Microsites Tested:  Recent experiments reveal 2 common design mistakes that can kill microsite conversion rates
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Microsites Tested: Recent experiments reveal 2 common design mistakes that can kill microsite conversion rates

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Many marketers agree microsites, in general, are an effective approach to connect prospects with a specific offer or product line. However, the process of designing a microsite uncovers many questions ...

Many marketers agree microsites, in general, are an effective approach to connect prospects with a specific offer or product line. However, the process of designing a microsite uncovers many questions as it relates to ensuring an ROI:

• How many different audiences can I really serve?
• What is the optimal number of products/offers I can show?
• Is it possible to have too much design or copy?
• How should the microsite connect to the overall sales funnel?

In this Web clinic, Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS, will uncover recent research revealing two often overlooked design decisions that have a significant impact on a microsite’s conversion rate potential.

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Microsites Tested: Recent experiments reveal 2 common design mistakes that can kill microsite conversion rates Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Microsites Tested: Two common mistakes in the microsite design process that can kill conversion rates at launch #webclinic
  • 2. #webclinic TODAY’S TEAM @jonpowell31 Jon Powell Senior Manager Research and Strategy MECLABS Market research practitioner with 6+ years of hands-on discovery gained through managing hundreds of A/B and multivariate tests for ecommerce, healthcare, financial, and education Research Partners.
  • 3. #webclinic JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON TWITTER #webclinic
  • 4. #webclinic MICROSITE EFFECTIVENESS STUDIED When compared, microsites generally rated at least somewhat effective for achieving overall marketing objectives Why do marketers find the performance of microsites so adequate? Is there something marketers are doing wrong?
  • 5. #webclinic 5 Today, we are going to walk through two experiments that reveal two common mistakes made with microsite design. TODAY’S FOCUS
  • 6. #webclinic Experiment #1: B2C Golf Community Microsite
  • 7. #webclinic EXPERIMENT #1: BACKGROUND Background: A national land and home sales organization for consumers Goal: To increase the number of leads for community microsites Research Question: Which specific section of content will result in the largest lead rate? Test Design: A/B Split test Experiment ID: TP1431 Record Location: MECLABS Research Library Research Partner: [Protected] Research Notes:
  • 8. #webclinic EXPERIMENT #1: BACKGROUND In this test, we focused on the messaging surrounding the call- to-action.
  • 9. #webclinic EXPERIMENT #1: VERSION A • In Version A, the call-to-action offered a PDF download of a hole-by-hole description of the course.
  • 10. #webclinic EXPERIMENT #1: VERSION B • In Version B, the call-to-action offered a PDF download of a scorecard designed specifically for the course.
  • 11. #webclinic EXPERIMENT #1: SIDE-BY-SIDE Version BVersion A
  • 12. #webclinic EXPERIMENT #1: RESULTS Design Conversion Rate Version A 8.92% Version B 2.73% Relative Difference -69.4% 69% Decrease in Conversions Version B’s content decreased the rate of conversion by 69.4%  What you need to understand: The substance change of a single, important section of content resulted in a disproportionate decrease in leads
  • 13. #webclinic What was wrong with Version B? EXPERIMENT #1: RESULTS
  • 14. #webclinic FKey Principles 1. One of the most common mistakes with microsites is the tendency of marketers to ask for too much too soon. 2. As we have taught elsewhere1, CTA’s should be value-positive. However, this is not enough. CTA’s must be synchronized to the prospect’s thought sequence. 3. Our research findings suggest that most microsites should focus on progressing prospects with “process level value”, specifically as it relates to: 1. The next, most immediate unanswered question in their mind 2. Something they believe will help them address that MISTAKE #1: MACRO DISTORTION 1. Flint McGlaughlin: Quick Win Clinic: 5 Simple Ways to improve your webpage copy right now. May 2013
  • 15. #webclinic Losing Variation • The losing call-to-action performs poorly because it assumes the visitor is convinced that they want to play on this course, and so offers them a scorecard. MISTAKE #1: MACRO DISTORTION
  • 16. #webclinic • The winning treatment, however, does not assume the visitor wants to play and so offers a “hole-by-hole” description of the course itself. • The “hole-by-hole” description maintains an emphasis on the value proposition created by the course’s direct connection to the community of interest. Winning Variation MISTAKE #1: MACRO DISTORTION
  • 17. #webclinic MISTAKE #1: MACRO DISTORTION To This 64%in conversions Extends a general invitation with added explanation Adds a connection to customers further in the decision process Protocol ID: TP1636 From This
  • 18. #webclinic MISTAKE #1: MACRO DISTORTION From This To This 326%in conversions Offers a guide that focuses solely on the surrounding community Offers a guide that includes more detail and is also formatted in a way that’s easy to scan and compare to other information sources Protocol ID: TP1432
  • 19. #webclinic Experiment #2: B2B Medical Research Microsite
