Additionally, unlike other conferences where you’re torn between tracks, this conference is single-track. No need to miss a thing or weigh up your love for PPC or CRO. You can have it all and bring back stellar takeaways to your team on each of their respective specialities. #Teamplayer
We’re also working closely with our speakers to ensure talks are as actionable as possible. (This is our conference’s promise).
Explore the topics below to see featured talks and get a sense for the ones most exciting to you:
In this session, Johnathan will cover 8 ways to make any PPC channel work with positive ROI. He’ll guide you through a simple framework, The PPC Performance Pizza, that will double performance on any PPC channel, from Google Adwords to Facebook.
How to use search, social, display, and video PPC to your advantage
Which channels and offers work best in tandem for more conversions
The frameworks KlientBoost uses to double your performance within 90 days
Rand Fishkin — The Search Landscape In 2017
Much has changed (and is changing) in SEO, leaving us with an uncertain future. In this talk, the one and only Rand Fishkin will share his view on the search landscape 2017, dive into data on how users behave in search engines, explain what the election of Donald Trump means to site owners and, most importantly provide you with the essential tactics every marketer should embrace to be prepared for the changes.
How has search behavior changed and what does it mean for marketers seeking organic search traffic
What new tactics and strategies are required to stay ahead of the competition in SEO
How might new US government policies affect the web itself and future platform and web marketing opportunities
Amy Harrison — The Customer Disconnect: How Inside-Out Copy Makes You Invisible
When you write copy, there are 3 critical elements: What you KNOW about your product, what you WRITE about your product, and what your customer THINKS you mean. Unfortunately, it’s too easy to have a disconnect between all three, and when that happens, customers don’t realize the true value of what you have to offer. In this talk, you’ll identify any disconnect in your own marketing, and learn how to write copy that breaks through the noise, differentiates your brand, and speaks to your customers’ desires.
How to recognize if you even HAVE a disconnect
How to beat the blank page – know what to include for every piece of copy you create
How to make even commoditized products sound different and fresh to your customer
Mari Smith — Winning Facebook Advertising Strategies: 5 Powerful Ways To Leverage Your Results & ROI
Facebook is constantly adding new features, new products and new ad units. What works today and what’s a waste of time and money? How should marketing teams, agencies and brands focus their ad spend for maximum results? In this dynamic session, world-renowned Facebook marketing expert, Mari Smith, will answer these questions and more.
Simple processes for maximizing paid reach to build a steady flow of top qualified leads
How to make your Facebook advertising dollars go much further, and generate an even higher ROI
The top ten biggest mistakes marketers make with their Facebook ads and how to fix them
Michael Aagaard – Your Brain Is Lying To You: Become A Better Marketer By Overcoming Confirmation Bias
Have you ever resisted or ignored a piece of info because it posed a threat to your worldview? If you answered “yes,” you’re like most other human beings on the planet. In fact, according to the last 40 years of cognitive research, favouring information confirming your worldview is extremely common human behaviour. Unfortunately, being biased towards information confirming what we already believe often leads to errors in judgment and costly mistakes in marketing. But how can we overcome this?
The facts about confirmation bias and why it is such a dangerous pitfall for marketers
A framework for becoming aware of and overcoming your own confirmation bias
Hands-on techniques for cutting through the clutter and getting information rather than confirmation
Did we mention the workshops?
We’re bringing back workshops (see Sunday’s tab on the agenda) and we’ve tailored the topics based on your feedback. We’ll be talking hyper-targeted overlays, how agencies can leverage landing pages and getting people to swipe right on your landing page. The best part? They’re all included in your ticket price. Most importantly, marketers who purchase CTAConf tickets, get notified first once registration for workshops opens. Workshops were standing room only last year and we’re bringing them back bigger than ever, so first dibs on registration’s a real bonus.
Finally, we want you to have a ton of fun while you learn. We’re talkin’ 8 food trucks, incredible after parties, all the dog hoodies you can handle, wacky activities and full access to the recordings of every session. SPOILER: we’re looking into renting a Ferris wheel (seriously, this is a thing).
