Tag Archives: conversion


How to Quickly Convert Trial Users Into Paying Customers

Want to know the secret to converting trial users to paid customers? I’ll answer it in one word: communication.

It’s not enough to have a robust website with video tutorials and a well-stocked knowledge base. Sure, that helps, but you also need to reach out to users personally and make them feel like you’re a human. 

We’ll get into the nuts and bolts below, but let this be your guiding light: people want to buy from other people that they trust. One way to build trust with new users is to talk to them via email, SMS, and push notifications. 

crazyegg email - placeit 800Source: Placeit.net

Did you know that 66% of the companies that use the free-trial-to-pay model have less than a 25% conversion rate. Why? Users enter the SaaS equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle. They enter the trial and are never heard from again, and that’s mostly because companies fail to keep in contact.

And the first three days are the hardest. If you can keep a user active within your SaaS for at least three days, they are four times more likely to convert. 

Luckily it doesn’t take a full sales and support team to reach every user. With just a good behavior-based messaging tool and awesome copy you can reach out to every user automatically.

Let’s look at these seven ways to engage and prime users for conversion using email, push notifications, and text messages:


1. Send a welcome email 

Did you know that around 75% of users expect a welcome email after sign up? Not only are they interested in your product, they’re giving you permission to share more information with them.

When a customer enters a trial, automatically send a welcome email. And send it within the hour after they sign up. 90% of leads go cold after one hour. New users will often tinker around with your service and forget about it. Sending a welcome email establishes your relationship. 

In your welcome email, be personal. Send from an email address that the user can reply to. Tell them how often you’ll be emailing. Be sure to include why your service is valuable. Leave the email with an open offer to assist them. (That’s your call to action.) Expect some users to write you back and be sure to answer them.

A welcome email like this could help onboard and convert more users:


Hey Customer Name}, 

I just noticed you signed up and wanted to say thank you. 

I also wanted to reach out and help you get started. Is there anything you’re confused about or need help with? 

I’m always here to help, but I’ve included a link to a few helpful videos to get you started. 

Please email me anytime. I’m here to help!

-Jill at Autosend.io

2. Send out emails to engage inactive users

Send out emails to engage inactive users. For example, after 2 days, send out a best-of tutorial, or a list of tips on how to get started with your service.

Most people stop using your app because they don’t know how to use it. 

An email like this should help and engage inactive users:


Hey Customer Name}, 

Here are ways you can use our app to help you save more money. 

  • Import your bank statements (this takes 2 minutes)
  • Tell us your favorite stores so we can find coupons for you (this takes 3 minutes)
  • Tell us about your next purchases so we can find the best deals (this takes 5 minutes)

If you click here, you can start setting these up now and have them save you money forever. 

You can also get attention from inactive users with a “We miss you”email. For example, if a user isn’t active after 2 days, remind them that they’re missed and what they can get from your app if they come back. 

Hey Customer Name}, 

Where have you been? We’ve added a few new features that you haven’t had the chance to try yet. These could really help you meet your carbon footprint reduction goals.

We’ve added: 

  • a meat-free recipe search that helps you eat lower-impact meals
  • public transit map to help you find a different way to get around town
  • a bike rental search you can use while you travel

Just click here, sign in, and you can start using these features in seconds. 

Your email shouldn’t just be about how cool your app is. Your only goal is to get people using the app again. To do this, remind them why they signed up and how your app can help. Make sure you add a call to action to your re-engagement email. It needs to be something that gets the user excited to come back. 

Good call-to-action examples for your re-engagement email are:

  • Create your date productName} now
  • Try it out now
  • Grab yours now
  • See it in action
  • Watch this video now

3. Offer a Trial Extension

The trial extension isn’t meant for every user. Users who are already inactive by the end of the trial won’t be swayed with more time.

A free trial extension is for that segment of your users who are active every day throughout their trial, but churn as soon as the trial is over. 

Here’s an email you could send to active users to invite them to extend their trial:

emailExample---trialExtend1 Image source: Autosend.io

Hey Customer Name}, 

I noticed your trial just ended, but you’ve been enjoying our app quite a bit. 

Do you need a few more days to use our trial? I’d be happy to give you a few more days. Just let me know.

For these users, you can also send out an email asking for feedback along with a trial extension. Pay attention to the feedback, because that information will help you convert future users.

Text Messages

You may be thinking, why should I send by text when I can talk to users by email? 

Two reasons:

It’s less competition. Compared to 1,216 emails, the average user only receives 178 texts. 

A guaranteed read. 99% of all text messages are read, and 90% of them are read within 3 minutes. Compare that to the open rate for emails (22%). The click through rate is also higher for text (19%) vs email (4.2%).

4. Ask for Feedback by Text

Instead of email, send a text to inactive users or those with expired trials. Use their feedback to answer their questions and point them to resources that will help them. 

When you ask for feedback, go short and sweet. Here are possible texts to use:

textExample--feedback1 Image source: Autosend.io

  • Thanks for using data planName}! We’d love your feedback.
  • Hey Customer Name}, do you have a couple of seconds to give us your feedback on data planName}?
  • Here’s your chance to have your say! What do you think of service}?
  • How can I help you use data planName} better?

5. Send a Text About Failed Payment

If you’ve converted a customer, don’t lose them because the payment fails. Failed payments happen more than you think. In fact, between 11-14% of transactions dont go through

Maybe the customer entered the wrong credit card number. Maybe your website crashed. Maybe they used the wrong browser.

Whatever it is, automatically text the user when their payment doesn’t go through. Offer to personally help the user complete the purchase. You can also send them a link to a prefilled alternative payment method page. 

Here are a few examples you can use:


  • Hey Customer Name}, looks like our checkout page is giving you some trouble. Need me to call to walk you through it?
  • Hey Customer Name}, I noticed you’re having trouble checking out. Need my help?
  • Hey Customer Name}, is our pricing page working for you? If not let me know and I’ll be happy to finish your checkout for you.
  • Hey Customer Name}, it seems like you’re running into trouble on our check out page. Here’s a link to alternative page http://example.com.

It’s the final stretch. Do whatever it takes to convert the user, especially since you know they want to buy. 

Push Notifications

Push notifications have three times faster response than email. If you’re looking for a quick response, use a push. Two ideas to convert users with push are:

6. Offer a Discount

Sometimes users make it to your purchase page but don’t upgrade from trial to paid. When this happens to you, do something about it. Send these users a special discount. 


  • 25% off data planName} for the next 2 hours! Get it while it’s hot.
  • Thinking about joining? Here’s your reason! 20% off with code data code}.
  • Thank you for trying. Buy now and pay 25% less with promo code data code}.

7. Incent Users To End their Trial Early

You don’t have to wait until the end of the trial to get the user onboard. An active user who loves using your app can be converted quicker with an incentive. Remember, users who actively use your app for 3 days, are four times more likely to convert. Use this opportunity to convert active users to paying customers early.

The type of incentive you offer depends on what motivates your users. 

It may be a discount. It may be an upgrade to a premium service at a lower price. It may be a free high-value consultation with an expert that can help them grow their business. 

Try sending a push notification like this to get your users out of their trial earlier:


  • You’ve saved $data moneySaved} with our app! Here’s 10% off to upgrade now.
  • Enjoying our app? Do more by upgrading now.
  • Want access to all the features? Upgrade now and get 1 month on us!

Whatever you choose, remember that people like to feel special. By communicating with them early and often, you can make them feel like part of your community and avoid the churn. 

So what will be the first email, SMS, or push message you send to your users? Are you already using trigger-based messaging to convert more of your trial users into paid users? Check out other Crazy Egg posts on email marketing and conversions to learn more.

Happy converting!

Image source: Autosend.io

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How to Quickly Convert Trial Users Into Paying Customers


3 Tips to Optimize a Content Offer in Professional Services

So after a great deal of hard work, you’ve managed to get the right piece of content in front of exactly the right audience. Congrats! But don’t pat yourself on the back for too long, because that’s not the end of the story.

What happens after a visitor reads your blog post or watches your video?

