Kamala Harris is enjoying a bump in the polls thanks to her performance in the Democrat presidential primary debate. In this week’s conversion funnel teardown we’ll see how well she’s capitalizing on this boost in attention.
Despite a standout visual design, Harris’ campaign website has the most generic conversion funnel I’ve reviewed so far.
- 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?
Earlier Teardowns in this Series
First-time visitors to KamalaHarris.org are greeted with this prestitial which makes clear the campaign’s number one online focus is raising money. On one hand, it makes sense to capture the influx of attention following the debate and a bump in the polls and convert it into the donations needed to continue into the primary. But by narrowing her conversion funnel so early, her team is missing out on capturing attention from potential supporters just getting awareness about Harris – an accomplishment in itself in this crowded field.
On a desktop, if a user clicks the close button or decides to continue through to the homepage, they’re forced to watch this animated transition that, for me, took four seconds to complete, which is an eternity when you learn that 47% of users expect a website to load in two seconds or less.
The Harris campaign could more than double their conversion rate on the homepage by getting rid of this animation. I’m astonished that they don’t do it immediately.
None of the campaign’s subpages, like the About page (“Meet Kamala”) or the Issues page (“Our America”) have email capture. The only call to action is to donate. By excluding people who are just learning about the campaign from entering the conversion funnel, they’re missing out on capturing email addresses of potential donors.
After signing up on the homepage, I got a standard welcome email with links to social media, donate, and the store. The usual campaign emails she sends are standard fare with mostly fundraising asks and some engagement emails.
The Harris campaign is investing in Facebook ads inviting supporters to join their campaign, again, pretty standard fare. For the most part, Harris’ ads are focused on the message of electability and performance in the polls:
I was surprised not to see any ideologically driven petitions or messages in her ads given the positions Harris has staked out in this campaign.
Also worth noting, is the Harris campaign is paying to promote third party news coverage of her campaign into Iowa. It may be the only way to cut through a crowded field, but those are dollars not going into the campaign’s conversion funnel.
On Google, Harris’ team have been pouring in resources on Google leading up to the debate, suggesting a major source of revenue:
Overall, the Harris campaign’s landing pages are mostly generic without much customization to the message. But one thing that jumps out to me is the usage of Google’s reCAPTCHA to prevent spam and other types of abuse. When visiting a landing page via Facebook, here’s the challenge I had to complete:
This is a potentially expensive step to include in their conversion process and it might be the first time I’ve ever seen reCAPTCHA used on a political website like this.
- The website’s opening animation for desktop visitors wastes precious seconds of attention, meaning the campaign is missing out on conversions.
- The emphasis on donations at the exclusion of other types of conversions is another missed opportunity to capture email addresses of potential donors.
- The campaign is going through all of the right motions with advertising on Facebook and Google, but there’s not much attention to detail on customizing calls to action or landing pages.
- I didn’t get the sense that supporters are being encouraged along an engagement ladder. With the Harris campaign online, it’s either donate or nothing.
Grade (as of 7/8/19): D+
The Harris campaign earns a passing grade for having all of the right components of her conversion funnel in place, but loses significant points for a failure to optimize the conversion funnel or expand opportunities for conversions beyond donations.
The campaign would jump up two full letter grades by eliminating the opening animation and removing the reCAPTCHA script.
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: email@example.com