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Toddlers have tablets built just for them, and elementary school kids have iPads and phones. Being connected is a way of life now, and that connectedness is starting at earlier and earlier ages.
Where did it begin? With the Millennials – that 18-34 age group that, now in adulthood, is the first generation to have had some type of device in its hands from a very young age. And for each new device and technology, they adapt almost seamlessly. Within the Millennial generation, we find “Generation C”, so called becuse of its impact on consumer culture. It consumes very differently. Anyone who has been involved in CRO already knows this, if only by experience.

What Do We Already Know About Generation C?

New research on the Millennial Generation

New research on the Millennial Generation


The research has been done, and the results are in. Sociologists, psychologists, and anthropologists have done the work for content marketers who are attempting to learn about this generation. Here are 15 critical pieces of information:

        

  1. Millennials can do virtually anything with their phones other than eat, sleep and have sex. PCs are dinosaurs, but tablets and laptops are okay for certain purposes (coursework research and assignments, some product and service researching, preparing reports, graphics, and slide shares, etc.).
  2.     

  3. They do not use email or IM much.
  4.     

  5. Their preferred social media is still Facebook (62%) and YouTube. Twitter is becoming a bit more popular, but Pinterest is a big “no”.
  6.     

  7. The preferred method of communication is texting.
  8.     

  9. In 2014, they were responsible for $500 billion in Internet sales.
  10.     

  11. By 2025, they will be 75% of the workforce in the U.S.
  12.     

  13. They will not do business with anyone they do not fully trust or who is not recommended by others in their “communities”.
  14.     

  15. They covet mobility – they are marrying later, deferring starting families, renting rather than owning, and think nothing about changing jobs every year and a half.
  16.     

  17. They will not be “pushed” into conversions by “hard sells”.
  18.     

  19. Social life, family and time to enjoy both is just as important as their work, and they will sacrifice high income for quality leisure time.
  20.     

  21. They demand social responsibility on the part of companies with which they do business.
  22.     

  23. They want to be evaluated on the quality of work they produce not on the number of hours they are physically present in an office.
  24.     

  25. Trust and relationships are most highly valued in their personal, professional, and their purchasing lives.
  26.     

  27. They want to be engaged, entertained and feel a part of any business with whom they do business.
  28.     

  29. They are savvy consumers who recognize sales pitches and disingenuous, unauthentic tactics.

What This Means for CRO

There are great opportunities here. If marketing is done right, a business can have the loyalty of a customer and that customer’s entire community
There are also great risks. If marketing is done wrong, a business has lost a customer and his/her community forever. It’s hard to recoup from these mistakes.

The Four Cs

You’ve probably heard about The Four Cs of Marketing. There may be slight variations on each of the four, but the message is still consistent. Just as a reminder:

        

  1. You have to create content specifically for Millennials that will be shared and, ideally go viral.
  2.     

  3. You have to connect on an emotional level. Knowing that Millennials value relationships and have strong demand for trust, your campaigns must honor these two things.
  4.     

  5. You must communicate regularly where they are online.
  6.     

  7. You must convert very carefully and gradually. Relationships and trust take time, but the payoff is big in the long run.

Millennials may be a new type of consumer, but The Four Cs still apply. Keeping them in mind, here are five practical applications based upon what we know about Generation C and the fact that you want conversions.
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1. Millennials thrive when engaged with online communities.

They want to be engaged and you want to be a part of their communities.
To Do:

        

  1. Be where they are – Facebook and YouTube
  2.     

  3. Have conversations with them often and regularly
  4.     

  5. Comment on their comments
  6.     

  7. Invite them to participate in your business.

Example:
One of the best examples of a business that does all of this really well is ModCloth. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that it was founded by a husband and wife team who are themselves Millennials. ModCloth is a women’s fashion retailer that has this whole “engagement” thing down.

        

  1. They went and still do go where Millennial women hang out – Facebook and YouTube.
  2.     

  3. They got their potential customers engaged right away, asking them to “vote” on clothing items they were considering carrying.
  4.     

  5. They established a “style gallery” on their site and their Facebook page that features actual customers “modeling” their clothing. The photos are all submitted by happy purchasers, and others are encouraged to comment on the clothing items and to engage in conversations with each other. Look at their Facebook page:

If you visit ModCloths' Facebook page, you will see all kinds of comments, suggestions, and conversations about this clothing and how great everyone looks!

If you visit ModCloths’ Facebook page, you will see all kinds of comments, suggestions, and conversations about this clothing and how great everyone looks!


ModCloth must be doing something right – its sales topped $100 million last year.

2. Millennials want to be entertained, shocked, and schooled in unique ways.

They will share content with their communities that meets these criteria. They want to generate comments and conversations about what they share.
To Do:

        

  1. Give them plenty to share on a regular basis – stories, contests, photos/videos
  2.     

  3. Give them offers to redeem on your site or at your brick and mortar establishment
  4.     

  5. Invite comments, conversations and submissions

Example:
Jack Daniel’s has been around for a long time and has found ways to market to every generation, Millennials included. Understanding the need for Millennials to be involved and engaged and to share great stuff, they regularly launch new ways for them to participate and share those participations.

        

  1. There is an ongoing microsite to which users can submit really weird and strange bar stories, read others’ submissions, comment, engage in conversations, and, of course share.
Bar Stories from Jack Daniel's shares real-life bar stories that are worth sharing

BarStories.JackDaniels.com features real-life bar stories that are worth sharing

        

  1. Another more recent addition is “The Few and Far Between” contest for users to submit pictures of really weird bars. The winning entry will have that bar featured in a Jack Daniel’s commercial.
  2.     

  3. Still another recent participative activity is the “Crack the Jack Daniel’s Safe” lottery. Scratch-offs are delivered to bars along with bottles of Jack. A customer may order a drink made with JD whiskey and then ask the bartender for a ticket. Prizes include posters, hats, and other branded swag.

Jack Daniel’s fully intends to be a popular whiskey with the Millennials and will engage in those content marketing strategies that do just that.