Maybe they’ll remember your firm…or maybe not. The key is to use content offers to provide them with more engagements—next logical steps—that will be relevant to their needs, continually reinforcing your expertise and offering more in-depth content or services.

These offers aren’t an opportunity to get suddenly self-promotional in an otherwise educational content offering. Instead, they should be created in the same spirit, pointing visitors toward further resources that they will find genuinely useful: solutions for and perspectives on their actual business challenges.


Below we’ve put together three tips to help you make professional services content offers as effective as possible:

1) Always offer a next step.

Content offers should be bold, attractive, and immediately visible: in the sidebar of a blog post, for example, you might offer an ebook on the same topic, using the book’s cover art to make the offer pop.

Make sure your offers are related to the content a visitor has just viewed. The most important thing is to provide a natural way to continue your relationship with the reader, and for readers to continue to get the information they need from you.

For visitors early in the sales pipeline—those not ready for a sales pitch—this might mean that they exchange their email address for your free, attractively presented ebook. Once you have an email, you can continue to make relevant, targeted offers for progressively closer engagements.

You can see this strategy in action in the content marketing model below:

content model

Content offers point the way for visitors to climb the steps from your most freely available content like blog posts to an ongoing relationship.

So for visitors who downloaded your ebook, you might send an email offering a webinar on the same topic, but going more in-depth or exploring it from a different angle. Then you might offer webinar attendees a free consultation on a related aspect of their business. Once these audiences are ready for a sales pitch, you’ll have their attention.

2) Make your offers clear and succinct.

In content offers, you have to strike a balance between clarity and succinctness, making it absolutely clear what you’re offering without losing your audience’s attention.

So if you’re offering an ebook in the sidebar of a blog post, don’t just say, “See more about this topic.” Instead, your offer might read, “Download our free ebook, Title of the Book.” While being necessarily descriptive, keep those words to an absolute minimum—visitors aren’t likely to read more than a short sentence.

Remember, too, that your content offers need to be focused. You might think you should offer different levels of content on a blog post—a webinar and an ebook, say—for audiences at different points in the sales funnel, but this would be a mistake.

Only use one offer at a time on a given piece of content: any more, and you’ll dilute the effect, confusing viewers and complicating the path forward to closer engagement. A good offer strategy is all about making things both useful and simple for your audience.

3) Know the context of your content.

Think through your content offers as part of your larger content strategy, considering the target audience for each piece and type of content. Offers included in content for first-time readers should require much less effort and commitment than offers for long-time, late stage visitors.

As you create and offer more content, it’s critical to continuously monitor your audience, their interests, and how well your content is connecting with them. Note that “Analyze and Adjust” is the final stage of the content model above. Taking a data-driven approach to your content eliminates the guesswork from finding topics that matter to your target audience—as well as the best way to reach them.

You can accomplish this through careful and ongoing use of Web and email analytics, learning a range of lessons that will help you iterate and improve your content marketing:

  • You may find that certain topics are better suited to visitors earlier or further along in the sales funnel. Often, the interests and needs of prospects differ depending on where they are in the sales cycle.
  • Some subjects will likely prove to have more lasting draw than others. These “evergreen” topics will be a valuable tool, and often they will take you by surprise. Monitoring your Web analytics and finding out what your audience really wants to know about and responding to that need is a key part of the process.
  • A/B testing offers in emails will allow you to learn which design elements, copy approaches, types of content, and other elements yield the most audience engagement. In these types of tests, make sure to test only one element at a time.
  • How are visitors accessing your content? Web and email analytics will reveal, for example, the percentage of your audience using mobile devices to read your content. This may encourage you to produce more mobile-optimized content and think about how to design offers that will be most effective on mobile devices.

The moral of the story here? The better you understand your readers and how they interact with your content, the more effectively you can provide them with offers that will make them more responsive and more engaged, propelling them up the content ladder to build trust and forge a lasting relationship.

As you implement your offer strategy, make sure to give it the same level of thought and creative consideration as your content itself. If you succeed at this, you’ll have set the stage for a content strategy that brings in more leads—and helps them qualify themselves.

 Read other Crazy Egg articles by Lee Frederiksen.

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3 Tips to Optimize a Content Offer in Professional Services


Using Google Consumer Surveys for Conversion Optimization

Google Consumer Survey’s is a feature from Google Analytics that helps to bring you data directly from the minds of your audience. When creating a consumer survey, Google makes sure your question is getting put in front of the right people; your only job is to ask the right questions and analyze your data.

One aspect of your online success where these reports are particularly helpful is when it comes to conversion optimization.

google surveys

How Google Consumer Surveys Work

According to Adam Heitzman, Managing Partner of SEO Company HigherVisibility, “Consumer Surveys are one of the Web’s best-kept secrets,” and I’d have to agree. You don’t hear too much about the feature, but it is one that can give you the exact data you’re looking to find.

They work just as they sound: You ask a question and then Google will take that question and put it in front of a relevant audience to answer.

Below is a screenshot of the general page that shows you the three easy steps it takes to make a survey happen:


To break down the process, Consumer Surveys will show your question across different online news sources, blogs, entertainment websites, etc. by either embedding it into the content or including it on a mobile app.

People will answer the question in exchange for being able to read an article, listen to a song, gain a free app, etc. What Google offers in return is up to Google, but typically it’s something relevant to your company (that’s why the audience answering the questions is going to be relevant to your audience).

On that note, the person’s demographics, like age and location, are assumed based on that person’s browser history and IP address (hooray for not having to ask the questions yourself!). If they search for something related to your industry or product, it’s likely they will be targeted by Google to answer your question.

So what types of questions can you ask? Not only can you ask about whatever appropriate subjects you want, but you have a choice as to the “type” of question.

Types of questions include multiple choice, a rating system, side-by-side images, open-ended, and then all of these options coupled with an image. Below is the screen offering you these options.


How You Can Use Google Consumer Surveys to Improve Conversion Optimization

As you have probably inferred from above, the biggest thing that these survey’s offer is a way to find out what your audience is thinking. By figuring out what they are thinking about your product, your landing page, or your industry in general (or a million other questions you may want to ask), you can optimize your pages for higher conversions.

After all, conversions happen because of your visitors and the thoughts those visitors are having—the more you can understand those thoughts, the better.

Below are a few different things you may want to consider asking, along with how you can use the answers to optimize your website and/or landing page:

1. Ask about landing page or logo preference.

Example: Which logo do you prefer? Which button would you be more likely to press? These are always good questions with two images side-by-side.

Your Move: By including two screenshots of your same website or two pictures of your logo and/or product with slight changes, you can get a vote from a relevant audience as to which they like best. Of course, if they like something better, they’re more likely to convert.

2. Ask about the likelihood of needing a particular product at any given time. 

Example: Do you plan on traveling this summer? Why or why not? This is a great open-ended question.

Your Move: Ask this type of open-ended question to find trends in your industry. For the example above, a travel agent could use this information to decide which packages to feature on the homepage of the website. If people are planning to travel in the fall, feature more fall travel destinations to help improve conversions.

3. Ask how much someone would be willing to pay for a general product.

Example: How much would you be willing to pay for the perfect pair of custom sneakers? The multiple-choice option usually works best for this type of question.

Your Move: By knowing how much someone is willing to pay for something, you can not only make sure you price your product correctly, but you advertise that on your landing pages. Go slightly lower than your average, and make an announcement that most people would pay X amount for X product. Having these statistics could help urge someone to convert, and you know you have that at a price point that really works (also important for conversions).

4. Ask what brand they think of most often when thinking about your industry.

Example: What brand do you think of first when you think SEO agency? An open-ended type works well here.

Your Move: This will give you insight into your real competition (and usually it will be local), so you can visit that company’s website and see what they are doing differently than you. The more aware people are of your brand the more traffic you will have, so spending time trying to give your audience something similar to what they are already responding to is important. Adogy.com has admitted to using this tactic to help gain ideas for their “Work” page.

5. Ask what promotional deal they would like best.

Example: What deal would you like best? Give multiple-choice options like Free Shipping, 20% off, Free Returns, Buy Two Get One Free, etc.

