09: Dynamic areas are your conversion secret weapon

The perfect way to convert visitors is by using dynamic areas to show different content to different visitors.

Marketers are wasting energy deciding the ideal CTA to add to a landing page. Let’s vote on it, or let’s test it.

The ideal CTA is based on who the visitor is and where they are in their lifecycle, not what your A/B tests are showing or your internal debates. Instead of obsessing about picking the best CTA per page for all your visitors, you should be serving different CTAs to different visitors.

Let’s start by painting a picture: When a person lands on a homepage you have multiple options for getting them to the next step. We call this the call to action; the CTA. 

It’s best to limit the number of CTAs in most things you do. But it’s hard to pick. What’s the best CTA to put on your blog? Newsletter? Ebook? Trial? Demo? Webinar? What about your homepage? The ideal CTA depends on who the visitor is more than what you think should be their next step. 

So why not show a different CTA to different users?

Area snippets or dynamic areas or dynamic content, there’s different buzzwords for it. They allow you to do this.

Instead of picking just one CTA. You can show; 

  • an education call to action to new visitors
  • a product tutorial call to action to existing trial users
  • and a onboarding call to action to new customers
  • All on the same page, using the same line of code.

JT: In a lot of cases, forms are tied to the website and you need some front end help. HTML, little side of CSS. It can be tricky to completely own forms for marketers.

PG: Many ways to do this, common way is to use form handlers, or 

  • you build the native form in your MAP and 
  • you build a custom HTML form on your site, 
  • you connect the two forms via API + javascript

JT: However you do it, Zapier or JS, when someone fills out the HTML form it triggers a form submission event in your MAP.

PG: If you have an eng team, you’re probably doing something custom, gives you more control over the look and feel of the site.

If you don’t have technical support, Zapier can basically hook up to any api. So you can use a third party form tool like convertflow, formkeap, typeform, you can send events from Zapier to your MAP. 

JT: Okay so you mentioned a few tools there, let’s say you work in a smaller company, don’t have marketo or pardot or maybe even hubspot, what form builders do you recommend?

PG: I’m a big fan of convertflow. More than just a form platform. Coolest ability is using dynamic areas of your site to show different forms to different people. 

They call them area snippets. 

Traditionally, forms and content upgrades are static and specific to a page, they are hard coded in the html of your page. 

But what convertflow does is lets you place a dynamic area code in your body, and CF will display a different form based on who the user is. 

So you can show a trial form to a content lead and a webinar form to customers.

But you can also create a new form for your email course on how to start a podcast for example, and instead of manually injecting that code in a bunch of pages, you can set your new form to show up in every area snippet on pages where URL contains (how-to) or has tags=top of funnel.

And once users have seen that form already, you can show them a new form. 

JT: I guess Marketo has some of that functionality right? It’s a bit messier. You can use dynamic content and embed that on your site or use a Marketo lp entirely. But I guess not everyone is using a Marketo. Convertflow certainly looks cooler.

What are some of the other tools that do something similar? I know you’re big on site personalization tools.

PG: Yeah that’s when we get into tools like Proof or Mutiny. They got hot onto the scene when they claimed AB testing was dead. And it’s a really interesting take we could probably do a whole episode on.

JT: Ohh yeah I’ve heard this. This is the, why launch an AB test on your site for ALL visitors, when you can test only the audience you care about.

PG: Exactly. Most A/B tests today have very muddied results but are thrown around like gospel. 
Imagine the homepage. If you’re launching an AB test on your homepage, a bunch of people you don’t care about are muddying the results of your test. Customers, students.

JT: So what are some of the most common playbooks for this? Like how can someone use tools like these to drive revenue? 

PG: I see vertical segmentation as the most popular. 

So that would be like Transistor showing e-commerce podcasts on their homepage to potential ecommerce visitors.

But company size and industry is also really powerful. Doing things like showing different customer logos based on whether the person viewing your site is enterprise or startup. Or showing an H1 of “The best podcast tool for Real estate pros” to real estate leads but to retail leads they see “The best podcast tool for Retail leaders”.

JT: That’s super cool. But I know some folks would find this creepy.

PG: Yeah for sure. There’s a line. and A way to do it well.

You want to try to provide value without being creepy.

Instead of having your homepage saying Hey Jonathan Taylor. Welcome back. Here’s how other B2B SaaS companies are using our tool.

You can keep your normal headline but change your H2, which in this case is a customer review, it reads:
“The best podcast hosting tool I’ve used”

So for e-comm identified visitors, you change H2 to showing a review that has ecomm or retail in the body, like
“I host my ecomm podcast with Transistor and it’s the bomb.fm”

And for B2B SaaS companies it’s
“You had me at: Basecamp uses Transistor”.

JT: A lot of this is powered by reverse-IP lookup right? Like Clearbit reveal.

PG: Yeah I’m not an expert in this space by any means but I’ve heard a lot of smart folks say that covid and remote work is really hurting the accuracy of this data. 

Unless you’re all logging in using a VPN, it’s hard to associate personal home-based traffic IP to corporate or business traffic.

Intro music by Wowa via Unminus

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