3. They don’t want to spend a lot of time doing research.

They want to go quickly to a business with a lot of positive “buzz” around it and/or that has been recommended within their communities.
To Do:

        

  1. Share who you are; tell your story. The founders of ModCloth spent a lot of time doing this and it paid off soundly.
  2.     

  3. Become a member of their communities by being an “expert” who can give advice and recommendations through social media and through blog posts. Put teasers to those posts on Facebook with a link back to your blog when you have good, new content to share about something they have been discussing.
  4.     

  5. Don’t push them into your sales funnel with offers like email subscriptions – they could not care less. And use CTA buttons sparingly on your blog. They are a big turnoff. Do put share buttons on all of your posts. Just coming to your blog and sharing is a great initial “conversion”. Patience with Millennials.

Example:
Millennials do not remember Steve Jobs’ early years at Apple or his disagreements with the Board of Directors that caused him to leave. The company was almost run into the ground until he came back. Millennials knew him as the “face” of Apple, a brand they could trust. And he knew how important his persona was as well. For this reason, he personally launched every new product – he was trusted. Even though Jobs is gone, the Apple brand is trusted, so long as the new “faces” do not act stupidly.

Steve Jobs acting as the face of Apple made it a company that Millennials can trust

Steve Jobs acting as the face of Apple made it a company that Millennials can trust.

4. Millennials will do business with companies that are genuinely relevant to their needs.

They look for companies that communicate in an honest way and that offer a consistent experience on their devices.
Recently LinkedIn published a list of the favorite websites of Millennials throughout all of their communities. The common thread among these favorites were that they had a good reputation, were easy to access on their phones, had high-speed loading on their mobile devices, and provided them with relevant products and services.
To Do:

        

  1. Responsive design has been a good way to provide excellent UX on mobile devices, but most of the “big boys” are now developing a mobile first strategy as they design and re-design. This is only smart considering the trends of device use for research and purchases.
  2.     

  3. Give users as few tasks as possible on their devices. Companies that do this really well are car rentals, airlines, hotels and restaurants. Amazon does a good job too.
  4.     

  5. Ensure that the site loads quickly and that navigation is really seamless. This keeps Millennials coming back which leads to conversions.

Examples
When LinkedIn published it list of Millennials’ most favored sites, Amazon of course was one. Two others were Spotify and BuzzFeed.
Here’s what Millennials said about these two sites:

        

  1. Spotify: It loads quickly; the audio is terrific on their phones; it has the music they want; they can curate playlists; they can hear new artists; and they can share with their friends. Plus, their experience is consistently good. Given that 85% of Millennials listen to music on their devices, Spotify has a solid position in this market.
Spotifys app has easy to use navigation gives access to your own music helps you discover new music and works on multiple devices

Spotify’s app has easy-to-use navigation, gives access to your own music, helps you discover new music, and works on multiple devices.

        

  1. BuzzFeed: The whole structure of the site is easy to use on a mobile device – no swiping and a fast load and navigation. One of the biggest draws they stated were the listicles – numbered lists of everything that are quickly scannable and help with real problems in their lives.
BuzzFeeds articles are easily digested with so many of them written in the form of a list.

BuzzFeed’s articles are easily digested with so many of them written in the form of a list.

5. Millennials are loyal to businesses that are principled, bear social responsibility and give back in some way.

To Do:

        

  1. Get a cause of some kind.
  2.     

  3. Invite customers and potential customers to participate. For every purchase, you donate a part of the payment to a charity.
  4.     

  5. If you have a small team, take on local activities, such as Habitat for Humanity or a walk for a cure. Publicize your participation on Facebook and on your site.

Examples:

        

  1. Headbands for Hope: When Jessica Eckstrom founded this company, she was a junior in college. While the idea came from a program she watched about the “Make a Wish” foundation, she knew she wanted a for-profit business that could still “do good”. By the time she graduated from college, she had sold 10,000 headbands, donated 10,000 headbands to children with cancer, and had given $10,000 to cancer research. Within one year after graduation, she had tripled her sales and donations.
Headbands for Hope engages and gives back.

Headbands for Hope engages and gives back.

        

  1. TOMS Shoes: Most people already know this story. TOMS was a moderately successful shoe retailer, albeit a bit conservative in styles, when the owner decided to alter his image to appeal to Millennials. He expanded his product line and took on a pretty major undertaking. For every shoe purchase, he committed to donating a pair of shoes to a child in need. Publicizing all of this on Facebook began to really move the business. Gross sales reached $250 million, and the company has since taken on projects related to clean water and farming. TOMS has an extremely loyal customer-base among Millennials.

TOMS has boosted sales because it has made its giving very public.

TOMS has boosted sales because it has made its giving very public.


Converting Millennials requires patience and a real understanding of their values and lifestyles. While analytics can provide a lot of good information about where and when they shop, devices used, where they bounce and why, there is also something to be said about knowing your audience well enough to know where to start your testing.

About the Author

Julie Ellis is an experienced marketer and freelance blogger. Her wide experience in the field of education, self-improvement and psychology gives her the opportunity to help all people that are willing to make the world better. For more, follow Julie’s Twitter and LinkedIn.

Mary Rose Maguire is the managing partner (with her husband) of Maguire Copywriting. Before she began her own copywriting agency, she produced copy in various corporate industries for over 25 years. The bulk of her copywriting experience has been produced for businesses selling to other businesses (B2B).
She found that her clients had a terrible time with contemplating the concept of emotional copy, much less understanding how to use emotional triggers in a way that generated conversions.
“I’ve been trying to tell them that even though they’d like to believe that their buyer is making the purchase based on logic, they (the buyer) are really are making their decision with their heart. Therefore, even B2B copy needs to be emotional on a website.
She went on to detail the specific emotional triggers that have proven successful for her clients’ conversion goals:
“Some of the emotions I’ve slipped in (when I can) are: frustration, fear, greed, and powerlessness. I also used a headline that addressed uncertainty and instilled doubt. These are NOT the emotions that a security administrator wants to experience!
“I did this for my former employer years ago in an email that ended up bringing in four new security projects (our list was small, around 700). Keep in mind that this was a new approach that I took to an email list that in the four years I worked there, never converted.”
Mary Rose concludes that based on her strategy, she successfully found that emotional triggers do work. It was all simply a matter of addressing the pain of the prospective buyer.
Mary Rose’s company website includes flames in the background. This is an emotional trigger that was added on purpose. She wants her prospects to absorb her branding strategy. Specifically, she wants her prospects to know that her copy…sizzles!
Yes, logic might have led your prospects to your website, but make no mistake: Their emotions finalized their decision that led to your conversion. Likewise, you can’t count on your product or service features and benefits with doing the heavy lifting. Instead, lean on the most effective, most easily-tapped into strategy: Emotion.
As a marketer, you’re launching campaigns of your own. You’ll want to use every reasonable weapon in your arsenal to convert prospects into leads, or sales. It should be no surprise that most purchases actually come from an emotional place. Knowing this, you’ll understand the power that emotional triggers can have on your online revenue?
Let’s take a look at some successful emotional triggers that will allow you to start converting like a military general.

