Posts Tagged ‘increased conversion rate’

Marketing Optimization: 10 resources to help your online testing efforts

November 19th, 2012

At MarketingExperiments, we often write blog posts that dig deep into the experiments and tests we share with you to help you do your job better.

However, all the test results in the world don’t matter if you’re new to online testing or knee deep in data with no idea where to turn next.

So, in today’s MarketingExperiments blog post, we’re sharing 10 free resources you can use to learn more about online testing or to gain helpful insights on what to test next on your landing pages.


Also, you can download slides from our previous Web clinics on our SlideShare page.

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Value Proposition Development: 5 insights to help you discover your value prop

October 29th, 2012

The next time your marketing team gets together for a meeting, take a look around the room. Then, imagine if your team lined up and every odd-numbered person was asked to step out and have a seat at a nearby table.

The idea is not that half your team has now become prime contestants for “The Hunger Games: Marketing Edition.” The goal of this exercise is to show some of what I recently learned from the MECLABS Value Proposition Development online course by placing a little visual emphasis on the findings in the chart below:


Click to enlarge


In the MarketingSherpa 2012 Website Optimization Benchmark Report (free excerpt at that link), when CMOs were asked, “Are you confident that each member of your marketing team can clearly and succinctly state your company or product value proposition?” nearly half of the survey’s respondents were not confident that each member of their marketing team could state their organization’s value proposition.

This data also suggests that if you’re not confident all of your team can effectively express your value proposition, then maybe you should take a moment and ask yourself …

“Can I clearly and succinctly state the core value proposition of my organization or the product that I am marketing?”  (Take another moment to write down the answer to that question before reading further.)

If your value prop resembles any of the following:

  • “We empower your software decisions.”
  • “I don’t sell products and services; I sell results — my guarantee.”
  • “We help people find their passion and purpose.”
  • “We are the leading [insert your service here] provider.”
  • “Get found online.”
  • “This site has what the person is looking to find.”

Then you should know two things:

  1. Your value proposition is most likely underperforming and could be improved significantly.
  1. You are probably not alone (according to the 48% at least). Other members of your team are likely just as confused as you are when it comes to value proposition.

So today’s MarketingExperiments Blog post will hopefully demystify some of the confusion that surrounds value propositions, while also providing you with a few insights you can use to get started on crafting a stronger value proposition that you can put into your testing queue.

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Web Analytics: 3 basic insights to get you started

August 1st, 2012

During a recent Web clinic – “Five Steps to better Metrics” – one audience member tweeted two questions: “How can I know if my analytics data is doing well or underperforming?” and “Is there any industry-based benchmark [to measure the performance of my analytics against]?”

I thought these were great questions, so in today’s MarketingExperiments blog post, we will discuss the purpose of analytics, what you should be tracking, and the ultimate benchmark for your industry. (Also, you can always join the conversations on Twitter during our free live Web clinics at #webclinic to ask questions of your own … and share some answers from what you’ve learned.)


The purpose of analytics?

In the Web clinic mentioned above, Dr. Flint McGlaughlin, CEO and Managing Director, MECLABS, cautioned that, “We can get lost in mounds of data.” He offered these three insights into the purpose of analytics:

  • The goal of all customer research is to enable the marketer to predict customer behavior.
  • Therefore, the primary usefulness of metrics is not in answering,How many?but rather in answering, “Why so?
  • Ultimately, metrics enable the marketer to see the cognitive trail left by the visitor’s mind.

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Landing Page Optimization: Identify and express why I should buy from you

July 23rd, 2012

My best friend Brandon has decided to become an entrepreneur.

I’ve watched as his idea has grown from a hobby in his kitchen, to the R&D stage that his product is currently in.

By default of being a close friend to Brandon, I’ve become, at times, his marketing consultant … whether I wanted the job or not. (I think every marketer can relate to this. We all have a family member or close friend that picks our brain for suggestions over a game of golf or at a dinner party.)

Recently, I became a new member of the MarketingExperiments team. In the week leading up to the first day at my new job (and if you’re interested, we’re still hiring), I decided to try to hit the ground running by taking one of the online courses MECLABS offers. Knowing that I needed to learn the basics of Internet marketing and optimization, I chose to start with the Landing Page Optimization course.

In the past, I have given Brandon marketing advice with a “swim at your own risk” caution attached because I am not a marketing guru or a weather-tested C-suite member with years of experience under my belt. I am a young marketer who still has a LOT to learn.

Today, I’ll share what I have learned about optimization for marketers like myself and for those entrepreneurs like Brandon who are braving the storms of the marketplace.

