5 Advanced Methods to Maximize Conversion Rates Using Remarketing Strategies

Plainly put, remarketing is merely common sense packaged in glossy corporate-buzzword-speak: the good old, veritably humane art of subtly reminding someone of what you want.  Parents do it.  Teachers do it.  Spouses do it.  And so do companies.  Of the 100 users who land on, let’s say, your landing page, most won’t buy. That doesn’t…

Plainly put, remarketing is merely common sense packaged in glossy corporate-buzzword-speak: the good old, veritably humane art of subtly reminding someone of what you want. 

remarketing meaning

Parents do it. 

Teachers do it. 

Spouses do it. 

And so do companies. 

Of the 100 users who land on, let’s say, your landing page, most won’t buy. That doesn’t mean they’d never buy. And you could bridge the gap between today’s abandonment and tomorrow’s BUY NOW, by remarketing. 

What’s more, you could validate your remarketing ideas and strategies by A/B testing them and taking decisions based on data as opposed to guesswork. 

What is remarketing in digital marketing?

Have you ever clicked on an online ad (say one showing a camera or laptop) but not actually gone through the act of purchase?

Remarketing is the repeated use of prompts to get a customer to follow through on something they showed interest in.

The visitor would find the same ad popping up now and again on various websites, including social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook. 

What we just described was retargeting (using cookies to chase the customer across the net). Remarketing would use email as well as cookies. They both have the same goal but use slightly different routes.

However, the two terms are used interchangeably and mean suggesting to the customer time and again to complete the purchase. 

The importance of remarketing in digital marketing lies in the fact that someone already showed an interest in the product. It is much easier to convert their interest to sale rather than try the same with a completely random person. 

That is enough reason to convince 56% of companies to depend on remarketing for customer acquisition. 

Abandoned Cart Mail

Five essential remarketing strategies to adopt in 2021

1. User segmentation

Analysis of your marketing campaign would reveal three types of visitors who respond to the initial advertisement.

  • Bounce: They hit the landing page and make a u-turn. The time spent is minimum, often less than 20 seconds, and they do not visit any other page.
  • Browse: These users stay on your site for several minutes and view different pages. Often they focus on a variation of the product they saw in the advertisement: a different model or something else that your site’s search algorithm shows them. They might purchase in the future and are researching.
  • Abandon: These users begin the buying process and add the product to the shopping cart but midway through checkout quit the platform. They could be distracted or have second thoughts about spending at the last minute. 

The remarketing strategy created by Google Adwords experts has to be carefully differentiated for these groups.

The first group is the least interesting. They have little or no value and perhaps landed on your page by mistake. 

The second group is more plausible. Perhaps they found cheaper prices elsewhere or maybe need a slightly varied product. Informing them about more choices is the best approach.

The last set is vital. They liked the product and the price. 

With a little nudge, they can be converted into sales. Pursue them aggressively since with a small amount of persuasion they would complete the purchase. Maybe a discount is all that is necessary. With an average 70% abandoned carts rate, it is essential to resort to remarketing to increase sales. 

Banner VWO Engage

2. Email remarketing

A crucial part of the remarketing process is the use of email for outreach. 

If a regular customer, whose email address is in the database, bounced off the website, he can be reached through email. Email applications such as MailChimp are invaluable in this regard. They have inbuilt tools that can track such activity and respond automatically.

What can you do through emails that are so unique? You have at your disposal at least a hundred words, often more, to convince the customer to visit you and complete the purchase.

An email is also a perfect way to throw in a customized offer. Someone who has purchased repeatedly in the past can be provided a hefty discount to entice them to spend more. Since they already know your quality of service, they are likely to accept if they feel they are getting a good deal.

3. Pixel remarketing

Cookies have for long been the accepted way for websites to track users. Comprising a line of code embedded inside the browser which reports back user activity to the server, it sends back information about the device and browsing session. 

A pixel is a special type of cookie. It is a tiny image. Google Adwords and Facebook are by far the most prolific users of tracking pixels.

Since usually a person is logged into these services 24×7 (at least on a smartphone) the pixel summons up the cookies as needed. 

Both Google and Facebook have a decent idea of the user profile (gender, location, type of content preferred, browsing habits, buying history), and use of a cookie alongside that makes for an unbeatable combination for highly effective remarketing campaigns.

One crucial benefit of pixel remarketing is that the strategy uses behavior-based algorithms that learn from past activity. The service already knows if the user accepts remarketing prompts or ignores them.

4. Google Display Network

GDN is a group of over 2 million sites where Google displays advertisements. These ads are either banner ads or short video clips, much like those that interrupt playback on YouTube.

GDN ads are persuasive and able to create a good impression. The most necessary element of online advertising is adequate space to convey a message and a banner advertisement serves that purpose admirably. 

To enable it, add the Google remarketing code into your website product pages and enable Adwords to show banners.

The use of well-placed tags tied to the Google Display Network is a sure-fire way to create conversions.

5. Target mobile users

Make it a point to reach out to those on mobile. 

Not only do mobile devices provide the bulk of internet searches but they are also used by younger consumers who can be persuaded more easily to make the purchase.

If you have a mobile app it is easier to target cart abandonment and other issues through push messages. Also, offers of exclusive discounts can be communicated without being intrusive.

Make app-specific purchases more lucrative than website-based purchases (Amazon does it regularly) and see your remarketing efforts hit a new high. 

Let the pros manage remarketing

The key to all the above is the successful management of Google Adwords and Facebook Business Manager.

Google controls your preferences through the Audience Manager. Google Ads offers filters that are complex and allow granular choices to be made. 

E.g. visitors of a page are classified into visitors of a page who also visited other pages, visitors of a page who did not visit other pages, visitors of a page during specific dates, visitors of a page with specific tags, etc. 

Similar changes can be made to Membership Duration (how long a customer would be retargeted), platforms (include or exclude YouTube or GDN). Every aspect of remarketing can be tailored to suit the specific business segment, size, and budget.

Facebook Business Manager is similar in its complexity. 

Besides, Facebook lets you target a specific age and gender (unlike Facebook, Google does not have access to age and gender).

A generic remarketing strategy without insight would not work at all. 

Because of this complexity, it is worthwhile to use a reputed digital marketing agency such as Uplers to manage your remarketing efforts.

They are affordable and take the burden off your shoulders. 

Having a professional team manage the remarketing and augment conversions while you focus on growing your product line and improving the after-sales service is the best way to grow your topline. 

Using VWO Engage for remarketing 

With VWO Engage you can send out push notifications for both desktop and mobile. You can craft effective messaging that is influenced by the behavior of your website visitors. For instance, you can develop onboarding campaigns for new users. You can also choose your target audience – whether its your entire subscriber base or a custom audience with specific behavioral properties and set up entry-exit triggers for the notifications. VWO Engage also offers in-depth reporting for each push notification campaign that you build. Take a 30day free trial to test it out yourself

Banner VWO Engage

10 Holiday eCommerce Conversion Optimization Strategies for 2021

Optimize your eCommerce site for holiday conversions with our 10 strategies for maximizing your conversion rate on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and more.

eCommerce conversion rates often seem like impossible figures to move, especially during the holiday season. After all, when you’re getting thousands of more users to your site looking for that perfect holiday gift, your conversion rate is bound to decrease. 

But you don’t just have to sit back and accept whatever this holiday season has in store for you. 

By testing and making changes today, you can get your online store in its best shape for the flurry of holiday shoppers that will soon be on their way. This is the busiest time of year, after all.