Why Do Emotions Trump Logic On The Road To Conversions?

Hubspot author Emma Snyder quoted Steven Pinker in trying to explain why people ultimately make emotional buying decisions. He goes on to explain what it all comes down to:
“Choosing which to focus on depends on your buyer’s personality (what will resonate most with them?) and your offering (what most closely reflects your value proposition?) Once you’ve determined which emotional lever to pull, use the following tips to create a tear-jerking, heart-stopping, chest-puffing presentation your prospect will never forget.”
Now, let’s take a look at winning conversion campaigns that implemented the use of one or more emotional triggers.

Altruistic/Philanthropic Trigger

Toms Shoes has an altruistic trigger

Toms Shoes has an altruistic trigger


There will always be consumers who shop consciously. They care about social causes, and they want to ensure that they’re directing their money towards companies who practice social responsibility. One such company is TOMS Shoes.
TOMS Shoes practices social responsibility by donating a pair of shoes to a child in need for every shoe purchase that a consumer makes. We all imagine that there are places in the world where many children lack shoes, and it can feel overwhelming for a first-world consumer to do something significant to address these needs.
This is why TOMS uses the tag-line “One for one” on their websites. In their logo above, you’ll see that they lead with a philanthropic trigger, stating that “It starts with one”. You might notice that they’ve also used the encouragement emotional trigger.
When people feel overwhelmed about an issue, it’s human nature to avoid it altogether.  TOMS addresses this conversion obstacle by encouraging prospective consumers to start addressing the issues of children living without shoes by completing one manageable task: Just purchase one pair of shoes.
The implication is that the consumer can certainly purchase one pair of shoes, and yet that single purchase could make all the difference in the daily lifestyle of a severely-impoverished child. When the message is framed this way, the prospect has no choice but to think to themselves, “I can do this! And, maybe I can purchase more than one pair of shoes, too, so that I help out even more children!”

Fashion Forward/Sense Of Belonging Trigger

Old Navy appeals to your sense of belonging by being trendy yet accessible

Old Navy appeals to your sense of belonging by being trendy yet accessible


Old Navy is known to be a family brand of clothing that’s at once fashion-forward, and approachable. It’s the type of casual fashion brand that promises to make families living on Main Street, USA feel that their sense of style can compete with the clothing styles of people living in New York or LA.
This is why Old Navy has approached its fall consumer prospects with the tag-line “Fall’s Favorite Denim”.
The implications are obvious. If the prospective consumer wants to gain a sense of belonging with those who are on point with seasonal fashion trends, then they’ll purchase a pair of trendy-yet-affordable Old Navy jeans.
This is an efficient emotional trigger to use when you clearly understand your brand, who your targets are, and what their inner motivations are.

Inspirational/Self Actualization Trigger

Udemy is a platform where adults can take courses for professional development or personal improvement. The company understands that converting prospective students takes a lot more than presenting them with a catalog listing of course offerings.
They realize that they’ll vastly increase their chances for conversions when they appeal to a prospective student’s aspirations. Notice how they spur the prospect’s actions by addressing their inner thoughts.

Taking a course with Udemy can lead to self-actualization

Taking a course with Udemy can lead to self-actualization


The copy leads you to an affirmative decision by urging you to “Say yes to success!” You’ll also notice that the logo further impacts the prospect’s emotions by setting the copy on a bright and cheerful yellow background.
The copy and the color scheme on the yellow ad were carefully choreographed to illicit an immediate positive response, but you might also notice a different trigger if you look closely.
There’s the use of shame as an emotional trigger, too.
While the tag-line “Say yes to success!” is at first glance inspiring, it also addresses the reader’s inner insecurities about taking steps to become more successful. If you don’t get started with Udemy, are you saying “No” to success? What type of person chooses to buy a pizza, a tee shirt, or a pet hamster over investing in their future success?
Udemy is betting that the type of prospect who cares about becoming successful would rather invest in a $15 course – and gain a sense of personal pride – than live in the shame of knowing that their usual frivolous purchases were more of a financial priority.
Udemy trends even deeper with the self-actualization angle in another ad.
By now, only someone who has no personal goals or ambitions could say no to these CTAs

By now, only someone who has no personal goals or ambitions could say no to these CTAs


Be aware when using shame as a trigger. Shame is best left in the hands of the highly skilled or talented marketer. No one loves being shamed, so we usually avoid shame at all cost. Having prospects avoid your website or your landing page is the opposite of what conversion is all about, so if you must use shame, then apply it with a very gentle hand. It usually goes down better with a heaping dose of encouragement, as Udemy has done.

Pride/Self Actualization Trigger:

L'Oreal's famous tagline

L’Oreal’s famous tagline


Anyone who came of age in the 1970s and beyond is familiar with L’Oreal’s now-famous tag-line “Because You’re Worth It”. The phrase was coined in 1973 by a 23 year-old female copywriter who was tasked with capturing the emotional energy of the times.
Specifically, the brand wanted to appeal to the sensibilities of the new woman, the type of woman who took pride in her abilities of juggling career and family. More to the point, the tag-line appealed to women who were finally realizing the ability to earn their own discretionary income instead of asking their husbands or fathers for a spending allowance.
In 2015, women take it for granted that they can self-actualize themselves into the career and lifestyle of their choosing, yet they still struggle with placing the needs of their families, friends, and employers above their own. They still need to be reminded that they’re allowed to spend discretionary income towards their beauty goals simply because they hold intrinsic personal worth.
The message is loud and clear. L’Oreal was and still is a brand for the woman who takes pride in her personal appearance, and her personal brand. This is the cosmetic product of choice for women who want to feel actualized, smart, and proud of themselves.
The product line is the choice for ladies who unapologetically want to look and feel beautiful, on their terms. According to L’Oreal,
“…we know that an astonishing 80% of women recognize and respond to this positive phrase and powerful sentiment.”

