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Online Testing: Why are you really testing?

January 21st, 2015 No comments

The start of a new year gives savvy marketers another chance to push exploring your customer’s theory even further. In today’s MarketingExperiments Blog post, I want to welcome 2015 by sharing with you a simple product page test from our last Web clinic you can use to aid your marketing efforts.

Before we dive in further, let’s look at the background on the experiment:

 

Background: A mid-sized furniture company selling mattresses online

Goal: To increase mattress purchases

Research Question: Which design will generate the most online purchases?

Test Design: A/B variable cluster test

 

Side-by-side 

 

Here’s a side-by-side split of the two designs and the variables being tested to help give a little context to their placement on the page.

 

As you can tell from the comparison here, Design A was centered on an approach that used less text, with copy that placed emphasis on a low risk trial, free shipping and returns as well as a 25-year warranty.

The copy in Design B takes a more conversational tone, with prospects to help reduce anxiety and provide reinforcement on the money-back guarantee.

 

Results:

 

Design A outperformed Design B by a 167% relative difference in conversion that validated at a 97% statistical level of confidence.

As Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director and CEO, MECLABS Institute, explained in the Web clinic, “The first thing to note is that’s a dramatic difference and not a near difference. Something very important is going on here.”

 

What you need to know:

If you want to blow their minds, starts with designing tests intended to blow their minds.

At the end of day, it’s not the degree of changes on a page that drive a difference. We could test 10 more design versions chalk full of adjustments and get nowhere or see an even bigger lift.

Driving a true impact from testing ultimately means placing all the focus on discovering changes that impact the minds of your customers. That means taking a customer-centric “look” at your site and possibly even reaching out to someone who isn’t familiar with your site design or navigation, such as friends or family, or even conducting some informal research with engaged customers to understand their challenges or frustrations for the page you are testing.

If you’re interested in learning more about how testing and optimization can aid your marketing efforts, feel free to check out today’s newly released Web clinic, “Special Live Optimization Session.”

 

You may also like

Email Marketing: How content and testing boosted revenue 114% at IAC subsidiary HomeAdvisor [MarketingSherpa case study]

Email Marketing: Education group utilizes A/B testing to increase open rates by 39% [MarketingSherpa case Study]

Testing and Optimization: How to get that “ultimate lift” [More from the blogs]

Landing Page Optimization: What a 4% drop in conversion can reveal about offering discounts

December 18th, 2014 No comments

Discounts can be tempting to use as a tool to increase your sales volume.

There are plenty of cases where incentives have been successful; however, one caveat to consider is they also come with their own set of consequences.

When the dust settles and the results are in, every marketing team has to determine one thing:

Are discounted product offers always the optimal choice for a price point strategy?

That’s a question one large media company recently posed in their testing efforts that I wanted to share in today’s post to help you learn more about the potential impact of discounts on the bottom line.

Before we dive in any further, let’s look at the background on this experiment:

Background: A large media company offering various subscription products.

Goal: To determine the optimal pricing point after the introductory rate.

Research Question: Which price point will generate the greatest return?

Test Design: A/B split test

Control 

 

In the control, customers are presented with an offer of “50% off Home Delivery for 12 Weeks with free digital access.”

 

Treatment 

 

In the treatment, a triggered lightbox was added and designed to pop-up, offering an incentive for an additional four week discount of 50% if the order was not completed within a certain time frame.

Read more…

What a 173% Increase in Clickthrough Can Teach You About Subscribers

October 16th, 2014 No comments

At MarketingExperiments, we define friction in a conversion process as a psychological resistance to a given element in a sales process.

If you’ve ever waited in a long line at a theme park in July, that’s friction personified. It’s the hot and sweaty agony that makes a customer ask themselves, “Why am I doing this?”

I should also add that not all friction is avoidable, but a large concentration of it can be reduced through a little testing and optimization.

In today’s post, I wanted to share with you a recent experiment to identify and reduce friction, which you can enjoy with no lines or waiting.

Before we dive in, let’s review the background notes and give the experiment a little perspective and context.

 

Background: A large news publication.

Goal: To increase clickthrough rate.

Primary Research Question: Which landing page will generate the most clicks?

Approach: A/B multifactorial

 

Side-by-side

Here are the pages in the experiment together.

