Southern States is a farmer-owned agricultural supply garden and farm implement company with retail locations across the southern United States. One of its main lines of business is supplying home heating and farm fuels, including propane for residential, commercial and farm use. A longstanding mainstay of its digital marketing strategy is various offers, sometimes seasonal, that drive traffic to the website and push visitors to contact their local store as the conversion that can increase both engagement and sales. As part of ongoing improvements, Southern States and Marketing Mojo realized that its content management system (CMS) templates presented limitations for digital ad landing pages that could be hurting response rates, so they decided to run a landing page optimization test with the goal of improving conversion rate for the petroleum contact us form.
More specifically, Marketing Mojo developed a new landing page, taking advantage of the functionality available in Southern States’ Marketo marketing automation system which also provides tracking for all marketing contacts and conversions transactions like form completions. Some of the changes made possible by using Marketo:
- Display call to action more clearly at the top
- Move form up the page (in desktop version) so that it appeared above the fold. Add “Jump to Form” functionality at the top of the mobile version
- Add explanatory content that outlined more of the value proposition instead of just relying on a single offer to drive conversion
Using Google Optimize, the test compared the new landing page with the previous CMS-created landing page for the same Google search ad, and the results were astonishing.
For the same one-month period, the new Marketo landing page was the clear winner.:
- Conversions (filling out the contact form) up 54%
- Conversion rate increased over 60%
- Conversions and conversion rates increased despite having slightly fewer actual impressions on the new form – which means Southern States is paying less in ad costs to drive more conversions.
As a result of the landing page test, Clearly, Southern States went with the new landing page design for this digital ad and will apply what it learned to future landing pages.
A data-first marketing note: Another metric we don’t have yet but would be great to look at is comparing year-over-year numbers, especially with the same offer in place. When we looked at this for December 2019 vs December 2020, the conversion numbers were up almost 147% but using a different offer and of course the pandemic this year has shifted customer buying habits which make us trust year-over-year comparisons a bit less. What would be better would be to see the trend over a longer period of time which could help to smooth out bumps or outliers.