Liva LaMontagne

The Charm of Three: How people process positive claims in persuasion messages

April 7th, 2016

How many positive claims should firms use to produce the most favorable impression of a product or service? Despite the logic that more positive claims about an object should lead to better impressions, a recent study found that when people are faced with messages they know are made to persuade (like most marketing communications), they have limited patience for positive claims.

Let’s look closer at the study comparing the effects of different numbers of positive claims in messages with persuasive intent, and the consequences in terms of consumer attitudes toward the object when messages include more than three such claims.

 

The Study

In January 2014, professors Suzanne B. Shu, UCLA Anderson School of Management, University of California, and Kurt A. Carlson, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, published the results of a series of experiments analyzing consumer perceptions of positive claims in advertising contexts.

It’s not a new idea that three is an important number for perceived completion. People generally perceive that three claims are sufficient to draw a conclusion about an object. The average consumer and average industrial buyer typically believe that a set of three options constitute a complete consideration set.  As the above vintage Philips ad illustrates, advertisers have been using the power of the three claim model for decades, at least.

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Categories: Analytics & Testing, General Tags: , , , ,

Ken Bowen

Website Spring Cleaning: A 5 Web Clinic crash-course to help you tidy up your webpages

April 4th, 2016

With winter firmly in our rearview mirrors, spring is officially here. Daylight savings time is upon us. March Madness is in full swing. And baseball’s opening day will have taken place by the time you’ve read this (Go Cubs!).

What better time then than to do a little spring cleaning of our webpages?

Don’t worry, at MarketingExperiments, we’ve got you covered. For more than a decade, we’ve been hosting Web clinics to help you — the marketer — maximize the effectiveness of your collateral. And, as we’ve seen again and again throughout the years, it’s often the smallest tweaks and cleanups that lead to the biggest results.

Read on to learn how you can harness your inner-Danny Tanner, grab your HTML mop and bottle of marketer’s 409, and turn that cluttered mess of a legacy page into a squeaky-clean, highly effective conversion machine.

 

Five key elements

To help get you started, I’ve identified five common elements of most webpages:

  • banner
  • headline
  • copy
  • call-to-action
  • form

Your page may not have, or need, all five of these elements, but chances are it will have most.

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Categories: Clinic Notes, General Tags: , , , ,

Daniel Burstein

Value Focus: Which aspect(s) of your product should your marketing emphasize?

March 31st, 2016

As a MarketingExperiments blog reader, I can already assume a few things about you. You’re an evidence-based marketer. You are an effective communicator. You have an exceptional understanding of marketing. You are skilled at analyzing campaign effectiveness. And you have experience in a wide range of marketing disciplines.

But if you were pitching yourself at a job fair, and could emphasize only one of these elements about yourself, which would it be?

Savvy marketer that you are, I’m guessing you would first size up the company you’re applying to — ask questions of the recruiter, take a look at the booth and read some of the literature — before deciding what value to highlight when presenting yourself.

The way you approach marketing your products and services should be no different.

 

Don’t bury the lead

Almost every product or service has several ways it benefits customers. Your challenge is to determine the value focus — which element of value will you lead with in your marketing.

You may highlight more than one element of value as secondary benefits on your website, in your print ads and in your email marketing. However, there likely is a place within your marketing where you have to choose what the primary value focus should be — the headline of your print ad, the hero space on your homepage or, perhaps, the entirety of an email.

Let me give you an example from my own customer journey.

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Categories: General, Value Proposition Tags: , , , , ,

Ken Bowen

Moving Beyond Personalization: How 2 companies boosted opportunities by leveraging individualized marketing

March 28th, 2016

As marketers, when we hear the term “personalization,” we’ve been conditioned to think “Hello [recipient name], I really looking forward to sharing with you some ways that [company name] can best serve you.”

Though these methods may have increased opens and clickthrough a decade ago, they are no longer capable of working magic on their own. In short, customers have figured us out.

At MarketingSherpa Summit 2016, numerous presenters took the stage to urge their fellow peers to switch their focus from gimmicky, one-sized-fits-all “personalization” to true individualization.

Two companies in particular, SCI Solutions and SAP North America, leveraged individualized marketing to significantly increase new opportunities.

Behavioral marketing from SCI Solutions

SCI Solutions, a Seattle-based company that offers software to hospitals and other medical facilities, is faced with an impossibly crowded marketplace. The contact information for every buyer is easily available, and opens rate across the industry are less than 1%. To combat this, Jeremy Mason, Director of Demand Generation, SCI Solutions, and his team combined the most effective aspects of persona-marketing and trigger-based marketing to create a truly individualized behavioral marketing plan.

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Andrea Johnson

Homepage Optimization: Tips to ensure site banners maximize clickthrough and conversion

March 23rd, 2016

Banners take up precious space on landing pages and too often don’t do enough to turn prospects into customers. Yet marketers are forced to work within their constraints.

The latest MarketingExperiments Web clinic outlined how to make every banner a conversion-driving opportunity, because even the smallest changes can make an impressive difference. To prove it, Mike Loveridge, Head of Digital Test and Learn, Humana, Inc., a healthcare insurance provider, presented banner tests from his organization. Take a short break and find out what he discovered here: Site Banners Tested: How minor changes led to a 433% increase in clickthrough for Humana.

Here’s the boon and the bane of banners: They’re often the very first thing that people see when they arrive on the landing page. That means if they aren’t optimally presented, you’re going to lose customers immediately. But optimized banners can drive more prospects than ever before, and it doesn’t take much effort.

Consider this banner that was on Humana’s homepage.

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Daniel Burstein

Consumer Reports Value Proposition Test: What you can learn from a 29% drop in clickthrough

March 21st, 2016

The results are in. Last month, we asked you, the readers of the MarketingExperiments blog, to write the most effective copy for a Consumer Reports email in a way that could test which value factors were most appealing to Consumer Reports donors.

To expand the amount of test ideas, we also asked the readers of the Convince & Convert blog.

We’ll get to the results, and the big winner of the MarketingSherpa Summit package, in just a moment. But first, a little more background and a few lessons.

 

A little background

Every year, prior to MarketingSherpa Summit, with the help of the MarketingExperiments blog audience and the audience of another marketing blog, we run a nonprofit organization test with a nonprofit organization.

Partnering with a nonprofit gives us a real audience to test with. More importantly, it allows us to use our collective ability as a community of marketers to create effective messaging for a greater good.

Prior to the test, we work with the nonprofit for a few months, diving into the data, getting an understanding of previous tests and coming up with hypotheses.

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