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A Complete Guide to High-Converting Lead Magnet

lead magnet ideas

Generating good lead magnet ideas can become a long process. Simply throwing together an e-book or whitepaper just because other businesses do it would be a mistake. High-converting lead magnet ideas offer so much value that your target audience can’t say no. The more you refine your lead magnet, the more qualified your leads become because you’re offering exactly what those leads need at the exact right time. Lead magnets can work for nearly all audiences, including those of B2B and B2C businesses. They’re powerful because they open the door to further communication between the business and the lead. But…

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A Complete Guide to High-Converting Lead Magnet

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15 High-Converting Lead Magnet Examples and Ideas

lead magnet ideas

Generating good lead magnet ideas can become a long process. Simply throwing together an e-book or whitepaper just because other businesses do it would be a mistake. High-converting lead magnet ideas offer so much value that your target audience can’t say no. The more you refine your lead magnet, the more qualified your leads become because you’re offering exactly what those leads need at the exact right time. Lead magnets can work for nearly all audiences, including those of B2B and B2C businesses. They’re powerful because they open the door to further communication between the business and the lead. But…

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15 High-Converting Lead Magnet Examples and Ideas

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User Experience Testing: UX Methods and Tools

user-experience-testing-12

User experience testing often scares entrepreneurs and marketers. It seems like a daunting task, especially if you have lots of products or lots of pages on your website. However, it’s essential if you want more conversions. ClickMechanic conducted extensive user experience testing before relaunching its website. The testing resulted in an impressive 50 percent increase in conversions. Furthermore, a Magnetic North study revealed that more than 90 percent of respondents had had a poor user experience, and that about 33 percent reported they would abandon an online shopping cart due to poor UX. Clearly, there’s a correlation between user experience…

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User Experience Testing: UX Methods and Tools

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How To Improve Your Design Process With Data-Based Personas




How To Improve Your Design Process With Data-Based Personas

Tim Noetzel



Most design and product teams have some type of persona document. Theoretically, personas help us better understand our users and meet their needs. The idea is that codifying what we’ve learned about distinct groups of users helps us make better design decisions. Referring to these documents ourselves and sharing them with non-design team members and external stakeholders should ultimately lead to a user experience more closely aligned with what real users actually need.

In reality, personas rarely prove equal to these expectations. On many teams, persona documents sit abandoned on hard drives, collecting digital dust while designers continue to create products based primarily on whim and intuition.

In contrast, well-researched personas serve as a proxy for the user. They help us check our work and ensure that we’re building things users really need.

In fact, the best personas don’t just describe users; they actually help designers predict their behavior. In her article on persona creation, Laura Klein describes it perfectly:

“If you can create a predictive persona, it means you truly know not just what your users are like, but the exact factors that make it likely that a person will become and remain a happy customer.”

In other words, useful personas actually help design teams make better decisions because they can predict with some accuracy how users will respond to potential product changes.

Obviously, for personas to facilitate these types of predictions, they need to be based on more than intuition and anecdotes. They need to be data-driven.

So, what do data-driven personas look like, and how do you make one?

Start With What You Think You Know

The first step in creating data-driven personas is similar to the typical persona creation process. Write down your team’s hypotheses about what the key user groups are and what’s important to each group.

If your team is like most, some members will disagree with others about which groups are important, the particular makeup and qualities of each persona, and so on. This type of disagreement is healthy, but unlike the usual persona creation process you may be used to, you’re not going to get bogged down here.

Instead of debating the merits of each persona (and the various facets and permutations thereof), the important thing is to be specific about the different hypotheses you and your team have and write them down. You’re going to validate these hypotheses later, so it’s okay if your team disagrees at this stage. You may choose to focus on a few particular personas, but make sure to keep a backlog of other ideas as well.

Hypothetical Personas


First, start by recording all the hypotheses you have about key personas. You’ll refine these through user research in the next step. (Large preview)

I recommend aiming for a short, 1–2 sentence description of each hypothetical persona that details who they are, what root problem they hope to solve by using your product, and any other pertinent details.

You can use the traditional user stories framework for this. If you were creating hypothetical personas for Craigslist, one of these statements might read:

“As a recent college grad, I want to find cheap furniture so I can furnish my new apartment.”

Another might say:

“As a homeowner with an extra bedroom, I want to find a responsible tenant to rent this space to so I can earn some extra income.”

If you have existing data — things like user feedback emails, NPS scores, user interview notes, or analytics data — be sure to go over them and include relevant data points in your notes along with your user stories.

Validate And Refine

The next step is to validate and refine these hypotheses with user interviews. For each of your hypothetical personas, you’ll want to start by interviewing 5 to 10 people who fit that group.

