The Conversion Scientist Shares Formulas for Data-Driven Optimization

Data-Driven Optimization - Video

In marketing, more conversions are the goal. But how do you get people to decide to take action to comment, click, buy or engage? Learn the science behind getting conversions for more sales, more revenue and more leads with data-driven optimization. In this video, Brian Massey of Conversion Sciences and Bob Tripathi discuss organic search, the use of symbols in shopping carts, AB testing and how to optimize for more conversions.

Bob : All right. Welcome people! This is Bob Tripathi with Digital Sparx Marketing. As you know, I like to talk to industry leaders — people who have been there, done that and are still at the forefront of the industry. So pleased to have Brian with us. Brian welcome.

Brian :Oh you were talking about me?

I am. Brian is a longtime conversion expert industry thought leader. And it’s always fun to chat with Brian. So Brian what we’ll do is we’ll walk a little, ask you questions and yeah just share your thoughts and insights with us.

Brian :My favorite meetings are walking meetings.

What is Conversion Optimization?

Bob :Awesome. Let’s do that. So you’ve been doing conversion right, so what is conversion optimization just like one or one level you know.

Brian :The basic level conversion optimization is getting more revenue, more leads, more sales, from the work you’re already doing on your marketing. So the traffic that you’re bringing, you’re bringing them to a better and better experience, so more of them decide to take action and start a conversation with your audience, become a lead, buy your products–whatever it is that you really need. Yes. So that’s it in a nutshell.

Why Conversion Optimization is Important?

Bob :So how important is it?

Brian :Oh, it’s not important at all. It just makes all of your other marketing more valuable. So if you can get more people to convert then you can spend less on ads. You can spend less on social media outreach. You can spend less on organic or you can take that profit and plop back into those things. You can afford to bid more if you have higher conversion rates on those landing pages. So acquisition cost is the linchpin of ALL marketing, really. Right. Conversion is ground level rubber meets the road for that.

How to Start Optimising your Website for Conversion?

Bob :So, one thing I hear a lot is when people start with conversion optimization, they start with your paid search landing pages. I’m sure that is one place to go. What would you suggest? Where do people start?

What is Conversion Optimization?

Brian :Well, I think you can start there because those paid search landing pages, those clicks are expensive. I mean it’s getting more and more expensive to advertise on Facebook or Google. So that’s a great place to start. Because the payoff is real. 10% increase in conversion rate is the same thing as dialing down your the cost of your of every click. By that same 10%. But there’s no reason that you can’t be optimizing your organic search. There’s no reason you can’t be optimizing social traffic. That’s coming from earned clicks.

Conversion Optimisation Examples

Bob :So what are some examples, so let’s say of organic? What are some of the conversion examples that people can apply to it?

Brian :No one gets auditing Organics really interesting a landing page the way we talk about it is it’s got to keep the promise that you made in your poster your e-mail and then it’s gonna invite the visitor to make a choice yes or no. Should never be any mistake that somebody is asking you to make a choice. So on the organic pages, those are usually contents oriented.

You promise content to the page already delivers the content. But what we forget on these organic pages is to add calls to action in key places like right at the bottom of the article. Why not add what we call a dripping band, an offer at the bottom because someone who’s read through that content is probably pretty engaged in the topic right? Right. So those little things are the places that we start when we’re optimizing for organic.

Difference Between B2B and B2C Conversion Optimisation

Bob :Nice nice. A lot of people also ask me about conversion. How does it differ if it does between B2C and B2B companies like, you know, in the shopping cart as an example that everyone knows about optimizing that we can talk about later. But according to you how does it differ between B2B and B2C?

Brian :Well there’s different strategies we use for B2B and I’m going to kind of stereotype B2B but typically you have longer sales cycle because there’s more people involved in the decision and there’s more technology. It’s more of a technological sale. Yeah. And so you have lower traffic you have lower even if you have high traffic and generally a slower lead flow. So you have to use a different strategy a different statistical strategy than an e-commerce site, say where you’re selling consumers and you have a lot of those transactions. The thing you shouldn’t forget is in both cases you’re selling to human beings. It’s just that one human being is worried about how much money they’re spending to solve their problem. The other human beings worried about their job their career right. Looking good. Is it OK for me to send this page and show the site to my boss. Those are the key differentiators for us

Impact Of Trust Symbols in Conversion

Bob :I know trust symbols I know we had an off-line chat. How critical are those like you know people like to have oh well site as this is we’ve got five stars on Yelp. What have you. How much of a big impression or impact does it make?

Brian :Yes. Symbols in the shopping cart. So, we love the strategy of borrowing trust especially borrowing for interest from other well-known brands. And the thing is if you’re trying to draw new people who maybe haven’t heard of you that’s a good way to do it. If they have heard of you then your logo in the upper right corner of upper-left corner is a great way to just reinforce that you’re there. So honestly, we’ve brought trust symbols. Third-party trust symbols into the shopping cart experience into the checkout experience with good luck. Yeah. Not all. It doesn’t always work. So in places where maybe you haven’t thought to reinforce that trust issue like in the checkout process those are some places you should consider doing that even putting testimonials in the checkout process can sometimes work for you. It’s just a matter of the math the equation of how much trust your customers are coming with when they’re buying. And how much trust your brand already carries.

