Tag Archives: management

15 Steps To Creating a Successful Event Marketing Campaign

event marketing

We know what events are. We know what marketing is. But when these two words come together, the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. Event marketing is a versatile and impactful marketing channel that is increasingly becoming more critical across various industries. According to Forrester research, events make up for 24% of the average CMO’s B2B marketing budget. This trend only seems to be growing with projections showing that 3.2 million global professional events will be taking place annually by 2020. Statistics like these should come as no surprise. In a digital age where consumers are inundated…

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15 Steps To Creating a Successful Event Marketing Campaign

How PPC Agency ParaCore Used Clever Account Management to Save a Client $30k in Ad Spend

Before digging into your or your client’s AdWords account, you might need to do some tidying up first. Image via Shutterstock.

When PPC agency ParaCore started working with a niche inspection company, they realized pretty quickly that before they could start optimizing this client’s AdWords account, they needed to do some necessary housekeeping.

The client — who shall remain nameless due to their highly competitive industry — was already pairing landing pages with their PPC ads. However, because they had so many market segments to target, they were juggling 60 different landing pages. This approach was certainly scrappy, but it was also incredibly challenging to maintain and optimize.

The client also lacked insight into both how many phone call leads they got, and exactly where these leads were coming from. Without this data they were unable to attribute leads to the appropriate campaign, making optimization —  let alone determining the ROI of their ad spend — virtually impossible.

In efforts to better manage this client’s account, ParaCore used Unbounce to reduce the number of landing pages from 60 to just four (while maintaining hyper segmentation), set up CallRail for improved phone call conversion tracking, and implemented a negative keyword approach in AdWords that ultimately saved the client $30k in ad spend and lowered the cost per lead over 40%. Needless to say, their client was thrilled.

Here’s how they did it.

Simplify market segmentation with landing pages

ParaCore’s client was already deep in the PPC game. They were spending $10k monthly on Bing and AdWords ads, and they had the wherewithal to pair their ads with targeted landing pages. But in order to target each individual market segment, they were using 60 landing pages (15 markets x 4 services).

Despite the benefit of better segmentation, juggling this many landing pages has its challenges, as ParaCore founder Adam Arkfeld can attest to:

Updating one thing on all landing pages takes forever. If you want to change content, it’s 60 changes. If you want to change something major like design, that’s a huge effort. It’s also just more difficult to track analytics and keep track of all the pages.

So ParaCore’s first task was to take those 60 pages and whittle them down to just a few manageable (but still high-converting) pages.

Using Unbounce’s drag-and-drop builder, ParaCore built their client four pages, each highlighting a specific service.

Using Dynamic Text Replacement on their Unbounce pages, ParaCore was able to reduce the amount of landing pages to maintain. Image via ParaCore.

To ensure they maintained the same hyper-relevance for each market segment, they implemented Dynamic Text Replacement (DTR) on the landing pages, an Unbounce feature which allows you to automatically swap out keywords on your landing page based on someone’s search intent and the corresponding ad clicked.

That is — if someone searches “piano lessons in Arizona” that’s exactly what your corresponding landing page’s headline can read to match their query.

In this example of a landing page for a music school, the instrument type is swapped out depending on which ad is clicked.
Preview DTR in action today to see how it can improve the relevancy of your landing pages.

With the help of DTR, ParaCore could still serve up those 60 hyper-customized messages, but using a much more manageable four pages. Their next move was to set out to optimize those four pages.

Clarify metrics with proper tracking and attribution

ParaCore’s client knew their ads were contributing to massive call volume but they didn’t have insight into the number of calls or which keywords were responsible.

After a bit of initial digging, ParaCore found that 76% of the client’s leads came via phone calls, but according to Adam:

There was so much more we could do to optimize their PPC campaigns if we had more data.

To get said data, Adam et al installed AdWords Call Conversion Tracking and CallRail on the client’s landing pages and set up keyword-level call tracking.

CallRail works similar to DTR, by dynamically populating a unique phone number depending on the original referrer. So when a visitor clicks on an ad and then calls the number on the landing page, that lead is attributed to the appropriate click-through ad.

Attributing your phone call leads to the original ad has never been easier. Image via CallRail.
Don’t know where all your phone call leads are coming from? CallRail integrates with Unbounce landing pages, so you can track which ads and landing pages result in calls. Find out more here.