Wow! [pullquote]Think of your conversion numbers if 80% of your visitors were able to emotionally identify with your message![/pullquote]

Urgency Trigger

Save the Children's landing page and CTA promote a sense of urgency

Save the Children’s landing page and CTA promote a sense of urgency


This Save The Children landing page features a boy from a third-world country who is seemingly so overcome with hunger, he can only bury his anguished face in the palm of his hands. Is there anyone who views this photo who could say that they aren’t the slightest bit moved by the image of a young child who has given up all hope of a satisfying meal, let alone a happy, satisfying life?
Certainly, the average person who reads this landing page can’t begin to wrap their mind or emotions around the possibility of a child suffering with hunger on the same level as this child.
As if the image doesn’t do its job of creating urgency, Save The Children goes a step further in it’s verbiage:
“Refugee children are frightened, homeless, and many have witnessed unspeakable horrors. You can help them,” (emphasis are mine).
Save The Children informs you of other reasons why this boy is burying his face in his tiny hands. Further, the organization plainly lets you know that there are immediate steps that you can take in order to make the boy’s pain and suffering end, immediately.
But, in case you’re still unclear about what to do, there’s the bright red button that reads:
“Donate now.”
Save The Children has operated as a non-profit since 1919. They’ve had almost a century to perfect their strategy of winning over the hearts of their prospective donors. Barring personal poverty, there’s no way that any prospective donor can look at this landing page and not feel the slightest tug of their heart.
There’s a great chance that this sparse yet highly effective landing page will convert readers into organizational donors.
Win your prospects heart and minds with emotional triggers, and you’ll find yourself winning marketing campaigns where logical arguments haven’t succeeded.

About the Author

Terri Scott headshotTerri is a five-year content marketing storyteller and editor. She loves writing marketing and entrepreneurship stories during the day while dabbling in culinary and creative arts at night.
You can view her work at terriscott.contently.com, and she’d love to hear from you @Positive_Twist.

Talking about landing pages that convert is one of a Conversion Scientist’s favorite conversation topics. It’s even something that plays a huge part in their dating lives, and one of Conversion Scientist Brian Massey’s most popular presentations is still the Chemistry of the Landing Page (replay).

Your Conversion Rate Will Make or Break Your Campaigns

Conversion Sciences doesn’t just talk a big game when it comes to giving advice about landing pages: we have the data to back up what we’re saying. Having high-converting landing pages has made our webinar series Lab Coat Lessons a big success.

28.62 percent conversion rate on our landing page for our CRO & SEM webinar

28.62% conversion rate on our landing page for our CRO & SEM webinar

42.41 percent rate on our landing page for our UX vs. CRO webinar

42.41% conversion rate on our landing page for our UX vs. CRO webinar

50.92 percent conversion rate on our landing page for our Mobile 2.0 webinar

50.92% conversion rate on our landing page for our Mobile 2.0 webinar

Just think of what would happen to your revenue if your landing pages had a 50% conversion rate.

Helping people build high converting landing pages just never stops being interesting, so next week, on Thursday, October 15th, Brian will be joining Avangate for a free webinar that will teach you how to do just that. watch the replay now, and you’ll learn:

  • Why landing pages are so powerful in online marketing.
  • Why you should build landing pages backwards.
  • The primary components that make landing pages work.
  • How to keep your landing pages from getting off track.

Retail season is just three months away.  Surprise!
Come again?! Yes it’s true. Between the months of November and late December, many businesses who generate significant profit online will experience an increase in traffic and (hopefully) sales.
How do you know if your website is fully prepared to take full advantage of the holiday rush? Instead of Santa Claus loading up his sleigh with merchandise from your warehouse, you could see an increase in shopping cart abandonment, low sales, and a whole lot of tears in your eggnog.
Most online businesses generate the majority of the year’s profit during the holiday season. This can make ecommmerce sites a little nervous. Business managers get conservative, locking down the site and taking no risks for months before the blessed start of the shopping season.
They seem to be just waiting until the season is over with their eyes closed, praying to the retail gods that things will go well.
Don’t be that guy this year. Pick the right strategies to optimize in time for retail season. Here’s how some of the top online retailers prepare for the rush of retail season. These are high-stakes, low risk ideas that you can put in place before Black Friday darkens the holiday sun.

Idea One: Don’t Jump Into A Total Site Redesign

Many businesses think they have to change with the holiday seasons. The fact of the matter is “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” What you think is broke is often perfect to your visitors.
Instead, enhance what’s already been working on your website. Brian Massey said it best himself last Christmas. In the weeks before the holidays he realized his house was still decorated for Halloween.
Rather than taking down his skeletons and spending money on new decorations, he took a more creative approach. He added a special twist of his own to the unique decor. When his 17-year old daughter and her friends came by the house, he received positive reviews and praise. Remember, the opinion of your visitor matters the most.

The Tim Burton approach worked well for holiday decor

The Tim Burton approach worked well for holiday decor

Idea Two: Identify Where You Get Conversions and Leads

We work with many eCommerce companies from high-end jewelry and gloves to furniture sales. Our job is to analyze this behavior and data to best optimize your online business. The Channel Report in Google Analytics helps us locate streamlined conversions and where clients see significant sales by traffic source. With the Overview section, you can make an Advanced Segment to locate which specific sites are the source of your leads and how those leads navigate your website to become a customer.
Let’s say we want to focus on our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn social efforts. Here’s how we set up one advanced segments:

This is how we traditionally set up segments in Google Analytics to better analyze site conversions.

This is how we traditionally set up segments in Google Analytics to analyze site conversions better.


