If you’ve heard me speak, you probably know that my favorite rap quote is “if it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense.” This is the fundamental axiom of all good marketing. If you’re spending time or money marketing a product or service and you’re not accurately measuring the bottom line, you’re doing it wrong.
On the other hand, I’ve spent the last few years focused on studying the parts of the sales and marketing funnel well north of the bottom line. Here at HubSpot, we talk about TOFU (top of the funnel) and MOFU (middle of the funnel). My social media, SEO and blogging research is mostly in TOFU-land. And my lead generation and email marketing research is squarely MOFU.
Finally, however I’ve been able to build a huge dataset to start to study BOFU (bottom of the funnel) activity. Pulling all the activity of more than 2.5 million contacts from our customers’ sites (which we now have more than 10,000 of), I’ve got a gig's worth of data in a database that has allowed me to identify and analyze the behaviors that correlate (positively or negatively) with a lead becoming a customer. We call these buying signals.
I presented a 60-minute webinar with my findings in September, so if any of this sounds interesting to you (and it should!) you can download it on-demand now. But in the meantime I’ll share a few of my findings with you to whet your appetite.
Perhaps the most powerful buying signal I found was the word “search.” Contacts who viewed web pages with the word “search” in the title were nearly 300% more likely to become customers than the average contact. Use this data in two ways: think about how you’re speaking to contacts who are on search pages of your site, and think about how to encourage use of the search function.
I also found negative buying signals. For instance, contacts who viewed pages with titles that contained the word “resources” were 37% less likely to become customers than the average contact. There are certain people who are just looking to simply use your site as an informational resource. Of course this may only mean that they’re not ready to buy yet, so don’t take this data to mean that you shouldn’t offer resources to build up the top of your funnel.
Contrast that last graph with this one. Contacts who viewed pages with titles that contained the word “services” were 24% more likely to become customers than the average contact. Someone who is actively looking for information on the services you sell is clearly not just an information-seeking resource finder. They’re ready to buy.