Last Friday I had the opportunity to participate in a webinar sponsored by Enquiro titled “Coaxing the Conversion.” This was the first in their new B2B Expert Series. Recently, I’ve been racking my brain on strategies for a particular B2B client of mine so the prospect of getting some research-based landing page suggestions had me quite excited. The webinar promised to present “what the latest research tells us about landing page content and layout.” Here are 7 things I learned:

  1. When talking about return-on-investment (ROI), the biggest lift happens when you look at and make changes affecting site interaction. Basically, are you providing the options the B2B customer is looking for?
  2. Something we talk about here on PPC Hero is the buying cycle. The phases of the buying cycle are Awareness, Research, Negotiation and Purchase. What Gord Hotchkiss of Enquiro discussed was that you connect each phase of the buying cycle with a business role (User, Influencer and Economic). Users are involved in the Awareness phase, Influencers are involved at the Research and Negotiation phases and the Economic (buyer) is at the Negotiation and Purchase phases. These associations can help you target landing page copy to the appropriate business personnel and effectively drive conversions.
  3. The VP of Marketing for was one of the webinar’s panelists. His presentation focused on connecting with the actual site user. “Conversions fall when you fail to be in the customer’s shoes.” The most striking comment I took away was to be cautious of disconnects. If your landing page copy leads to a “call us for more info” call-to-action and your target user is a busy buyer, chances are that buyer will say “forget it” and move on to another website/product!
  4. Enquiro’s Director of Research, Rick Tobin, jumped into the crux of the webinar with conversion strategies. He touched on the generalities – B2B sales funnels are not just about driving traffic, but driving the right traffic. You have to coach customers through your sales funnel to the conversion because B2B interactions are all about relationships.
  5. What is barrier scanning? Web design can overlook navigation and general access to information. Barrier scanning is reviewing your landing page for any design/content element that interrupts the flow of eye movement (like poorly placed flash animations or the location of important data within a column of unimportant data).
  6. What do you do after you’ve performed barrier scanning? You can either flat out remove barriers on your landing page, or you can actually use them to corral users to your conversion point. Rick mentioned how specific layouts or distinct clusters of information actually point to the conversion trigger (submit button or a click-through to content). Flow of data is important!
  7. And in reference to the opening point – provide the options/answers that the B2B customer is looking for. In most B2B instances, pricing and competitive information is a must. Wherever possible, use a matrix (table) for data so that the information isn’t lost in the content (serial access, this is a method for using barriers to coach users to the conversion trigger).

These are 7 things that I took away from the webinar. There was much more information presented that I wasn’t fast enough to take notes for or that someone else would find helpful that I didn’t. So I would urge everyone reading this to view this webinar once it becomes available on Enquiro’s site.

All in all, I thought this was a good learning experience. Enquiro used WebEx and this platform allowed them to present both slideshows and an interactive web experience. The breadth of knowledge was apparent in each panelist and the overall intent of the webinar was spot-on. My only beef with the experience was that I felt the information was presented at a high, abstract level. While there were graphs, screenshots and even eye-scanning reports shown, the presentations did not delve deeply into specific design options and hands-on tactics.

Because the description of this webinar mentioned c-level executives as part of the core audience (in addition to online marketing professionals), it’s possible that Enquiro intended to keep the data at such a high level. If you work with B2B clients (or operate a B2B business), I would suggest that you check out future webinars in the B2B Expert Series.