Not only that, but CallRail allows you to create regional phone numbers, which was especially important to their client. Adam said it was key that their client’s prospects saw “a 480 number for Phoenix instead of an 888 number.”

AdWords Call Conversion Tracking, on the other hand, allowed ParaCore to see which keywords were converting so they could kill the underperforming keywords or ad sets.

For leads that came in through the landing page form, ParaCore also set up AdWords conversion tracking on all Unbounce form confirmation dialogues (a.k.a. thank you pages).

Within four months, this is what team ParaCore had found:

55% of leads came from calls made after seeing the new Unbounce landing pages, 24% came from landing page forms and roughly 20% came directly from ads.

Once they had the data they needed, it was time to actually dig into AdWords.

Optimize ad groups with negative keywords

Now that ParaCore had all the necessary data to determine which keywords were and weren’t working, they could start optimizing in AdWords.

ParaCore’s client had already done a significant amount of keyword research resulting in a robust collection of targeted keywords; however, a review of their analytics revealed not all of them were performing top-notch.

ParaCore added negative keywords to the client’s campaigns, followed by daily negative cleansing (which sounds like something you’d do with a smudge stick and quartz crystal, but is actually just excluding search terms that aren’t relevant).

After the initial cleanse, ParaCore scaled back to periodic reviews to ensure keyword relevancy. They kept an eye on conversion data over the first two months and turned off keywords that were, as Adam put it, “eating up the ad budget without producing good returns.”

Clever Account Management Pays Off

By adding negative keywords to their client’s AdWords account and turning off the keywords that weren’t bringing in results, team ParaCore managed to save their client $30,000 in annual ad spend and reduce their cost per lead by 40.7% in the first three months.

Not only that, with these all of the changes in place, ParaCore’s client was set up to scale. Now when the client wants to add additional markets, the agency doesn’t even have to create a new landing page, they simply “add dynamic text insertion with new phone numbers and local text.”

This kind of progress wouldn’t have been possible had they not first simplified their client’s landing page collection and clarified their metrics. Only then could they turn their efforts toward their client’s AdWords account.

According to Adam, the data collected during that initial exploration “continues to guide our efforts as we optimize the company’s PPC campaigns to bring in the highest quality leads at the lowest cost.”

And ParaCore’s client could not have been more pleased. Their Google+ review says it all:

These guys have been awesome for us so far! We love the reporting metrics they use as it really identifies the important information and tells us a lot about our PPC campaigns. We have also been very happy with how thorough they have been in implementing the crossover from our old PPC manager… All in all, we are very happy to have made the switch and wish we would have pulled the trigger sooner.

Sounds pretty dang blissful to me.

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How PPC Agency ParaCore Used Clever Account Management to Save a Client $30k in Ad Spend

Whatever Steve Jobs Thought, Thermonuclear War Is NOT the Best Way to Get & Keep Talent

It’s nothing personal. It’s just business. Except when it’s not. When Google brought out a smartphone OS in 2008 that let some competition into what had been an Apple-only field, the reception was mixed. Just like with any new tech product, a lot of people were sure they’d never feel the need for one. (I thought the same. Now I have a Samsung the size of a door. I wrote some of this post on it.) Some people were overjoyed – it’s just like an iPhone, except I can afford it. Awesome! And then there was Steve Jobs. Boy, was…

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Whatever Steve Jobs Thought, Thermonuclear War Is NOT the Best Way to Get & Keep Talent

Data-Driven Optimization: How The Moneyball Method Can Deliver Increased Revenues

Whether your current ROI is something to brag about or something to worry about, the secret to making it shine lies in a 2011 award-winning movie starring Brad Pitt.

Do you remember the plot?

The manager of the downtrodden Oakland A’s meets a baseball-loving Yale economics graduate who maintains certain theories about how to assemble a winning team.

His unorthodox methods run contrary to scouting recommendations and are generated by computer analysis models.

Despite the ridicule from scoffers and naysayers, the geek proves his point. His data-driven successes may even have been the secret sauce, fueling Boston’s World Series title in 2004 (true story, and the movie is Moneyball).

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What’s my point?

Being data-driven seemed a geeks’ only game, or a far reach to many, just a few years ago. Today, it’s time to get on the data-driven bandwagon…or get crushed by it.

Let’s briefly look at the situation and the cure.