You have three key goals for these interviews. For each group, you need to:

  1. Understand the context in which they need to solve the problem.
  2. Confirm that members of the persona group agree that the problem you recorded is an urgent and painful one that they struggle to solve now.
  3. Identify key predictors of whether a member of this persona is likely to become and remain an active user.

The approach you take to these interviews may vary, but I recommend a hybrid approach between a traditional user interview, which is very non-leading, and a Lean Problem interview, which is deliberately leading.

Start with the traditional user interview approach and ask behavior-based, non-leading questions. In the Craigslist example, we might ask the recent college grad something like:

“Tell me about the last time you purchased furniture. What did you buy? Where did you buy it?”

These types of questions are great for establishing whether the interviewee recently experienced the problem in question, how they solved it, and whether they’re dissatisfied with their current solution.

Once you’ve finished asking these types of questions, move on to the Lean Problem portion of the interview. In this section, you want to tell a story about a time when you experienced the problem — establishing the various issues you struggled with and why it was frustrating — and see how they respond.

You might say something like this:

“When I graduated college, I had to get new furniture because I wasn’t living in the dorm anymore. I spent forever looking at furniture stores, but they were all either ridiculously expensive or big-box stores with super-cheap furniture I knew would break in a few weeks. I really wanted to find good furniture at a reasonable price, but I couldn’t find anything and I eventually just bought the cheap stuff. It inevitably broke, and I had to spend even more money, which I couldn’t really afford. Does any of that resonate with you?”

What you’re looking for here is emphatic agreement. If your interviewee says “yes, that resonates” but doesn’t get much more excited than they were during the rest of the interview, the problem probably wasn’t that painful for them.

Data-Driven Personas Interview Format


You can validate or invalidate your persona hypotheses with a series of quick, 30-minute interviews. (Large preview)

On the other hand, if they get excited, empathize with your story, or give their own anecdote about the problem, you know you’ve found a problem they really care about and need to be solved.

Finally, make sure to ask any demographic questions you didn’t cover earlier, especially those around key attributes you think might be significant predictors of whether somebody will become and remain a user. For example, you might think that recent college grads who get high-paying jobs aren’t likely to become users because they can afford to buy furniture at retail; if so, be sure to ask about income.

You’re looking for predictable patterns. If you bring in 5 members of your persona and 4 of them have the problem you’re trying to solve and desperately want a solution, you’ve probably identified a key persona.

On the other hand, if you’re getting inconsistent results, you likely need to refine your hypothetical persona and repeat this process, using what you learn in your interviews to form new hypotheses to test. If you can’t consistently find users who have the problem you want to solve, it’s going to be nearly impossible to get millions of them to use your product. So don’t skimp on this step.

Create Your Personas

The penultimate step in this process is creating the actual personas themselves. This is where things get interesting. Unlike traditional personas, which are typically static, your data-driven personas will be living, breathing documents.

The goal here is to combine the lessons you learned in the previous step — about who the user is and what they need — with data that shows how well the latest iteration of your product is serving their needs.

At my company Swish, each one of our personas includes two sections with the following data:

Predictive User Data Product Performance Data
Description of the user including predictive demographics. The percentage of our current user base the persona represents.
Quotes from at least 3 actual users that describe the jobs-to-be-done. Latest activation, retention, and referral rates for the persona.
The percentage of the potential user base the persona represents. Current NPS Score for the persona.

If you’re looking for more ideas for data to include, check out Coryndon Luxmoore’s presentation on how his team created data-driven personas at Buildium.

It may take some time for your team to produce all this information, but it’s okay to start with what you have and improve the personas over time. Your personas won’t be sitting on a shelf. Every time you release a new feature or change an existing one, you should measure the results and update your personas accordingly.

Integrate Your Personas Into Your Workflow

Now that you’ve created your personas, it’s time to actually use them in your day-to-day design process. Here are 4 opportunities to use your new data-driven personas:

  1. At Standups
    At Swish, our standups are a bit different. We start these meetings by reviewing the activation, retention, and referral metrics for each persona. This ensures that — as we discuss yesterday’s progress and today’s obstacles — we remain focused on what really matters: how well we’re serving our users.
  2. During Prioritization
    Your data-driven personas are a great way to keep team members honest as you discuss new features and changes. When you know how much of your user base the persona represents and how well you’re serving them, it quickly becomes obvious whether a potential feature could actually make a difference. Suddenly deciding what to work on won’t require hours of debate or horse-trading.
  3. At Design Reviews
    Your data-driven personas are a great way to keep team members honest as you discuss new designs. When team members can creditably represent users with actual quotes from user interviews, their feedback quickly becomes less subjective and more useful.
  4. When Onboarding New Team Members
    New hires inevitably bring a host of implicit biases and assumptions about the user with them when they start. By including your data-driven personas in their onboarding documents, you can get new team members up to speed much more quickly and ensure they understand the hard-earned lessons your team learned along the way.