Now that you know where your conversions are coming from, you need to understand what components on your site aid in these conversions. If we want to see how one of each of our landing pages performed, we would create an Advanced Segment that highlights our goal URL. This will help us determine which landing pages converted best. Perhaps your home page needs to be better optimized, or maybe you can cut back on ads that deliver unfavorable results.
We can also gather data on which devices lead to more conversions, whether visitors are new, and how many sessions each channel produces. It’s important to understand the type of traffic comes to your site, how visitors move through your site, and which features deliver the most conversions. This data will help you better craft your next step in prepping your eCommerce strategy.
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Step Three: Lay Out Your Conversion Roadmap and Retargeting Ads

I was recently asked to be a groomsman for my best friend’s wedding. Great, I thought. Bachelor parties, booze, and a whole lot of money down the toilet. We recently had a fitting at The Mens Wearhouse. Look at us! Aren’t we a great bunch of guys?

While getting fitted for tuxes for our friend's wedding, we decided not to rent shoes.

While getting fitted for tuxes for our friend’s wedding, we decided not to rent shoes.


After all was said and done, we decided to not to rent shoes for $20. Think about it: that’s almost the price of half a decent shoe. Since most guys can use a good new pair of shoes, we decided to check out several online shoe stores to find the right style and avoid another brutal trip to the mall. Let’s be real, no one enjoys shopping with six other dudes that have absolutely no sense of style.
We scoured the web and came upon a pair of great looking shoes on Nordstrom.com, but we said no to purchasing. They were just too expensive.
The Retail Giant, however, was kind enough to fill my Facebook Newsfeed with wonderful retargeting ads. Thanks a lot for the added temptation.
After leaving Nordstrom.com without purchasing an item, they decided to retarget me on Facebook.

After leaving Nordstrom.com without purchasing an item, they decided to retarget me on Facebook.


Did I mention that we were shopping for a “wingtip” style shoe. This fact wasn’t lost on Nordstrom. They tracked my shopping activity and knew what I was looking for. Since my initial search on their website just didn’t ring up a sale, they decided to retarget me with a similar wingtip shoe that was significantly marked down in price.
Nordstrom knew I was looking for a wingtip style shoe and have even recommended several pairs that are more affordable.

Nordstrom knew I was looking for a wingtip style shoe and have even recommended several pairs that are more affordable.


Had this shoe been in the wedding party’s price range, we would have definitely been a customer. It fits the motif of the overall look for the wedding and is a killer shoe. It’s also discounted, a big plus.
But wait, there’s even more to this landing page. Drumroll please. Nordstrom included a “People Also Viewed” section on the right of this page, listing two additional wingtip style shoes in a more affordable price range. Well done guys, well done. Unfortunately for Nordstrom we were still too cheap to buy, but it was still a solid effort.
Remember to lay out exactly how you will navigate a variety of customers through your funnel. Think of your email subscribers, returning visitors, new visitors, and don’t forget your impulse buyers.
Once you’ve segmented your visitors, analyze their behavior. Did they convert? Which items did they purchase? What was their overall spend? By knowing these key statistics, you can craft better retargeting ads and email offers that resonate with their buying habits. What kind of ads will you be showing site visitors, customers, or shoppers who abandoned their cart? Nordstrom.com knows their stuff. Now how can you turn lost opportunities into sales?

Idea Four: Brainstorm High Converting Lead Generating Campaigns

You need some ammunition for retail season that brings in new customers and sales. Early fall is a great time for executing high converting lead generating campaigns. We’re talking giveaways, contests, and special offers. Since web optimization is a given for increasing conversions, we’re going to talk about email list building campaigns for leads.
Let’s take another look at our friends at Nordstrom.com. I noticed they were having a special giveaway on their site. It didn’t look obnoxious like some online giveaways, and I was intrigued by the red letters at the top left corner of the site that said “Want a $1,000 Gift Card?” YES. I DO. So I clicked on it.

Screenshot 2015-07-22 01.07.43

Click the red letters! Win money.


Once I checked out the official rules, I was taken to an additional landing page to sign up for the giveaway.
Screenshot 2015-07-20 19.49.31

Keep your giveaways simple. Too many rules or procedures turn people away.


This contest has a very particular call-to-action: write a review on one of their products you’ve purchased. Once entered, I was sent an email with a CTA to continue shopping. Campaigns like this are simple to generate a moderate lead flow and are rather common.
Be creative with your giveaways. Don’t make the contest too complicated, and always offer an incentive to those who enter, like a special coupon. They are not likely to win, but you will, especially since you’ve given them a reason to buy.
Again, you want your email list to be as fat as possible come the holiday season, especially if you find that your list converts higher than your site traffic.

Idea Five: Structure Your Email Blast With Offers and Take Leads Through Your Funnel

Spend some time thinking about how to dial up the value on your email blasts for the holidays. People who give you their email address are inviting you to their already very full inbox, so make the most of it. There are lots of ways to do it and many elements to email marketing. The offers below can translate into high converting emails: which tactic would work with your business?

A New Arrival

Some shoppers love to splurge on the latest and greatest. Add this to the top of your email. Perhaps even include it in the email subject line. Local Austin jeweler Kendra Scott has a unique approach to their email blasts. In this email we see the new arrival promo at the top.

This is an email promo for Kendra Scott's new Mystic Bazaar collection.

This is an email promo for Kendra Scott’s new Mystic Bazaar collection.


Now what if customers aren’t interested in buying anything new? Although we commend Kendra Scott for featuring new arrivals at the top of their email, the flow becomes rather confusing after that. It’s literally a maze of jewelry! I found it difficult to look at additional products and offers.
Omg. Too confusing. Where do I click?!

Omg. Too confusing. Where do I click?!


See what I mean? Focusing on a subset of customers who are likely to convert is a great idea, but your entire email needs to be easy to navigate or it’s a waste of space.

A Bestseller

You know this product will sell with or without a marked down price. You can sell this product with your eyes closed, so why not include it in the email? Having analyzed countless email blasts from CountryOutfitter.com, I was surprised to know that they continuously included a new pair of boots in their campaign. Repetition can be a good thing for sales.

