Archive for the "Conversion Testing" Category
Colors – they say a lot about a website. As a society, we’ve been studying colors and the associations behind them for a long time. There have been sociological and psychological studies performed, history studied, and more. No matter what is behind how we perceive colors, there is no denying certain colors evoke certain emotions. What are the colors of your website saying to your customers?
Stay Calm with Blue
Image via Flickr by stevendepolo
Blue has long been seen as a calm, cool color. In web design it also shows that you are trustworthy. There are a variety of major companies that use cool shades of blue to help portray this in their branding. Take Microsoft for example. Blue works great with any number of products and industries.
If you have a website, you need to make sure that you market it well. However, to do that, you need to know exactly what your customers are looking for. There are a variety of ways to do this, but the two most debated options are A/B testing and multivariate testing. What are the differences? Which is better for your site?
Learning the Basics of the Two
First, you need to understand the differences between A/B testing and multivariate testing. There are several key differences, so establishing those is the first move creating the most effective landing page.
- A/B testing – After creating two versions of a website, you split the traffic coming to your site evenly between the two.
- Multivariate testing – You only have one version of the website. You are testing a variety of elements inside the page, to see what is most popular.
“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:
- Using simple language will improve your conversion rate
- Using simple, ugly design will improve your conversion rate
- Dramatically cutting your content will increase your conversion rate
Simple, beautiful and distilled messaging ALWAYS wins in my experience.
Kind of like this: “Full service conversion rate optimization on a performance basis – contact us today!“
A new CNN article suggests that “Merry Christmas” still rings brighter over “Happy Holidays”
Overall poll results for Americans:
- 64% prefer “Merry Christmas”
- 31% prefer “Happy Holidays”
- 5% are unsure
Ok. So now you’ve got some data from a obscure poll that says solid majority of Americans prefer you to say “Merry Christmas”. The question is what do you do with that? Do you put “Merry Christmas” on every page? Maybe on banner ads? What about emails? Or should you say it at all?
Well, since we are into testing, we cajoled one of our clients to let us test Merry Christmas v. Happy Holiday a couple Christmases ago. The client allowed us to test this with specific email campaigns, and below are results: (from a prior post.)
We wanted to know if using “Merry Christmas” versus “Happy Holidays” in an email campaign to a small segment of customers would impact conversion rates?
We were able to randomly select a group of 100,000 customers for a client and tested these subject lines:
A few 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 showed a HUGE difference . . .
As you can clearly see, “Merry Christmas” killed it, nearly doubling the click through rate of the other subject lines.
Although we’re not allowed to share the “buy” data, it was just as impressive. Nearly doubling the number of transactions by changing an email subject line shows just how important it is to test and try new things. If you’re not constantly testing, you’re throwing money away!
Have any of you tested MC vs. HH and seen a difference? Do tell us. We wish you a Happy Holiday season! ;-P
Landing page optimization is a process. Your marketing team boosts results 5% here, 12% there, and gains a little each time. Before you know it, the conversion rate is twice as high as when you started. Boom!
When you’ve worked the same page for a while, though, that steady pace can turn into a jungle death march. The quicksand grabs your boots. The HiPPOs get restless. Your results linger in single digits. Half your tests show a decline. You feel stuck.
At that point, forget the quicksand. It’s time to burn down the jungle! Start over with a completely different page.
Think big. Go crazy. Never Quit Testing!! Try something completely different. You just might learn something.
Optimize the other way
The goal of your new page should be to learn something about the audience. One way to do this is with a completely opposite approach. Here’s what we mean:
- Images – is your page image heavy? Chances are that some of those images aren’t carrying their weight or supporting the offer. Try cutting most of them – or all of them. Focus on the page’s copy and layout and give your designer a rest.
- Layout – Have you set a horizontal eye path, getting people to look from left to right? Then try vertical. Start by grabbing attention at the top of the page and guiding it down to the call-to-action. Another idea is to cut almost everything from the page. Place all the information in the center and give visitors nothing to look at except the most vital info. Read the rest of this entry »
Some recent Adobe landing page optimization research shows that marketers are catching onto this whole “optimization thing.” Many, however, have yet to grab some big opportunities.