Bob :Right. Right. Is there any percentage impact have you seen across the board — 8% if you use a testimonial to testimonials trust symbol. These are the common elements people put in a to see page shopping cart page but have you seen those percentage increase?

Brian :Oh it varies wildly.
Yeah. There’s no benchmark there’s no best practices. That’s one of the things that we learned the hard way over the years we’ve been doing this since 2007 and I started off consulting and giving people all these great ideas and then saying all right I’ll have a great time doing that. And then we started AB testing. And I very quickly got humbled. The beautiful wonderful ideas that I thought certainly were going to increase conversion rate, didn’t. And so ever since then we’ve really we’ve decided there really are no best practices whenever we start with a new client. We try to start with a child’s mind like we don’t know anything and work from there.

Now we haven’t played a lot of booths way the boot as well. Yes we have a playbook that we go to. But. You know every audience is different.It just is.

Bob :Just like shopping cart optimization. Conversion is so critical in B2B I still see some smart marketers putting like 10 questions on an e-book sign up form. Why they do that why can’t they do some progressive customer profiling and what impact have you seen if one phone free to do ad what kind of a percentage impact does it have?

Brian :Yeah a lot of times a marketer will say wow I’m going to get all this extra information is qualifying information because sales is gonna love it when we get in there we find out do we need all these fields. Because in general the more fields you add the lower the conversion rate. And we find out sales isn’t using it right. So they didn’t need to collect it at all. So if you need it like, for instance, you can put qualifying questions in there that will chase away unqualified customers. If you need it on sales is using it go and putting it put it in there but otherwise minimize the number of fields that you have. Is there any standard for fields five fields. Must have friends that unbound. Did a little study of their landing pages and the forms on that. What they found out that there was a steady drop in conversion rate. I think up to three or four and then it leveled out. To seven and then above seven. The conversion rate stopped and started dropping again. So over four seems to be a hump and then you can get away with a few more. But if you go above that then especially on mobile now think about how hard it is to complete a form on mobile especially since we don’t do typically do a very good job. And that’s the fastest segment growing segment of your audience.

Brian :Right. I think one of the things that that we have seen is you can have your first name last name email but when you ask people the phone number so only the drop off has gone down by 15 to 20 percent.Is it because it’s so personal and people don’t want to call why that phone number is such a big impact?

Bob :That’s exactly why they’re like This is my phone number. The only found that people have now is their mobile phone. And we know that when you ask for a mobile phone you’re going to have a significant drop off. But we call these killer fields. They stop the flow and there’s a number of tools out there you can use to gauge where people are dropping off on your forms even if they don’t complete them. So there’s that if you ask somebody their Social Security number the Bye-bye to your conversions, and later length of credit go yeah. But, there’s some nefarious ones. So if you have a drop-down menu let’s say you drop-down menu ask how many employees your company has good qualifying question.

Brian :We had a client that was really going after the small business world and their first cut on the dropdown was zero to a thousand. Well, so every small business that looked at that got communicated subconsciously these people don’t do business with small businesses. That was the target they were going for. Right. So you’ve got to be careful in dropdowns. We’re a big fan of let them enter their own question. If you ask a title and their title their exact title isn’t in there, this isn’t for me.

Brian 00:09:45And you’ll find your management made great going I think data offending console a lot of these common problem data pending you’d mentioned progressive data filling.

Brian :So start the conversation with the bare bones and then build that relationship. It takes a lot more sophisticated work a little more planning in your campaigns to do that progressive filling out but they’re now services that are collecting that data appending that data for you. There’s no reason to really have to get all of that within your first touch.

How to do AB testing

Bob :Can you share your insights into how people should do AB testing. What what do you suggest people do?

Brian :A B testing and MVC. These are relatively hard.
But this is the best data you can collect like this will tell you statistically if you have a better idea and by how much your idea is going to improve things or not improve things, if in fact it doesn’t work out for you. But I think the first step is to start getting good at satisfying your own curiosity. There are a lot of tools that are easy to use that you can answer some of these questions, like say what combination of headline and image should I put on this landing page? We got 10 headlines, we’ve got 15 images we can put on there. Take a few of those best ones and put them in front of a panel on a tool like usability hub or Helio and see if you can let that audience tell you which one communicates. Are you credible, which combination communicates what the to what the offer is? Which one then communicates why they should take action and where they would click to take action and then start with those. And if once you have a couple of those then you consider AB testing. But we want to save our AB tests only for those things that we have a lot of evidence is going to work. But what are you curious about? I mean marketers are curious people and I think we get to safe, we’re too conservative so we need to use these tools to exercise some of our creativity to solve these problems without just taking a guess. And without having to commission a whole A B testing. When you u get your when you get good at answering these questions and you’re ready to go to the AP test, call us we’ll show you how to set that up and make sure you don’t make mistakes in the testing process. Be curious and if you’re not you shouldn’t be in marketing more or less right. Well actually you can get away with it for a long time but you’re not going to be satisfied. We don’t get into marketing just because we want to have a job and because we like the look of cubicles we do it because we want to change hearts and minds and that’s what satisfying our curiosity does and that’s what testing does. And it’s very exciting.

