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I thought of this blog post because of two things I’m working on right now:

  • Preparing to redo the CustomerHub website (Hasn’t been touched since my last split test, where I removed an outdated customer feature slider with no CTA’s and replaced it with the product demo video that was previously below the fold. Result? 200% lift in conversions to lead capture. Lesson learned? Don’t think you need to start from scratch. I shuffled existing assets around so they made more sense, and look what happened.)
  • Co-managing an internal initiative to reboot Infusionsoft’s product marketing department, so we stay ahead of the demands associated with Infusionsoft’s exponential growth

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Lift in conversion by shuffling existing assets around on a webpage

The other reasons I thought of this post are: 1) I’m an avid reader of HubSpot’s blogs (you should be, too) and read some posts on website redesigns, and 2) I can’t resist emulating a blog title from one of my favorite Jen Lancaster books.

But seriously. Inbound is the new black. Traditional sales funnels are dead. Prospects no longer want to be forced through your funnel. Thanks to all the crap we’ve pulled by being non-innovative (read: lazy) marketers, we’ve trained prospects to avoid form captures like the plague. They don’t want to give us their information, that is, until they’re ready. They don’t want to talk to our sales team. All they want is the information they’re looking for, at the right time, without resigning to be pummeled and pressured with the barrage of phone calls and emails your sales team thinks will actually make somebody want to purchase your stuff.

As we approach these website redesigns and MARCOM asset audits, our strategy is actually pretty simple. Instead of forcing people down a rigid funnel, we’re creating content to let them self-navigate through a lateral journey. Think of it as those Goosebump “choose your own adventure” books. Instead of telling our prospects “no, sorry, you need to read this next,” we give them the choice. “If you want to see Sam die, turn to page 93. If you want to see him live, turn to page 56.”

From a customer perspective, can you imagine how elated a prospect would be to actually have a choice? Instead of us cramming a prix fixe menu down their throat, they get to choose from a buffet line. And guess what? The buffet line has bacon! (The prix fixe menu does not.) Unlimited bacon makes for some happy prospects. Happy prospects willingly give you their information.

None of this is truly groundbreaking. Instead of squeezing, we’re catering. Instead of a vertical funnel, we created a lateral pipeline.

From a customer perspective, can you imagine how elated a prospect would be to actually have a choice? Instead of us cramming a prix fixe menu down their throat, they get to choose from a buffet line.

Here’s some reasons to believe why a self-serve pipeline is better than a squeeze funnel:

  • 78% of internet users conduct product research online – Your visitors want information. Quickest way to piss them off? Not making it easily accessible.
  • 91% of people unsubscribe from email lists – If you force them to hand over their email, chances are they’re going to block you anyways.
  • 76% of consumers want a website that makes it easy to find what they want – Stop gating everything!
  • Inbound marketing focused companies have a 61% lower cost per lead – 61% lower CAC? I’ll take that any day.

The way you're currently executing your funnel is the quickest way to piss prospects off

OK, so you finally believe me. “Now how do I author enough content so I have a Goosebump series for my product education and sales cycle?”

Guess you’ll have to wait to turn to blog post #3 until it’s written. 😉