CountryOutfitter.com knows their boots sell. Each week they include a different style of boot in their email blasts

CountryOutfitter.com knows their boots sell. Each week they include a different style of boot in their email blasts

Theme Your Emails

I once tried to get a job at a high end furniture store fresh out of college and was lucky enough to be invited to interview for a marketing position. It was a very fancy and expensive store. Who wouldn’t want to spend $10,000 on a dining room table made from reclaimed Grecian wood?
An important lesson I learned from that interview was how furniture salesmen increase their commissions by including add-ons that compliment the purchase, from furniture displays to the final sales pitch.
“Would you also like some table lamps, a rug, and perhaps this painting of a naked man to compliment your one-of-a-kind love seat from Romania?”
Someone willing to drop a small (or medium) fortune on a couch is likely to be willing to drop even more to make sure the couch isn’t sitting in an empty living room – or worse, a living room where the other decor doesn’t match the couch.  That’s where the money comes from.
Here’s a great example of how one online retailer themes their email blasts similarly to furniture store displays. This particular campaign was all about skulls.
Screenshot 2015-07-22 16.45.15
And you can’t buy a skull sweater without getting the matching purse and mug. Do you really want to be the fool with the skull sweater drinking out a cat mug and carrying a hobo bag?  Absolutely not.

You must purchase the matching accessories!

You must purchase the matching accessories!


Even better, every item in this email is 20% off. HotTopic, eat your heart out.

A Coupon Code or Free Shipping

Adding a coupon code or a free shipping incentive (like “get $50 off a purchase of $100 or more” or “free shipping when you spend $50”) will help visitors spend a specific amount of money or help them purchase an item that is designed to be a quick money maker.

CountryOutfitter.com includes a free pair of flip flops with the purchase of $75 or more.

CountryOutfitter.com includes a free pair of flip flops with the purchase of $75 or more.

A Promotional Story

For those brands engaged in a content strategy, adding a promotional story to an email blast can help drive serious traffic. Here’s how a competitor of CountryOutfitter.com sent their email blast the day Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton announced their divorce. They used a headline announcing the divorce in their email subject line, along with a photo of the couple at the top of the email.

Miranda Lambert & Blake Shelton divorce, but Country Fashion retailers are making money.

Miranda Lambert & Blake Shelton divorce, but Country Fashion retailers are making money.


This email was more than just the Country Music story of the day. When visitors opened the breaking news email, this retailer included a CTA to shop above the story, and free shipping for all orders $75 or more.
Below the breaking news image was a “Shop Now” image directing traffic to a product page. Although this traffic may not be interested in shopping and would much rather read up on Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton, you can still segment this surge in traffic for retargeting ads (remember the Nordstrom.com example?).

Step Six: Give Your Leads A Reason To Return To Your Website

Set an expiration date to your coupons, create limited time offers, or activate that retargeting ad that will make visitors come back for more. One of the most interesting findings I came across while gathering data for this post was a feature on RebelCircus.com. At the top of the site, there was a ticker that gave shoppers exactly one hour to use a coupon and make a purchase.

You've got 1 hour to make a purchase! The agony.

You’ve got one hour to make a purchase! The agony.


When I returned to the site, the clock was still ticking. I was kind of afraid my computer would blow up if I didn’t purchase one of their skull t-shirts. They definitely get a thumbs up for creating a sense of urgency when shopping.

Idea Seven: Gather Data From Your Campaign, Analyze It, and Prep For Next Year

This can be the fun part, or the not so fun part, depending on how the season went. Gather your data from Google Analytics. Dissect the info and highlight the pros and cons of your retail campaigns. Where did you see more conversions, email signups, and social media engagement, and how did this affect your overall strategy?
Your marketing plan should always continue to change and refine itself over the seasons. Your approach this year should be a lot different from next year’s. But when you just can’t get the answers right, or no longer have the time to optimize give Conversion Sciences a call. We’d be happy to bring good tidings of joy to your business this Holiday Season.e was still decorated for Halloween.
Rather than taking down his skeletons and spending money on new decorations, he took a more creative approach. He added a special twist of his own to the unique decor. When his 17-year old daughter and her friends came by the house, he received positive reviews and praise. Remember, the opinion of your visitor matters the most.

The Tim Burton approach worked well for holiday decor

The Tim Burton approach worked well for holiday decor

Idea Two: Identify Where You Get Conversions and Leads

We work with many eCommerce companies from high-end jewelry and gloves to furniture sales. Our job is to analyze this behavior and data to best optimize your online business. The Channel Report in Google Analytics helps us locate streamlined conversions and where clients see significant sales by traffic source. With the Overview section, you can make an Advanced Segment to locate which specific sites are the source of your leads and how those leads navigate your website to become a customer.
Let’s say we want to focus on our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn social efforts. Here’s how we set up one advanced segments:

This is how we traditionally set up segments in Google Analytics to better analyze site conversions.

This is how we traditionally set up segments in Google Analytics to analyze site conversions better.


Now that you know where your conversions are coming from, you need to understand what components on your site aid in these conversions. If we want to see how one of each of our landing pages performed, we would create an Advanced Segment that highlights our goal URL. This will help us determine which landing pages converted best. Perhaps your home page needs to be better optimized, or maybe you can cut back on ads that deliver unfavorable results.
We can also gather data on which devices lead to more conversions, whether visitors are new, and how many sessions each channel produces. It’s important to understand the type of traffic comes to your site, how visitors move through your site, and which features deliver the most conversions. This data will help you better craft your next step in prepping your eCommerce strategy.
[sitepromo]

Step Three: Lay Out Your Conversion Roadmap and Retargeting Ads

I was recently asked to be a groomsman for my best friend’s wedding. Great, I thought. Bachelor parties, booze, and a whole lot of money down the toilet. We recently had a fitting at The Mens Wearhouse. Look at us! Aren’t we a great bunch of guys?

While getting fitted for tuxes for our friend's wedding, we decided not to rent shoes.

While getting fitted for tuxes for our friend’s wedding, we decided not to rent shoes.


