Jon Powell

Lead Generation: Simple text change leads to 104% lead capture increase

August 28th, 2014

About a year ago, I remember a conversation I had with Arkadi, a fellow reader of the MarketingExperiments Journal. We were talking about the potential of doing some research together on one of his websites, Ecolinewindows.ca.

As part of that conversation, we were working on an ROI scenario, and we came to a point where it was necessary to figure out just how much opportunity there was to make improvements (while simultaneously understanding the customer ontology).

We started with his homepage:

homepage-control

 

Now typically in a process like this, one would look at a page in the live optimization style, mentally compare it to everything they’ve seen in the space, and record a number of recommendations and priorities to focus on.

In this case, I didn’t.

Instead, before making any recommendations, I took a glance at the page and asked him one question: “How are people getting to this page?”

He proceeded to give me the breakdown.

In that breakdown, I noticed something peculiar. His direct type-in traffic was unusually high, insomuch that I felt I needed to probe further.

“Are you running any large-scale offline campaigns, like ads or television?” I asked. “Why are so many people typing in your Web address?”

He then revealed that he had been running a direct mail campaign for some time, but that was the only campaign he could remember that fit my criteria.

Shortly thereafter our time ran out, so I asked him to send me a screenshot of his direct mail marketing collateral, along with some other materials, and scheduled a follow-up call late in the following week to continue our discussion.

This is what he sent:

direct-mail-piece

 

At this point, I had a hypothesis.

Could it be possible that the majority of his direct type-in traffic was coming from this postcard? If so, what would be the effect of increasing postcard-to-website continuity? Should he adjust his postcards to direct traffic to a microsite, or would simple changes on his existing homepage be enough to make a difference?

The next week came, and I was prepared for the call. But to my surprise, Arkadi came with some unexpected news.

“Guess what?” he said. “I was able to double my conversion rate!”

direct-mail-test-results

 

“Great!” I said. “How?”

That’s when he showed me his treatment:

homepage-treatment

 

See the difference? (Compare his new headline to his direct-mail copy.)

Arkadi had the same hypothesis about his homepage, and out of that hypothesis came a simple test: What effect would direct mail copy in his homepage’s headline have on his website’s lead generation rate, both when it came to calls and Web form submissions?

With one bold, courageous stroke, he put his hypothesis to the test.

The result: A statistically significant increase in both qualified calls and Web form submissions (I viewed the data firsthand and certified it).

What was the greatest takeaway from this increase?

For me, it wasn’t so much about confirming our hypothesis about channel-to-website continuity or even exploring the impact of connecting offline and online. Instead, it was moreso about understanding the power of the simple process that brought us to our conclusion.

That same, simple and powerful process also created the winning treatment in this case study:

From this:

headline-test-control

 

To this:

headline-test-treatment

 

Here are the results of that test:

headline-test-results

 

My advice?

Before you assess for changes, assess for customer motivations. Take the time, find out what it is that they’re looking for, why they care, and connect it with what you already have.

 

You might also like

A/B Testing: How a landing page test yielded a 6% increase in leads [MarketingSherpa case study]

New Chart: Direct mail rated as an effective tactic by many B2B organizations [MarketingSherpa Chart of the Week]

Landing Page Testing and Optimization: How Intuit grew revenue per visitor 23% [MarketingSherpa case study]

Marketing Concepts: 3 telltale signs your homepage is not customer-focused [More from the blogs]

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Categories: Lead Generation Tags: , , , ,

Paul Cheney

Subscription Checkouts Optimized: How experimentation led to compounding gains at the revenue level

August 25th, 2014

Subscriptions have been the lifeblood of almost every media publication since the conception of the industry.

But imagine for a moment that you were trying to subscribe to your favorite newspaper and you were presented with something that looked like the page below.

 

Experiment #1. Reworking disconnected, confusing pages

checkout-test-control

 

This was the first step in the checkout process for  subscribing to a large media publication. 

Editor’s Note: To protect their competitive advantage, we have blurred their identity.

Once a customer entered their ZIP code to determine whether this publication could be delivered to their area, they were taken to this page. Put yourself in the mind of the customer and think about how this page would have been received.

That is precisely what the marketing team did. What they saw was a very disconnected page that gave the customer almost no reassurance that they were still buying from the well-known media publication.

