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The Best Conversion Rate optimizers do NOT make changes to webpages…

August 23rd, 2016

Editor’s Note: For anyone new to this blog, Adam Lapp has been MarketingExperiments’ head of optimization for around three years. He’s been optimizing web paths for much longer, though – somewhere in the ballpark of 10 years. I’ve personally worked with Adam for five years now, and he has, hands down, the most brilliant optimization mind I’ve ever seen.

So naturally, I was thrilled when he sent me a draft of this post for the blog. It’s been a while since Adam took some time out of his busy schedule to write for our blog, but his posts are full of real-world optimization wisdom that many of our readers have found invaluable in the past.

The casual tone of this post may be a little different from what you might be used to on this blog. That’s because I’ve left Adam’s personal writing style, for the most part, intact. This post is written by a true expert and I wanted it to be as directly from the source as possible.

I hope you enjoy. Here’s Adam…

Best,

Paul Cheney

Managing Editor

 

Best Conversion Rate optimizers_Adam

 

I remember I once I designed and ran four tests in a row — two product page tests and two homepage tests — for a Fortune 500 industrial supply company, and lost every time. The designs were solid – better navigation, easier to find buttons, improved copy and value proposition – but they all lost.

When I look back at it, these four tests lost because I was trying to optimize webpages.

So, what the heck am I talking about?

Well fortunately and unfortunately, the probability of a prospect converting begins increasing or decreasing long before they get your website.

Read more…

Data Analysis 101: How a nonprofit used data to secure a critical business decision and help find 125 missing children

August 16th, 2016

We all have decisions we’re trying to drive. It may be getting budget approval from your manager. Or, selling a client on a campaign. It could be getting venture capital funding, or signing up the right business partner.

Our effectiveness in securing these decisions can have a significant impact on our success. And one way to make the case is by using data.

“Data adds credibility to the claims you’re making,” said Derrick Jackson, Director of Data Reporting and Analytics, MECLABS Institute (the parent research organization of MarketingExperiments). “It’s like the Fight the Squirrel videos say: It can all come across as opinion. But if you bring numbers, it adds validity.”

In this MarketingExperiments blog post, we look at a basic story of how one nonprofit used data to help drive a decision to see what you can learn from its efforts.

 

The challenge

BairFind is a nonprofit based in Jacksonville, Florida, dedicated to finding missing children by placing pictures of missing children in heavily trafficked areas of minor league baseball stadiums. For example, here is a picture from a Jacksonville Suns game.

 

Data Analysis 101

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Digital Marketing: 3 test ideas to optimize your incentive offers

June 13th, 2016

Coupon. Free download. Discount code. Gift card. Complimentary ebook.

These are just a few of the countless types of incentives marketers use to influence customers to say “yes” at the final macro-decision – whether that’s making a purchase, filling out a lead gen form or some other form of conversion.

Incentive can be just what some customers need to commit to an action you want them to take. But how can you ensure your incentive offers are having optimal effect on conversion?

Here are three tests you could use to optimize your incentive offers.

 

dollar-versus-percentage-incentiveIncentive Test #1. Percentage off vs. Dollar amount off

This first test idea is definitely a numbers game.

What do customers see more value in: a percentage discount or a defined dollar amount discount?  One case study from deep within the library of our sister site MarketingSherpa tested this question.

Evo, an online retailer of outdoor gear and fashion apparel, offered a coupon for certain product packages that had an average price of $333, and a minimum price of $250. With these numbers in mind, the team determined that $50 was the ideal discount point.

In addition to a traditional $50 off coupon, the team elected to test a 15% off coupon as well, which roughly equaled $50 off the average price of $333.

The test produced these results:

  • The $50 off coupon produced a 72% higher conversion rate
  • The $50 off coupon generated 170% more revenue than the 15% off coupon

It’s important to measure both conversion and overall revenue with this test. Even if one treatment results in more purchases, it may have lower average order amounts. If the average order amount is lower overall, the treatment with fewer orders of higher amounts could be your best choice moving forward.

  Read more…

Setting the Right Tone: Two key principles to build positive customer momentum

May 19th, 2016

During last week’s Web clinic, “Does Fear-based Marketing Work?,” we looked at a recent Twitter test run by MarketingExperiments’ parent company MECLABS Institute in promotion of the latest issue of the Executive Series.

Which tweet do you think achieved a higher clickthrough rate?

 

Here’s some context in case you need help choosing …

In Tweet Version A, the message is straightforward.

  • “Customers are more willing to engage with newspapers than you might think.”

In Tweet Version B, the message taps into an implicit fear that a marketer may have — that poor design is negatively impacting performance.

  • “Poor UI design and user experience may be negatively impacting the perception of your digital subscription.”

OK. Now make your choice. You can say it out loud if it will help you.

Whatever you do, don’t look directly below this line of text.

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2015 Year in Testing: Lessons on value copy and friction

May 9th, 2016

As test database specialist at MECLABS Institute (parent company of MarketingExperiments), I maintain our library of tests, analyze the results and search for insights to inform future testing. The chart below breaks all of our 2015 tests down by category and stacks them by count.

As you can see from the big bars on the left, most of the tests we ran in 2015 focused on value copy and friction.

Now look at the outcome of all those tests in the box plot below. This chart measures level of confidence along the left-hand side, and the boxes contain 50% of the data, centered on the midpoint, represented by the black line. Straight away, you can get a good idea of the general performance for each category. Higher level of confidence is better, and we ideally want everything to be above 95%. So how did the value copy and friction tests do?

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Transparent Marketing: Research into social media marketing reveals surprising consumer discovery

April 25th, 2016

If you’ve read MarketingExperiments for any amount of time, you’ve seen how clarity trumps persuasion. Instead of trying to sell in marketing emails or on landing pages, help your customers clearly understand the value they will get from your conversion objective.

That’s why I was so surprised by some research I recently came across about sharing promotions on social media, a medium where selling is particularly frowned upon.

You can watch the interview with Dr. Lauri Baker, Assistant Professor in Agricultural Communications at Kansas State University and co-creator of the Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement, where we discuss this specific research along with other social media marketing tips. Below the video, I’ll give you my take on the subject.

 

Social media is a great channel for transparent marketing.

“There has been a lot of research done on transparency,” Dr. Baker told me. “Everybody wants to see that product from start to finish. They want to see that farmer aspect; they want to see that created in an authentic environment. A lot of that happens from just stories. Highlighting the people that are producing this food or this product, and show the places that it’s coming from. Those are the things that customers are really connecting with and wanting to see.”

Read more…