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Posts Tagged ‘PPC’

Testing and Optimization: A/B tests on landing pages, email and paid search from case studies

March 5th, 2015 No comments

No matter what type of digital marketing campaigns you are executing, there are elements in every channel that can be tested and optimized to improve campaign performance.

For example, email subject lines, copy, design and even the “from” field can be tested. Webpage elements ripe for testing include design, layout, copy, color, call-to-action button elements and more. With paid search you should be testing keywords on an ongoing basis to continually improve your PPC spend, but you can also test ad copy and calls-to-action.

At MarketingSherpa (sister company of MarketingExperiments), we publish case studies in our newsletters every week, and very often those case studies include a testing and optimization element. For today’s MarketingExperiments Blog post, I wanted to share three of those examples taken from previously published newsletter case studies.

I hope these tests give you some ideas on testing your own digital marketing channels.

 

Test #1. Webpage: Increasing lead generation on a landing page

This first test was actually a collaboration between researchers at MECLABS (the parent company of MarketingExperiments) and HubSpot and was conducted during Optimization Summit 2012. The full test was covered in the article, “A/B Testing: How a landing page test yielded a 6% increase in leads.”

A lead form landing page for HubSpot’s software with a free special report incentive for filling out the registration form was tested, with the Summit attendees providing input on what to test.

Before the Summit, the testing team came up with four hypothesis options:

Hypothesis 1 — Visitors arriving to the page are highly motivated to download the e-book based on brand recognition. Removing friction from the page will result in a higher conversion rate.

Hypothesis 2 — Communicating the urgency of the offer — that the free e-book download is a limited-time offer — will result in a higher conversion rate.

Hypothesis 3 — Adding more visual value to the page, such as charts and graphs from the e-book, will result in a higher conversion rate.

Hypothesis 4 — Incorporating pricing information to increase the perceived value of the e-book will result in a higher conversion rate.

The audience was allowed to choose which one to test and decided on Hypothesis 2.

 

Control

 

Treatment (Hypothesis 2)

 

The only difference between the two versions was an emblem on the page, stating, “Limited Time Offer,” to add urgency to the incentive.

The test was executed during the two days of Summit. At a 97% confidence level, it determined that the Treatment outperformed the Control 6.8%.

 

Test #2. Email: Testing every element in an email send

International SOS is a B2B company providing medical and travel security risk services to international corporations, governments and NGOs. The MarketingSherpa Email Newsletter case study, “Email Marketing: 400% webinar attendance increase for B2B company through relevance and A/B testing,” covered how International SOS regularly tested multiple elements in its email sends to continually optimize its campaigns.

Nadia Karasawa, Assistant Marketing Manager, International SOS, explained that emailed webinar invites were sent every month to the same audience.  That consistency made it easy for the team to A/B test email elements and benchmark against previous results.

Here are some of the elements tested and what International SOS learned about its email audience:

  • Call-to-action — the team found out that repeating the call-to-action three times offered the best results
  • “Register Now” outperformed “Register” with 4% more conversions
  • An orange call-to-action button outperformed blue or gray by 5%
  • Describing the webinar as “express,” even though the 30-minute length was not changed, increased registration and attendance
  • Other discoveries include: four bullet points outperformed three, social sharing did not improve results and both six and seven form field registrations performed equally well

What was the value of constantly testing and optimizing so many email elements?

The results the team was able to achieve were:

 

The 2011 send vs. 2012 send:

  • A 72% increase in registration
  • A 23% increase in attendees

The 2012 send vs. 2013 send:

  • A 47% increase in registration
  • A 23% increase in attendees

 

Test #3. Paid Search: Testing PPC ad copy

Testing and Optimization: Effort across entire PPC funnel leads to 83,000% boost in membership application performance,” features a test on paid search ad copy, pitting four different versions of the ad against each other. This test was run by GS1 US, a nonprofit that issues prefixes used to create U.P.C. and supply chain barcodes.

The entire optimization program covered every element of its paid search, from ad copy to landing pages and finally the application form that served as the final conversion of the PPC campaign. For this post we are focusing on the ad copy test.

