It’s a well-known statistic but worth repeating: More than 96% of ad clicks do not convert. That’s a massive waste in the multi-billion dollar digital advertising industry. So, why is this happening?
Metrics like conversions and revenue measures the success of direct response campaigns. Advertising targeting technology allows you to serve highly personalized ads to your audience based on various criteria like demographics, online behavior, past brand engagement, stage of the funnel, and more. This helps maximize ad clicks.
But once a user clicks on those ads, and for you to maximize conversions, users deserve a matching post-click experience that continues the personalized journey.
1:1 ad-to-page personalization is the only way to maximize advertising conversions.
Advertisers must have a way to create post-click experiences and move at the speed of advertising as easily as they create ads. Enter Post-Click Automation.
What is Post-Click Automation™?
Post-Click Automation (PCA) is the category of marketing technology that enables marketers to maximize advertising conversions by automating the post-click stage in the advertising funnel. This is accomplished by delivering 1:1 personalized experiences at scale.
This new category of technology is an extension of PCO because it involves creating optimized experiences personalized to each individual audience segment. It starts with visualizing the advertising funnel and connecting it with the ad network to create message matched post-ad click landing pages.
What is the market gap this category fills?
Take into consideration the stages of the advertising funnel, the experience at each stage, and the end goal:
The technologies at every stage in this funnel have successfully created a separate category and offer comprehensive end-to-end platforms. In turn, marketers and advertisers can increase advertising conversions at every step except the post-click stage. Scalability and personalization completely break down at this stage.
The 4 pillars of Post-Click Automation
The four pillars of Post-Click Automation include Ad Mapping, Scalable Creation, Personalization, and Optimization:
This is a major component of post-click automation because it allows marketers to focus more on strategy and less on mundane, repetitive daily tasks.
Currently, many PPC marketers download campaign information to spreadsheets and map their ads to post-click landing pages manually. The entire process is cumbersome and makes it highly challenging to determine the number of experiences needed per campaign, to log the updates made to each, and keep message match consistent between each ad and page.
PCA platforms are uniquely built for PPC marketers to visualize the advertising funnel, equipped with the ability to connect ad networks to specific page experiences. In doing so, advertisers save time and are more organized in determining which ad/ad group connects to each page.
Think of this pillar as building experiences with blocks or sections, instead of element-by-element. Scalable creation is the capability to produce multiple post-click experiences quickly — but therein lies the problem: Each promotion needs its own page.
With page blocks as the foundation, scaling is possible. These page sections can be edited manually and scaled globally to accomplish the one page per campaign (or audience) goal.
Personalizing involves increasing the ad relevancy for a specific target audience, like ad platform or user-intent.
For example, search intent is a common scenario that requires separate post-click pages for users — users doing preliminary research have different needs than a user about to make a purchase. Catering to both types of users with different experiences is better for them and the advertiser.
Creating buyer personas and audience segments beforehand help you create personalized post-click experiences for each audience segment, which can generate more conversions. In the end, an optimized experience from start to finish makes the advertising conversion likely.
Marketers should constantly A/B test across the funnel to determine which components are performing well and which need improvements. So this third pillar refers to all activities that contribute to the improvement of the post-click experience — data collection, analysis, editing, and A/B testing. Both qualitative and quantitative methods exist, like:
- Heat maps that track scroll depth, mouse movement, and clicks.
- Comprehensive analytics dashboards that track metrics like visitors, conversions, cost per lead, and conversion rate.
- A/B testing that allows users to test one page vs another to see which converts better.
True post-click automation platforms come complete with all four pillars, allowing users to collect data on which pages you can A/B test to prove or disprove.
The question then becomes why has Post-Click Automation lagged behind while the pre-click experience dominates all the attention?
Why does the pre-click experience get all the attention?
Pre-click optimization is the process of creating and improving paid ads using various advertising platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Bing. The pre-click experience has a single component — the ad — and ads are comprised of headlines, ad copy, images, video, and URLs.
Since the advertising giants focus more on ad creation and targeting, the pre-click experience has always been their priority. Over time ad networks have developed advanced technology that helps advertisers use micro-targeting and personalization techniques to create ads for audiences. These techniques not only increased the number of ad clicks, but also saves revenue, time, and resources.
Unfortunately, post-click experiences have always been neglected. Pre-click and post-click are two stages of the same journey, and each deserves attention to provide people the best experience possible and for advertisers to maximize conversions.
And while things have begun to improve with Google Ads, Bing, and Facebook now accounting for post-click landing page experience when considering ad rank and placements, Post-Click Automation continues to lag in a lot of areas.
This important and strategic need for turning clicks into conversions is addressed in bits and pieces by a slew of different technologies. No software has unified it into one stage of the funnel or one platform (more on this later).
Examples: Comparing post-click experiences
Post-click experiences should be designed as a natural extension of the ad clicked. Each element on the page should notify the visitor they’ve landed at the right place, and that the offer they wanted is only a CTA click away.
Square uses segmented post-click experiences for audiences looking for different services the payment platform offers. When search users research ‘mobile POS system’ they see this:
The ad headline summarizes how the POS system is powerful and free. The display URL clearly shows the ad is relevant to the search query and matches the headline. Finally, the copy details the entire POS system with its ease of use, quick set up, robust reporting, is customizable, etc. Once the ad gets clicked, the post-click page continues the relevancy:
- The ad and post-click page headline match, so the user is reassured that they’ve arrived at the correct place.
