Today I’m going to show you how Linear used The Wedge Method to boost conversion rates (1647.03%) for a SaaS client trying to schedule more demos.
Then, I’ll break down the process we used step-by-step, including a bonus example from another lead gen company that replicated this conversion optimization technique.
Let’s jump in!
The Conversion Path Problem Requiring a Creative Lead Generation Solution
Did COVID-19 change some of your 2020 plans? 🙋
It did for CoachCare — a leading remote patient monitoring (RPM) and virtual health solutions provider.
After COVID wiped out in-person events, they knew they’d have to embrace digital channels to stay in front of their audience.
Compared to pre-pandemic years, customer preference for digital interactions skyrocketed – a trend unlikely to change for most businesses (Source)
CoachCare needed to improve and expand its online advertising to keep generating leads.
After several initial wins, we hit a roadblock.
You’ll probably relate to a few of the problems we ran into.
3 (Relatable) Obstacles Stunting Landing Page Conversions
A campaign designed to increase demo requests for CoachCare’s RPM software had some unexpected (and frustrating) results.
The conversion rate? 1.01% 👎
Original RPM landing page & thank you page with ‘Reserve A Demo Now’ CTA + request form.
Even worse, that conversion rate came with:
- An extremely high CPA (>$400 😵)
- More than a few unqualified leads
- A sales closing ratio that couldn’t justify that cost long term
We needed to optimize quickly to ensure a good return on ad spend (ROAS).
But we identified a few obstacles:
🚧 Obstacle 1: The Service Type
Ironically, the pandemic that initially created obstacles for CoachCare also made telehealth more relevant (billions of dollars more, according to some experts).
But selling in a growing industry and B2B space comes with a unique set of challenges.
This includes a longer, more expensive sales cycle and an influx of competitors vying for the attention of a niche RPM audience.
And, like many, our budget only stretched so far. Ad campaigns focused on booking demos struggled without pre-existing top-funnel traffic.
🚧 Obstacle 2: The Traffic Source
Remember the competition? For us, it meant expensive costs-per-click (CPC) on high-intent Google Adwords Search keywords.
We had to opt for less expensive but colder Facebook traffic.
The new marketing funnel required to make B2B Facebook ads successful had a few limitations. I’ll cover more detail on this in the step-by-step section.
Dive in: Want specifics on creating successful B2B Facebook ads and marketing funnels? Get more in:
🚧 Obstacle 3: The Offer
A free demo is a typical low-funnel offer for SaaS and tech-enabled businesses.
However, a CTA asking users to book demos was too high-commitment for our cold Facebook audience.
Maybe sometimes you just have to pay more to get good results… 🤷♂️
… or do you?
A solution in disguise!?
We created a solution that doesn’t require changing the traffic source, goal (e.g., demos), or creating retargeting campaigns.
And it worked!
Wedge Method Results: 1647% Conversion Uplift
Using our new technique, we multiplied conversions over 17x.
That’s a 1647.03% conversion uplift.
Conversion Rate Uplift
This isn’t just a day-old A/B test fluffed together to impress you. 😉
It’s significant data collected over 4 months, so that you can be confident in our process should you implement it yourself.
Here’s the final optimized page + thank you page using the wedge technique:
After 4 months, the demo CTA converted at 17.56% (a massive improvement from 1.01%)
The Wedge Offer was so successful that we canceled the original campaign as soon as we could.
But why the massive improvement?
Why Does the Wedge Method Work?
Ultimately, the Wedge Method is a campaign optimization technique. It drives high-value conversions ‘wedged’ within a low-friction conversion path.
The method employs a psychological principle called the foot-in-the-door phenomenon.
Foot-in-the-door demonstrates that you can increase compliance by having someone agree to a modest request right before asking for a more significant one.
The Wedge Method does the same for a conversion funnel.
- First, ad traffic clicks to a landing page that features an offer matching their funnel stage (e.g., free RPM eBook download).
- Then, immediately after those new leads land on the thank you page, they see a higher-commitment CTA for the target offer (e.g., CoachCare’s primary conversion goal: demos).
The landing page offer warms users up for the target conversion; the thank you page CTA drives leads to convert.
Matching our lead magnet offer to the correct marketing funnel stage increased RPM eBook downloads dramatically.
But more importantly, the wedge technique improved the conversion rate for demo requests, with a lower CPA than the original campaign.
But enough of our results. Here’s how you can replicate the Wedge Method yourself.