Bob : I think one of the things I find, and you know this better, is creating a culture of testing and optimization because you talk to leaders and they will say, yeah we need to do this acquisition strategy. Yeah I need to do this. We need to run demand gen. Yeah. We need to do a run ads, but nobody says oh we should be testing. And even if this is a throwaway statement. So how do you start with that culture and how do you build a case over time.

Brian : So the reason that these executives come in and do this, and we call them helicopter executives, they know they’ll do it to their team they’ll do it to agencies. It’s because they don’t feel like the decisions are being made with the right kind of data and knowledge we haven’t showed them why you’re doing it this way. And so they feel like they need to insert their opinion. Yeah well if you start collecting data if you’ve got some heat maps that show that the design you’ve just done is working and that we need to drive more traffic to it or if you’ve got an eye-tracking test or if you’ve done one of these usability studies that says that this is probably going to win, the executives can back off because they’ve seen the data that says they don’t really need to add right there one more person to your sample size because you’ve already taken it and shown it to 25 other people or 50 other people or you’ve put it in front of people on your website. So there’s a thousand people who’ve seen it and you know how it’s working.

Allcating Budget For Conversion Optimization

Bob :Budgeting. How much budget allocation have you seen.? Companies are doing right like marketing we know 10 percent 15 %of the overall budget. Then you slice it down to your lead acquisition your demand and your conversion. How much are people are actually allocating to conversion optimization and things like that?

Brian :So here’s what we do. We actually calculate small increases in conversion rate. So let’s say we work with you for six months. For every 10 % increase in conversion rate we find how much additional dollars does that generate. Right annualized and then we’ll back out the profit on that. So if we can’t cover our fees and put a lot more money in your pocket then we don’t have a very good business case. So and I think you can do this with a lot of your agencies. It’s the ROIC calculation we assume small increments of success. And if you make five hundred thousand dollars every time we find another 5 % on your conversion rate it’s pretty easy to justify my team coming in here and doing that work. There is no hard and fast percentage. If you’re in a high profit for a high, in other words at every sale generates a lot of revenue, your paybacks much faster. Right. If you have a lot of traffic we can test much faster. So those are really the two-variable knobs that help us determine how fast you’re gonna get your money back.

Tools For Conversion Optimization

Bob : I know one of the things you do is tools do you recommend for people out there. I know you mentioned unbound and usability. Are there any tools you recommend people to starting.

Brian :Oh yeah, I’m doing some. There’s a whole bunch of tools I recommend and for different parts of the design process. So what I want us to do is go from doing a lot of research and then having our team make a bunch of assumptions and then launching campaigns to every assumption can be tested. And so in my presentations, I really talk about that I show some of those tools so it starts downhill down here with reading chat transcripts and ratings and reviews all the way through to these usability studies. I’ve talked about eye-tracking studies. Taking prototypes out to user testing dot com and then after launch we have all these amazing tools: heat map session recordings scroll maps and analytics. Then the testing tools become valuable. So this is kind of the progression, and I guess it really depends. Number one on what you’re comfortable with what you’re trying to figure out. And number two where you are in your design process. Any favorite A B testing tools you recommend.We work with all of them. So VW optimized Li Google has recently released in the last year released a nice free version of Google optimized. So we’ve been looking at that

Bob :Great. Brian can you tell us now I should have asked you this early on but how do you work with people at Conversion Scientists I know you call. Yes Conversion Scientists but if you can tell our audience your core. How do you help people on conversion. That would be great.

Conversion Optimization Process

Brian :Yeah. So our process is first and foremost to find more leads, more sales, more revenue. But in that process, we have to do a lot of education. We start off by setting up a digital lab so we install these tools and make sure that they’re working. But it takes about six months for us to get all that going to get everybody up to speed on the reporting and settle things down. We can do, during that period six rounds of testing. We’ve set several hypotheses. And at the end of that six months, we expect to have found enough revenue that it’s a no brainer for keep working with us. We have a great renewal rate, as you might guess. But in that time also data has started to take hold in an organization, so people renew with us for a lot of other reasons than just the revenue.

Bob :So Brian, how do our audiences reach out to Brian?

Brian 00:17:42Conversionsciences.com. Come visit us there you’ll learn about our process and we have a great blog we teach we present and we write about everything we’re learning so you should check it out.

Bob :This is great. Thank you, Brian for your time. This is great chatting. Sorry for the walk but I thought we’ll get some exercise as well but thank you for doing that. Thank you both for joining. Brian here. Convergence Sciences. Glad you could join us. Thank you.


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