Posts Tagged ‘conversion rate optimization’

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





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.





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




  Read more…

Analytics: How metrics can help your inner marketing detective

March 17th, 2014 No comments

Why are there so many different metrics for the same component of a website? For example, page views, visits, unique visitors and instances, just to name a few. Which metrics should you use? Are all of these metrics really helpful?

Well, they exist because these metrics are tracked differently and yield different interpretations.

However, much more knowledge can be gained by analyzing these metrics with respect to one another combined with usage of segments, or characteristics of users.

For example, if we look at the metrics for page views on your site with respect to number of visits between two browsers, such as Chrome versus Firefox, and then discover that Chrome users actually have more page views per visit on average than Firefox users.

That could indicate that the customers using Firefox may be of a different demographic with a different level of motivation compared to Chrome users. Or, it could also mean that the site functionality or user experience on Chrome could be different than Firefox. For example, I know on my own computer, Chrome displays website content in a smaller font than Firefox.

In today’s blog post, learn how just these two metrics combined together can put you in a detective mindset.


Don’t just investigate what customers do, investigate where they go

There are plenty of great free and paid analytics tools out there to help you investigate customer behavior, but for the sake of this example, I’m going to talk specifically about Adobe’s analytics tool.

An interesting advanced feature in the platform allows you to set custom tracking on link clicks on a page that when combined with other metrics, could reveal great findings.

For example, let’s say you have a call-to-action that takes a visitor to the cart. By using custom tracking, you can track how many visitors interact with the CTA on the page and compare that to the next page flow.

If you see a significantly higher number of visitors clicking the CTA, but not as many cart page views on the next page report, it could mean that there is some technical issue preventing the visitors from going to the next page.

There could also be a lot of “accidental” or “unintentional” clicks from visitors clicking the back button before the next page even loads, which can be very common on mobile sites.

If there are significantly less visitors clicking the CTA and more cart page views on the next page flow, what would that indicate?

Perhaps people are using the forward button frequently because they came back to the page after they have seen the cart.

  Read more…

Conversion Rate Optimization: Why is split testing so powerful?

February 13th, 2014 4 comments

Imagine if you could split test your life.

Essentially, you would never be faced with a conundrum again. You could choose to both send your daughter to the state school and the Ivy League college.

You could marry your high school sweetheart and that special someone you just met.

You could buy the Prius and the Tesla.

Then, you wait and you measure.

You would finally determine empirically which decision is best.

Of course, you can’t A/B test your life. That’s why there are 7,139 books in Amazon’s decision-making and problem solving category.


Don’t guess about your customers – know

But you, as a marketer, can split test. If you don’t know which subject line or headline will work, try them both and let the customer decide.

You can use Web optimization to make the best decisions:

  • Make some assumptions based on what you’ve learned about your customers
  • Use those assumptions to create treatments that test different hypotheses about the customer
  • Split your audience with an equal amount of similar customers being exposed to each treatment
  • Review and validate the results
  • Determine what can be learned about the customer and use that knowledge to repeat the process, becoming a little wiser each time

This process can add “thousands and thousands of dollars” in monthly revenue, as it did for

Web optimization can increase referrals and membership renewals, as it did for AARP.


What have you been able to do with Web optimization? Let us shine a light on your efforts.

Perhaps you’ve already discovered the power of split testing.

Of learning instead of guessing. Of experimenting instead of assuming.

You’ve discovered that experimenting and learning easily replace assumptions and guesswork about your customers.

If so, we’d like to hear your story even if the rest of your company has yet to catch up.

Others overlooking the power of this evidence-based technique is what frustrates many successful optimizers.

The good news is there’s a place where marketers can come together and learn what works in website optimization from each other. That place is Web Optimization Summit.


This year’s Summit will be in New York City in May. If you have a story, we’d love to hear it. I encourage you to fill out the speaker application and share what you’ve learned with other marketers.


You may also like

Customer Theory: What do you blame when prospects do not buy? [More from the blogs]

Customer Theory: How we learned from a previous test to drive a 40% increase in CTR [More from the blogs]

The Web as a Living Laboratory: The Three Most Important Discoveries from Over a Decade of Experimentation [Video]

Customer Theory: What do you blame when prospects do not buy?

February 10th, 2014 No comments

The effort and money that you’re investing in your marketing is predicated on one thing – that you understand your customer.

What good is a print ad, an email or a marketing automation investment if it doesn’t deliver a message that alleviates a customer pain point or helps a customer achieve a goal? They won’t act if the message doesn’t hit them square between the eyes.

Let me give you an example of faulty customer theory. Uber, a mobile car hailing service, is coming to Jacksonville. I recently received a push poll phone call clearly supported by the frightened taxi industry.

The main message seemed to be that Uber is cheaper because it uses unregulated (and, therefore, unsafe) drivers.


How often are you delighted by cab drivers?

What struck me was how far off their customer theory was from my actual wants and needs. I, for example, chose to take the BART from the airport to the hotel for Lead Gen Summit 2013 – not because it was cheaper (MECLABS was paying the bill either way, so it was free for me), but because riding in a cab is a miserable experience.

Plus, I’m putting my life in the hands of someone who will cut across three lanes of rush hour traffic with no turn signal to drop a passenger off 45 seconds quicker. Goodbye, safety argument.

The reason Uber, Lyft and other car hailing mobile apps are gaining traction is because they’ve found a way to create a better customer experience. Think about it. When was the last time you were delighted by a cab ride? In fairness, there was one time for me in Los Angeles. A kind driver gave me a quick tour of Bel Air during what limited free time I had on a business trip.

