Andrea Johnson

Understanding Your Customer’s Story: How one company increased conversion 104% by identifying motivation

May 21st, 2015

Every time someone wants to buy something from your brand, there’s a story that explains why they want what you’re selling. Identifying that story is key to making the sale.

How do we know this is true? Because when we know someone’s story, we know their motivation. If someone is highly motivated to get a solution, they’ll put up with almost anything — a poorly written email, a slow website or even a convoluted sales flow — to get it.

Consider this patented heuristic:

 

This isn’t a math formula. It’s a guide that MarketingExperiments and its parent company, MECLABS Institute, derived from analyzing tens of thousands of sales flows. This heuristic reflects what it takes to convert (C) a prospect into a customer and shows how the five variables — motivation (m), value (v), incentive (i), friction (f) and anxiety (a) — relate to each other. The numbers next to the variables identify how powerfully they affect conversion. Note that motivation is the most heavily weighted variable.

If formulas make your eyes cross, all you need to know is this: if a customer is highly motivated, none of the other elements (such as friction, anxiety or a poorly communicated value proposition) can stop them from moving forward in the sales process.

The most recent Web clinic looked at clues that revealed customers’ stories and, consequently, their motivation. Watch it and, within 30 minutes, you’ll get critical information that you can use immediately to drive an impressive lift in conversions.

Consider the experience, the second company outlined during the Web Clinic, of a Canadian window manufacturer who was a student of MarketingExperiments. He called on MECLABS to help him increase conversions from his online site.

 

The Control

 

The team immediately began to look for clues that would tell the customer story. The Web clinic outlines four basic questions that will help you do the same:

  1. Who are your customers?
  2. Where did they come from?
  3. What have they done?
  4. How do you expect them to proceed?

For the sake of this company’s experience, the focus will be on questions two to four.

 

Where did the customer come from?

The answer: In the case of the window manufacturer, the team received an important insight about customer motivation. The number of visitors coming directly to the home page was abnormally higher than any other channel.

That’s when the business owner revealed his extensive direct mail campaign that was driving people to his website.

This is what his direct mail looked like:

 

What have they done?

The answer: Customers received the direct mail campaign and were investigating its offers by going online.

Which brings us to the final question: How do we expect them to proceed?

The answer: Customers will want to find out about their three free upgrades advertised in the direct mail.

Here’s the conundrum: The control mentioned none of this. Realizing this, the business owner changed the homepage.

 

The Treatment 

 

The results were immediate. This new site increased conversions by 104%. Here are the specifics:

This is just one example of how it pays to take the time to learn your customer’s story. (Watch the Web clinic to learn about others.) We’ve learned over and over again that if you organize every bit of information you have about customers around the four questions, the path to a faster conversion will become more clear.

 

You can follow Andrea Johnson, Copywriter, MECLABS on Twitter @IdeastoWords.

 

You might also like

Watch HD video replays of full sessions from MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015 [From MarketingSherpa, sister company of MarketingExperiments]

MECLABS Online Optimization Course and MECLABS Online Testing Course [More on the Conversion Heuristic]

Analyzing Customer Motivation to Create Campaign Incentives that Resonate [More from MarketingSherpa]

Landing Page Optimization: 3 keys to increasing conversion rates [MarketingSherpa webinar replay]

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Categories: Analytics & Testing Tags: , , , , , ,

Daniel Burstein

Process-Level Value Proposition: How marketing can leverage the value it creates

May 18th, 2015

If I am your ideal prospect, why should I buy from you rather than your competitors?

This is the essential value proposition question, and many major business decisions must be made to truly discover and deliver on your company’s value proposition — from the CEO down to the intern.

But today, let’s focus on the small stuff to raise this question for you …

 

What minor changes can you make right now to deliver a better value for your customers?

Once you have the big stuff taken care of, once marketing has communicated (and sometimes even created) value, sometimes the little touches make all the difference. They are the tipping point to help your ideal customer decide to choose your product or service instead of your competitors’.