Regardless or whether you’re a PPC specialist, conversion copywriter, full-stack marketer or living that agency life, we’ve got something in store for you. Our workshops and talks touch on everything marketing: pay-per-click, agencies, copywriting, conversion rate optimization, landing page optimization, branding and storytelling, email marketing, customer success, search engine optimization and product marketing.
PowToon is a cloud-based animation software company based out of London. Launched in 2012, PowToon has over 12 million users worldwide from various business verticals who use the tool to create fun and engaging explainer videos.
For any SaaS firm, the pricing page is closest to the funnel. So it makes sense to optimize it for maximum impact on the bottom line. Like most SaaS businesses, PowToon’s pricing model is based on different feature offerings. These include watermark removal, privacy control, quality, and export options, among others. A relatively new entrant to these capabilities is storage.
Powtoon offers three plans:
A free plan that offers 100 MB storage.
A $19 monthly pro plan that offers 2GB storage.
A $59 monthly business plan that offers unlimited storage.
This is how PowToon’s pricing page originally looked:
Dan Rimon, director of product at PowToon, decided to test out different pricing levers. The hypothesis was that the ‘unlimited storage’ feature offered under the business plan was an unquantifiable and vague commodity, whose true value could not be perceived by prospective buyers.
“We didn’t know exactly how our target audience would perceive the ‘storage’ capability. Both our business plans (unlimited and 2 GB) offer practically unlimited storage. The fact that we were not able to crunch the feature in real numbers (unlimited) may have been leading to the wrong perceived value,” said Dan.
The idea was to test different storage values for the Pro and Business plans. Dan tested three versions against the original:
10 GB storage in Business Plan and 10 GB storage in Pro Plan
2 GB storage in Business Plan and 2 GB storage in Pro Plan
10 GB storage in Business Plan and 2 GB storage in Pro Plan
Just to remind the readers, the original version offered Unlimited versus 2 GB storage for the Pro and Business plans, respectively.
The third version with 10-GB storage for the business plan versus 2-GB storage for the pro plan turned out to be the winner. It increased the revenue by 27.9%. Here’s the winning version:
Dan attributes the results to a clear distinction between the value perceived in the case of the 10 GB versus 2 GB version.
“We attribute the results of the test to our users’ abilities to really understand the value they were getting. Users responded better to a real number (10 GB) than ‘unlimited’, which frankly sounds lovely but is hard to quantify,” Dan added.
PowToon has taken the route to continuous testing to optimize its pricing page. Their product team runs a test every two weeks and shares the results and learnings internally, regardless of an inconclusive test. They next tested the way their monthly and annual pricing plans were displayed to find out whether it psychologically impacted the way visitors chose a particular plan. Though the original version outperformed the variation in this case, they nevertheless made this cool video to share the results internally.
What separates a Hermès Birkin bag from a high-quality leather handbag you could buy anywhere? A label, a fancy charm, and about $22,000. But unlike the tangible qualities of a purchase, like the grade of leather used or the fact that the utterly useless bag charm is 14 karat gold, the perception of value is what really separates one bag from the other. One bag contains social cachet and the ability to draw envy from other women – intangible benefits so valuable; it justifies the raised price. The nameless bag, however, has its own set of benefits for a different…
It’s not every day that marketers use the words “email” and “CRO” in the same sentence. After all, most email marketing strategies for eCommerce are mainly focused on sending newsletters, promotional emails, transactional emails, and maybe even cart abandonment messages. If you’re really savvy, you might even be sending post-purchase emails to leverage the traffic you already converted in the hopes that those shoppers will come back to buy more. But here’s the thing: When you focus your email marketing efforts solely on the end of your sales funnel, you’re actually neglecting the majority of your site traffic. That’s traffic…
Give yourself a pat on the back. It’s time to celebrate, right? After all your hard work you’ve finally got the sale or sign up you’ve been searching for. You’ve used your audience data to optimize your landing page design, finesse your language, and ensure everything on the page is as perfectly personalized as possible. So here’s to a job well done. But, and I’m gonna rain on your parade here. Your job is far from over. Sure, you’ve managed to get the sale, but that’s not the end of your job. It’s the end of the purchase journey, and…
The best color for your CTAs. What hero images work best. How to tweak your headlines. Writing conversion focused copy. All of these are the bread and butter of writers like me. We know these articles are going to grab attention because, well, people are always looking for an easy fix. Marketers the world over dream of changing their button color and seeing a 200% increase in conversions. They fantasies about using a headline template that’ll skyrocket their income, and honestly believe that a better hero image could save a failing business. And so we create content that plays to…
‘A-ha!’ moment (n.): An insight that leads to more substantial revenue lift and profitable growth for your company (e.g. the moment all Optimizers live for).