Your Move: This one is pretty self-explanatory. If people are going to click on a deal you’re offering, they’re already well on their way to converting—you may as well use the deal that the highest number of people like!

Extra Uses and Ideas

While conversion optimization is incredibly important and a great way to use the tool, it’s worth mentioning that Consumer Survey’s can give you answers to just about anything regarding your audience. Google highlights eight other possible uses:

  1. Concept and Product Development
  2. Market Trends
  3. Brand Tracking
  4. Marketing Design
  5. Campaign Measurement
  6. Timely Questions
  7. Customer Satisfaction
  8. Custom Survey Portals

Getting Started with Google Consumer Surveys

You can visit this link to get started with Consumer Surveys. It will cost you 10 cents per every question that is completed and $1.10 – $3.50 per completed question if you have participants answered 2–10 questions (10 is the limit). You should have your results within 24 hours.

Have you ever used Google Consumer Survey’s to improve your conversion rates? What did you ask, and did you find the data helpful? Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Using Google Consumer Surveys for Conversion Optimization


82% of Marketers Aren’t Testing Effectively – Here’s Why

As conversion optimization becomes more of a priority in more and more companies, we’re seeing a lot of statistics on how marketers perform their tests, the tools they use and, most importantly, the tests they run.

These statistics are extremely important because they give us a window into what marketers are doing and how we can improve ourselves and our marketing strategies.

New research from Adobe uncovers two critical issues:

  • More than 8 out of 10 (82%) marketers say knowing how to test effectively is “somewhat” or “very” challenging.
  • Even more important (and distressing), nearly half (42%) say analyzing the A/B test results is the hardest part of conversion optimization.

Here’s the problem with that: Many marketing strategies and entire business plans are built on the results of testing and can, at times, completely alter products or services. This is why I chose to take a deeper look into these two stats, find the pain points and offer a few different ways to solve these issues.

Why analyzing tests is so hard

As with anything new, if you’re just beginning to test, it takes time to build a strategy. The most dominant strategy used today is the behavioral targeting strategy, or what many call the “testing elements” strategy.

In this strategy, one landing page is duplicated and gets a few small changes made to it. The most common changes are a different colored call-to-action button (green vs. red), a different title to the page, swapped locations of elements or a different main image.

The structure and the build of the original page remains the same, except for one change.

In the behavioral targeting methodology, we use the data we get on our users to personalize our landing pages—information such as the browser they come from, their geographic location, the time they came to the site and many other factors.

Below is a great visual by Visual Web Optimizer that shows the process of behavioral targeting.

Behavioral targeting

The issue with behavioral targeting (or testing individual elements) is that, once the test is completed and a winner has been declared, it’s difficult to understand the results.

For instance, if I change my main image on a landing page from a smiling woman to a cute puppy and the puppy variation wins, what do the results mean? Should I change my main site image to a puppy image? What have I learned from the test? And what do I test next?

By testing elements and not actual strategies, marketers find it extremely hard to learn from their tests and, more importantly, to scale them.

Unlocking Purchasing Habits

The key to scale, analyze and understand your tests is to test strategies, not elements, or as we describe it at Conversioner, test emotional triggers. Similar to any of your marketing efforts, conversion optimization needs a clear strategy and a plan for scaling based on your audience, not your product.

The idea of testing strategies comes from understanding why your customers want to buy your product or service. We’re not looking for the physical reason; we’re looking for the emotional reason.

People don’t buy products or services because of their features or their price. We buy them because of what they make us feel about ourselves. We see better versions of ourselves with these services/products, and that’s what motivates our purchasing habits.

Once you understand better what users receive from your product emotionally, you will be able to use different designs and elements to trigger these emotions and increase conversion on your landing page.

Testing Strategies

Emotional conversion optimization is based on testing strategies and concepts, focusing on why people buy products and not why they should.

So how does it look in actual practice?

Instead of two duplicated landing pages with one element altered for testing, each landing page represents a completely different strategy—with a different build, colors, images and messaging. The focus on these pages is not the elements. It’s what we want users to feel by landing on our landing page.

In the world of 2-second bounce rates, it’s important to understand that you have less than 3 seconds to convince your visitor that your product or service is the right one for them.

Once you’ve figured out what you want to make your users feel when they arrive on your landing page, you need to make sure they can feel this in less than 3 seconds.

There are two important elements you need to take into consideration to make sure of this:

  1. Our brains process Images 60,000 times quicker than text, meaning the image you show has a huge impact on your audience’s feelings and understanding of your product.
  2. Colors convey different emotions and can be used in many ways to direct users in the right way. You can find more information on the meanings of color here.

Let’s look at 2 case studies to see the difference between testing elements and testing strategies.

Case Study #1

In this case study, we’re taking a look at a presentation company. Their product allows you to build customizable presentations in a fast and easy way for any purpose. They had two immediate goals:

  1. Increase signups – get more people to sign up to their product
  2. Increase new presentations – get more people to complete the funnel and create presentations (not just sign up)

We started out by running our emotional trigger research and finding two main emotional triggers. Then we started building the pages:

  1. One page was built for a more tech savvy persona who prepares so many presentations, they’re starting to look alike and sound boring. The idea was to make sure they feel this product will be much easier than other presentation softwares but, more importantly, their presentations will stand out from their peers and be different.
  2. The second page spoke to a less tech savvy audience who has a hard time creating presentations. These are usually people who don’t create many presentations and find it extremely painful to create one. The landing page’s main goal was to make these people feel comforted and that they’re in good hands.

Variation 1:

Variation 1

Variation 2:

Variation 2

As you can see, each landing page is completely different from the other in design, color and, most importantly, in strategy.

The 10-day test run had 60,000 sessions. The results were a 316% increase in signups for variation 1 and 114.36% increase in new presentations.

Once the test was finished, we then moved on to testing different signup processes and a few other flow elements, but we didn’t do this until we finalized our strategy and realized what we want people to feel, which in this case, was special and different from their peers.

Case study #2

This case study was one of the first we ran for an e-card company. As is common, the company had a few common obstacles:

  • They have many competitors.
  • They’re the most expensive in their industry.
  • There’s no one-time payment, only yearly or monthly subscriptions.
  • Their product is a download product, meaning people have to download it to their computer before they can start using it.

This was their original landing page:

Original - Control

During our research, we worked on finding out what people want to feel from using this product. Finishing the research we mapped out two types of emotional triggers:

  1. Self image – These are people who want to have the best party, have their friends over and make sure they have the time of their lives. They mainly want to feel good about their decisions, plans and executions.
  2. Social image – These people want their friends and relatives to talk about the amazing event they had, the amazing host, the gorgeous invitation they sent and the perfect party in general.

To convey these feelings, we created two different landing pages:

Variation 1:

Variation 1

Variation 2:

Variation 2

Variation 1 won and increased immediate revenue by 65% and, even more interesting, it increased the yearly signups dramatically. What did this mean? People were not only purchasing a subscription, many of them were now committing to a yearly subscription rather than a monthly one.

One thing that is important about emotional targeting is that you don’t need to go to the end of the funnel to make an impact. The common scenario for companies that want to increase their revenue is working on their checkout process first. But with emotional targeting, it’s a good idea to start at the top of the funnel and make your way down.

A simple landing page can change not only the amount of downloads and signups but also the actual revenue without touching the checkout process yet.

The emotional targeting funnel results

The common conversion optimization funnel looks like the image below. You run a test and the results impact the top part of the funnel and then each part of the lower funnel grows a little accordingly.

Optimization funnel

With emotional targeting you can still start at the top of the funnel and yet the results are different. This is the funnel from our second case study. Downloads, for example, grew by 12% as opposed to the 65% in the revenue. This impact was received from a landing page test, not a checkout test.

Emotional targeting funnel

Figuring Out Emotional Triggers

In order to understand why your customers want to buy your product and what they want to feel from using your product or service it, it’s important to understand why people actually make decisions in life and what those decisions are based on.

Believe it or not, our decision-making as humans is mostly irrational. Although we like to think of ourselves as completely rational people who make our decisions according to hard facts and data, we’re far from it.

