Develop a Digital Experience Platform That Outperforms

Quick Summary: When your marketing and web teams work together, amazing things happen. Your information architecture informs your web development, and your website functionality assists your marketing.

When were you most recently impressed by a website? More often than not, the emotions that we feel is frustration at broken site functionality or misleading messaging. Creating a digital experience platform that captures attention and pushes visitors along the customer experience journey is hard.

That’s why web teams and marketing teams need to work together. When everyone is centered around the same information architecture, website functionality, and lead generation paths, the website performs better.
Before building your own digital experience platform, make sure to follow these tips to make it cohesive and effective for your business.

Plan Information Architecture That Engages Visitors

How your website visitors move through your website can be influenced by your information architecture. A properly laid out website is not one that pushes customers along a specific path but rather helps alleviate friction to let customers go where they want to go the easiest way possible. Forced pathing is only going to lead to frustration. More on that later.

Review your current navigation menu. Are the most important pages included? Is there anything that could be removed, pages that aren’t a high priority for customers? Use heatmap and screen recording tools, such as HotJar, to review the current behavior of your website visitors. Is there anything that could be pulled out from your navigation and turned into a static button above your navigation, such as free trial signups or demo requests?

Design Website Functionality That Solves Problems

If you’re working to improve your website through design, you may need to go beyond brand colors and dig deeper into website functionality. Your website can be more than your business card online. It can be leveraged as an interactive tool that changes based on the needs of your audience.

Sometimes the best way to increase engagement on your website is to build features that solve customer problems. Does your sales team answer the same questions? Maybe you need to add an FAQ page. Or, would adding an automated chatbot to your homepage provide more relief to your teams? Is there a tool that your web developers can add to the site to draw in more website visitors?

Grow More Leads from Repeat Website Visitors

A digital experience platform engages visitors and solves their problems, and delivers business goals more consistently. When marketing and web design teams work together to create the website, all of your efforts work to achieve the same goal: grow your business.

How many touches does it take before a website visitor becomes a lead? Using a contact relationship management (CRM) tool like Hubspot helps build a customer experience journey into your website strategy. Instead of pushing visitors into a conversion funnel on the first visit, your CRM tool can tell you that it’s the third touch, the third time they visit your site, which is most likely to lead to conversions.

Be Careful Not to Risk Customer Goodwill

Information architecture and web design can go wrong, of course. When we try to push site visitors into a path that solves our goals, not the customers’ problems, it can lead to frustration or, worse, a bounce or lost leads.

Robert Mohns, 3 Media Web’s new Director of Digital Experience, has an example of a poor customer experience that ruins customer goodwill by using forced pathing, inspired by this fantastic post: The Glengarry Bob Ross Effect.
“There’s a lot of pressure to convert and upsell users,” says Mohns. “This pressure – on our clients and us – can result in pushing users into paths that destroy the customer goodwill we were just starting to earn.”

Bait and Switch

He continues: “Often we write CTAs with an implied promise which tricks the user into a buy flow instead of what they think they’re getting for their click. (In the B2B world, that might be a white paper download, contact form, new user signup. In a consumer site, it might be pushing them to signup before they understand the service.).”
Here’s an example of a bait and switch from SoundCloud. Here’s the bait:

Soundcloud's ‘Let's Go’ call-to-action button

From “The Glengarry Bob Ross UX effect” by Jason Fox, @JJFoxBox

aaaaand now the switch:

Soundcloud disguises an upsell as a free feature

From “The Glengarry Bob Ross UX effect” by Jason Fox, @JJFoxBox

“The perfectly reasonable user reaction,” notes Mohns, “is ‘What is this?! I thought I’d learn about putting music on my SD card as you promised.’ Instead, they’re told to pay up. There isn’t even a ‘cancel’ action available.”

There’s a way to write user paths that don’t push customer behavior. Here are some rules Mohns offers to keep in mind:

  • Keep it contextual: What comes next? Explain how the offer will impact the user’s immediate experience.
  • Don’t force users into boxes with CTAs: Upsell CTAs should allow users to accept or decline the upsell, not pass self-judgment on their use case (remember that we like to label buttons with what they do).
  • Stay linear: If the user declines the upsell, move on to the next logical step. Don’t follow up with a secondary screen where CTAs attempt to lure the user back into your upsell trap.
  • Present the upsell as an extension of user action: Rather than blasting users with upselling messaging as soon as they start exploring your product, consider inserting your upsell messages wherever users hit the limits of their current plan.

Bring Your Marketing and Web Design Teams Together

When your marketing and web teams work together, amazing things happen. Your information architecture informs your web development, and your website functionality assists your marketing.

Then you’ve created a digital experience platform that stirs the right emotions in your website visitors. Rather than causing frustration, visitors can be impressed, even engaged to follow the customer experience journey that turns them into leads.

Ready to get started? Reach out to 3 Media Web to start a digital experience optimization project today.

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