At WiderFunnel, our mission is create profitable ‘A-ha!’ moments for our clients every day.
Last year, I created a five-part ‘A-ha!’ moments series: Five mini blog posts focused on five of our favorite insights from 2015. Well, turns out 2016 was also full of ‘A-ha!’ moments that were too good to keep to ourselves.
This post explores five of WiderFunnel’s favorite ‘A-ha!’s from the past year. I hope that they inspire you as you begin planning your 2017 experiments!
‘A-ha!’ #1: Using color psychology to increase conversions
If you follow WiderFunnel, you probably know that we are not big fans of conversion optimization ‘best practices’ like “all calls-to-action should be orange”.
Because, frankly, best practices may not be the best thing for your business. They must be proven in your business context, for your users.
That said, this first ‘A-ha!’ moment comes from a color isolation test. But, the ‘A-ha’ isn’t the result, it’s the why behind the hypothesis.
One of our clients provides an online consumer information service — users type in a question and get an Expert answer. Once a user asks their question, they have entered a four-step funnel:
Step 1: Ask the question
Step 2: Add more information
Step 3: Pick an Expert
Step 4: Get an answer (aka the checkout page)
We have been testing on each step of this funnel, but this particular experiment was on the all-important checkout page, the final conversion.
What can the right color do?
For each WiderFunnel client, we create a customized growth program, however, each program is built with our proven Infinity Optimization Process™. The process cycles between two phases: Explore (information-gathering) and Validate (testing and proving).
Research on consumer behavior, psychological principles, and persuasion techniques is a huge part of the Explore phase. Our Strategists use this research, along with several other information touchpoints, when developing hypotheses.
This past year, one of WiderFunnel’s favorite bloggers and researchers, Nick Kolenda, published a giant piece on color psychology. Kolenda looked at 50 academic studies on color, and compiled his findings. According to him, certain colors can inspire certain actions.
In the case of this client, Optimization Strategist, Nick So, wanted to see if adding a subtle, subconscious visual cue to the checkout page would be more motivational for users. He was looking, specifically, at warm colors.
Persuasion principle: Warm colors (with high saturation and low brightness) increase arousal because they trigger impulsivity, and tend to increase behavioral responses.
The test: Isolation I and isolation II
In the first isolation, Nick decided to put warm colors to the test.
Hypothesis: Increasing prominence of the checkout area by using a color linked to increasing action and responses will improve visual clarity of the page and increase conversions.
In the variation, Nick removed all other background colors and added a warm orange background to the payment section. And it worked! This variation saw a statistically significant 2.82% increase in conversions.
We wanted to validate this insight across audiences, so Nick created a second isolation for this client’s mobile users.
He tested the Control against two variations: Variation B (the warm color isolation) was built on variation A, so Nick was able to track the isolation properly. In this experiment, the color change was responsible for a 2.7% lift in conversions, almost the exact same increase as in the desktop test.
It’s always amazing how such seemingly subtle psychological cues and persuasion elements can have a big potential impact on user behavior. We are fortunate to be able to have a client that has the traffic, trusts us, and understands testing enough to allow us to run an isolation on such an interesting concept.
– Nick So
‘A-ha!’ #2: Sometimes, all your users need is a clear next step
You may have heard the phrase “if content is king, revenue is queen”…
Our second ‘A-ha!’ moment comes from testing we have been doing with one WiderFunnel client: A content site that provides information for the individual investor. This client offers a ton of free resources on its website to help users stay on top of their finances.
