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....
READ MORE
Two Answers Provide Endless Split Testing Potential
by Toonimo Jan 15, 2015
  Any online business has read the endless articles, blogs and interviews with leading conversion experts about the need to conduct split tests. There are an infinite number of ideas about which type of split test or multi-variant test an e-commerce should implement. How many times can the leading blogs and articles suggest to switch the colors or shift text to the other side?! There are only so many options of what to do, but the key is drive business results not spend all the time testing! Is there a secret recipe to producing solid split testing ideas? Yes! The secret to generating consistently solid split test ideas- rich targeted data about the niche audience. That's it! Why is the targeted data so important? Because once a company has this information, then the testing potential is endless. How so? A company with this rich data enables them to get a deep understanding of the behaviors, preferences, lifestyle and interests of their audience. With this information, the split testing is a cinch. Equipped with this information, it still may be difficult for a company to identify opportunities. There are two fundamental questions about the data that will make all split tests a breeze. 1. What information does the company know about their customers and potential customers? This open-ended question enables the online brand to understand the pain points and passions of their target audience. Deep knowledge of consumers means knowing the answers to: Where do they spend most of their time? What do they do during recreation time? What sites are they visiting or frequent? What newspapers or blogs do they read? Monitor customer discussions via social media. Identify forums and groups that shed light onto conversations that the customers are interested in. Use survey tools to ask existing customers. What channels and digital opportunities are being presented by the competition? Perhaps they can offer insight on how to, or not to, market to the target audience. Ideally, reach out to existing customers with phone interviews or create focus groups to gain deep perspectives on the audience. 2. Looking ahead, where do potential customers want to be? This question is a great follow up to the first one because it looks at potential customers, sometimes even existing ones, at identifies what aspects of their ideal live a company can respond to. In this scenario, the split test focuses on answering questions such as: What are customers looking to learn? Or achieve in the coming months? What are they saving up to buy? What's on their wishlists for various sites (clothing, electronics, vacation). The goal with this question is to identify an emotional connection with potential customers. Look at the major brands within a specific target audience and mimic their delivery. Clearly, deep market research within a target audience shouldn't be the only means of split testing. This method does, however, offer much more granular material for unique A/B testing ideas, which should yield results for landing pages. To review, here are 3 steps. 1. Gain a deep understanding of the target market and their interests. 2. Find brands that resonate with their specific personality. 3. Bridge the product as a viable solution between their current status and where they aspiring to be.    ...
READ MORE
A/B Testing & Conversion Funnels: Basics
by Toonimo Dec 22, 2014
  In the ever growing challenge of converting customers in the online business world, companies are constantly conducting A/B tests to compare, monitor and improve their site for optimal conversions. The goal of A/B testing is clearly to focus on optimizing the conversion funnel to increase the most important metric of any online business- the ROI or revenue. Implementing a conversion rate optimization strategy takes time but the most fundamental aspect of the entire philosophy is A/B testing. Of the many A/B tests, the most common one is comparing two headlines to determine which yields a better consumer response. Usually the test is set up two sets of groups- control and variant. The control group receives one version of content, while the other sees the content that is changed or amended. Besides understanding the two sets of groups in A/B testing, the essential tool for an e-commerce site is to utilize the web analytics that provide the richest data about user behaviors and navigation patterns. The data is available and offers any business real-time metrics geared towards optimizing any page or component of a site. Here are 5 Common A/B Testing Rules and How to Avoid Them Don't Assume Anything About Customers As tempting as it may be, companies should avoid profiling customers based on certain segmentation criteria. Consumer profiling may work for some markets, but in the online space, there are too many valuable tools that debunk these myths. In the digital era that we live in, every aspect of a consumer's navigation is available to a business. Leverage this information to translate their journey into a 1:1 experience. Establish a Baseline While the goal is always to increase conversion rates, the process will take some time. Be Patient. Establishing a value driven and results oriented A/B test requires a base of information to test against. Determine a baseline and stick to it. Don't Copy Others Like virtually all aspects of digital marketing, copying the formula that may have been successful for other companies, is often not a wise option. Why? If the process of conversion rate optimization was so easy to replicate, then every business would be successful. Unfortunately, that is not the case. A/B tests need to be unique for each company, for each product, for each piece of content. There are no shortcuts. Keep it Simple with One Test Yes, it needs to be said. Testing multiple variables at the same time will yield nothing but frustration and confusion. A/B tests are only successful when one test is being conducted at a time. Otherwise, the test is meaningless. Patience Before Declaring Success In A/B testing, determining success means that the results of the test can be repeated if the same test is duplicated at a future instance. The results of the A/B test should offer the online business with a sense of confidence in their results. If there are any hesitations, then the A/B test should be continued. Patience will allow the best results to emerge. Of the many tools for A/B testing and for increasing conversions, many companies that have integrated a virtual guide or chat feature have seen marked improvements in their conversion rates. The premise of these changes is simple- identify key points of consumer confusion or interest and enable a virtual trigger to encourage participation and conversation. Other than basic functionality of a site, like loading speed, conversion rate optimization requires a lot of trial and error. This process is predicated on a series of A/B tests that the company is willing to implement changes once the data sets are established....
