Elizabeth Warren’s policy-focused 2020 presidential campaign has embraced the “I’ve got a plan for that” mantra and when it comes to her conversion funnel, her motto ought to be “we’ve got an engagement for that.”
While Warren’s campaign is having a bit of a moment right now, her team has had months to lay groundwork for her online infrastructure. Of the sites I’ve audited, ElizabethWarren.com has the most robust series of steps to drive supporters up the engagement ladder, but it’s hard to enter with the heavy-handed focus on donations, which is likely a symptom of the debate requirement.
- Is the campaign easy to find on Google?
- Does the campaign’s website load quickly? Data shows that faster load times lead to higher conversion rates.
- Does the campaign have clear email capture and calls to action on the homepage?
- Do subpages, like the about page, blog posts, etc. also have email capture and calls to action?
- Are the campaign’s online ads geared towards driving conversions?
- Are the landing pages for these ads optimized for the maximum number of conversions?
- Does the campaign use effective email automation to drive supporters through the conversion funnel?
- Does the campaign redirect traffic to donation pages after a user takes action? Are they customized to the earlier action?
Other Entries in this Series
ElizabethWarren.com occupies the number one organic position on Google for her name and is also running paid Google Search ads.
The website takes a relative eternity to load – 1.82 seconds – which means there’s as much as a 10% decrease in conversions.
This website has a very strong focus on driving supporter farther up the engagement ladder at the moment they’re interested. Here’s what you see on the homepage:
Clicking on “I’m All In” drives a supporter to this email capture form:
And then they ask you for a donation…
Clicking the option “Not right now, but I’m ready to help in other ways” leads a supporter to a different branch of the conversion funnel:
As you can tell, the campaign’s conversion funnel is more like a many-branched decision tree that leads a supporter through the journey. It’s the most sophisticated conversion funnel I’ve analyzed so far.
But it’s not easy to enter the conversion funnel because the website is very heavy-handed in its donation asks, and email capture is a distant second place in terms of calls to action.
Warren’s numerous policy plans can be found on her website, but they link out to Medium.com. This is a huge lost opportunity to convert site visitors who are interested in her policies. The Warren campaign is sacrificing convertible traffic for reach on a third-party platform. Why not do both?
The Join Us page gives far too many options that may confuse first-time supporters who are just looking for a simple form (see Hick’s Law).
Importantly, every page on ElizabethWarren.com has an email capture in the footer:
I didn’t get any sort of confirmation email from the Warren campaign, but I did get an immediate text message:
I responded with an issue I know she has a plan for – what doesn’t she have a plan for? – to see if it triggered a custom message, but instead, I got a generic link to an events page. I was able to enter my ZIP code and see a number of community-organized events upcoming. The campaign also gives their text messages a personal touch:
About two hours after I signed up, I received this welcome email:
The lack of an immediate confirmation email is a missed opportunity to drive a newly interested supporter higher on the campaign’s engagement ladder.
I have another email address subscribed to her campaign’s email list, so I am able to see that the Warren team intersperses engagement and activation content. I’m personally impressed with how well geo-targeted the emails are, like this one, which is inviting me to an event in Washington, D.C.
The Warren campaign also places an emphasis on design in their emails, like this one, promoting her current contest.
The Warren campaign, like all of the campaigns, focused on donations and she’s promoting a number of donation ads, including her contest promotion.
She is also running ads around issues, namely Medicare for All and Student Loan Debt Forgiveness. All of the ads direct supporters to a customized landing page with a call to action.
After they complete it, they’re redirected to a donation page, but the donation page doesn’t have any mention of the issue the supporter is acting on, so it’s a missed opportunity.
Although the campaign is advertising on Google, the ad experience doesn’t drive supporters to a specific call to action. It simply routes them to their usual webpage.
- ElizabethWarren.com is very easy to locate on Google, but the ads don’t provide a customized call to action.
- The website takes a long time to load because video and image assets aren’t being compressed properly which is likely costing the campaign conversions and could negatively impact their ranking on Google Search for other keywords.
- The homepage has a clear call to action, but the heavy focus on donations – multiple calls to action throughout the website – overshadow the email capture.
- Despite unique engagement on SMS, there’s no automated email workflow triggered by a new signup.
- I remain very impressed with the Warren campaigns’ emphasis on driving supporters further along the engagement ladder when they do enter the conversion funnel.
- There are lots of missed opportunity for converting traffic by sending supporters to Medium.
Grade (as of 6/17/19): B-
With some basic, minor technical improvements the Warren campaign would earn a much better score. I also think the campaign would do well to let their very engaging conversion funnel shine by paring back the heavy emphasis on fundraising.
I realize campaigns are hard work and I’ve got lots of admiration for the men and women in the arena, so if you’re from the campaign and reading this and think I’ve gotten something wrong, just drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org