Optimizely Experience: Want 150% More Customers?


Optimizely Roadshow 2014: Turning Data into Action (Part 2)

Dan Siroker, Co-Founder and CEO of Optimizely presented last week in Atlanta at the Optimizely Experience 2014 Roadshow.  In his keynote, he posted a few questions: “Would you want…

  • 764% more social followers?
  • 23% more conversions?
  • 123% more content engagement?
  • Or 150% more customers?”

Does a one-legged duck swim in circles?   Of course we would!

Dan went on to show brand success stories in using Optimizely for a variety of tests to drive those results.  He presented testing types in 4 buckets:

  1. Capitalize on your traffic
  2. Optimize every channel
  3. Personalize your experiences
  4. Think like a scientist

Below is a recap of Dan’s examples directly from his presentation: here is a link

1. Capitalize on your traffic opportunity

Don’t look at a single channel but look across channels where customer activity is growing.

This was a fascinating way to show the lack of balance in industry focus… For every $92 spent on marketing (getting someone to your site), there is only $1 spent trying to convert them! (Source: IBM TeaLeaf, 2012).

Don’t throw more money at media if you aren’t looking at the experience and improving the backend!  A percentage gain in conversion rate has a longer-term impact and will be more profitable at the end of the day.   Shown below, when PR or a promotion goes into market it will have a short lived bump in traffic or conversions, but if you focus on conversion rate improvements you get longer term rewards.

Another example was Code.org’s campaign testing different text and calls to action led to an extra 12MM additional participants to their “Hour of Code” project.

Code.org Optimization of Experience

1. Optimize every channel

Understanding your channel performance and behaviors is important in testing.  Paid Search traffic will most likely act very differently from email or social traffic.  Therefore you can utilize Optimizely to serve different landing page versions back on the referral source.

Liftopia did this for Search engine traffic and simplified the landing page to see a 20% increase in conversions.  Easy change, nice reward.

Knowing your audience is key!  The opposite effect can also take place when testing if you forget to think about your audience.  IGN wanted to increase video views and tested moving the video link in the navigation to the far left (vs. far right).  Consequently the result was a 93% decrease in video conversions!  When digging into the data by segment the decrease came from returning visitors who simply didn’t see the video link where they were used to looking.  Know Your Audience!

1. Personalize your experiences

Using testing tools like Optimizely for personalization of experiences is done by a small percentage of those using these tools, but it is a great feature to tap into.  Again, if you know your audience and can tailor messaging and headlines to that audience it can pay off.   Iron Mountain personalized content based on audience segment and delivered a targeted message to spark a 123% increase in content engagement.

1. Think like a scientist

Dan urged us to “Think like a Scientist” and be not only idea-driven (curiously creative and questions conventional wisdom) but also data-driven (measure, analyze, optimize and iterate!)

Trunk Club is a great example of thinking like a scientist and going against conventional wisdom of using the shortest purchase path flow.  As marketers and web designers we try to reduce the friction in a conversion funnel and simply the process – usually by reducing the number of steps of pages in that check out process.  Trunk Club went the opposite way in expanding the number of pages, yet in a simple way.

The Result was a 133% more customers.  At the new conversion rate of adding customers the new check out process has the ability to generate $10-30MM in revenue the first year as Trunk Club customers.

Now that is worth testing for.

Happy testing, y’all.


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