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Today we attended the Conversion Conference conference which is dedicated to anyone wanting to achieve maximum ROI from their online campaigns. Internationally renowned experts help us learn how to improve sales and increase site conversion rates. Here’s a quick overview of the main points from Day One.
Testing & Analytics with Vicky Brock
Take measures to check the quality, performance or reliability of something especially before putting it to widespread use or practice
Reveal strengths or capabilities by putting them under strain
At the core of all analytics & optimisation we are validating business:
There are seven steps: Creative & Content/ Campaign & Placement/ User Experience/ Message & Proposition/ Pricing & Business Model/ Tech Performance/ Customer Segment
Customer Segmentation – Why are we looking at these particular people?
Hypothesis – Why should I test? Create meaningful test case & expected positive & outcome
Intervention – A/B, user, MVP (minimal viable product), stress, market, multivariate, penetration etc
Validation – Statistical significance, unintended consequences, control (something with which to compare as digital is so complex, careful clean control grouping is a way for you to validate results yourself)
Extrapolation – Simulation, next best & what if models. Just how valuable is this? How do we make sure you have internal backing & resources to roll it out. Validation & extrapolation is the best way to get this done. Profit, margin impact – what will it mean to the business?
Theory > Test > Measure…in an ideal world. Analytics data does not give the answers directly, just a starting point. If trying to focus on data remember your tools are just that. You need decent validation, models & what if scenarios. It’s a starting place, not the whole package
It’s not about traffic & noise, it’s about relevant KPIs. If presenting, many businesses will look at the biggest number on the page so control it; make the biggest number on the page meaningful
What is a good goal? Goals are the ‘doing’ words of optimisation & validation. Easy to fall into passive goals which do not translate into action. This can make it hard to achieve, and you enter a ‘cul de sac of irrelevance’. The measurement component of optimisation is to find the most fundamental significant actions of the most important people; those you are trying to influence to a specified time period (hard to quantify without valid time period)
Passive metrics damage your health – measure the people you are interested in, taking the actions that matter to your key goals, over a period of time, it’s either love or money. Make sure you are focusing on genuine impact
Mix & triangulate for results. Think about wider impacts. Segment, validate, simulate
“Users are not created equal” – Segmentation is critical – identifying the niches makes resources go further & maximises revenue
Statistical Significance – Loads of Excel plug-ins etc for this. Informs you of necessary sample size. Find acceptable confidence (eg 95%) to determine SIGNAL to NOISE, doesn’t mean it has passed the SO WHAT test – it is reliable but not necessarily relevant.
Beyond Conversion – Lifetime customer value, – most important information. Also Regency & frequency modelling, shift from browser to customer analysis. Yet actionability is STILL elusive.
It’s about profitability, not the metrics. Extrapolate information to serve this goal
The Art of Persuasion: Copywriting for Conversion with Dr Karl Blanks (actually a rocket scientist!)
Step 1: Become able to sell the product face to face
Your robot salesperson (aka website) will be no better than its creator
Speak with people who can sell your product face to face & learn from them
Become a customer yourself- do the research. Shop around, record yourself (ScreenFlow recording, Skype etc), then use client’s site & actually become a customer following the whole process through
Use Qualaroo survey (used to be KISS Insights). Pop up comes out at end of page where you can ask any question you like and customers will volunteer the answers
Prospect’s Mental Shopping List:
Don’t start writing until you:
Step 2: Writing It Down
“The act of writing turns many a genius in to a moron”
People write things down that would sound ridiculous in real life – would you say what is written on your site? Record yourself saying what you would actually say as opposed to what is written on the site, this will probably be more effective
Step 3: Template for Highly Converting Landing Page
The Anatomy of a Conversion Optimization Program with Mary D Alatri & Colin McFarland
Landing Pages are essential to online marketing. Every click lands somewhere, and has the possibility of converting; be thoughtful about where they land.
Not all types of experience are suitable for all programs and objectives. For example a conversion focused objective is likely to be best off with a dedicated landing page as opposed to a microsite, however if you are trying to educate your user about your product a microsite may be better as can offer lots more information
May have to blend roles & responsibilities, every one of these must be met.
Landing pages are like mini web development projects. They start simple, but the devil is in the detail. Sometimes they get more complex because specialised functionality & rules are in place for logic and page behaviour.
Context for Testing Technique
Testing What’s On The Page –
Beyond The Page –
It’s not always about the conversion win. Landing page testing provides you with much more data than just increased conversions.
You can learn:
Technical Options –
Code based – add code to existing pages. Used when:
Platform-based – create, launch and test landing pages in a system. Used when:
Solution-based – create, launch and test, plus use professional support to create a complete solution
Types of landing page software available includes marketing automation platforms, starter tools, and enterprise level solutions
Don’t Make Your Audience Think: Simplicity = Conversions with Nick Holzherr
Nick thinks had he described the product more simply he may not have been fired from The Apprentice.
Focus on user experience. US investors focus on users too, how many users you can get in a set period of time whereas here we focus more on the money the business will make.
‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’ – Di Vinci
‘Make product choice available for everyone’ – Howard Moskowitz
In the supermarket the shelves are full of the same product with differences for different niches. For example if you were to buy pasta sauce for a friend, though it may sound simple, you will probably get the wrong one:
On the other hand if you give people too much choice they may develop ‘choice paralysis’ and not choose or buy at all.