Today, we’ll recommend 10 strategies to consider for the 2021 holiday season, based on our experience working with dozens of online retailers over the past decade:

1. Implement a site code freeze.

2. If you don’t implement a site freeze, don’t rely on holiday test data.

3. Start running your tests now.

4. Get your site up to speed before anything else.

5. Add easy seasonal elements.

6. Minimize abandoned carts.

7. Focus messaging and navigation on gift-giving.

8. Emphasize scarcity and urgency.

9. Update recommender widgets.

10. Keep your eyes on the big picture.

10 Conversion Rate Strategies to Test for the 2021 Holiday Season

Last year, the eCommerce conversion rate for Black Friday was only 2.3% — a significant drop from 2019’s rate of 5.13%. You can blame a lot of factors (economic uncertainty, fewer holiday gatherings, etc.), but most of them can ultimately be traced back to COVID-19.

While 2021’s holiday conversion rate averages will be a mystery until the season concludes, you can still start planning ahead with these site optimization strategies:

1. Implement a site code freeze.

The holiday season is likely the busiest one for your online business, so you want to risk as few website issues as possible. Most companies will go into a site code freeze sometime after Halloween (and definitely before Thanksgiving) to prevent any last-minute errors that could decimate holiday sales.

If you’re going to test anything before the holiday season, we recommend doing so over the next few months. Then, confirm your site is working correctly — and “freeze” it until the holiday shopping sprees are complete.A few words of caution: Make sure all your code is actually complete before the freeze deadline, and that you’re on the same page with your developer about timelines for wish list items. A website code freeze won’t do you any good if you’re freezing poorly written or incomplete code.

2. If you don’t implement a site freeze, don’t rely on holiday test data.

Some of our clients decide against a code freeze during the holiday season, preferring to continue to run site tests during the holidays. That’s their prerogative, and it’s yours, as well, should you choose to do the same.

Because of the increased traffic of this season, some eCommerce businesses think it’s the best time to run tests. After all, more shoppers, more statistically significant results, right?

Not quite. The shoppers who come to your site on Black Friday and Cyber Monday are not your average customers. They have different goals and, thus, will behave differently. Their data is not what you should be basing your year-round strategy on.

Our recommendation: If you keep running tests during the holiday season, do not use that data to plan strategies for non-holiday periods.

Google Analytics sessions graph showing increase in traffic in December 2019, then sharp drop toward the end of December, then slight increase from January 2020 on.
Our clients typically experience traffic increases during the holidays, such as this 100,000 sessions increase at the start of December 2019.

3. Start running your tests now.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, it’s time to dive into potential site optimizations. If you want to run tests on or optimize your website for the holiday season, now’s the time to do it. 

Conversion tests typically take a long time to brainstorm, plan, and design — not to mention implement across your site. Even if you have the most responsive developer in the world, they will likely have a long list of to-dos for other clients. Of course, there’s also the tie it takes to run a test for statistically significant results. All in all, it can take at least three weeks (and more likely a month or more) to get the results you’re looking for.

If you’re sold on testing optimizations before the holidays, we recommend talking to your developer as soon as possible.

4. Get your site up to speed before anything else.

If your site is struggling to perform with your usual number of shoppers, it’s only going to get worse when the holidays open the floodgates. That’s why we recommend making your site speed your first priority before November.

Not sure where your website stands? Check out Google’s Page Speed Insights, and then loop in your technical SEO team to determine priority of certain optimizations, like:

  • Moving content to a CDN or caching pages
  • Optimizing your site code and removing unnecessary characters
  • Reducing redirects
  • Optimizing images
  • And more

5. Add easy seasonal elements.

Customers love the holidays, so plan for some easy holiday-themed messaging and images across your site. By adding global seasonal elements like a Santa Claus in the top navigation, you keep holiday shopping at the top of your customers’ minds (and give them a little holly jolly joy).

While you can’t test out these elements ahead of time (no one wants to see Santa Claus during Halloween), we’ve found these additions rarely do any sort of harm to conversion rates of our clients.

Seasonal element of Santa Claus and reindeer above website menu.

6. Minimize abandoned carts.

On Black Friday 2020, almost 80% of shoppers abandoned their shopping carts while browsing online. That’s a huge amount of lost revenue — but there are some strategies for bringing down that number for your eCommerce site.

Consider using some of these approaches:

  • Exit pop-ups offering discounts or promos
  • Abandoned cart email flows (loop in your email experts for this one)
  • Clarity on shipping costs from the start (more on that below)

7. Focus messaging and navigation on gift-giving.

Another way to avoid abandoned carts? Giving your customers a “wish list” or “save for later” option. Not only does this allow them to easily retain products, but it also gives them a convenient way of sending their list to family and friends asking about gift ideas.

While we haven’t seen this addition move the needle much on conversion rate, it’s usually an easy thing to add to your site and a huge bonus for certain subsets of customers.

Wishlist function for Bras n Things, showing two featured pajama products saved to customer's account.

On the same note, remember that many customers will be buying for others during this time. You can make the gift-giving process easier for them by:

  • Promoting gift cards front and center
  • Offering gift-wrap options
  • Detailing easy shipping and return policies on category and product pages

8. Emphasize scarcity and urgency.

People tend to want what they can’t have — and when there are only a few products left in stock, they’re much more likely to hit the “purchase” button. 

That’s why we recommend using scarcity notifications on your product pages, like so:

Product page with "Low Stock Alert" in red, emphasized button.

You should also incorporate shipping deadlines on your product pages, too. Shipping has been finicky for many eCommerce stores this year, so you should let your customers know what to expect — especially if they want to get a certain product by Christmas. By emphasizing your shipping cutoffs for the holidays, you urge shoppers to get their orders in now, rather than wait and run the risk of purchases not arriving in time:

Delivery options screen, with notification "Please note that we will not be able to guarantee that this will arrive in time for the holiday season."

9. Update recommender widgets.

Another hassle for eCommerce businesses since COVID? Problems with product stock and supply chains. Anticipate that certain popular products will sell out during the holiday season, and give your customers some alternatives to keep them on your site.

The easiest option is updating your product recommendations. Not only will this give your customers similar products in case their original query is out of stock, but it also boosts the chance that they will purchase additional products, as well.

"Other Customers Were Interested In" product recommendations of home science kits. "You Might Also Like" product recommendations of home science kits.

When we say “updating,” we actually mean doing it manually. 

Most product recommendations are automatically generated through your site’s algorithm — but remember that your shoppers behave differently during the holidays. We recommend looking at your historical holiday purchases, identifying which products were typically bought together, and updating your recommendations by hand for this once-a-year behavior.

10. Keep your eyes on the big picture.

In a list of tips about optimizing your conversion rate, it seems contradictory to tell you that it doesn’t really matter.

But that’s the actual truth.

During the holiday season, it all comes down to revenue. As mentioned above, you can expect your conversion rate to actually drop during the upcoming shopping frenzy — but it’s just a fact of numbers. More traffic means more visitors, who may or may not convert, which will lower your conversion rate.

Here’s an example: One of our clients (like most eCommerce businesses) experiences a spurt in traffic during November and December. Last year, it was a 100% increase. Even though their conversion rate dropped by 20%, their revenue numbers still went up by 100%, which is what they really cared about at the end of the day.

Ask yourself: Are you meeting the revenue targets you’ve set? How does your site revenue compare to past holiday seasons?

If those answers are satisfactory, you can laugh about your conversion rates all the way to the bank.

Get Started Today with a Team of Experts

Testing for conversion rate can be tricky. If you don’t do it right, you risk seriously harming your sales potential over the next few months.

