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Canstar boss calls out the ‘paupers’ in online conversions

Financial services campaigns are being killed by websites and offerings that confuse potential buyers, the head of financial comparison site Canstar has warned.

Canstar’s Matthew Wong and David Lammey warned poor experiences are costing brands customers

Speaking at the Mumbrella Finance Marketing Summit, Matthew Wong, Canstar’s national client manager for digital warned marketers were making basic mistakes which slashed customer conversion rates.

“Of the campaigns that we are currently seeing there is a really big discrepancy between the best and the worst-performing campaigns,” Wong said.

“People have thought for a long time that the biggest brands are going to convert the best when it comes to digital conversion. But that’s actually not the case. It’s not that big brands can’t do it well online, but it really comes down to the digital experience and seeing really good landing pages and it’s really clear for users as they get right down to the end.”

He said that while many brands benchmarked the conversion of prospects to customers internally, they did not benchmark against competitors leaving them with a major gap in their intelligence.

“People may understand within their own company what the conversation rates are within different products but they may not know across the entire industry what they should be aiming for and when you don’t have that information it makes it really, really hard to aspire to get to that point,” he said.

He said measurements in the superannuation industry taken in June showed that the best-performing campaigns had an eight-and-a-half times better conversion rate than the worst-performing brands and two-and-a-half times better than the industry average.

The disparity between the best and worst-performing credit cards was even greater, with the best brand having 20-times the success rate than the worst brand.

Wong said getting customers to convert online came down to a handful of key factors including having a good landing page and making it simple for people to sign up.

Comparing the best and worst-performing credit card brands that people were looking at on the Canstar site, he said brand A succeeded with a timely offer and clear communication.

“From the moment you clicked from our page to their landing page, the offer was clear and it had a time limit where it expired within the month,” he said.

“With brand B, when you went from our comparison table you click on a specific product, you went to a landing page where there were four other cards already there. It was essentially an internal part of the website with plenty of exit points and pretty much confusing to the client as to why they were taken to that page. And it didn’t have the offers communicated very well.”

In the car insurance industry, one of the most competitive sectors Canstar handles, Wong said the simplicity of getting a quote and allowing a customer to enter their registration details which would automatically populate fields was the difference between the best and worst-performing brands.

“A lot of it came down to the actual experience on the landing page,” he said.

“People do tend to judge a product by their digital experience.”

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