Being Data-Driven: The Situation

Brand awareness, test-drive, churn, customer satisfaction, and take rate—these are essential nonfinancial metrics, says Mark Jeffery, adjunct professor at the Kellogg School of Management.

Throw in a few more—payback, internal rate of return, transaction conversion rate, and bounce rate—and you’re well on your way to mastering Jeffery’s 15 metric essentials.

Why should you care?

Because Mark echoes the assessment of his peers from other top schools of management:

Organizations that embrace marketing metrics and create a data-driven marketing culture have a competitive advantage that results in significantly better financial performance than that of their competitors. – Mark Jeffery.

You don’t believe in taking marketing and business growth advice from a guy who earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics? Search “data-driven stats” for a look at the research. Data-centric methods are leading the pack.

Being Data-Driven: The Problem

If learning to leverage data can help the Red Sox win the World Series, why are most companies still struggling to get on board, more than a decade later?

There’s one little glitch in the movement. We’ve quickly moved from “available data” to “abundant data” to “BIG data.”

CMO’s are swamped with information and are struggling to make sense of it all. It’s a matter of getting lost in the immensity of the forest and forgetting about the trees.

We want the fruits of a data-driven culture. We just aren’t sure where or how to pick them.

Data-Driven Marketing: The Cure

I’ve discovered that the answer to big data overload is hidden right in the problem, right there at the source.

Data is produced by scientific means. That’s why academics like Mark are the best interpreters of that data. They’re schooled in the scientific method.

That means I must either hire a data scientist or learn to approach the analytical part of business with the demeanor of a math major.

Turns out that it’s not that difficult to get started. This brings us to the most important aspect, that is, the scientific approach to growth.

Scientific Method of Growth

You’re probably already familiar with the components of the scientific method. Here’s one way of describing it:

  1. Identify and observe a problem, then state it as a question.
  2. Research the topic and then develop a hypothesis that would answer the question.
  3. Create and run an experiment to test the hypothesis.
  4. Go over the findings to establish conclusions.
  5. Continue asking and continue testing.

    Scientific Method of Growth and Optimization

By focusing on one part of the puzzle a time, neither the task nor the data will seem overwhelming. As you are designing the experiment, you can control it.

Here’s an example of how to apply the scientific method to data-driven growth/optimization, as online enterprises would know it.

  1. Question: Say you have a product on your e-commerce site that’s not selling as well as you want. The category manager advises lowering the price. Is that a good idea?
  2. Hypothesis: Research tells you that similar products are selling at an average price that is about the same as yours. You hypothesize that lowering your price will increase sales.
  3. Test: You devise an A/B test that will offer the item at a lower price to half of your e-commerce visitors and at the same price to the other half. You run the test for one week.
  4. Conclusions: Results show that lowering the price did not significantly increase sales.
  5. Action: You create another hypothesis to explain the disappointing sales and test this hypothesis for accuracy.

A/B Testing

You may think that the above example is an oversimplification, but we’ve seen our clients at The Good make impressive gains by arriving at data-driven decisions based on experiments even less complicated.

And the scientific methodology applies to companies both large and small, too. We’ve used the same approach with everyone from Xerox to Adobe.

Big data certainly is big, but it doesn’t have to be scary. Step-by-step analysis on fundamental questions followed by a data-driven optimization plan is enough to get you large gains.

The scientific approach to growth can be best implemented with a platform that is connected and comprehensive. Such a platform, which shows business performance on its goals, from one stage of the funnel to another, can help save a lot of time, effort, and money.

Conclusion

Businesses need to be data-driven in order to optimize for growth, and to achieve business success. The scientific method can help utilize data in the best possible ways to attain larger gains. Take A/B testing, for example. Smart A/B testing is more than just about testing random ideas. It is about following a scientific, data-driven approach. Follow the Moneyball method of data-driven testing and optimization, and you’ll be on your way to the World Series of increased revenues in no time.

Do you agree that a data-driven approach is a must for making your ROI shine? Share your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below.

CTA_FreeTrial_Being_Data_Driven

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Data-Driven Optimization: How The Moneyball Method Can Deliver Increased Revenues

How To Create And Customize A WordPress Child Theme


The WordPress platform is a magnet for those who want to take matters into their own hands, who want complete control over their websites and want to be independent in running them. WordPress does make it really easily to completely customize a website. If you have a bit of knowledge of HTMl, CSS and/or PHP, there is nothing you can’t change.