Of course, they also offer subscription services, such as their newsletter and professional advisor service, which provides premium stock-picking advice to users. Our goal is to help this client increase profitable conversions.
When we began testing with this client, there were many different paths that users could take after landing on an investing article. And there was almost no indication that there were professional services available (which is how this client makes money!)
The WiderFunnel Strategy team did an initial LIFT analysis of the site-wide navigation, which revealed several problems, like:
There was not a clear, primary call-to-action in the nav (Clarity)
There was a general lack of urgency (Urgency)
The menu drop-down for “Stock Picks” had one, ambiguous dropdown (Anxiety)
If someone is ready to spend money, it is not clear how to do so (Clarity)
We wanted to test giving users a clear action to take in the site-wide navigation. This way, a user who wanted more would know which path to take.
We tested adding a “Latest Stock Picks” call-to-action in the nav (replacing the “Stock Picks” dropdown); the assumption was that users of this client’s site are looking for stock-picking advice, specifically.
Hypothesis: Creating a clear “Latest Stock Picks” CTA in the site-wide navigation will cause more users to enter a revenue-driving funnel from all parts of the site.
We tested two variations, each of which featured the “Latest Stock Picks” call-to-action. But, in each variation this CTA took the user to a different page. Our ultimate goal was to find out:
If users were even aware that there are premium paid services offered, and
Which funnel is best to help users make a decision and, ultimately, a purchase?
With variation A, we added the “Latest Stock Picks” CTA in the nav. This call-to-action sent users to the homepage and anchored them in the premium services section. (This is how the functionality of the original dropdown worked.)
This section provides a lot of detail about this client’s different offerings, along with a “Sign Up Today” call-to-action.
With variation B, we wanted to test limiting choice. Rather than showing users a bunch of product options, the “Latest Stock Picks” CTA sent them directly to the professional advisor sign up page (this client’s most popular product).
Both variations beat the control, with variation A resulting in an 11.17% lift in transactions with 99% confidence and variation B resulting in a 7.9% increase in transactions with 97% confidence.
Interestingly, because variation B was built on variation A, we were able to see that it actually decreased transactions by 3.3%.
So, what does this mean? Here are a few takeaways we plan to explore further in 2017:
Users may have been unsure of how to sign up (or that they could sign up) due to lack of CTA prominence on the original site-wide navigation
It is also possible that Urgency was a motivator for this client’s users: Changing the “Stock Picks” drop down to a “Latest Stock Picks” CTA increased urgency and led to more conversions. This wasn’t a clear isolation but it’s good evidence to follow-up with!
Users prefer some degree of choice over being sent to one product (as seen with the decrease in transactions caused by variation B)
But the main moral of this ‘A-ha!’? Make sure your users know exactly where to find what you’re selling. ‘Cause content without conversions is just free publishing.
Earlier this year, I published a case study on WiderFunnel client, weBoost. WeBoost is an e-commerce retailer and manufacturer of cellular signal boosters.
This case study explored several tests that we had run on multiple areas of the weBoost site, including a series of design tests we ran on their product category page. Our third A-ha! moment takes up where the case study left off in this series…
A quick refresher
Originally, the weBoost product category pages featured a non-traditional design layout. A large image in the top left corner, very tall product modules, and right-hand filters made these pages unique among e-commerce catalog pages.
We decided to test displaying products in landscape versus the long, portrait-style modules. According to a Baymard study of e-commerce sites, technical products are easier to compare in a horizontal layout because there is more space to include specs. This was variation A.
In variation B, we wanted to explore the idea that users didn’t need to see a product details page at all. Maybe the information on the category page was all users needed to make a confident purchase.
Variation B was built on variation A, with one isolated change: We changed the primary visual call-to-action from “View Details” to “Add To Cart”.
In a backward ‘A-ha!’ moment, variation A (based on the Baymard study) decreased transactions by -9.6%. Despite our intentions, the horizontal layout might have made it more difficult for users to compare products.
