A lot of blog posts, ebooks, and articles have been written about the importance of landing page optimization. And while they’re not wrong, I’m here to tell you, they’re sort of missing the boat. The appeal of optimizing the page where most of your traffic lands is obvious. If only I could convert half a percent more then I’d be golden! The problem with that logic is that a vast majority of your traffic was never going to convert. Sorry, they’re just not that into your product or service.

For most industries, an overall conversion rate of 2% (broad generalization, I know), is great. That means on a good day, 98% of your traffic didn’t whip out their wallets. However, a much higher percentage of those who enter deeper into the sales funnel will eventually convert. This just makes sense: someone who adds a product to their cart shows a clear intent, and someone who starts the checkout process probably wants to buy that widget you’re selling.

In eCommerce or Lead Generation – Follow The Cart

Which brings us to the title of this post: start with the cart! The example I’m going to talk about deals a lot with an e-commerce store and you might be saying to yourself, “but Mr. Patel, my website is focused on lead generation! This doesn’t apply to me!” First off, Mr. Patel is my father, please, call me Seth. And second, oh how wrong you are. Just because your site is focused on lead generation (newsletter sign-ups, requests for information, etc) doesn’t mean your site doesn’t have a similar (and trackable!) goal funnel.

After all, in order to get to your contact form, your visitor likely followed a link on a page about a product or service that they probably got to from the homepage.

Anyway, back to the example! The cart (or later parts of the funnel for you Lead Gen folks) is where you should spend most of your CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) budget and time.

When someone is more actively engaged on your site and its contents, they are sending you signals loud and clear that they want something you are offering. A good analogy would be as if they were a customer in your physical store, looking for the cashier to checkout.

A well-executed and thought-out CRO strategy will hold their hand and walk them to the front of the store and wait patiently while they happily complete the transaction. Wouldn’t you rather focus on the customers who have a product in hand debating on whether or not to make a purchase and give them a little nudge, rather than the ones who are “just browsing” and require a greater deal of convincing?

I have dubbed this strategy “Reverse Follow the Money” and it’s easy to see why. You start with the stage where the money is exchanged and then work your way backwards. For e-commerce, this would be the stage where you get the credit card number, and for Lead Gen, this is the stage where you collect the contact information.

This method has the dual benefit of not only providing the largest bang for your buck, but it also provides the quickest results and allows you to look like a champ to your CEO. And that’s always a good thing.

What are you doing to capture your missed leads? How do you turn a missed lead into a gained opportunity?


Author Bio: Seth Patel is the Marketing Analytics Manager at Main Path Marketing. Seth helps clients define their marketing initiatives and goals in order to develop robust analysis and actionable insights to drive results in marketing programs across multiple channels. In his free time, Seth is either kicking back and laughing at a comedy show or enjoying music at a local concert venue.


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