We all have that one smart, witty friend who has an almost magical ability to persuade and influence others. You know the one: the friend who can practically talk the birds out of the trees and have the birds singing happily while they fly down and perch on the friend’s shoulders.
Landing pages are kind of like that friend. A well-crafted landing page is incredibly effective at helping clients achieve their sales or lead generation goals, mainly because landing pages have only one purpose: to persuade customers to take action.
Add AI tools into the mix, and you’ll supercharge the power of landing pages–which is kind of like having a whole army of those persuasive friends helping you out. For today’s marketers, adding the power of artificial intelligence to your agency’s digital toolkit is becoming less of a luxury and more of a necessity so you can help your clients reach their maximum potential.
After all, as an agency, you’re in the business of bringing value to your clients and helping them achieve what they want. And what’s at the top of most clients’ wishlists? Improved conversions. Here’s how you—and your AI “friends”—can get them there.
Read on to learn more about:
Why Are Landing Page Conversion Rates So Important?
Before we jump into how AI tools help you and your clients, let’s first explore why conversion rates are kind of, y’know, essential.
As you’re aware, a landing page’s entire reason for existence is to achieve one main objective: getting the visitor to take a specific action (i.e., convert), whether that’s adding a product to cart, filling out a form, or subscribing to a newsletter. You can design a gorgeous and informative page for your client that receives tons of traffic, but it’s all for nothing if visitors just leave without doing anything on the page.
It stands to reason that if you improve the landing page’s conversion rate, you’ll get your client closer to achieving their goals, which in turn will make them happier with you. That’s the “win-win-win” magic of effective conversion rate optimization (CRO).
What Does Conversion Rate Optimization Do for Your Agency?
Improved conversion rates might not seem like a big deal, but they lead to some pretty significant benefits, including:
Improved lead generation: If the conversions your client wants are getting more leads (by filling out a form, for example), then improving the conversion rate translates directly into more prospective customers.
“Sure,” you’re probably thinking, “I get it. CRO is the secret sauce behind successful campaigns. But how do I improve CRO?” Well, that’s where it all comes back to your smart friend, AI.
How Does AI Improve CRO?
You're probably aware that you can use AI tools like ChatGPT, Midjourney, and Smart Copy to pump out nearly unlimited amounts of content when using well-crafted prompts. But AI can do so much more than simply generate images and text—and by exploring the full potential of AI tools you’ll be much further down the road towards improved CRO (and happier clients).
After the right AI tools are in place, they work tirelessly behind the scenes to analyze data, uncover patterns, and create personalized variations. By taking advantage of the speed, power, and efficiency of AI your marketing team is freed from routine, day-to-day tasks, allowing them to take the valuable—and necessary—step of mixing AI data with human insights, empathy, and creativity.
With this potent formula for CRO magic at your fingertips, your agency will be equipped to analyze larger data sets, better understand target customers, and ultimately create effective campaigns that increase engagement and conversion.
Specific Ways AI Optimizes Landing Page Conversion Rates
Okay, let’s get down to it and explore how to effectively leverage AI tools to boost landing page CRO.
Analyzing and Predicting Customer Behavior
Reviewing customer data—in effect, seeing what customers have done in the past—is pretty easy. Accurately predicting what customers are going to do in the future, however, is a whole different beast. We humans are complex animals living complex lives, and just because we bought one type of product in the past doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to keep buying that same product in the future.
It all comes down to the difference between behavior and intent. Basic data analysis reveals past behavior patterns, but it’s intent that determines what customers will do next. And past behavior doesn’t necessarily dictate future intent.
This is where AI steps in and shines. By gobbling down large data sets of customer behavior, AI tools crunch the numbers and make predictions about future customer intent, often with high degrees of accuracy. Your marketing team then uses these predictive analytics to create personalized marketing campaigns that boost conversion rates.
How Predictive Analytics Work
So what’s the magic formula behind how AI reads the digital tea leaves? The entire process is pretty complicated–there’s a reason why the people who create and refine predictive models are called “data scientists,” after all–but it breaks down into these basic steps:
Acquire data, and lots of it: One of AI’s greatest strengths is its ability to devour gargantuan amounts of data, far more than any human could ever do.
Organize and process the data: After the AI has filled its digital belly with vast reams of data, it “cleans” the data by organizing it, removing anomalies, and eliminating extreme outliers. This helps make the data more usable and accurate.
Create and test predictive models: Through machine learning systems, the AI makes predictions and tests them for accuracy. Then it does it over and over again, millions or even billions of times, at the lightning speed only computers can achieve. Each time the models are refined and adjusted.
The end result of all this data-crunching is an AI tool that’s able to generate predictive insights that can feel like magic.
Personalization and Dynamic Content
When you want to slow down your car, friction (in the brakes) is good. But when it comes to converting on landing pages, friction is bad. The more difficult it is for visitors to find what they’re looking for or to take the action your landing page is designed for, the less likely they are to convert.