But! Variation B, with the add-to-cart focus, saw a 16.4% increase in transactions against the control page. It turns out that many users are actually comfortable adding products to their cart right from the category page.
Variation B moved more users further through the funnel and ultimately resulted in a large uptick in transactions, despite the negative impact of the horizontal layout.
After comparing variation A to variation B, WiderFunnel Optimization Strategist, Michael St Laurent, estimated that the “Add To Cart” call-to-action was actually worth a lift of 28.7% in transactions.
The follow-up (and subsequent ‘A-ha!’)
We knew that the horizontal layout led to a decrease in transactions and we knew that the horizontal layout plus the isolated CTA change led to a sizable increase in transactions.
So, we ran the obvious follow-up experiment: We tested a variation featuring the vertical module design with the add-to-cart focused call-to-action. We expected to see at least a 29% increase in transactions. We used variation B from the previous test as the Control, following proper Design of Experiments.
As predicted, when we tested the “Add To Cart” call-to-action on the vertical modules, we saw a whopping 38.1% increase in transactions (more than double the 16.4% increase we observed with the horizontal layout, and 9 percentage points more than the estimate).
It never gets old to see isolations at work. The ‘A-ha!’ moment here is that no test ever has to be a ‘loser’. If you structure your tests using isolations, you will be able to track the potential impact of each change.
This entire time, we were assuming that users needed more information to make a technical product selection. We were focused on making the specs easier to compare, when there was an entire segment of the audience that was ready to put the product in their cart without more investigation. Sometimes you have to challenge your assumptions. In this case it paid off!
– Michael St Laurent, Optimization Strategist, WiderFunnel
‘A-ha!’ #4: De-emphasizing price reduces user anxiety
One of our clients is Vital Choice, a trusted source for fast home delivery of the world’s finest wild seafood and organic fare, harvested from healthy, well-managed wild fisheries and farms.
Our fourth ‘A-ha!’ moment from 2016 came out of the testing we did with Vital Choice on their product detail pages and revolves around de-emphasizing price, in favor of value proposition points.
While the results may not be surprising, the WiderFunnel Strategy team would not have prioritized this particular test if they hadn’t done extensive user research beforehand. Because we took the pulse of Vital Choice users, we were able to reduce anxiety and provide more motivation to purchase.
Let’s say you wanted to order a few organic, grass-fed American Wagyu beef patties from the Vital Choice website. You would have eventually landed on a detail page that looked like this (the Control in this experiment):
As you can see, price is displayed prominently near the ‘Add To Cart’ call-to-action. But, during the Explore (information gathering) phase, WiderFunnel Optimization Strategist, Dennis Pavlina, identified several common themes of barriers to conversion in user survey responses, including:
Price: Users love Vital Choice and the excellent quality of their products, but they often mention the premium they are paying. For many users, it is a ‘treat’ and a ‘luxury’ to buy from Vital Choice. Price-related themes, such as discount codes or coupons, also came up often in surveys.
Shipping: Users often express concern about how frozen perishable items are shipped, particularly in warmer climates in the U.S.
If we could reduce user anxiety in these two areas, we believed Vital Choice would see a surge in conversions.
Hypothesis: Adding relevant value proposition points that justify the price and quality of the product, and adding copy to reduce anxiety around shipping in close proximity of the order area on the product page, will increase conversions.
It was unclear what users would receive in their shipment i.e. how it would be shipped to them, how long it would take, etc. (Anxiety)
There were no prominently displayed value proposition points to justify the price of the product. (Value Proposition)
There was a lot of emphasis on the price of the product. (Anxiety)
This variation led to a 3.3% increase in conversions and a 2.7% increase in average order value, resulting in almost $250,000 in estimated additional annual revenue.
Conversions were up for almost every goal we tracked: Visits to checkout (step 2), visits to checkout (step 3), visits to checkout (step 4), total visits to cart, and average order value. But they were down to unique visits to cart.
The most interesting part of analyzing results was noticing that, although unique visits to cart were slightly down, there was a large increase in total visits to cart. It’s a surprising pattern. We hypothesize that users may have been more confident and willing to purchase more items at once, when anxiety was reduced.
