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How to Convert More Customers by Adding Perceived Value

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…

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How to Convert More Customers by Adding Perceived Value

Boosting B2B Leads by 9x with PPC and Landing Page Best Practices [Case Study]

b2b-ppc-lp-best-practices-blog
Send your conversion rate soaring with landing page and PPC best practices. Image via Shutterstock.

Do you ever dream about increasing your conversion rate? How about increasing it by 290% and boosting your lead generation by 9x?

Well, that’s exactly what we did for our client, Revecent, a company specializing in sales consulting and recruiting. The results were so dramatic, they asked us to scale up the campaign less than a month after initial launch!

Today, I’m going to show you exactly how we did it, and how you can achieve the same results by following key PPC and landing page best practices.

Ready to start making more money than you ever thought possible from your B2B PPC campaigns? Let’s dig in!

Identifying the issues

Most B2B PPC campaigns have poor conversion rates and ROI. This usually happens because the campaign is not set up using best practices, is not managed using a disciplined process and does not use optimized landing pages. In fact, 52% of B2B PPC ads still point to home pages.

Indeed, when we first looked at our client’s old Google AdWords campaign for recruiting services, we saw each one of these issues at play.

before-campaign

Revecent’s overall conversion rate of 2.83%, while above average for a B2B campaign, was nothing to write home about. And the high cost per conversion didn’t produce many quality leads, thus preventing the client from scaling up the campaign.

While there were many issues, we focused on four key areas for our plan of attack:

  1. Poor account structure
  2. No targeted landing page
  3. Wasted ad spend
  4. Inadequate keyword management

Let’s dig into each with more detail…

1. Poor account structure

One of the biggest issues in the campaign was that they had only three ad groups with 40 to 50 keywords each. This resulted in poor quality scores and poor message match between ads and keywords. Here is an example of one such ad and the variety of different keywords that trigger it:

Sales recruiting keywords

Your ads (and landing pages) can never be relevant for so many different keywords. Ideally, you should strive for a 1:1 ad group to keyword ratio for keywords expected to drive at least 80% of the traffic to your campaign.

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2. No targeted landing pages

Rather than develop specific landing pages for the campaign, the client chose to use one of their service pages as a landing page. As you can see below, it had a number of issues including conflicting calls to action, multiple navigation links and some pretty blasé content and design:

Revecent service page

3. Wasted ad spend

Even considering their modest budget, the campaign was very inefficient — only 10% of the keywords had conversions, and 90% of the conversions came from 30% of their total ad spend.

4. Inadequate keyword management

Revecent’s existing campaign used mostly general and high-level keywords, rather than niche and long-tail keywords.

Keywords with specific job titles, industries and geographic locations were notably absent from the campaign. Because of this, Revecent’s ads were generic and not customized to the user’s search queries, which resulted in poor performance.

Additionally, while Revecent did add a few negative keywords when they first launched their campaign, they did not monitor their search terms on a regular basis to add new negative keywords. Ideally, this should be done on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to improve the quality of traffic.

Implementing the solution

We came up with a three-step plan to optimize the PPC campaign: (1) Use best practices to structure the account, (2) create conversion-optimized landing pages and (3) use a disciplined process to manage the campaign and realize ongoing improvements.

1. Use PPC best practices to set up the campaign

First, we spent time understanding the client’s business in detail — going through their services, industries they serve, ideal customers and competitors.

For context, the client provides sales recruitment services to small and medium sized B2B companies located in major metropolitan areas across the US. The industries they cater to include software, technology, real estate and B2B services. Based on this information, we conducted extensive research to identify some quality keywords for their campaign.

Using the Google Adwords Keyword Planner, we identified the best keyword opportunities including niche keywords around specific industries like software, SaaS and technology, as well as keywords containing metro areas like Chicago, NYC and San Francisco.

We poured through the Search Terms Report from the client’s old campaigns and extracted some excellent keywords as well as a host of negative keywords. We also used the SpyFu tool to look at which keywords competitors were using, and then extracted some of those as well.

