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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.

“Are you running any large-scale offline campaigns, like ads or television?” I asked. “Why are so many people typing in your Web address?”

He then revealed that he had been running a direct mail campaign for some time, but that was the only campaign he could remember that fit my criteria.

Shortly thereafter our time ran out, so I asked him to send me a screenshot of his direct mail marketing collateral, along with some other materials, and scheduled a follow-up call late in the following week to continue our discussion.

This is what he sent:

direct-mail-piece

 

At this point, I had a hypothesis.

Could it be possible that the majority of his direct type-in traffic was coming from this postcard? If so, what would be the effect of increasing postcard-to-website continuity? Should he adjust his postcards to direct traffic to a microsite, or would simple changes on his existing homepage be enough to make a difference?

The next week came, and I was prepared for the call. But to my surprise, Arkadi came with some unexpected news.

“Guess what?” he said. “I was able to double my conversion rate!”

direct-mail-test-results

 

“Great!” I said. “How?”

That’s when he showed me his treatment:

homepage-treatment

 

See the difference? (Compare his new headline to his direct-mail copy.)

Arkadi had the same hypothesis about his homepage, and out of that hypothesis came a simple test: What effect would direct mail copy in his homepage’s headline have on his website’s lead generation rate, both when it came to calls and Web form submissions?

With one bold, courageous stroke, he put his hypothesis to the test.

The result: A statistically significant increase in both qualified calls and Web form submissions (I viewed the data firsthand and certified it).

What was the greatest takeaway from this increase?

For me, it wasn’t so much about confirming our hypothesis about channel-to-website continuity or even exploring the impact of connecting offline and online. Instead, it was moreso about understanding the power of the simple process that brought us to our conclusion.

That same, simple and powerful process also created the winning treatment in this case study:

From this:

headline-test-control

 

To this:

headline-test-treatment

 

Here are the results of that test:

headline-test-results

 

My advice?

Before you assess for changes, assess for customer motivations. Take the time, find out what it is that they’re looking for, why they care, and connect it with what you already have.

 

You might also like

A/B Testing: How a landing page test yielded a 6% increase in leads [MarketingSherpa case study]

New Chart: Direct mail rated as an effective tactic by many B2B organizations [MarketingSherpa Chart of the Week]

Landing Page Testing and Optimization: How Intuit grew revenue per visitor 23% [MarketingSherpa case study]

Marketing Concepts: 3 telltale signs your homepage is not customer-focused [More from the blogs]

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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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2 Vital Questions Every Marketer Should Ask of Lead Gen Forms

July 17th, 2014 1 comment

We’ve all seen them.

Web forms that ask for an exhaustive amount of information in exchange for a paltry white paper – or worse, a static thank-you note that lets someone know Sales will soon start their phone and inbox bombing runs.

But is this truly the best we can do to serve prospects effectively through a balanced exchange of value?

I think not. In a world where Web 2.0 is here, mobile is soon to be the new desktop and content is king, lead generation must do a better job of offering value for a prospect’s information.

In this MarketingExperiments Blog post, we’ll look at the two most important questions every marketer should ask about their Web forms to help refine the lead generation process.

 

Question #1. Does our form only collect the information that is really, really needed?

Assessing the importance of the information your form collects is one of the best places to start.

Far too often, older forms are part of legacy marketing practices, or even worse, I would argue, are new forms with inadequate strategy planned around them.

However, no matter where your form falls in terms of strategy, here are two important questions you should ask about your Web forms:

  • What information do you absolutely need to collect in the form?
  • What additional information would be nice to have?

This will help your team identify which fields can be trimmed so that you’re only asking for information that is highly targeted and relevant to your sales process.

Also, don’t forget to build a review process for your forms that give them a health checkup at fixed intervals. It could be six months, a year, maybe even two – so as long as you dedicate time to assess a form’s effectiveness and performance in meeting business goals.

 

Question #2. How can I increase the perceived value of every field in my form? 

web-forms-value

 

I love the illustration above because it really drives this point home. This is truly how most prospects see form fields.

It is how I see them.

It’s probably how you see them, too.

It’s also how you should mercilessly look at your own form fields when assessing the value they are delivering to prospects in exchange for the desired information.

Consequently, if the value of what you’re offering is not perceived as being worth more than the information you want from prospects, then why should they give it to you?

Read more…

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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.

  Read more…

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Web Optimization: Simple CTA change increases conversion 77%

March 20th, 2014 5 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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Lead Generation: Capturing more leads with clear value prop communication

October 3rd, 2013 2 comments

According to the MarketingSherpa 2012 Lead Generation Benchmark Report, 51% of marketers surveyed indicated the most effective platform for testing their value proposition was through email marketing campaigns.

This is no secret to savvy marketers. Austin McCraw, Senior Editorial Analyst, MECLABS, also discussed how to discover the essence of your value prop through email at Email Summit 2013.

Jon Ciampi, Vice President of Marketing, CRC Health, did just that and revealed his strategy at Lead Gen Summit 2013, happening right now in San Francisco.

In his session, “Lead Capture: How a healthcare company increased demand for services 300%,” Jon shared with the Summit audience how understanding customer motivations, driving traffic, and clearly communicating the value proposition all helped his company capture a higher quality of leads.

At CRC Health, Jon developed nine value propositions, and broke that list down into problem- and solution-focused messages. He combined the company’s in-house list with a purchased list consisting of psychiatrists and therapists who refer their patients to CRC Health. Then, the team crafted email subject lines reflecting the different value propositions to test where the customer was in regard to researching the problem, or looking for a solution.

Through testing, Jon discovered a 14.49% clickthrough rate in the top-performing subject line, and this was problem-focused messaging rather than solution-focused messaging. For CRC Health, the process of searching for a rehabilitation center is most likely a first-time experience for customers. Therefore, understanding that these prospects are looking for different options related to their problem, rather than immediately solving the issue, was extremely important to targeting their needs. 

 

“What we found is with rehab, everyone is focused on the problem. With our in-house list, patient-focused messages were more motivating and increased clickthrough rates,” Jon said.

Even though he made a breakthrough with testing value propositions through email, he did encounter the fact that one size does not fit all, particularly with his audience, and even more specifically with a purchased list.

For psychiatrists opening CRC Health sends, their top message for open and CTR was scientific-based. The subject lines and topics that most resonated with this segment were “improving addiction treatment with science and research,” “outdated addiction treatments fail patients,” and “CRC Health as the strongest clinical supervision in the nation.”

However, the audience that preferred more relationship-based messages was therapists. Messages like “Treatment fails when therapists & clients aren’t aligned,” and “Most rehabs can’t provide effective clinical supervision” were the top performers for this segment of CRC Health’s audience.

“Overall, self-serving messages performed far worse than patient-focused messages. Patient-oriented problem statements motivated them as well,” Jon said.

Through value prop testing with his audience via email messaging, Jon learned much more about his audience and their motivations.

As an exciting result of value proposition testing, he discovered a 3x to 4x increase in demand for services. According to Jon, when testing began, both inquiries and admissions increased.

“One of the top things I learned is to look at funnel. What are the motivations of your customers? … Also, understand their language. Different buyers with different perspectives will affect how your messages are interpreted,” Jon concluded.

  Read more…

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