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At the outset, your form may seem quick and easy. Everyone should know the answers to easy questions like name, email address, and birthdate. Furthermore, these are questions that everyone asks online. People should expect to answer these questions.

Yes, we know the answers. Yes, we’ve given this information up before. But, don’t call it quick and easy. It takes effort to decide if you’re trustworthy. It takes effort to decide if you’re safe. And it takes more effort than watching TV.

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You may think that we want “quick and easy”, “simple” or “short and sweet”, but we don’t. We’re completely happy with “hard but worth it”, “expensive but exciting”, and “painful in all the right ways”. These make us happy when you are able to present “worth it” clearly. They work when you make us feel the excitement. We buy when we know the right ways. Yet, it takes effort and skill to communicate “worth it” and “exciting” and “right” online.

So, we just say, “It’s easy.” Sometimes it works. In my Marketing Land column To Buy Or Not To Buy: When “Quick And Simple” Is Just A Lie, I propose that you will enjoy more success if you take the time to build value in your offering, rather than assuming your visitors are lazy and can’t be bothered to work for or spend on something valuable.

Quick And Simple Is Not A Metric. It Is A Perception.

Too often “Quick and Simple” is a lie.

Quick And Simple Is Not A Metric. It Is A Perception. I offer the following flowchart in the article:

The Quick and Easy Test flow chart.

Quick and easy is probably different for your visitors.

Mobile experiences are getting more and more sophisticated, which means we are doing less and less work. You’re definition of “easy” is getting eroded. I recommend you build value.

The fight for online leads and sales has traditionally been fought at the search engine. That is changing.

Web analytics, bid management, competitive intelligence, ad testing and ad management tools are all common staples of any serious paid search effort. Return on ad spend (ROAS) is being tracked all the way through the sign up or purchase process and ad strategies are being adjusted accordingly.

Quietly, the battle for online leads is moving to a new front. This new front is measured by revenue per visit, and it’s kissing cousin, conversion rate. Like the tide that floats all boats, website optimization is being seen as the way to reduce all marketing costs by dropping the acquisition cost of new prospects and customers.

Why do we say this is happening quietly? That is the conclusion we came to when examining an unusual data set from SpyFu.com. We were able to determine which businesses had conversion optimization tools installed on their website. This, we reasoned, gave us a pretty good idea of which businesses would dominate in the world of online marketing — assuming they were actually using the tools.

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In this month’s podcast, based on the Marketing Land column Data Exposes Scandalously Low Adoption Of Conversion Optimization Tools, Brian the Conversion Scientist explores the usage of conversion optimization tools for two industry segments: Higher Education and B2B Software.

In one report, 73% of businesses are spending between $500 and $5000 per month on paid search ads. Almost a quarter are spending between $5000 and $50,000 per month. Yet, only 14% of businesses have at least one website optimization tool installed.

Who are going to be the winners in this new front? Where does your business fit in this statistic?

To get the most out of his column, download one of the free reports that share all of the data he uses.

In these reports you will learn:

  • Why your team needs time to review analytics.
  • Why businesses with smaller ad budgets should focus more on acquisition costs.
  • How to decrease your Search Ad costs.
  • Why you shouldn’t invest in social media sharing.

Statistical significance: It’s not just for impressing your date anymore.

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If you’re involved with an online business, you draw conclusions from things you’ve learned on a weekly basis.

When you say, “We tried that. It didn’t work,” you are claiming to be able to predict the future based on something you did in the past.

When you say, “We stopped sending email because our list got tired of us,” you are saying that the tea leaves of your email list say you should stop sending email.

Often, such statements stop progress. One way to keep from hitting the “We tried that” wall is the ask a simple question: “Was the data statistically significant?”

In this episode of The Conversion Scientist Podcast, I will tell you exactly what statistical significance means, how to measure it and when to believe the data you’re being shown.

Read the Transcript

Image taken from ABTestGuide.com statistical significance calculator.


21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks to Skyrocket Conversions

FREE: Click to Download

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks

Keep these proven copywriting hacks in mind to make your copy convert.

  • 43 Pages with Examples
  • Assumptive Phrasing
  • "We" vs. "You"
  • Pattern Interrupts
  • The power of Three

Why do superheroes wear costumes when a simple mask would suffice? What is behind the legend of the “Power Tie?”