Next, we set up an account structure that would give us a solid platform for the campaign. We created a structure where keywords accounting for around 90% of the expected traffic to the campaign were placed in single-keyword ad groups. This resulted in about 80 ad groups.

Our approach would give us the most control over the campaign, ensuring precise message match between keywords and ads, high quality scores and click-through rates, while keeping keyword cost per click at a reasonable level — even for the top three ad slots.

Below are three examples of the ad groups we created.

Ad Group Sales Recruiters Dallas:

Sales recruiters Dallas ad group

Ad Group Software Sales Recruiters:

software sales recruiters ad group

Ad Group Sales Recruiting Agencies:

sales recruiting agencies ad group

We rewrote all the ad copy to properly convey the client’s main benefits with lines such as “Build an All Star B2B Sales Team” and “Targeted & Vetted Candidates Only.” We also added sitelinks, callouts and call ad extensions.

Finally, we added a number of negative keywords in each ad group to make sure that any keyword searched on Google would only match one ad group. For example, in our “Sales Recruiters” ad group, we added “Dallas”, “Software”, “Agencies” and a host of other terms, as negative keywords.

2. Create conversion-optimized landing pages

We created a new landing page in Unbounce starting with the 5-Elements template. We customized the template based on the client’s brand, added original copy and then made tweaks according to best practices for landing page design.

Original optimized landing page

Some of the best practices we employed on the landing page were as follows:

  • Tagline below logo emphasizing focus on Sales Recruiting
  • Phone number integrated with Google call tracking so we could track phone calls being made from this page
  • Real customer testimonial
  • Prominent above-the-fold form
  • Clear call to action and animated arrow to attract attention
  • Customer logos to build trust
  • UTM parameter tracking using hidden form fields to capture the campaign, keyword, device and keyword match type

We also created a headline and subheading that effectively described what the client does and what the main benefits of the service are.

Instead of creating multiple pages with content customized to associated ad groups, we opted to use Dynamic Text Replacement to change the content of a few key areas of the landing page. Using this approach, we were able to change the entire headline based on which ad the user clicked on. We also used Dynamic Text parameters for a portion of the subheading and section headings.

For example, below is the ad copy for “Software Sales Recruiters”. The bolded, italicized portion represents the dynamic portion of the ad.

  • Headline: Hire Top Notch Software Sales Professionals Today
  • Subheading: We recruit the best software sales professionals in your industry. Candidates are assessed based on 21 sales specific skills common among top 20% performers to ensure success.
  • Section heading: Outsource Your Sales Hiring to Expert Software Sales Recruiters

Once we had our account setup the way we wanted and the main landing page ready to go, we launched the campaign.

3. Do ongoing optimization and A/B testing

Even if you use best practices to set up a campaign, things may not always go as planned. Real-world performance can throw a few curve balls.

In our case, while we did find that our campaign was performing a lot better than the old campaign, there were a few things that needed to be adjusted.

Negative keywords

One of the first things we found was that the campaign was getting lot of irrelevant traffic. We identified several search terms for industries the client did not serve; for example, medical and pharmaceutical.

We also found search terms that referenced services the client did not provide, such as IT recruiting. There were a number of informational search queries as well which were not ideally suited to our campaign. So, we went into the Search Terms Report in AdWords and added these as negative keywords. You can see examples of some of these below:

excluded-keywords

New keywords

On the other hand, we found dozens of new keywords that people were searching for that we hadn’t used in the campaign. We added these keywords into new ad groups in the campaign to maximize their effectiveness:

new-keywords

A/B testing

We started out with two ads in the ad groups receiving the most traffic and continued to A/B test until we found a winner. Then, we created a new variant and tested that against this winner and continued this process to improve click-through rates.

We also created a variant of the landing page using the Forward template in Unbounce. With this landing page, we tried a different CTA and a different headline that included a number (as these tend to perform better).

revecent-original-lp

Bid optimization

We employed a manual CPC-based bid strategy throughout, because that gave us the most control over the bidding process. We also monitored and optimized bids regularly to maintain a top three average position with most ads.