READ MORE
What is content personalization & How to use it?
by Toonimo Nov 26, 2014
  Personalization of the web is the ability to show the most relevant content to targeted users at the right time. If implemented correctly, personalization solves many usability issues and can drastically increase customer satisfaction and conversions. Today, with all the technological advancements, web personalization is a growing trend that many brands are integrating into their markeitng strategies. Personalization tools are becoming easier to use, so much so that many marketers are able to manipulate the process alone with minimal web work, especially with the abundance of plugins on Drupal, Wordpress or other platforms. Personalization can be categorized and segmented according many categories. The main data sets often include, geography, previous onsite visits, repeat visitors, and other behavior patterns. There are 3 types of user experiences that are easily personalized. Content corresponding to consumers meeting certain predefined criteria Modifying page structure for specific users. Clearly, this style of personalization needs to be thoroughly tested before implementation. A user who experiences a clear change in site design may question the validity of the site. Using personalization to trigger related, valuable content to the user. While personalization offers many advantages to digital brands, the ability to change the rules requires consistent monitoring to allow marketing teams to test, iterate and refine their strategy until achieving their goals.   Personalization means integrating all aspects of the sales funnel to carefully craft a site to yield optimal results. An ideal personalization plan integrates information architecture, usability and content strategy into its planning to enable modification and testing before launching. The two most common ways to come up with a personalization strategy. 1. By understanding core business issues, brands can use existing content to implement a strategy that responds to and solves the basic pain points of the target audience. 2. Audience segmentation creates niche data groups and enables a brand to provide rich,high value content to these predetermined targeted markets. As mentioned, successful personalizaiton means investing in constant testing and tracking of the campaign, with a keen focus on refining the process along the way. Google provides excellent tracking data with their free Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. Problems with Personalization If a site is heavily investing in a sophisticated personalization strategy, the bandwidth necessary to create a seamless, high quality user experience, can have adverse affects on the loading speed of the site. Carefully monitoring load times and refreshing rates is important during the pre-launch phase. A site that is slow in responding could actually detract customers. As a final thought, a critical component to executing a successful personalization strategy, requires that a site is populating its site with high quality content that offers value to the consumer at all points of the sales funnel. Web personalization is the quickly becoming a valuable marketing tool that many online businesses are adding to their digital strategy. By executing a carefully planned and well crafted strategy, brands can expect to see an increase in customer satisfaction and growth in converting customers....
READ MORE
Customer: The Secret to Enhancing E-Commerce Site
by Toonimo Oct 22, 2014
  In today's fast-paced world, people are always searching for the shiniest tech toy or the latest app to download. While the speed of turnover is almost mind boggling, one aspect of building a core consumer base remains constant- customer satisfaction. Regardless of advancements, companies tend to focus on growth without realizing that the secret to their growth begins and ends with the consumer. Especially with growth of e-commerce, customer experience and satisfaction should be the primary focus of any company looking to remain relevant for the long term. Sure, the company can integrate apps, CRM tools and other platforms to streamline the process, but at the end of the day customers want a pleasant, seamless purchase. So the onsite experience, from the moment of initial visit to the point of departure, should be a focal point for any e-commerce site. All of these efforts are important but businesses need to focus on cultivating consumers. Establishing a brand affiliation before, during and after the purchase process enables a company to enhance affinity and long term purchase behaviors. Especially in today's highly social focused market, companies can easily research and leverage social data to target consumer purchase preferences. 3 Way to Keep Customer at the Center of a E-Commerce Site Responsive and Reliable Time matters. In an internet driven world, seconds are critical. For e-commerce sites, slow upload times can translate into direct loss of revenue.  In today's market, anything above 2 seconds of upload time is enough to lose a customer. If an e-commerce site does have a video it should auto play within 5 seconds! Statistics show a decrease of 25% if a video takes longer to play. In short, speed and upload time is of utmost importance. Analyze Today, data is available to enable any e-commerce site to target specific material for their core consumer. Successful companies will analyze trends, behaviors, and preferences to determine best marketing strategies. The best method of anlaysis is conducting regular A/B tests around content and products. The real time response of the A/B tests will provide the company with valuable metrics to better target future campaign. In addition to A/B testing, an excellent form of analysis is to conduct consumer surveys. Remember, consumers are the 'lowest hanging fruit' and are the most likely to provide the most direct responses. Once collected, the customer surveys can then be used to re-target products to their needs. Interactive Being social and interacting engaging with consumers via social media enables companies to gain valuable data about their consumers. Today, e-commerce businesses have to be socially interactive and responsive.  Building relationships, engagement and securing brand ambassadors is the best marketing tool. An innovative way for e-commerce sites to engage with their consumers is by integrating a virtual agent on the site. This onsite agent, provides the company with ability to guide users through the process and to explain any potential difficult For many e-commerce sites, a virtual agent builds trust with the consumer and bridges any insecurity during the purchase process. E-commerce is on the upswing. The companies that are investing in their customers, through cultivation, engagement and social interaction, will be the most successful....
