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Ecommerce: 2 tips I learned from a garage sale

September 15th, 2014 No comments

My father passed away unexpectedly five months ago. As if that wasn’t enough of a tragedy, the situation left my mother and me in a position we never imagined being in — she could lose her home. Quickly, I set up a GoFundMe page to prevent this.

Despite adversities and setbacks, my mother has a positive outlook and is moving forward. She decided to host a garage sale to help cover some costs. The first sale she held earned enough income to cover some costs and inspire hope.

You may ask, “Why is this guy starting off his MarketingExperiments Blog post with a personal story? What can readers learn about marketing from a life event?”

In helping with my mother’s second garage sale, I gained two key insights that I’ve been able to use as a MECLABS research analyst.

 

Prominence and Eye-path: A match made at checkout

Most of us are aware that prominence is crucial to the discovery of any product on any page.

This cannot be truer than when it came to a convection oven we sold at the garage sale. It was a relatively high-priced, chunky item that had been used twice. We knew it would not be an easy sell.

So we prominently displayed the appliance on one of the very first tables in front of our enclosure – front and center in the sale and near our checkout. It was within our customers’ eye-path as they browsed and made small talk.

Our magic worked when a customer noticed the item when he began speaking to us. It was one of the first items sold.

This lesson can be directly applied to your website. Whether it’s a beefed-up kitchen appliance in a garage or a newly released product on your website, the product needs to be easily found for it to convert.

 

Customer Theory: The art of matching user motivation

In another effort to improve our rummage-centric campaign, we also looked to match consumer motivations using customer theory.

We paired like-products within the same vicinity, such as the 10-plus items catering to my mother’s fascination with palm trees.

After purchasing a few of these pieces, a nice buyer called a friend who shared the same obsession with tropical vegetation and told her to buy some too.

We can infer that displaying relative items in proximity can match a user’s motivation and increase the likelihood of conversion. Here we had a case of similar interest (or obsession) that prompted a call to someone else who was equally motivated.

Whether your customer is a garage sale champion or a target market interested in your product, matching motivation can lead to more than one conversion at a time.

 

Closing up shop

My experiences with garage sales are minimal, but my experience with website optimization is extensive.

When it comes down to any kind of sale, prominence, eye-path and customer theory can close even the most unlikely deal.

 

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Website Optimization: Testing your navigation

September 11th, 2014 No comments

As we are testing our websites, we often focus on homepages, landing pages and funnels. These are the pages that “move the needle” and get results. However, there is one aspect of many sites that goes unnoticed by optimizers — the site navigation.

Site navigation is important because it gets your visitors where they need to be. Also, it’s usually one of the static elements of your site.

The navigation is visible on all of your pages and is often the one constant throughout the website.

It simply makes sense to focus your efforts on such a high visibility area that has such a great impact on your customers’ experience.

Now, you may be asking yourself, “What can I test in my navigation?”

To answer that question, I’ve constructed a short guide to help you start optimizing your navigation.

Potential navigation testing opportunities include:

  • Changing link names that may be confusing
  • Optimizing subcopy (if you give details in your navigation)
  • Changing hierarchies or organizations
  • Adding or deleting links
  • Optimizing visual features (icons)
  • Optimizing navigation indicators (hover and click functionality, lines, highlights, etc.)

 

Begin with goals and objectives 

It’s important to have clearly defined goals and objectives when testing your navigation.

While you want your site navigation to drive conversions, you should always remember that this is ultimately a tool for your site visitors.

It should guide them where they need to go in a clear, concise manner. So how do you measure your navigation’s success? What would be your primary KPI? In many tests, our KPIs are conversions or clickthroughs. However, much more thought must go into defining navigation KPIs.

Read more…

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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…

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Email Marketing: Compliance-related re-engagement campaign messaging increases conversion 49%

September 4th, 2014 1 comment

A name in a database does not a customer make.

You need customers and potential customers who actually want to receive email from you. To do that with your current email list — either for legal compliance reasons, like the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), or to win-back unengaged subscribers (like CNET did) — it may make sense for your company to run a re-engagement campaign.

We recently ran a re-engagement and reconfirmation campaign for our Canadian subscribers of MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa. The challenge for me when writing these emails was finding which messaging would be most compelling to subscribers.

At MECLABS, a challenge like that is a great opportunity to run a test, and then share the results with you on the MarketingExperiments Blog to help with your own campaigns.

To the splitter!

 

Treatment #1. Value of subscribing to the list only

Treatment 1 offered a reminder of the value our newsletters provide before asking the recipient to continue receiving these emails:

 

Treatment No. 1

  Read more…

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Lead Generation: Simple text change leads to 104% lead capture increase

August 28th, 2014 1 comment

About a year ago, I remember a conversation I had with Arkadi, a fellow reader of the MarketingExperiments Journal. We were talking about the potential of doing some research together on one of his websites, Ecolinewindows.ca.

As part of that conversation, we were working on an ROI scenario, and we came to a point where it was necessary to figure out just how much opportunity there was to make improvements (while simultaneously understanding the customer ontology).

We started with his homepage:

homepage-control

 

Now typically in a process like this, one would look at a page in the live optimization style, mentally compare it to everything they’ve seen in the space, and record a number of recommendations and priorities to focus on.

In this case, I didn’t.

Instead, before making any recommendations, I took a glance at the page and asked him one question: “How are people getting to this page?”

He proceeded to give me the breakdown.

In that breakdown, I noticed something peculiar. His direct type-in traffic was unusually high, insomuch that I felt I needed to probe further.

Read more…

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Lead Generation: How one company increased leads 96% by changing the presentation of incentive content

August 21st, 2014 3 comments

A common way to gain lead information is by offering free content, such as a white paper or guide.

But if it’s free, why don’t we have 100% lead capture rates?

Why do prospects provide their information for one PDF guide, but not for another?

The answer may not be in the incentive itself, but rather, in how you’re presenting it.

Last week, I had the pleasure of joining Jon Powell, Senior Manager, Research and Strategy, MECLABS, on the MarketingExperiments monthly Web clinic, “Leveraging Content to Generate Leads: 3 simple tactics one company used to generate a 96% increase in leads.”

We discussed an interesting case study where one B2B company generated a 96% increase in leads by simply altering how a piece of content was presented to its customers.

Today, we’ll review the highlights of that experiment.

 

Background: A B2B company selling thermal image cameras.

Goal: To generate more leads.

Research Question: Which landing page will generate the most leads?

Test Design: A/B variable cluster, radical redesign split test

 

Control

content-experiment-control

 

Our researchers hypothesized an uneven value exchange existed on the control and prevented a higher form completion rate. The page asked for more cost (form fields) than it provided in value.

The headline and copy contained company-centric messaging rather than focusing on the benefits visitors would receive.

 

Treatment 

With the treatment, the team wanted to increase the value exchange by clarifying the value of the current offer, as well as reduce friction.

To lower the cost portion of the value exchange, the number of form fields was reduced. To increase value, the headline and page copy focused on customer benefits. Value was added in the instructions of the form as well. The image also more effectively showed the product in use.

 

Results 

content-experiment-results

 

Clickthrough to submit the form increased 95.8% with a 99% level of confidence.

  Read more…

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