Part II: Is Your Website Killing Your Closed Loop Marketing?


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closed loop marketingIn yesterday’s blog post we discussed the ways your website could be ruining your inbound marketing. In the post, we highlighted the importance of user-friendly web-design in keeping your prospects on your site. Of course, drawing people to your website is far from the end of the matter. You need to convert those visits into leads and sales. And your website could be killing that process too.

Closed loop marketing is vital in helping you to convert, as well as an important information source for inbound marketing content. Closed loop marketing refers to closing the loop between marketing and sales. The idea is to use inbound marketing methods to draw prospects to the site, convert those prospects into leads on the site and then use the analysis of their on-site activity to make the sale. All of that data is then fed back to your marketing department who use it to improve your inbound marketing content.

Inbound and closed loop marketing rely on one another to function effectively. And they both rely on user-friendly web-design.

No Social Sharing Options

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of social sharing buttons on your website. If you don’t give prospects the ability to share your content, you are killing your business. People use many different sources when making purchasing decisions these days; there is always at least one social channel involved. Without sharing options on your content, you can’t get your site into that research process.

Social sharing options are important for closed loop marketing in two ways. First and foremost, the use of these options can be measured. You can identify the articles that are most shared and use that information to inform your content creation. For sales they also provide great background on a prospect. By identifying not just the articles the prospect read, but also the ones they shared, you can get a great picture of their interests. You could still operate successful closed loop marketing without this information, but why would you want to?

Obscure or Tenuous Links

Closed loop marketing is all about analyzing a user’s activity once they’re on your website. Links are a vital part of that activity. Your links keep your prospect on the site by offering more valuable information in exchange for a click. That offer has to be clear and it has to meet the expectations it sets.

There are two main types of links on your site, text links and menu links. They perform the same task in two different ways, but they should follow the same rules. When a user looks at one of your links, they should have a good idea of what they’ll get when they click on it. If you’ve got text links that link within your site, the linked content has to be relevant to the link text. If you link to another site, it should also be a natural link. If users click a link and end up in a place they weren’t expecting, it creates two problems. Firstly it upsets the user and secondly it reduces the accuracy of your analysis. If a particular page has a high bounce rate, is it because of the page? Or because the links don’t define it correctly?

Hidden Call to Action Buttons

The most important links in closed loop marketing are your call to action buttons. These are the links that take your users to those all important landing pages and contact forms. Analyzing their usage helps you to understand which pieces of content generate leads and which ones just generate traffic. Unfortunately there may be situations where the buttons themselves may be keeping pages from converting.

Creating call to action buttons can be a delicate balancing act. They need to be buttons, they need to be big and colorful and standout from other links on the page. Call to actions need to be the most enticing links you have. But you can go too far.

The other links we’re used to seeing with big colorful images that offer something are online advertisements. We’ve gotten so used to online advertisements that a lot of us just tune them out. We look at a page and we know where the real content is, so we just ignore anything else. If your call to actions buttons look too much like ads, they may actually be hiding in plain sight.

Closed loop marketing can help you to build a profile of your ideal prospect. To build content to suit that prospect and to convert them into a client. You can’t do that if your users get lost, can’t share your content or can’t find the most important pages.

Please read part one of this blog post about inbound marketing.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Eoin Keenan
Media and Content Manager at Silicon Cloud. We help businesses to drive leads and build customer relationships through online marketing and social media. I blog mainly about social media & marketing, with some tech thrown in for good measure. All thoughts come filtered through other lives in finance, ecommerce, customer service and journalism.


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