  • The publication logo was almost entirely missing from the page.
  • The colors on the page did not match the brand of the company.
  • The two levels of navigation at the top of the page provided multiple opportunities to click away.
  • The entire process seemed complicated to the customer.

Though there were a number of things the team wanted to change on this page, they needed a new page that changed only a few elements. Every day this page was live on the site, the publication was losing potential revenue from customers finding the process too difficult to complete. A long, arduous Web redesign was not an option. They needed to recover some of that revenue as fast as possible.

So the team ran an experimental treatment in an online test that they thought would require the least amount of time and resources and still achieve a high return on investment. The treatment is displayed below.

checkout-test-treatment

Read more…

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Selena Blue

Lead Generation: How one company increased leads 96% by changing the presentation of incentive content

August 21st, 2014

A common way to gain lead information is by offering free content, such as a white paper or guide.

But if it’s free, why don’t we have 100% lead capture rates?

Why do prospects provide their information for one PDF guide, but not for another?

The answer may not be in the incentive itself, but rather, in how you’re presenting it.

Last week, I had the pleasure of joining Jon Powell, Senior Manager, Research and Strategy, MECLABS, on the MarketingExperiments monthly Web clinic, “Leveraging Content to Generate Leads: 3 simple tactics one company used to generate a 96% increase in leads.”

We discussed an interesting case study where one B2B company generated a 96% increase in leads by simply altering how a piece of content was presented to its customers.

Today, we’ll review the highlights of that experiment.

 

Background: A B2B company selling thermal image cameras.

Goal: To generate more leads.

Research Question: Which landing page will generate the most leads?

Test Design: A/B variable cluster, radical redesign split test

 

Control

content-experiment-control

 

Our researchers hypothesized an uneven value exchange existed on the control and prevented a higher form completion rate. The page asked for more cost (form fields) than it provided in value.

The headline and copy contained company-centric messaging rather than focusing on the benefits visitors would receive.

 

Treatment 

With the treatment, the team wanted to increase the value exchange by clarifying the value of the current offer, as well as reduce friction.

To lower the cost portion of the value exchange, the number of form fields was reduced. To increase value, the headline and page copy focused on customer benefits. Value was added in the instructions of the form as well. The image also more effectively showed the product in use.

 

Results 

content-experiment-results

 

Clickthrough to submit the form increased 95.8% with a 99% level of confidence.

  Read more…

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Daniel Burstein

Landing Page Optimization: 5 factors that lead to (and prevent) conversion

August 18th, 2014

Anytime we share research about overall conversion rate benchmarks, I give the same caveat – while it’s helpful to understand conversion rates for your peers, the bigger question you must ask yourself is how to improve conversion rates on your own landing pages and in your own funnels.

 

Is there a methodical way to increase conversion?

While marketing has tended to be dominated by the marketer with the “golden gut” or the star direct response copywriter, other disciplines in the enterprise – from manufacturing to IT – have developed methodological processes to improve quality and consistency.

The MECLABS Conversion Sequence Heuristic is an attempt to bring the same discipline, rigor and sustainable success to the marketing department. It is part of a patented repeatable methodology (patent number 8,155,995) developed by Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS (parent company of MarketingExperiments), based on years of testing and research of real product and service offers presented to real customers.

conversion-sequence-heuristic

 

For long-time MarketingExperiments readers, you might be very familiar with the Conversion Sequence Heuristic and have, hopefully, been using it to improve conversion in your own tests. (If so, let me know. We’d love to share those results to inspire other marketers.)

But since the Conversion Sequence Heuristic helps more new marketers discovering it for the first time every year, it helps to occasionally revisit this fundamental approach to marketing every now and again.

Read on for a cursory look at the factors that affect conversion, and if you’d like a more in-depth understanding of how you can apply this heuristic to your own landing pages and marketing efforts, you can take the Landing Page Optimization Online Course.

 

Probability of conversion

The Conversion Sequence Heuristic is not an equation to solve. Rather, it is a heuristic, or thought tool (i.e., really cool checklist) to use as you work on landing pages and other marketing offers.

You can never guarantee conversion, but by making (sometimes subtle) changes to the right areas, you can increase the probability of conversion. This heuristic helps you identify those key areas.