Remember the last time you were trying to buy something online and you couldn’t find what you were looking for, so you got frustrated and closed the tab? Yeah, your clients’ customers remember that too.
So reduce the friction. Through AI-powered search or dynamically generated content, your clients’ landing pages are automatically tailored to create personalized experiences for each visitor. Instead of relying on a one-size-fits-all approach (which, let’s face it, usually doesn’t fit all), dynamically personalized landing pages give visitors the experience they’re looking for and make it much more likely that they’ll convert.
Here’s an example: A digital marketing agency named Taylor Made Marketing, which has clients all across the US, was regularly getting conversion rates around 3-5%.
They started using Unbounce’s AI optimization tool Smart Traffic and it wasn’t long before their conversion rates skyrocketed to an eye-popping 35% (yes, you read that correctly).
Taylor Made Marketing used Smart Traffic to try out multiple pages simultaneously and build unique pages for specific customers in different regions of the country, experimenting with different elements like copy tone, videos, and celebrity endorsements to find out what worked best for each market. This allowed the agency to quickly learn what types of pages resonated with different customers and boost conversions accordingly.
A/B and Multivariate Testing
Okay, so your team used AI to analyze data, identified trends in customer intent, created an awesome campaign, and set up automatically personalized landing pages. So now it’s time to sit back and relax, right?
Nope! (Yeah, you knew this was a trick question.) Now it’s crucial to test and adjust, to check if your plan is working and make any necessary changes along the way—this is the “optimization” part of CRO.
One way to test how well a specific element on your page is working is through A/B testing. While this type of optimization should be an essential part of any digital marketer’s toolkit, it does have some limitations. You’ll need to have enough visitors to ensure your results are statistically significant—just a dozen or so visitors won’t provide useful data—and you can only focus on testing one page element at a time, so it’s not a quick process.
Another option is multivariate testing, which allows you to analyze multiple landing page variations at the same time. Like we mentioned above, AI-powered tools like Unbounce’s Smart Traffic enable your team to set up a number of different versions of a landing page, then the tool automatically learns from the results and optimizes the variations. And it’s fast– Smart Traffic provides useful results with as few as 50 visitors, so you’ll start seeing results pretty darned quickly.
AI-powered tools like Smart Traffic demonstrate just how effectively artificial intelligence saves your team time and effort while getting you closer to achieving your clients’ goals.
Benefits and Challenges of AI Tools
By this point, you’re probably clueing into the fact that we are pretty big fans of AI, and for very good reasons. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, so here are some factors you should consider before adding AI tools to your workflow.
Benefit: Efficiency and Productivity
If there’s one thing computers are good at (aside from serving up an infinite number of cat videos to help us procrastinate when we’re on a deadline), it’s processing and generating data. AI tools digest enormous amounts of information and spit out reports, analyses, content, and recommendations at speeds no human (or team of humans) could possibly match.
So does that mean AI should replace your marketing team? Heck no—as powerful and lightning-fast as AI is, it cannot–yet–replace the essential human elements that should be at the core of every marketing campaign. AI doesn’t know how to be quite as creative or empathetic as a flesh-and-blood human, which is why you will often see AI outputs including the same tropes over and over again. AI can’t fully understand factors like context or cultural differences or emotions—or why it’s so important that we consider those factors in the first place.
Back in 2014, a tiny little company called Amazon (you may have heard of them) used AI to streamline and speed up their hiring process by reviewing the resumes of job applicants and passing along recommendations to recruiters. However, a year later, they discovered that the AI was showing a preference for males, downgrading the resumes of female applicants, because it was trained on the current data for Amazon engineers–an area that was dominated by men. They tried to fix the algorithmic bias but ended up having to scrap the entire thing because they couldn’t get it to work properly.
AI technology has improved substantially since 2014. But the fact remains, AIs can have their own biases because they are created by humans and our biases tend to creep into the stuff we build. This is why it’s absolutely critical that we apply our perspectives, contexts, and critical thinking abilities to the capabilities of AI. By combining human instinct with machine power we can enhance efficiency and generate outputs we may not have thought of on our own, all under the umbrella of doing what’s right for our fellow humans.
Benefit: Better Data Analysis and Insights
Spreadsheets, emails, videos, audio files, photos, social media feeds, personal data, financial records, clickthrough rates, time spent on page—there’s a LOT of data out there, and it’s getting harder and harder for us humans to digest it and pull out actionable insights.
Luckily for us, there are AI tools that are built to crunch data and serve up results we can work with. One example is Ara, an AI engine created by Quantcast that’s designed to interpret trillions of data signals and provide recommendations designed to optimize campaign performance.
By using Quantcast’s Ara and other AI-powered tools, agencies and clients such as American Express, Singapore Airlines, and Cadillac were able to drill down into vast datasets and pull out useful insights that led to concrete, celebration-worthy results.
There are many, many more options out there. Spend a few minutes browsing sites like Product Hunt and you’ll be sure to find an AI tool (or, more likely, multiple tools) that will help your team kick your marketing engine into a higher gear.