After all was said and done, we decided to not to rent shoes for $20. Think about it: that’s almost the price of half a decent shoe. Since most guys can use a good new pair of shoes, we decided to check out several online shoe stores to find the right style and avoid another brutal trip to the mall. Let’s be real, no one enjoys shopping with six other dudes that have absolutely no sense of style.
We scoured the web and came upon a pair of great looking shoes on Nordstrom.com, but we said no to purchasing. They were just too expensive.
The Retail Giant, however, was kind enough to fill my Facebook Newsfeed with wonderful retargeting ads. Thanks a lot for the added temptation.
After leaving Nordstrom.com without purchasing an item, they decided to retarget me on Facebook.

After leaving Nordstrom.com without purchasing an item, they decided to retarget me on Facebook.


Did I mention that we were shopping for a “wingtip” style shoe. This fact wasn’t lost on Nordstrom. They tracked my shopping activity and knew what I was looking for. Since my initial search on their website just didn’t ring up a sale, they decided to retarget me with a similar wingtip shoe that was significantly marked down in price.
Nordstrom knew I was looking for a wingtip style shoe and have even recommended several pairs that are more affordable.

Nordstrom knew I was looking for a wingtip style shoe and have even recommended several pairs that are more affordable.


Had this shoe been in the wedding party’s price range, we would have definitely been a customer. It fits the motif of the overall look for the wedding and is a killer shoe. It’s also discounted, a big plus.
But wait, there’s even more to this landing page. Drumroll please. Nordstrom included a “People Also Viewed” section on the right of this page, listing two additional wingtip style shoes in a more affordable price range. Well done guys, well done. Unfortunately for Nordstrom we were still too cheap to buy, but it was still a solid effort.
Remember to lay out exactly how you will navigate a variety of customers through your funnel. Think of your email subscribers, returning visitors, new visitors, and don’t forget your impulse buyers.
Once you’ve segmented your visitors, analyze their behavior. Did they convert? Which items did they purchase? What was their overall spend? By knowing these key statistics, you can craft better retargeting ads and email offers that resonate with their buying habits. What kind of ads will you be showing site visitors, customers, or shoppers who abandoned their cart? Nordstrom.com knows their stuff. Now how can you turn lost opportunities into sales?

Idea Four: Brainstorm High Converting Lead Generating Campaigns

You need some ammunition for retail season that brings in new customers and sales. Early fall is a great time for executing high converting lead generating campaigns. We’re talking giveaways, contests, and special offers. Since web optimization is a given for increasing conversions, we’re going to talk about email list building campaigns for leads.
Let’s take another look at our friends at Nordstrom.com. I noticed they were having a special giveaway on their site. It didn’t look obnoxious like some online giveaways, and I was intrigued by the red letters at the top left corner of the site that said “Want a $1,000 Gift Card?” YES. I DO. So I clicked on it.

Screenshot 2015-07-22 01.07.43

Click the red letters! Win money.


Once I checked out the official rules, I was taken to an additional landing page to sign up for the giveaway.
Screenshot 2015-07-20 19.49.31

Keep your giveaways simple. Too many rules or procedures turn people away.


This contest has a very particular call-to-action: write a review on one of their products you’ve purchased. Once entered, I was sent an email with a CTA to continue shopping. Campaigns like this are simple to generate a moderate lead flow and are rather common.
Be creative with your giveaways. Don’t make the contest too complicated, and always offer an incentive to those who enter, like a special coupon. They are not likely to win, but you will, especially since you’ve given them a reason to buy.
Again, you want your email list to be as fat as possible come the holiday season, especially if you find that your list converts higher than your site traffic.

Idea Five: Structure Your Email Blast With Offers and Take Leads Through Your Funnel

Spend some time thinking about how to dial up the value on your email blasts for the holidays. People who give you their email address are inviting you to their already very full inbox, so make the most of it. There are lots of ways to do it and many elements to email marketing. The offers below can translate into high converting emails: which tactic would work with your business?

A New Arrival

Some shoppers love to splurge on the latest and greatest. Add this to the top of your email. Perhaps even include it in the email subject line. Local Austin jeweler Kendra Scott has a unique approach to their email blasts. In this email we see the new arrival promo at the top.

This is an email promo for Kendra Scott's new Mystic Bazaar collection.

This is an email promo for Kendra Scott’s new Mystic Bazaar collection.


Now what if customers aren’t interested in buying anything new? Although we commend Kendra Scott for featuring new arrivals at the top of their email, the flow becomes rather confusing after that. It’s literally a maze of jewelry! I found it difficult to look at additional products and offers.
Omg. Too confusing. Where do I click?!

Omg. Too confusing. Where do I click?!


See what I mean? Focusing on a subset of customers who are likely to convert is a great idea, but your entire email needs to be easy to navigate or it’s a waste of space.

A Bestseller

You know this product will sell with or without a marked down price. You can sell this product with your eyes closed, so why not include it in the email? Having analyzed countless email blasts from CountryOutfitter.com, I was surprised to know that they continuously included a new pair of boots in their campaign. Repetition can be a good thing for sales.

CountryOutfitter.com knows their boots sell. Each week they include a different style of boot in their email blasts

CountryOutfitter.com knows their boots sell. Each week they include a different style of boot in their email blasts

Theme Your Emails

I once tried to get a job at a high end furniture store fresh out of college and was lucky enough to be invited to interview for a marketing position. It was a very fancy and expensive store. Who wouldn’t want to spend $10,000 on a dining room table made from reclaimed Grecian wood?
An important lesson I learned from that interview was how furniture salesmen increase their commissions by including add-ons that compliment the purchase, from furniture displays to the final sales pitch.
“Would you also like some table lamps, a rug, and perhaps this painting of a naked man to compliment your one-of-a-kind love seat from Romania?”
Someone willing to drop a small (or medium) fortune on a couch is likely to be willing to drop even more to make sure the couch isn’t sitting in an empty living room – or worse, a living room where the other decor doesn’t match the couch.  That’s where the money comes from.
Here’s a great example of how one online retailer themes their email blasts similarly to furniture store displays. This particular campaign was all about skulls.
Screenshot 2015-07-22 16.45.15
And you can’t buy a skull sweater without getting the matching purse and mug. Do you really want to be the fool with the skull sweater drinking out a cat mug and carrying a hobo bag?  Absolutely not.