Learning to identify and express a value proposition effectively has given me an entirely new way of thinking about business and marketing.


What is a value proposition?

In the course, Dr. Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director and CEO, MECLABS, explains that value proposition is the primary reason why your ideal prospect should buy from you rather than your competitors. Value proposition has one of the greatest impacts on the probability of conversion as shown here in the MECLABS Conversion Sequence heuristic.


Click to Enlarge


[Please note: For the purposes of the MarketingExperiments testing methodology, friction is defined as a psychological resistance to a given element in the sales or sign-up process. Anxiety is a psychological concern stimulated by a given element in the sales or sign-up process.]

Flint emphasizes that since your value proposition is the primary reason why your ideal prospect should buy from you rather than your competitors, you should also consider the following:

  • A value proposition will require you to differentiate your offer from your competitors
  • You may match a competitor on every dimension of value except one
  • In at least one element of value you need to excel
  • In this way, you become the best choice for your optimum customer

Flint also adds it is important to understand the clarity of the value proposition is a factor that you can control directly.

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Homepage Optimization: 5 questions every marketing team should ask themselves

July 13th, 2012

Homepage optimization is a continuing process. Even after getting a significant lift, opportunities to better serve your customers exist beyond the results of your current testing.

In today’s MarketingExperiments blog post, we’ll use a real homepage as an example to show friction challenges your page might be having, along with five questions you should ask yourself about your pages.

That’s what Graham Arrowsmith, Business Development Director, Listnow, did after making significant changes to his homepage page from watching our Web clinic “Hidden Friction: The 6 silent killers of conversion.”

“I watched the videos, took notes, then tore into redesign,” Graham said.

But, he didn’t stop there. He also asked the MECLABS team of research analysts for optimization advice as well. Let’s first look at the changes Graham made, and then see the additional optimization analysis conducted by Kyle Foster, Research Analyst, MECLABS.

Also, you may find it helpful to have your homepages and landing pages printed out in front of you. We hope this post will give you testing ideas as well, so get your red ink ready to mark your pages up based on ideas you get from these changes and add them to your testing queue.

The Listnow team made the following changes based on Graham’s notes from the “Hidden Friction” Web clinic:

  • The team included a call-to-action. (The previous page did not have one.)
  • Homepage content was reduced because it was considered a distraction that created confusion.
  • The claimed size of their database was lowered from an exaggerated 2M to 1.85M to reflect what is actually available to customers.
  • The amount of text on the page was reduced
  • Security seals were moved. They were previously buried in content
  • Listnow simplified the forms, and considered how much information for which it asked.

The team also looked at the changes it didn’t need to make. The page did not have one of the elements of friction Dr. Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director and CEO, MECLABS, taught about in the Web clinic: asking for too much information. “Not guilty,” Graham said. The previous Listnow page did not ask for any information from a prospect until they were directed to the sign-up.

Here is what the Listnow page looks like after Graham and his team made the changes.


Click to enlarge


Although Listnow is off to a great start, it is important to remember that optimization is not a sprint. It is a marathon. There is always room for more testing and improvements on those results.

After reviewing Listnow’s changes, Kyle had some testing suggestions for the Listnow team based on a Conversion Index Analysis he conducted using the MECLABS Conversion Index heuristic.

Kyle’s analysis also introduces five important questions that Graham, and every marketing team, should ask as they formulate tests.

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Test Your Marketing Intuition: Why did this treatment outperform the control by 53%?

January 11th, 2012

In this world, there are systems that underperform. It is a fact of life. A quick look at the world’s distribution of wealth is all anyone needs for proof of that. It happens all the time on a macro level. And when a system doesn’t just underperform but is truly broken, it usually means you need to tear it down and start from scratch.

And while it may not be humanly possible to do that for the world’s economic system, it’s very doable with your website.

Our websites are simply little systems that should present enough pieces of our value proposition in the right sequence to our ideal customer so that they take the desired action. You can make many tweaks to your site to improve how well it does that … and in so doing, improve conversion.

But for some websites, the system is broken. A new approach is needed. At MECLABS, we call this a category shift.


How can I implement a category shift for my website?

To implement this category shift, you need a radical redesign.

A radical redesign is simply an experimental approach in which the experimental treatments are “radically” or “categorically” different from the control.

While definitions are certainly interesting, it’s probably easier to give you an example of a radical redesign. So here’s a radical redesign experiment we recently ran with one of our research partners to flesh out that definition. It also happens to be the same experiment we’ll study in-depth for today’s free Web clinic at 4:00 pm EST: Rapidly Maximizing Conversion: How one company quickly achieved a 53.9% lift with a radical redesign.

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