We don’t know what we want in life. We have no idea what’s good for us and what isn’t. So we typically make decisions according to our surroundings. Meaning we make decisions by the way things are presented to us.

The decision on which car to buy, what insurance to choose, what laptop to get and how to split our checkings account with our partner comes from our surroundings and of what we compare it to.

The way you present your landing page, call to action, messaging and colors have a huge impact on your user’s decision-making and, if you want to help people choose your product, there are certain cognitive biases, or triggers, you should take into consideration.

Cognitive biases are tendencies to think in certain ways. They’re basically unconscious thinking patterns or triggers in our brains that help us make decisions. I’ve summed up a few cognitive biases to give you examples. Used right, they can help you convert people quicker and understand what customers are looking for emotionally in your product or service.

4 common cognitive biases


This is one of the most famous marketing tactics. We’ve all experienced it, often unawares.

Anchoring is the tendency to rely on the first piece of information we received when making a decision. For example, the initial price offered as a salary is used to for the rest of the negotiations. Once an anchor is set, all options are considered while compared to the anchor.

Steve Jobs himself used this tactic to sell the iPad when it came out. He told people that the iPad should cost $999 and then proceeded to talk about the iPad while the price was on the screen behind him.

Then he came out with a dramatic announcement that the iPad will only cost $499.

Now compared to $999 that’s cheap. But is it? It only sounded cheap in comparison to the value Jobs had given it.

A few ways to use anchoring to your advantage:

  • On pricing pages – This is a common use. Create one pricing plan much higher than the rest, then present it first so people have the anchor of a higher price and are pleasantly surprised by the “reasonable” price of the others.
  • Limitations - This one is extremely interesting. By limiting something not by time but by number, you can get more people to take an action. For example, you only allow people to invite up to 5 friends. Before the anchor people might have invited only 2, but now that the anchor is placed, the average goes up.

Endowment effect

The endowment effect (one of my personal favorites) is a state of mind in which a consumer’s valuation of an object (any object) increases once they’ve taken ownership of it.

Meaning, once I have something, even for a brief moment I consider it as my own and will not easily part with it (that’s why we have so much old stuff in our houses that we can’t get rid of).

There are many ways and tips for using the endowment effect to its full extent increase conversion. Several ways include:

  • Free trials - The idea is simple. Once a customer has used the product for enough time, customized it and gotten used to it, they won’t let a small thing like a payment get in the way of keeping it. In the 1950s there were door-to-door salespeople who would offer vacuums and other appliances for trials periods, assuring people that they could give them back for no charge at the end of the trial. These were a huge hit. Nine out of 10 (yes, a full 90%) did not give the product back.
  • Exit pops – These are great way to catch your user’s eye before they leave the landing page and tell them that they’re about to lose all their information. Similar to the emotional targeting method, you need to think about how you want people to feel while seeing this pop up.

Decoy effect

This is a great bias for unlocking pricing page success. In general it means that when we’re presented with more than two options, we tend to choose the first option. Weirdly, it looks better even though it might not be.

Many companies use the decoy effect to direct their visitors to a specific pricing plan and increase sales. The basics of this bias is that people look for an easy way to make a decision, one that doesn’t require thinking or analyzing.

(Further tips for using the decoy effect.)

Hyperbolic discounting

This trigger is great for inbound marketing. Hyperbolic discounting is the tendency of people to prefer more immediate rewards that are worth less than larger rewards that are further away.

For example, people would prefer to get less discount on a service right now than to work harder to get a larger discount in the future.

A great way to use this is by offering several coupons and rewards to your customers for inviting their friends, writing reviews and spreading the word. Here are a few proven ways to use hyperbolic discounting for your inbound marketing.

Bottom line

As your conversion optimization tests take a larger part of your marketing effort, it is important to be able to keep these tests scaling and growing.

In order to be testing effectively you should start start focusing on your prospects’ emotional needs. By continuously researching your audience and identifying their emotional needs, you will be able to learn from your tests, understand them and know what to test next.

The post 82% of Marketers Aren’t Testing Effectively – Here’s Why appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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82% of Marketers Aren’t Testing Effectively – Here’s Why


10 Conversion Psychology Resources That Will Make You a Smarter Marketer

You don’t have to be Freud to understand how your prospects think. Image by Alan Turkus via Flickr.

Smart marketers know that conversion rate optimization is important.

We run A/B tests to test our assumptions, but we’re sometimes left to wonder what it is about the winning variation that just makes it convert better.

It doesn’t have to be a mystery. The beauty of CRO is that it’s grounded in human psychology. Yep, the stuff you learned about in school.

Understanding peoples’ motivations and behavior – the science of how to persuade – helps you create landing pages that resonate with prospects. More importantly, understanding psychology helps you create marketing experiences that delight and convert.

Here are 10 conversion psychology resources that will help you understand your customers – and make you a better marketer in the process.

1. Conversion Psychology: 10 Ways to Influence People Online


What you’ll get

Gregory Ciotti‘s ebook is the most thorough introduction to influencing people online you’ll ever find. It’ll teach you patterns of human behavior and how to apply these insights to your marketing to build a loyal customer base.

What you won’t get

This isn’t a step-by-step guide on how to implement the right techniques for your business. The subject matter is quite theoretical – it’s up to you to take the high-level insight and create a plan that best supports your business model.

Sneak peek: Lessons learned

  • Personalization helps prospects convert and makes them more likely to become loyal repeat customers.
  • Many people value their time more than money – test emphasizing time saved (instead of money) and you could see a lift in conversions.

2. How to Persuade People Online: 17 Lesser-Known Jedi Mind Tricks


What you’ll get

This blog post by Peep Laja will teach you how to leverage the power of influence to help you convert your prospects. Rather than jumping into widely known persuasion principles, it breaks down lesser-known techniques like how to be confident, the art of swearing and getting people to agree with you before you ask for a commitment.

What you won’t get

The principles aren’t explicitly about conversion rate optimization, but they equip you with some interesting psychological principles that you can use to your advantage when framing your offers.

Sneak peek: Lessons learned

  • Being confident and talking fast makes you more persuasive – and so can swearing, if you do it tactfully.
  • Balancing your argument by acknowledging opposing points of view can help make your argument more persuasive.

3. 15 Psychological Triggers to Convert Leads into Customers


What you’ll get

This blog post by Akshay Nanavati will walk you through 15 ready-to-implement marketing tactics to strengthen your conversion rate optimization strategy: from getting attention with controversy to building anticipation. Each tip comes with an actionable takeaway and a first step for getting started.

What you won’t get

The strength of this blog post is in its bite-sized snippets. If you’re looking for in-depth analysis, you may want to pick up a book or two (or three).

Sneak peek: Lessons learned

  • Human behavior is driven by the need to maximize pleasure and minimize pain. Understand your prospect and what they want, and you’ll be able to leverage these triggers in your marketing.
  • Our rational minds are always searching for meaning and context – people are more willing to take action if you give them a reason (even if that reason is arbitrary).

4. The Psychology of Conversion Optimization: Psychology of the Brain


What you’ll get

This blog post by Stephen Macdonald will give you a crash course on the brain and how it works. What is it about the human brain that makes persuasion and influence principles true?

What you won’t get

This is another high-level theory resource. You won’t get an actionable, ready-to-implement list of tactics, but it’ll give you the knowledge you need to think about your marketing campaigns in a new light.

Sneak peek: Lessons learned

  • Conversion rate optimization requires more than a commitment to implementing best practices. As the author puts it, “Best practices will change but humans won’t.”
  • Brands that focus on listening to their visitors and understanding their motivations will be best positioned for success.

#CRO requires more than a commitment to best practices. Customs change – but humans don’t.
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5. The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Consumer Psychology

The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Consumer Psychology by Neil Patel and Ritika Puri (shameless plug)

What you’ll get

Neil Patel and I wrote this comprehensive 200-page guide to consumer psychology. You’ll get started by walking through the mind of today’s consumer, learning about color theory, the psychology of pricing and points of friction to avoid. The ebook is jam-packed with small tactics that lead to big results.

What you won’t get

If you’re looking for in-depth theory and case studies, this guide isn’t for you. It’s not an academic paper – it’s designed to be tactical with ready-to-implement marketing ideas.