READ MORE
Conversion Conversation with CRO Experts: Tiffany da Silva from Shopify
by Toonimo Aug 01, 2014
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), Interview Series with the Experts [caption id="attachment_579" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Tiffany da Silva from Shopify[/caption] Introduction We're excited to introduce our new conversation on conversion series, featuring conversion rate optimization (CRO) experts! We've lined up some amazing CRO experts to interview for this series. As a company, we offer businesses, including ecommerce sites, a flexible platform that creates behavior-based, customized multimedia animations. Our platform enables online businesses to create personalized animations with the goal of boosting onsite engagement,  clarifying marketing messages, and improving conversion rates. With that intro, who better to lead off our CRO series than ecommerce guru, Tiffany da Silva of Shopify?!   A CRO rock star, Tiffany is a seasoned pro in all fields of online marketing. Tiffany's marketing expertise has exposed her to working with over 100 websites while managing multi-million dollar budgets – resulting in increased revenue by (at minimum) 10% month over month. What tools should companies use to test that are really marketing friendly- ie, no programming time? There are some great tools out there that will really help you start testing and cut time all without the need of developers and programmers. Here’s some of my favorites: Optimizely: Optimizely is a great way to test pages on your own website. You can test content, images, navigation all with a point and click. I also love their multi-variant testing. It’s a great way to test different content quickly. Unbounce - For those that don’t have pages they can use to test, unbounce provides a great option. I use this to try out different layouts, different content themes, or elements in a landing page (image vs. video for example). Perfect for people who may not have a designer/developer handy in the beginning. FiveSecondTest.com - This is a great way to see what people’s first impressions are of your website. What do they see in the first five seconds? Is your website high quality? Is your brand unique? Is one element more noticeable than the other? All of these can be answered and for free! (If you’re willing to answer questions for other people’s websites) Three great learning resources:These three resources have been instrumental in helping me get up to speed, create a framework and learn how to think about conversion rate optimization.  "You Should Test That!” by Chris Goward really helps to outline everything you need to start a/b testing. Market Motive offers online courses in Conversion Rate Optimization, Analytics and Online Marketing by online marketing heroes like founder Avinash Kaushik & Bryan Eisenberg. Think101x.org is an online course on edx.org by the University of Sidney that teaches you how to think critically, make decisions, and analyze data - all information you need to know to excel in CRO, conversion rate optimization Testing cycles - how long and how to cut the cycle time without amping up the spend? Run a test for at least 2 weeks and see what results you have (Start and finish on the same day of the week.). Look for major losers and major winners. If you have a major winner and it looks like it could have valuable impact to your bottom-line wait until you have enough prospect/customer evidence to decide either way. Scrap the losers. Think Critically: Was there a major difference in the design/content Test A vs. Test B? Go Back to Hypothesis: What were you expecting? How far are you off? Be Real:  Do you honestly think waiting a week will make a difference or is it better to try something bigger?   If you’re looking at something with less than 15% difference, then I would focus on something bigger.   Most basic conversion error?   Optimizing a page to death! Sometimes you’ll optimize a page so much that you’re only left with less than 10% increases in conversion no matter what you try. At this point it’s time to try a completely different landing page layout or leave it alone. Focus on things that have bigger impact.   Most exciting/unexpected conversion boost? The most exciting conversion boosts for me are always in the adwords world. I’ve seen so many big wins (50% and above) from looking at the most trafficked keywords and adgroups and making sure they are being rerouted to the right URL, and the ads match the landing page content. If you’re spending a lot of money on adwords, make sure you do this every 6 months or so. You may have created landing pages in the meantime that would be better suited for the keywords you have. These could lead in conversion rate increases, quality score jumps and lower costs.   When to test personalization? I think personalization comes naturally after a lot of testing and shouldn’t be a goal you think of right away. When you start testing you start looking at the big wins - the areas where you’re getting the most traffic - but over time you start seeing different pockets of people start to emerge. These people could be those who at different points of the buying cycle, they might have different jobs, or might be from different countries. This is why going back to your adwords keyword list every 6 months is a good idea. You’ll start to learn about your customers over time and understand the intent of certain keywords. You’ll have a better idea of which landing pages will impact your bottom line (or at least which 2-3 you need to test).   Great CRO suggestions here, Tiffany! All of our clients and many businesses can learn a lot from these answers and boost their online conversions.   Thanks so much for your time, Tiffany! You’re a great CRO expert to start off our Conversion Conversation. How is your business testing and boosting conversions? ...
READ MORE