The Adobe optimization survey queried more than 1,700 digital marketers. The findings are published in the “Top 5 Conversion Opportunities” report and a nifty infographic (note: you have to fill out a form to get the report).
The report’s insights are great, but we dug into the data and found a few of our own. Then we turned them into tips to boost your conversion rates.
Tip #1. Optimize more than landing pages
When someone says “conversion optimization,” marketers think “landing pages.” Not surprisingly, landing page tests are the most popular with 41% of marketers running them. And since the homepage is often a landing page, 33% of marketers are testing there as well.
The percentages start dropping like bricks from there. Here’s a chart from the Adobe report:
The big opportunity here is all the way at the top. Only 10% of marketers test their shopping carts and forms. Seriously!?! That’s less than half the number that test display ads!
In marketing, you need to separate the good sparks from the bad. Ideas that are based on opinion and anecdotes are often bad. Ideas that are based on research, metrics and facts are much more likely to be good.
Here’s how you can use testing to keep your butt out of the fire.
Start testing and stop arguing
Here’s a scenario: your colleague wants to divert all of your resources into building a microsite. Why? Because you need it for a campaign next month and that’s what everyone else is doing. Your boss nods.
Red alarms blare in your head:
- We’ve never tried this before!
- How will we hit this month’s numbers?!
- Have I updated my resume?
This is when you should condemn your colleague as a fool – just kidding! People with ideas are brave, so don’t attack them. Arguing doesn’t accomplish anything.
Instead, propose a three-step test.
Step #1. Pick something simpler
If you’re like the other gazillion websites trying to get people to sign up for an email newsletter, then you probably have an opt-in email popup form. You know, it’s that annoying lay-over popup box that asks new visitors to opt-in with their name and emails.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were landing page optimization best practices for designing these? Then your opt-in popups could grab many more subscribers right out of the gate. At the very least, it would be good to know which elements are worth focusing on in testing.
Since we thought it would help a LOT of people to get some straight answers on popup opt-in forms, we got Jeremy “Shoemoney” Schoemaker on the phone (Conversion Voodoo is very lucky to work with the best of the best in online marketing). We had an idea for him:
“Whaddya think about us running some tests on the opt-in popup for your newsletter?” Jeremy’s reply was about as easy as they come, “Have at it!” So we did.
Not only that, but Jeremy requested that we post the results for his audience. All we could say was “absolutely!” We rarely get to publish results because 99% of our clients want to remain anonymous — so this was sweet!
Our goal was to test the “default” settings on the popup to see if there were the better ways to convert visitors into subscribers. We hoped to find some best practices to share with you for your website that may not have a horde of visitors every month like the Shoemoney blog. Although we counted more than 30 different elements in opt-in popups, we whittled that number down to the most relevant (i.e. the ones you should care about), which you’ll see in the tests below.
Read the rest of this entry »
Hot off the conversion press and just-in-time for Christmas.
Last year we posted about our Merry Christmas v. Happy Holidays test we ran for one of our clients. This year we decided to some landing page optimization tests with variations of the Christmas theme.
If you’ve followed our blog before, you know that creating a sense of urgency for your users to act usually increases conversions. Since we practice what we preach, we decided to run a headline on one of our client’s websites doing just that. We tested a headline that reminds them how near Christmas is. We came up with 2 variations of this headline: one that just states the days, and another that states the days, hours, minutes, and seconds and counts down in real time.
Here’s the day countdown:
10 days til Christmas.
Here’s the realtime seconds countdown, +10.2% in conversion rate:
9 days, 13:22:03 til Christmas.
The following test from Expedia shows how understanding how your users interact with your forms leads to conversion rate gains.
At a glance, they simply dropped the “Company name:” field and that increased their site PROFIT by $12 million a year according to Silicon.com.
Why was changing this field so critical? Read the rest of this entry »