Sneak peek: Lessons learned

  • Today’s consumers do tons of research before making a purchase decision, so make sure you’re playing your part in informing them about your product or service.
  • Different colors convey different meanings to different audiences. Understanding which colors resonate with your audience can help you run educated A/B tests.

6. 5 Psychological Principles of High Converting Websites (+ 20 Case Studies)


What you’ll get

Though this blog post by Nate Desmond addresses the anatomy of high-converting websites, the psychological principles are worth testing on your campaign landing pages. The 20 high-impact case studies demonstrate how past experiences, simplicity and user-friendly design can contribute to a high conversion rate.

What you won’t get

To get the most out of this post, you’ll need a basic understanding of CRO and related terminology. Don’t expect guidance or an introductory overview. Be prepared to jump in.

Sneak peek: Lessons learned

  • Based on past experiences, prospects have certain expectations about your landing page. Understanding and adapting to these expectations will help increase conversions.
  • Your can make your pages more user-friendly (and conversion-friendly) by employing laws of behavioral psychology – but you still need to test.

Prospects have expectations about your landing page. Understand them and adapt.
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7. The Ultimate Guide to Conversion Centered Design


What you’ll get

This Unbounce ebook by Oli Gardner is 68 pages of design-meets-marketing goodness.

It outlines the building blocks of conversion centered design, a discipline which uses design and psychology to create experiences that guide prospects toward completing one desired action.

You’ll learn how to run meaningful A/B tests, how to guide your prospect’s eye and how to leverage psychological triggers to increase the motivation of your leads. Plus, you’ll get a set of ready-to-implement conversion-based templates.

What you won’t get

CliffsNotes or shortcuts – this guide is thorough in both theory and application. Be prepared to take notes and start thinking about how you can apply what you learn to your landing pages and marketing campaigns.

Sneak peek: Lessons learned

  • Giving people a preview of what you’re selling (letting them “try before they buy”) can increase conversions and spark a sense of commitment that helps with retention.
  • Simply asking your prospects why they didn’t convert via a survey can give you some of the best insight – and some of the best actionable ideas for your next A/B test.

Talking to your prospects can give you some of the best actionable ideas for your next A/B test.
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8. Are We In Control of Our Own Decisions?


What you’ll get

In this TED Talk, professor of psychology Dan Ariely shares some of his research findings that show how human decision making can be unpredictable.

He provides an overview of behavioral economics and shows that our perception and biases sometimes dictate our financial decisions – and demonstrates how consumers can be guided toward making a certain choice.

What you won’t get

This talk is inspiring but it’s not explicitly about conversion rate optimization. It’s up to you to connect the concepts to your campaigns and use what you learn about human behavior to inspire game-changing A/B tests.

Sneak peek: Lessons learned

  • Understanding that customers can make irrational and counterintuitive choices will open up your mind to questioning “best practices” and running A/B tests before you rely on assumptions.
  • Price anchoring and comparing your product to other alternatives (whether different pricing plans or the product of a competitor) can increase the likelihood of conversion.

Customers can make irrational decisions. Question “best practices” and always test for yourself.
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9. Psychology for Marketers: 6 Revealing Principles of Human Behavior


What you’ll get

This blog post by Ginny Soskey explains when it’s appropriate to use Robert Cialdini’s six principles of persuasion: reciprocity, commitment, authority, social proof, liking and scarcity. It will also teach you how to appeal to consumers’ emotions without being unethical or going overboard (be persuasive without being a jerk!)

What you won’t get

You won’t get real-world examples of each principle in practice, though they do provide hypothetical examples.

Sneak peek: Lessons learned

  • People like being consistent. If you make them commit with a small ask up front, they’ll be more likely to say yes to bigger “asks.”
  • Be likeable. If people like you, they’ll be more willing to do business with you.

10. How to Use the 6 Principles of Persuasion to Create Landing Pages that Convert


What you’ll get

This blog post by Sean Ellis looks at each of Cialdini’s principles of persuasion to show how they can help you optimize your landing pages to generate significant conversion lifts. For each principle, multiple case studies show how other marketers have successfully leveraged persuasion to create landing pages that convert.

What you won’t get

Though these principles worked for the companies represented in the case studies, don’t assume they’ll work every time. You need to test each of the tips to see if they’ll resonate with your audience.

Sneak peek: Lessons learned

  • People have a natural instinct to reciprocate favors, which is all the more reason for you to strive to always deliver value to your prospects
  • Testimonials and other social proof are universally accepted as being effective, but they can backfire if they feel fake.

Social proof is known to improve conversion rates – but it can backfire if it feels fake.
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Brush up on your psychology and become a smarter marker

These conversion-meets-psychology resources are packed with theory, case studies and tips for you to begin applying today.

Though it may be tempting to start with the actionable tactics that you can start A/B testing immediately, remember to make time for some of the more theoretical articles that will give you the skills to think critically and creatively about your marketing campaigns.

If you have a resource to add to this list, please share it in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you!

– Ritika Puri


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10 Conversion Psychology Resources That Will Make You a Smarter Marketer


So You Want to Do a Conversion Audit? Here’s What You Need to Know

If you’ve launched your website and are steadily getting traffic, you may feel like the hardest part is over. The truth is, the real work has just begun.

Now your focus shifts from a design/development perspective to a relationship-building, client-centered one. You’re now an inspector, looking for all the little “leaks” in your website that are causing customers not to buy.

There are about as many reasons people don’t buy as there are stars in the sky, so rather than focusing on those, we’re going to look at how to remedy as many of them as possible through a series of steps—a task known as a conversion audit.

conversion auditSource: Placeit.net

What’s a Conversion Audit?

Also known as a website review, a conversion audit looks at your site from your customers’ shoes—pinpointing areas where improvements could be made that would strengthen your conversion rate. Typical areas of focus include design and layout, search engine optimization, social media optimization, checkout process, and content.

Remember that customers arrive at your website from various different points, and with a wide range of experiences. A conversion audit professional takes all of these routes into consideration when analyzing your site. With that in mind, here’s what we look for:

Design and Layout (Both Desktop and Responsive)

Even great looking websites’ conversion rates can flounder. What’s attractive on the surface may not be compelling enough to the end user. With that being said, conversion optimization professionals typically look at things that make it easier for the audience to visually scan the page, including:

Of course, it’s not enough to go on common conversion practices alone. We also look at how the site performs on mobile devices. Since mobile traffic currently accounts for over one third of all web traffic (and is inching closer to the 50% mark), not having a responsive, device-optimized design is just flushing potential revenue away.


With the advent of technologies like HTML5 and CSS3, there’s no longer any need to develop a separate mobile site. One site can conform to all resolutions and devices. Just go easy on the load time for smartphones!

Search and Social Optimization

You might not think search and social optimization would go together in the same sentence. They produce vastly different conversion results, it’s true. But since customers can enter your website from any number of channels, from an optimization perspective, we typically put these two together.

After all, there are dozens of factors that go into making your site perform well in search, why should those not bleed over into social?


Moz.com’s graphic on the elements of an optimized page. View full image here

Many people take great pains to optimize their search results, but social seems more like an afterthought, because the traffic is viewed as not as valuable. Let’s face it, how many times have you gone on Facebook to buy something? (Um, never!) But just because the intent isn’t there, doesn’t mean we should be dismissive of these visitors.

A good conversion optimization audit looks at how well your social efforts flow into each other and back to your original website. Because social results can also impact your search engine ranking, you want to have a fluid, seamless flow from each channel. That means doing things like:

  • Customizing your Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages to incorporate the same style and tone used on your website.
  • Include branding and graphics from your website on your social properties
  • Promote the same friendly customer service and open discussion on your social channels as you do on your website
  • Give customers on social networks a more engaging reason to interact with you. Surveys, contests and quizzes are all great portals to encourage interaction.

Starbucks has done a phenomenal job of not only responding to customer issues, but also providing a consistent voice, tone and engagement level for all its fans.


