How to Use an Interactive Online Configurator to Generate Qualified Leads

Anna Talerico, ion interactive's EVP and co-founder

Anna Talerico, ion interactive's EVP and co-founder

An online, interactive configurator gives visitors the opportunity to see a variety of different options and outcomes based upon their selections. Do your products or services require complex configurations to determine the right personalized solution? Configurators allow visitors to assemble or package your product or service to what they specifically are looking for. This provides a valuable service to the visitor while providing marketing with even more valuable packaging data on what visitors need and want.

This insight can be used in marketing automation programs as well as in personal selling to cater messages and offers, which makes sales and marketing smarter, more likely to satisfy visitor expectations, and more likely to convert traffic into leads. Think of a configurator as a ‘self-service’ experience, supporting the buyers desire for discovery on their own. 

 

How to generate leads with an online configurator:

  • Let visitors complete the configurator and see the resulting recommended solutions or products. Optionally allow them to email the results to themselves, or a colleague, using that action as a lead capture opportunity. 
  • Have visitors complete the configurator, and gate the results, requiring the user to complete your form before seeing their configurations. 
  • Consider requiring visitors to complete a form before providing them access to the configurator, especially when the configurations are likely to be complex or high value.
  • Share only a a summary of the configuration, but offer to send complete configuration results via email.

How to test for higher conversion rates on your online configurator:

  • Results access: Can you drive more leads by providing the results with an optional form to email the results to themselves? Or by gating the results, providing access to the results only to those who complete your form? Find out with an A/B test!
  • Content cross sell: Will you capture more leads by gating the configurator results, or by giving free access to the results, but with an optional form to receive complementary content that’s related to the configurator? An A/B test will let you know if the offer of related content is more compelling than the results themselves.  
  • Form length: How much is your visitor willing to tell you in the form? You can test varying form lengths to optimize for maximum conversions.
  • Layout: Test radically different messaging about the configurator to see which ‘merchandising’ version reduces bounce rates and increases engagement with the content. Or, test radically different results pages, varying the emphasis on the call to action to determine how you can influence conversion rate with layout and design changes.
  • Question format and length: Test different number of steps to optimize for completion and conversion. Is each question best on it’s own page, or does it work better to group questions together? Also, visitors may have reluctance to divulge information deemed too personal or specific, so experimenting with varying degrees of specificity can reveal the sweet spots at which information gathering and conversion optimization are in alignment.

How to measure content consumption and engagement on your online configurator:

  • Look at the basics such as bounce rate and conversion rate to get an idea of overall performance.
  • Look at drop off through the configurator. What is the tolerance your visitors have for completing questions, and are they finding the questions valuable enough to complete? Which questions cause the highest drop off?
  • Score answers based on how desirable the configurator outcomes of the visitor will be, and evaluate scores across traffic sources to determine which sources deliver you the most qualified, engaged leads. 
  • Evaluate the aggregate responses to understand your audience better and gain real insights into how well your product, service or solution fits with their requirements or needs.

And don’t forget to surface prospect insights to your sales team:

  • Show sales the prospects actual answers to the configurator so they can pick up the personal conversation exactly where the digital conversation left off. This helps accelerate deals by providing the buyer with a great experience where expectations are met, and information surfaced in an online experience doesn’t have to be rehashed in a scripted sales experience.

 

Have you tried using an online configurator to generate qualified leads? Let us know how it’s going and what you’ve learned along the way!