How To Create And Customize A WordPress Child Theme

I mean, just compare the default themes, Twenty Fifteen and Twenty Fourteen. Hard to believe they are running on the same platform, isn’t it? Therefore, it is only natural for you to want to adapt the look of your website to fit your vision. I doubt there are many WordPress users out there who don’t constantly think about what to implement next. However, a problem arises.

The post How To Create And Customize A WordPress Child Theme appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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How To Create And Customize A WordPress Child Theme

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Why Performance Matters, Part 2: Perception Management


Time can be analyzed from two different points: objective and psychological. When we talk about time that can be measured with a stopwatch, we’re talking about objective time, or clock time. Objective time, though, is usually different from how users perceive time while waiting for or interacting with a website or app.

Why Performance Matters, Part 2: Perception Management

When we talk about the user’s perception of time, we mean psychological time, or brain time. This time is of interest to psychologists, neuroscientists and odd individuals like me. Objective time is dealt with by technical means, and those means have limits — whether financial, technical or otherwise — that become insurmountable at some point.

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Why Performance Matters, Part 2: Perception Management

Advanced WordPress Management With WP-CLI


The command-line interface has always been popular in the world of developers, because it provides tools that boost productivity and speed up the development process. At first sight, it might seem hard to believe that using the command line to perform certain tasks is getting easier than using a graphical interface. The purpose of this article is to clear up your doubts about that, at least concerning WordPress tasks.

Advanced WordPress Management With WP-CLI

WordPress provides a graphical user interface for every administrative task, and this has helped to make it the most popular content management system on the web. But in terms of productivity, working with the command line enables you to accomplish many such tasks more efficiently and quickly.

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Advanced WordPress Management With WP-CLI

A Fool with a Tool is Still a Fool: Why Marketing Automation Isn’t Enough

marketing-automation-650
Image by Chris Isherwood via Flickr.

Good marketing is all about sending the right message to the right people at the right time.

Properly segmenting your contacts using the right variables allows you to better target everything from emails to PPC campaigns to landing pages. The more targeted your messaging, the more likely you are to see a lift in conversion across the board.

This is why many people choose to adopt a marketing automation platform: software that addresses the management and automation of your contact database, customer nurturing, email marketing and other workflows.

In addition to contact management, most MAPs also have a broad range of other features, including lead scoring, content management, SEO management, tracking and reporting.

This smorgasbord of features leads us to one of the most common marketing automation misconceptions: people think that marketing automation is the only tool you’ll ever need.

But the reality is:

A fool with a tool is still a fool.

This quote by Grady Booch aptly describes the risk of implementing a marketing automation platform without truly understanding its strengths and limitations.

There is no silver bullet.

Marketing automation will not solve all of your problems, nor will it be the only tool you’ll need in your marketing stack. While your MAP might have the ability to do all of the above – it doesn’t mean it’s the best tool for the job.

In fact, in some cases, using a more specialized tool is a better way to go – it’s part of the reason why major marketing automation providers (like HubSpot, Marketo, Eloqua and Pardot) have thriving partner networks with a ton of integration partners.

Not sure if your marketing automation tool is giving you the flexibility you need? Here are some examples where using specialized software can help you refine your execution and drive better results.

Landing pages

Some marketing automation platforms provide the ability to set up basic landing pages, but the range of features available to create, test and optimize them are limited.

At Uberflip we’ve found a handful of limitations with our MAP’s landing page builder.

To get the level of customization we wanted in our landing pages, we would have had to spend more time and resources fiddling with CSS and HTML. Even then, we’re limited by how the end result will look. We’re also limited by the fact that we can only create one variant on a landing page and the traffic split is randomized by our MAP, giving us very little control.

As I speak to more and more marketers, it’s clear that this is a common pain point when it comes to landing pages. Nick Bhutani, Sr. Digital & Acquisition Marketing Manager at booker.com has the same problem. According to Nick, they needed:

A better solution because the out of the box landing page feature provided by our marketing automation platform just wasn’t as flexible in terms of design and development. Our design team was looking for mobile/responsive style landing pages, and found this tool a lot easier to work. This had a very positive effect on our mobile/tablet conversions.

At the end of the day, using Unbounce helped booker.com decrease their CPA by 42% and they saw a 33% lift in conversion rates.

landing-page-650
Using a dedicated landing page builder helped booker.com decrease their CPA by 42% and they saw a 33% lift in conversion rates.