Notice how they invite users to participate by submitting their own photos, as well as voting on a contest for the best artistic cup design through Pinterest. It’s this kind of cross-channel communication that gets people to recommend, discuss and otherwise involve themselves in your offer.

E-Commerce Product Pages and Checkout Process


Apple knows exactly how to design an engaging, beautiful and high performing product page. Click here to see more examples of best practices in e-commerce

A good conversion audit wouldn’t be complete without a closer look at the e-commerce process. This can sound overwhelming, but there are a few key points to consider when auditing your product pages and checkout, including:

  • Always-visible shopping cart, complete with an image of the item added, and the price (along with any discounts)
  • Customization or personalization options (if available)
  • Showing the number of steps to order completion
  • Incorporating free shipping (by far the biggest conversion-producer for e-commerce websites)
  • Use of security and trust seals where appropriate
  • Forms with easy-to-understand errors to let the customer know if they missed or forgot to enter something.

Of course, these are just a few of the many points to consider, but a good conversion audit will take them all into consideration and then make adjustments and test depending on one’s own audience and their expectations.

Content Writing

Browse the Web for any length of time, and you’ll see that for many sites, the content seems more like an afterthought than an integral part of the conversion strategy.

While the tone and voice of the content will differ depending on the audience and brand (you wouldn’t be conversational if you’re selling high-grade technical parts and components), but for most consumer-facing brands, an open dialogue can make a big difference.


ChalkFly, an office and school supply store, uses their content to reinforce that they’re a company you’ll love to do business with.

While every business is different, notable points include reinforcing free shipping, noting the return/exchange policy in plain English, demonstrating your differences in a way the customer can understand, and much more.

Good website content is an art as much as a science, and understanding what compels your users to action is all part of the visitor psychology process.

Wrapping Up Your Audit

It may look overwhelming at first, but a good conversion audit is both thorough and straightforward. By understanding your visitors’ needs and then structuring your site and all of its promotional outlets to meet and exceed those expectations, you’ll be leaps and bounds ahead of your competition and truly have a site that converts to the best of its ability. Good luck!

Read other Crazy Egg articles by Sherice Jacob.

The post So You Want to Do a Conversion Audit? Here’s What You Need to Know appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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So You Want to Do a Conversion Audit? Here’s What You Need to Know


Dissecting Popup Anatomy: What Works & What Hurts Your Bottom Line

Popups get a bad rap.

To put it bluntly, people hate them.

There’s almost nothing online that’s more annoying than something getting in your way, interrupting your research, FORCING you to take time out just to close a window. Or worse—signing up for an email list you don’t care about just to keep reading.

Sure, things have gotten better from the all-out popup war that led to browser popup blockers, but just because the popup itself has gotten a little more sophisticated doesn’t mean it’s stopped being an unwelcome party guest.

Even in 2013, 70% of people thought irrelevant popups were really annoying, putting them on the same level as lottery scams.

popup anatomy

The popups we grew to hate. All caps yelling, the stench of desperation, and an all-out denial of the fact they’d already lost the reader’s interest.

Why They’re Still Around

But, let’s face it. Popups are still around and they aren’t going away anytime soon.

In fact, the reason they’re still around is because they work—better than almost any other lead generation strategy.

As annoying as the bad ones may be, marketers find popups nearly irreplaceable in increasing blog subscriptions and lead volumes.

In fact, Econsultancy found that an overlay can increase email opt-ins by 400%.

popup - placeitSource: Placeit.net

Bad Popup Anatomy: A List 6 Things NOT to Do

The flip side of this, though, is that a 400% increase in opt-ins doesn’t mean those subscribers are as high quality as the ones that actively seek you out.

Fortunately, you can use popups to dramatically increase your subscribers and leads while keeping quality in check.

When you break down the anatomy of a popup, there are good practices and bad practices, so we’ll explore both. But first, a list of anatomical characteristics to avoid:

1. Don’t use bully language
Your visitors aren’t stupid, so don’t treat them that way. You can’t trick them into giving you their email address by using clever wording and trickery. They can read right through it.

popup anatomy

There’s no need to insult your users like this. They’re intelligent people who can make their own decisions, so respect them for it.

2. Avoid being a conversion sell-out

Sometimes, less is more.

It’s entirely possible that 50 quality conversions can increase your bottom line more than 500 generic ones.

Don’t get caught up in the thrill of a 400% increase until you find out that it’s also significantly impacting your bottom line. When you do your A/B testing and data tracking, use the monetary value of each conversion as your deciding data, not just the number of conversions themselves.

3. Don’t use blanket popups
Blanket popups with generic messages don’t serve anyone, and may be irrelevant to your visitor, turning them off from your website and services forever.

For example, if you have a website that sells health supplements and you’ve got a popup pushing your latest weight loss pill, it might get in front of the eyes of a lot of people, but don’t show it to people who want to boost muscle mass.

Instead of blanket popups, customize them based on purchase and browsing history. At the very least, make them page-specific so you know you won’t be too far off the mark.

4. Don’t hide the X
You might be desperate for people to convert, but hiding the X and making it harder for people to get rid of your popup only makes visitors resent you more.

And, the less they resent you, the higher your chances are for a quality conversion.

5. Don’t get in the user’s way
People get online to do their own thing. They don’t want you to boss them around. If you’re going to use a popup that stops users from doing what they want, you need to have a very easy-to-see escape route.

Better yet, use a popup that doesn’t get in their way at all. It’s less irritating and you won’t get the annoying website reputation.

And the email IDs you do collect will be higher quality ones because it’s more of an elected opt-in than a forced one.

popup anatomy, bottom popup

Econsultancy’s popup is at the bottom of their page. It’s still noticeable, but doesn’t get in the way of scrolling, clicking and reading.

6. Don’t go popup crazy

In short, keep your popups in check and use them in moderation. Don’t use one on every single page, and definitely don’t use multiple popups per visit.

Choose a popup that offers the most value for each landing page, and employ it in a tactful manner. (Not right away, but ideally before they’ve already decided to close the window. Make Web World suggests a 30-second delay.)

The Anatomy of Page-Stopping Popups

Today, the most popular popups are light boxes and overlays. They increase opt-ins, but they do interrupt the user experience by forcing them to look at and interact with the popup.

lightbox, page-stopping popup

As soon as this page loads, a popup stops me from reading and requests me to like their Facebook page, even though I’ve already done so.

There’s a good side and a bad side to both of these, so you can’t really have a 100% win either way: to use them or not.

Since you know you visitors better than anyone else, you’ve got to decide whether or not the leads you get are worth interrupting your user experience and annoying them a little bit. A short stint of A/B testing should do the trick if you’re unsure. But these pros and cons will help you decide where to start:

Pros of Page-Stopping Popups

  • A significant increase in the number of leads and opt-in conversions
  • The ability to catch a reader’s eye with special value offers
  • Can use customized versions of popups to optimize online sales funnels

Cons of Page-Stopping Popups

  • Renders the site useless and forces readers to interact with something against their will
  • Lowering the quality of the visitor experience in exchange for lower quality leads
  • With too many, people become annoyed with your site and may stop visiting

The Anatomy of Hello Bar

Another, more recent popup option that doesn’t impede so much on the user experience is the Hello Bar.

It’s an app that lets you design custom bars that display across the top or bottom of your page—visible to the visitor while he’s scrolling and reading, but doesn’t force him to interact.

Depending on your goals, you can customize formats to drive traffic to a specific URL, collect email addresses, or promote your social media pages.

Even though it doesn’t get directly in the face of the visitor, it’s helped businesses like DIY Themes gain more than 1,000 extra blog subscribers in one month.

hello bar, popup anatomy, more subscribers

When creating your Hello Bar, you get to choose which goal most suits your needs: more traffic, more subscribers, or more social media followers.

Effective Popup Anatomy: 5 Things You SHOULD Do

Though popups get a bad rap for their ability to irritate Web surfers, their reputation shouldn’t stop you from trying them out.

There are ways you can actually make popups valuable rather than irritating, vastly increasing your leads and subscribers while making sure the leads have sales potential.