Dive in: Curious about other ways to optimize your landing pages? Get more in:
How to Optimize Your Conversion Path Using Wedge Offers (A 5-Step Method)
Here are the 5 steps of The Wedge Method:
Step 1: Understand your conversion funnel
Step 2: Find the high-friction points causing users to bounce
Step 3: Use a lead magnet to drive your wedge offer
Step 4: Position the wedge in your conversion path
Step 5: Track target conversions and results
It’s time to spill the tea on this technique. ☕
Step #1: Map Your Conversion Funnel
🥅 The Goal: Identify a target conversion in your funnel that has the most value potential
Ever have a pipe burst?
Your little bucket will only save you for so long.
Eventually, you’ll have to get into the walls and fix your leak at the source.
But before you start smashing through drywall, take a step back and look at some blueprints.
For the Wedge Method, the blueprint is your conversion funnel.
Not just imaginary! Your business has one already.
A conversion funnel illustrates how users interact with your website–from your traffic source to the final conversion.
The purpose of a conversion funnel is to build enough interest and trust with site visitors that they purchase, sign-up, or move into an offline sales process.
In this first step, pay attention to conversions that have the most potential to drive value for your business, particularly those BOFU offers.
Break Down Your Conversion Funnel into Conversion Paths
Think of a conversion path like a bite-sized piece of your conversion funnel.
Instead of looking at every interaction, a conversion path focuses on the small steps required to move a website visitor forward one funnel stage at a time.
Specifically, a conversion path works by offering content to users in exchange for a tidbit of their info.
So the next time you give away your email to download an eBook or register for a webinar online, congrats! You just took a nice little ride across a conversion path.
Enjoy the freebie offer!
The Wedge Method builds off this principle. Instead of requiring one path per funnel stage, the wedge will move users across two, shortening the overall conversion funnel.
The conversion paths primed for the Wedge Method will include three parts: marketing traffic, landing page, and conversion.
1: Marketing Traffic
What is your traffic source?
Traffic sources could include anything from a link on Google’s search results page, an organic post on Reddit, or a Facebook Ad. It just depends on how your business does its digital marketing.
You can see which channels send the most traffic to your website using the Acquisition report in Google Analytics.
Find the report under Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels or Source/Medium
Acquisition will also report any purchase, behavior, or conversion data associated with each channel (e.g., paid social, organic search, email) or source (e.g., facebook.com, google, yahoo).
2: Landing Page
Where do you send traffic?
If you’re operating a business, hopefully, you say “a landing page!”
More specifically, note:
- Your core offers
- Landing pages
- On-page elements like forms, surveys, opt-in boxes, calendar links, add-to-cart buttons, countdown timers
Our focus for CoachCare was the performance of their Remote Patient Monitoring landing page with the free demo offer.
Lastly, organize your offers by conversion funnel stage.
For example, conversion paths that generate interest from cold ad traffic should deliver awareness-level content (using a guide, tutorial, or checklist).
Don’t worry too much about if your offer ‘fits’ the funnel staging yet. We’ll deal with that in step #2.
How do users convert on these pages?
List the macro conversion (your goal or target) and micro conversions (any conversion contributing to the target conversion).
With Coachcare, a demo form submission was the last digital touchpoint in the conversion funnel. That was the macro conversion.
Other target conversions could be order completion, paid subscription sign-up, app download, or a phone call.
A micro conversion for their conversion path was submitting an email.
Finally, list the follow-up pages for each conversion event. For example, a purchase confirmation page or thank you page with a download link to the lead magnet.
Step #2: Identify any Friction Killing Your Conversions
🥅 The Goal: Pinpoint where user’s drop out of your conversion funnel
In the first step, you should have mapped out your conversion funnel and any high-value conversion paths.
The second step to The Wedge Method is to identify which step(s) in that funnel interfere with conversions.
Notably, high-friction elements in your ads, offers, landing pages, CTAs, or thank you pages. These points make the journey from user to lead and lead to customer irritating for your audience.
Don’t fret. There are issues with every new ‘product.’ Like these hiking boots:
Ever get a blister? The cause: a hotspot. Ouch.
Inevitably, your conversion path includes “hotspots” you didn’t anticipate.
To find hotspots that you can smooth over with the Wedge Method:
1: Perform a CRO Audit
First, you must get a high-level view of your entire conversion funnel.
A CRO Audit collects and organizes web analytics and conversion data to reveal ‘leaks’ in your conversion funnel.
It looks at your entire conversion cycle — not just landing pages — so you know why users leave your website prematurely. Even better? The audit also suggests how to fix those leaks.
