3 Must Have Onsite Conversion Tools: Yotpo, Toonimo and LiveChat
by Toonimo Jan 19, 2015
  Since its infancy, businesses have measured site traffic solely based on page views. With time, the development of digital marketing has shifted the methods of measure to include more onsite engagement and length of visit, and of course, conversion rate as critical metrics. In the world of e-commerce and online businesses significant resources are invested in driving traffic to an online business site.  Once the traffic does actually land on the site, the rate of onsite conversion spend is remarkably low. According to recent research, for every $92 a site spends on driving traffic to a website, businesses invest only $1 on increasing conversion potential and optimizing the site to boost sales. The difference between traffic to conversion is insane! Why are companies leaving so much potential money on the table? If the customer is already visiting, half the battle is already done. The extra mile of converting them is providing them with a customer friendly experience that guides them through the funnel. In some ways, the onsite conversion efforts could be more important than the traffic. Yotpo Customer reviews are the most important testimonial an e-commerce business can find. Yotpo enables customers to leave and share their opinions about the products they've purchased. The tool brings the most valuable ones to the forefront of the site and shares the content to the various social channels. Additionally, the e-commerce site can then present these invaluable reviews in a visually appealing way for others to see. In short, Yotpo combines the value of customer testimonials and user generated content in a visually engaging way. As customer reviews grow, the company credibility grows. Positive feedback and positive consumer experiences are what Yotpo are all about. What's great about Yotpo is that it not only enables a e-commerce business to streamline new reviews, the tool also enables seamless integration of existing ones. This great feature, combines with the immediate post purchase email to customers brings the real time marketing to the forefront of any business. Toonimo                     Clearly we're a bit biased but in the world of onsite conversion optimization, Toonimo offers some value that others don't. Toonimo enables a company to customize a character that will serve as a virtual salesman that responds to and engages with customer behaviors. Each page can be customized for specific triggers of onsite patterns. In short, Toonimo is like having a full time salesman without the overhead. The character is a virtual guide for customers to feel comfortable with their concerns and can walk visitors through the conversion funnel without feeling pressured. LiveChat This is by far one of the more popular onsite engagement tools. LiveChat integrates relatively easily on most sites and enables a small window to be placed at the bottom of the screen. LiveChat then becomes a great way for alleviating customer concerns by allowing them to ask any questions directly to a sales or customer service team. The advantage of LiveChat is the real time engagement and interaction that customers and companies can maximize to convert more leads. In Short While money to generate and increase traffic is valuable, it doesn't always translate into sales growth. Companies should be focusing converting existing traffic and engaging visitors to stay longer on the site and increase the conversion potential. 
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Conversions and Touchdowns: How Football Can Increase Conversion Rates
by Toonimo Jan 18, 2015
  Today four NFL teams compete in the Conference playoffs. The winners earn a coveted spot at the Super Bowl, which will take place in a few weeks in Arizona.  After careful consideration, there are many similarities between the game of football and online marketing, especially conversion rate optimization.  Here some of the practical marketing lessons that can help any brand out in the battling the toughest competitors in the world of marketing.    Goals In football, both teams are constantly focused on the prize- either winning the specific game or getting to the Super Bowl. Winning the Super Bowl means that the team is praised forever. Achieving this milestone requires establishing many goals, both short and long term, along with practicing, testing new plays and teamwork.  Conversion rate optimization, and any aspect of digital marketing, is very similar. The company must identify specific goals and what conversion rates would be identified as successful, even if the final result is not optimal conversion.    Fans and Audience In football, some fans identify with several football teams. They could be fans because of affiliation to the city, fans of a specific players, personal association or other reason. In conversion In conversion rate optimization and e-commerce the audience can be a global audience and many customers may be fans of several companies within the same industry. No one company dominates the field and as long as the service is superior, customers are often not as loyal to one brand, as they are to a football team. Practice Drills and Testing In the NFL, as with many sports, practice makes perfect. Teams spend countless hours perfecting specific plays and refining their on-field positioning. In conversion rate optimization, practice and testing is the only way to succeed in high yielding conversions. Testing is the name of the conversion game and it requires constant tweaking and reevaluation before success is