Fortunately, you can avoid that risk by working with an eCommerce conversion optimization specialist, like those on Inflow’s team. These experts can evaluate your desktop and mobile sites, understand your goals and needs, and then incorporate them into a full-fledged strategy tailored to your specific site.

Curious? Request a free proposal anytime to see what our CRO team can do for you. 

In the meantime, happy optimizing, and may the holiday shopping odds be ever in your favor.

The Ultimate Handbook On Writing The Perfect Call-To-Action

Add To Cart. Start Free Trial. Click Here. Book Tickets. Learn More. How do these phrases make you feel? Do they make you want to click on a button or link? Yes, but only when they are positioned and designed correctly. With the right message, they urge you to take action — whether to get…

Add To Cart. Start Free Trial. Click Here. Book Tickets. Learn More. How do these phrases make you feel? Do they make you want to click on a button or link? Yes, but only when they are positioned and designed correctly. With the right message, they urge you to take action — whether to get more information about the product or service or make a purchase.

From email marketing and blogging to landing pages and social media posts, these phrases or Calls-To-Action (CTAs) tell your target audience what they should be doing once they click on the button or link. Simple examples of CTAs are “Shop Now!” and “Know More.”

The Ultimate Handbook On Writing The Perfect Call To Action

The more information you provide your potential customers through your CTA, the better. You can then persuade them to take immediate action utilizing a clear and direct message. A CTA comes in different forms:

  • Button
  • Text hyperlink
  • Plain text with no link

A CTA can also run longer, such as “Never miss an update from us; subscribe now!”. The possibilities are endless.

A/B test CTA alternatives with VWO

However, many marketing teams still neglect their CTAs across platforms. Research shows that 70% of small business websites lack a CTA on their homepage.

In fact, 90% of site visitors that read your hero banner also check out your CTA copy.

Therefore, you not only should use CTAs more often in your marketing but also learn to properly formulate them. This article is about the latter.

But before we jump into writing the perfect call-to-action, let us first study the key types of CTAs.

Key types of CTAs

1. Lead generator

Lead-generation CTAs aim to convert visitors into leads. Their placement is often strategic depending on where the content sees a high percentage of new visitors. This could be on the hero banner of the homepage.

If you use an eCommerce website builder, you can also easily place a CTA as a floating banner in the corner of the web page. This CTA should be visually appealing complemented by a crisp copy that communicates its value appropriately.

Lead Generator CTA
Image Source: Automizy

2. Social butterfly

Despite the rise of digital marketing, word-of-mouth still rules all forms of promotion. The digital version of “word of mouth” is, in fact, sharing the content through social media platforms. This comes in handy during blog promotions as you can create in-line sharing CTAs or add social sharing icons on the sidebar of posts to nudge readers to share within their network.

3. Continue reading

Have you ever come across CTAs such as Find Out More, Explore Our Products, and Learn More? These are the most used CTAs on websites, emails, and even social media posts. They help guide users to the page of their interest.

Continue Reading CTA
Image Source: Waste2

The copy should be convincing enough to make the user click. They work well on hero banners and can also be used for blogs and other resources.

Six ways to write a persuasive CTA

1. Using action words in the copy is a must

You have to be clear and direct with your CTA. You will not always get an option to write a sentence for a CTA. Therefore, it is best to get straight to the point asap. Tell your potential customers the action you want them to take. For instance:

  • Promoting a new eBook? Write a CTA like “Grab Your Free Copy” or “Download Now”.
  • Run an eCommerce store? Use words like “Buy,” “Order,” “Save,” and so on in your CTA.
  • Want your site visitors to share their contact details? Start your CTA copy with “Please share your details in the form below…”.

Let us go back to the eCommerce example. If you launched a new range of superhero t-shirts, you want to be sure your audience understands how to purchase those. Simply writing “Our latest superhero t-shirt collection is now available” is not going to cut it.

A call-to-action such as “Click here to buy your superhero t-shirt today” is more direct and informative. It compels your audience to go for it!

VWO’s GPT-3 powered AI copy generator can provide various copy alternatives for the existing CTAs on your page. Take a free trial to see how this works.

2. Creativity is key

Slapping a few words together would not make your CTA valuable. When writing calls-to-action, you need to strike a balance between wittiness and clarity. You want your CTA to be easily understood, but you also want to stay away from generic CTAs used by everyone else in the industry. So what do you do? Set context behind your CTA copy.

Netflix Creative CTA
Image Source: Netflix

Netflix plays it simple, but it gets creative with its surrounding copy, giving its customers a clear picture of what they will receive when they get started. Therefore, do not hesitate to get a little creative with your pitch.

3. Stir up those emotions

The idea behind writing a CTA is to elicit a response from your target audience. If your CTA is enthusiastic, your audience will be equally jumpy.

With a CTA like “Shop Now & Get 70% off!” you provide them with a massive benefit. And who would not be thrilled to avail such a high discount?

Similarly, a CTA like “Find Your Dream Home With Us” excites potential homeowners and makes them eager to click on it. Also, add an exclamation point and give your CTA copy a little extra kick. Here is what you can do to evoke an emotional response from your CTAs:

  • Add adjectives: “Book Your Dream Holiday With Us!”
  • Make a promise: “Lose 20 Kgs In 6 Weeks!” 
  • Leverage your USP: “Purchase Your Hand-Made Soap Today”
  • Back up with a number: “Buy Now & Get 70% off!”
  • Play upon their FOMO: “Get Your Free T-Shirt! Offer Stands Till Midnight”

Your CTA copy must be conversational even when it is intended to be transactional.

4. Take your audience to the land of promises

Show them what is in it for them? Will buying from you make them happy? Feel more satisfied? Get better at their jobs? Save money? Play on your USP because it is not enough to identify the problem faced by your customers. You have to make a solution available to them.

Project management tool Basecamp gives you the exact reason why a website visitor should sign up and use their software. The brand highlights their USP clearly, suggesting the user to give Basecamp a try in the CTA copy.

Basecamp CTA
Image Source: Basecamp

5. Appeal to their FOMO

Fear Of Missing Out or FOMO is an effective motivator. In an age of instant gratification, most people are scared of missing out on the latest trends. When they think they might lose out on an opportunity to experience something or benefit from it, they will quickly initiate action.

Pretty Little Thing CTA
Image Source: PrettyLittleThing

UK-based fashion retailer Pretty Little Thing sets a fantastic context for FOMO. It powerfully highlights the benefits that the customers would miss out on if they do not shop now.

From halving next-day delivery expenses to giving 10% off on mobile app downloads, the eCommerce store covers all its bases. It creates a deadline (without actually setting a date) and creates a real sense of fear to prompt the audience to act.

6. Play with colors and choose the best size

Colors matter when designing your CTA. A study by Emma shows that color is the main reason why 85% of people purchase a specific product or service. For example, orange initiates immediate action while blue builds trust and security.

Yellow creates a lower level of anxiety but gets attention. On the other hand, red increases a sense of urgency. You can also take help of the following color chart to understand which emotion relates to which color:

Colors And Emotions
Image Source: Forbes

Besides colors, find the best shape and size for your CTA button. A button size of 44 x 44px is recommended. The key is to make it stand out but not so much that it ruins your design. Also, round the corners of rectangular buttons. Our brains tend to avoid pointy corners.

Examples of some incredible CTAs

1. Sephora

Sephora gives all the reasons to its website visitors why they must check out their latest product line. The CTA is short and precise, directing the potential customers to check out the new Amika range on Sephora.

