Should you hide your best content assets behind forms or let them out into the world? This question has perplexed marketers since the early days of online content.
On the one hand, forms collect priceless contact information. On the other hand, form conversion rates can be abysmal.
You can spend weeks – or even months – crafting a highly educational, incredibly valuable content piece, only to have it waste away behind a form, attracting no one and doing nothing.
As the team at U.K.-based Drift Solutions Partner Modern has discovered, in the battle between gated and ungated content, neither wins. Conversational Landing Pages (CLPs) win.
(Conversational Landing Pages take potential customers directly from an ad to a conversation with a bot or team member. With Drift, you can attach content to CLPs and then engage visitors while they read – all while making your content freely available on the web.)
I knew Modern had generated some hard evidence from their work with Drift customers demonstrating that CLPs outperform traditional landing pages.
So, they fit the bill for my latest installment in my ongoing series spotlighting success stories from Drift’s Solutions Partners and the lessons we can learn from them. For this interview, I actually got to speak with three Modern team members (all Drift power-users): co-founder Stuart Ray, account director Nicola Sutherland, and campaign manager Kasch Wilder.
Our chat also touched on a few other topics that should interest you if you use Drift or are thinking about becoming a Drift user:
- How to integrate video into your Conversational Marketing strategy
- The experience of working with a Drift partner like Modern (should you need the help)
- How Drift can support manufacturing businesses through a digital transformation
Editor’s note: The following has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Nick Salvatoriello: Tell me about Modern. I know you’re based in the U.K. and work with several companies that do business around the world, particularly in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) region.
Stuart Ray: That’s right. Most of our clients are headquartered in the U.S., but many of them do business globally. For those clients, we work predominantly with local EMEA marketing functions. We also work with some U.S. teams.
We work with technology businesses, typically in the mid-market or scale-up phase. As a strategic advisor to our clients, we’re always looking to partner with best-in-class technologies that improve customer journeys in a B2B context, and we see Drift as a key component of the tech stack clients need to have.
Nick: What do your clients struggle with the most regarding their marketing and sales technology?
Stuart: Our clients – and I think most businesses – struggle with getting value from their investments in sales and marketing technology. They’ll see an amazing demo and learn about all the things a given piece of software can do. But when they get it, and it needs to be configured, and they need to work out how to use it, and get their teams trained, they only end up using 10% of its potential. And soon enough, they go, “Well…”, and move on to buying the next piece of tech.
We call this buying technology before strategy. Among other things, we offer our clients advice and strategy around the technologies they should use. But we also help them unlock the full potential of the technologies they already have.
Nick: Some Drift users may be in that boat, not realizing what they’ve got and what it’s capable of. It seems like you’ve helped some of your clients get past thinking of Drift as just ‘chat.’
Nicola Sutherland: We definitely have. A perfect example of that is our work with a German-based global technology firm focused on integrations and IoT and one of their partners.
We worked really hard to create some excellent content assets for this client, but they suffered from low conversions because they were gated behind forms.
Initially, our client was very firm that they didn’t see the value in ungating content. But we showed them how to use Drift Conversational Landing Pages to engage website visitors while they read, which allows you to capture data from website visitors without requiring them to fill in a form.
This isn’t exactly an apples-to-apples comparison, but we ran a banking campaign in the U.K. using a traditional landing page, and we got a total of 10 content downloads. When we ran the Nordic version of the banking campaign – same asset, different region – we used a Conversational Landing Page, and (so far) we’ve seen 315 landing page visits.
That’s over 31 times more people reading the asset when we shifted to a Conversational Landing Page.
Nick: Well, I was kind of hoping for 41 times more people vs. 31 more times but (sigh), oh well….
Nick: Kidding! That’s DEFINITELY an impressive campaign result. But seriously, Kasch, in your role as campaign manager for this client, why is Drift the ideal tool for this kind of content strategy?
Kasch Wilder: Drift is very lightweight in terms of the infrastructure work you have to put in to shift from gated content to a system that can host and deliver ungated content. There’s a rapidness to it that I think a lot of people who are used to legacy marketing technology might not expect there to be.
Nicola: I’d also add that this client loved the quick turnaround Kasch was able to provide using Drift. We made the suggestion, and within a couple of weeks, it was live. Now that we’ve demonstrated the value of this new approach, the client has given us the go-ahead to test out other conversational strategies to connect with customers and to try new things along their buyer’s journey.
This particular campaign exceeded our client’s lead generation target by 130%. But from their perspective, the real win was showing the potential of Conversational Marketing and CLPs. I think this quote from their EMEA general manager says it all:
“This campaign has populated our funnel and enabled us to fulfill our partnership commitments. But it has done more than deliver on its stated objectives. It has introduced us to efficient new tools and processes that we will use again and again to engage new customers and build valuable relationships in the future.”
Nick: Speaking of trying new things, what other Drift capabilities have you explored with this account?
Nicola: We’ve been rolling out Drift Video to allow our client’s salespeople to have a more personalized approach when reaching out to contacts on behalf of their company. Kasch can fill you in on how we do that.
Kasch: So we’ve started crafting a messaging track that we know will resonate with people at their target accounts, starting with a 20- to 30-second introduction video using Drift, where an account executive (or in one case, a general manager) introduces themselves, goes through some quick value statements, and talks about their offerings in a way that relates to an organization’s pain points.
These videos have been quite a nice starting point for our client’s sales team that sets the tone for a people-centric sales approach for these accounts.
Nick: Sounds like digital transformation is well underway with this customer. Thank you for all the support you provide as a partner. Are there any other customer success stories you would like to share?
Stuart: We recently brought Drift to a leading global manufacturer of commercial printing technology). We’ve already been working with them for a few years now on the digital transformation of their customer experience.
Within the first week after rolling out Drift in EMEA, our manufacturing client had their first sale – which was no mean feat because selling their technology requires a partner. Not only did they generate the lead on the website using the Driftbot, but it was channeled to the right partner, who then closed the sale within that week.
Nick: Consider me intrigued! I’d love to hear more sometime about using Drift within a channel sales model. You’ve certainly proved it’s possible. Thanks for your time today.
Stuart: Thank you for having us.