Developers and organizations alike are looking for a way to have more agility with mobile solutions. There is a desire to decrease the time from idea to test. As a developer, I often run up against one hurdle that can slow down the initial build of a mobile hypothesis: user management.
Over the years, I have built at least three user management systems from scratch. Much of the approach can be based on a boilerplate, but there are always a few key items that need to be customized for a particular client. This is enough of a concern that an entire category of user management, authentication and authorization services have sprung up to meet this need. Services like Auth0 have entire solutions based on user and identity management that developers can integrate with.
Creating good user experiences for apps inside messaging platforms poses a relatively new design challenge. When moving from desktop web to mobile interfaces, developers have had to rethink interaction design to work around a constrained screen size, a new set of input gestures and unreliable network connections.
Like our tiny touchscreens, messaging platforms also shake up the types of input that apps can accept, change designers’ canvas size, and demand a different set of assumptions about how users communicate.
Using voice commands has become pretty ubiquitous nowadays, as more mobile phone users use voice assistants such as Siri and Cortana, and as devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home have been invading our living rooms.
These systems are built with speech recognition software that allows their users to issue voice commands. Now, our web browsers will become familiar with to Web Speech API, which allows users to integrate voice data in web apps.
Earned media (often regarded as free media) attributes the publicity of your brand to the recognition of its efforts and results. It includes publicity gained through word-of-mouth, buzz, reviews, news coverage, comments, feedbacks, likes, mentions, shares, and varied promotional efforts other than paid media advertising or owned media branding. Reputation is the biggest asset for any brand. A brand (both personal and corporate) can be either established through or demolished through the reputation it holds. This reputation comes from nowhere else other than earned media! In concise, earned media is any publicity created by a third party for your brand….
There have been many published articles on marketing funnels emphasizing the need to track the full customer lifecycle, in order to determine the best return on campaign activity spend. Some provide tracking solutions through hacks (e.g. using customer variables), other articles suggest using an enterprise level solution (e.g. Salesforce or Google Analytics Premium). While there’s also a small number that argue the fact that the customer journey isn’t linear, which means it can’t be tracked. The main challenge is that multi-channel attribution was and is still (until the next update comes out) measured on assumptions on what the individual credited…
As the Cannes Lions Festival is wrapping up this week, we’re seeing the annual breathless, self-congratulatory statements coming out of agencies with photos of their awards and sun-tanned creative teams sipping champagne.
They should feel proud. They’ve achieved a huge accomplishment that has been the recognized stamp of credibility for advertising creativity since 1954.
How do agencies win at the Cannes Lions festival?
When I worked at the big ad agencies, I was often shocked at how they used clients’ budgets for the purpose of winning awards and self-promotion.
I’ve seen ad agency executives planning how to maximize their billings for minimal work and use their clients’ budgets to submit campaigns for awards.
I vividly remember, shortly before I walked away from my ad agency career, being part of a team that created a poster to promote a lightbulb.
It involved an elaborate set rental, professional photography shoot, intensive image editing, and ultimately cost the client $17,000. For a poster.
It did nothing to communicate the benefits of the lightbulb for consumers. And there was not a single conversation at the agency about how we should measure results, or even what the goal was for the poster.
Was it a failed poster campaign?
It certainly didn’t achieve the goals in the official creative brief.
But, it did win a prestigious award for that agency and the creative director.
It was certainly a clever (if not esoteric) concept with beautiful, subtle photography, but it was entirely useless as an ad.
I watched as the client contacts turned a blind eye to the waste, knowing that they would be repaid with lavish expense account dinners in exchange for handing over their company’s cash.
Today’s CMOs know award-seeking agencies don’t care about their clients. Much less their clients’ customers.
They know that too-clever ads often don’t achieve results. Their digital transformation is changing their priorities. Data-informed ad campaigns are now revealing how ineffective the old gut-feeling approach can be.
They are seeking alternatives, and finding them in the Zen Marketing approach that balances intuition with data, big ideas with bold experiments, inspiration with rigorous validation.
The alternative to cleverness is customer insights that are validated by robust data.
The alternative to awards for cleverness is measurable results lift.
I’m reminded again, in this Cannes Lions Festival season, of why I started WiderFunnel to be the “anti-agency.” And again, why we will never make a recommendation if we haven’t tested its ability to lift the client’s revenue.
So, the next time you’re in an agency pitch where they’re bragging about their awards, don’t walk; run away from hiring them. They’re telling you they don’t care about you.