Similarly, at Uberflip, we’ve found that using a specialized landing page builder like Unbounce has a number of benefits, especially when we’re testing landing pages for promotions or other campaigns:

  • We have better access to more high-quality templates
  • We can ensure that our landing pages are mobile-friendly (surprisingly, this isn’t possible with many MAPs)
  • We can easily manipulate the design to match our brand guidelines
  • We can create more than one variant and we have great control over how the traffic is split between landing page variants.

Bottom line: the level of customization and depth of feature set are key to driving results when it comes to landing page optimization.

Lead scoring

Lead scoring is a great way to prioritize leads for your sales team. Here’s how it works in most marketing automation tools:

  1. Identify characteristics and behaviour of the people who you think are likely to convert into customers.
  2. Create a formula based on these parameters, assigning different weights to each variable depending on the assumed impact.
  3. Send what you assume to be qualified leads (i.e. they hit a certain score) to your sales team.
  4. See if your sales team loves or hates you (i.e. were your assumptions correct?)
  5. Rinse and repeat.

The challenge is that these are only variables that you think have an impact based on a limited data set.

In reality, there are countless signals that can tell you whether or not someone is likely to become a customer. And many of these signals are seemingly unrelated to your product and are outside the scope of the data your MAP provides.

Using a tool like Infer or Lattice-Engines, you can automate a more sophisticated lead scoring process.

These tools supplement your existing data with thousands of external signals that their algorithms can find by scouring the internet. That could mean anything from employee count and technology vendors to social presence.

You’d be surprised at what kind of information you aren’t even aware of may be indicative of a potential buyer’s behavior.

Lattice-Engine-Lead-Score
Specialized lead scoring tools like Lattice-Engines can help you score leads in a more sophisticated way – and rake in more conversions.

For example, marketing technology company Demandbase uses a predictive analytics platform to identify the shared characteristics (based on internal data and external signals) of “high-value” leads and prioritize them. By making sure their sales and marketing teams were focused on the higher scoring leads, they were able to significantly increase their pipeline and saw a 75% increase in close rate.

Through analyzing your existing data and finding all of the external signals that have an impact on your lead score, you can validate your assumptions, improve accuracy and learn more about your customers.

Bonus: A more accurate lead score means you’ll be feeding better leads to your sales team — and they’ll love you for it.

Content management

Great content fuels marketing campaigns.

But creating great content isn’t enough to generate leads. You need to be able to create a great content experience, which includes everything from killer design, great structure, the ability to manage premium content like ebooks and videos and effective calls to action.

When it comes to managing the user experience for your blog or resource center, the CMS capabilities in a MAP are often limited. It’s also worth noting that, while a few marketing automation providers have CMS capabilities, many do not, so there is often a disconnect between content assets and marketing automation processes.

Taulia, a payments solutions provider based in San Francisco, was using the CMS provided in their marketing automation platform. But as content became a more important part of the marketing efforts, it was clear they needed more flexibility in creating and updating the entire content experience – not just the content itself.

By using Uberflip, a CMS designed for content marketers, they didn’t need to rely on IT to easily:

  • Organize all their content (including blog articles, videos, ebooks and white papers)
  • Create tailored content streams for specific personas
  • Place and customize calls to action
  • Include nested forms and overlays within the user experience
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Taulia, a payments solutions provider based in San Francisco, uses a specialized CMS to provide a delightful content experience for their audience.

Using a specialized content marketing platform that integrates with their MAP helped Taulia tailor the user experience and manage the content from their marketing campaigns easily. This means they can move faster, target content better and at the end of the day, generate more leads.

Adapting your marketing ecosystem

Understanding the purpose, strengths and limitations of your marketing automation platform is key to driving killer results. While your MAP might be the core of your marketing ecosystem, you also have to identify the right complementary tools based on your goals and needs.

When it comes to certain functions, they simply don’t provide the same depth of features that you might need.

But regardless of the tools you use, without the right people and processes in place to execute, you’re going to be wasting your time and money.

So take Booch’s quote to heart and avoid becoming a fool with tool. Understand how your company and your team operates and build a stack that will improve your processes and get results.

Are there any other challenges you’ve experienced with marketing automation? How did you overcome them?

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A Fool with a Tool is Still a Fool: Why Marketing Automation Isn’t Enough

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The Battle between Short and Long Pages Continues. Guess which Scored a Point.