Sephora CTA
Image Source: Sephora

2. Tesla

The electric vehicle and clean energy company leverages its USP while marketing solar panels. The copy surrounding the CTA explains what the solar panels are for, shines a light on the costing, and shares three benefits customers will avail on ordering them.

Tesla CTA
Image Source: Tesla

3. Apple

This tech giant thrives on simplicity. Just like their products, Apple keeps its CTAs short and to the point. In their hero banner, it gives clear information about their latest phone range, i.e., iPhone 12, and Apple gives two CTAs to choose from.

iPhone CTA
Image Source: Apple

Remember, your audience can come to your website wanting different experiences. Apple knows this, and their homepage banner reflects that.

4. Spotify

As soon as you land on Spotify’s website, their goal is pretty straightforward. They want to nudge visitors to try out their service without the hassle of submitting their credit card details. The CTA “Get Spotify Free” is simple and self-explanatory.

Spotify CTA
Souce: Spotify

Besides, they use a stunning contrast of blue and green, drawing the visitors’ attention to the primary banner copy and the CTA.

AIDA: The framework model for CTA copy creation

Many copywriting models are used in this day and age. However, one has stood the test of time, i.e., AIDA — Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. And it can be personalized to write a compelling CTA copy.

Attention: The key is to formulate a copy that will grab the audience’s attention, provoke curiosity in them to learn more, or create a sense of urgency. Here is an example: “Limited Collection; Buy Now” — similar to what Pretty Little Things did.

Interest: The copy should be able to hold attention by generating interest. You can do so by demonstrating common consumer pain points, testimonials, or sharing interesting facts. You could write something like “Add To Wishlist” or “Check How Out Dave Fetched 50K Unique Visitors For His Website.”

Desire: Sell your benefits, not your product or service. Use persuasive, motivating language to spark the necessary willingness to convert mere readers into customers. An example could be “Lose 20 Kgs With Us In 6 Weeks!” 

Action: This is rather direct and you nudge your potential customers to take the next step, i.e., “Subscribe To Our Newsletter,” “Download A Brochure,” “Add To Cart.”

Find the CTA that appeals to your visitors

While the best practices and examples of effective CTAs make a good starting point for researching CTA design and copy, the only way to remove guesswork from this exercise is by A/B testing various CTA alternatives along with their positioning. 

PriceCharting, a US based company that provides current and historic prices of new and rare video games and consoles such as Atari 2600 and Super Nintendo, changed its CTA from “Download” to “Price Guide” and increased click throughs by 620.9%! You can read details about this A/B test here.

Banner A/b testing

Over to you

Writing the perfect CTA is challenging but fun. Some key points to remember are to keep the CTA copy short and relevant and place them in an ideal position where they are likely to get higher impressions.

Of course, you would not get your CTAs right the first time, so be sure to experiment a lot and monitor which CTAs are fetching you maximum clicks. You will soon get the hang of writing CTAs that get you the desired results.

Reimagining conversion rates as a function of time

Conversion rate computation is a common practice when it comes to monitoring performance in businesses. If you want to determine how many leads have converted, you simply divide the total number of conversions by the total number of leads. This approach works well when conversions take place within a short time (a few hours). However,…

Conversion rate computation is a common practice when it comes to monitoring performance in businesses. If you want to determine how many leads have converted, you simply divide the total number of conversions by the total number of leads. This approach works well when conversions take place within a short time (a few hours). However, when conversions take place after a significant delay of days, weeks, or even months, how do you ensure that you’re computing your conversion rate correctly?

Reimagining Conversion Rates As A Function Of Time

The problem with delayed conversions

When the conversion is delayed, visits are labeled as non-conversions without sufficient observation allocated to them. Suppose you care about the lead-to-purchase rate of an expensive product. You may get thousands of leads for that product; however, a purchase can take several days or weeks from the day of the customer’s first visit. So if a visitor is marked non-converted after her initial visit, it will lead to a highly reduced conversion rate, which is misleading.

To make VWO reporting more insightful, our data science team took on the challenge of developing a strategy for looking at conversion rate appropriately in experiments where conversions happen after a significant delay. In this article, I will share our learnings from this exercise, and towards the end, I will also share why we didn’t pursue it further.

The standard approach of computing conversion rate

We analyzed a test with delayed conversions that ran on our platform. Following are the stats of the campaign that ran on VWO

VWO Campaign stats

To compute the expected conversion rate, we can simply divide total conversions by the total number of visitors.  Also, by using an appropriate Bayesian or Frequentist methodology, we can further obtain uncertainty in its estimation. But what if some conversions happen after a delay? How do these estimates get impacted?

To understand this, let’s observe how the distribution of time to convert in each variation looks.

Conversion delay distribution chart

From the plot, we can see that while most conversions are happening within a day, some visitors take up to 22 days to convert. If not provided sufficient observation time, several conversions will get marked as non-conversions. To understand the impact of this, let’s look at the daily conversion-rate plot – 

Daily conversion rate chart

From the plot, it looks like the conversion rate decreases with time. Does that mean visitors in the later days of the test have less tendency to convert than those in the start? Not really. We didn’t give users arriving in a later stage sufficient time to convert and labeled them as non-conversion; hence the observed conversion rate started decreasing.

So what can be done about this?

Easy solution – choose a fixed cool-off period during which a visitor will not be considered in conversion rate computation. This way, we can control incorrectly labeled non-conversions. With this approach, however, we will not be able to utilize the information available to us about the conversions that happened in the cool-off period and we won’t know the conversion rates of the cool-off period.  Also, it could be tough to come up with an appropriate threshold for a cool-off period in many situations.

Why does delayed conversion analysis matter in an A/B test?

If conversions happen right after the visits, there is no issue in looking at the standard conversion rates. However, the problem arises when there is a delay and the objective is to find a variation that provides:

  • Early conversions – Suppose you wish to promote a festive sale with your homepage banner and you are looking for a variation that gets you more clicks on it at the earliest. Here the objective is to find a banner that could grab the attention and entice users to click it immediately.
  • Long-term conversions – Suppose you are a personal loan finance company and you wish to test two loan provisioning strategies where each strategy has its own unique features. Here conversions could take several days to happen, and you want to find a strategy that has the potential to give you higher conversions in the long term.

Now imagine you compute conversion rate using the standard approach; in that case, you are likely to miss out on the objectives mentioned above, where time to convert is a metric of great importance for decision making.

Estimating conversion rate as a function of time

To deal with delayed conversions, we explored Survival Analysis, which is known for analyzing time until one or more events happen. Using Kaplan–Meier estimation, a non-parametric technique to estimate survival rate, we can calculate conversion rates more formally. 

Variation comparison cohort

In this graph, the x-axis shows how much time has passed since visitors became a part of the test, and the y-axis shows the conversion rate. So, in Variation 1, the conversion rate of visitors that have got 23 days to convert in the test shows a conversion rate of 9.57%, and visitors that only had three days show a conversion rate of 5.03%.

By looking at conversion rate as a function of time, we can understand the conversion behavior of visitors towards a variation. This curve is monotonically increasing by nature. 

Let me now explain how to interpret this curve. Suppose 1000 visitors become part of the test today; then the above plot says that if I observe them for 23 days, by the end of the 23rd day, 95 of them will convert.

The cohort plot is essentially an A/B test where a variation compares to other variations at different times. Using Kaplan–Meier, we can also obtain the uncertainty bounds on conversion rate over time, representing the beliefs over estimates based on the observed data.

Estimating behavior change of visitors towards a variation

By extending the above approach, we can also compare how within a variation conversion behavior of early visitors who became part of the test is different from those who participated in later stages. No change in behavior would mean an overlap of all curves.

