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12 advanced strategies for PR to leverage conversion rate optimization in 2024

by | Jan 5, 2024 | Public Relations

Have you ever:

  • Been ghosted by media personnel for an important pitch, even after multiple follow-ups? 
  • Felt confused about which news stories best fit which news publication and which editor would be the most receptive? 
  • Been passed over in favor of other PR folks for coverage of stories? 
  • Had trouble connecting with your audience on social media through all the noise? 
  • Felt like you’re pitching to the wrong audience and/or landed the wrong clients? 

If so, you’re in exactly the right place.  

Here, we’re uncovering advanced strategies you can leverage to improve your conversion rates (whether your leads are clients or editors). 

We’ve also gathered insights from conversion rate optimization experts to bring you maximum value and lead the way to more conversions than ever. 

So, let’s dig in, shall we? 

Why should the PR industry focus on conversion rate optimization (CRO)?

PR is one of those industries where the metrics indicate your work results, not how hard you work. 

Some PR people get their stories featured in the world’s top publications and have the best clients, while the rest of us are still trying to test what works and what doesn’t to see how we can improve our metrics. 

An improved lead conversion rate results in good news for all. It means we have better-fit clients who are happy with our work. We’re connecting with our target audience. Editors and reporters like our stories. And we’re making a name for ourselves (not to mention the improved ROI). 

So, focusing on CRO should matter to every person in the PR industry, regardless of your business size. 

12 advanced strategies to maximize lead conversion rates

Without further ado, here are 12 strategies to perfect conversation rate optimization. 

1. Lead scoring models

If you primarily use email or social media to connect with leads for your PR business, you can leverage tools like lead scoring models to identify which leads interact most with your content and may be interested in working with you. 

Just to give you a reference, here’s how lead scoring models work:

12 advanced strategies for PR to leverage conversion rate optimization in 2024

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You can go a step further and leverage lead-scoring software like Breadcrumbs. They use predictive analytics and automate the entire process of lead scoring for you (Breadcrumbs even has a free Copilot tool that you can use to get data-driven suggestions).

As a practice‌, you can leverage lead scoring models to:

  • Find which editors to invite for conferences and events
  • Segment media contacts for specific news stories
  • Finalize which stories deserve the most priority
  • Identify the most valuable media outlets

2. Retargeting campaigns

We all know editors are Busy with a capital “B.” They’ve got tons of pitches to handle, not only from PR teams but also from in-house teams and freelancers. So, there’s a chance they didn’t read your pitch or it might not have interested them initially.

If you’re targeting company heads instead of editors to work with them as clients, it goes without saying they’re busy, too. 

To prepare for such instances, a retargeting campaign is essential. For example, you can:

  • Use dynamic ads to your advantage to always keep your brand at the top of your customers’ minds.
  • Provide exclusive access to ebooks, research, webinars, events, consults, etc. 
  • Use storytelling techniques to engage with your reader’s pain points. 
  • Pivot your discussions from email to social media (or vice versa).
  • Create customized landing pages based on audience segments.

3. Interactive content and gamification

Interactive content, such as polls, quizzes, product demos, surveys, etc., helps your leads stay on your site for longer, engage with your content for more time, and understand your offering better. You can hire a content writer to get better and more personalized content for your website.

Combined, these activities help reduce bounce rates and improve your conversion rate. 

For example, if a client comes to your site, you can create a quiz-type pricing page based on the customer’s team size and requirements. 

12 advanced strategies for PR to leverage conversion rate optimization in 2024

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Aside from just interactive content, you can leverage gamification tactics like social media challenges, scavenger hunts, storytelling competitions, metaverse interactive events, etc. 

Experts recommend implementing a points or a badge system to make these activities more interesting. 

For example, if you’re a larger PR company, you could run metaverse events to show your prospects your product offerings, or you could run social media challenges. The winner might get a free PR consultation, and you can later upsell to them.  

4. Progressive profiling

Progressive profiling refers to gradually collecting data from your leads and customers over a period of time so you can provide improved experiences to them while also reducing friction in engagement. 

For example, when signing up for a newsletter, you can ask customers about their interests and areas of expertise. 

Meanwhile, if they’re downloading an ebook, you can ask for their team size and job title.

Information from both channels can automatically be updated in your CRM (customer relationship management) systems and help with lead nurturing, which ultimately assists with lead conversion. 

5. Multivariate testing

Multivariate testing is like the big brother of A/B testing. In the wise words of Jason Wise, editor at EarthWeb, “Multivariate testing is an advanced form of A/B testing, which tests the effects of multiple factors in a campaign at the same time. 

12 advanced strategies for PR to leverage conversion rate optimization in 2024

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This study goes into great detail about how different factors interact with each other, giving a full picture of how they help or hurt each other. 

