Business Performance Conversion Testing

Talk like a customer to attract a customer

Does your Search specialist input into the briefing of your creative agency for your next print, TV or radio campaign? No? How about your Email marketer?

Probably not and why would they? That’s offline. These guys focus on clicks not branding, right?

In many businesses there is a distinct line separating the Online (technical) marketers and the Offline (creative) marketers. And that’s a big mistake.

Qualitative versus Quantitative (or both)

Think about it. The Creatives discuss the brand, its values, the messaging and then create ‘above the line’ ads to raise awareness or shift perceptions and hopefully, eventually, increase conversions and revenue.

The brief comes from the business. The ads come from the minds of the Creatives.

What’s missing from the process is the audience. Budget allowing, you’ll show your ads to focus groups – maybe a total of 10-100 people depending on the size of your wallet. This will give you valuable ideas and insight, but still requires some interpretation.

Understanding which words your audience will respond to is difficult. Especially when the feedback is qualitative.

What is missing is the quantitative data, and it’s sitting right under your nose.

If you’re running PPC or email campaigns, you already know the words that encourage the click / action:

  • The high click-thru Adwords headlines and copy
  • The headlines and call to action on your highest converting landing pages
  • The subject lines of emails with the highest open rates

And of course, you’ve been running conversion tests on the whole process to identify the best copy, message, offers, guarantees, etc. Let’s not forget, there’s also your Analytics package, which shows you the words customers are using to find you through search engines in the first place.

This data is extremely valuable to the development of your offline campaign.

Blah, blah, blah

With all this data to hand it’s important to ensure you work with Creatives who appreciate it. Creating a visual / aural work of art is great, but it’s not enough.

If your ad is full of words or phrases unfamiliar to your audience then you’re simply not going to connect with them. Use their language. What do your customers call your products / services? How do they refer to it in conversation? What does your data say?

Once you’ve figured that out go through your ad scripts and throw out anything that smacks of marketing talk.

Your agency might not appreciate it, but your customers – and your conversion rate – will.

Business Performance Innovation

Sell your competitors’ products

If you’re a customer of the shopping behemoth, you can’t have failed to have noticed that Amazon let competitors use their website to sell their products. Known as Marketplace, like many others you’ve probably thought it’s a little odd. A bit counter-intuitive, isn’t it?

I’m just guessing, but I suspect you don’t let your competitors do the same?

Why not?

It’s a calculated move by Amazon and it’s very clever. Whilst it might seem barmy, if done seamlessly it can establish your site as the single place to go to buy your industry’s products.

Why? Well, crucially, it reduces effort on the part of your customers, which will ALWAYS improve your conversion rates. As a consumer I don’t really care where the book comes from as long as it doesn’t require any extra work on my part and I still get the assurance that comes from buying via Amazon.

The Pros and Cons

So how can that help your business?

There are many reasons why you should consider such a bold move:

  • Your customers will stay loyal because you always have the product they need
  • They’ll repeat purchase
  • You’ll establish a reputation as the authority in your industry
  • You’ll receive more referrals as your customer satisfaction increases
  • You can generate a revenue share from competitor sales

So what are the risks to your business?

  • Amazon is successful because the majority of sales come from their own listings, not via Marketplace. So Marketplace is an additional option for the customer, not the main one. If you don’t have many products and a customer frequently views or buys items from competitors on your site, they may begin to question which brand is the authority.
  • Tip #1: counteract this by limiting the product listings from each competitor
  • Tip #2: Ensure your site features a sufficient number of your own listings
  • Tip #3: Place your products first in search listings, ahead of competitor products
  • Tip #4: Only pull in competitor listings if you have insufficient listings of your own for that product
  • Be wary of the user experience. Be careful not to compromise it for the sake of making a few more sales.
  • Tip #5: Make the process seamless with no (or minimal) variation to your standard user experience (particular the checkout process). Ideally you don’t ask the customer to register again on a second site.

Promoting your competitors’ products is undoubtedly a bold move. You’ll need to balance the pros and cons, but it’s a strategic decision that could fundamentally shift your position within your market.