– Dennis Pavlina, Optimization Strategist, WiderFunnel
The fact that de-emphasizing price worked for Vital Choice users isn’t what made us say, ‘A-ha!’. But, the proven power of listening to, and addressing their users’ stated concerns, did. When in doubt, ask your users.
A-ha! #5: Quick view, long delay
A-ha! number 5 comes from testing we did with another one of our clients, a large retailer of sports goods, footwear, and apparel. We have been working with this company for more than a year to optimize their e-commerce experiences, with the goal of increasing transactions.
Like on many e-commerce sites, users on this client’s site could view product details directly on the category page, using a Quick View functionality. When a user hovered over a product, they would see the product details in a Quick View window.
In our final ‘a-ha!’, we explore what (so often) happens when you test a common practice.
Distraction is a very common barrier to conversion; often, there are elements on a client’s page that are diverting visitors away the from the ultimate goal.
For Michael St Laurent, the Quick View option on this client’s category page was a potential distraction.
The more visual cues and action options your visitor has to process, the less likely they are to make a conversion decision. At WiderFunnel, we have found that minimizing distractions such as unnecessary product options, links, and extraneous information will increase your conversion rate.
– Michael St Laurent
So, he decided to put his theory that the Quick View is an unnecessary distraction to the test.
Hypothesis: Disabling the Quick View functionality will result in reduced distraction and ultimately, more conversions.
The Control in this test was the client’s original category page, featuring the Quick View functionality.
In the Quick View, users could quickly move from product to product on the category page without going to a product page itself.
We tested this control against a variation that removed the Quick View functionality completely.
It turns out the Quick View functionality was, indeed, distracting. Disabling it resulted in more product exploration as well as more transactions; transactions increased by 4% (a big lift for a high-traffic company like this one!)
If your site has a functionality, like Quick View or a rotating banner, you should probably test it! While ‘flashy’ functionalities are…well…flashy, they are rarely what your users want, and may be preventing your users from actually purchasing.
At the end of every month, the WiderFunnel Strategy team shares their favorite ‘A-ha!’ moments from the past four weeks. Sometimes, the ‘A-ha!’ is an exciting result and big lift for a client, sometimes it’s a twist insight, sometimes it’s a ‘losing’ test that inspired a winning test.
As Chris Goward explains,
There’s no downside to communicating what you’ve learned from every test. If you view your optimization program as a strategic method for learning about your customers and prospects – for truly understanding their mindset – rather than a tactical tweaking program, you can take a broader perspective and find the gains in every test.
I hope that these ‘A-ha!’ moments inspire you to do the work, structure your tests properly, and learn constantly in 2017. And I encourage you to share your favorite ‘A-ha!’ moments in the comments section below.
When it comes to overlays, everyone’s a critic — especially your prospects. Image via Shutterstock.
These days, cyberspace is about as cluttered as my closet.
And in that deep sea of endless streams and notifications and other dopamine-releasing distractions, getting your offer seen can be challenging to say the least.
Luckily, overlays can help mute some of that background noise by focusing your visitor’s attention on one (hopefully) compelling offer.
But your job doesn’t end there.
Once you get your prospect’s attention with an overlay, it’s your job to use design and copywriting best practices to keep their interest.
What are these best practices I speak of? Let’s take a look at some overlay examples we spotted in the wild for some concrete examples of what you should — and shouldn’t — do.
Be immediately clear on the value of your offer
I have to admit that when I first saw this overlay, I found the tongue-in-cheek copywriting delightful.
The headline was clever and had me nodding my head:
And while the self-aware overlay is a cute idea, you know what’s less cute? Just how quickly your prospect will look for that “x” button if the value of the offer isn’t abundantly clear.
Don’t make readers work to find out what your offer is. It’s fine to be cutesy, as long as you’re explaining what’s in it for them. See how Groove clearly explains the benefit of signing up for their newsletter?
The transparency of this offer makes it appealing, and the specificity of Groove’s current monthly revenue adds credibility.
Pro tip: When you’re pushing a subscription, your copy has to do a lot of work because there’s no immediate value. Test including a tangible offer like a free ebook.
