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Posts Tagged ‘landing page optimization’

Understanding Your Customer’s Story: How one company increased conversion 104% by identifying motivation

May 21st, 2015 2 comments

Every time someone wants to buy something from your brand, there’s a story that explains why they want what you’re selling. Identifying that story is key to making the sale.

How do we know this is true? Because when we know someone’s story, we know their motivation. If someone is highly motivated to get a solution, they’ll put up with almost anything — a poorly written email, a slow website or even a convoluted sales flow — to get it.

Consider this patented heuristic:

 

This isn’t a math formula. It’s a guide that MarketingExperiments and its parent company, MECLABS Institute, derived from analyzing tens of thousands of sales flows. This heuristic reflects what it takes to convert (C) a prospect into a customer and shows how the five variables — motivation (m), value (v), incentive (i), friction (f) and anxiety (a) — relate to each other. The numbers next to the variables identify how powerfully they affect conversion. Note that motivation is the most heavily weighted variable.

If formulas make your eyes cross, all you need to know is this: if a customer is highly motivated, none of the other elements (such as friction, anxiety or a poorly communicated value proposition) can stop them from moving forward in the sales process.

The most recent Web clinic looked at clues that revealed customers’ stories and, consequently, their motivation. Watch it and, within 30 minutes, you’ll get critical information that you can use immediately to drive an impressive lift in conversions.

Consider the experience, the second company outlined during the Web Clinic, of a Canadian window manufacturer who was a student of MarketingExperiments. He called on MECLABS to help him increase conversions from his online site.

 

The Control

 

The team immediately began to look for clues that would tell the customer story. The Web clinic outlines four basic questions that will help you do the same:

  1. Who are your customers?
  2. Where did they come from?
  3. What have they done?
  4. How do you expect them to proceed?

For the sake of this company’s experience, the focus will be on questions two to four.

 

Where did the customer come from?

The answer: In the case of the window manufacturer, the team received an important insight about customer motivation. The number of visitors coming directly to the home page was abnormally higher than any other channel.

That’s when the business owner revealed his extensive direct mail campaign that was driving people to his website.

This is what his direct mail looked like:

 

What have they done?

The answer: Customers received the direct mail campaign and were investigating its offers by going online.

Which brings us to the final question: How do we expect them to proceed?

The answer: Customers will want to find out about their three free upgrades advertised in the direct mail.

Here’s the conundrum: The control mentioned none of this. Realizing this, the business owner changed the homepage.

 

The Treatment 

 

The results were immediate. This new site increased conversions by 104%. Here are the specifics:

This is just one example of how it pays to take the time to learn your customer’s story. (Watch the Web clinic to learn about others.) We’ve learned over and over again that if you organize every bit of information you have about customers around the four questions, the path to a faster conversion will become more clear.

 

You can follow Andrea Johnson, Copywriter, MECLABS on Twitter @IdeastoWords.

 

You might also like

Watch HD video replays of full sessions from MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015 [From MarketingSherpa, sister company of MarketingExperiments]

MECLABS Online Optimization Course and MECLABS Online Testing Course [More on the Conversion Heuristic]

Analyzing Customer Motivation to Create Campaign Incentives that Resonate [More from MarketingSherpa]

Landing Page Optimization: 3 keys to increasing conversion rates [MarketingSherpa webinar replay]

Landing Page Optimization: Conversion increased 37% by reducing copy

In a recently published case study, run in the MarketingSherpa B2C Newsletter, we focused on a broad search engine marketing (SEM) effort by 911 Restoration, a property disaster recovery business.

Paid search was an important element in that campaign, and testing and optimization on different elements also proved to be important to its success. Ten years after kicking off the focus on SEM, 90% of leads at 911 Restoration can be directly attributed to its SEO and PPC strategy and tactics.