Variation wise weekly cohort

The above plot suggests that visitors of early cohorts have a higher tendency to convert than visitors in later stages. This difference could be due to some newness effect observed in the earlier cohorts that is not present in later cohorts. 

A weekly cohort plot enables us to perform apple to apple comparison between the response rate of recent cohorts with old cohorts.

Why did we choose not to add this feature to VWO SmartStats reports?

Cohort analysis is a great approach to look at the accurate picture of conversion delay to conversion rate. However, to add it to our reports, it was essential for us to understand its impact on our existing customers and how useful it would be for them, considering the tests they run on VWO. We analyzed all tests that ran on our platform in a year to evaluate the impact and discovered less than 3% of campaigns that had the below characteristics:

  •  A median conversion time longer than a day.
  • A median difference of more than a day between the conversion times of control and variation. 

From the analysis of VWO data, we realized conversion delay isn’t a big issue in most tests that run on VWO. Hence, to keep our SmartStats reporting intuitive and straightforward to understand, we decided not to add this feature to our primary reporting. We plan to continue studying the effects of conversion delay and would love to talk to customers who might be interested in this functionality.

If you are interested in this feature and conversion delay is a cause of concern in your conversion rate estimation, we’ll be happy to discuss your use case in detail. Please reach out to us at pm@wingify.com.

How Optimizing Your Checkout Page Is Different From Optimizing Your Landing Page

Your checkout page is undeniably the “holy grail” of your website if that’s where you are monetizing your products or services. It’s the ultimate destination to which every graphic, text box, and CTA on your website should be driving your user traffic. After all, the checkout page is where you (hopefully!) close the sale. Landing…

Your checkout page is undeniably the “holy grail” of your website if that’s where you are monetizing your products or services. It’s the ultimate destination to which every graphic, text box, and CTA on your website should be driving your user traffic. After all, the checkout page is where you (hopefully!) close the sale. Landing pages are also critical since their success depends on whether or not users take the next step to become—hopefully—future customers.

By the time the shopper reaches the checkout page, they have already visited the first stages of the conversion funnel. At the top, you’ve intrigued them with your most impressive features, and helped them see that your company has the right solution for their problem, which leads them to continue their way down to the middle of the funnel. It’s here that you give them rich content that does even more to convince them that they are, indeed, in the right hands.

How Optimizing Your Checkout Page Is Different From Optimizing Your Landing Page

What, exactly, is the conversion funnel?

Before we discuss optimizing checkout pages and landing pages, let’s take a look at this funnel’s overall structure in a little more detail:

Top of the Funnel: Awareness

Your shopper is cruising around the internet, seeking a solution to their problem, and they’ve discovered that your company might be able to supply it. This is your chance to show them you’re worth a shot—your CTA highlights your products’ features and provides links to the excellent educational content you have to share. If you play it right, these visitors will be hooked and will want to know more (and will happily move down to the middle of the funnel).

Middle of the Funnel: Consideration

Okay, you’ve made it this far—shoppers are digging deeper and this is your chance to convince them you’re the right partner. The CTA? An abundance of free information like blog posts, webinars, videos, reports, and guides, all sharing the benefits of your product and the outcomes your customers would achieve with it. This is where you show them how your product will solve your customers’ problems, not just detail its features. 

Bottom of the Funnel: Conversion

This is the fun part. It’s time to close the sale. Your prospective customers add your product to their shopping carts, type in their payment information, and click “Buy Now.”

What are landing pages and checkout pages, and where do they fall in the purchase funnel?

The first stage of the conversion funnel is a Landing Page, which gets your leads interested in your product, convinces them that its benefits might merit a purchase, and, most importantly, collects their contact information so they are now a part of their pool of customers.

Lead Generation Landing Page By VWO
Lead generation landing page by VWO

Unlike web pages, these specific landing pages are designed with a single promotion, focus, or goal, known as a call to action (or CTA, for short). Your customers reach the landing page at the top of the funnel, after they click a link in an ad, email, or anywhere else on the web.

There are two types of landing pages, and the key to successful conversions is driving as much traffic to these pages as possible, early in the funnel: 

  • Lead generation landing pages have a form as their CTA, which usually collects basic info for the customer like name and email address, in return for something free, like an eBook or webinar.
  • Click-through landing pages move straight to a sale or subscription, and are often used by eCommerce and SaaS (software-as-a-service) marketers; their CTA is usually a button that sends the customer into the checkout flow to complete the transaction, or to the sign-up page.

The Checkout Page is at the “bottom of the funnel” stage of your conversion funnel. It displays all the products the user has added to the shopping cart and culminates when the customer places, submits, and pays for their order.

Checkout Page By 2checkout
Checkout page by 2Checkout

Your visitors have only reached your checkout page, the last part of the funnel, because you have successfully convinced them at the top and middle of the funnel that you can solve their problem. All you need is for them to click on that “Buy” button.

As they progress from the top of the funnel, however, they are also more likely to drop off before they make the purchase. Recent research from Baymard Institute revealed some of the interesting statistics: 

  • 61% of shoppers abandoned carts because the extra costs, including shipping and taxes, were too high.
  • 35% of shoppers abandoned carts because the sites wanted them to create accounts to complete orders.
  • 27% abandoned carts because the checkout process was too long and/or complicated.
  • 18% abandoned carts because they didn’t trust the site with their billing information.
  • 8% abandoned carts because their preferred payment method was not accepted.

What can you do to guarantee they won’t abandon the checkout page, despite having reached it? Here is where conversion rate optimization (CRO) comes in.

Reduce Checkout Churn with VWO

Why is CRO so important to increase conversions?

Fortunately, with strategic optimizations to your landing pages and, as we will cover in-depth here, your checkout page, you can ensure that more of your customers reach the bottom of the funnel and successfully convert. 

CRO can improve the experience on your website for your users, with the end goal to increase your conversions, which may be a product purchase, an event registration, an eBook download, or newsletter signup.

Why is CRO so important? The statistics tell the story. Smart Insights recently shared a useful visual of the average conversion funnel, illustrating how traffic moves through the conversion funnel.

Conversion Funnel
Image Source: [1]

At the top, where users enter your website, you can claim to hold the interest of 100% of them. By the time you look at product page views, further down the funnel, you’re down to 43.8% of the original users. Only 14.5% add products to their cart, and only 3.3% actually make the purchase. 

With effective conversion rate optimization (CRO), you can find the deficiencies in your checkout cart, widen those areas of the funnel where you may be losing customers, and improve every stage within the funnel to help guarantee conversions.

How does CRO work?

For both landing pages and checkout pages, the design of the optimization process is the same:

  1. Objectives/hypothesis. This involves using in-depth research to uncover a combination of issues and opportunities on a website, ranking each in order of their expected impact on the conversion goal(s). Variations of each of these issues is created to be tested against the original.
  2. Conducting the A/B test (with control and variable). The current version is tested against the variation to see if performance is improved. Some examples of metrics that might be tested would be conversion rate, average order value (AOV), and abandoned checkouts.
  3. Measuring results. When the results are in, it’s important to compare various segments to make sure that the right changes are being implemented. Data can be segmented, by mobile versus desktop, iPhone versus Android, or paid versus organic, among others.
Blog Banner 2checkout Guest Post For Vwo V2 Center Copy

There are also CRO variations among landing pages and checkout pages. 

