B2B Search Marketing: What to Do When Abandonment Rates Continue to be High

B2B marketers use paid and organic search to get visitors to their sites. Once a visitor is on the site, the objective is to capture and evaluate lead information. This lead information is often generated through registrations for white papers, case studies, newsletters, free trials, research data, etc.

But what happens if there aren’t many registrations? You need to look at your web analytics to determine whether the cause is lack of traffic or lack of conversion. You may find that you have lots of visitors who are interested in downloading something from your site (they go to the download page), but few people complete the registration form. Perhaps you’re asking for too much information too soon. Perhaps the perceived value of the download information isn’t commensurate with visitors’ willingness to provide registration information. If this is the case, you need to ask for less information or increase the perceived value of the information being offered to the visitor.

But what if you’ve already done this? You may need to strip it down to the minimum. Perhaps only name and email address. However, here are a couple things to keep in mind.

First, if you’re asking for the name, be sure to have a field for first name and a separate field for last name. Otherwise, with a single field for name, you might often get just “Bob.” That doesn’t help you much.

Second, you may want to consider prohibiting email addresses with public email services. Often, visitors may choose to use their Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail address instead of their corporate email address. That doesn’t help much in determining the identity of the visitor. You can write your page code to disallow these types of addresses. Okay, perhaps this sounds harsh, but if you’re a B2B company, how likely is it that you’re going to make a $25,000 sale to someone that only has a Gmail account?

Lastly, be sure to provide a pre-checked box on the registration form that gives visitor consent to email information to the registrant. While registrants can always uncheck the box, many will be fine with leaving it checked. By doing this, you can easily augment your new business target list and use email marketing to reach these prospects. One caution, though. If you’re going to do this, make sure you tell visitors exactly what you will be sending and what happens to the information they provide.

5 Comments

  1. High abandonment rates can also be attributed to a slow server. I have clients in some industries where a significant amount of personal information is required to process the request. A multi page form is required and sometimes the server load from all of the form submits can cause a delay in the presenting of the next form page. This delay of sometimes just a few seconds will cause a tremendous increase in abandonment.

    The implementation of AJAX in forms can greatly increase the speed of form processing and shorten the number of pages needed to make a successful submission.

  2. So what can you do to get better conversion? If you eliminate the public email services, you probably wont get much action.
    Thanks

  3. If someone doesn’t even leave her corporate email address, that says a lot about the potential of the lead, that it has little likelihood of further conversion. I suppose you could send promotional or other emails to the person with a gmail account, but you don’t even know if that person represents a business. She could be a student, a competitor, who knows. Chances are, if that person does represent a business, that person doesn’t want to proactive contact from you anyway; that’s the reason for the gmail address in the first place. Why waste the time? You have a finite amount of time and resources. Use it on prospects with much more potential.

  4. Good article, but totally wrong on the email address recommendation. People are bombarded with spam, so even legitimate and qualified prospects visiting a site are quite likely to use a public email service address for online forms, it’s almost best practice to do so.

    I would never, use my “proper” personal or business email addresses on any online form, even the ones that I have a trust relationship with. As a consequence I can manage my business email separately from the unsolicited mail that will inevitably fill any email inbox that I use online. That means that I AM willing to receive unsolicited email from sites that I register with, but on my terms.

    If public email addresses were prohibited from any site that I was sincerely interested in, that would force me to abandon the effort. Not exactly the result desired for readers of this article.

    Might such an approach lead to a higher volume of dead end leads? possibly, but I’d rather that, than actually increase my abandonment rate by making unqualified judgments about my visitors based upon their choice of email address.

  5. So what can you do to get better conversion? If you eliminate the public email services, you probably wont get much action.

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