 

Motivation of user

The numbers in front of the different elements of the heuristic indicate how much they impact the probability of conversion. All of the elements are not equal.

The motivation of the user is the single most important factor affecting conversion.

To see why, let me give you a simple example using myself as the customer. I am a huge Pearl Jam fan. If Pearl Jam came to Jacksonville, Fla., I would find a way to be at the concert, even if their ticket selling process, sales funnel and landing page were not optimized. I am highly motivated.

The motivation of the user is also the only element of the Conversion Sequence Heuristic that you cannot change. It is intrinsic in your potential customers.

You can, however, gain an understanding of your potential customers’ motivations to better tap into those natural motivations and better serve your ideal customers while improving conversion.

Read more…

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David Kirkpatrick

Marketing Analytics: Show your work

August 14th, 2014

Data handling and analytics can sometimes offer shocking results, as global B2B company National Instruments discovered after a surprising decrease in an email campaign’s conversion rate.

 

Key Obstacle: Concern about the new numbers

“When I first saw the number change, I was a bit freaked out,” said Stephanie Logerot, Database Marketing Specialist, National Instruments.

Stephanie, as a strategist, felt her greatest challenge was communicating the new way of looking at the data to National Instruments’ stakeholders outside of the database marketing team. This meant making certain everyone understood why the numbers dropped after implementing the new, more stringent data criteria.

 

A little background

A recent MarketingSherpa Email Marketing case study– “Marketing Analytics: How a drip email campaign transformed National Instruments’ data management” – detailed this marketing analytics challenge at National Instruments.

The data challenge arose from a drip email campaign set around its signature product.

The campaign was beta tested in some of National Instruments’ key markets: United States, United Kingdom and India. After the beta test was completed, the program rolled out globally.

The data issue came up when the team looked into the conversion metrics.

The beta test converted at 8%, the global rollout at 5%, and when a new analyst came in to parse the same data sets without any documentation on how the 5% figure was determined, the conversion rate dropped to 2%.

While interviewing the team for the case study, as what often happens in these detailed discussions, I ended up some great material that didn’t make it into the case study and wanted to share that material with you.

 

The team

For the case study, I interviewed Ellen Watkins, Manager, Global Database Marketing Programs, Stephanie, the database marketing specialist, and Jordan Hefton, Global Database Marketing Analyst, all of National Instruments at the time. Jordan was the new analyst who calculated the 2% conversion rate.

In this MarketingExperiments Blog post, you’ll learn how the team dealt with the surprising drop in conversion, and how they communicated why data management and analytics was going to be held to a new standard going forward.

The team overcame this obstacle with a little internal marketing.

Read more…

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Daniel Burstein

Email Marketing: Does your copywriting accomplish these 6 key objectives?

August 11th, 2014

When writing an email message, it’s easy to break the goal down to one thing – just trying to write compelling enough copy to get a click.

But how do you actually earn that click?

If you really want to optimize your email marketing, you have to think like the customer and walk through the cognitive process that potential customers subconsciously go through when interacting with your email.

To achieve that click, your email copy must accomplish these six key objectives.

6-objectives-email

 

Objective #1. Arrest attention

Once you’ve captured an email subscriber, and gotten them to open the email, the next thing you have to do is stop them.

Basically, you need to stop them from quickly deleting. Stop them in their tracks to an extent.

By stopping them and grabbing their attention, you’re buying a few moments of their time to make a case for your conversion goal.

You can arrest their attention with a striking visual (although, with image blocking technology in many email readers, this can be reduced to a big blank space with a little red X) or a compelling headline.

Our testing suggests two effective strategies for writing a compelling headline.

email-headline-test

The first is making a promise. For example, this headline was one element of an email that increased conversion 181% (the headline has been anonymized). 

email-headline-test2

The second is identifying a problem. For example, this headline was one of the elements that generated a 75% higher clickthrough rate.

 

 

Objective #2. Build a connection

At this point, you’ve basically shouted, “Hey!” and stopped the prospect in their tracks.

Now you must build a connection with that prospect. You can start by bridging the gap between the headline or visual that caught their attention, and something that is meaningful to their lives.

This is why it is so important not to overpromise or mislead with a headline. If you’ve caught their attention but failed to connect with the prospect, you have only alienated him.

Read more…

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