Benefit: Competitive Edge
This whole AI thing is still pretty new to most of us. Remember, ChatGPT burst onto the scene as recently as November 2022 and hit over 100 million active users in less than two months. Marketers around the world are still trying to come to grips with how AI is disrupting the marketing world, and while many are learning to use AI tools, others haven’t jumped into the pool yet.
Source: The State of AI Marketing for Small Business from Unbounce
This means that if your agency is part of the AI movement, you’re not only keeping up with some of your competitors, but you’re probably leap-frogging ahead of others.
Just imagine: What if you had a client who was averaging around 4,000 monthly users on their site, but after adopting an AI-powered content platform their average monthly visits jumped to 400,000–an astounding 10,000% increase? That’s exactly what happened with a startup named Tomorrow Sleep.
So, the basic point is that the faster your team learns to maximize the use of AI tools, the better positioned you’ll be in this wild, new world of AI marketing.
Challenge: Learning Curve
AI is evolving incredibly quickly and disrupting many aspects of our world in unpredictable ways. It’s kind of like a huge ocean wave—it’s sweeping us all along, and while some of us are learning how to surf, it’s definitely not easy.
Thankfully there are plenty of learning resources out there that can teach you how to make the most of AI tools (such as this course from Purdue University, offered on the Simplilearn platform), and some of them are free, but they all require time and effort. While it can be challenging for your team to take time out of their busy, task-and-meeting-filled schedules to learn yet another new tool (or three), investing in developing AI expertise will definitely pay off in the long run.
Challenge: Dependence on Data Quality
Ever heard of “garbage in, garbage out”? It’s a computer science phrase that describes how poor-quality data or instructions entered into a system will inevitably lead to poor results.
The same concept applies to the data that’s fed into AI tools. Large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT were trained on basically the entire internet, so some of what it “knows” is based on inaccurate info or just plain bad data. That’s why LLMs will sometimes “hallucinate” or provide incorrect, biased, or offensive results.
In a rather embarrassing gaffe, back in February 2023 Google announced their AI chatbot Bard and in the very first demo, Bard offered a “fact” about the James Webb Space Telescope that turned out to be completely incorrect. (Oops.)
This emphasizes, yet again, why it’s so important that humans are part of the equation when it comes to using AI tools. Check that any AI resources you’re using are pulling data from sources that are fair and reputable, and ALWAYS double-check the output from AI tools to ensure it meets your standards for accuracy and decency.
Challenge: Impact on Agency Pricing
Like so many powerful and impactful things in the world, AI ain’t cheap. Depending on what tools you’re using and what you need them to do, the costs can rise pretty quickly.
On the flip side, clients may come to the table with the incorrect assumption that everything your agency does is now much faster and easier using AI tools, asking for a reduction in fees. Be prepared to have discussions around how an AI tool is, in the end, just a tool, and it’s the experience, creativity, and human insights of the agency that is truly worth paying for.
Before you jump feet-first into the AI pool, get a clear idea of the AI services you want to explore and the price for each one. (Here’s a helpful post that breaks down most of the popular AI tools and their costs.) This can help you determine whether or not you’ll want to pass those increased costs on to your clients.
How to Know if CRO Is Working for You
As in so many other aspects of your business, KPIs and metrics are key to measuring results and knowing how and where to make adjustments. Here are some of the important stats to keep an eye on when you’re analyzing the outcomes of your campaign.
Clicks: How many visitors are engaged enough to interact with your landing page? Clicks show you which parts of the campaign are working well and which ones need improvement. This is important if you are testing one step in the client’s conversion funnel. If the objective is to generate more sales, but the shopping cart is not being tested, then the Add to Cart function may be a better metric to judge the impact of a CRO project.
Conversions and Conversion Rate: The measure of success! Conversions show how many visitors are transforming into customers or subscribers. This metric can help offset the potential of false positives when measuring performance based on on-page clicks. For example, if a CRO project does a better job of driving less-qualified users into the cart flow, that’s not always a win.
Want to make it easier to monitor metrics? Of course you do, so check out AgencyAnalytics’s Unbounce Reporting integration, which provides access to multiple dashboards, simplifying the process of understanding the performance of every landing page.
After you’ve gotten a firm grasp of how your clients’ landing pages are performing, it’s time to test. A/B and multivariate testing, which we’ve mentioned above, are handy tools for figuring out which page elements need improvement and how to make them better.
From there, it’s all about iterating: Try new things, test them out, see how they’re performing, then rinse and repeat as necessary.
Improved CRO Is Critical, and AI Can Help
By now, you’ve seen why CRO is so helpful (if not essential) to your clients’ business success and how AI tools help you get your client where they want to go. The industry of artificial intelligence marketing tools and services is changing and evolving every day, which makes it both challenging and inspiring.
But if you see AI as an ally (or even a friend?), you’ll be in a good position to ride the wave into an exciting new world of AI marketing.