I think I should make a series of all the A/B tests that I have personally come across in which removing a certain element worked for one company, and adding that same element worked for another. (To understand what I mean by element, you should read this post.) After all, every business is different. And so are their target audiences.

Few months back, I came across this wonderful test in which an SEO company went from a content rich page to one with only a form and headline texts, and improved their conversions. I was intrigued, and curious to know the science behind why such pages work, and why even giants like Facebook, LinkedIn and Quora have bare minimum homepages. I have added my findings about why they work, and what the challenges of such a page could be in the same post. Do give it a read.

In fact, we, at VWO, were so inspired by this test that we decided to give it a shot. And hey, have you checked our homepage recently? And may I add, it’s working well for us as well.

For today’s case study, I have a test the bang opposite of this!

The Company

PayPanther is an all-in-one solution for free Online Invoicing, CRM, Time Tracking, & Project Management software for freelancers & businesses.

The Test

PayPanther wanted to test between a long and a short version of the ‘pricing and signup’ page. The first time they made this page, they believed that a shorter page would drive more signups as there would be lesser distraction and content to read. In this test, they setup the original page to be pitted against a page which had 3 more sections: FAQs about pricing, testimonials, and another call to action button asking people to sign up.

This is how the original looked like:

Before

And this is how the new page looked:

After

The test was run for a month on about 1000 visitors and the variation, containing FAQs and testimonials, won! It recorded an increase of 372.62% in signups.

Thrilled by the results, PayPanther has implemented this longer page as their default “pricing and signup” page. They even plan to do further tests to find out the most optimum headlines and button texts.

Why the Variation Won?

  1. The FAQs section answered the common doubts and concerns the website visitors had. It, thus, created a sense of credibility and trust.
  2. Adding testimonials work, always. I am yet to see a test in which adding testimonials hurt conversions. You can look at this, this, and this case study for examples. Of course, they have their own rules and to use them effectively, I suggest you read this excellent post to get the most benefit from testimonials.

Let’s Talk!

Tell me know what you think about this case study. Have a similar test that you did on one of your webpages? Let’s talk about it in the comments section below.

Spread the awesomeness by sharing this post with your network on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

The post The Battle between Short and Long Pages Continues. Guess which Scored a Point. appeared first on VWO Blog.

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The Battle between Short and Long Pages Continues. Guess which Scored a Point.

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Proving Returns from A/B Testing – 6 Ways to Keep Your Boss Happy

To gain results from testing, you need to believe in it strongly. You cannot look at testing like other channels or tactics and ask,

“Okay…so, what’s the return from testing this month?”

Testing is a culture, a mindset of optimization. You MUST look at the bigger picture here.

Sometimes you might end up running a series of unsuccessful or somewhat successful tests before you hit gold with a winning test. That test will be your jackpot. The one whose revenue boost will more than make up for the lost time and money you invested in testing the past few months.

The problem here is, you may believe in testing until the end of time, but proving it as a viable investment source can be extremely difficult. When you have nothing much to show for a while, or when you’re spending on testing before you’ve started to gain from it — how do you justify this cost to your boss? Keep him happy with the results and let you continue testing?

Below, I’ve compiled a few ways for you to get the maximum return and justify your testing spend:

1. Let Go of ‘Test One Page Element at a Time’ Rule

Break the rules

I’ve been an advocate of this conventional CRO bite — ‘test one page element at a time’ — for far too long to refute it now. But there are times when it seems best to let it go in favor of pragmatism.

Single element changes often take much longer to achieve statistical confidence. Plus, every test you run will not be a winner. So when you are playing too safe and running only small tests, a lot of time may pass when you do not have much to show for it.

When you make multiple changes at a time, you might miss out on customer learning. But that’s okay. Some changes on the page might increase your conversion rate, and others may reduce it. Get over it! Sometimes it’s the overall positive effect that counts. Remember that!

It’s thus necessary that you break free from this conventional bite of testing wisdom and not be scared of making big changes.

If you spot multiple conversion leaks in a page that needs fixing, go ahead and make a new page that addresses them all; and then test it against the original page.

Small changes do have big impact sometimes, but those are a handful of cases. Most times, you will have to make more than one change to see the drastic difference in the way your visitors behave.

Start with best practices…

If you have a really leaky page from a conversion standpoint, don’t shy away from starting with best practices.

