Author Archive

Lead Generation: Great results don’t always have to be complicated

April 14th, 2014 No comments

To discover what works best for generating leads in your organization, at some point, you eventually have to do two things:

  • Wade through enough trial and error until success is the only destination left
  • Keep the process as simple as possible on that journey to reach success

For Shawn Burns, Global Vice President of Digital Marketing, SAP, keeping the company’s testing simple was instrumental in helping SAP reach some of its goals of maximizing the ROI on existing marketing.

“We can complicate everything,” Shawn explained, “and when you’re in a testing environment and you start to think about navigation, templates, images, copy, colors and buttons, you just have to sort of stop and say ‘whoa’ – clear away the madness, take it step-by-step, do simple things and see what has an impact.”

simple-cta-testShawn’s focus on keeping SAP’s testing simple was also influenced by a need to apply those discoveries to growth in areas like mobile marketing. A simple testing approach and the lessons learned from the process would be highly beneficial in aiding SAP’s efforts to optimize its marketing in what is literally a pocket-sized medium.

“There are 2 million smartphones being activated every day on the planet, so all of us as marketers are having to deal with this incredibly [physically] tiny media channel,” Shawn said. “And so, you start to look at testing as, ‘how simple can I be?’”

In this brief excerpt from Shawn’s MarketingSherpa and MarketingExperiments Optimization Summit 2013 presentation, “5 Optimization Discoveries from the SAP Website Test Lab,” you can learn  how small changes can make a big difference in your testing and lead generation optimization efforts.

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Email Marketing: Change in CTA copy increases clickthrough 13%

March 24th, 2014 3 comments

The “ask.”

When you strip marketing down to its core, your call-to-action is arguably the most important element in your email marketing.

If you get it just right with your copy, customers will give their permission with clicks, downloads, a purchase or whatever desired action is intended.

Get the copy wrong, however, and a CTA is becomes “ignore-the-action” from the customer’s perspective.

So what role does copy play in the success of a CTA?

A pretty big one.

To illustrate this, let’s look at a recent Web clinic where the MECLABS research team revealed the results of an experiment that drilled down into how CTA copy impacts customer action.

Here’s a little research information on the test.

Background: An audio technology and engineering company offering professional and personal audio products.

Goal: To significantly increase the number of clicks from a promotional email.

Primary Research Question: Which email CTA copy will produce the greatest clickthrough rate?

Approach: A/B single factorial split test





In Version A, the team hypothesized that using “Shop Now” as the CTA copy was a potential source of customer anxiety.

According to the MECLABS Conversion Heuristic, anxiety is simply a negative factor that reduces the likelihood a potential customer will take a desired action.





In Version B, the team tested “View Details” as the CTA copy.




  Read more…

Web Optimization: Simple CTA change increases conversion 77%

March 20th, 2014 4 comments

Small changes can make a big difference in the user experience.

In today’s MarketingExperiments Blog post, I want to dive right into one of those small changes shared by James Coulter, Marketing Optimization Specialist, Sophos, during his presentation at Optimization Summit 2013.

After receiving some brutal user feedback, James realized that optimizing the user experience was vital to the organization’s success.

James’ strategy to improve the experience was simple: Start with small changes and test your way into a big impact.

Let’s take a look at some of the research notes and get a little background information on the test.

Background: Sophos, a provider of IT security solutions for businesses.

Objective: To increase leads from quote requests.

Primary Research Question: Which CTA copy will result in the most leads?

Approach: A/B split test




In the control, James’ team identified the “Request a quote” call-to-action copy as a point of potential friction in their lead generation process.




The team hypothesized that changing the copy in the call-to-action to “Request pricing” would increase conversion based on user feedback.

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Landing Page Optimization: Radio buttons vs. dropdowns

March 13th, 2014 4 comments

Radio buttons or dropdowns?

The question is arguably on the borderline of arbitrary, but as we discovered, this choice is far more important that one might think.

During a recent Web clinic, Austin McCraw, Jon Powell and Lauren Pitchford, all of MECLABS, revealed the results of an experiment that put button options to the test.

So, let’s take a closer look at the research notes for some background information on the test.

Background: A large people search company catering to customers searching for military personnel.

Goal: To significantly increase the total number of subscriptions.

Primary Research Question: Which subscription option format will produce the highest subscription rate: radio buttons or a dropdown menu?

Approach: A/B single factorial split test

In Treatment 1, the research team hypothesized that the length of the radio button layout was a source of user friction in the form.

Editor’s Note: For the purposes of the MarketingExperiments testing methodology, friction is defined as “a psychological resistance to a given element in the sales or signup process.”



In Treatment 2, the team tested a dropdown style option selection to reduce the perceived friction in the display.


  Read more…

LPO: How many columns should you use on a landing page?

February 6th, 2014 2 comments

What is the highest performing number of columns for your webpages?

The question is deceptively simple and difficult to determine unless you test your way to the optimal layout for your needs.

During a recent Web clinic, Jon Powell, Senior Executive Content Writer, MECLABS, revealed how a large tech company decided to test its column layout in an effort to increase sales from its branded search efforts.

So, let’s review the research notes for some background information on the test.


Background: A large technology company selling software to small businesses.

Goal: To significantly increase the number of software purchases from paid search traffic (branded terms).

Primary Research Question: Which column layout will generate the highest rate of software purchases?

Approach: A/B multifactor split test


Here’s a screenshot of the control which utilized a two column layout – one main column and a right sidebar – featuring separate content and CTAs. 


In the treatment, the team eliminated the sidebar and focused on a single-column layout.

What you need to know

The one-column design increased branded search orders by 680.6% and revenue per visit by 606.7% when tested against the two-column design.

To learn more about why the single-column layout outperformed the two-column design, watch the free on-demand Web clinic replay of “How Many Columns Should I Use?” to see the results of an aggregate column research study you can use to aid your own conversion rate optimization efforts.

  Read more…

A/B Testing: Is responsive design worth the investment?

February 3rd, 2014 1 comment

Is responsive design worth the investment?

It depends on whom you ask.

You can ask the experts, receive a variety of replies and hopefully draw some conclusions from their answers. Or, you can look to your customer data for insights through a little testing and optimization.

During a recent Web clinic, Austin McCraw, Senior Director, Content Production, and Jon Powell, Senior Executive Content Writer, both of MECLABS, revealed how marketers at a news media organization decided to forego relying on expert opinions and put responsive design to the test.

First, let’s review the research notes for some background information on the test.

Background: A large news media organization trying to determine whether it should invest in responsive mobile design.

Goal: To significantly increase the number of free trial sign-ups.

Primary Research Question: Which design will generate the highest rate of free trial sign-ups?

Approach: A/B multifactor split test


Here’s a screenshot depicting both design approaches as they render responsively and unresponsively on desktop, tablet and mobile devices.

Read more…