achieved. Strategy This is a no brainer. Whether playing offense or defense, identifying and executing a solid strategy is critical in winning games. A sound conversion strategy, creates a clear blueprint for implementation. It allows a company to remain on course and stay focused on the ultimate win- converting customers. Researching the Competition Similar to strategy, understanding the competition is a critical component in football and conversion rate optimization. Knowing the competition, their behaviors, and active campaigns, enables the company to prepare appropriately and create a realistic course of action. Determination The high stakes of a football game means that there will always be a winner and a loser. The competition is fierce and is not for those who are not familiar with high stakes. In conversion rate optimization the stakes are equally high. Companies can't give up at the first sign of a tough time. They need to remain determined to succeed for the long haul and keep the eye on the prize. Data Football is all about data. The statistics help both teams understand behaviors, plays and changes based on performance. In onsite optimization, tracking and measuring metrics is the foundation for successful implementation of a campaign. Using the data and user information enables a company to constantly improve their game. Conversions In football, third and fourth down conversions are the focus of any good offensive team. Converting yards into touchdowns is the ultimate strategy. For online businesses, conversions is always the primary goal. Engaging customers online and slowly handing, or guiding, them towards the conversion will turn sideline players to avid fans. As we await the results of today's NFL conference finals, think about other similarities between onsite conversions and engagement.
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How Can Visual Graphics Increase Conversions
by Toonimo Jan 11, 2015
  Even today, content remains king of the internet. While content is the dominant force online, it's being chased by strong visual graphics. In fact, often a solid picture can boost and tell an engaging story better than an entire product description. In the world of conversion rate optimization, content and carefully crafted calls to action are the main focus for many marketing professionals. Unfortunately, the graphic element of any campaign is not given the attention that it deserves. While we've discussed many aspects of conversion rate optimization from perspective of text, in this post we'll be covering the image based and visually engaging components necessary to increase conversion rates. While we can't state enough that testing is the most important aspect of any conversion rate campaign, here are our favorite image-based ideas to increase conversion efforts.   1. Justifying Images As we mentioned, graphics should only be used as a way to persuade consumers to purchase faster than a body of text. The best example of selling with visuals over words can be the travel industry. Often, travel companies or tourist destinations use graphics to sell the attractive sites and relaxing nature of the location. A few words are used to compliment the image. Why does the image sell so well? Simple. Because the sandy beaches of Hawaii or the amazing sunset in Aruba speak for themselves. Any consumer could easily imagine themselves there. No paragraph of text could do a better job.  While many landing pages understand the value of visuals, they seem to forget that consumer attention span is very low. Asking readers to spend precious time deciphering text or navigating beyond one page, will cause high rates of abandonment. Beyond being engaging, graphics and visuals can often highlight the product value in a more compelling way than words. Using pictures can impact the consumer purchase decisions and should be used sparingly and strategically. A great example of a visual describing and clearly defining its product value is Dropbox. The simplest design all the value and the landing page is clean and concise.   The intelligent use of visuals does a better job than any text could do. Don't you think? 2. Effective Images? Conversion rate optimization is tricky, especially in the e-commerce space. In the e-commerce space, convincing a customer to purchase is difficult but the quality of an image and its position on a page and how it is presented in context is critical to the conversion. Especially in such a highly visual digital marketing space, images are often more successful in converting customers. Sure, product descriptions need to be solid and well written, but no product will sell without a good picture. In e-commerce, pictures are the only way a brand can sell a product. Treat each image with care and be deliberate about its quality and placement. 3. Living Color Many brands attempt to remain true to the research about the psychology of colors and the famous associations between certain colors and consumer emotions. While all of this research does make a convincing argument, any color can be used to depict a strong brand sale. Imagine selling chocolate ice cream. The brown could be displayed as decadent. But that same chocolate brown could be used to sell a wallet. So while the color psychology is important, each brand should create value in the graphics it chooses by understanding all aspects of the image from color to unique selling proposition. While color does play a role in purchase decision, consumer reactions to color vary based on culture, context and environment.   How have graphics and colors impacted your conversion rates?  
