Posts Tagged ‘increase conversions’

E-commerce: Checkout page test sells 36% more vacations

October 31st, 2012

Identifying and optimizing a few elements early in your sales funnel might give you a few quick wins, but what about the bigger picture of thinking about your entire sales funnel and long-term solutions for fixing the revenue leaks deeper within your checkout process?

In today’s MarketingExperiments blog post, we’ll show you a checkout page experiment and two questions that every marketer should contemplate beyond their testing.

But first, let’s take a look at some of the research notes on the experiment. 

Background: A consumer company specializing in vacation rentals

Goal: To increase the number of vacation confirmations

Primary Research Question: Which page will yield the highest conversion rate from billing information to confirmation?

Test Design: A/B multi-factor split test



Click to enlarge


The control featured a two-step horizontal design that shaded and separated Step 2 (second half of the form) until a “Continue” button was clicked, allowing users to move forward in the checkout process.

Once users completed the second step, they would click a second “Submit Reservation” button.



Click to enlarge


The treatment changes the form design from a two-step horizontal flow to a vertical design with minimized form fields. The treatment also reduces the calls-to-action to a single “Book My Vacation” button.



Click to enlarge


The treatment outperformed the control by a relative difference of 36% at a 98% level of confidence. So what can we learn from this experiment?


What you need to understand

When I asked Kyle Foster, Research Manager, MECLABS, about what we can learn from this experiment, he offered two takeaway questions that marketers should ask themselves:

  • Do I understand my sales funnel completely? – Kyle explained that every lift you discover in your sales funnel is a direct increase to your ROI, and thinking about your sales funnel holistically will give you the greatest possible leverage to discover those lifts.

Kyle added that thinking about your sales funnel on a larger scale can also help identify potential revenue holes deeper within your funnel. “You want to plug the holes in the bottom of the bucket by fixing the end of a broken funnel prior to bringing in more traffic.”

  • Am I thinking beyond the data? – Similar to his suggestion on thinking about the sales funnel, Kyle explained that marketers should also think beyond their data and short-term goals to gain a greater insight on developing a testing cycle that will produce better results.

“Sometimes you just have to use a little common sense in treating areas that will have a greater impact,” Kyle said.

He further added, “Aside from testing individual page elements, marketers should really take into consideration the overall areas of opportunity that exist by thinking about where the problems are now and where new problems might exist in the future.”


Related Resources:

Landing Page Optimization: 3 test ideas from a WordPress landing page

Optimization 201: Fix the broken leg before you fix the broken toe

Landing Page Optimization: 4 test ideas for a free-trial, lead gen form page

Form Optimization: 3 case studies to help convince your boss (and Sales) to reduce form fields

B2B Marketing: Top “Aha moments” of 2011 from your peers

December 2nd, 2011

It seems like 2011 just started, and just like that, in a flash, it’s almost over.

Guess what?

You’ll be saying the same thing about 2012 soon enough. But before you do that, take a few moments to stop and think about what you learned in 2011 that can help you optimize marketing performance in 2012.

To spur your thinking, MECLABS a/v Specialist Luke Thorpe and I grabbed a camera and mic, went around to attendees and speakers at B2B Summit 2011 in San Francisco (hosted by MarketingExperiments’ sister company, MarketingSherpa), and asked for their top “Aha moments” of 2011 …

Read more…

Email Messaging: Discussing micro-decisions and flipping the funnel

November 30th, 2011

After wrapping our most recent Web clinic, Email Messaging: How overcoming 3 common errors increased clickthrough 104%, our in-house documentarian, Luke Thorpe, and I grabbed lead speaker Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS, to discuss a few key takeaways from the Web clinic …

I asked Flint about:

  • Some of the most common mistakes email marketers are making
  • Flipping the sales and marketing funnel
  • How marketers can optimize the messaging in their emails and improve conversion
  • How the audience reacted to the Web clinic

Flint answered by discussing:

  • The micro conversions in an email
  • How the current funnel-based sales and marketing model is broken
  • The micro-decision funnel
  • The value exchange fulcrum
  • Overcoming assumed value

You can view the full 60-minute Web clinic, including live optimization examples, for free – Email Messaging: How overcoming 3 common errors increased clickthrough 104%


Related Resources:

MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2012

MarketingSherpa 2012 Email Marketing Benchmark Report

Email List Hygiene: Remove four kinds of bad addresses to improve deliverability

Email Marketing: Improve conversions with better landing pages

Email Marketing: Increase clicks and conversions with obvious links and consistent messaging


Only one hero can save the day: Marketing project management

April 24th, 2008


A man, shopping online for a high-end product.

We see flash cuts between the man’s face—looking increasingly aggravated—and his computer screen, showing dozens of similar Web sites, each one just as friction-inducing as the next. . . . .


In a confusing world of online stores all offering hundreds of choices, the lowest prices, and discount delivery, two companies will join forces to optimize a landing page that millions have seen before. . . .


This summer, get ready for one of the best landing page tests ever, when MarketingExperiments and their ideal partner team up to increase conversions beyond their wildest dreams. . . .


Or not.


FULL SHOT: Director Flint McGlaughlin, backlit by 10 computer screens.

FLINT: What’s the partner’s willingness and ability to make changes?

CUT TO. . . .

Okay, so this work in progress is not likely to be a blockbuster hit, but it does have a viable premise — “X leads to Y” — the movie producing equivalent of a Value Proposition.

In this scenario, lack of data leads to less than ideal project results.

“The point of finding the right thing to test is having the right data,” said Flint in a recent Training and Solutions meeting, as we discussed the challenges of a recent project. “All of the information we need to design this [landing] page is in [the company’s] metrics program.”

Unfortunately for those who partnered with us, someone in their organization was unwilling or unable to get us the information we needed to help them achieve the best results.

Whether you’re a hired gun or an internal testing team, the roadblocks to optimization efforts — corporate politics or culture, bureaucracy or malice, laziness or indifference — may well be insurmountable without one critical element: professional project management.

Marketers should insist that their online testing and optimization projects follow the same project management best practices that have shown real results for corporate IT projects.

Let’s start with project sponsorship. If you’ve ever attended a Project Management Institute course, you know the importance of engaged sponsorship from a strong leader or leadership team within the organization. That sponsor must be empowered to cut right through the smoke, the flak, or anything else being blown or thrown, in order to achieve the established objective of the project.

Having said that, if the project’s scope isn’t adequately defined at the outset, if establishing the key requirements (for example, access to specific data) has fallen short, then producing the deliverables will be a nightmare. The project is set up to fail from the beginning.

Paraphrasing Flint, it’s all about a company’s willingness and ability to make recommended changes.

Even if you get access to the data you need, if the IT team can’t or won’t help you implement, if the project sponsor is a sponsor in name only, or if inertia cannot be overcome . . . well, your optimization project is really done before it’s over. Stick a fork in it and . . .