The 10 Must-Have Website Optimization Tools (And How to Use Them)

Maybe you’re not using any website optimization tools. Or perhaps you’ve tried a couple, but never really given them a chance. I hear this from a lot of marketers, but let me ask you a question. What happens to a website that never gets optimized for s…

Maybe you’re not using any website optimization tools. Or perhaps you’ve tried a couple, but never really given them a chance. I hear this from a lot of marketers, but let me ask you a question. What happens to a website that never gets optimized for search and conversions? It dies. You don’t want to sing a dirge for your site, right? You want it to flourish — and bring in paying customers. To fulfill that goal, you need the right tools. Search engine optimization (SEO) and conversion rate optimization (CRO) have become too sophisticated for manual optimization, which is...

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19 Call-to-Action Phrases That Will Convert Your Users

What happens when nobody clicks on your call-to-action phrases and buttons? You don’t get any leads. Nor do you generate any revenue. That’s the opposite of the point, right? Which is why I tell business owners and marketers to take the time to refine …

call-to-action-phrases

What happens when nobody clicks on your call-to-action phrases and buttons? You don’t get any leads. Nor do you generate any revenue. That’s the opposite of the point, right? Which is why I tell business owners and marketers to take the time to refine their CTAs. A poorly-written CTA negates all the hard work you do for the rest of your marketing campaign. Someone who visits your website might be with you up until that point, then decide to bail on the conversion. So, how do you write call-to-action phrases that convert? What is the Psychology Behind CTA Phrases? From...

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Is Marketing Automation As Intimidating As It Sounds?

If you are involved in any form of digital marketing, then you know that marketing automation is changing the rules of the game. Figures show that, on average, 49% of businesses are already using marketing automation, and more than 55% of B2B companies…

marketing-automation

If you are involved in any form of digital marketing, then you know that marketing automation is changing the rules of the game. Figures show that, on average, 49% of businesses are already using marketing automation, and more than 55% of B2B companies have adopted automation technologies. Based on a study by Regalix, businesses most commonly employ automation in: email marketing lead nurturing software integrations of systems such as CRM, mobile, and social media. Such activities are driving up sales productivity by as much as 14.5% and reducing marketing overhead by 12.2%. Imagine setting up customer journeys in your email...

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Unlocking the True Power of Testing & Other Takeaways from Brooks Bell’s Interview With Ambition Data

Recently, our Founder and CEO, Brooks Bell, sat down with Allison Hartsoe, host of the Customer Equity Accelerator—a podcast produced by Ambition Data. Listen to the full podcast or read on for a few highlights from their conversation:  On what inspired her to build an experimentation consultancy… Originally, Brooks founded Brooks Bell Inc. in 2003 as […]

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Recently, our Founder and CEO, Brooks Bell, sat down with Allison Hartsoe, host of the Customer Equity Accelerator—a podcast produced by Ambition Data. Listen to the full podcast or read on for a few highlights from their conversation:

On what inspired her to build an experimentation consultancy…

Originally, Brooks founded Brooks Bell Inc. in 2003 as a website development agency. After working with a few local clients, a chance introduction led to her first major experimentation client, AOL.

Today, you might think of AOL as one of the [now-extinct] internet dinosaurs, but even back in the early 2000s, the media giant was facing its fair share of challenges. According to one story by Time Magazine, despite having 34 million members in 2002, AOL was battling slowing subscriber growth, falling ad revenue and exorbitant operational costs. 

So, the company turned to experimentation. “AOL had the right environment to build a testing culture,” said Brooks. “They had a closed technology environment, their own analytics platform, and their data was clean and connected.”

Back then, AOL relied on pop-ups to drive new subscriptions. Working with Brooks, the company issued a challenge: design a new subscription pop-up that would beat the control experience. And so, drawing from her background in design and psychology, she did—and then she did it again, and again, and again.

But that was just the start. As other large companies began to rely more on the digital space to drive their business, Brooks saw an opportunity to help them tap into the power of experimentation.

“We realized that no one was testing!” said Brooks. “No other large companies had the data, culture and processes in place to test. So we set out to help them build the data fidelity and really recreate what we saw at AOL in those early years.”

On the difference between optimization and experimentation…

It’s one of the more common questions we get: “Brooks Bell is an experimentation consultancy. What’s that? What’s the difference between experimentation and optimization?” As Brooks explains it, it all comes down to science.

By definition, experimentation is the application of the scientific method to determine something. And while optimization is one potential outcome of an experiment, true experimentation requires running tests without a prescriptive outcome or application.

To put it simply – you’re testing to learn. And as long as your results are statistically significant, there is always something to be learned from experiments—even those with flat or negative results.

On how to unlock the real power of experimentation…

Today, in the age of Amazon, a customer-centric experience is critical. But for some established companies, this requires a bigger paradigm shift in culture and processes.  

“Customer-centricity requires rethinking metrics, the type of data you collect, how teams are organized, how teams are incentivized, how you communicate and also your core values,” said Brooks.

The true power of experimentation lies in its ability to align your customer needs with your company’s strategic goals and your program’s agenda. Furthermore, you can use experimentation to learn new things about your customers in a scientific way.