The team created four versions of the PPC ad and compared results:

 

Ad #1:

Need to Get UPC Barcodes?
GS1 US, the only authorized source
in the U.S. for your U.P.C. barcodes
Barcodes.GS1US.org

Ad #2:

Need to Get U.P.C. Barcodes?
Buy Authentic U.P.C. Barcodes
only from GS1 US Apply Online
Barcodes.GS1US.org

Ad #3:

UPC Barcodes
GS1 US, the only authorized source
in the U.S. for your U.P.C. barcodes
Barcodes.GS1US.org

Ad #4:

UPC Barcodes
Buy authentic U.P.C. Barcodes
only from GS1 US Apply Online
Barcodes.GS1US.org

 

Results

Ad #1 won the overall test with the highest clickthrough rate, besting Ad #2 by 110%, Ad #3 150.7% and Ad #4 by 252%, all at a 99.7% confidence level for the test.

One reason GS1 US tested two sets of ad titles and body text was to find the optimal combination. However, the tests were also designed to discover which language best resonated with its target audience to use for messaging in other venues, such as landing pages.

 

David is a Reporter for MECLABS Institute. You can follow on Twitter at @DavidOnline.

 

You might also like

Online Testing: Why are you really testing? [More from the blogs]

Email Testing: How the Obama campaign generated approximately $500 million in donations from email marketing [MarketingSherpa case study]

Email Marketing: Education group utilizes A/B testing to increase open rates by 39% [MarketingSherpa case study]

Email Preheaders Tested: The surprising sensitivity of a single line of text [More from the blogs]

 

PPC Optimization: Tips from your peers on regional differences, Google Product Listing Ads, distracted visitors and offline conversion

March 13th, 2013 No comments

With pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, you pay money every time your ad drives someone to your landing page, so improving conversion is crucial to a healthy ROI. After all, you’re directly paying for this traffic, therefore each bounced potential customer seems to hurt just a little bit more.

Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS, will share our discoveries about optimizing landing pages that receive traffic from PPC ads on today’s free Web clinic – Converting PPC Traffic: How strategic keyword placement increased conversion by 144%.

But before we share what we’ve learned, we wanted to hear from you. Here are a few PPC conversion optimization tips from your peers …

 

Pay attention to regional differences

We market on a regional local basis. Establishing a persona per market has worked well.

Also, messaging by market has worked well. The lesson we have learned is, regional differences do exist, and experimenting to find those differences is  key to optimization.

Ben Joslin, VP of Marketing, MD Connect

 

5 tips to optimize Google Product Listing Ads

Here are some tips to improve your Google Product Listing Ad (PLA) program:

1. Reliable Google Merchant Center integration

Continuously maintain and update the product feed and use the resulting performance data as the basis for future optimization.

2. Manage PLAs at the product, category and sub-category level

A combination of broad and more specific product targets will result in the best balance in traffic and efficiency.

3. Leverage text ad performance to improve PLAs

Product-related keywords and queries that have been successful in your PPC program may translate well into PLAs, and vice-versa. Continuous search query mining and expansion of coverage is critical to PLA growth.

4. Match terms to customer intent and negate ineffectual terms

Mine queries for those that are successfully converting, and negate search queries that are not performing well.

5. Optimize and test landing page and PLA ad text

Use Google to promote text and promotional pricing in the feed. Design and test various landing pages on a product-specific level to determine what converts [the] fastest.

Auburn Rutledge, Client Manager, Adlucent

Read more…

Value Proposition: A simple spreadsheet to help you categorize your products’ value

February 27th, 2013 4 comments

Recently, I went through a value proposition workshop for our upcoming Optimization Summit 2013 in Boston led by Adam Lapp, Associate Director of Optimization and Strategy, MECLABS.

The workshop produced a very simple, yet powerful spreadsheet I’m going to share with you today on the MarketingExperiments blog.

Simple, because it is essentially just a list of different elements or points of value of your products with a rating to determine how valuable they are.

Powerful, because … be honest. With all of the email sends, meetings and campaigns you run, how often do you really step back and try to categorize and rank the value of your products through your customers’ eyes?

