When conversion isn’t a purchase


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In this guide, Adobe Systems shares three successful tactics for attracting more leads, upping conversion rates,
and choosing the right metrics so that you are focusing on what matters as you optimize your website.
Marriot Vacation Club International and Hearst Digital Media Corporation provide techniques they have used
to drive the most conversions.

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When conversion isn’t a purchase

  1. 1. When conversion isn’t a purchase: Webcast Guide When conversion isn’t a purchase: Tactics for attracting more leads and actively engaged visitors for higher revenuesPresented jointly by: Much of an online marketer’s job is centered around generating leads, particularly those that generate moreChad Cooper revenue. But exactly how does your website make money for your company? Who are your stakeholders?Marriott Vacation Club What are you measuring, and what are your website optimization goals?International In this guide, Adobe Systems shares three successful tactics for attracting more leads, upping conversion rates,Ross Geisel and choosing the right metrics so that you are focusing on what matters as you optimize your website.Hearst Digital Media Marriot Vacation Club International and Hearst Digital Media Corporation provide techniques they have used to drive the most conversions.Knowing what to Solidifying business goals and choosing the right set of metricsmeasure is key toattaining higher quality Metrics are simply a way of measuring business performance against stated goals, typically with the help ofleads and higher analytics tools. For the online marketing professional, these tools can measure user movement, identifyconversion rates. changes in that movement as well as help you monitor and optimize performance. You can set benchmarks and then refine the metrics to help you meet your business goals going forward. Website analytics work in much the same way, particularly when it comes to measuring conversion rates or leads that result in purchase decisions. Lead generation has a direct impact on revenue if you’re working with the right metrics. Here are three ways to select the right metrics to test and optimize. Focus on what matters Focus on what matters How does your website make money? T HRUS CLICK- FACEBOOK LIKES For most websites, the ultimate goal is to increase revenue. So the first question to ask yourself is how does your website make money. Is it lead generation, engagement, purchases, or cost savings? Are all leads of equal value? If you could choose only one metric to follow, what would it be? These questions help you focus your lead generation efforts on the strongest money-generating areas, and this, in turn, helps you focus on the numbers that will have the biggest impact on your revenue goals.
  2. 2. This all seems really basic, yet, according to the Econsultancy 2010 Online Measurement and Strategy Report, only one in four companies has a company-wide strategy in place that ties data collection and analysis to business objectives. Most companies are collecting considerable amounts of visitor data, but aren’t focusing on the fact that one metric is going to have a bigger impact on the business than another. When establishing your web optimization goals, you need to create and then find ways to improve that one metric (or select a group of metrics) that will have the biggest impact on your business. When measuring lead generation, companies tend to focus on ads, email sign-up forms, and offsite leads. Some companies assign equal value to all of these, while others find that some leads have higher value, and they weight these leads accordingly to calculate revenue per visitor. How does your website make money? ENGAGEMENT good Page Views/Visit CPM model: better Ad Impressions/Visit best Page Score Direct sold: Metric Used to Sell Time on Site, Clicks on Ad, etc. When measuring engagement, you might measure page views per visit or ad impressions per visit. But page score, or how often visitors interact with your site, often has the strongest correlation to sales. Ad rates, for example, can either be measured directly by the number of page views or by the number of people who click an ad on your page. But not all measurements are so easy because they contain so many variables. If you’re measuring ads, email sign-ups, and offsite leads, you need to find out which of these is the most common, or primary, conversion event. If all methods contribute equally, you can weight them equally. You can also measure page score, assigning a value to every page on your site. However, the best measurement is revenue per visitor, assigning a dollar value to each conversion event. This metric gives you better information for allocating your marketing dollars to the highest value conversion events.Make sure that the Regardless of your preferred metric, make sure that you test it and then optimize it. Also remember thatmetrics you measure numbers can be misleading. For instance, if the metric you chose, such as the conversion or response rate,have a direct impact onyour business goals. drops in a test, this might indicate a negative response. But if your revenue per visitor goes up, that means the test was successful, and your program is working the way it should. One client saw the bounce rate increase on its home page during testing, but because revenue per visitor increased, the client went ahead and changed the home page to reflect the tested version. As a result, this company’s annual revenue increased $50 million! It’s also important to keep in mind that your preferred metric might be different from another company. Even if two companies are measuring the exact same thing, they might reach two different conclusions, depending on their business goals and which metrics were deemed more important to business success. Learn before you leap If you know that someone is looking for a product, you can make assumptions about what that potential buyer wants, but you also might be wrong. You’re better off getting solid data on what potential buyers are looking for, what they can afford, and the features and add-ons they are most attracted to. Only then can you correctly target and segment your audience. The process is simple. Divide your audience into segments and deliver content that most resonates with each grouping. However, defining those segments isn’t always so easy. The best way to start is with testing. Divide your When conversion isn’t a purchase: Webcast Guide 2