Why we will never win a Cannes Lion award
Short answer: Because we will never submit for one.
Accomplished musicians often talk about how, at certain moments in their careers, they had to unlearn old habits in order to progress. This process often causes them to regress in performance while they adjust to an ultimately better method.
Once the new approach is integrated, they are able to reach new heights that would not have been possible with their previous techniques.
Note: This is a guest article written by Josh Mendelsohn, VP of Marketing at Privy. Any and all opinions expressed in the post are Josh’s.
Let’s cut right to it. We all suck at conversion. According to E-marketer, 98% of online traffic leaves a site without filling out a form or completing a purchase. That means you have missed a chance to start building a relationship with potential customers. While it’s easy to shrug off a low on-site conversion rate, imagine if you owned a physical store and 100 people walked in… and 98 walked out without interacting with a represented or making a purchase. You’d be pretty sad, right? Yet, that’s what most of us are doing in our online stores and are not able to increase website conversions.
Why Do We Do This To Ourselves?
For starters, most organizations are thinking their product far more than they are thinking about conversion. If you’re a publisher, that might be the articles you are producing. If you’re an online store, it’s literally the products you are sourcing, merchandising, and selling. If you’re a non-profit, it’s the services you are providing to the world.
They are also likely thinking about how to drive site traffic. Whether that is through building a social media presence, paid search, radio, or even print ads.
And they may have even hired someone to think about the customer or member experience and how to keep those people engaged and generating word of mouth. But they often forget the middle, critical piece of the funnel, which is on-site conversion.
For the (much) smaller group of organizations who are actively trying to drive conversion, most fall into one of two camps. They either take a very passive approach because they don’t want to be too salesy. Or they take an overly aggressive approach with forms coming at a visitor from all angles, blocking a site’s core content. But that’s not what good salespeople do. They take what they know about a prospect (in this case, a site visitor) and they use that to craft a message.
What We Know About Site Visitors
Through the magic of digital marketing, we know a lot about a site visitor without having to ask. While some people may find this creepy, for marketers it is an untapped goldmine of messaging opportunity. For example, we can usually answer the question:
Where did they come from?
Is this their first visit?
What page are they on?
How many pages have they looked at?
What language do they speak?
What device are they on?
How much is in their cart?
What Do You Do With That Information?
While most organizations who have started thinking about conversion might have a simple opt-in form pop-up for visitors to their site, those who are focused on it can use the information we know to their advantage to create a more targeted experience for visitors to their site by crafting different messages based on who they are and what they have done. For the example below, I am going to imagine an E-Commerce company selling women’s clothing and I want to offer a 10% discount to new customers who sign up for my email list. While you probably wouldn’t want to hit someone with ALL of these messages, you can see how your core message might change based on what you know about a visitor.
What we know
Where did they come from?
The visitor clicked on an Instagram ad featuring a specific blue swimsuit . Try featuring the product that they already expressed interest in within your message.
“Looking for a new swimsuit? Get 10% off your first purchase by entering your email below.”
Is this their first visit?
They have visited before but have never bought anything from you. Don’t treat them like a stranger!
“Welcome back to my store! We’ve just launched a new product line. Sign up below to get 10% off your first purchase.”
What page are they on?
They are on the “About” page of your site and not actually shopping. Try a “stay in touch” message over a discount.
“Sign up to hear about new products and special offers.”
How many pages have they looked at?
How much is in their cart?
They have looked at 7 different pages in your store without adding anything to their cart, which means they are browsing but are not yet sold.
“Having trouble finding what you are looking for? Sign up and we’ll let you know when we launch new products and give you a 10% discount for your first purchase.”
What language do they speak?
The visitor’s primary language on their browser is spanish.
“¡Bienvenidos a mi tienda! Regístrese abajo para obtener un 10% de descuento en su primera compra.”
What device category are they on?
The visitor is on a mobile device, which is a great cue to slim down your text.
“Sign up today for 10% off your first purchase.”
How To Deliver The Message
There are two things that you need to think about when delivering the message to your site visitors: timing and format. Let’s look at the format first :
1- Targeted displays – There are three categories of display types that drive the most on-site conversions.
– Popups: Popups, also known as lightboxes, typically display in the center of the website, or sometimes as “fly outs” in the corner.
– Bars: A full width bar that typically sits either on top of your site, or at the bottom.
– Banners: A more subtle interaction that sits at the top or bottom of a site, but starts in a “hidden” state until triggered, then rolls into sight at the desired time.