To make your popups effective:

  1. Be as unobtrusive as possible. To be clear this doesn’t necessarily mean avoiding overlay or page-stopping popups, but it does constant data checking if you do. For example, if you have a valuable well-designed overlay popup that gives you better bottom-line conversions than a message bar across the top of your page, use it. However, if the value of both are equal, opt for the message bar.
  2. Offer real value. Offer users something that will actually help them in return for their email address. Hint: “bi-weekly updates” isn’t nearly as valuable as “7 concrete ways to reduce your ad spend while increasing conversions.”
  3. Have a nice, minimalistic design. Use clear, direct wording with clear, direct images and design layout so your visitors know exactly what you’re offering them and whether or not they want to take part. Clarity wins over confusion every time.
  4. Use respectful language. Don’t try to shame your visitors into agreeing with your offer. It will only make them resent you for insulting their intelligence. Instead, when they feel respected, they’ll have respect for you in return.
  5. Use brand-friendly colors. Bright red and yellow are only acceptable in McDonald’s advertisements. In designing your popups, use your brand colors or colors your brand designer gave you in your color pallet.
popup design, popup anatomy, popup language

Social Triggers offers real value with their well-designed popup, while respecting the visitors who reject their offer.

What’s Worked for Your Business?

What are your thoughts on different kinds of popups? If you’re a marketer who’s employed popups in your on-page marketing, which types gave you the most improvement in your bottom line?

Check out some of Crazy Egg’s other posts on user experience, or read more articles by Chelsea Baldwin.

The post Dissecting Popup Anatomy: What Works & What Hurts Your Bottom Line appeared first on The Daily Egg.


Dissecting Popup Anatomy: What Works & What Hurts Your Bottom Line


Pro Tips on Using Social Proof to Increase Conversions

Businesses and marketers are increasingly using social proof to create positive customer engagement around their products and services, which in turn can increase conversions that contribute to the bottom line.

After all, it’s not just about getting users to your website, but it’s about ultimately keeping them there to become a real customer. To do that, businesses need to understand exactly what social proof is and what techniques are best for promoting this highly effective marketing strategy.

social proof_placeitSource: Placeit.net

What is Social Proof?

People are driven by certain behaviors, whether they realize it or not, and one of them is sticking with the group. Plenty of research backs this up, such as the Asch conformity experiments. However, social proof in the marketing community simply refers to using these crowds and their input to create positive connections with a brand or business.

Essentially, your business wants to harness this very human urge to connect with other people, whether it’s friends or even anonymous users on the Web. Whenever people are talking about a business, or using its services, or connecting with it in large numbers through social media, this helps other people know that this company has value that people naturally want to be a part of.

Comments, User Reviews & Social Media

Nothing builds social proof like community. And nothing builds community like comments from real people.

Think about the comments that people leave on your landing pages that could lead to conversions. Comments can provide an absurd amount of social credibility if you take the time to respond and provide assistance to people.

The 86 (and growing) comments on this My Advertising Pays community page only drive up conversions and encourage people to buy the product:

community proof

Notice each comment has a personal response. This turned a normal review page into a full-out community where people are encouraged to participate. This “social proof” has only increased conversions for this page.

One of the most popular and effective methods for gaining social proof is through product reviews. A study by Harvard Business School demonstrated that a one-star increase in a business’s Yelp review led to an increase of sales between 5 and 9 percent. The study demonstrates that users are constantly evaluating what others are saying when it comes to making their purchasing decisions.

Amazon is perhaps one of the most famous business models relying on a customer review strategy to sell, especially when it comes to selling products. However, Amazon demonstrates the success of companies that allow users to provide input given the increased trust it produces in potential customers.

Social media is perhaps one of the most important strategies for generating social proof. But, you have to learn to optimize your social media credentials to drive conversions.

Using Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus are all about connecting users to your site and landing conversions. In fact, something as simple as demonstrating how many “likes” you have from Facebook on your landing page has been shown to increase conversions even when all other elements between competing sites remain the same.

Publishing Stories & Testimonials

Building a network of stories and shared experiences around your site is important as well. Social proof is achieved when enough of these shared experiences generate other user stories based on the human desire to participate.

Examples include how your company’s app helps or entertains them on a daily basis or how your real estate company has led people to connect with the home of their dreams. No matter what company you’re running, it’s all about finding the human angle that speaks to a wide audience. If people can “visualize” your business’s services in their own lives through storytelling, this builds the social proof they need to connect with your website and company’s services.

A great way to successfully build social proof with users is through video testimonials. Allowing people to picture how others are benefitting from your company helps build an immediate and personal connection.

TopTenReviews did this with their Web hosting reviews and uploaded them to their YouTube channel. Using real people and real feedback data, they started producing videos that added more value and authenticity to their Web hosting review pages:

web-hosting-reviewTry placing a testimonial video directly on your landing page or upfront on your webpage, so it’s one of the first impressions a potential customer has when visiting your site.

Use Numbers Effectively

Statistics can also convince visitors that they should believe in your services. Examples include pointing to the number of clients you have, how many people have signed up for your website’s services, or how many people are using your product.

It’s not about just raw numbers either. If your business has worked with other well-known businesses, think about putting their logos on your website to help you leverage the credibility of other brands people know and trust.

If you’re a smaller business, stick to a smaller scale to generate social proof, such as individual reviews or testimonials that bring a more personal touch. As your numbers become more impressive, think about adding some of them to your website.

Basecamp, a company that provides project management tools to other companies, has a great landing page that you can really learn from:

basecamp-lander As soon as you come to their page, you’re introduced to how many people signed up for their service in the previous week, helping any visitor see that many others value this company. Basecamp also points out that over 15,000,000 people have used their services in total, which immediately indicates the “crowd” has accepted their service.

Additionally, the main page lists the companies that Basecamp works with, such as Etsy, Twitter and even NASA, which helps reinforce the quality of Basecamp’s brand. When you work with big companies like that, you immediately want to point it out. Finally, you can see projects finished by other companies using Basecamp, helping potential customers see how Basecamp’s tools can work for them. All of these factors help build social proof’ for anyone eager to try their services.


In closing, as social media networks have grown and the Internet has become ever more reliant on users and their input to sway public opinion, social proof is more important than ever. By following some of these strategies for building social proof, you can ultimately increase your sales and leads.

Did you like this article? Please check out my other Crazy Egg articles on conversion optimization here.

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Pro Tips on Using Social Proof to Increase Conversions


Crazy Minimal Homepage Increased Leads for an SEO Service Company from 1.39% to 13.13%

The split testing campaign I am going to talk about in today’s case study was named the “crazy minimal homepage” campaign. The change was no less crazy; the company decided to wipe off their entire homepage and show just the sign-up form.

The Company

TheHOTH is a white label SEO service company. They provide link building services for agencies and SEO re-sellers. On their website’s original homepage, they have a video & a sign-up form (above the fold), customer logos, testimonials as well as other necessary and good-to-have elements.

Here is how their original homepage looks:


The Problem

TheHOTH was getting a decent amount of traffic on their homepage but their conversions were pretty low. They tested their headline and added / removed some page elements among other changes. But nothing brought them significant results.

The Research

They decided to dig some data to understand about the people who were signing up for an account. The analysis showed them that most of their sign-ups were coming from referrals, word-of-mouth and direct search.

The Hypothesis

The test hypothesis was that eliminating everything from the homepage and keeping just the sign-up form on the page would increase conversion of visitors to account sign-ups. They wanted to test this, as a substantial portion of visitors coming to their website were already familiar with the brand.

The Test

The company setup a split test with VWO and the traffic was split between 2 versions of the homepage: the original and the minimal homepage with only the sign-up form. The test ran for 30 days and close to 3000 visitors became a part of the test.

Here is how the variation page looks:


The Result

The minimal homepage increased account signups for TheHOTH from 1.39% to 13.13%. Needless to say, this was a home run for them.


Why The Minimal Homepage Worked

  • Broadly traffic coming to a website can be divided into 5 mediums: direct, search, social, referral and paid.
    Majority of visitors coming on TheHOTH website were from the direct and referral category. Hence, they had some background knowledge of the company already. This was also true for the social traffic. A very large portion of their search traffic also came from branded keywords (see data from Alexa below). Hence, visitors of the website had a certain level of trust in the brand already. Probably to learn more about the offering the visitors signed up for an account since no information about the service was present on the landing page.