- The copy and imagery tell visitors a story of how the platform works and what hardware is required to get started. Square answers the basic questions for users — how the software works, what’s needed, cost, and why people should use it.
- There are zero distractions on the page, no exit links or social media buttons to take people away from the offer. The POS system is the only thing highlighted on the page.
- The floating navigation bar with the CTA button allows the user to click through at any point without having to search for it.
In contrast, a post-click experience that isn’t personalized does not continue the same relevancy and likely struggles to convert prospects.
Churn Buster’s display ad promotes the application and talks about keeping new customers:
Once clicked, the post-click page connected to the ad:
- The ad and post-click landing page headline don’t convey the same message because the ad talks about keeping customers, while the post-click experience talks about recovering more failed payments.
- The ad’s subheadline “it’s time you see for yourself what all the hype is about” is too vague. What hype is the prospect supposed to know?
- The branding colors don’t match, so there is no relevancy. The different headlines are already enough to confuse users.
- The header navigation links provide visitors too many options to exit the page before converting.
Churn Buster’s post-click page is not a natural extension of the ad, so, it’s less likely that users will click the CTA button.
Why is PCA a new category?
Existing categories like Conversion Rate Optimization and Landing Page Builders already exist. However, Post-Click Automation needs to be recognized as a new category because it:
- Unifies Capabilities: It brings together new and existing capabilities scattered across different categories into a single category for the first time. For example, Marketing Automation brought together automated journeys and existing capabilities, like sending bulk emails.
- Into a Single Funnel Stage: It reshapes the thinking of advertisers and marketers to unify efforts across different technologies into a streamlined flow of initiatives focused on one stage in the funnel — converting ad clicks into conversions.
- On a Single Platform: It simplifies advertising and marketing operations by unifying a disparate set of marketing technologies into a single platform that cleanly maps to a single stage in the funnel.
So, what can advertisers do when it comes to Post-Click Automation? How does Instapage address this gap?
How does Instapage automate advertising conversions?
Instapage is the leader in Post-Click Automation that maximizes advertising conversions by delivering 1:1 personalized post-click experiences at scale. The platform has progressively developed features that automated the creation, optimization, and personalization processes.
Automating the building process
Once the builder was established as the foundation, the platform automated the building process at the block level with the ability to save and reuse page blocks with Instablocks™. Now entire blocks of a page are automated and users can build a page in minutes by assembling pre-built blocks. They can also use Global Blocks to make updates to thousands of pages with a single click:
No other software offers this level of scalable creation capabilities. WordPress offers reusable blocks, but they are code blocks and not visually created.
Instapage also automated the integration process with an integration ecosystem that covers most popular technologies in the MarTech space. No more coding of integrations. It is the only platform that integrates with Google Ads and Analytics, as well as Facebook Ads Manager:
The solution also automated the demand gen process with forms, retargeting, and conversion goals.
Automating the experimentation process
Instapage also automated the experimentation process with server-side A/B split testing. The splitting technology was automated on the server and the builder automated the creation.
Doesn’t Optimizely automate the experimentation process?
Optimizely offers A/B testing, but it requires coding. Their software offers a drag and drop variation builder, but it can only handle minor changes within an existing layout and cannot create different layouts as variants.
For the testing process, Optimizely offers client-side splitting. That means all the variations are coded into a single page and are hidden from the other audiences. This makes pages bulky and load slowly. On slower networks, audiences can see the baseline version being overlaid with a variant, which creates a bad experience.
With Instapage, the splitting technology is server-side so the server only presents the right variant for the right audience. This lets pages load quickly and guarantees accurate splitting.
Automating the optimization process
By introducing heatmaps, users gain valuable insights into how visitors are interacting with your pages. Heatmaps include scroll depth, mouse clicks, and mouse movement. This allows users to develop better-informed hypotheses for A/B testing:
Automating the personalization process
Instapage automated the personalization process with server-side dynamic audience targeting. You can create any number of experiences, point them to an audience, and the correct experience is dynamically served to the right audience:
Don’t other software offer personalization?
Technically yes, but those platforms require coding because with drag and drop builders, they can only handle minor changes within existing layouts. Creating different layouts for separate audiences is not a realistic option.
With other software, all customizations and the targeting logic are coded into a single page and hidden from non-target audiences. This makes pages bulky and slow. On slower networks, audiences can see the baseline version overlaid with a customized experience. This is a bad experience. Users can choose to not show customized experiences on slower networks, but then you likely sacrifice being able to personalize for audiences reliably.
With Instapage, however, the targeting technology is automated server-side because the builder automates the creation of personalized experiences. So, the server only shows the right experience to the right audience. This ensures fast-loading pages and accurate targeting.
For comparison, see how Instapage compares to Optimizely’s experimentation capabilities.
The Post-Click Automation difference
With all of these capabilities under one platform, it’s easy to see why Instapage customers on average enjoy a 16.2% conversion rate. That is about 4x higher than the industry average:
What is next?
Advertising technology continues to get more refined with each new update and software technology is becoming more automated by the day. Don’t neglect the post-click stage anymore. Your prospects and bottom line deserve better.
With automated page creation, integrations, experimentation, split-testing, heatmaps, and server-side audience targeting — there is no complete post-click automation platform like Instapage.
Request a customized demo today and experience the power of Instapage yourself.