2- Chat More and more often, successful online stores are investing in automated and live chat to help reduce the anxiety that consumers feel before making a purchase from a new retailer. In fact, the availability of a “live” person on your site accomplishes two important goals:
– It allows people to ask any questions ahead of completing a purchase. Especially for larger ticket items, this inspires confidence that they are making the right decision
– It tells them that if something goes wrong with an order, there is a real person they can reach out to for help. The combination of those two factors makes shoppers more likely to hit the buy button.
3- Video The third way of delivering the message that can have a huge impact on conversion is the use of video. Unlike static images and text, video helps bring your products to life and gives you the chance to both explain why someone should buy and put the product in a real life context. Or in some cases, lets you tell a broader story of how the product came to be in the first place. Here’s an example of one I love (and am desperate to own.)
Triggering Your Messages
The second consideration is deciding when to trigger each of your messages. There are four primary ways you can trigger a campaign to your desired audience.
Timer: The time trigger simply enables you to determine when to display your campaign, based on how long a visitor has been on your site. It could show immediately when a visitor lands, 10 seconds later, etc.
Exit intent: This trigger is growing in popularity. Exit intent tracks your visitors mouse movement, and if the visitor appears to be leaving or “exiting” your site, you can use that as a trigger for your campaign.
Scroll percentage: Show your campaign once a visitor has scrolled down your page a certain percentage.
Tabs: Tabs, or other visual calls to action can be customized to fit in with your site layout, and when clicked, trigger your campaign to display.
Which Converts Best?
Ultimately any combination of targeted messaging delivered through displays, videos, and chats will improve your conversion rate. We’ve looked at thousands of campaigns and found that each of the display types and triggers can be effective. Because investing in video can take significant resources (time and money), I recommend starting with display and chat to deliver the right message at the right time. Once you have videos on hand, you can embed them on your product pages to level up your product contentand add them into your displays to get them in front of shoppers as they navigate your site.
In terms of display types, banners are actually the highest converting format largely because they are less subtle than a simple “bar” but less frustrating to visitors than pop-ups that interrupt the browsing experience before a visitor has had a chance to consumer any of your content. In addition, we find that triggering a campaign in less than thirty seconds from the time a visitor lands on your site (or a specific page) is most effective in driving conversion.
Setting that data aside for a second, recent trends are showing that among the most impactful things you can do if you operate an online store is actually combining a pop-up with an exit intent trigger that serves as a “cart saver.” Simply put, if someone is visiting your store and attempts to leave by closing the browser tab or clicking the back button, you can show a message with a special offer that gets them to sign up and/or keep shopping while giving you permission to market to them in the future.
Walk. Jog. Run.
So, where do you get started? You don’t need to craft custom messages for every audience and every page on your site right out of the gate. We suggest thinking about one or two of your most common audiences and creating targeted offers and messages just for them that you can track, test, and adapt before rolling out a full on-site conversion program.
In this new case study, you’ll discover how e-commerce software supplier, Ecwid, ran one experiment for four weeks, and saw a 21% increase in paid upgrades.
Get the full Ecwid case study now!
Download a PDF version of the Ecwid case study, featuring experiment details, supplementary takeaways and insights, and a testimonial from Ecwid’s Sr. Director, Digital Marketing.
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A little bit about Ecwid
Ecwid provides easy-to-use online store setup, management, and payment solutions. The company was founded in 2009, with the goal of enabling business-owners to add online stores to their existing websites, quickly and without hassle.
The company has a freemium business model: Users can sign up for free, and unlock more features as they upgrade to paid packages.
Ecwid’s partnership with WiderFunnel
In November 2016, Ecwid partnered with WiderFunnel with two primary goals:
To increase initial signups for their free plan through marketing optimization, and
To increase the rate of paid upgrades, through platform optimization
This case study focuses on a particular experiment cycle that ran on Ecwid’s step-by-step onboarding wizard.
Last Winter, the WiderFunnel Strategy team did an initial LIFT Analysis of the onboarding wizard, and identified several potential barriers to conversion. (Both in terms of completing steps to setup a new store, and in terms of upgrading to a paid plan.)
The lead WiderFunnel Strategist for Ecwid, Dennis Pavlina, decided to create an A/B cluster test to 1) address the major barriers simultaneously, and 2) to get major lift for Ecwid, quickly.