  • Focus – Optimization on the checkout page is more focused, and designed for people who are already interested in the product, so any minor change made will have an impact on the conversion rate.
  • Number of elements – As a rule of thumb, elements are added to landing pages to try to increase the conversion rate, while on the checkout page it’s more common to remove elements to increase the conversion rate (including fewer form fields, purchase steps, and time to load).

Ease of use – For the checkout page, UX takes a more important role, and every step, button, and field must be as easy and intuitive to use as possible.

A/B testing for checkout pages: Why is it important and what should be tested?

AB Testing A Checkout Page

The checkout page is, undeniably, the most critical stage of the shopper’s journey, and not even a well-designed website can save a poorly chosen checkout flow. Your A/B testing will be invaluable to help determine what can be optimized to improve conversions, but testing the checkout page is different than testing other website pages. 

Your checkout page has many attributes that your shoppers will have distinct preferences about: some may prefer a one-column template over a two-column template; others want fewer fields to fill out, with just email (not street address) and a field that combines first and last name; still others want a review page included in the purchase flow while some don’t want it included.

Consistency on the checkout page is also very important, with product information, price, and branding appearing the same on the checkout page as throughout the funnel. 

After you’ve thoroughly reviewed your checkout page, you should have some hypotheses about what some of these customer preferences are and how you can improve them. A good hypothesis includes an “If . . . then” statement to show cause and effect and is linked your customer’s behavior as well as the desired outcome. For example, “By combining the first and last name fields and asking only for an email address, the customer is less likely to feel frustrated and not complete the order.”

Next, you will also need to prioritize these hypotheses and formulate a test plan. You’ll decide how long the testing will go on (15 days or two 7-day business cycles is usually adequate to reach statistical significance with a confidence level of 95%). And, of course, you’ll have your list of things to test. Following are some specific examples of test options:

  • Cart flow. One-page (your shoppers land on the billing page having the product options already added to their shopping cart; and one page checkout with review (the shopping cart summary, billing information, and the payment details are all on the same page).
  • Cart template and design. Test CTA’s, position of fields and buttons, discounts and offers, and presence of security badges. How many fields need to be filled out, and is auto-fill an option? 
  • Payment methods. Test offering multiple payment methods, a preselected payment option, and PayPal, where the user is redirected to another site to complete their order.
  • Localization. If you are selling at the global level, localization of the checkout may be instrumental in successful conversions. Consistency is key, however; if the checkout page is localized then other stages of the funnel should also be localized (language, currency, logo, colors, and branding).

Metrics to track

Cart abandonment rate, revenue per visitor, loading time, interaction rate (how many users start filling in the payment form), preferred payment method, average time to purchase, checkout page conversion rate, payment fail rate, and authorization rate.

What should be A/B tested for landing pages?

Landing page optimization is defined as a process of improving the performance of various page elements to help ensure that they get your business the highest possible conversions from visitors who arrive on these targeted pages.

Some areas to test

  • The headline.
  • Your call to action.
  • Any images you use.
  • The sales copy or product descriptions.

Metrics to track

Page views, bounce rate, average time spent on page, sessions by source, and goal completion.

For a comprehensive guide to A/B testing for landing pages, read VWO’s “Landing Page Optimization” for everything you need to know about making the most of this important piece of the conversion funnel.

Post-testing optimizations to consider

Depending on the results from your A/B testing, there are a number of different optimization tweaks and features you can build into the checkout and/or landing pages, including:

  • Build a sense of urgency. Tell the customer how low the product inventory is for the item they’ve chosen or how long a special price will last, or offer free shipping, but only for a short period of time.
  • Avoid surprise costs, like taxes and added delivery costs.
  • Send abandon cart emails within 24 hours.
  • Include multiple payment options.
  • Feature security and trust seals prominently, to gain the shopper’s trust.
  • Use live chat to answer any questions that might impede a purchase.
  • Offer guest checkouts for those who don’t want to fill out a lot of fields.
  • Simplify checkout – use an address lookup service to automatically find addresses and zip codes; autofill form data from information stored in a browser or password manager; retain customer information so repeat customers don’t have to enter it again; automatically copy shipping information to the billing information field if they’re the same.
  • Optimize the checkout button. Make it stand out, and consider putting checkout buttons both at the top and bottom of the page or cart contents.
  • Show the checkout flow with a progress bar, so that users can see their progress and are less likely to get discouraged and abandon the cart.

Conclusion

Conversion rate optimization strategy is the cornerstone of any website, and critical to build your conversion rate and increase revenue. Creating the best conversion funnel to achieve this can be tricky, especially with increasing online competition. 

The conversion rate optimization process needs to encompass the entire customer journey, from the first time they find your business via Google search results all the way through to clicking “Buy Now.” 

One thing is clear: whether they are concentrating on landing pages or their checkout page, or both, businesses need to continue to research, implement, and test ways to make their customer experience as seamless as possible to increase conversions and build the loyalty of their customer base. 

An eCommerce Marketer’s Definitive Guide to Visual Search

Google is constantly changing its algorithms and updates, and eCommerce brands looking to outperform the competition need to stay abreast of these changes. One significant new trend in this regard is visual search. Research shows 62% of Gen Z, and millennial consumers want visual search functionality, while nearly 23% of Google search queries yield images….

Google is constantly changing its algorithms and updates, and eCommerce brands looking to outperform the competition need to stay abreast of these changes. One significant new trend in this regard is visual search.

Research shows 62% of Gen Z, and millennial consumers want visual search functionality, while nearly 23% of Google search queries yield images. At the same time, only about 8% of eCommerce brands have added visual search to their site experience.

Clearly, this is a huge untapped opportunity that you would do well to capitalize on before your competitors catch up.

An Ecommerce Marketers Definitive Guide To Visual Search

What is visual search?

Essentially, visual search refers to search made about or with images. The most common way for users to do this is through Google Image search, either by entering keywords and looking for matching images or searching through image files for the original source.

One significant step forward in this direction is Google Lens, which allows users to add calendar events, find recipes, take photos of products they like, and learn where to find them online.

Visual Search
Image Source: [1]

Social media platforms like Pinterest also have functionalities that allow users to shop with the help of pictures they take. Similarly, individual brands like Neiman Marcus have their versions of visual search tools.

The luxury retailer, for instance, has embraced experimentation by launching a feature in their mobile app called “Snap. Find. Shop.”

Their customers can take pictures of any shoe, handbag, or clothing through their phone camera. The app would then scan the Neiman Marcus inventory to see if they carried an item similar to the item in the photo.

The innovative app makes product recommendations that the customer can purchase from the app itself. Due to this functionality, Neiman Marcus has been able to increase its overall app usage and customer engagement significantly, thereby reducing customer churn.

Why visual SEO matters

At present, there are over 1.8 billion websites on the Internet, and that number is going up every day. To stand out among all that competition, you need a good reason for customers to look at your website rather than anyone else’s, and strong visuals are a big part of that. Here is why visual content is your new best friend when it comes to site SEO:

1. Conveys more information

Today’s customers are comfortable when it comes to Internet searches. It is not surprising since 50% of site visitors decide whether to keep browsing a site or abandon it within eight seconds.

You thus have only a small window of time in which to make an impact — and visuals, with their high retention rate, allow visitors to learn much more about your site within that small window than a block of text would.

Visual Seo Conveys More Information
Image Source: [2]

Therefore, invest in creating high-quality infographics, charts, and data visualizations that sum up important information in an eye-catching manner, and position them on your webpage in a way that site visitors cannot miss.

Ab Test Your Images With Vwo

2. Attracts more links

Backlinks are critical to establishing your website as domain authority, in addition to being one of the biggest search ranking factors.

