Dealing with touchpoints on your customer’s path to purchase – Techdoxx

Deepak Gupta
Deepak Gupta February 4, 2022
Updated 2022/02/04 at 1:51 AM

Someone clicks on your Facebook ad and chooses to buy the item for sale. We would be on Utopia if this was how 100% of user interactions worked. However, as you may have guessed, this immediate success is far from what happens in real life.

Many startups are hyper-focused from the start with the click-through rate (CTR) of their ads and the conversion rate (CVR) for purchases. This is good information, but leaves a lot more to be desired.

Welcome to the first point of contact misconception:

Mistake of the first point of contact.

Mistake of the first point of contact. Image credits: Jonathan Martinez

A little of history

A lot has changed since Google Ads (formerly AdWords) launched in 2000 with just 350 advertisers. In 2015, the number of advertisers, and therefore competition, increased to 4 million, according to Macquarie Search.

A surefire way to increase conversion rates across all touchpoints is to diversify your messaging.

Paid social channels like Facebook were launched with just one main ad format. Today we have dozens of formats. What does it do? He emphasizes the importance of being more creative in order for consumers to click on these ads.

This increase in competition means that startups have become focused on beating opposition on initial clicks. I firmly believe that incredible copy and creativity can make or break paid acquisition. However, it’s also very easy to get lost while focusing only on the first point of contact. I’ve seen this happen often in early-stage startups.

The common user path

Instead of a user converting right after clicking or viewing an ad, here’s what the purchase journey usually looks like:

A common user path.

A common user path. Image credits: Jonathan Martinez

I’m always amazed at how often the second, third, fourth, etc. touchpoints are ignored in the analysis. I would rather have a full lifecycle than a CTR of over 50%. Consider the example below:

Startup A is only focusing on the first point of contact.  Startup B focuses on all touchpoints.

Image credits: Jonathan Martinez

Here, Initiation A only focuses on the first touchpoint and Initiation B focuses on all touchpoints. While Startup B had half the total number of clicks, it had a higher CVR due to retargeting and lifecycle emails, which led to a lower CAC.

Even in one or both of these scenarios, you won’t maximize your paid acquisition without retargeting, email marketing, and diverse messaging to every touchpoint.

How to handle all touchpoints

Let’s break down the ways you can combat the first-point-of-contact misconception. We’ll approach this topic through the lens of retargeting, email marketing, and mixed messaging.

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Every startup should have an “always on” retargeting campaign. In 99% of cases, it will be more cost effective to acquire a redirected user than a new net user. This can be a simple dedication of 5% of total paid purchases to a retargeting campaign. If it’s fruitful, it can also be very robust with recency nesting and different user segments. A simple recency, user-targeted framework for an ecommerce store might look something like:

  • Last 30 days visitors
  • Last 30 days add to cart
  • Last 90 days visitors
  • Last 90 days add to cart

With this structure, you’ll want to exclude audiences from each of the campaigns so there’s no overlap.

The beauty of this framework is that it allows you to funnel more spend into higher-propensity retargeting buckets that perform better. Without segmentation, it will be difficult to measure which audience group performs the best.

Email Marketing (and Push)

Many will argue that email marketing shouldn’t be activated until you’ve acquired a predetermined number of customers. I believe email marketing should be activated instantly. Why try to find product-market fit without trying your best?

That’s not to say you should have nine sets of drip campaigns fully developed on day one. Far from it. When a new lead comes in from a web campaign or an app, take advantage of the emails you recorded for signups as these users have shown some interest.

Here’s what a simple drip campaign setup might look like:

A simple seven-day drip campaign.

A simple seven-day drip campaign. Image credits: Jonathan Martinez

If a user signs up but doesn’t complete their conversion event, please send an email on day one (D1), D3, and D7. Each email can have different themes, such as including additional value props, social proof, or a discount. It also doesn’t hurt to ask for feedback on the last message about why they didn’t finish the funnel.

diversified messages

A surefire way to increase conversion rates across all touchpoints is to diversify your messaging. The first message must be different from the second, and so on.

Start paying attention to how companies communicate when you engage with them. I can almost guarantee you’ll see very educational sales messages early on, with more social proof sprinkled in in subsequent touchpoints.

Below are some of the Headspace ads that lean heavily on promoting meditation: letting go of stress and being happy.

Headspace Meditation App Facebook Ads.

Headspace Meditation App Facebook Ads. Image credits: Jonathan Martinez

In Headspace email communications they offer more discounts and how easy it is to get started (eg this meditation can be done at any time of day).

Emails from the Headspace meditation app.

Emails from the Headspace meditation app. Image credits: Jonathan Martinez

I’m not saying you can’t have a discount code at your first and last point of contact. Instead, start thinking about different messages and experimenting with which styles resonate best at different stages.

Between initial ad viewing, email/push sends, and retargeting, I strongly recommend that all touchpoints taste slightly different.

leveraging resources

You are not alone in thinking about the various touchpoints. There are numerous resources that can help you extract valuable insights and knowledge. One of my favorites is the Facebook Ads Library, which is a repository of all the platform ads that are currently active. This library not only provides information about competitors, but also valuable information about other companies in the same verticals or brands that are simply running a great performance marketing program. Another gold mine is an email repository called really good emails.

There are hundreds of other resources available, but I’m not going to start listing them all. Instead, I’ll leave you with a question: as a customer, how often do you buy something at the first touchpoint?

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