Customer Journey Touchpoints; The Lead Conversion Path.
There is a prevailing myth within the marketing industry that if you write that landing page, promo email, or press release just right, the power of your cleverly crafted copy will magically magnetize a tidal wave of leads scrambling to hand over their money. But instead, very few leads ever purchase on their first connection with your brand. Rather, it takes several customer journey touchpoints to convert to a sale, otherwise known as a lead conversion path.
Before you mistake that previous sentiment as a dismissal of branded content, let me say that excellent content is critical to build a successful brand. But even the most well-crafted message rarely converts in large numbers on the first pass. Instead, it is a series of thoughtful, well-conceived messages that add up to a conversion and a loyal customer.
There is no definitive number of touch points that will guarantee a sale. Although, conventional data suggests that a potential customer interacts with your brand, product, or service 8-10 times before they feel comfortable enough to commit to a sale.
Yet, those metrics will vary greatly depending on several factors:
- The industry
- The size of the sale
- Supply and demand dynamics
- How well a message aligns with the needs of its target audience
Marketing touchpoints are comprised of the interactions a lead or potential customer makes with your brand messaging in their buyer’s journey through the marketing funnel. For example, email campaign messages, social media, blog articles, newsletters, sales calls, and in-person conversations increase trust in your brand, leading prospects closer to the bottom-of-the-funnel conversion.
The power of timed contact has a two-fold effect. In addition to converting prospects into customers, these contact points also increase customer loyalty among your existing customers.
Research also suggests that engagement increases exponentially with each successive customer touchpoint. However, there is a threshold at which contact with potential leads flatlines or reaches a law of diminishing returns around 8-10 points of contact.
Leads that convert in fewer than 8 points of contact are either highly motivated or you’ve aligned your messaging so meticulously with the needs and desires of your target buyer persona that your brand resonates enough to create the trust required for a conversion.
Finding Your Ideal Touchpoint Metrics
Conventional wisdom might reason that since the law of averages sets the conversion benchmark at eight touchpoints, that must constitute a hard and fast rule and consequent expectation. However, those benchmarks can look very different from industry to industry and brand to brand. This is where each company must test, measure, and analyze results to arrive at their own conclusions.
First, a deep dive into your database of prospects will quickly reveal how many of your contacts are hot leads, cold leads, or long-term prospects. Your conversion metrics will clearly show how many touch points, on average, it takes to move your leads from the top of the funnel to the bottom.
But before you reach a definitive conclusion about your customer touchpoints, you’ll need to take it one step further. For example, let’s say that you discover that it takes an average of 7 touchpoints to convert your prospects into customers.
Next, you’ll need to analyze your messaging and brand positioning. Based on your current sales enablement tools and marketing assets, you might be at a 7 in conversion, but is that number fixed? Not necessarily.
Your average touch point conversion metrics are not immutable and can be improved by further analyzing other factors.
Timing is Everything
The great debate rages online about the best days and times of the week to solicit prospects and deliver marketing messages. Although conflicting reports might lead you to the conclusion that nobody knows, CRM giants like HubSpot have compiled thousands of points of data on the subject.
Universally, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays have been the most successful days of the week to send emails, publish social media posts, make sales calls, and deliver your brand message.
Additionally, 10 am to 4 pm on weekdays generate the most open rates and click-through engagement. Also, 5 minutes before the top of the hour and five minutes after the top of the hour functions as a magic window, of sorts. This is because people are typically between calls and meetings and often spend a few minutes checking email.
Monday’s people are planning their week, and Friday’s people are planning their weekend! So, these aren’t great days to engage your leads and prospects. Experimenting with well-documented data can lead you to find your “sweet spot.”
Mixing It Up and the Snowball Effect
Many take the approach of creating urgency at the top of the funnel to “strike while the iron is hot,” thinking this will motivate leads to convert quicker. They space their nurturing or drip campaign emails close together in the beginning and space them apart toward the end.
Just the opposite is true. Try approaching your email and messaging by spacing out the first couple of messages and increasing their frequency over weeks. Gradually space your messages closer until the last few messages in your sequence are a few days apart, then a few hours apart.
Delight and surprise your prospects by creating a mix of messaging. Instead of just emails or only phone calls, try mixing it up. Build your campaigns to include emails, text messages, direct mail, video messages, and phone calls. I created a similar campaign recently, and the conversion results were impressive. Other effective touchpoints include newsletters, eBooks, podcasts, white papers, blog articles, and webinars.
Leveraging Touchpoints with Marketing Automation
Discovering your ideal touchpoints can feel like a lot of work and planning. But the results are worth the effort. In addition, some tools can help shorten the curve, making reaching your ideal prospects easier by leveraging the power of marketing automation.
The robust, user-friendly tools in CRMs like HubSpot help businesses save time and automate their efforts.
Let’s start a conversation to learn more about touchpoint optimization, HubSpot marketing automation, and how we can help.
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