Why do Conversion Scientists wear a lab coat?

This is one of the questions I answer in my interview with Roger Dooley for the Brainfluence Podcast. Roger is one smart cookie, and our conversation flows to a number of interesting topics.

  • What is a Conversion Scientist?
  • Earning the trust of your potential customers.
  • The counter-intuitive way to generate more telephone calls.
  • Why we spend too much time telling people what we offer and not enough time on their needs.
  • Why Brian says that most designers are going to give you well-meaning, but altogether bad, advice.

You should certainly give this a listen, or pop over the the Brainfluence Blog to read the transcript.

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This interview originally appeared on Roger Dooley’s Brainfluence Podcast.


21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks to Skyrocket Conversions

FREE: Click to Download

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks

Keep these proven copywriting hacks in mind to make your copy convert.

  • 43 Pages with Examples
  • Assumptive Phrasing
  • "We" vs. "You"
  • Pattern Interrupts
  • The power of Three

I do a lot of interviews. I love doing them, especially when they are on my favorite subject: me.

However, I must admit feeling a bit of trepidation at the thought of being interview by “The Web Pshychologist“, Nathalie Nahai. After all, her job is to peel back the layers of your marketing program until she finds the core issues that keep you from success.

I wasn’t sure I wanted my onion peeled.

My fears were confirmed as Nathalie guided me through some revealing questions using humor and genuine curiosity. I revealed some of my biggest secrets.

  • The ingenious test that shows wearing a lab coat makes smarter.
  • The information should you leave out of your website to ramp up your conversions and start making money.
  • Why your marketing messages bounce off of you visitors brain.
  • The biggest mistake your making online right now according to our tests.
  • How to give your customers hope that they can solve their problems.

Yes, these are questions you will want to know the answer to.

Listen to the entire interview

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21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks to Skyrocket Conversions

FREE: Click to Download

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks

Keep these proven copywriting hacks in mind to make your copy convert.

  • 43 Pages with Examples
  • Assumptive Phrasing
  • "We" vs. "You"
  • Pattern Interrupts
  • The power of Three

I did a little experiment using images and copy in my Marketing Land column Take Control of Your Visitors’ Eyes. Instead of using my superior powers of page design to highlight an important piece of information, I used them to hide that information.

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I purposefully did some things you may be doing accidentally, to the detriment of your site and your visitors.

When looking at web and landing page copy, I often find the important information buried, or designed in such a way as to look unimportant.

Value propositions, phone numbers, guarantees, and special offers are some of the things that are important to visitors, but don’t look important.

Images, captions and more

Read the column or listen to the podcast to find out how I obscured an important fact, and how I highlighted another, less relevant fact using:

  • Images
  • Captions
  • Copy
  • Headlines
  • Bulleted Lists
  • Links
  • Pull Quotes

It’s a show and tell column, .


21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks to Skyrocket Conversions

FREE: Click to Download

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks

Keep these proven copywriting hacks in mind to make your copy convert.

  • 43 Pages with Examples
  • Assumptive Phrasing
  • "We" vs. "You"
  • Pattern Interrupts
  • The power of Three

I’ve got some eye-candy and ear-hums for those of you who hate reading. My tour of Europe (Frankfurt, Germany to Stockholm, Sweden) yielded a variety of media.

Sketch of conversion scientist Brian Massey @bmassey at #cjam3
Our brains are good at ignoring the typical so that we don’t miss the life-threatening: Wind on the grass vs. the steps of a predator.
Per Axbom

Lab Coats Were All the Rage

My fantastic hosts, André Morys and John Ekman easily earned their Conversion Scences lab coats for exemplary work in progressing the science of conversion. Co-speaker Natalie Nahai (the WebPschologist) found the 1200 thread count thermal weave to be warming on a cool Stockholm night.

Natalie Craig Ton Andre Brian Lab Coat ConversionJAM Brian Massey John Ekman lab coat Natalie Nahai Lab Coat

An Audio Preview

brian massey cjam3 podcast interview uxpodcastThe James Royal-Lawson and Per Axbom recorded a short (14:36 min) interview. You should listen to it, and if you want to learn more, check out the complete audio of my presentation.