Keeping Your Personas Up To Date

It’s vitally important to keep your personas up-to-date so your team members can continue to rely on them to guide their design thinking.

As your product improves, it’s simple to update NPS scores and performance data. I recommend doing this monthly at a minimum; if you’re working on an early-stage, rapidly-changing product, you’ll get better mileage by updating these stats weekly instead.

It’s also important to check in with members of your personas periodically to make sure your predictive data stays relevant. As your product evolves and the competitive landscape changes, your users’ views about their problems will change as well. If your growth starts to plateau, another round of interviews may help to unlock insights you didn’t find the first time. Even if everything is going well, try to check in with members of your personas — both current users of your product and some non-users — every 6 to 12 months.

Wrapping Up

Building data-driven personas is a challenging project that takes time and dedication. You won’t uncover the insights you need or build the conviction necessary to unify your team with a week-long throwaway project.

But if you put in the time and effort necessary, the results will speak for themselves. Having the type of clarity that data-driven personas provide makes it far easier to iterate quickly, improve your user experience, and build a product your users love.

Further Reading

If you’re interested in learning more, I highly recommend checking out the linked articles above, as well as the following resources:

Smashing Editorial
(rb, ra, yk, il)


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How To Improve Your Design Process With Data-Based Personas

Standing Out From The Crowd: Improving Your Mobile App With Competitive Analysis

The mobile app industry is arguably one of the most competitive industries in the world. With around 2.8 million apps available for download in the Google Play store and 2.2 million in Apple’s App Store, getting your app seen, let alone downloaded, can be difficult.
With such fierce competition, it is important to make your app the best it can be. One of the most productive ways to do this is by conducting a competitive analysis to see where your competitors are at, what is working for them, what isn’t and what you can do better.

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Standing Out From The Crowd: Improving Your Mobile App With Competitive Analysis

Afraid Of AI? Conquer Your Fears By Learning How It Can Boost Your Sales

It’s 2017, and the robots are here. However, artificial intelligence (AI) is nothing to be feared. In fact, AI will help boost your sales, increase conversions while ensuring that your business thrives and stays relevant in an ever-changing world. If you have resisted AI up until now because it sounded too complex, we’re going to explain how it can turbocharge your sales in plain, understandable English. We’ll be covering everything from chatbots, personal assistants to how AI can ramp up your email marketing efforts – as well as tighten up your security. As a business owner, this could be the…

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Afraid Of AI? Conquer Your Fears By Learning How It Can Boost Your Sales

A Simple Guide to Link Prospecting

link prospecting

You can break down SEO into two major categories: On-Page SEO: Ensuring your title tags, meta tags, site architecture and content are optimized for near-perfect search engine comprehension and indexing. Link Building: Getting other websites to link back to your site. In today’s post, we’re going to focus on #2 because it can be the most rewarding in terms of traffic gains, but it’s also the most difficult because a lot of it is beyond your control. Link building is truly an art and link prospecting is the smartest way to ensure your highest level of success. Let’s get into…

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A Simple Guide to Link Prospecting

Why a Killer UX Doesn’t Always Translate into Conversions

killer ux does not translate into conversions

One person’s killer UX is another’s UX killer. Why not copy the killer user experience of a famous site in your industry? The short answer? You’re not them. The longer answer is that unless you’re copying a fully optimized site with all the same variables, targets, and exact same audience, you’re likely setting yourself up for failure. Take Target for example. Following the success of Amazon’s review software, Target purchased it and sought to implement it on their own site. Even after copying the software and interface, the engagement with their reviews suffered. In fact, in the first month after…

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Why a Killer UX Doesn’t Always Translate into Conversions

How “Your Tea” Boosted Revenue by 28% Through Structured Conversion Optimization

An increasing number of companies and agencies are following a structured approach to Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Presently, we will be looking at how a tea eCommerce website increased revenue using conversion optimization.

About the Company

Your Tea is an online tea eCommerce site serving health and lifestyle-focused consumers. Tiny Tea Teatox is one of their largest sellers in their diversifying everyday tea product ranges.

Your Tea signed on We Are Visionists (WAV), a digital agency that partners with eCommerce agencies and startups, to help solve their clients’ digital problems ranging from paid advertising to conversion rate optimization.

