How a human voice can increase your website sales
by Toonimo Apr 28, 2015
When it comes to your retail website, if you can’t capture your visitors’attention –and keep it from search to purchase –good luck growing your revenue. And on top of that, there are only so many ways that you can design a website. Standing out in a sea of competitor sites is a challenge. So how do you make sure your visitors are engaged enough to spend the time finding what they need, then following through to complete their purchase, quickly and easily? Consider adding a digital concierge to your website. It will not only capture your visitors’attention, but efficiently move them through the buying process as well, with personalized messages tailored to the user. The digital concierge is like a personal shopper, complete with a warm, human voice that helps your customers navigate through the layers of your website to find exactly what they are looking for. And the best part? Our research shows that this small addition will change the paradigm of your online customers’experience. It keeps visitors on your site more than 20% longer and potentially boosts your sales by nearly 10%. Here’s how it works. As soon as someone visits your homepage, they have the option to listen to a quick overview of your site told by a friendly, human voice. Then, as they are directed to what they are looking for, the same digital concierge explains and compares product features. This gives real life context to help your customers better understand the product, thus helping them make the best buying decision. For example, if your site sells computers, the average customer probably doesn't know the difference between levels of RAM or why they may need a certain chip speed.  Or if your site sells bicycles or exercise equipment, your customers might not understand what scenarios would require a larger tire or a why they might need a treadmill monitor that not only measures heart rate but pulse as well. The dynamic presentation layer, in the form of a friendly human voice, will explain why. And because it is customized to your site, it works on any system with any product. Once your site visitor selects a product, the same friendly voice can walk them through the check-out process by explaining things like shipping and promotions, and continue to answer any questions until the purchase is complete. So consider adding a dynamic presentation layer solution to your site as the key to helping your customer’s make better purchasing decisions and provide an overall more satisfying user experience.  You’ll not only increase sales, but also unify the customer experience across all of your marketing efforts by using the same voice as your video ad or tv commercial and add that personal touch often missing in the digital space.
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The Psychology Behind User Experience, UX, Increases Conversion Rates
by Toonimo Feb 10, 2015
  User experience, or UX, reflects how a user feels while visiting and navigating your site. Research shows that these emotions - whether they be frustration, confidence, freedom, happiness, discouragement etc.- all have a profound impact on conversion rates. Every website has a UX and it is either helping you or hurting you. Even more than that, users will subconsciously compare the UX on your site with your competitors and likely go with the site that makes them feel “better”. What emotions are you looking to evoke from users in order to increase conversion? Happiness: It may go without saying that you want your user feel happy while visiting your website. Happiness drives action, whether that is a purchase, a social media share or filling in a contact form. Site design, including colors, images and clarity play a significant role in evoking happiness. Smart and Successful: The more a user is excited about the possibility of success the more likely she will take action. If your website is easy to use and the user feels like she is getting a great deal, doing a good deed, or making a smart decision, she will be more likely to move ahead. Alternatively, if your website is hard to navigate or  gives too much information, this makes users feel overwhelmed, frustrated and incapable, resulting in a loss of user confidence and most likely their business. One study showed that 57% of shoppers abandon a site if they have to wait more than three seconds for something to load. Make sure your site is clean and easy to navigate, with clear calls to action that encourage the user to see the value offering and feel like a “winner.” Trust: Consumers are suspicious and justifiably so since all businesses have some sort of agenda. One of the greatest inhibitors to conversion is lack of trust.  Consumers are protective of their personal information, their privacy and certainly their wallets and any experience that threatens their security in these areas will result in site abandonment. Be transparent, clear and honest with your content and make sure your site is easy to navigate in all directions. If users feel they have gone down a path they can’t exit from easily, especially on an e-commerce site, they will just leave. Informed and Educated: You want your users to feel that they have a true understanding of what you are offering. Growth is a powerful human motivator and if you are teaching users with valuable content they will feel inspired.  This is also a reason that user reviews are read by 85% of consumers before they make a purchase online. A user that feels informed about what she is going to purchase will more likely go through with it.  Studies show that consumers respond positively in particular to visual components such as photos, video, graphs and infographics or stories such as case studies or testimonials. Sad: This one might be a little surprising and should only be employed by businesses in certain sectors.  Studies show that empathy builds trust and is an effective way to move a consumer to action.   Economist and pioneer in the field of neuroeconomics, Paul Zak conducted a study on the effects of sadness on human behavior.  He concluded, “Our results show why puppies and babies are in toilet paper commercials. This research suggests that advertisers use images that cause our brains to release oxytocin to build trust in a product or brand, and hence increase sales.” If your service or product can tap into this human tendency, use images and storytelling to create empathy.   To create your UX work backwards. Start by asking yourself the following questions: What are the actions you want to acheive - a sale, download, subscription form, call? What does the user want? What is the value you offer?   Once you know the end goal, design the flow of your site to directly meet both the user and the business objectives.   Here are a couple of other resources on the topic of UX: On his Digital Marketing Blog, Jeff Fuhriman does a great job of giving some insight on how to assess if Poor User Experience is Slowing your Conversion Rate.   Check out this great infographic by Vouchercloud that speaks to Consumer Psychology specific to e-commerce that can be helpful to anyone trying to improve the UX of their website.      