Live the Full Presentation as if you were THERE

Follow along with the slides.

Will the holiday card we chose convert “Bah Humbug” into the “Love Bug?” Follow along as we express our gratitude to you and show you why we chose the holiday card we did.

 
We hope we’ve been able to make 2011 a great year for you, since you’ve made it a great year for us here at Conversion Sciences.
Look for us in 2012 as we continue to educate, optimize and have fun doing it.
I’m completing the chapters of my new book due out in this Spring. Find out how you can get a free copy of the book when its available.
Brian

Conversion analysis reveals some missed opportunities

The New York Observer paints a pretty stunning picture of one attempt to launch an online newspaper Web site. Was it to be expected, or is this an online sales conversion problem?
The article states that, after a $4 million overhaul and redesign, newsday.com, the online arm of the Long Island daily Newsday had attracted only 35 subscribers in three months.
Author John Koblin also writes that, since moving the site content behind a “pay wall,” traffic has dropped from 2.2 million monthly unique visits to 1.5 million in just three months. This may not be surprising, since there is little free content available from the online newspaper.

Does Content Want to be Free?

I don’t think so. The price people will pay for content is determined in part by:

  1. The price placed on it – What do others think it is worth?
  2. Relevance – Should I care about it?
  3. Timeliness – Am I getting information when I need it?
  4. Uniqueness – Can I get the same thing somewhere else for free?

If your content wants to be free, then you haven’t branded it with at least one of these aspects.
Newsday’s content should pass the test with flying colors.

  1. Price: They’re pricing it at $5 a week.
  2. Relevance: It is certainly relevant to residents of Long Island.
  3. Timeliness: New stories every day and breaking news.
  4. Uniqueness: How many online news sources are there for Long Island?

As you will see in my Website review of Newsday.com (see video) they didn’t make the case. To some extent the content – stories, videos and applications – should make the case by itself. However, the site has the same categories, layout and value proposition of many news sites.
So far, all Newsday.com has done is put a price on it’s content.

The proper way to charge for online content

What Newsday’s designers and developers failed to tell management is that newsday.com runs on computers, and computers can monitor the activities of those reading the online edition. This means you can test just about anything in the court of public opinion.
Instead of changing everything, newsday.com should have tested their way into the new business model.
Test the variety of business models to be available: micropayments, donation strategies, “pay for everyone” strategies, as well as the “pay wall” approach.
Test how much “free” content is needed to keep site traffic up.
Test how to present pricing.
Test the price points that will deliver subscribers.
Of course, a testing strategy doesn’t deliver a $4 million pay day to an agency and development team. There are few incentives for patience. If management didn’t think they had the time for a measured rollout before, they certainly don’t now.

Newsday.com Reacts

Key Page Review-Free consultationBlog BobBlitz.com posted a chart showing four possible layouts for the Newsday.com site. It appears that newsday.com is “enhancing its website” by “updating its color scheme.”
I don’t believe this is going to help.
It’s great that they are asking their readers what they think, but Newsday’s problems are elsewhere when you look at it through the eyes of a Conversion Scientist.
Here is my Key Page Review of Newsday.com. Watch to find out where I believe Newsday has gone worked to prevent subscribers from completing a transaction on their site.
Would you like a similar analysis of your site? Request a Conversion Sciences Key Page Review.
Brian illustrated signature

Is Flavia going to help us get some x’s, o’s and some !’s?

Happy Valentines Day from Conversion Sciences and Flavia
It’s time for another special ConversionCast compliments of our friends at Flavia. We look at the three strategies that will make or break an eCommerce site:

        

  • Categories
  •     

  • Product Pages
  •     

  • Checkout Process

We also take a hard look at their Home page.
Flavia has one thing going for them: they have metrics installed. In fact, they are double covered with metrics from Omniture Site Catalyst and Google Analytics. This means they know if a change will make a difference in their sales.
[flash /ConversionCast/Valentines-ConversionCast-Flavia.flv width=500]
Will their customers be their Valentines by buying their products? I’ll try to find out for you.
Brian Massey's social graph
You can submit your site or landing page for a ConversionCast. Don’t miss our ChristmasCast if you’re into Holiday conversion.
“Valentine” courtesy Daniel Adam Johnson via the Podsafe Music Network