This MarketingExperiments Blog post features one paid search test at 911 Restoration on its PPC landing pages. The test involved dramatically reducing the amount of copy on the landing page to discover how that impacted conversion, cost per acquisition and AdWords quality score.

 

Background

According to Miri Offir, Chief Marketing Officer, 911 Restoration, “The long copy was legacy content we inherited from the SEO team several months ago. After sending paid search clicks to these old long-copy pages for a few months, we decided to test shorter, more-focused copy against our long-copy control sites.”

She added, “We incorporated standard direct response, conversion-oriented copywriting heuristics to achieve this. Essentially, authoritative brevity was our goal because logically it followed that emergency oriented calls originated from users who did not want to read additional copy and instead only wanted a contact phone number.”

With the shorter landing page copy, the team expected an increase in leads generated due to a simplified user experience.

 

Control 

Read more…

A/B Testing: What choices does your content really influence?

April 9th, 2015 4 comments

Some tests and their results provide the opportunity to open up bigger discussions.

They are true diamonds in the rough that reveal some interesting insights about not only customers, but also us. I don’t know about you, but sometimes a small look inward can have a big impact out the look outward.

In today’s MarketingExperiments blog post, I wanted to share with you an interesting experiment from a recent Web clinic that increased lead rate 331% by optimizing the company’s value exchange experience with prospects.

 

Background: Migraine Treatment Centers of America offers an innovative long-term migraine treatment solution to people suffering from migraines.

Goal: To increase leads from the microsite.

Primary Research Question: Which value exchange strategy will result in a higher conversion rate?

Test Design: A/B multifactor split

 

The MECLABS Institute research team hypothesized that one of the biggest problems with the control was it did not effectively connect momentum created by the content to the next logical step in the conversion process.

Simply put, the site had content and it had calls-to-action, but the problem was a substantial break in continuity between them.

  Read more…

Landing Page Optimization: Simple, short form increases leads 40%

January 15th, 2015 1 comment

When looking to generate more leads from a landing page, make sure your objective is well defined on the page. A small, hidden call-to-action may not be seen by visitors, leaving potential leads unsure of the next step.

If this is the case, you may not need a radical redesign on the page. Instead, a simple and small change — highlighting the form as the next step in the visitor’s thought sequence — could increase the number of leads you capture.

Wanting more prospective students to fill out its lead gen form, American Sentinel University worked with MECLABS as a Research Partner. Read on to learn how a small change to the page increased the form completion rate by 40%.

 

Background: American Sentinel University, an accredited online university.
Objective: To increase the number of leads captured to speak with an advisor.
Primary Research Question: Which treatment will yield the highest conversion rate (i.e., form completion)?
Test Design: A/B test

 

When looking at the data analytics for its website, American Sentinel found that just 8% of unique visitors make it to a “Request More Information” form page. However, once a visitor arrives at a form, the data shows a completion rate of 43%.

“So we saw that there was motivation to fill out; the challenge was getting them there,” said Warren Staley, Research Manager, MECLABS Institute.

Previously, there were two ways for visitors to get to a “Request More Information” form page:

  1. A short form on the homepage, which leads to a second, longer form to acquire additional information from prospects
  2. Links throughout the site, including on each degree overview page and in the top navigation bar

The MECLABS research team wondered if there was enough value on the homepage to entice people to fill out the lead capture form at that point in their thought process. Thinking this approach might be a case of the cart being presented before the horse, the team developed an experiment to test this hypothesis.

(Editor’s Note: For your convenience, we’ve provided creative samples in two formats – SlideShare and thumbnails that expand when you click them.)

 

 

Control

The degree overview pages have a wealth of valuable information, and the next step in a prospect’s thought sequence is to request more information before making the ultimate conversion of applying.

However, the page didn’t generate the clickthrough or completed forms the university wanted.