Let me give you an example.

 

Really, they’re more than just stickers

My wife and I needed to buy some Mother’s Day cards, so we stopped by Deerwood Village, a shopping center near our house. As soon as we swung into the parking lot, we were confronted with three choices right next to each other that all likely offer Mother’s Day cards:

  • Publix (a grocery store)
  • CVS (a drug store)
  • Hallmark Gold Crown store (a gift shop)

We decided to buy the cards at the Hallmark store, and a simple but profound thing happened at the checkout. The cashier handed us stickers.

But, they weren’t just stickers. They were a signifier.

When she was done ringing us up at the cash register, she said, “Wait. Let me give you some of these to put on the back of the envelopes.”

With that, she reached down and counted out four gold crown stickers.

  Read more…

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Kayla Cobb

How to Construct a Customer-Focused Remarketing Campaign

May 14th, 2015

To start, think of a consumer on your ecommerce site.

They scroll through the carefully selected featured content on your site. For some reason, something on the screen catches their eye, and they click through to one of your product pages. Their eyes rest on the framed image of your product and travel through the concise product description.

After a few seconds, their mouse hovers over that all-mighty CTA: “Add to Cart.” They click …

… and then they leave. Just like that, one of your customers has fallen out of the funnel, abandoning their cart as well as their possible transaction with your company.

Speaking as an editor at MECLABS Institute (MarketingExperiments’ parent company) and as a consumer for over 20 years, I feel comfortable saying that we customers are a fickle crowd. In the few minutes and steps it takes from adding a product to the cart to actually checking out, a million different things can happen to prevent purchase.

Marketers need to be ready to battle everything — from customer frustration with the purchase process to simple distraction.

Thankfully, an abandoned cart does not have to mean a lost transaction. A cart abandonment email campaign can be an excellent, though underutilized, way to reconnect with your lost customer and potentially make a purchase.

According to MarketingSherpa’s 2012 Email Marketing Benchmark Report, when asked what types of automated emails their organization deploys, surveyed marketers ranked “Shopping cart abandonment” as dead last at 11%. However, 51% of surveyed American adults found these emails to be helpful.

Here are three tips to help you save your next ecommerce sale.

 

Step #1. Make your checkout process simple and transparent

This first step is a little counterintuitive for this blog post, but it’s essential. In an ideal world, you would never need to utilize a cart abandonment campaign because your customer would never abandon their cart.

To cut down on the number of abandonments and create an easy and pleasant checkout experience, you need to keep seven things in mind:

  • Be upfront about shipping costs and information
  • Relieve customer anxiety (especially when it comes to secure payment methods)
  • Make checkout available to all customers, not just registered users
  • Continue to present value throughout the checkout process
  • Make the whole process quick and easy
  • Employ persistent carts

My colleague, Lauren Pitchford, Senior Research Manager, MECLABS Institute, wrote a great guide about creating the best checkout experience possible, which really explores these aforementioned ideas in-depth.

 

Step #2: Determine if a cart abandonment campaign is right for you

Like I mentioned before, this isn’t an ideal world, and customers are going to leave cart items. This is where a cart abandonment email campaign can really be beneficial.

These emails serve several purposes, two examples of which are:

  • Reminding customers about the wonderful merchandise they clicked away from
  • Serving as a point of communication between your brand and the consumer

But it’s important to remember that these campaigns aren’t an ecommerce panacea.

A recent Chart of the Week from MarketingSherpa (sister company to MarketingExperiments) explored what customers thought of cart abandonment remarketing.

 Q. What are your views of reminder emails that tell you when you have an item in your online shopping cart that has not yet been purchased?

Read more…

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Categories: Practical Application Tags: , , , ,

Shaniah McGlaughlin

How to Avoid Losing the Value of Your Value Proposition

When a customer comes to a page or an ad, one of the primary questions asked in their subconscious is, “If I am your ideal customer, why should I buy from you, rather than your competitor?

The answer to this question is, essentially, your value proposition.