Here’s why the taxi industry struggles to realize the true threat.


We will tend to blame external rather than internal reasons when customers don’t buy

You put in so much time marketing your company and your clients that it becomes difficult to see the flaws customers see with unbiased eyes.

This is why A/B testing can be so valuable.

Actually forming hypotheses, testing these hypotheses in real situations with real customers, and then building a customer theory over time that informs everyone in your company about what customers really want is essential.

When you have your customer theory right, marketing can focus on clearly communicating how it can fulfill customers’ needs and wants.


Discover what customers want

Of course, A/B testing is only one way to gain customer intelligence. So to gain a perspective beyond my own, I asked Lindsay Bayuk, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Infusionsoft, for her perspective.

“Understanding what your customers want starts with understanding the problem they are trying to solve. First, define who your best customers are and then ask them about their challenges. Next, ask them why they love you,” Lindsay said.

Lindsay said some great ways to collect both quantitative and qualitative data on your target customers include:

  • Surveys
  • Interviews
  • A/B tests (see, I was telling you)
  • Sales calls
  • Feedback loops

The email registration process is another opportunity for learning more about your customers.

Ali Swerdlow, Vice President, Channel Sales & Marketing, LeadSpend, added, “Preference centers are a great way to gather data about your customers. Then, use that data to segment your list and message different groups accordingly.”

Read more…

Conversion Rate Optimization: 3 takeaways from 2013

December 30th, 2013 1 comment

As of tomorrow, 2013 is officially a wrap.

I’m not ready to start singing “Auld Lang Syne” just yet though.

Personally, the end of the year is an important moment to stop and reflect on the year that has passed as they seem to come and go now faster than ever before.


It  feels like only yesterday, Oreo Cookie was setting a new bar in responsive social media by reminding us that we could still dunk in the dark during the Superdome’s blackout during the 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans.

In today’s MarketingExperiments Blog post, I’d like to reflect on the content our audience found most valuable by sharing some of our most tweeted posts and the lessons they offer as we prepare for another year.


Lesson #1. Small changes can produce big results

Email Optimization: A single word change results in a 90% lift in sign-ups


In this post from David Kirkpatrick, Senior Reporter, MarketingSherpa, Michael Aagaard, Copywriter, ContentVerve, discussed call-to-action (CTA) optimization in his presentation at MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013, “How to Optimize and Test: Calls-to-Action for Maximum Conversions.”


Lesson #2. It’s not always what you say that matters, but how you say it

Email Copywriting: How a change in tone increased lead inquiry by 349% 


In this blog post, I reviewed how tone can affect the performance of your emails and can aid your email copywriting efforts.

I also shared how one event management software provider was able to increase its lead inquiry rate by 349% using the right voice to speak to potential customers.


Lesson #3. Making the right discoveries about your customers can transform your entire business

Web Usability: Long landing page nets 220% more leads than above the fold call-to-action



In this post, Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content, MECLABS, shared how a below the fold call-to-action led to a 220% increase in leads for Sierra Tucson.


As the countdown to 2014 begins

For some, the new year is a time to celebrate another year of challenges met and experiences gained. For others, it’s a time to absorb the lessons learned from failure as you forge ahead to meet the next challenge.

For all of us, it’s another opportunity to learn more about our customers and how we can better serve them, lest old acquaintances be forgot.

Happy new year from all of us here at MarketingExperiments!

Read more…

Web Analytics: More clicks doesn’t always mean more conversions

December 23rd, 2013 5 comments

When testing to optimize a webpage, there are multiple metrics we track and a number of goals we strive to reach. However, the same two key performance indicators (KPIs) with accompanying goals always seem to pop up.


  1. Increase clickthrough – We want more people to like what they see on the page, click and go deeper into the funnel. People can’t convert if they don’t click.
  2. Increase conversion – We want people to absorb the information on the page and hope that it motivates them to ultimately convert.

An intuitive thought process follows that the more people click, the more people will convert.

In theory, if we optimize one KPI, the other will follow.

After a recent test we ran at MECLABS, however, I’d like to share with you how a decreasing clickthrough rate can actually be a good thing.


Setting the stage 

After using our Conversion Heuristic to analyze one of our Research Partners’ pages and directly monitor consumer feedback, we were able to determine that visitors were asking for a comparison chart.

Our early analysis also suggested this to be a necessary piece for the landing page, as the only prior way to find this information was to click through and hunt around the site.

So, in order to match user motivation for visiting the page, we designed some treatments that included adding the comparison chart to the landing page.

We ran the test, collected our data, and then saw the results.

Our treatments decreased clickthrough by more than 40%.

Almost half of the people who would have clicked on the control did not click on our treatments.

This was not good – until we looked at our conversion rates.

For all three of our treatments, conversion increased significantly.

By now, you’re probably wondering how a decrease in traffic was also met with an increase in conversion, given the two metrics often seeming reliant upon each other.

The decrease in clickthrough can be attributed to two words: curiosity clicks.


Curiosity can inflate clickthrough rates

What do I mean by curiosity clicks?

Clickthrough traffic to the control was being artificially elevated because of these “curiosity clicks.”

These clicks came from people who were looking for information. They were curious and clicked through to look further for the information they wanted. Curiosity clicks can be a good thing and they can get people where you want them.

However, if clicking through to the next page still does not give the visitor the information they are looking for, they may exit the funnel altogether.

Our visitors were curious, clicked and were then probably disappointed not to find what they were looking for. On our treatment pages, they saw the information they were looking for directly on the landing page.

There was no need to move further into the funnel if that information didn’t suit their needs.

Read more…