Lead quality

Our client wanted to make sure that we minimized leads from job candidates. They also were not interested in getting leads from companies looking for part-time help or commission-only sales reps.

Most leads specified what they were looking for in the description box on the form. We used this in conjunction with the search term used by the lead to identify keywords that were responsible for such leads. Based on this, we would either pause those keywords or modify the ad copy.

The Results (and the payoff)

As you can see in the table below, our new campaign performed exceptionally well compared to the old campaign. We were able to realize immediate performance gains and, because of the low cost per lead, the client asked us to scale up the campaign quickly.

campaign-results

In all, the new campaign was able to:

  • Reduce cost per conversion by 78%from $183.13 in the old campaign down to an outstanding $39.85
  • Improve conversion rate by 290%from 2.83% to 11.04%, which is outstanding for a bottom-of-the-funnel B2B offer
  • Boost conversions from 33 to 308 in the same time frame
  • Improve the lead-to-opportunity conversion rate from 10% to 25%

We achieved our results by following best practices for campaign setup and landing page design and by employing a disciplined process for ongoing optimization after the initial launch.

Although it took a considerable amount of time to set up the original campaign structure, this approach allowed us to get the perfect search term + ad copy + landing page message match. In the end, we were able to create a solid, highly scalable platform for sustained growth.

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Boosting B2B Leads by 9x with PPC and Landing Page Best Practices [Case Study]

How New Balance Drove 200% More Sales at Half the Cost Using Unbounce

For most online marketers, getting customers to enter their payment details and click “purchase” is the ultimate conversion. But for New Balance Chicago, online sales are kind of the enemy.

Chances are you’ve worn a pair of New Balance sneakers or know someone who swears by them. Headquartered in Boston, New Balance is an international, 109-year-old brand endorsed by Australian cricket players, Canadian tennis stars and American cyclists.

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Image by Alicia A. L. via Flickr.

In the Chicago area, however, New Balance’s brick-and-mortar stores are owned and operated as a family business – with a local marketing budget. Since ecommerce sales go straight to the parent company, their business depends on getting people’s actual feet in the literal door.

So you can understand why, until recently, online marketing seemed like more of a threat to the company than an opportunity.

“Their typical ad buy was during a Cubs radio broadcast, not a cross-device digital campaign,” says Brian Davidson, co-founder of Match Node, the digital marketing agency tasked with helping New Balance Chicago drive – and track – its in-store sales through online channels. “We knew that we would face some challenges.”

Over the course of a few months, Brian’s team tackled those challenges feet first. Using a combination of targeted Facebook ads, campaign-specific Unbounce landing pages and personalized emails, they were able to generate hundreds of leads and drive thousands of dollars in sales at half the ad spend.

This is the story of how they did it.

The first campaign: Facebook offers don’t offer enough

Match Node’s original strategy for New Balance revolved around Facebook Offers, which allow marketers to embed discount codes in Facebook display ads.

The first campaign, which launched during a cold Windy City winter, allowed a customer to receive 15% off when temperatures were freezing and 20% off if the weather fell below zero Fahrenheit. Brian’s team aimed the ads at a wide audience of people who:

  1. Lived in zip codes near New Balance stores in Chicagoland (the greater Chicago area)
  2. Looked similar to previous New Balance customers: Using Facebook ad targeting, they created a “lookalike audience” based on customer emails, which the stores had been collecting at checkout.
  3. Had relevant interests like “fitness” and “Chicago marathon” listed in their profiles.
new-balance-chicago-facebook-ad

The ads reached 136,541 people and resulted in 600 offers being claimed. This generated more than $5,000 in sales, which Davidson considered a success.

“These were solid results as they exceeded same-month ad spend and we know the customer ROI extends out over many months and multiple purchases,” Brian says, “but we knew that tracking needed improvement.”