Challenges with a Minimal Homepage

1) Quality of Leads

A major challenge with having such a design is that many people will enter in to understand the product or service and may later realize that it is not a good fit for them.

Alternatively, this would give the company a lot of leads to educate and convince about the product / service.

Clayton at TheHOTH (who setup this test) explained that they are also concerned about the quality of leads that would enter the system unaware or less aware of the service. They’re solving this by adding more information after signup, reaching out to customers via phone & email, and implementing an educational auto-responder to deliver value to their signups.

2) Additional Pressure on Sales

More number of less quality leads would put an additional level of pressure on the sales department. They would have a hard time differentiating between the already motivated leads and those who entered just to understand the offering.

3) Low Trust

Since there is nothing except the sign-up form on the variation page, users have no way of finding out more about the company. This could lead to low trust.

It would be interesting to see the results of the test with a third variation that has the sign-up form on the left and a testimonial on the right hand side. (something like below)

Test suggestion for TheHOTH homepage

This was one interesting usage of VWO that came our way. I would really be interested in knowing your thoughts on why the crazy minimal homepage worked. And what do you think about it in general? Looking forward to hear from you in the comments section!

The post Crazy Minimal Homepage Increased Leads for an SEO Service Company from 1.39% to 13.13% appeared first on VWO Blog.

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Crazy Minimal Homepage Increased Leads for an SEO Service Company from 1.39% to 13.13%


Branding & Conversion: Lessons From A Local Mechanic

At its core, marketing can be divided into two facets: direct-response and branding.

Direct-response is the most efficient of the two and results in the most quantifiable results, and that’s why I’ve spent most of my time discussing it in my previous posts. After witnessing an exceptional display of brand-focused marketing, however, I think it’s time we take a look at the branding side of conversions.

When You Need A Mechanic

I recently ran into some car trouble. After sifting through online reviews for local mechanics, I noticed that one company consistently rose to the top of the list. I checked out their website and then took my car in for service.

By the end of my experience, I had never been so thoroughly impressed with a local business. They did everything right and their customer service went far beyond the competition. At the end of the day, all I could think of was, “Business owners at The Daily Egg will want to know about this.”

So here we go: 4 branding lessons from a local mechanic.

1. Trust Is Everything

Like most consumers today, the first thing I did was search for online reviews. Virtually every location had a number of good reviews, but I noticed one in particular had lengthier positive reviews and, more importantly for me, zero negative reviews.

Unlike many local mechanics, this company actually had a website. And not just any website—this website was tailor made to build trust.


As you can see, you are immediately greeted with a friendly yet experienced-looking face, the same face that greets you when you arrive at the garage. The design is simple and pleasing to the eye, and 80+ 5-star reviews are displayed prominently in the upper left-hand corner of the page.

As you scroll down on the homepage, the copy talks about a family company that has been handed down through the generations since 1968. At this point, I was intrigued, so I gave them a call.

When I arrived at the garage, the mechanic gave me his initial prognosis and described exactly what he expected from a test drive in confirmation of that prognosis. Our test drive resulted in everything he had predicted, giving me a great deal of confidence in his ability to fix the problem.

He also took the time to talk me through the diagnosis along the way and answered every question without even a hint of condescension.

By the time we were back at the garage, I was supremely confident that I had brought my car to the right place. After the checkup was complete, I received both a phone call and email listing exactly what was wrong with the car and which repairs required immediate attention.

The email even included pictures of the damage.


Each step of the process built trust with me and made me want to use this mechanic for future work.

Key Takeaways For Your Business

  1. Intentionally utilize your Web presence to establish trust. Preemptive trust will get customers in the door.
  2. Establishing expertise in your field will make customers less apprehensive about giving you their money.
  3. Continuously build trust throughout the transaction process. You want your customers to walk out the door with even more trust in your business than when they walked in.

2. Make The Entire Process Convenient

The most impressive part of my experience was the convenience. It’s as if my every need was planned for. I experienced ZERO friction.

For starters, the phone number AND store hours were listed prominently on the home page. I didn’t have to dig at all to contact them. Once I made the call, the representative offered to diagnose my issue free of charge. I could come by immediately, and they would be happy to take the car for a drive and let me know what was wrong.

Once I arrived, the mechanic had already been briefed on my car’s reported issues, so I did not have to repeat myself multiple times before getting help. I decided to get the issue fixed, and they immediately offered me a ride back to my apartment and pickup once the work was done.

A few hours later, I received a phone call informing me of the issue and an email with pictures and a detailed analysis of what was urgent, what could wait, and what preemptive measures were recommended.

At each step of the process, Perry’s Automotive made  it extremely convenient for me to get what I needed, even in ways I neither expected nor needed.

Key Takeaways

  1. Imagine yourself walking though a business transaction with your own company. Where can you make that process easier on your customers? What low-cost extras will add convenience and value to your product or service?
  2. Analyze your competition and offer something they aren’t offering. If you can surprise your customer, you’ve already won.
  3. Don’t be afraid of redundancy. I greatly appreciated hearing the same thing on the phone I was reading in the email. Neither the phone call nor the email cost Perry’s a penny extra, but having both improved my experience with their brand.

3. Superficial Extras Work

In many cases, consumers make their decisions based on price and quality. It can be easy to discount the superficial extras companies add in as gimmicks or cheap marketing ploys.

Sometimes, however, the superficial extras really work. I don’t really know how Perry’s stacks up to the competition on a price-to-price comparison, and honestly, I don’t care. Their prices seemed reasonable enough to me, and the trust they built with me was more than enough to make me choose their services, even in the presence of cheaper options. Read here for tips on creating this level of trust on your landing pages.

The finishing touch was the extras.

The first “extra” was the representative’s phone and office demeanor. He was genuine, engaging, and likable the entire time, and he made me feel that my value to Perry’s as a customer had nothing to do with how much money I spent on their services.

A few days after the work was finished, I received a card in the mail, thanking me for selecting Perry’s and inviting me to call with any future questions concerning car issues.


Feeling positive about their service, I left a review online, and received this via email.


I’m a grown adult. I fully understand that none of these gestures significantly improve the actual value I’m receiving from their service. These are superficial extras, but they work because no one else is doing them.

I’ve never received a card from a mechanic. I’ve never received a thank you email for a review. I rarely experience quality customer service from phone or office representatives. When you put all these things together, I am left with a highly favorable impression of this company’s brand.

Key Takeaways

  1. Identify points in the sales cycle where you can further engage customers through extra outreach.
  2. Don’t limit yourself to improvements in price and quality. Superficial extras, if executed well, can set you apart.
  3. Your phone representatives are the initial face of your brand. Your company’s status in a consumer’s eyes is directly correlated to his or her experience with your customer service reps. Invest in getting this part right.

4. Your Product/Service MUST Be Excellent

From trust to convenience to superficial extras, none of it matters if you can’t competently deliver the goods with your service or product.

I loved the Web presence. I was impressed by the convenience. I appreciated the extras. At the end of the day, however, I wouldn’t have a favorable impression of Perry’s Automotive if they hadn’t done fantastic work on my car.

If your business is easily compared and contrasted with competitors, investing in excellence should be your #1 priority. For business offerings that function more like a commodities, where everyone’s product/service is created somewhat equal, the branding points listed in this article will help you differentiate yourself from the pack.

The baseline of any brand is the actual product/service itself. Once you have that down, use trust, convenience, and meaningful extras to get customers coming back time and time again. It worked on me, and it will work for you.

Bottom Line

Conversion optimization is all about the details of your landing pages — fine-tuning the elements that convey trust, offer a better user experience and moving people to action. These are, bottom line, the same things that drive sales in brick-and-mortar businesses.

If your business is digital. Apply these lessons to your website. If you have a physical business, apply them to both your website and the actual in-store experience. You can optimize your business for conversions, as well as your landing pages.

Read other Crazy Egg articles by Jacob McMillen.

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Branding & Conversion: Lessons From A Local Mechanic