However, what happens when you’ve formed a perfect value proposition, but it’s not giving you the results you wanted? You’ve filled out the worksheets, read all the articles on value proposition and followed all the rules you know. So, how is it that you’ve done everything, seemingly right, but it’s still not working?

For a quick example, let’s imagine for a moment that you’re reading through an online article. As you’re reading, you see the following advertisement on the side of the page with the caption, “Let’s look at the world a little differently.”


When we look at this ad, the first thing we see is the text in all caps; “Retired old man intercepted on his way out of the bank.” Below that is a confusing image of what looks like a diagram, followed by, at the very bottom of the page, what appears to be the value proposition: “Open happiness.”

The customer is left with the question: What can I do here?

Read more…

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Joey Taravella

The Power of a Specific Offer to a Specific Prospect

May 7th, 2015

Specificity converts. In marketing, there should be no such thing as a general message. The marketer communicates with an aim. This aim should dictate everything else we say. This aim should influence, even constrain, every word we say.

— Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director and CEO, MECLABS Institute

Specificity converts. A specific offer to a specific person will outperform a general offer to a general person.

This concept relates to a recent email test we ran with our MarketingSherpa audience and ran again (with a slight twist) with our MarketingExperiments audience.

First, in case you’re not familiar with MarketingSherpa, allow me to briefly explain our sister company.

MarketingSherpa’s content is geared toward exploring general marketing principles. This is also where companies and marketers can share specific marketing stories, such as Mellow Mushroom’s social media strategy and Red Bull’s content marketing advice.

Alternatively, the MarketingExperiments audience delves more specifically into the tactics of marketing strategy. MarketingExperiments is about specific tests that the reader can apply to their own marketing.

Now that you understand the difference in content related to the tested audiences, let’s get into the test itself.

 

The test

We tested an email invitation for a recent follow-up Web clinic MarketingSherpa hosted. The clinic’s objectives were to examine the results of a live optimized email test, which was run by the MarketingSherpa audience at Email Summit 2015 alongside Flint McGlaughlin.

The test consisted of two treatments:

  1. Treatment A focused on the Email Summit follow-up test, only mentioning live optimization from the MECLABS team.
  2. Treatment B switched the emphasis by focusing on the live optimization from the MECLABS team, only mentioning the Email Summit follow-up test.

In essence, both emails were an invite to the same Web clinic and messaged the same two offers, just with different expressions of focus.

 

Treatment A: Email Summit follow-up

Subject line: Does peer review work? See the results of the audience optimized email from the Email Summit 2015

Preheader: Plus live email optimization from the MECLABS research team. 

Read more…

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Categories: Analytics & Testing Tags: , , , ,

David Kirkpatrick

Landing Page Optimization: Conversion increased 37% by reducing copy

In a recently published case study, run in the MarketingSherpa B2C Newsletter, we focused on a broad search engine marketing (SEM) effort by 911 Restoration, a property disaster recovery business.

Paid search was an important element in that campaign, and testing and optimization on different elements also proved to be important to its success. Ten years after kicking off the focus on SEM, 90% of leads at 911 Restoration can be directly attributed to its SEO and PPC strategy and tactics.

This MarketingExperiments Blog post features one paid search test at 911 Restoration on its PPC landing pages. The test involved dramatically reducing the amount of copy on the landing page to discover how that impacted conversion, cost per acquisition and AdWords quality score.

 

Background

According to Miri Offir, Chief Marketing Officer, 911 Restoration, “The long copy was legacy content we inherited from the SEO team several months ago. After sending paid search clicks to these old long-copy pages for a few months, we decided to test shorter, more-focused copy against our long-copy control sites.”

She added, “We incorporated standard direct response, conversion-oriented copywriting heuristics to achieve this. Essentially, authoritative brevity was our goal because logically it followed that emergency oriented calls originated from users who did not want to read additional copy and instead only wanted a contact phone number.”

With the shorter landing page copy, the team expected an increase in leads generated due to a simplified user experience.

 

Control 

Read more…

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