In fact, they were only able to track 32 individual purchase codes. The problem was that in order to track the codes, the company had to rely on customers and clerks taking the time to report the discount codes at the point of purchase. The codes themselves were unique, but the 15% discount was promoted on various channels, meaning customers could have heard about the sale in a number of places.

They could have tracked the codes using customer emails, except Facebook won’t give advertisers the names or email addresses of users who download coupons. Despite the campaign’s relative success, using Facebook Offers proved to be a frustrating experience for a data-driven, optimization-minded marketer like Brian.

“The limited ability we had to track success was far from real time,” Brian says. “Every week or two we’d get sales volume by promo code, but the in-store nature of the purchase limited any real-time conversion data that we’d normally use to tune and refine a pure e-commerce campaign.”

Then one day, everything changed.

Mobile responsive landing pages to the rescue

Another limitation of the Facebook Offers strategy was that there was no relevant online destination to send users to once they claimed the coupon. Directing them to the New Balance website was out of the question since it only increased the likelihood of an online purchase, which didn’t benefit Brian’s client. It also didn’t give them the opportunity to create a dedicated experience for each specific campaign.

Moreover, given that the majority of Facebook ad clicks came from mobile users, sending potential customers to a page that wasn’t optimized for mobile users would have been like “cutting off our nose,” says Brian.

Suddenly, that was no longer a problem.

“When Unbounce launched mobile responsive landing pages, we were thrilled,” Brian says.  “We had used Unbounce for numerous landing pages and with its mobile launch, we made a tactical shift away from using Facebook Offers and utilized Unbounce to capture email address conversions.”

new-balance-landing-page-in-unbounce

Using Unbounce’s landing page builder, Brian says his designer “virtually cloned” the national New Balance website as a starting point, but then made a few key tweaks to make sure it was optimized for offline conversions.

Instead of website navigation and links to purchase products online, the page featured information about New Balance’s Chicago stores, including Google Maps, phone numbers and in-store benefits like old-school fittings, something few other shoe stores offered.

unbounce-logo-100pxPssst. Need a flexible landing page template that allows you to maintain your or your client’s brand identity? Unbounce gives you hundreds of beautiful templates to start from and customize with a simple drag n’ drop interface. Check them out!

Once the landing page was built, Match Node created a series of Facebook ads aimed at very specific segments. The first campaign promoted a discount for U.S. military veterans (New Balance’s “Made in America” credentials are a key differentiator for the brand):

facebook-ad-specific-segment-new-balance

Clicking this ad…

new-balance-ad

… sends you to this landing page:

new-balance-american-heros-landing-page

Aimed at an ultra-targeted audience of 45,000 military vets, the ads generated more than 200 coupons, which were sent to leads after they entered their emails on the landing page. This meant that instead of crossing their fingers that people would print out the coupons and bring them into the store, they were able to collect the emails of interested buyers – and follow up with them.

In just two months, New Balance Chicago’s email list grew by more than 10%.

“Unbounce was very helpful in this case because we could directly tie the New Balance landing page to any Mailchimp or Constant Contact email marketing account,” Brian says. “For organizational and segmenting purposes, we created specific email groups for each campaign we were running.”

With these emails tied into specific campaigns, they were able to go “one step further in the funnel” and send out reminder emails, urging leads to claim their discounts.

Open rates for these reminder emails were 5-10% above New Balance’s regular promotional emails, says Brian.

new-balance-promotional-email

The lead gen component of this strategy was the cherry on top for Brian’s client.

“There’s an internal value put on email,” Brian says. “It’s something tangible to them.”

unbounce-logo-100pxPssst. Want to generate more leads like New Balance and then nurture them into paying customers? 31.4 million leads have been generated using Unbounce, which integrates seamlessly with MailChimp, Marketo, HubSpot, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, InfusionSoft, AWeber, Salesforce and other marketing software. Start generating leads now.

Optimizing for conversions and replicating success

There’s one more element that made these campaigns so successful. Using Facebook’s ad platform, marketers can choose to optimize their ad spend either for clicks or for “website conversions,” which means actions taken outside of Facebook’s ecosystem.