We got in touch with Joel Hauer, founder at WAV, to know all about their successful optimization exercise that resulted in a 28% improvement in revenue.

Onboarding Your Tea

WAV pitched CRO as part of a raft of complementary services, including SEO and PPC, to improve Your Tea’s online presence.

Joel says, “It made business sense and so it was a straightforward decision for Your Tea. If you can create an uplift in your revenue by improving your product page, why wouldn’t you? We were able to make projections based on anticipated improvements to the site, and those projections were what got us over the line. We are lucky to have such a pragmatic client!

Process of Optimization

What WAV wanted to do was to insulate Your Tea’s revenue stream against any potential declines in traffic and maximize revenues in the periods of high traffic.

While doing so, they decided to follow a formalized approach to CRO, that is, researching their website data and visitors’ behavior intently to create hypothesis and running A/B tests that would impact revenues the most.

The Research Phase

To begin with, they analyzed their website data using Google Analytics (GA) to understand the journey of the visitors. They detected a large number of drop-offs on the product pages of the website, that is, a lot of people were landing on the product pages but not adding anything to the cart. They discovered that the Tiny Tea Teatox product page in particular was attracting the largest amount of traffic, and decided to optimize it first.

On further research on that page, they found that more than 50% of visitors were browsing through mobile. This information compelled WAV to closely analyze the mobile version of Tiny Tea Teatox. They found multiple optimization opportunities. For instance, the CTA was not prominent, there was no detailed description of the products, and more.

Here’s how the original page looked:

A/B test Control

Hypothesis Creation

Since a majority of traffic was coming from mobile in particular, WAV decided to optimize both the desktop and mobile versions of the Your Tea website. They hypothesized that adding a more prominent CTA, along with a detailed description of the product and user reviews would increase add-to-cart from the product page.

Using Visitor Behavior Analysis, they were able to develop their hypotheses further. For instance, by looking into heatmap analysis, they realized that visitors mostly browsed the product description and its benefits.

A large number of visitors also visited the reviews section, thereby making it clear that they were looking for trust elements. WAV decided to add more product information and benefits, along with credible “before and after” images and testimonials to the page. WAV also conducted website surveys and user testing sessions, which confirmed their hypothesis of adding more “credibility proofs” to the page.

The Test

WAV concluded that a full redesign of the product pages could yield better results than a series of incremental improvements from smaller tests. Such a massive redesign required heavy technical work, and WAV used VWO’s Ideact service to create a variation. Below is the screenshot of the control and variation:

Your Tea Control Variation Here’s how the Before And After section in the variation looked like:

Here’s the Why Buy From Us section in the variation that aimed to improve the website’s credibility :

Credibility Proof in the VariationResults

With the tests, they tracked two goals, that is, the add to cart conversion rate and the revenue.

The improvement in add-to-cart actions led to an impressive 28% increase in the revenue. In terms of add-to-cart conversions, control of the test was yielding a conversion rate of 11.3% in contrast to the variation which emerged to be the winner with a conversion rate of 14.5%.

Road Ahead

To capitalize on these higher conversions, an optimized checkout experience is required.

The agency could identify that the checkout pages were receiving multiple views from the same visitors. Users were getting stuck in loops around the checkout page. After they identified what to look for, the data from analytics supported it. Currently, they are testing to optimize the mobile experience on parameters such as anxiety and trust signals.

When asked about his biggest learning of the test, Joel responded: “One thing that came out of this test was learning more about the checkout experience—particularly on mobile.”

Experience Using VWO

Joel remarks, “The work of VWO’s Ideact team in setting up the tests on the technical front to help us record users through the checkout experience was invaluable.”

“We loved working with Rauhan and Harinder from VWO. The willingness to go the extra mile and help us get the maximum insight from our tests was fantastic. Having spoken about the features in the pipeline, we’re excited to see what’s to come.”

What Do You Think?

Do you have any similar experiments to share? Tell us in the comments below.

cta

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How “Your Tea” Boosted Revenue by 28% Through Structured Conversion Optimization

A Lean Approach To Product Validation


One of the biggest risks of building a product is to build the wrong thing. You’ll pour months (even years) into building it, only to realize that you just can’t make it a success. At Hanno, we see this happening time and time again. That’s why we’ve put together a Lean Validation Playbook.

A Lean Approach To Product Validation

“Lean” in this case means that you’re moving swiftly to figure out what you’re going to build and how you’re going to build it with as few resources as possible. These resources might include time, money and effort. The lean startup methodology is advocated by Eric Reis, who has massively influenced the way we work through his book The Lean Startup.

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A Lean Approach To Product Validation