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5 Great Tips on Writing Content that will Convert
by Toonimo Jan 26, 2015
In this post we've compiled 6 of our favorite tips to improve content writing to focus on conversions. After all, that's the focus of any onsite business. These effective tips are sure to boost conversion rates for any site. One Audience Imagine for a moment that the customer was sitting directly across from the top salesman in a coffee shop. If the customer was sitting there, the discussion would focus on their needs, not the companies great product. Right?!  Every company has a uniquely engaging powerful story to tell.  Forget about all of the value proposition and unique selling points of a company.  Forget about what the site offers and shift the focus to the customer. What do they want? What are their pain points?  Reaching current customers and asking for their input on what content they would respond to is the ideal.  While every company should know what their target audience wants, it's more about understanding why the customer wants a specific product or a specific piece of content.  Great Story As we mentioned, every company has a unique story. The art of storytelling that focuses on benefits is the key to any good content writing and marketing campaign.  Define the story of a product, the company. Why should a customer care about the story or the company?  Identify the key points that are unique. Every company has them. They need to be distilled and refined. Once they've been identified, the rest is infusing the content with life and passion.  Focus on the amazing way in which customers have used a specific product. Every industry has competitors, that's a fact. But every company has a unique customer story that highlights the value in a way that no other competitor can.  Once the story comes to life, add that to the About Us section on the site. Why? Because this gives the company a chance to concisely share their unique story to their audience. Once its there, expanding and creating rich content that resonates with that unique story is easy.  Test, Test, Repeat Yes, everything about online marketing involves testing. It's the only way to focus and ensure that the conversion funnel is functioning at the optimal level. With writing comes testing. So any piece of content from headlines to blog posts to landing pages should be tested, constantly. If time is of the essence, then fine the testing to produce only the most fundamental metrics. There are many metrics that companies test for conversions, but keep the testing cycle down to the most important ones.  Here are our top 5 metrics Monthly Recurring Revenue Churn Cost Per Acquisition Average Revenue Per Customer Lifetime Value Customer Proof/ Testimonials Social proof is powerful. It's the driving force behind customer decision making. According to recent studies, nearly 90% of customers use online reviews and customer sites to influence their purchase decisions.  Think about it. Before customers shop online, they look at Amazon for reviews and then either buy it on a cheaper site or go into the store. Each company has social proof. It can be a newspaper article, a product review from an influencer, a blog post, or a satisfied customer. Whatever it is, flaunt it. Every company should be leveraging customer testimonials to not only add social proof but also to add value to the brand story. Reciprocity Unlike classic marketing, online marketing guides and adds value to customers before making the sale. Free, value-driven content is often the focus of any marketing strategy. Once the company has engaged with the customer and gained their trust, will a sale actually be made. Conversions in the online world take time but they are effective. What knowledge and value driven content is the company providing its potential customers? Is there any information that can be produced to position the company as an industry leader?  Are any efforts being made to engage, communicate and extend the relationship with existing customers? What content is being produced or benefits being offered to encourage repeat conversions?  Retention rates should increase once this type of reciprocity focused content is integrated into the marketing efforts.  These are our favorite content writing tips that can help any company convert more customers. 
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Changing E-Commerce Conversion Funnels with Simple Statistics
by Toonimo Jan 21, 2015
In the world of e-commerce, every brand works extremely hard to improve conversion rates. The best efforts conversion rate optimization focuses on split testing and refining engagement strategies. You want better conversion rates. According to the most recent VMO ecommerce survey, statistics are indicating that 5 major conversion require attention and improvement across the e-commerce industry. Changing these onsite marketing and engagement tactics will yield better conversion rates and an overall positive shift in revenue. Based on these statistics, here's how to increase the conversion rates of any e-commerce business. (more…)
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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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Split Testing in Email Marketing: Tips and Tricks
by Toonimo Jan 12, 2015
  For all aspects of digital marketing, split testing (aka A/B testing) is what of the most important methods of identifying success while running campaigns and conversions. With all of the emphasis on micro content and social media engagement, the strongest and most direct digital marketing channel remains email marketing. For companies to identify success in email marketing, the ideal method is to run some form of split test. We've covered many of the basic aspects of A/B testing. Here are some of our tips and tricks to split test like a rockstar and increase conversion rates in email marketing. Over Testing Every online business has a list of subscribers. Treat the list with respect. Over segmenting the data sets will only reduce the success rates. Why? Each niche data set only provides information about that market, not about the entire list. Segmenting is a good thing with a strong list but over testing or hyper-testing will either yield weak results or annoy the consumers. How many split test variations should be sent out? That's a tough call. Use a software, like Optimizely to split test and understand the variations and what success metrics should look like. Make the Right Call As soon as the email campaign is launched, the natural reaction is to check the mail host repeatedly. Allow subscribers to mull over the content and let the campaign ride for more than a few hours before drawing initial conclusions. A normal campaign should run for up to 48 hours before reviewing metrics and results. Split Testing Fresh Data Split testing is only successful if all variations are sent at the exact same time to the identified audiences. Otherwise, the data is skewed with many external forces impacting the results. The rates of the test need to be fresh, relevant and identical. Run the Marathon Not a Sprint Every business sends various forms of emails. Some are purely promotional, while others are news or don't advertise a specific product. Testing email campaigns that are only timely for a specific time frame or are non-commerce driven, may offer interesting results but provide minimal value in the long term. For the best split test results, compare campaigns that are critical to producing significant impact to a business. Sure, these tests are not as exciting in terms of raw data and take more time to produce results, but most businesses are build for long term, not short term success. Permanence is the Enemy Split tests are by default volatile and difficult to predict. Each email is its own beast. The entire aspect of testing is the wrench in the digital marketing industry because it is so difficult to pin down specific consumer behaviors. Split test results should be viewed as fluid and should be repeated as necessary before coming to any conclusion. Just because the test worked once does not mean it will work again. Patience is Split Testing's Best Friend Email marketing is filled with variables that can be tested. Every test opportunity suggested by consultants, articles, influencers or friends may not be appropriate for a specific brand. Read articles and blogs with caution and review them for relevance to specific market segments. While trying to create split tests that are campaign specific, create tests that will challenge overarching considerations that can drive future decisions. Patience is key when conducting split tests.
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