Once they started sending people who clicked on the ads to dedicated landing pages, Brian’s team could optimize their campaigns for landing page conversions, which is far more efficient than gunning for clicks.

With this strategy, they were able to spend 50% less and drive 200% more in sales compared to the Facebook Offers campaigns they ran previously.

The military veterans campaign was just the beginning. Using Unbounce, they could easily duplicate the original landing page and tweak the design for any other offer New Balance wanted to promote.

Throughout the year they’ve run successful promotions for everything from Foot Health Awareness Month, to athletic apparel, to kids’ shoes. They’ve perfected the formula along the way, testing copy changes (such as leading with the discount vs. leading with the “free fitting” benefit) and swapping out photos on the landing page to match the ads that Facebook’s algorithm identified as the most successful.

new-balance-case-study-fb-segment
new-balance-case-study-landing-page

By making incremental changes, Brian says they’ve been able to boost conversion rates by 5-10% throughout the course of a given campaign (which often translates to 5-10% more sales).

One change that worked especially well was specifying on the page that New Balance’s in-store fitting is 100% free:

Variant A

new-balance-landing-page-variant-a

Variant B

new-balance-landing-page-variant-b

The variant with the word “free” boosted conversions by almost 20%. That may seem fairly obvious, but it’s yet another reminder that once you have the right strategy in place, small steps can take you a long way.

If the shoe fits

Some solutions are so good that they solve problems you didn’t even know you had. Looking back, the challenges Brian’s team was hired to help solve were:

  • Using online marketing channels to generate in-store sales rather than ecommerce purchases.
  • Finding an efficient way to track whether they were doing so effectively.

And using Unbounce, they were able to:

  • Drive sales.
  • Grow their email list with qualified leads.
  • Nurture those leads.
  • Reduce their cost per acquisition.
  • Target high-value mobile users.
  • Easily replicate and optimize their most successful campaigns.

Needless to say, the folks at New Balance Chicago are digital marketing skeptics no longer. And lots of agencies would like to be in Brian’s shoes right now.

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How New Balance Drove 200% More Sales at Half the Cost Using Unbounce

3 Marketing Experts Tell How Simple Strategies = Big Conversion Boosts

More and more is expected out of the modern day marketer.

Running marketing campaigns and monitoring landing page conversion rates just isn’t enough anymore. You’re expected to be testing and tweaking and constantly pivoting to make each of your marketing campaigns as successful as they can be.

The thing is, conversion rate optimization is a behemoth of a topic to learn about.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed when looking at the height and depth of CRO, A/B testing and all the things you can do to score more conversions. But the only way to overcome the biggest of issues is to break it into smaller bits.

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I recently had the pleasure of attending the Chicago stop of Unbounce’s Conversion Road Trip, where conversion rate optimization was the big, complex marketing topic of the day that would get broken down into more digestible bits.

It was a no-nonsense event that lived up to the promise on the landing page that there’d be “no talking heads” – only “real experts who want to help you be better marketers.”

no talking heads
Uh, no, David. They said, “NO talking heads.”

The speakers broke down a variety of complex topics in a way that made everything seem, well, really easy and digestible, sharing simple tactics to help attendees improve their marketing campaigns.

I’ve compiled a few small takeaways that could lead to big boosts for your business, because, you know, it’s the little things. As attendee Sarah Gharacheh told me before the event, “even a tiny percentage increase in conversion equals a big business impact.”

Focus on… well, focus

You’re a marketer, so your job probably boils down to “get people to do a thing” at some point. You want people to open, or click, fill out a form, whatever. Whatever the goal, you need to communicate it in some way that encourages people to do that at a high rate.

Turns out we’re generally pretty bad at this. For example, what’s the goal on the page below?

cruise-co-uk-attention-ratio
Soooooo… what’s the intended action on this page? Source: The 12-Step Landing Page Rehab Program.

Okay, we’re not all as bad as that above example, but from Oli Gardner’s experience, we all struggle with trying to cram too many initiatives into one space.

