After putting together a strategic marketing plan and launching your various campaigns, you have a few different avenues of optimization. One of the most comprehensive methods, which can apply across everything you’ve put together, is to study the potential pathways a prospect could follow to result in a conversion.

The conversion path is the series of steps that someone takes in the process of reaching the end goal of your marketing strategy — whether that end goal is becoming a prospect, a marketing qualified lead, or a customer. The path could include the webpages they view, the ads they click on, the emails they read, and the content they download.

Here’s one example of a conversion path for an adventure touring company:

Click on Facebook ad → Convert on landing page with a downloadable camping guide → Engage with various automated emails offering activity ideas → Book a tour online

Here’s another example of a conversion path for a B2B project management SaaS company:

Click on an organic search term and read a blog post → Browse the website and product pages → Fill out a form to subscribe to e-newsletter → Engage with various automated emails offering tips on saving time → Schedule a demo

By studying the different conversion paths, you can identify the campaign aspects for each segment that are performing above or below average. From there, you can use what you learn to optimize current campaigns, inform future strategies, and measure the health of your strategy as a whole. If you’re seeing low numbers of converted customers, you might initially consider your strategy a failed experiment. But when you identify the weak links and streamline the process, you can turn a trickle of customers into a waterfall.

How do I figure out what’s working?

Clearly seeing your conversion paths will require a few different tools. Ideally, you’ll have both a website analytics tool, such as Google Analytics, and a robust marketing automation platform, such as HubSpot.

The website analytics tool will give you a thorough view of how users are entering, engaging, and traveling through your website. In Google Analytics, for example, the Acquisition tools will help you understand visitor source data (such as organic search engine traffic or specific campaign sources, when you set them). The Behavior tools can help you understand how visitors move from one page to another and how different pages or blog posts are performing.

The marketing automation platform will give you more specific data on different prospects and segments, along with full control over how you define those different audience segments . In HubSpot, the reporting covers all campaign pieces — landing pages, emails, and more — and helps you pinpoint high-performing ones for each audience. You can also see prospect sources, conversion rates, goal conversions, and more.

Which paid ads are driving the most clicks? Which blog posts are drawing the most organic traffic? Which emails see the most engagement? Which pieces of gated content are pulling the most conversions? These are the questions you need to answer before you can act and optimize.

How do I apply what I learn?

Let’s go back to the tour company example. By looking at the different components of their conversion path, our fictitious company may have discovered a few high-performing campaign components:

  • A Facebook ad advertising a comprehensive guide to camping in the Southwest
  • A landing page offering that guide behind a lead capture form
  • Emails introducing activities & tips to enjoy travel in the Southwest
  • The booking page for a guided Southwest camping trip

Next, they would have to break down the different aspects of each of these components and consider what about these assets resulted in high engagement levels and conversions. . Three general aspects to consider and that can apply to nearly everything are audience, copy, and subject.

For example, with the Facebook ad, it’s clear that the audience used to construct the group the ad was shown to was well-aligned with the subject — a guide to camping in the Southwest. So, future ads directed at this audience can weigh on that subject in order to drive greater engagement. Additionally, future emails to those converted prospects can speak to that region and that activity and future blog posts can be created around them in order to further pinpoint what that persona group is most interested in.

The ad copy could have also played a part. Was it inspirational? Direct and to the point? Asking a question? These are all elements that should be tailored to one audience or another and the ones that work should be applied across campaigns.

At the same time, compare what you learned in high-performing audiences, copy, and subjects to those same pieces in lower-performing campaign assets. Directed at the same audience, what differences do you see between this Facebook ad and one that isn’t driving many click-throughs?

Final thoughts

Leveraging conversion paths to optimize your marketing strategy is an incredibly valuable process. Not only will you directly improve current campaigns, the data that you gather about your audience will inform future marketing and sales plans.

At 829 Studios, we have experience focusing on how each part of an integrated marketing strategy can work as a whole. If you’re ready to put together a comprehensive strategy or optimize what you have in place, let’s chat!

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