Dive in: Follow Linear’s CRO Audit process using the 39-point CRO Audit guide for 2021.
If this step seems overwhelming, consider requesting a full CRO Audit from an expert. They’re trained to analyze that data and make the best recommendations. At Linear, we do a CRO Audit for our clients before starting PPC or CRO work.
2: Fix Basic Errors
The wedge method won’t be as impactful as it could be if there are major conversion leaks you need to take care of first.
See all those yummy insights from your CRO audit?
It’s time to tackle the ‘low-hanging fruit,’ like:
- Ad traffic leading to 401 error pages
- Broken links or buttons
- Misapplied conversion tracking
- A confusing ad, landing page, or thank you page design
- Rookie mistakes with landing page copy, including grammar and spelling
- The cardinal sin: sending paid ad clicks to home pages instead of landing pages
These opportunities will often be high-impact but low-effort.
Then, after fixing the basic stuff, you can, of course, use the wedge method and continue optimizing your landing pages concurrently.
3: Check Drop-off Points
Great! You have a big-picture view of your conversion funnel and a handle on basic errors.
Now you can narrow in on conversion paths the wedge method can improve.
Look for landing pages with decent traffic volume but unusually low conversion rates. A large CPA will often follow these two flags.
It means users are getting stuck somewhere on your landing page.
In the original conversion path for CoachCare’s RPM landing page, users clicked on the ad but either left the page or (rarely) submitted the form.
That data suggested problems with the form or offer — users weren’t ready for a demo.
4: Flag Mismatches Between Traffic and the Offer
Look for conversion paths where the landing page offer or CTA are much higher commitment than the ‘temperature’ of your audience.
Compare the offer to:
- The CTA from the ad or traffic source
- The funnel stage of your traffic
When you mapped your conversion funnel, you listed all your offers and noted which funnel stage they belonged to.
Apply the wedge method to a conversion path where the offer is much higher-commitment than the audience’s temperature.
For example, CoachCare’s original conversion path offered a free 15-minute live demo of their RPM software: a bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) offer.
The RPM conversion path’s traffic, on the other hand, was TOFU or MOFU at best.
Bonus Tip: Find a Conversion Path with a Low-value Conversion
This mini-step is for those who are asking too little instead of asking too much with their offers.
Identify conversion paths that get lots of good engagement but don’t lead to revenue-generating behavior.
For example, any conversion path that pushes a mid-funnel offer generates many emails or form submissions.
If this is you, it may be time to introduce a little more friction into your piping-hot audience. Step #4 covers this in-depth.
Step #3: Use a Compelling Lead Magnet to Drive Your Wedge Offer
🥅 The Goal: Adjust your lead magnet offer to support the target conversion
So far, you should have:
- A conversion path with a high-friction point (because of traffic-offer mismatch on the landing page)
- A high-value target conversion that includes a high-commitment CTA (Hint: this is your wedge offer)
In Step #3, we’ll smooth the transition between your traffic source (e.g., Facebook Ads) and your landing page.
1: Find an Existing Content Offer that Matches Traffic Temperature
Substitute your current offer for one that matches the commitment level and funnel stage of your traffic audience.
For example, CoachCare had an existing campaign offer for an in-depth RPM eBook. User’s accessed the content in exchange for their email.
WARNING: The new lead magnet must be lower-commitment than your target conversion. The wedge method will not work if your content offer is for the same or higher-commitment funnel stage.
For example, if your target conversion is registering for a webinar, don’t offer a demo video or free product trial as your content offer.
2: Design a Landing Page for New Offer
In addition to conversion-friendly design, make sure the landing page copy, headlines, CTA, and messaging match your new content offer. For example, we changed the “book a 15-minute demo” CTA to “Get my free guide now.”
Dive in: Get an in-depth landing page resource in:
3: Match Your Ad campaign and CTA to New Offer
And of course, don’t forget to change your ads to match the new lead magnet.
Because we chose content that promoted the same product, the only thing that changed on Facebook Ads was the CTA and copy.
Step #4: Position Your Wedge Offer Within the Conversion Path
🥅 The Goal: Bridge the gap between your lead magnet and the wedge offer.
You’ve adjusted your content offer, ads, and landing page to fit the traffic temperature.
Don’t stop there! Here’s why this last step is the most important one.
Consider CoachCare’s situation: we could have just changed their conversion goal to fit a TOFU audience and generate more leads.
But, the leads would have a lower conversion value.
And, CoachCare would have to launch more campaigns to move leads down each next funnel stage before reaching their primary goal: demo requests.