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Unconventional & Simple CRO Tips
by Toonimo Jan 08, 2015
Any company seeing significant traffic to their site or landing page without the conversions, is always looking for some new tactics to boost the most important aspect - the action. With all the time invested in gaining traffic, not converting them would almost be a waste. It's time to get serious about conversion rate optimization (CRO).  Yes, there are many sound pieces of content on CRO around the web, change the colors of this button, test different locations of text, calls to action, and form style. Why does all the CRO advice complicate the space? What about gaining some competitive advantage without the jargon? How can online businesses use CRO in a simple, understandable manner? Here are a few of our favorite unconventional CRO tips that will make any onsite business stand out. Competitive Analysis Ever consider why the competition is converting so well? Maybe they're involved in a complex CRO marketing strategy. So visit their site, or sites, and improve on their design and strategy.  The simplest thing to do is to identify the changes they integrate and regularly monitor what changes are being made.  The alternative is for a company to consider specific changes and before implementation see if the competition is already doing it.  Test with Multi Step Most companies think that to optimize conversions, the forms on the site should be short, enabling the consumer to quickly handle this aspect of the conversion funnel. While that is a fair assumption about forms, some customers actually don't mind forms that involve multiple steps. So test it and go against the grain. Testing, as with so much of CRO, is critical. Heat Maps This is one of the most unconventional CRO ideas. Most users are not aware that with each movement of their mouse, it's possible to track behaviors. This kind of data can be particularly useful for companies who are considering refocusing their CRO efforts. While a heat map sounds very new-age, the potential information can easily increase conversion rates with relative ease. Keywords and CTA Generating the traffic is the first step of CRO. How to generate the traffic is by targeting the most relevant keywords within the space for potential customers.  The key is to match the keywords from the text on the site and landing pages with the calls to action.  Aligning the keywords at both the top of the sales funnel and the calls to action on the website enable the customers to not only find the brand but to convert once they're there.  Make It Urgent Of the many challenges online businesses confront, cart abandonment is the most common one that results in lost revenue. Many customers would prefer to delay their purchase or take more time to buy. How does a company combat this extremely common problem? By encouraging the customer to complete the purchase now. A sense of urgency is easy. A simple offer of discount, free shipping or extra bonus item will create an incentive for the customer to buy now.  Micro/ Macro Conversion In CRO there are two conversion types- micro and macro conversions. Macro- is completing a sale or filling out a form. These are the revenue generator.  Micro- would be a like on Facebook, Tweet, downloading a PDF, newsletter sign up. These conversions have potential for converting but don't generate revenue immediately.  Clearly, each conversion has its unique advantage within the CRO spectrum.  Check which of the CRO type yields higher engagement and focus on those.  Distinguish between the two types of conversions. This is critical in how to focus marketing efforts. As each site is unique, testing is critical. Each site is different, so different tactics need to be tested regularly.   What are some of the most innovative CRO tips you’ve received?
