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Lead Generation: Customers are looking for a solution to their problems

April 17th, 2014 No comments

At MarketingSherpa Lead Gen Summit 2013, Jon Ciampi, Vice President of Marketing, Corporate Development, Business and Strategic Accounts, CRC Health, recounted his challenges with PPC ads and how using A/B split testing helped him better understand his customers and use his marketing budget more effectively.

Jon and the team went through the arduous process of purging a majority of the 3,000 keywords the company was bidding on in an effort to optimize the PPC campaign for one of its rehab facilities.

“[Customers] are not looking for a value proposition,” he said.

Rather, he continued, they were looking for a solution to a very real problem – alcoholism, drug addiction or eating disorder rehabilitation. When the tests were analyzed, he saw that customers weren’t searching using the words that the company used. For example, customers might use the word “clinic” instead of “facility.”

The first step in this process was getting the customer and the company to speak the same language. Customers were not clicking through to the value proposition – Jon knew that the conversation had to change.

 

Although CRC Health had something very valuable to offer, Jon realized that he couldn’t “change the conversation” from what motivated customers to the value proposition “until [he started] the conversation” with customers by using their motivations.

Jon found the most effective way to start this conversation was to group keywords together. Rather than bidding on high-traffic words like “rehab,” – a very competitive and highly trafficked word – the team tied several words together, such as “methamphetamine rehabilitation facility” to find the highly motivated customers. This separated real leads from the users trying to find out which celebrities checked into rehab that week.

“The value proposition isn’t the motivation of the buyer, the motivation of the buyer is actually driving their decision,” Jon explained.

In order to get customers into the sales funnel from a search, he first had to address why and what the customer was searching for. Using PPC ads, he could assess, test and optimize his campaigns to discover and understand his customers in a low-pressure environment.

See his entire presentation from Lead Gen Summit 2013 in the MarketingSherpa Video Archive.

 

You might also like:

Lead Gen Summit 2014 Call for Speakers

How CRC Health transformed decision-making across 140 sites [MarketingSherpa webinar replay]

Optimization Summit 2013 Wrap-up: Top 5 takeaways for testing websites, pay-per-click ads and email [Summit top takeaways]

Web Usability: Long landing page nets 220% more leads than above the fold call-to-action [More from the blogs]

Online Testing: 6 test ideas to optimize the value of testimonials on your site
 [More from the blogs]

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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

 

Control

cta-test-control

 

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.

 

Treatment

cta-test-treatment

 

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

 

Results

 cta-test-results

  Read more…

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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

 

Control

sophos-cta-control

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.

 

Treatment  

sophos-cta-treatment

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

Read more…

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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…

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Copywriting: Do you take your prospects on a journey?

February 27th, 2014 3 comments

You’ve seen the statistics. Customers receive 12 million billion marketing messages a day.

Plus they’re busy, and have short attention spans.

So you may think, “I have to get my sales message and value prop to my customers as quickly as possible.”

But your goal as a marketer is not to get quick information in the hands of a customer. It’s to take them on …

 

The buyer’s journey

Let’s use “Star Wars” as an analogy.

George Lucas could have made a two-minute video on YouTube and said, “So … they’re brother and sister. And on top of it, the dude he’s fighting is actually his dad. Weird, huh?”

But if he did, I’m betting he wouldn’t have this level of brand loyalty more than 30 years later.

Storytelling is powerful.

It helps people see a new way of looking at the world. As a marketer, that includes how the world would be with your product or service in it.

By taking your prospects through a story, you help to welcome them into the world of your product, help them drop their defenses to actually hear what you’re saying, and get them to internalize your value proposition.

Your challenge is to decide how every element of your marketing can take them on that journey. For a simple purchase, this journey may happen in a single email or print ad. For a considered purchase, it may occur across an email drip campaign, nurture track or an entire marketing funnel.

You can watch the free MarketingExperiments Web clinic replay, “Copywriting on Tight Deadlines: How ordinary marketers are achieving 103% gains with a step-by-step framework,” to learn more about how story connects to the conversion process.

 

Photo attribution: Star Wars Blog

Read more…

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Email Marketing: 3 letters to drive subject line success

February 20th, 2014 No comments

It’s tried and true: Personalization works in marketing.

You know this already – approach your consumers as individuals and reap compelling results. However, tailoring campaigns can call for plenty of pain and patience along the way due to the journey of implementing new technology and complex techniques.

But the attendees in the General Session Room of the Aria Resort & Casino Las Vegas at MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014 learned that there’s a loophole to this. It’s possible (and realistic) to actually gain the benefit of personalization minus the heavy lifting.

Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS, kicked off Day 2 of  Summit with his session, “Interactive Quick-Win Clinic: 3 simple email tactics to achieve personalization without the need for complex technology.” He set out to shed light on how to achieve the highest possible yield with the least amount of energy.

Two points of focus in Flint’s session were how to achieve this via subject lines and headlines.

 

Subject lines

Of course, this process begins at the subject line. Plain and simple, you need your recipient to open  your email. Flint boiled the personalization of the subject line down to three letters: R (relevant), I (important) and U (urgent). When examining a subject line, he challenged the audience to ask themselves:

  • Is the email relevant?
  • Is the email important?
  • Is the email urgent?

Flint explained that although something may be considered both relevant and important, the item that is the most urgent gets opened. Thus, establishing urgency in your email is key.

 

Headlines

Flint likens the headline of an email to a pick-up line. The headline begins the conversation with your recipient and, not surprisingly, its wording is essential. Because a headline is part of a conversation, it doesn’t work when it’s not a sentence. In other words (no pun intended), don’t speak in bullet points. After all, would you do that in a real-life conversation?

“[Speaking in bullet points] would leave me playing by myself on the playground,” Flint joked.

He examined the wording of select headlines tested for a survey company. The findings illustrated that headlines with a “point-first” design garnered the highest performance. These were the headlines that focused on what the consumer “got” – they were value-centric. Read more…

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