And as Oli explained in his presentation, this is especially true when it comes to landing pages.

Before you set out to publish your next page, Oli encouraged the audience, stop and think about the attention ratio of that page: the ratio of links on a landing page to the number of campaign conversion goals (which should always be one).

Start by figuring out what you want people to do. If anything on the page could distract them from a path of doing what you want them to do, then get it the hell off of there.

thats-too-much-information

Here’s an example from Oli’s presentation of a page that did this right:

7-day-lead-gen-landing-page

This page has a straight-forward, focused goal and a very prominent opt-in form. Not to mention the bright orange call to action button that pops.

Fun side note: This advice was followed in the structure of the conference itself. Unbounce promised speaker decks post-event (here), and partner Moz had people taking notes of every section (here), taking away the possible distractions of having to scribble notes or take pictures of the slides to remember them.

While there was still plenty of note taking, Instagramming and tweeting happening in the audience, for the most part eyes and ears were focused on the presenters and absorbing the information they were giving us. Pretty damn smart if you ask me, which of course you did.

Put your best info in the best place

You may have heard the phrase “don’t bury the lede” before. In journalism, it refers to the failure to mention the most important, interesting or attention-grabbing elements of a story in the first paragraph of a story.

Yet, as Andy Crestodina or Orbit Media demonstrated (using a variety of cheese-related websites), we do this on a regular basis on our sites and landing pages – if not by having a poor information hierarchy on our pages, by hiding great information on pages that aren’t so great.

For example, Andy shared this page, which has so much information and so many paths that it’s hard for the user to figure out where to start or what to do:

misconsin-milk-market
I was trying to work on a “I don’t know where to go/gouda” joke here, but I thought I would end up being too cheesy.

Takeaway for your campaign landing pages?

Put information in a logical order (that tells a logical story). Heat maps can help tell you where people are lookin’ – stuff all the important stuff (like your UVP and your CTA) right there.

Bonus tip: There’s another way you can use data to put your best info in the best place.

A simple, yet somewhat earth-shattering revelation for me was to put testimonials on high traffic pages, rather than solely on a page dedicated to “testimonials” or “case studies.” Look into your data and figure out where people actually spend their time on your site, and find a way to use relevant testimonials on them.

Pretty sweet, right?

blog

People aren’t gonna try that hard

Michael Aagaard, founder of Content Verve and CRO at Unbounce, provided a great presentation founded on the idea of “WYSIATI” (what you see is all there is). The jist of it? It’s not within normal human psychology to dig deeper – especially on the web.

If your landing page isn’t offering up all the information that prospects need to convert, they’re not going to go digging for it.

“But I always read the fine print!” you say? Then you’re a nerd. For the rest of us, we tend to rely simply on what’s presented to us first.

Which means what you present first needs to be really, really, ridiculously good looking.

vOkTZ2i

Humans naturally move to the easiest route or path of least resistance, so it’s important to “create a conversion experience that facilitates cognitive ease” as the awesomely tattooed Aagaard put it in his awesome accent.

law-of-least-effort

This can be best achieved by analysis. Read up on conversion optimization principles, look at your own data and figure out how to create the simplest experience for the visitor that also gives you a great value.

Just scratching the surface

This post didn’t nearly cover the wealth of knowledge and practical takeaways given by the road trip speakers, but hopefully what you saw here inspired you to dig deeper.

If that’s the case, check out these awesome posts from attendees who took the time to share their learnings as well!

More here: 

3 Marketing Experts Tell How Simple Strategies = Big Conversion Boosts

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Show Off Your Copywriting Skills and Win a Ticket to CTA Conference

Copywriting Contest

We’re looking for the most awesome copywriter ever. And we’re really hoping that it’s you.

If it is, you’ll soon be on your way to the Call to Action Conference, our 3-day mega-event in Vancouver featuring talks from — and parties with — the world’s top conversion experts.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it

In our Conversion Copywriting Contest, you’ll be tasked with writing about the world’s most adorable robot vacuum cleaner that also lays down the sickest beats: DJ Rumba.

