Splendid Group's Ronit Jackson reckons you absolutely can.
You may not be consciously thinking about it as you move through your world, but a User Experience frames every product and service that we buy and consume on a daily basis. How you feel about walking through a flagship retail store or supermarket, or when you're clicking to buy something online or checking in at the airport kiosk (remember that?), is the end product of a User Experience process.
From a business perspective, its important to recognise that your customers will feel (often strongly) a certain way about your brand, regardless of whether or not these experiences are intentionally designed. User Experience (UX) Design is conscious effort to improve how your customers interact with your business by removing friction and building customer trust, which can translate to lead generation, loyalty and profitability.
That's all well and good in the obvious arenas of a physical store or online commerce, but what about the true battlefield of B2B Technology marketing: lead generation? Can better UX improve your lead quality and conversion rates?
Before you can improve it, you have to understand it
If we consider that UX design is about creating positive, even delightful experiences for users and making it easy for them to achieve their goals, then we can put aside your own aesthetic needs for a moment ('I want my website to be visually appealing' or 'on trend') and put the customer at the core.
UX Designers spend a great deal of their time asking questions like 'what does the user want?' And 'what are their pain points?' And 'how does this make them feel? And 'how easy is it for them to achieve their goal?'.
Market research , focus groups, user testing, field observations, role play, mystery shopping, data analysis and heat mapping are just some of the tools that UX Designers use to 'walk in the shoes' of the customer or user. Internal bias, assumptions, decayed data, and personal preference are the enemies here. The fact that the CEO prefers blue text on white is irrelevant, unless research shows his tastes align with the majority of users.
Knowing how your user experiences your product (or, in this case, a lead generation campaign) is critical to executing a successful design. It can feel like you are going backwards for a while, but seasoned UX pros will tell you to trust the process. The more thorough the understanding of the user, the more obvious your design choices become. If the data overwhelmingly supports blue text on a white background, you can quickly lock that in and move onto the next design decision. No need to ask the CEO.
Putting UX Design to work in Digital Marketing
While your team is off discovering the current User Journey, here are some universal approaches you can use as bedrock material for improving the UX of your marketing efforts:
Less is more
Get an experienced writer to edit your onscreen text, ensuring the language is clear and concise by cutting irrelevant jargon, hyperbole and ‘weasel words’. Brand ‘voice’ is fine, but not if it gets in the way of delivering the information the customer is there to find, in the context of their journey.
Keep reducing copy length till you’re just about to remove information. It’s also important to make your Call To Actions (CTAs) very direct and very clear. This is not the time to play cute - just say exactly what is going to happen or what they’re going to if they do decide to ‘click here’.
When experienced UX designers want to present their work to you in a mobile format first, here’s what’s driving their decision:
- 91% of B2B buyers’ searches are done through a mobile device
- 80% of B2B buyers are using mobile at work
- B2B buyers consume 7.2 times more content on a mobile than the average professional
The payoff for designing your content in the format that your audience prefer to experience it in:
- Increased customer reach
- Higher conversion rates
- Faster load times (good for SEO)
- Faster content development, by setting a disciplined framework for creating landing page hierarchy and prioritising content
Have you got form?
Data collection forms (the real rubber meets the road moment for lead generation) should absolutely get the UX treatment. Only ask for what you need, in that moment. For newsletters, it’s an email address and a name. For direct contact or cold calling, ask for their phone number. That’s it. Removing unnecessary fields will typically increase your conversion rate, as will theses other proven UX approaches:
Use your database to Autofill fields if the data is already known.
- Stack all questions and input fields in a single column to ensure no field is skipped and it’s easy for the user to fill out quickly.
- Be clear to the point of obvious on your CTA buttons. Rather than just saying “Submit”, tell the user what will happen, such as ‘Download the eBook’ or “Register for the event”
- Align the CTA with form heading or landing page heading
- Use white space to lead the eye to the form
- Place the form ‘above the fold’ to get maximum exposure in the prime real estate of the digital asset
Contextual lead nurturing:
Not all leads are created equal, which is why it’s important to not just spray and pray your entire list at once. Scoring and sorting leads, adding identifiers to them and tuning your content to match where they are in terms of the ‘experience’ they are having with your brand is always worth the extra effort:
- Segment your database and only send to customers who are interested in your product, rather than those who just signed up to the general newsletter for example.
- Add personalisation to your emails. At a minimum, address recipients by their name and look to build any other information to improve the customisation and relevance of your communications.
- Nurture your customers with appropriately timed communications, especially in relation to events or seasons that are relevant to your category. End of Financial Year is a classic example.
War. What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing. Great UX, on the other hand, can deliver real rewards when applied to your digital marketing efforts:
- Decreased bounce rates as users find what they need (or at least what they were expecting) and stick around)
- Improved customer experience and satisfaction scores
- Higher rates of returning customers and increased brand loyalty
- Improved SEO through better organic ranking (those bounce rates can really kill your page rank)
Everything is an experience. And experience is everything.
Good UX design is not an arcane or overly technical process – it just relies on a willingness to embrace the audience’s perspective as the starting point for your design decisions. It’s often thought of in retail or product environments, but UX is fundamental for Digital Marketers, too, helping your target audience engage with and act on your campaign.
Great UX design ensures better lead gen conversions — simply because users like what they see and find it easy to achieve their goal. They are far more likely to come back for more (the nurture part) because their overall experience was delightful.
If you’re interested in using UX as a way to improve lead generation in your digital marketing, get in touch and we’ll set up a meeting.