While backlinking remains a challenge for SEO executives, having strong visual content such as a data-packed infographic can boost your backlinks in much less time than a blog post or other text-based content would.

Therefore, help the process along by promoting your infographic among your professional network, follower base, and content influence — the more popular it becomes, the more likely it is that sites will link to it.

3. Improves average site visit length

The longer visitors spend on your website, the higher your search rankings go, especially since Google launched the Rankbrain algorithm in 2015. Having an infographic, a video clip, or even an evocative image on your website’s landing page is an instant attention grabber. It creates a feel-good vibe that encourages the visitor to stay longer.

Moreover, 95% of purchases are driven by emotion. That makes visuals an essential and powerful sales tool. They can efficiently communicate valuable information about your business offering, which significantly increases the chances of getting more conversions.

To convert the people you are sending to your website, you must opt for proper conversion rate optimization to get more out of your existing website traffic. Strong visuals can help you achieve this goal comfortably.

Use Vwo For Cro

4. Boosts social activity

There is a strong correlation between a website’s social presence and its SEO rankings. The more social activity you enjoy, the likelier it is to generate clicks.

Plus, new social media algorithms make it much likelier for image-based content to show up on people’s feeds than text-based content — which makes it all the more critical for you to invest in solid visuals for your Facebook and Instagram pages.

Tips to optimize visual search for your business

Image-based search technology will only evolve over the next few years, and eCommerce websites that do not come along for the ride are bound to suffer. Here are some easy tips on how to incorporate visual search into your site optimization and appeal to the new generation of visual-first buyers:

1. Add images to your sitemap

Build up an extensive library of high-quality original images and include them on your sitemap so that visual search engines can quickly scan them. Be sure to have a system of organizing them, such as by URL. With the help of an image sitemap, you will give Google crawlers more information about the photos — and make them more susceptible to show up in search.

Site Map With Images
Image Source: [3]

2. Size your images correctly

When it comes to image sizing for your website, remember that less is more. Excessively large images will only slow down the load time and bring down the user experience on various browsers and devices. This would obviously hamper your search rankings in the long run.

Before uploading your images, use a compressor such as TinyPNG to bring them down to an optimal size without compromising quality or the proper proportions.

It would be best to choose an image file type that lends itself to adaption and compression — JPEG is usually the best. For videos, AVI works best.

3. Name your images properly

Search engine bots will be scanning your image file names besides the images themselves. Be sure to add a unique and relevant name and a short but descriptive alt text to each. This way, even if the bot cannot recognize what your image contains, it can refer to your file name and alt text for the right keywords and feature you in search results.

For instance, if you have a photo of Notre Dame on one of your landing pages, the file name should not be DSC1456.jpg. A proper file name would be “notre-dame-paris,” ensuring the main subject of your landing page is at the beginning of the file name.

4. Include alt tags

As mentioned above, alt tags are essential for search engine bots scanning your site. However, they are also helpful for consumers using screen readers to browse your website. Even if those consumers cannot see the image, alt text gives them an idea of its contents. When writing alt text, be sure to keep it clear and relevant for the reader — do not stuff keywords in for its sake.

Image Alt tag examples
Sources: [4]

A typical alt text: <img src=”escalator.jpg” alt=”man on escalator”>

A converting alt text: <img src=”escalator.jpg” alt=”man wearing backpack walking down an escalator”>

Alt text can help you rank in Google Images, which is responsible for 20.45% of all online searches worldwide.

5. Optimise your eCommerce site for text search

While visual search should undoubtedly be a focal area, you do not want to forget about ranking for traditional text-based search either. Optimize your eCommerce site’s text for SEO and be as careful about your keywords, headlines, alt tags, and metatags as you would be for your image file names and alt tags. Do not forget to A/B test them over time to see what works for your site and what does not.

6. Add captions

Captions provide context for your images and also weave it in with the rest of the text content on the webpage. You may use the same image more than once on your website, but add different captions to suit different contexts.

Captions with relevant keywords help boost your search engine results and boost the customer’s reading experience by providing details about the fabric and design theme for an image of a dress.

7. Upgrade your chatbot

Several chatbots now offer visual search functionalities as well. If you are serious about optimizing your website for visual search, adding a chatbot like this can streamline conversations with site visitors.

The chatbot provides links to relevant images as real-time answers to queries. For instance, if someone asks about summer clothing on an apparel website, the chatbot can respond with images from the latest summer collection.

American Eagle Outfitters, for instance, has a chatbot that asks questions to visitors and makes product recommendations based on the information collected.

Upgrade Your Chatbot
Image Sources: [5]

8. Optimize your social media visuals

Particularly on channels like Instagram, having the right visual appeal is key to attracting and retaining customers.

Apart from using high-quality images, pay attention to how your feed looks — for instance, Instagram uses a grid layout, so you want each photo you upload to complement the other ones around it visually.

Moreover, to attract the attention of shoppers, your Instagram feed needs to reflect your brand aesthetics appealingly.

For instance, if your retail brand stands for earth-friendliness, create an Instagram feed representing just that. Your choice of images needs to reflect your brand aesthetics.

Optimize Your Social Media Images
Image Source: [6]

Infuse warm and earthy vibes through the artistic selection of your product photos. Plus, use the right hashtags so that your images are easily searchable, and be sure to post at the optimal times for maximum engagement.

Wrapping it up

As Google continues to push the boundaries of what search is and what it can be, eCommerce marketers need to plan for the future of search, which at the moment, is exceptionally visuals-focused.

Since online shoppers cannot touch or feel a product, they depend heavily on images to make purchase decisions. Therefore, it is essential to optimize eCommerce sites for visual search. What do you think?

How Seattle Southside RTA Increased Visitor Guide Conversions

One of the most common challenges for a destination is accurately capturing a visitor’s intent to visit and ensuring that a personalized experience leads to both clicks and goal conversions. Visitor Guides, often referred to as Travel Planners, are an essential way to track intent to visit.   Like many other destinations, Seattle Southside Regional Tourism… Read More

The post How Seattle Southside RTA Increased Visitor Guide Conversions appeared first on Bound.

One of the most common challenges for a destination is accurately capturing a visitor’s intent to visit and ensuring that a personalized experience leads to both clicks and goal conversions. Visitor Guides, often referred to as Travel Planners, are an essential way to track intent to visit.  

Like many other destinations, Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority’s Travel Planner requests remain a critical goal in tracking website engagement.  In Fall 2019, the Seattle Southside RTA team saw a decrease in their Travel Planner request conversions, both year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter. Furthermore, the team found that the gap between their Targeted and Default audience increased, highlighting that this goal had become a more challenging conversion point for audiences.

With the intent of increasing Travel Planner conversions, the Seattle Southside RTA team decided to refresh their content with a seasonal focus on their imagery.  They first created two versions of Travel Planner content, both with gorgeous Fall scenery highlighting the region’s colorful season.  

Launching the content as an A/B test, the Seattle Southside RTA team was amazed at the increased engagement.  Within the first few weeks, this new content saw an 8% increase in Click Through Rates (CTRs) over their regular Travel Planner content.  Better yet, the team saw a 15% increase in Travel Planner conversions within the first month of the new content running.

Encouraged by this initial response, the team continued to run the seasonal content until the last few weeks of the year.  Quarter over quarter, the team saw a 26% increase in conversions, with a year-over-year increase of 43%!  Using the new Goal Dashboard, the Seattle Southside RTA team was able to further breakdown the conversion rate for each of the new content pieces allowing them to see that the new content pieces not only had higher CTRs, but also much higher conversion rates vs their original content. The team found a 79% increase in conversions for their Desktop content, as well as a 63% increase for their Mobile content.

