Dr. Suess wrote The Cat in the Hat with only 236 words, so his editor bet him that he couldn’t write a book with only 50 different words. Dr. Suess won the bet with Green Eggs & Ham, which became one of the best-selling children’s books of all time.”

This is a quote from my favorite chapter of Steal Like an Artist titled “Choose What to Leave Out”, and it applies directly to EVERYTHING in CRO.

Communicating rich thoughts and ideas with minimal waste is called “word economy” when we’re copywriting or designing headline experiments.

This is directly applicable to minimizing  page elements, focused messaging, effective elevator pitches, or building your deck.

On the CRO side alone I’ve written out several examples of this concept in motion:

Simple, beautiful and distilled messaging ALWAYS wins in my experience.

Kind of like this: “Full service conversion rate optimization on a performance basiscontact us today!

During the holiday season when retailers are at peak-spends to drive traffic to their websites, squeezing every nickel of profit out of each sale is crucial.

Back in the early days of web marketing (2002 to be exact) we managed website conversion testing for a site called Wholesaler’s Handbook.

The product was aimed at EBAY sellers to provide access to wholesale product sources, and was priced at $49.95.

Around this time we’d begun experimenting with “Price Elasticity Testing”, which was originated by an economist in 1890.

By applying this methodology, we nearly doubled the site’s profit margin in about 2 weeks . . . (more…)

Proper Trust Logo Placement for Rockin’ Conversions

Verisign recently published a study demonstrating that the “trust index” of your average web visitor is at a paltry 61.5 points out of a possible 100. (

In other words, your average web visitor is extremely wary and rates the overall trust worthiness of unfamiliar websites just above an “F”.

It’s for this reason that many security & trust logos exist – they’re designed to bring outside credibility and reinforce that a new user can trust your website.

Most of the big players in the trust logo space offer a litany of studies demonstrating how simply adding their logo will improve your website conversion rate.

In person, salespeople sell differently to men and women – here’s why that works and how to duplicate it online.

Last week I overheard a conversation about how “stylists” are trained to sell hair coloring, premium hair products, and massages to men and women differently. (more…)

The Wall Street journal suggests that “Merry Christmas” still reigns in popularity as a season’s greeting over “Happy Holidays”

So how does emailing customers with one or the other impact conversion rates?

We selected a 100,000 customer list for a client who tested these subject lines:

A few additional notes on the test:

  • The client is a large retailer, their customers mirror a general sample of the USA.
  • The email mirrored the subject line’s message; all other elements were the same.
  • We sent the email on the 21st of December.

The results show a HUGE difference . . .

As you can see the “Merry Christmas” subject line drove nearly double the click through rate of the other subject lines.

While we haven’t included the “buy rate” in the chart above due to client confidentiality, the results were similarly impressive.

Nearly doubling the number of transactions by changing an email subject line fairly well illustrates why if you’re not rigorously testing every facet of your online business (or letting us do it for you!), you’re throwing money away.

More fun with email testing:

P.S. – Contact us today to increase your conversion rate . . .

We work on a performance basis and charge nothing up front.

If you want to drastically improve your conversion rate contact us today.

This morning we woke up to an alert from the Google Website Optimizer Team titled “Security issue in Website Optimizer” that has since been verified as legitimate by Search Engine Land amongst others.

The full text of the email & instructions to remedy your experiments is below: (more…)

There’s an interesting story (via HN) about Capital One segmenting visitors – users were shown different loan rates based on which web browser they used.

Are there really differences in user demographics between browsers? (more…)

What if changing one small field could increase your conversion rate to the tune of millions of dollars a year – do such things exist?

According to Expedia, the answer is a resounding yes – by adjusting on simple field on their checkout form they were able to increase their site PROFIT by $12 million a year.

How did they do it?

“We had an optional field on the site under ‘Name’, which was ‘Company’ . . . After we realized that we just went onto the site and deleted that field – overnight there was a step function [change], resulting in $12m of profit a year, simply by deleting a field.”

Why was changing this field so critical?

“It confused some customers who filled out the ‘Company’ field with their bank name. After putting in their bank name, these customers then went on to enter the address of their bank, rather than their home address, in the address field.”

This example illustrates that at LEAST half the battle in website optimization is understanding the points of friction that your users are experiencing.

From our recent interview, our favorite tools to understanding points of friction are:

1) UserTesting.com – For less than $100 you can have three complete strangers go through your website, attempt to perform a task, and listen to their annotation and observe them through a screen capture. Watching users flounder through your meticulously designed website is a humbling process, but invaluable to understand where your friction points are. A similar service that’s newer to us is userlytics.com which provides all of the above, but also includes video of the facial response of users on your site.

2) UserFly.com– UserFly is the more macro-version of UserTesting – this system allows you to watch as live user sessions play out on your site, and dig into the data.

3) ClickTale.com– Incredible set of tools, the “attention heatmaps” in particular have provided us with double digit conversion insights on a regular basis, well worth the price of admission.

Finally, worth a mention is a newer tool that has disruptive potential – GazeHawk.com provides eye-tracking studies for less than $50.00.

Online solutions like CrazyEgg.com mimic the functionality without being as exacting, and most traditional eye-tracking vendors rely on expensive hardware solutions and charge 10 – 20x that fee.

Definitely a service we’re experimenting with, and worth a test.

If you think $12 million is a big number, make sure not to miss the story of the button that increased sales by $300,000,000.

Check out more Conversion Voodoo content . . .

Contact us today to increase your Conversion Rate . . .

We put our money where our mouth is – click here to contact us today and learn how we can drastically increase your website conversion rate for no money up front, and backed by our $10,000 guarantee!

In person, salespeople sell differently to men and women – here’s why that works and how to duplicate it online.

Last week I overheard a conversation about how “stylists” are trained to sell hair coloring, premium hair products, and massages to men and women differently. (more…)

Incorporating reviews & testimonials into your website can instantly increase your conversion rate. This tactic works because it increases user trust – in fact a recent study explains:

“70% of website visitors trust opinions of unknown users [when making a product buying decision].” – Nielsen Consumer Survey

Because conversion rate testing is always tied to the small details, we recently designed an experiment to test two seperate directions for customer review formatting . . .  (more…)