How do you get the balance right?
Increase decision simplicity by 20% = user is 86% more likely to purchase and 115% more likely to recommend. Landing pages are getting more simplified to this end.
Looking at big companies with loads of data such as Google, we do not use them because they make it very simple to find the information we are looking for. They take all the data they have about us to give us the most relevant results according to their algorithm. Facebook use similar methods. Alter the information you show users tailored to them.
Whisk try to make it really easy for people to buy ingredients online. Increase simplicity and reduce hassle should mean people cook more and use the system more often.
Their problem is that each network has hundreds of thousands of recipes and even more ingredients. Each supermarket has a similarly high number of products if not more, so Whisk use information about the user (eg if they prefer organic, price point etc) and pulls the most relevant information to show.
Recommends a default to the user for each recipe they choose, with alternatives, eg difference between users coming from Delia vs Student Cooking. Also recommend wine to go with the meal, how much of each ingredient is left over and suggest what you can make from them.
When the user switches the system applies learning and changes the way it works. Machine learning can be a very useful tool as long as you get as much information as possible and use mind map tools to offer simple choices that are personal and learn as much about users as possible.
Use complex tools to use simple interfaces for users.
The Art of Persuasion: Part 2 Design with Paul Rouke
The Most Influential Persuasive Design Techniques.
Combine different techniques to enhance influence.
Develop buyer personas – showing key triggers for action clients need to be targeting for conversion.
Scarcity – we infer value in something that has limited availability or is proffered as such.
Example: Booking.com ‘this hotel is likely to sell out soon’, ‘2 rooms left’, ‘free cancellation’, ‘just booked’, social proof & trust through ‘review of 8.2/10 from 594 reviews’ and stars, visibility, recency & transparency through ‘latest booking 59 seconds ago’ – all persuasive techniques combined into one page.
Limited Duration – Given a choice between action & inaction a limited time to respond increases likelihood of participation.
Example: ASOS Shopping Bag ‘stock reserved for 60 minutes only’. Oxfam reserve 2nd hand item for one hour with prominent countdown and friendly text reminder.
“Never pressure people to push them into purchasing. Instead use pressure to prevent them from procrastinating. There is a fundamental difference between the two.” – Michael Fortin
Social Proof – We tend to follow the patterns of similar people in new or unfamiliar situations.
Example: Vancouver Convention Centre; navigation very simple but lots of examples of those who have used the conference, calendar, video of event highlights, then a ‘book an event’ button available to the left. Video testimonials can be more convincing than written testimonials. How important is it to see snapshots of past events & conferences? Research example indicates ‘important’ to ‘very important’. Speedo ask users to fill in ‘what kind of swimmer’ they are when reviewing, popular as helps other find those in the same mind set as they are.
Commitment & Consistency – We desire to act in a manner consistent with our stated beliefs and prior actions.
Example: ASOS renamed their wish list to ‘saved items’ which may change it from a wish-y (!) washy list to something with more commitment. Relies on cookies so don’t have to log in. Subtle tab to get feedback on this feature on page. eCommerce Director of ASOS says the site has hundreds of thousands of saves a day. This gives richer email to ASOS for email campaigns etc as well as potentially increasing conversion rate.
Limited Choice – We’re more likely to make a choice if there are fewer options.
Make pages such as sign up and check out as simple as possible. Emphasise the benefits of signing up and consider not using terms such as ‘create account’. Simplifying the process can have dramatic impacts on performance. The Stella McCartney site was used as an example which saw a 12% uplift. Another example was ASOS. They originally had the term ‘create account’ on the page twice and three CTAs on the page. By reducing the page to a simple one bar sign up, they have decreased abandonment rate by 50%.
Delighters – We remember and respond favourably to small, unexpected, and playful pleasures.
“Assuming you can fulfil the goods supply or services you offer, the biggest thing to get right is simply to emotionalise your offerings.”
“It is about gaining trust and then providing a way to deliver a 100% digital service, while remaining personal” – Both quotes from Ling Valentine of Lings Cars (crazy website but full of persuasive techniques and a very successful business. Have a look: www.lingscars.com
“You need to bring people and emotions to the front. We do business with people, the human touch is the way to move things forward.” – a user with a budget looking for a service provider
Paul Postance –
Conversion in an organisation, embedding it and making it work.
‘It could be done better’ is not an insult, should always strive to improve
Experience management through persuasion & design architecture & influencing that through:
Create a coherent identity for a team, focused responsibility:
Get rid of SPOF factor – Single Point of Failure eg if one person is on holiday whole process grinds to a halt.
Initiate > Research > Design > Implement > Monitor > Test/Improve
Rich Page –
What is a conversion optimiser?
Where are they hiding?
How do you find/hire them?
Who other testing roles work best with them?
Greatest success with conversion efforts = dedicated key resources
For small businesses: Conversion optimiser is best in tight-knit collaborating group with web analyst, online marketer, web designer & web developer.
Organising internal processes for them is very hard – so many elements:
Role in web creation & optimisation process:
Essential Characteristics of a successful long term Conversion optimisation plan:
Conversion Optimiser Tips:
We’ll be back tomorrow with a review of the 2nd day.