When marketers use multivariate testing, they can see how their strategy changes over time and figure out the complex web of interactions that affect the number of leads that become customers.”

In short, it helps you test different designs, layouts, and text elements on your pages and channels, which allows you to optimize them for the benefit of your prospects. 

6. Authoritative signs and social signals

We live in a world where scams on the internet are common. From the perspective of a client, if they don’t know you in person, how can you gain their trust as a company?

You can use authoritative signs and social signals like trust badges, testimonials, customer ratings, awards, case studies, etc. 

Even a small text like “Our communications are secured by Soc 2 Type 2 measures” will do, but we’d recommend adding elements, too, to make it a visual experience.

12 advanced strategies for PR to leverage conversion rate optimization in 2024

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7. Neuromarketing

Neuromarketing refers to using psychological principles in marketing (or, in this case, using psychology to help improve your conversion rates). 

As someone from the PR industry, you can:

  • Leverage social proof to build trust in your business (e.g., you can show testimonials and companies you’ve worked with to a client).
  • Test out design elements and colors that incite emotions (e.g., red for bold, yellow for hope, blue for wisdom, etc.).
  • Use emotions to tell a story to engage with your editor’s audience.
  • Use visual hierarchy to make sense of your text. 
  • Showcase the value of your product/service. 
  • Offer incentives (like free consults).

8. Cognitive load reduction

We’re all spoiled for choice in today’s content-driven world. So, if you spoil your customers any further by providing tons of options and text at the same time, it might overwhelm them. 

For example, you can ask them to choose among your 15 service offerings, which becomes information overload. Instead, you can create three customized pricing packages based on their needs to help them choose. 

Since the second helps them make a quick selection, it also helps them convert faster.  

12 advanced strategies for PR to leverage conversion rate optimization in 2024

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9. Reverse-engineering competitor strategies

Any kind of CRO strategy calls for competitor research, regardless of the industry you’re a part of. So, here’s a skinny outline of how to do competitor research: 

  • Identify your ideal competitors (look for agencies/professionals who offer the same services and target the same niches as you). 
  • Analyze their PR campaigns and do a SWOT analysis (at this stage, check out their testimonials to see what their audience is talking about). 
  • Assess how they could form these relationships with clients and media agencies. 
  • Review their content strategies and monitor their social media channels. 
  • Check other parts of their social media performance (such as personal brands of internal stakeholders, SEO strategy, social signals, content topics, etc.).
  • Decide on the metrics and the unique selling point (USP) you want to replicate. 
  • Find the resources available and begin A/B testing to see how you can reverse-engineer their strategies. 

10. Ephemeral content

Since time is of the essence in the PR industry, you can focus on ephemeral content and urgency tactics to maximize your lead conversion rates. 

To ensure this strategy works in your favor, you can offer limited-time deals and exclusive offers, set up events and webinars, share limited access to content, create exclusive spots reserved, do flash sales, post content on social media sites as stories, etc. 

You can also leverage ‌‌fear of missing out (FOMO) tactics, create teaser emails, and highlight social proof in your messaging to ensure your customers buy your product soon. 

12 advanced strategies for PR to leverage conversion rate optimization in 2024

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11. Heat maps

John Pennypacker, the VP of Sales and Marketing at Deep Cognition, recommends looking into heat maps to improve lead conversion rates. 

In his own words, “One technique we’ve consistently leveraged in our marketing strategy is the use of heat maps. The beauty of heat maps lies in their ability to offer a visual representation of data, showing us exactly where users are clicking, scrolling, or even just hovering on our website. This tool is crucial in identifying what is working and what isn’t on our site.

For instance, we’ve noticed our audience tends to focus more on ‌infographics and short video content on our website. This led us to adjust our content strategy, focusing more on creating visually stimulating infographics and informative, concise video content. As a result, we observed a significant increase in our lead conversion rates.”

12. Avoiding phrases like “just following up”

Last but not least, another way to increase your lead conversion rates, especially if you’re cold-pitching, is to avoid repeating phrases like “just following up.” 

Instead, experts recommend leading with humor, offering something of value, sharing insights, using personalization, etc., to get noticed by your leads. 

Pro tip: Conduct conversion rate optimization audits

While we’re officially done converting the strategies, we’d also like to highlight that if you’re serious about your goal of improving lead conversion rates, then an extensive CRO audit will definitely help. 

We’d ideally recommend getting the help of an expert, but if that’s out of budget at the moment, you can also leverage online guides to help you along the way. 

Juwaria Merchant
Juwaria Merchant is a freelance writer specializing in the fields of SaaS, marketing, and health/wellness. Backed with 3+ years of experience, she helps brands build content that adds value to their business. In her free time, you can catch her reading her favorite books or studying the latest trends online.

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