So, download the MarketingExperiments Value Proposition Spreadsheet. Here are a few simple tips to get you started …

 

Get the key people in the same room

And brainstorm. But, this is a structured brainstorm. Start by simply listing all of the different points of value your product might have. Let’s take a car as an example:

  • Best-in-class fuel efficiency
  • High, but not top, safety rating
  • Snazzy new design
  • Unique sound system

Then, rate each of these elements of value on a scale of 1 to 5 for the following factors:

  • Appeal – How much is this offer desired?
  • Exclusivity – Is this offer available elsewhere?
  • Credibility – How believable are your claims?

Based on this ranking, you will find elements likely to be more valuable to your audience, and elements somewhat less valuable to your audience.

Plus, using the spreadsheet, you now have a consistent way to communicate the levels of significance for different elements of value to everyone in your organization who is involved with that product.

  Read more…

Value Proposition Testing: 64% of marketers say landing pages are most effective

October 22nd, 2012 No comments

We surveyed 1,915 marketers for the MarketingSherpa 2012 Lead Generation Benchmark Report, and asked them which methods were most effective for testing value propositions. Here is what the data says …

Q: Which methods have been the most effective at testing your value proposition? Select up to three responses.

click to enalrge

Read more…

Which PPC Ad Won? (Marketing intuition contest)

March 28th, 2012 16 comments

In today’s Web clinic, “What Your Customers Want: How to predict customer behavior for maximum ROI,” Dr. Flint McGlaughlin will present a recent PPC experiment from our lab in which you, the MarketingExperiments blog reader, helped create the treatment.

But before we do that, we wanted to give you a chance to predict which PPC ad received a higher clickthrough rate.

The marketer with the best answer will win a copy of Kristin Zhivago’s book, Roadmap to Revenue.  Kristin is a speaker at the upcoming Optimization Summit 2012 in Denver.

 

The background

In a recent PPC test for a MECLABS Research Partner (designed in part by Amy Harold), the Partner wanted to see which ad would generate more clicks. The goal here was to learn enough about the audience to be able to plan a content strategy that would pull in more prospects to their offer.

Here are the four treatments we tested:

ppc-ad-contest

 

How to win

To win the book (and the respect of your peers), you need to tell us two things in the comments of this blog post:

  1. Which treatment won
  2. Why it won

The marketer who guesses the correct treatment and gives us the best reason why they think that treatment won, will win the contest and be featured on this blog post as having near-psychic levels of marketing intuition.

So go ahead and study the slides embedded above and then leave a comment below. But do it quickly because the deadline is 4:00 EDT today.

P.S. To be among the first to know whether you were right or not, you can tune into today’s Web clinic at 4:00 pm EDT (hence the deadline) where we’ll reveal the results and dive into how you can predict your customers’ behavior.

 

***UPDATE***

Congratulations to Tanith, who gave the nearest thing to a correct answer of any of the commenters!

If I wasn’t diagnosed, but wondered if I had the condition, I’d go for T4.

 

Technically, Luke Thorpe was the only one who gave the absolute correct answer, but because he works in this office, I’m not sure I believed him when he told me he hadn’t seen the winner beforehand. :)

So I can’t in good conscience make him the official winner.

Tanith will be receiving a copy of Roadmap to Revenue in the coming week or so.

Thank you to all of our commenters, and thank you especially to Tanith for having great marketing intuition!


Related Resources:

What Your Customers Want: How to predict customer behavior for maximum ROI – View the Web clinic replay to learn more about what your customers want

Online Advertising Forensics: We investigate how and why a text-based PPC ad produced 47% more conversions

How to Test Your Value Proposition Using a PPC Ad

Search Engine Marketing: Finding appeal for your PPC Ads

PPC Mysteries Revealed: 7 Answers to your pressing PPC questions

February 13th, 2012 1 comment

Pay-per-click advertising is a mysterious subject. A lot goes on behind the scenes at Google that they simply won’t let us in on.

Because of that, marketers often struggle to get their PPC questions answered.

In our most recent Web clinic, “Online Advertising Forensics: We investigate how and why a text-based PPC ad produced 47% more conversions,” we had several great questions from our audience. But we didn’t have time to answer them in the clinic. So, to help them (and you), we wrote this post with answers to the most pressing questions.

Hopefully you can find questions similar to the ones you have so you can apply it to your own PPC campaigns …

Read more…