse IP lookup. This generally doesn’t tell you a lot, since for most people this will just be their internet hosting provider (e.g. BT Internet) but big companies often run their own servers, so an IP lookup will reveal the company name.
#4. Use LinkedIn – Practically every professional these days is on LinkedIn, so finding them is generally not that difficult. For some data mining – for example to get a prospect’s job title – you don’t even have to bother going onto the LinkedIn website. Just Google “Customer Name, Company, LinkedIn” – 9 times out of 10 you’ll get it served to you right in the search results.
#5. …Try Other Social Networks – There is no reason you can’t use other social networks like Facebook or Twitter to try and find more data out about people. If you can identify a profile, you may even find out more useful information than you anticipated.
#6. Financial Data – You may need some additional data to validate the financial credentials of a potential client – when deciding on payment terms, for instance. Services such as Duedil and Companies House WebCHeck in the UK will give you trading and accounts information, so they are definitely worth checking before offering a client invoice status. Google Maps Street View can also give you an idea of company size and status.
#7. Creative Googling
Google indexes practically every document that is published on the internet. With a bit of creative Googling, you can find any information that is out there. A few tricks of the trade:
- Use quote marks to search an exact phrase (e.g. “John Doe”)
- Combine with company name (e.g. “John Doe Samsung”)
- Try for instances of their email address (e.g. [email protected])
- Use the AND operator (e.g. “John Doe” AND “Samsung”)
- Try it with their phone number (e.g. “01715 263561”)
- Or bits of their phone number (e.g. “01715” AND “Samsung”)
Don’t Underestimate The Power of Quality Data
Whether or not you invest in CRO for your website, improving your data quality will increase your ability to actually sell to your prospects, both now and further down the line.
It can help you determine the legitimacy of companies you deal with, and improve the value of your client database.