And we’ve made it – with over 100 days or so to spare. And in true hastily-written-press-release-style: “We’re delighted!”
It may only be one target, but it’s a big one: if we didn’t have downloads, we wouldn’t have much to say about the other metrics – the conversations, conversions, contagion, content (and all the other not quite so alliterative stuff).
But we’ve only gone and bloody done it, which means we’ve got shed-loads still to tell you. And here’s the next instalment.
B2B Form Investigators
In Open Robe 5 we started to talk about the web form dilemma – it’s a tricky night’s sleep when you love lead nurturing, which relies on gathering leads, but hate scaring off 50% of your potential fans, advocates and prospects.
So we put on our deer stalkers, lit up our pipes, and launched a three week investigation into the Yin and Yang. Here’s what we’ve found out.
That’s a 39.1% conversion uplift by taking away the form. So if you click on our B2B Marketing Manifesto landing page, what do you expect to find there now?
Surprised to see the form back? The putative loser is through our, admittedly contrary, eyes a pretty healthy winner. Sure some people run for the hills, but the form can’t take all the blame: it’s not the hideous ogre we first feared.
For us, the data the form giveth is worth more than the awareness the form taketh away.
The fact is that 40% of our traffic just doesn’t want the content even if it’s only a pushed button and a fraction of a second away. They probably wouldn’t go for it if we offered a year’s supply of the Kool-Aid.
Well, they might, but that’s another test, for yet another issue of this seemingly endless series of blogs! There are B2B marketing mysteries waiting to be solved everywhere we look.
But there’s no doubt about it – the form stays. We’re keeping it because it serves as the start of a B2B marketing process upon which our campaign grows in strength. The figures simply don’t support taking it down.
A Few Caveats
While we hope there are lessons for everyone here, we would warn against extrapolating our experience into all campaigns. Our form:
- Asks for the bare minimum to start nurturing leads. Downloads would drop, along with information reliability, with every additional field.
- Is aimed at marketing people: people who build forms are more likely to fill them in – our bread and butter techies are more sceptical.
- Uses other marketing elements – such as comments and testimonials – to overcome form reticence.
The key take-away is the value of testing itself; applied to your unique content, audience, timescales, next steps, resources…
We’ve solved the debate, for now, but only for this campaign. The next time the results just might be different.
Want to catch up on the rest of Open Robe? Here’s the full bifter.
Project Open Robe Part 1 – the one where we commit ourselves in public (Planning)
Project Open Robe Part 2 – the one where it all kicks off (Thinking)
Project Open Robe Part 3 – the one where confidence starts to rise (First results)
Project Open Robe Part 4 – the one where the trick shots start (Cross-promotion)
Project Open Robe Part 5 – the one where we share the first month’s results (Reviewing)
Project Open Robe Part 6 – the one where we toughen up (Soul Searching)
Project Open Robe Part 7 – the one where we find the world’s best marketers (Segmenting)
Project Open Robe Part 8 – the one where we show that design isn’t everything (Style v Substance)
Project Open Robe Part 9 – the one where lead nurturing proves its worth (Marketo)
Project Open Robe Part 10 – the one where the form fights back (Form v No Form)
Project Open Robe Part 11 – the one about autoDMs in Twitter
Project Open Robe Part 12 – the one about re-purposing and atomising your content
Project Open Robe Part 13 – the one with an early peek at the outcomes
Project Open Robe Part 14 – the one where it ends (before it starts again)