It’s not about you!
This overlay by the Chive has personality, but not much persuasive power:
The headline – “the best newsletter in the world” – is playful (if a little cocky), but it fails to communicate what makes the newsletter great and why readers should care.
They’re so caught up in self-praise that they forget to explain what’s in it for the reader. How will signing up for this newsletter impact the reader’s life?
This overlay by GetResponse is guilty of a similar infraction, and to be frank, the tone is a little despie:
This overlay uses “I” and “us” language without ever explaining the benefits of the offering — not to mention it never really explains what GetResponse is.
This is problematic, because the overlay appears on a page giving away an ebook only marginally related to their core offering — so it’s safe to assume that not everyone will know what GetResponse is.
I’d test an overlay that includes a compelling, customer-focused unique value proposition and a clear hero shot so people can quickly understand what they’re dealing with at a glance.
Want more overlay best practices?
Download Unbounce’s free guide: Best Practices for Creating High-Converting Overlays
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Lead with what’s in it for them
So what does customer-focused copy look like? Preneur Marketing’s overlay leads with a headline that explains in detail what the reader will get when they sign up:
So much specificity!
But Preneur Marketing doesn’t stop there. They lay the persuasion on thick using a number of trusted devices, such as a UVP, a hero shot, a list of benefits, social proof and a single conversion goal (do these elements sound familiar?).
A great thing to test would be a hero shot representative of the actual offering, like the one in this overlay by Acquire Convert:
Use overlays to counter objections
No matter which stage of the buyer journey your prospect is at, their inner monologue will include some objections to your offer. Overlays are a great way to counter them.
For example, have a look at this overlay by Gr8fires, which appeared for visitors to their ecommerce store. They knew visitors to that page were likely shopping around for the best deals and were likely already thinking, “I don’t know how much stove installation is going to cost.”
To counter that objection, Gr8fires created an overlay with an “installation calculator” that detailed the costs associated with installing their product. See how the headline mirrors the conversation in the prospect’s head?
The results of Gr8fires’ overlay campaign were incredible: 300% increase in monthly sales leads and a 48.54% lift in sales. Image source.
This example is particularly wonderful because it accomplishes something for both the marketer and the prospect. On the prospect’s end, it delivers great value in exchange for a very small commitment (entering name and email). On the marketer’s end, it helps to educate prospects on a larger-ticket item that typically requires more convincing.
A real win-win scenario. Beautiful, isn’t it?
Don’t be a negative Nelly
If you’ve seen overlays across the web, you’ve likely noticed that “yes” button text is often juxtaposed with “no” hyperlink text in close proximity. And you’ve likely noticed that the “no” hyperlink text is often sassy.
I see this everywhere online — marketers resorting to language like:
Nobody thinks this.
Or this one:
Don’t forget this one:
Or finally, this example, which borders on offensive:
This is getting out of hand.
It should go without saying, but you should never talk down to prospects simply because they might not want your offering.
Not only does that create friction to completing the form, it can also damage your brand’s image and credibility.
This example by Narcity misses the mark for a different reason:
This overlay forces a lie in order to opt-out: “I’m already subscribed.”
This is problematic for two reasons:
If people are subscribed then they shouldn’t be seeing this to begin with
It creates cognitive dissonance, forcing prospects to stop and think.
In short, it creates a jarring experience that doesn’t make you wanna fill in the form.
So what should you be doing?
Mirror the voice in your prospect’s head
Don’t talk down to your visitors with “I can’t stand exclusive offers” opt-out copy.
Stop and reflect on what they’re likely thinking when they click that “no” button. The folks at TVLiftCabinet.com keep it classy:
When at a loss, stick with a straightforward, “No thanks, I’m not interested.”
Make it easy to say yes
There are tons of other things you can test to make your overlay offers irresistible to visitors.
Test fewer form fields to reduce perceived friction on your forms:
Adding too many form fields can have a negative impact on conversion rates.
Make visitors feel like they’re being offered something exclusive:
Whatever you do, never forget that your prospect’s attention is a valuable commodity.