The overarching goal was to make the onboarding process smoother. The WiderFunnel and Ecwid optimization teams hoped that enhancing the initial user experience, and exposing users to the wide range of Ecwid’s features, would result in more users upgrading to paid plans.
Ecwid’s two objectives ended up coming together in this test. We thought that if more new users interacted with the wizard and were shown the whole ‘Ecwid world’ with all the integrations and potential it has, they would be more open to upgrading. People needed to be able to see its potential before they would want to pay for it.
This experiment ran for four weeks, at which point the variation was determined to be the winner with 98% confidence. The variation resulted in a 21.3% increase in successful paid account upgrades for Ecwid.
Note: This is a guest article written by Sujan Patel, co-founder of Web Profits. Any and all opinions expressed in the post are Sujan’s.
“If you build it, they will come” only works in the movies. In the real world, if you’re serious about e-commerce success, it’s up to you to grab the CRO bull by the horns and make the changes needed to maximize your growth.
Implementing an e-commerce CRO program may seem complex, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of possible things to test. To simplify your path to proper CRO, we’ve compiled a list of ways to optimize your site by channel.
This list is by no means exclusive; every marketing channel supports as many opportunities for experimentation as you can dream up. Some of these, however, are the easiest to put into practice, especially for new e-commerce merchants. Begin with the tactics described here; and when you’re ready to take your campaigns to the next level, check out the following resources:
Your website’s individual pages represent one of the easiest opportunities for implementing a conversion optimization campaign, thanks to the breadth of technology tools and the number of established testing protocols that exist currently.
These pages can also be one of the fastest, thanks to the direct impact your changes can have on whether or not website visitors choose to buy.
A number of opportunities exist for making result-driven changes to your site’s home page. For example, you can test:
Increasing prominence and appeal of CTAs: If visitors don’t like what you’re offering as part of your call-to-action (or worse, if they can’t find your CTA at all), test new options to improve their appeal.
Testing featured offers: Even template e-commerce shops generally offer a spot for featuring specific products on your store’s home page. Test which products you place there, the price at which you offer them, and how you draw attention to them.
Testing store policies – Free shipping is known to reduce cart abandonment. Implement consumer-friendly policies and test the way you feature them on your site.
Trying the “five-second test” – Can visitors recall what your store is about in 5 seconds or less? Attention spans are short, and you might not have longer than that to convince a person to stick around. Tools like UsabilityHub can get you solid data.
Making this change led to an estimated $100,000 in increased sales per year.
Proper CRO doesn’t just happen on your site. It should be carried through to every channel you use, including email marketing. Give the following strategies a try to boost your odds of driving conversions, even when past visitors are no longer on your site.
Use an established email marketing program to take the steps below:
Build lead nurturing content for all stages of the funnel: Following Digital Marketer’s Email Machine structure will ensure you cover indoctrination, engagement, ascendency, segmentation and re-engagement.
“4x higher open rates and 5x higher click rates compared to other promotional emails. Keeping in mind that in e-commerce, average revenue per promotional email is $0.02, welcome emails on average result in 9x higher revenue — $0.18. And if it’s optimized effectively, revenue can be as high as $3.36 per email.”
LiveChat Inc.’s report on chat greeting efficiency shares the example of The Simply Group, which uses customized greetings to assist customers having problems at checkout. Implementing live chat has enabled them to convert every seventh greeting to a chat, potentially saving sales that would otherwise be lost.
Content marketing may be one of the most challenging channels to optimize for conversions, given the long latency periods between reading content pieces and converting. The following strategies can help:
Tie content pieces to business goals.
Incorporate content upgrades.
Use clear CTAs within content.
Test content copy, messaging, use of social proof, and so on.
Test different distribution channels and content formats.
ThinkGeek uses YouTube videos as a fun way to feature their products and funnel interested prospects back to their site. Their videos have been so successful that they’ve accumulated 180K+ subscribers who tune in regularly for their content.
According to Invesp, “It costs five times as much to attract a new customer, than to keep an existing one.” Continuing to market to past customers, either in the hopes of selling new items or encouraging referrals, is a great way to boost your overall performance.
Don’t let your CRO efforts stop after a sale has been made. Some of your past clients can be your best sources of new customers, if you take the time to engage them properly.
Lastly, make CRO an ongoing practice by prioritizing it internally, rather than relegating it to “something the marketing department does.”
Ask CRO experts, and they’ll tell you that beyond the kinds of tactics and strategies described above, having a culture of experimentation and testing is the most important step you can take to see results from any CRO effort.