Yes, best practices do not work for everyone. And all of them might not work for you as well. But a lot of them should work for you and it’s a great way to add some quick fixes and have some good lifts to show off.

2. Sort Your Test Priority

Once you’ve completed your end of research and analysis, you’re likely to have tons of hypotheses all ready to put into action. Of course, you cannot try all the tests in one go. To show wins to your boss without much delay, prioritize which tests you can run first and without much friction. Gradually, move towards difficult tests once you’ve gained his confidence.

Wider Funnel’s PIE framework comes handy in deciding test priority. Make a table like the one given below, add hypothetical scores out of 10 for each factor (Potential, Importance, and Ease), find a PIE average for each test idea, and then decide:

PIE framework by WiderFunnel

While some big tests might need extensive assistance from your tech team, there might be others that need a rather daunting approval from the management. By following the PIE framework, way you will smoothly move forward with a sorted testing strategy and first focus your efforts on tests that combine high revenue potential and easy implementation.

Once you’re all pumped up with some good results, you can then stretch for other difficult tests.

3. Create Theme-Based Page-Level Tests

Theme-based tests are my personal favorite. They are a perfect example of hitting two birds with the same stone. You can change multiple things at a time and still get an actionable customer insight from the test. The only twist here is that the changes you make should be based on a particular theme.

A rehab facility chain, Tuscany, for example, tested their original landing page that focused on the extravagance and secluded location of their facility against a new version that emphasized on building trust in the mind of the prospects. This gave them a lift of 220%. Plus, they now understand that trust is a more important concern for prospects than a luxurious facility.

4. Using Test Insights to Up Your Overall Marketing Efforts (Including Offline Campaigns)

Jackpot

Experts often insist that you must look for customer insights in your test results. Many people do not understand why it is so important. So they ignore the reasons why their visitors behave in a certain way, why they buy/didn’t buy from their website. Missing out on these crucial insights mean — they use testing on its face value and will never realize the true potential/benefits of testing.

They fail to see that they can apply these customer learning to improve their overall marketing efforts, including offline communication. Continuing the same rehab facility example above, Tuscany applied the customer learning from their test and adopted the trust-focused approach on their other 300 websites. This gave them a 85% boost in paid search revenue across all 300 websites.

From their landing page copies to customer calls, Tuscany’s entire approach of presenting themselves transformed their business after that.

5. Run Site-Wide Template Tests

Because of the wider impact of these tests, their rewards are also manifold. Even a small win on these template pages can give you a huge lift to rave about. Lemonfree.com conducted a site-wide test on their product template pages, which increased their revenue per visit by 19%.

Apart from the usual category/product page templates, header and navigation tests are some other common site-wide tests you can try. Site-wide tests are also a great solution for those with low traffic count as the cumulative traffic of all template pages should give you enough traffic to get conclusive test results quickly.

6. Stick to Evidence-based Hypotheses

Conducting random tests that are backed by no research/insights or data will only waste your time and money in the long run. You must collect quantitative and qualitative data about your customers as well as your website to formulate smart hypotheses that have a higher probability of hitting the jackpot.

This means you’ll need to find high opportunity pages in Google Analytics for your website. Often high traffic pages with a higher bounce rate, checkout flow pages, sign-up pages, et al are good starting points. Tests run on pages where you land your PPC traffic can also have a high-impact on your revenue.

Next is to understand your customers. Don’t assume that you know what they think. You don’t! User-testing, reading live chat transcripts, and conducting exit surveys, first-time buyer surveys are the most powerful (and quite cost-effective ways) to know “why” people behave in a certain way on your website. Why they buy/don’t buy from you. You can then use these insights for your hypotheses and these will now be an educated guess, rather than an absolute shot in the dark.

Few questions you can ask to understand visitor intent or customer hesitations on your website are:

  • Is there anything holding you back from making a purchase right now?
  • Do you have any questions that you can’t find answers to on our site?
  • What brought you to our site today?
  • Were you able to accomplish the task you came to do?

Survey question

One mistake most companies fall victim to is that they treat testing as a one-off tactic. Companies that recognize conversion optimization as a process and ingrains constant testing in their culture are the ones that see real wins from testing.

What’s Your Take?

Are you stuck in an organization where you’re struggling to make testing a mainstay? What challenges do you face? Let’s hit the comments section and discuss.

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Proving Returns from A/B Testing – 6 Ways to Keep Your Boss Happy