 

During a preliminary analysis of the control, the MECLABS research team hypothesized the control page’s long-form layout style was impacting performance.

As you can see, the bullet points help organize the copy, but their sheer number creates a wall of text.

For the treatment, the team organized those bullets into a tabbed navigation, allowing the customer to click on what is relevant to them in an effort to help guide the conversation toward a subscription.

They also removed the video and added a second call-to-action.

How did the treatment stack up?

Read more…

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Search Marketing: How a simple copy change increased conversion 21%

September 18th, 2014 No comments

Serving customers effectively starts with intelligence.

It’s not the kind of intelligence needed to solve Sudoku puzzles or carry home a victory on trivia night, but rather it’s what you really know about your customers:

  • What keeps them up at night?
  • How could your product or service transform their careers?
  • How could what you’re offering transform their businesses?

Yes, to serve your customers effectively, you have to understand how your products or services are relevant enough to effectively relate to their needs.

It’s also worth mentioning that PPC testing can help you build your customer theory, often on the cheap.

In today’s MarketingExperiments Blog post, let’s look at some recent PPC ad experiments that show how you can better use testing and optimization to help you understand your customers’ needs and ultimately build a deeper connection with your customers.

But first, here’s quick overview on the test background:

Background: A CRM software solution for small and large businesses.

Goal: To increase the total numbers of clicks.

Primary Research Question: Which PPC will generate the most clicks?

Approach: A/B multifactorial variable cluster

 

Control 

Control

 

The original ad emphasizes the fact that the software is award-winning and can be fully integrated into a business.

Read more…

Email Marketing: 3 resources to help you optimize your next campaign

September 8th, 2014 No comments

Email by far remains the trusty pack mule for most marketers.

This is understandable given the growth within this channel (thanks in part to mobile), which continues to produce a solid ROI.

But, as they say, satisfaction is only the death of desire. There is always room for improvement. To save you from the pitfall of merely being satisfactory, here are three resources that will help you optimize your email marketing program and, hopefully, deliver a dynamic customer experience in your next send.

 

Watch: Subject Lines That Convert

 

In this Web clinic replay, Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS, reviews two effective approaches for building an immediate connection with customers through your subject lines.

How it helps

One big takeaway from this clinic you need to understand is that customers aren’t trying to open your emails; they are trying to eliminate them.

To prevent elimination, marketers must effectively transfer a customer’s attention into interest.

According to Flint, the transfer occurs when you “create a space in the prospect’s mind that can only be filled with what is coming next.”  

Read more…

5 Traits the Best Calls-to-action All Share in Common

August 7th, 2014 6 comments

One of the most common questions we receive at MarketingExperiments about optimization is, “What is it that actually makes a call-to-action effective?”

In truth, there are a lot of factors to consider, so in this post, we’ll take a look at five traits the best CTAs all seem to share in common based on our testing research.

 

Trait #1. Alignment

principle-of-alignment

According to Jon Powell, Senior Executive Content Writer, MECLABS, alignment is when “a call-to-action needs to be aligned to a specific customer need or desire. And what I mean by that is, do they like the color blue or do they like the color red?”

In the example above, the original CTA assumed customers will find value in understanding their problem. However, the treatment call-to-action tested to discover if customers find more value in a proposed solution.

In this case, the treatment increased clicks 7% and conversion 125%.

 

Trait #2. Timing 

 

Great CTAs are delivered in a conversation with customers at just the right time. In the experiment above, you can see where the CTA was located in the control and treatment, which indicates how timing plays into effective CTAs.

The control page presented arriving customers with a CTA almost immediately.

In the treatment, the CTA was moved to a time-delayed pop-under. The problem for these customers was they missed the opportunity to convert interest into action, which explained why the treatment decreased conversion 29%.

 

Trait #3. Absorption 

principle-of-absorption

 

Effective CTAs are easy for the customer to absorb as they are scanning the page. They are highly intuitive for customers to understand and engage with.

Here’s what absorption looks like in a real-world CTA test.

In the control, the MECLABS research team hypothesized the primary CTA for creating an email alert was difficult to clearly see in the design that used the small bell icon to imply notification functionality.

The treatment design was adjusted to ensure customers would see the opportunity to create a free alert, resulting in a 2,793% increase in email alerts created.

Read more…