DM Days: Improve customers' online experience and see greater conversions

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A better user experience on a Web site can translate into greater conversion rates, said John Nardone, CEO of X Plus One, a digital marketing company, at a session today at the DM Days conference in New York.

Nardone's point of view was echoed by several marketers who spoke during the same online marketing and interactive media session.

Aaron Kahlow, executive director of the Online Marketing Summit, said to make it easy for customers to find the information they're looking for. People are not patient when visiting a Web site; they need to find what they want quickly or they will leave, he added.

Clumsy site navigation, slow page loads, unclear messaging and a design that is not engaging can all turn users off, Kahlow said.

Another common Web site mistake is design that speaks to just one type of audience, said Oliver Chaine, founder and CEO of Magnify360. Instead, site owners need to cater to many different kinds of customers. "You need to appeal to different people in different ways," he said. Marketers should think about people's personalities and why they might be visiting their site on that particular day, he added.

Chaine said that it is important to identify, for example, if target customers are spontaneous shoppers who tend to make purchases quickly or if they are more methodical. It's important to understand how people buy and then speak to them in their own language, he continued.

Like Nardone, Chaine cited Citibank's site as confusing and unfriendly. A variety of services are offered on the landing page and there are multiple login areas, Chaine noted.

In comparison, a site like that of digital phone service Package 8 provides two entry points — one for residential and another for business plans, which makes the site relevant for two very different types of audiences.

By targeting multiple customers, delivering a personalized experience and engaging customers, businesses will increase their conversion rates, Chaine said. But it's important to continually test changes made to any Web site to make sure they are effective.

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