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You’ve noticed a low conversion rate, too low. Exactly what a demand gen marketing works to avoid. It likely started slow with fewer newsletter sign-ups compared to last year. But then it compounds to fewer leads from content forms and fewer site visitors. All of these seemingly small issues are now adding up to a big problem: a lower sales conversion rate.

It’s tempting to turn to the sales team as the scapegoat, but they are simply a red herring. Leads must be nurtured throughout the customer buying cycle before even reaching the sales team. And any missteps along the way result in low-quality leads and missed conversions.

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When reflecting on the first three quarters of the year, dive into the mystery of low conversion rates and ask yourself: How can I improve conversion rates to positively impact revenue? Armchair detectives, assemble! It’s time to start sleuthing and get to the bottom of this conundrum once and for all.

 #1: Get to the Bottom of Your Nurture Strategies

If you’re experiencing poor-quality leads or your leads aren’t converting, the first place to start is your nurture strategy. Poor nurture strategies lead to a low conversion rate. Start at the beginning of your customer journey and map out the content you’re currently serving at each stage. If you discover that you’re delivering the same content to all customers regardless of their needs, you’ve earned your detective badge right off the bat.

However, if you are already segmenting, look carefully at the content for each stage. Determine if you’re providing the right content to the right customers at the right time. Start with content mapping and analyze your audience to map content to each stage of the buyer’s journey. Next, segment your leads based on their characteristics and behaviors. You can then address their unique pain points and interests through the content you deliver.

#2: Examine Targeting and Personalization

Your customers want to feel special. And they expect their experience to be tailored to their needs.

According to McKinsey, 75% of customers expect personalization.

Poor quality leads are often the result of inaccurate targeting and ineffective personalization. If you’re engaging with customers who aren’t ready to buy or are not a fit for your products, they are not likely to convert — which means low conversion rates.

The key to solving this mystery starts with data. Combine first- and third-party data to gather important clues about your customers, letting you effectively target who are more likely to turn into leads. And you can also identify leads that aren’t quite ready, but you’ll want to revisit in the future.

#3: Get the Scoop on How Marketing and Sales Work Together

Marketing and sales departments work closely together to nurture and convert, but oftentimes communication between teams is lacking. Breakdowns in communication and follow-through turn into lost conversions.

42% ranked ‘better aligning sales and marketing’ as a priority for their demand generation goal.

– 2022 Demand Generation Benchmark Survey

To assist these groups, create marketing personas from work sessions, stakeholder interviews, and surveys to develop a common language for working together and communicating. Be sure to also use data, such as consumption habits, when creating these personas. With these in place, your teams can work together to adjust your brand messaging and double down on sales enablement efforts. By creating systems and collaborative culture, you can focus on generating new leads and retaining current customers.

#4: Read (and Re-Read) Your CTAs

Sometimes the issue is simple — you aren’t clearly defining the next step for your audience. For example, if you don’t clearly ask for newsletter signups, you miss the conversion point in the journey. Look at each step in the journey and pay close attention to the CTAs.

Ensure each CTA is concise and uses action-oriented language. Take springboard’s email sign-up for example.

“Subscribe to receive marketing insights, industry intel, and proprietary reports.” This description tells the potential customer exactly what they’ll receive when they subscribe. The message is supplemented by a clear CTA to “subscribe” both in the headline and the button.

#5: Scrutinize Lead Generation Forms

Once you’ve targeted, nurtured, and personalized, the next step is collecting the lead. But potential customers often get the form and never fill it out. If you find that is the case, check your data. If you’re losing conversions on the form page, it’s likely an issue with the user experience of the actual form.

So start by looking at the form itself. Make sure it’s streamlined and easy to complete. Next, make sure customers can easily navigate to the form and around the form. Then consider the design — is it responsive and mobile-friendly? Finally, test the speed of the website on the form. Often, small fixes with the form turn into the difference between losing a lead and your next best customer.

Become a Full-Fledged Conversion-Rate Detective

Lower conversion rates aren’t typically caused by a single issue, but rather by multiple minor issues. Poorly written CTAs and hard-to-use forms add up to a less satisfying customer journey.

So when you notice conversion rates dropping, it’s time to put on your trench coat, pull out your pocket notebook, dig into the clues, and solve the mystery.

Our ebook “The customer journey multiverse: Are you ready?” provides a blueprint for engagement straight from digital marketing industry leaders. Download it today.