The MECLABS research team identified a few value and friction issues that potentially hindered the pages’ effectiveness:

  • There is no value regarding why a visitor may want additional information.
  • The page doesn’t effectively guide visitors through a logical thought sequence.
  • Current “Request More Information” call-to-action (CTA) is buried and may not attract user attention.
  • The request link in the header is lost due to multiple navigation bars.
  • With multiple columns and navigations, too many competing objectives make it difficult for visitors to know what they’re supposed to do on the page.

Read more…

Price Testing: Order of prices increases revenue 51% per visitor for Portland Trail Blazers

October 27th, 2014 No comments

Last month, I sat down with Dewayne Hankins, Vice President of Marketing and Digital for the Portland Trail Blazers NBA team, to talk about how they leveraged dynamic ticket pricing in the purchasing process for single-ticket buyers.

We talked a lot about the effort as a whole, which involved launching a brand new site and optimizing various elements to provide fans with an experience that was relevant to them.

Testing, instead of relying on gut feelings and instincts, is the only way to truly know if your efforts are making an impact.

The team at the Portland Trail Blazers took testing to heart, and experimented on even smallest elements on the single-game ticket pages — the order of pricing.

Here are the details on one of those tests:

 

Control 

 

On the ticket pages displaying the upcoming games, pricing was listed in ascending order from left to right, with the highest price next to the “Find Tickets” button.

 

Treatment

Treatment

 

On the treatment ticket page, the team reversed the order of pricing. The lowest prices were now next to the “Find Ticket” button.

Read more…

Landing Page Optimization: 5 factors that lead to (and prevent) conversion

August 18th, 2014 1 comment

Anytime we share research about overall conversion rate benchmarks, I give the same caveat – while it’s helpful to understand conversion rates for your peers, the bigger question you must ask yourself is how to improve conversion rates on your own landing pages and in your own funnels.

 

Is there a methodical way to increase conversion?

While marketing has tended to be dominated by the marketer with the “golden gut” or the star direct response copywriter, other disciplines in the enterprise – from manufacturing to IT – have developed methodological processes to improve quality and consistency.

The MECLABS Conversion Sequence Heuristic is an attempt to bring the same discipline, rigor and sustainable success to the marketing department. It is part of a patented repeatable methodology (patent number 8,155,995) developed by Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS (parent company of MarketingExperiments), based on years of testing and research of real product and service offers presented to real customers.

conversion-sequence-heuristic

 

For long-time MarketingExperiments readers, you might be very familiar with the Conversion Sequence Heuristic and have, hopefully, been using it to improve conversion in your own tests. (If so, let me know. We’d love to share those results to inspire other marketers.)

But since the Conversion Sequence Heuristic helps more new marketers discovering it for the first time every year, it helps to occasionally revisit this fundamental approach to marketing every now and again.

Read on for a cursory look at the factors that affect conversion, and if you’d like a more in-depth understanding of how you can apply this heuristic to your own landing pages and marketing efforts, you can take the Landing Page Optimization Online Course.

 

Probability of conversion

The Conversion Sequence Heuristic is not an equation to solve. Rather, it is a heuristic, or thought tool (i.e., really cool checklist) to use as you work on landing pages and other marketing offers.

You can never guarantee conversion, but by making (sometimes subtle) changes to the right areas, you can increase the probability of conversion. This heuristic helps you identify those key areas.

 

Motivation of user

The numbers in front of the different elements of the heuristic indicate how much they impact the probability of conversion. All of the elements are not equal.

The motivation of the user is the single most important factor affecting conversion.

To see why, let me give you a simple example using myself as the customer. I am a huge Pearl Jam fan. If Pearl Jam came to Jacksonville, Fla., I would find a way to be at the concert, even if their ticket selling process, sales funnel and landing page were not optimized. I am highly motivated.

The motivation of the user is also the only element of the Conversion Sequence Heuristic that you cannot change. It is intrinsic in your potential customers.

You can, however, gain an understanding of your potential customers’ motivations to better tap into those natural motivations and better serve your ideal customers while improving conversion.

Read more…