  3. 3. visitors into five to seven segments. You can use time of visit, geography, IP address, demographics, or any other variable, but make sure that these segments are large enough to change conversion patterns by targeting them. Optimization Strategy: Segmentation Site Behavior Variables Environment Variables • Customer/prospect • IP address • New/return visitor • Country of origin • Previous visit patterns • Time zone • Previous product interests • Operating system • Searches • Browser type • Previous online purchases • Screen resolution • Previous campaign exposure • Previous campaign responses Temporal Variables Referrer Variables • Time of day • Referring domain • Day of week • Campaign ID • Recency • Affiliate • PPC • Frequency • Natural search • Direct/bookmark After you’ve identified your segments, deliver targeted content to each one, testing and optimizing along the way. It’s easy to assume that new content increases conversions, but you don’t really know until you compare results. When you know what works and what doesn’t, continue testing to better understand your segments and deliver more targeted content. However, not every customer weighs things the same way. One customer might find a certain feature especially important, while another might not care about it at all. The time of a visit is such a broad category that there might not be any significance to it, so unless you’re testing other factors, you’re making a lot of assumptions about those users’ behavior. It’s best if your segments are broad enough to be statistically significant, but also granular enough to take into account other important factors.Don’t optimize content, Don’t fix things that don’t matterpages, or elements thatdon’t impact conversion. Target where it matters Targeting Steps 1. Identify segments 2. Verify exploitable segments 3. Test targets vs. default 4. Embrace a winner 5. Continue learning Some testers focus on everything, but you’ll save time and resources by focusing only on the tests and segments that will make a meaningful difference to your results. Testing and analytics tools have great features, but don’t let yourself get sidetracked by worrying about the ones that don’t help you drive better conversions and more revenue. When it comes to website content, you might notice that some websites are so full of information, it’s hard to know what to do with all of it. Testing can help you focus on the important content. Inclusion and exclusion tests are great for determining which content is driving responses. Some content might not have much impact one way or the other, so you can swap it out for something more meaningful. Or something might be having a negative impact, in which case you can take it out entirely. When conversion isn’t a purchase: Webcast Guide 3
  4. 4. Remember, you don’t need to test every single element. Instead, focus on the highest value content, such as the visitor path, conversion funnel, or pages where visitors spend most of their time. For instance, some companies have tested their home page with the main banner versus without. If they didn’t see an impact, they could swap out the banner for more valuable content, which leads to further testing to decide which content drives the most conversions. Is there anything else that you would add to this list? Case study: Marriott Vacation Club International With more than 25 years of experience, Marriott Vacation Club is the industry leader in timeshares and flexible vacation packages. Recently, one of Marriott Vacation Club’s managers was asked to develop a strategy to improve a special event whose target goals were being missed. The manager got advice from marketing, customer service, and other teams, but each team had different goals for the project and different success strategies. The goals conflicted with each other and ultimately did nothing to help the overall success of the program.When different internal This scenario is not uncommon. When different stakeholders have different business goals, it’s hard to get ateams have different clear focus on what really matters. This makes it hard to collect the right data, do the right testing, and get thegoals, it’s particularlyimportant to focus on best results. For example, Marriott Vacation Club includes two business units when designing its onlinewhat really counts. marketing programs, one that handles vacation packages and another that handles direct sales. Each team has a separate paid search budget that focuses on different keywords. So Marriott Vacation Club had to find common ground when it came to setting goals and attributing leads. Making data-driven decisions to increase conversion Under the old model, a user would search a term and see a paid search ad that linked to the site and a call to action, usually a phone number, a request for more information, or a navigation tool that allowed visitors to learn more about the product. To analyze traffic by segment and target site visitors to increase conversion rates, Marriott Vacation Club decided to use applications in the industry-leading Adobe® Online Marketing Suite, powered by Omniture®. First, Marriott Vacation Club turned to Adobe SiteCatalyst®, powered by Omniture, to help marketers quickly identify the most profitable paths through a website, segment traffic to spot high-value visitors, determine where visitors were navigating away from the site, and identify critical success metrics for its online marketing campaigns. Marriott Vacation Club found that 35% of the paid search money dedicated to direct sales was going to requests for vacation packages, while 11% of the leads for vacation packages were requests for direct sales. Basically, the segments weren’t perfectly aligned with visitors’ searches. After further research, Marriott Vacation Club came up with five segments. • Anyone searching for a vacation package got a message about vacation packages. • Anyone searching for a destination and timeshare, but not a vacation package, got a conversation with a service representative and an invitation to a resort. • Anyone searching for a destination and timeshare got a direct sales message. • Anyone searching for a brand keyword got a call to action. • Anyone searching for a brand keyword and a timeshare got calls to action for both. In addition, Marriott Vacation Club used Adobe Test&Target™, powered by Omniture, to find out which regions were most likely to visit one of the company’s destinations. When conversion isn’t a purchase: Webcast Guide 4