“Having statistically-sound customer insights can totally change how you organize your store, how you train your team, and how you structure your website,” said Brooks. “This is where testing programs can really drive change.”

To that end, we recently celebrated the launch of Illuminate, our customer insights software for testing teams and executives. Illuminate not only provides a place to store, share and learn from your experiments, but also a means to develop impactful customer insights.

“We launched Illuminate to provide a repository of great test examples, to learn from each other, and to build a library of great test case studies,” said Brooks.  This is because outside of the testing program, any key learnings from an experiment can get lost within the data. Illuminate solves this by encouraging deeper thinking about customers, their needs, preferences, and behaviors. 

Learn more about Brooks Bell’s experimentation consulting services. 

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The Top 7 Popup Forms to Skyrocket Your Conversions

The ultimate end goal for every single visitor to your website is to turn them into a customer or a recurring visitor. The problem is that turning visitors into regulars can be tricky. Really tricky. There is, however, an easier way to convert visitors…

popup-forms

The ultimate end goal for every single visitor to your website is to turn them into a customer or a recurring visitor. The problem is that turning visitors into regulars can be tricky. Really tricky. There is, however, an easier way to convert visitors without wasting your time or theirs—and it comes in an unexpected form. Pop-up form, to be exact. Simply by using well placed popup forms, you can boost your email subscription rate by 317% or more. With this in mind, we’re going to take a look at our top seven pop-up recommendations and discover how they’ll help...

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“Alexa, how do I A/B test my voice-enabled customer experience?”

Another Amazon Prime Day has come and gone, and we’re betting many in the e-commerce space are now breathing a little easier. But looking beyond the challenges Amazon poses for other online retailers, the company’s foray into AI, smart speakers and similar devices presents a new opportunity for online brands to reach consumers; a channel […]

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Another Amazon Prime Day has come and gone, and we’re betting many in the e-commerce space are now breathing a little easier.

But looking beyond the challenges Amazon poses for other online retailers, the company’s foray into AI, smart speakers and similar devices presents a new opportunity for online brands to reach consumers; a channel that—in our humble opinion—is begging to be tested.  

Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, Jarvis, Watson…the list goes on

Various studies over the last year have shown that 20% of online searches are conducted using voice-based technologies and this is expected to increase to 50% by 2020.  This means the time to get on board with voice-based experiences is now—whether you’re looking to build your own AI assistant, make your site more friendly for voice searches, or just simply identify where voice-based technologies can enhance your customer experience.

As part of a continuous effort to help our clients capitalize on new technologies and strategies to deliver a better customer experience, our development team recently challenged themselves to build an Alexa Skill with an integrated A/B test function (if you’re unfamiliar with the terminology, think of an Alexa Skill as similar to an app).

To explain how we went about this, it helps to have a general understanding of how Alexa works and where testing fits in:

Step 1: The Alexa-enabled device hears a “wake word” spoken by the user, and listens to the user’s request.

Step 2: The audio of that request is streamed from the device to the Alexa Server.

Step 3: The Alexa Server converts the audio to text and uses this to process the user’s intent.

Step 4: After processing, the Alexa Server sends the intent to a custom Alexa Skill, which is usually housed on a separate server.

Step 5: The Alexa Skill server processes that user request and determines how best to respond.

Step 6: This is where testing comes into play. As the Alexa Skill server is determining the best way to respond to the user’s request, your built-in testing tool triggers a control or challenger response. The Alexa Skill then responds to the request, sending the corresponding text response or visual media back to the Alexa Server.

Step 7: The Alexa Server then converts that text response to speech or renders whatever visual media was returned from the Skill.

Step 8: The Alexa Server sends that content to the device, which is then broadcasted back to the user.

For the purposes of this challenge, our developers built an Alexa Skill for a fictitious online book retailer, Happy Reads. Although testing can be integrated using any server-side testing tool, the team chose to build Optimizely into our custom Alexa Skill as it’s a popular tool among our clients.

So, what does this mean for the customer experience?  

Here’s how our scenario would play out, as designed by our development team:

You’re making a purchase at your favorite online book retailer, Happy Reads. You want to make sure you’re getting a good deal. As you’re browsing the Happy Reads website, you ask Alexa to find promotions by opening the Happy Reads skill and ask Alexa to find coupon codes.

In this A/B test, the control results in Alexa reading off multiple coupon codes at once. The challenger delivers only one coupon code at a time, with the option to search for more.

In this scenario, the testing team would identify the winning experience by having distinct coupon codes for both the control and the challenger and tracking the number of purchases using each coupon code (note: to keep the variables consistent, it’s important that each codes’ promotional value is the same).

Of course, this is just one means of implementing A/B testing in a voice-enabled environment. But there are many other opportunities within customer service, on-boarding, and in-app search experiences, as well as others.

And this doesn’t only apply to e-commerce. Banking and financial services, insurance, healthcare and media are just a few examples of industries looking to voice technologies to enhance their customer experience.

So long as humans can speak faster they can type, voice-enabled experiences present a powerful opportunity for brands to respond in real-time to customer requests and to offer suggestions, as well as an opportunity to position themselves as more of a service.

If you’re looking to implement experimentation within your voice-enabled experiences and other marketing channels, but don’t know where or how to start, contact us today

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