So here’s the solution:
1: Wedge Your Target Offer on The Thank You Page
By ‘wedging’ a high-value offer on the thank you page, we maximized demo conversions without the need for additional retargeting campaigns.
Effectively, ‘shortening’ the marketing funnel.
Just don’t forget to include the link to access your first lead magnet if you need one. 🙃
2: Blend The Offer Into The Conversion Path
Of course, your leads aren’t idiots… which means you can’t expect them to convert on your new offer just because it’s there on the thank you page.
You have to position the offer to fit the rest of the user journey.
Imagine I added a countdown timer to promote a wedge offer (a discount). The thank you page would suddenly feel out of sync with landing page messaging for “Get peace of mind.”
So look at your ads, landing page, and messaging. How are all these elements related to your wedge offer? Make it fit that common story.
We positioned CoachCare’s wedge offer by focusing on how demos could help personalize their RPM startup process.
Users were encouraged to opt-in immediately with a scarcity message for limited expert appointments.
Finally, add one or two elements to your landing page and thank you page that help you qualify the leads. Forms can help you out here.
This form on Coachcare’s landing page was low-friction. However, it still focused on clinics with existing patients interested in adding RPM to their business.
Step #5: Track Your Performance
🥅 The Goal: Maintain a clear picture of your CRO work.
Since this is a case study, I’ll save these details for one of our in-depth articles.
I’ll just leave these three notes.
- Focus on ROAS & CPA
Don’t worry about vanity metrics; determine if the wedge works for you by focusing on the return for your business.
We like to focus on CPA and ROAS. These two metrics tell the whole performance story. For example, they consider lead qualification before calculating value.
- Make it simple: look for existing conversion paths
Trying to find a Wedge Method opportunity? In most cases, you’ll have a high friction offer established that you’re already testing.
For the trial case, start by optimizing that one funnel. Just compare how the Wedge Method conversion path performs compared to your current funnel’s results.
- Commit to CRO if you haven’t already
Problems like the one we solved with the Wedge Method require insight and control from first click to final sale.
That’s why Linear helps our clients with PPC and CRO work: so we can address the whole conversion funnel.
First steps? Set up conversion tracking in Google Analytics and get a CRO audit. It’ll save headaches later.
Later, keep measuring and refining these pages. CRO makes all the effort and money invested in digital marketing worth it.
Dive in: New to CRO? Get more in:
BONUS: Using The Wedge Method to Increase Digital Course Sales
If you’re wondering if the wedge method works with a different type of business, this example is for you. 😎
I’ll walk you through how we applied the Wedge Method to another client, Audible Genius.
Audible Genius has a virtual product called Building Blocks, a music theory & composition course for DAW-based music Makers.
We successfully used the Wedge method to increase purchase requests.
The conversion rate? 39.73%
And we used the same Wedge Method steps to do it:
1. Conversion Flow
Originally, Audible Genius asked us to create ads and landing pages designed to increase sign-ups for a 3-day trial of their course.
The conversion path included Facebook ads with a mid-funnel CTA, the 3-day trial offer + landing page, and thank you page.
While free trials are a great mid-funnel offer, we wondered how much ad spend we’d use retargeting user’s who were already interested in Audible Genius’ complete package.
We were confident we could condense their conversion funnel using the Wedge Method.
3. Lead Magnet
The three-day trial was already a great lead magnet that fit their paid traffic source.
So we talked to the client and designed a new conversion path to optimize for a higher-value conversion goal: their complete course.
We could also test the wedge before wasting ad spend on direct low-funnel offers.
4. Wedge Position
Instead of a direct “Buy Now” CTA, we positioned our wedge offer directly below the thank you page message. A button with the CTA “Extend Your Access.”
We also included a countdown timer above the button with the text “Your Trial Will Expire in 72 Hours.”
Sign up → Email Link to Trial → End of 3-day Trial Countdown + Extend Your Acces CTA
The timer added urgency to the wedge offer while remaining consistent with the conversion path. After all, the lead magnet had an actual expiration date.
Seeing the Wedge Method succeed for Audible Genius taught us something important: it can also apply to existing low-friction conversion paths.
If you have more value further down your conversion funnel, you can test the wedge method to get more out of leads generated in earlier conversion paths.
If you’re having trouble with a PPC funnel or converting on a high-friction offer, consider using The Wedge Method.
We saw some stellar results with our clients (1647.03% conversion lift!) but seriously, don’t believe everything you hear…
You deserve evidence-based testing personalized to your company.
So go test it out yourself, or give us a shout, and we’ll optimize your landing pages for you.