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Customer Lifecycle: The Big Picture of Conversion Rate Optimization
by Toonimo Jan 07, 2015
The goal of any marketing campaign is conversions. Online businesses want customers to take action. Over the past few years, conversion rate optimization (CRO) has been the fastest growing marketing strategy focused on ensuring that customers actually convert (take action). As conversion rate optimization continues to take charge in the online business sales funnel, many experts are offering sound advice on how to optimize the entire conversion funnel. From better writing to landing page design practices all the way to gaining perspective on consumer behaviors. Interestingly, with all of the conversion rate material available, most of the content is geared towards changing text or graphic components of a site. Especially as many more brands move towards integrating web apps, mobile and SaaS products, the potential of capturing leads and converting sales is becoming much more sophisticated. It's time to look at conversion rate optimization from a fresh perspective. One that looks beyond the short term sale and invests in the long term opportunity of each conversion. Here are a few tips on conversion rate optimization that offer brands a chance to regroup and rethink this critical aspect of online marketing. The Journey is Filled with Conversion Potential Businesses should be relentless in using every marketing strategy available to increase the front end of the conversion funnel. The initial point of conversion is critical. It establishes trust and enables the opportunity of cultivating a long term relationship. Short term conversions are nice but long term retention is the best sales opportunity. Every interaction with a customer is important and should be viewed as a chance to convert customers. Think long term customer. By focusing on the entire customer lifecycle, companies will see an increase in user engagement and a better natural flow throughout the cycle from acquisition to revenue. At each stage of the cycle (acquisition, activation, retention, revenue, and referral), consumers become another opportunity for conversion. A great review of the various conversion stages is available here. Conversion Equality? Many companies assume that only one aspect of the conversion funnel is the priority metric to test. Why? Many actions are conversion opportunities and focusing on one component may impact revenue to the business. As with any conversion change, testing and tracking how consumers engage with the site throughout the process, provides valuable information about which variation is more effective. If a test can be associated to some form of income that is the ideal. Of course, this form of research and deep analysis will require significant time beyond the tools provided from most software. Consumer Data At every touch point along the customer lifecycle, critical data is being collected about existing customers. This information provides a company with the information to modify content and information based on real customer navigation data. Exploring and investing consumer data will create patterns of behavior, which can provide new testing opportunities and methods of conversion supported by existing customer decisions. Segmenting is Key Segmentation is what makes every marketing strategy successful. Targeting audiences and creating messages that are relevant to that segment and offer the highest conversion potential. If targeting is so successful, then the theory should be applied to apps and site. Each component including, calls-to-action, value propositions, design, and features can be optimized for consumer relevancy. Look Long Term Optimizing at the top of the funnel is only the beginning. There are many points for potential conversion, make sure to consider each one. The goal is to increase the number of customers, engage, retain and convert them.  Discover potential conversion opportunities with existing consumer data. Identify, test and modify conversion paths based on existing data.  Segmentation. It's the only way to focus the mass of existing data to create informed conversion decisions. 
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15 Conversion Optimization Tips- How to Increase Conversion Rates
by Toonimo Jan 02, 2015
Over the past few months, we've written many articles and pieces focused on conversion rate optimization and increasing onsite engagement. The challenge with all of our content is that Conversion Optimization tips and “Best Practices” are limited in value because they are broad and require testing to each specific business.  These tips should not be taken as recommendations, but rather as ideas that you could test. Each site requires careful analysis and consistent testing of specific conversion hypotheses. 15 Conversion Rate Optimization Tips to Increase Conversion Rates Location of Call-to-Action: Is it on the right or left side of the page? Value Proposition: Are the three most important points immediately obvious on the landing page? Credibility indicators: Have testimonials, reviews, awards or stats been integrated on the site to add more credibility? Specificity: Is the landing page content too broad? Can a specific product page drive more conversions than a category page? Reduce Distraction: Are there links, images, videos or text that can be eliminated? Improve Clarity: Can an image replace text to drive more interest? Too Many Options: Is the product being offered in too many choices (color/ style)? Try reducing it to one or two. Clarity: Increase clarity of the visuals by contrasting the image on a white background. Anxiety: Does the privacy policy evoke anxiety? Does it make people nervous? Try pairing the text down. Emotions: Consumers buy with emotions. What text or visual can excite their purchase decision? Privacy Link: Integrate a popup instead of having it on a separate page. Features vs Problems: Many companies sell the features of a product not the actual value. Sell the value and the problems it solves. On page lead gen forms vs. new page vs popup? Testing each format is important. Column Swapping: Change the look of the page by moving the column from left to right. Incentives on the Thank You page: Can some of the form fields be made optional? Consider offering incentives for filling them out. Bonus Tip: Onsite navigation guide: Consider integrating an onsite guide that directs visitors through the sales funnel. These are our favorite tips. We will continue to post some other conversion tips throughout the year, enjoy.
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