  5. 5. Improving PPC lead acquisition based on visitor intent Landing page for “Marriott Vacation Club” paid search Using these new segments, Marriott Vacation Club redesigned its landing page. This increased its pay-per-click (PPC) conversion by 59% across both groups (vacation package and timeshare) and decreased the cost per lead by 49%. In addition, when a visitor got two calls to action, 50% of the follow-up requests were for vacation packages, while 50% were for direct sales. Another conversion initiative involved the Ritz-Carlton Destination Club, which doesn’t offer preview packages, but rather a conversation with a service rep and an invitation to a resort. The Ritz-Carlton site had low repeat visits, so Marriott Vacation Club wanted to know where people were looking when they came on. With the help of Adobe technology, they found that Destinations was the top page, which meant people were most interested in the destinations and details about the various membership packages, so Marriott Vacation Club decided to reinforce Destinations on the information request page. Marriott Vacation Club ran a test to see whether images of the first and last destinations visited would have an impact on the number of request forms completed. The first destination had an increased conversion of 4.5%, while the last destination either had no impact or a slightly negative one. However, only 20%–30% of those who filled out the form had actually visited the destination pages. That led the company to improve the content on the membership options and club overview pages based on information from online surveys and call centers.Focusing on the right Marriott Vacation Club key learnings and best practicesmetrics is the key to • Make data-driven decisionsimproving conversionrates as well as revenue. • Know what you’re measuring • Segment first, then target • Be prepared for unexpected outcomes Are there other best practices that you would add to this list? When conversion isn’t a purchase: Webcast Guide 5
  6. 6. Case study: Hearst Digital Media Ross Geisel, audience development manager at Hearst Digital Media, uses testing extensively and considers himself a “Test&Target champion.” A recent test for Marie Claire magazine (www.marieclaire.com) which involved testing the best strategies for increasing page views per visit. The ultimate goal was to increase engagement, which in the digital media world equates to page views. As a key part of this test, Hearst tested the position of the related links section on its home page, moving it from the top to the bottom. The test showed that moving the Related Links section increased post-click page views by 81%, while moving the section to other pages increased page views by 1.2%–3.75%. Most people were excited by the first number, but because the goal was to increase page views per visit, the second metric was more meaningful. Hearst trusted that the numbers it got would ultimately increase page views and thus revenue, even though revenue wasn’t being measured. Revenue was a key metric on the Cosmopolitan.com website. The current format has a flipbook or slide show template, which allows the user to scroll through slides. The new format moves the ad unit to the top of the page and changes the slide show format. Hearst used Test&Target to compare the two and measure ad metrics, including click-throughs. With the new template, page views per visit went down 1% (a surprise), but impressions per visit went up 26%, and the click-through rate on each ad went up 43%. Even though page views went down slightly, the chosen metric went way up, which made the test a success. Hearst key learnings and best practicesYou never know. What The key lesson learned is to not try to predict the future. It’s natural to do this when designing a test, but Hearstlooks like a small test can tries to keep an open mind, follow the data, and design a plan for each outcome. Its marketing team alsohave big rewards. knows that testing doesn’t always get a great response from internal stakeholders. People can be concerned about their own spheres of influence—for example, the designers at Cosmopolitan were concerned about the marketers changing their layout—so you must educate your internal teams and decision-makers about what you’re doing and how your results will help them reach their high-level company objectives. For a company with multiple products, it can be hard to keep track of which tests are being done in which properties. It’s important to have a reporting process in place. Record the results of each test as well as create a quick summary for the executive team so that when someone asks about changes to the site, you have a record of what happened and why as testing and optimization move forward. In many cases, increased engagement equals increased revenue, so you don’t always have to know the exact financial impact of your tests, but it doesn’t hurt. Whenever possible, try to monetize your results. Even if you can’t, trust that your success metrics will eventually lead to higher revenues. If you want to start testing but don’t know where to begin, just start. Even starting with a random element can lead you to further analysis and testing until you get the highest value content possible on your website. Key takeaways • Focus on metrics that matter—those that have a direct impact on your business goals. • Make data-driven decisions to set the course for your conversion strategy. • Segment first, then target. • Remember that assumptions equal risk, so let your data predict the future. • Understand what your metrics mean and know what your actions will be before testing begins, not during or after. • Start easy—a few small wins help you get organizational buy-in. • Be prepared for unexpected outcomes. • Keep on track, regardless of organizational pressure. • Let Adobe help drive your testing, analysis, and optimization efforts. • Whenever possible, try to monetize your results. When conversion isn’t a purchase: Webcast Guide 6
  7. 7. To view this webinar: http://omniture.com/offer/1072 For more information, visit: www.omniture.com/en/products/conversion Adobe and the Adobe logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. ActiveX is either a registeredAdobe Systems Incorporated trademark or a trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Java is a trademark or registered trademark of Oracle and/or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.345 Park AvenueSan Jose, CA 95110-2704 © 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA.USAwww.adobe.com 91051850 8/11
  8. 8. Notes When conversion isn’t a purchase: Webcast Guide 8
  9. 9. Notes When conversion isn’t a purchase: Webcast Guide 9