Inspired by the results of their A/B test, Seattle Southside RTA plans on launching more tests for goal related content with seasonal imagery.  Knowing that the new Goal Dashboard allows for a deeper level of insight into their testing, the Seattle Southside RTA team is better equipped to deepen their visitor’s personalization journey to increase goal conversions and engagement.

Congratulations to Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority for a job well done!

 

Interested in increasing your conversions?  Personalization can help you get there.  We’d love to chat with you more about making it happen!

 

The post How Seattle Southside RTA Increased Visitor Guide Conversions appeared first on Bound.

A Well Balanced Content Personalization Diet: 3 New Years Resolutions to Increase Goal Conversions

Happy New Year, travel marketers! The beginning of January always brings its own kind of magic with resolutions and the opportunity to both reflect on the past year and look towards the next.  It’s also a time that, if I can be honest, is a little overwhelming with the pressure of setting life-changing goals. And… Read More

The post A Well Balanced Content Personalization Diet: <br/>3 New Years Resolutions to Increase Goal Conversions appeared first on Bound.

Happy New Year, travel marketers! The beginning of January always brings its own kind of magic with resolutions and the opportunity to both reflect on the past year and look towards the next.  It’s also a time that, if I can be honest, is a little overwhelming with the pressure of setting life-changing goals. And it’s not only personal goals! Working within the digital marketing space I feel that every other content piece is focused on “new year, new marketing strategy” resolutions that couldn’t be easier to implement – or so the articles read…

At Bound, we’re big believers in starting where you’re at, especially when it comes to personalization and your marketing strategy.  That’s why one of our resolutions this year is to focus on something that we know has an impact: optimizing our goal conversions

When it comes to our monthly content reports, few things give our Customer Success Managers more joy than seeing an increase in click through rates on goal related content pieces.  But as fun as these increases are to see, we are even more thrilled by increases in the goal conversions themselves. As we’ve become increasingly aware of the important relationship between clicks and conversions – and the very different stories each can highlight when they don’t align  – we’re excited to share our new Goal Dashboard and highlight three resolutions on increasing your conversions in 2020:

Read More (into your A/B tests):

When in doubt about your content, run an A/B Test!  While click through rates can certainly highlight your audience’s preferences for the imagery, copy or CTA, how do you account for the content’s impact on the actual conversion?  Within the new Goal Dashboard, you can now compare conversion rates against your campaigns, segments and pieces of content, allowing for a deeper level of insight. We recently took a closer look at an eNewsletter related A/B test we have been running with a DMO.  Month over month, we found that one content piece had consistently less clicks than the other. However, in comparing the conversion rates between the two pieces, we saw that the content piece with a lower CTR had a considerably higher conversion rate. This comparison helped us see the value of a content piece we might have otherwise removed and will help inform future A/B tests.

Exercise (your understanding of your Mobile and Desktop visitors differences):

As we’ve written about before, there are many things to take into consideration when creating content for your Desktop and Mobile visitors.  Goal conversions are no different, especially given that our Mobile visitors are often less likely to convert. Within the new Goal Dashboard, we can now dive into the conversion rates for our different segments across campaigns, allowing us to compare, for example, fly-ins served to desktop visitors and banners served to mobile audiences.  Layering in this insight can help us develop content best suited for each of our unique visitors groups.

Spend Less (time guessing how your content is performing):

Over the past few years, we’ve increasingly become fans of thoughtful “abandonment” content and the way these direct CTAs can increase conversions for visitors who have initiated, but not completed, a conversion goal.  While we often see this content with high CTRs, it can be challenging to determine how exactly this content contributes to the overall goal. Thankfully, our new Goal Dashboard takes the guesswork out of content creation and helps us see exactly which Abandonment content is best contributing to the goal. 

Our hope for your 2020 is that your conversion related content is directly increasing your goal conversions (leaving you with more time to increase engagement for your ad visitors!)   Knowing that goal conversions are a vital piece to understanding your visitors intent to travel, we’re excited that our new Goal Dashboard will bring new awareness and insight this year.  Cheers to you and your increased conversions!

Want to learn more about the Goal Dashboard or personalizing to increase your conversions?  We’d love to chat with you and hear all about your 2020 marketing resolutions!

The post A Well Balanced Content Personalization Diet: <br/>3 New Years Resolutions to Increase Goal Conversions appeared first on Bound.

How Denver Increased Engagement for Ad Visitors

With the launch of their “always on” regional “Reclaim the Weekend” ad campaign, VISIT DENVER faced the challenge of how to keep their main landing page relevant. The regional effort, which promotes visiting Denver for a long weekend, targets a wide variety of personas that change monthly. Instead of creating multiple new landing pages every… Read More

The post How Denver Increased Engagement for Ad Visitors appeared first on Bound.

With the launch of their “always on” regional “Reclaim the Weekend” ad campaign, VISIT DENVER faced the challenge of how to keep their main landing page relevant. The regional effort, which promotes visiting Denver for a long weekend, targets a wide variety of personas that change monthly. Instead of creating multiple new landing pages every month, VISIT DENVER used personalization with Bound to match the hero slideshow content to the appropriate persona.

VISIT DENVER developed and rolled out three waves of ad personalization within their first year with Bound:

Wave 1

The first step was to personalize the slideshow for visitors coming to the landing page directly from the ad. This involved not only showing the appropriate group of slides but also starting the slideshow with the content targeted to that persona. While these visitors only had a 4% increase in clicks specifically on their persona-targeted slides, overall page engagement was significantly increased. Compared to other visitors, the ad persona segments had a 53% increase in visit duration and a 45% decrease in bounce rate when entering the site through the Reclaim the Weekend landing page.

Wave 2

The second step was to use Bound’s Media Optimizer tool to personalize the slideshow for visitors who were exposed to the ad. The pixeling capabilities of Media Optimizer allowed Denver to target Reclaim page visitors who had seen, but hadn’t clicked on the ad, as well as visitors who came back to the site after their specific persona campaign ended. Not only did these pixeled visitors have great page engagement, but they also had a 100% increase in clickthrough rates on the slideshow and were 28% more likely to click specifically on the persona-targeted slides. With this information, Denver had the data needed to show that visitors were still interested in persona-specific content even if they had not clicked on the ad. 

Wave 3

The third step was to build on the learnings from the first two phases of personalization and launch a fly-in campaign. The fly-in targeted visitors exposed to the persona who had never clicked on the ad or otherwise reached the Reclaim page. Using the fly-in, Denver was able to successfully direct 2% of these visitors to the page and continued to increase website engagement. Visitors exposed to the persona fly-in had a further 23% increase in visit duration and 18% decrease in bounce rate.

By identifying visitor interests based on ads, even if those visitors never directly engaged with the ad, Denver has been able to increase views on their key ad landing page and continually increase their landing page engagement. This has increased overall site performance and has allowed Denver to optimize the experience for these high-value website visitors. 

Want to learn more about personalizing for your targeted ad visitors? 

The post How Denver Increased Engagement for Ad Visitors appeared first on Bound.

E-commerce Abandonment Rates

There are few key performance indicators that everyone focuses on for an e-commerce store: conversion rates, average order value and the number of monthly visitors. These metrics translate into money…

Please click on the title to read the full artic…

There are few key performance indicators that everyone focuses on for an e-commerce store: conversion rates, average order value and the number of monthly visitors. These metrics translate into money...

Please click on the title to read the full article!