And once you have it, you should respect it by doing everything you can to deliver meaningful value.
Let’s face it: video marketing is getting harder. And social media platforms like Facebook are making it even more complex. From evergreen content to “disappearing” videos, there’s a lot of content out there and you need to cut through the noise. But there’s still plenty of opportunity. According to Vibhi Kant, Product Manager at Jie Xu: people spend more than 3 times watching Facebook Live video when they’re actually live. That’s a lot of attention waiting to be tapped into. Twitter first opened the doors for live video with Periscope. But according to our own stats from within the Unmetric…
Those email metrics may provide you with more insight than you thought. Image via Shutterstock.
The components of an A/B test are pretty straightforward: change some stuff, compare key metrics, deploy winner, repeat.
So when you start an A/B test on your email, this is the sort of process you fall back on. You brainstorm a couple of alternate subject lines, test them on a small segment and send the winner to everyone else. This is a great way of making sure you’re sending the better of two ideas, but does it really mean you’re sending better email?
Instead, today we’re going to focus on the benefits of A/B testing for the future. That means turning your results into actionable guidance for feature planning, branding, sales and retention strategies.
Maximizing is not always optimizing.
It can be really tough figuring out which features need the most attention, not to mention prioritizing improvements your top users would be most excited for. Email can help!
A simple email teasing upcoming improvements to X or Y feature can give you valuable insights for your next product planning session on what changes actually pique a user’s interest.
Similarly, you can test something like, “What would you like to see added to feature X” vs “…feature Y.” Even if you get little to no feedback, the comparative open rates can tell you a lot about which features people want to see updated.
This can be especially insightful for startups, because setting the wrong priorities for your development team can hamstring your growth. In cases like this where the stakes are higher, it may be more powerful to subtly present options and observe responses than to straight up ask.
The problem with asking users what they want directly. Image via Frankiac.
What if you’re getting ready to launch a new feature or plan an event, but you’re torn on what to call it. Simply run a test with a sneak peak email to your most engaged users and see what gets their attention.
This one may feel a bit weird, because branding of your product and features can feel really personal, but it’s also really important, so why leave it to your gut when you can test?
You don’t even have to build out a fancy announcement email, because you’re just looking for opens, indicating that initial spark of interest. The body can be a simple, plain text save the date or a link to a survey or something.
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Sales materials development
Good email testing can also translate to benefits for your sales team. Imagine their eyes lighting up when you pass them a document illustrating how your highest value customers engage with different phrasings of your core features.
There are a couple of interesting ways to execute on this, but I think the most practical is to build an onboarding email with links to your features, and then test headlines for each section (bonus points if you randomize the order to satisfy the statisticians in the house).
You could also stretch this across multiple emails in your onboarding drip campaign, or send a one-off “What’s new” update.
Now that you’ve figured out which features resonate most with your high-touch users, it’s time to figure out what gets people hooked on your product or service in the first place.
There are a ton of ways to accomplish this in the traditional on-site manner, but how does email fit into the picture?
The most obvious option here is to use the information you gleaned to craft a killer onboarding campaign that introduces new users to the most beloved features first. That strategy, however, is really focused on top-of-funnel retention. Today, I want to take a look at the other end: churn prevention.
There are, of course, some users that were never a good fit to begin with and will churn regardless. But for those that just never got the hang of things, the most common move is to hit them with a “Hail Mary email” — one last-ditch effort to win them back.
A lot of times this comes in the form of a direct note from someone asking what they could have done better, but why not use that space to run some tests? Not just to squeeze out a few more opens on a low-converting email, but to see what actually gets people’s attention. Then you can take the stuff that works, and work it into your onboarding campaign to keep people from ever getting to the Hail Mary state.
These are, of course, not the only ways that you can incorporate your learnings from tests into other aspects of your marketing, but it’s a great start if you don’t have a process like this in place.
The structure you build out to track and share the results from tests like these can be tremendously helpful for the whole team — not just in the ways I’ve outlined above, but also in just keeping everyone on the same page and in line with what your customers want to hear.
Have anything to add? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.