Author Archive

Hidden Friction: The 7 Silent Killers of Conversion

August 15th, 2011 25 comments

Friction is one of the greatest obstacles to your conversion process, and though most marketers currently have some idea of what Friction is, many are only seeing half the picture.

When asking marketers to identify the Friction associated with a conversion process, the response is often very confident. Usually, the number of form fields on a page will be pointed out first, the number of steps in a process next, and occasionally a third comment might focus on the length of the individual pages themselves. The overall consensus from marketers is that if you can eliminate these simple elements, then you can eliminate Friction.

However, our research suggests that most of the Friction in a conversion process goes undetected. Further, this “hidden” Friction often is the most lethal to conversion. So, in this post I wanted to lay out 7 of the most undetected ways that Friction might be threatening your conversion rates. I have dubbed these The 7 Silent Killers of Conversion.

Read more…

Live Experiment (Part 2): Real testing is messy

June 10th, 2011 3 comments

As discussed in my last blog post, we reviewed how the marketing force of 200 marketers at Optimization Summit was utilized to design the following test:


Control (click to zoom)                              Treatment (click to zoom)

You can read the experiment details, how we got 200 marketers to agree, and few insightful reader comments in Wednesday’s post. In this second post now, as promised, we will look at the results and what insights might be gained from them. Read more…

Live Experiment (Part 1): How many marketers does it take to optimize a webpage?

June 8th, 2011 9 comments

Last week I had the privilege of being in the world’s tallest hotel in the Western Hemisphere, joined by over 200 other “nerdy” marketers, for what was the first-ever conference hosted by MECLABS on the topic of optimization and testing. Overall, it was a value-packed week.

But what I found most uniquely valuable about the Optimization Summit was a surprise live experiment in which the audience was asked to optimize and test a marketing campaign during the course of the conference. I had a backstage pass to what would become a thriller of an experiment, with many ups and downs, bends and turns. The only thing I could compare it to while in Atlanta was trying to hold two suitcases while free-standing on MARTA (which I successfully did by the way).

All in all, I learned a lot about testing in the process, and in the next two blog posts, I’d like to break out some of the key insights I walked away with. Read more…

This Just Tested: Stock images or real people?

April 8th, 2011 25 comments

In our most recent Web clinic on optimizing leads, we quickly reviewed a recent case study in which two banner images were tested – a generic stock image vs. an image of a real person. This experiment led to more insights than we had time to cover last week; so, I thought I’d give it a little more room to breathe here on the blog.

CONTROL: Who doesn’t love a generic smiling lady?

If you haven’t yet watched the Web clinic replay, the company (blurred intentionally) we were working with in this experiment was a consumer credit counseling service offering free debt consultation. Their homepage had been the focus of many previous radical redesign tests, but for the scope of this research project, we were focusing on one particular issue: The main banner image. Read more…

Marketing Intuition (Contest): Which email is more engaging?

February 9th, 2011 29 comments

If you have hung around this blog long enough, you know that we like to occasionally test and reward our audience’s
intuition. We do this by asking you to predict the outcome of a recent experiment from our labs. We might say we do it for the sake of science, but personally, I think we just enjoy stirring the pot. We have yet to reveal an experiment that the majority of our audience guessed correctly, yet some followers of this blog seem to have just a little more marketing genius than others.

So here we are again with a new experiment and a new opportunity for you to finally be recognized as the brilliant marketer that you are…. or weren’t last time. Read more…

How to Test Your Value Proposition Using a PPC Ad

January 19th, 2011 5 comments

Your Value Proposition is at the bottom of every decision made by every visitor for every action they make on your Website. And so when comparing the significance of this fundamental force of value with the transient nature of a PPC ad that has at most 130 characters, it might seem as if I am trying to put David on a seesaw with Goliath.

However, though seemingly small and comparatively insignificant, a PPC ad can provide an invaluable resource for marketers trying to identify and craft an effective Value Proposition. And like the rudder of a ship directs something 1000 times its size, I believe a PPC ad can inform the bedrock of all your marketing efforts, namely, your Value Proposition.

What exactly is a Value Proposition?

But before diving any deeper, we should get clear on what I actually mean by the term Value Proposition. At MarketingExperiments we define your Value Proposition as the answer you have to one simple question: Why should your ideal prospect buy from you rather than any of your competitors? So, your Value Proposition is not a catchy slogan or a detailed business plan, but rather a concise, clear, and credible answer to this question.

Seems simple, yet the answers we often receive from marketers are confusing, unappealing, braggadocios, vague, and sound just like the claims everyone else is making. So, how would you answer this question about your online offer? Can you state it clearly in about ten words or less? Take a minute and give it some thought…

We will teach more on the aspects of a good Value Proposition during today’s live web clinic, but for now, it is sufficient to understand that your Value Proposition is that primary reason why your ideal prospect should buy from you rather than your competitors. Read more…