Your mission is to write compelling landing page copy that will persuade visitors to sign up to a mailing list in order to to hear more about DJ Rumba in the run-up to its official release. (It doesn’t actually exist, but this is a trivial detail.)

Awesome copy calls for awesome judges

We’ve assembled an all-star team of conversion copywriters, including Joanna Wiebe from Copy Hackers (and the author of the Conversion Marketer’s Guide to Landing Page Copywriting), Demian Farnworth from Copyblogger, and Henneke Duistermaat from Enchanted to help us select and critique the top 10 landing pages.

These top 10 pages (and their accompanying critiques) will be posted and opened to public voting on May 12. Whichever page has the most votes by May 18 will be declared the winner.

And awesome prizes, too

If your page garners the most votes, you’ll win a free ticket to the Call to Action Conference, along with $500 to get you there.

Two runner-ups will win free tickets to The Conversion Road Trip, 1-day events jam-packed with actionable advice from CRO experts. Attend an event in the city of your choice: Boston, Chicago, New York or Toronto.

Ready to get started?

There’s no design involved — you only have to write the copy and insert it in the DJ Rumba Unbounce template — but submissions are only open until May 4, 2015.

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the full contest details with instructions on how to enter.

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Show Off Your Copywriting Skills and Win a Ticket to CTA Conference

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How your Color Choices can help you Increase Conversions (Part 1)

This is Part 1 of a 2-part blog post written by David Rosenfeld and Milad Oskouie on how colors can help increase your website’s conversions and revenue.

David Rosenfeld is a director at Infinite Conversions. David spent five years working as a lawyer in Australia and London and three years as an associate in the Mergers and Acquisitions department of a global Investment Bank focusing on technology startups. David’s experience has included significant work on campaign specific conversion optimisation. David holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Software Engineering from the University of Sydney and an MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business.

Milad Oskouie is a former lawyer and current analyst at Infinite Conversions. Milad has a background in the law as well as in funds management and financial services.

Most people can choose their favorite color if you ask them to, and most people understand that we typically associate color with emotions. This makes color choice an important tool when trying to influence the choices consumers make, or so says the University of Winnipeg’s Professor Satyendra Singh. Singh has noted how retailers attempt to influence consumers using colors in order to drive up profits. Tactics that are used range from targeting consumer color preferences based on gender, to employing subliminal “tricks” such as using specific colors to entice customers to make a purchase. Online retailers take care in choosing their brand colors too, using color psychology to attempt to improve conversion rates when they design their site’s landing pages. If used appropriately, color becomes less of a tool, and more of a weapon.

Using colors to convey your Brand Personality

If you’ve a brand new detergent to send to market, then you’ll want it to be associated with cleanliness and purity, so white seems the obvious branding choice. If you want to express urgency on your site to entice your potential customers to finalize their purchase, then make the “Buy!” button green, as green equates to growth. If you’re an attorney, and you want to express your authority and to make people trust you, then blue is the correct choice.

Color is not just about capturing attention. Color also has a lot to say about a company’s branding image. What do the chosen colors say about a product’s personality? What message is a company trying to communicate? Branding choices need to take into account the way that people typically associate specific colors with different emotions.

Subway Homepage

The sandwich retailer Subway’s site is mainly branded green, which is the color of harmony, growth and good health.

Here are some more “green” businesses.

John Deere Logo

John Deere, a manufacturer of farming and lawn equipment

BP Logo

BP is one of the world’s leading oil and gas companies

As I stated earlier, the color blue inspires confidence and trust. Here are 2 examples where companies use this color to convey this particular emotion.

Deutsche Bank Logo

JP Morgan Chase Logo

So, what are you trying to sell? Life insurance, organic bread or console games? For life insurance, choose the blue path, as blue is associated with confidence and trust. Organic bread? How about green and browns to create a natural, rustic and wholesome image. Console games? Black and reds will excite the minds of your target audience, which is likely to be male teenagers and young adults.