  • 20. #webclinic EXPERIMENT #2: BACKGROUND Background: A physician-only social network that allows medical product companies to conduct first-hand research on potential purchasers. Goal: To increase the number of product company leads from the microsite Research Question: Which microsite content approach will result in the largest lead rate? Test Design: A/B Split test Experiment ID: TP1483 Record Location: MECLABS Research Library Research Partner: [Protected] Research Notes:
  • 21. #webclinic 21 EXPERIMENT #2: VERSION A • The original page is designed to connect the visitor with all the information that they might need to make a decision. • However, it does require the visitor to take multiple steps to get the information.
  • 22. #webclinic 22 EXPERIMENT #2: VERSION A Product InfoFree Reports News Releases About Info
  • 23. #webclinic EXPERIMENT #2: VERSION B • An alternative design of the microsite was tested that integrated the majority of the information into a single page.
  • 24. #webclinic EXPERIMENT #2: VERSION B • Key Product Info • Key Company Info • The entry page took a long-copy approach and integrated the following information: • The remaining information was consolidated to one additional page
  • 25. #webclinic 25 EXPERIMENT #2: SIDE-BY-SIDE Version A Version B
  • 26. #webclinic EXPERIMENT #2: RESULTS Design Conversion Rate Version A 3.52% Version B 8.97% Relative Difference 154.7% 155% Increase in Conversions Version B’s content increased the rate of conversion by 154.7%  What you need to understand: The change in the amount and sequence of microsite content resulted in an increase in leads without negatively affecting SEO
  • 27. #webclinic What was wrong with Version A? EXPERIMENT #2: RESULTS
  • 28. #webclinic FKey Principles 1. People do not buy from microsites, people buy from people. 2. One of the most common mistakes with microsites is the tendency of marketers to design an aesthetic site that provides little-to-no sustainable conversation. 3. For microsites, our findings suggest the most effective amount of content is the balance necessary for ideal prospects to perceive enough: 1. Clarity on the offer and its ask 2. Credibility of its claims and its provider MISTAKE #2: CONVERSATIONAL VOID
  • 29. #webclinic 29 MISTAKE #2: CONVERSATIONAL VOID • There is little-to-no conversation on this page. • It is as if the visitor is bombarded with a plethora of different voices at once.
  • 30. #webclinic 30 MISTAKE #2: CONVERSATIONAL VOID • The conversation in this design is sequenced and directed vertically. • Subsequent information is provided in sequence so as not to compete with the overall conversation.
  • 31. #webclinic 31 So is less content better? MISTAKE #2: CONVERSATIONAL VOID
  • 32. #webclinic EXPERIMENT: ON MICROSITE CONTENT Background: An online, low-cost DIY platform for small and medium sized businesses to distribute content to thousands of websites Goal: To significantly increase product engagement and orders Research Question: Which front-end microsite content configuration will result in the largest amount of orders? Test Design: A/B Multi-factorial Sequential test Experiment ID: TP1901 Record Location: MECLABS Research Library Research Partner: iReach (by PRNewswire) Research Notes:
  • 33. #webclinic EXPERIMENT: ORIGINAL CONTENT AMOUNT According to individual test and nature based data, the lack of content left many visitors with unanswered questions, mostly on topics necessary to foster conclusions Cart Pages (5)Entry Page
  • 34. #webclinic EXPERIMENT: TREATMENT CONTENT AMOUNT Entry Page Cart Pages (5) Prospect Page Selection PageProduct Details 1 Product Details 2 Alternatively, content was added before cart pages to help customers answer those questions of value, concern and credibility that the original microsite could not.
  • 35. #webclinic EXPERIMENT: MICROSITE CONTENT RESULTS Microsite Content Order Conv. Rate Original 8.0%** Treatment 10.5%** Relative Difference 31% 31% Increase in Order Conversion Rate The treatment microsite increased total order conversion rate by 31%  What you need to understand: The addition of the right amount of content increased total order conversions by 31% and total product revenue by 38% **Conversion rates anonymized for the partner’s protection
  • 36. #webclinic Summary
  • 37. #webclinic Mistake #1: Macro Distortion One of the most common mistakes with microsites is the tendency of marketers to ask for too much too soon. CTA’s must be synchronized to the prospect’s thought sequence. Mistake #2: Conversational Void People do not buy from microsites, people buy from people. One of the most common mistakes with microsites is the tendency of marketers to design an aesthetic site that provides little-to-no sustainable conversation. SUMMARY: COMMON MICROSITE DESIGN MISTAKES
  • 38. #webclinic Live Optimization
  • 39. #webclinic Live Optimization Primary objective(s): To get engineers and designers to download the white paper Primary audience: Engineers/IT designers URL: http://bit.ly/16D3aNU OpenText Global
  • 40. #webclinic Live Optimization Primary objective(s): Email capture Primary audience: Drivers in recent auto accidents URL: http://bit.ly/1cK8vHx Carranza
  • 41. #webclinic Live Optimization Primary objective(s): Prompt visitors to watch a video Primary audience: Distribution center managers URL: http://bit.ly/14p8K5u Intermec
  • 42. #webclinic MECLABS conducts rigorous experiments in the new science of optimization. We apply our discoveries to help leaders optimize the financial performance of their sales and marketing programs. Learn more about how you may be a fit for a MECLABS research partnership: • Select Research Partnership Opportunities on the post- webinar survey • Contact us directly info@MECLABS.com 1-877-635-0565 HOW TO APPLY FOR A RESEARCH PARTNERSHIP x