Everything of course depends upon the atmosphere that you are seeking to create, and the way your potential consumers will react to your marketing. Making the proper color choice can mean the difference between a missed opportunity and a successful conversion.

Creating red-hot logos and headlines – even if they ain’t red!

Mr Average has an attention span of around half a minute. A website is lucky if it can maintain the attention of a semi-interested visitor for longer than ten seconds. The average consumer, according to Jakob Nielsen, will spend between 10 and 20 seconds on a page looking for what they want before giving up (if they don’t find it) and looking elsewhere. Amazingly, in this short expanse of time, nine out of every ten purchasing decisions are influenced by color alone. Is this surprising? Well, most of the information we receive about the world ends up in our heads via our eyes, after all. Let’s take a look at some examples.

Coca Cola color scheme

Coca-Cola’s red and white scheme has been a permanent success. Red evokes feelings of courage, vitality and strength. The palette also allows headlines and text to be used that’s both eye-catching and easy to read. It’s a palette that’s served Coca-Cola effectively for over a decade.

Apple color scheme

When it comes to their branding, Apple likes to keep things clear, uncluttered and simple. Black and white creates the impression that Apple’s products are technological marvels, and yet are easy to understand and operate.

Rocket Lawyer color scheme

The site of Rocket Lawyer makes excellent use of the color red which makes their site look vibrant and energetic. However, they also make effective use of whitespace to make sure a visitor’s eyes are not overwhelmed.

RIPT Apparel – a Case Study

RIPT Apparel, a Chicago based online retailer, managed to up their conversion rate by a whopping 6.3 percent simply by A/B testing the color of their CTA button from red to green using Visual Website Optimizer.

Control

RIPT apparel - control

Variation

RIPT apparel - variation

The question that arises here is that, if green is such a compelling color, why isn’t every single CTA button you see on the internet colored green? The answer is that in this scenario, it wasn’t the specific color of the button that mattered, it was how that color contrasted with the rest of the page. The green button blended in with the rest of the site’s palette, while the red button created a contrast. This is what drove the increase in conversion rates.

Convincing colors to convince customers

People generally do not like to make decisions. From minor decisions like deciding what to have for breakfast, to life-changing decisions such as breaking up with a long-term partner, people prefer to have decisions made for them, or to have only limited choices.

In addition, as discovered by Psychology Roy Burmeister, they don’t like to read, either. To be an effective businessman, it’s really down to you to help your consumers make an effective choice in a way that takes little effort. You can give them a gentle shove in using color to highlight what you think would best solve their needs.

For example, consider Coca-Cola again. Their easy-to-recognize red and white logo has worked so successfully for them since it was created in 1885 that they’ve barely ever changed it. But what’s the secret behind their success?

The rather simple yet sleek design is intended to be associated with youthful exuberance. If a friend or vendor asks you if you’d like a Coke, then the Coke logo instantly pops into your head, re-awakening memories of the beverage that supplies that all-important buzz.

How different would Coca-Cola’s logo appear if they chose to drop red in favor of, say, yellow? Yellow is often used as a branding color that hints at fun and frolics, but it’s also associated with illness and cowardice, which are not aspects you’d necessarily want associated with a thirst-quenching soda (although such a re-branding may work brilliantly in Egypt where the color yellow is associated with prosperity and happiness.)

In Conclusion

The internet is still in its infancy, so further color studies need to be undertaken to ascertain how effective color choices really are when it comes to influencing purchasing decisions. There already exists a wealth of evidence to suggest that the correct use of color in the correct context goes a long way to reassure and inspire site visitors in a way that will boost conversions. In short, taking the time to increase your knowledge of color psychology will help you in making intelligent branding decisions and turning people on to the idea of purchasing your products.

How to Create WInning A/B Tests through Stronger Research

The post How your Color Choices can help you Increase Conversions (Part 1) appeared first on VWO Blog.

Originally posted here:  How your Color Choices can help you Increase Conversions (Part 1)