You must purchase the matching accessories!

You must purchase the matching accessories!


Even better, every item in this email is 20% off. HotTopic, eat your heart out.

A Coupon Code or Free Shipping

Adding a coupon code or a free shipping incentive (like “get $50 off a purchase of $100 or more” or “free shipping when you spend $50”) will help visitors spend a specific amount of money or help them purchase an item that is designed to be a quick money maker.

CountryOutfitter.com includes a free pair of flip flops with the purchase of $75 or more.

CountryOutfitter.com includes a free pair of flip flops with the purchase of $75 or more.

A Promotional Story

For those brands engaged in a content strategy, adding a promotional story to an email blast can help drive serious traffic. Here’s how a competitor of CountryOutfitter.com sent their email blast the day Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton announced their divorce. They used a headline announcing the divorce in their email subject line, along with a photo of the couple at the top of the email.

Miranda Lambert & Blake Shelton divorce, but Country Fashion retailers are making money.

Miranda Lambert & Blake Shelton divorce, but Country Fashion retailers are making money.


This email was more than just the Country Music story of the day. When visitors opened the breaking news email, this retailer included a CTA to shop above the story, and free shipping for all orders $75 or more.
Below the breaking news image was a “Shop Now” image directing traffic to a product page. Although this traffic may not be interested in shopping and would much rather read up on Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton, you can still segment this surge in traffic for retargeting ads (remember the Nordstrom.com example?).

Step Six: Give Your Leads A Reason To Return To Your Website

Set an expiration date to your coupons, create limited time offers, or activate that retargeting ad that will make visitors come back for more. One of the most interesting findings I came across while gathering data for this post was a feature on RebelCircus.com. At the top of the site, there was a ticker that gave shoppers exactly one hour to use a coupon and make a purchase.

You've got 1 hour to make a purchase! The agony.

You’ve got one hour to make a purchase! The agony.


When I returned to the site, the clock was still ticking. I was kind of afraid my computer would blow up if I didn’t purchase one of their skull t-shirts. They definitely get a thumbs up for creating a sense of urgency when shopping.

Idea Seven: Gather Data From Your Campaign, Analyze It, and Prep For Next Year

This can be the fun part, or the not so fun part, depending on how the season went. Gather your data from Google Analytics. Dissect the info and highlight the pros and cons of your retail campaigns. Where did you see more conversions, email signups, and social media engagement, and how did this affect your overall strategy?
Your marketing plan should always continue to change and refine itself over the seasons. Your approach this year should be a lot different from next year’s. But when you just can’t get the answers right, or no longer have the time to optimize give Conversion Sciences a call. We’d be happy to bring good tidings of joy to your business this Holiday Season.

An effective conversion optimization team requires a set of players with special capabilities. Here is the CRO team structure that we put behind each of our clients at Conversion Sciences.

We’re proud of our website optimization family here at Conversion Sciences and display this fact proudly on our fictitious mobile conversion vehicle, CRO-1. This represents the team we put on each of our clients when we look for more revenue on the site.

Who should be on your Conversion Optimization team? Here is the CRO team structure that we put behind each of our clients at Conversion Sciences.

If you were to build your own conversion optimization team, this is what it would look like. Of course, we have just such a team ready and waiting to serve you today.

The data scientist is essential to the Conversion Team.Conversion Team: Someone Who Knows How to Turn Data into Good Questions

The Data Scientist is a strange duck. We’re not talking about someone who spends all their time in spreadsheets, charts and graphs. This is a person who knows how to generate good questions from data. Questions like, “What do our best buyers have in common?” and, “Why are so many people abandoning on step two?” and, “What would happen if we changed the call to action?”

A great data scientist knows where to look for answers to business-changing questions. In some cases this requires a split test to get the best bona fide answers to burning questions. Yet, a good data scientist knows how to use data to decide what NOT to test.

Your data scientist can’t be a spreadsheet socialite. They need to pull their head out of the data and communicate insights with clarity. They will direct the actions of the developer and designer. They will persuade site owners to try new things and measure results.

For this reason, we call our data scientists Conversion Scientists. Data is just one part of what they do.

In a Conversion Optimization Team, the Developer rocks multivariate and split testing tools.

Optimization Team: Someone Who can Make Testing Tools Dance

If the data scientist is responsible for what gets tested, the Developer is responsible for how it gets tested. The developer gets her god-like power from the multivariate and split testing tools available on the market today. In the hands of the right developer, these tools allow one to present a different experience to each visitor to a site.

This person is capable if dissecting web pages, laying the pieces out on the floor, and reassembling them, all in the blink of an eye. He is comfortable with the vagaries of the different browsers on the market that often drive lesser talents into crying fits of rage.

Conversion optimization demands data-driven creativity from its designers.

CRO Team: Someone to Walk Your Visitors Around a Page

While we admire designers with creative minds, we work with designers of a different stripe. We seek data-driven creativity in our designers. Whether we’re redesigning an entire landing page or developing product images, our designers have to be able to park their egos at the door and let the visitors guide them. These designers understand a little motion or a couple of design flourishes can have a negative impact on conversions.

Our designers job is to guide the visitors’ eyes to the important parts of a page, in the right order. They use their knowledge of color, font, white space, negative space, juxtaposition and visual cues to take a visitor by the hand and introduce him to the content on the page.

Faithful optimization tools for the best conversion optimization team.

Conversion Optimization Team: Loyal and Reliable Tools

I’m fond of saying that we are in a golden age of online marketing tools. Inexpensive, feature-filled software allows us to answer almost any question we have about our visitors and our websites. Our digital laboratory is bursting with analytics tools, click-trackers, session recorders, multivariate and split-testers, simulators and more.

The best of these tools greets you at the door and is always glad to see you. And they occasionally poop on the floor. There are many companies out there with the tools, but not the team. It’s great to have a pet, but we recommend having someone train it for you.

The Supporting Cast of the Optimization Team

The rear window of CRO-1 isn’t big enough to represent all of the people we rely on when optimizing a website. A well rounded team will have ready a good copywriter, an expert in email marketing, a paid search advertising guru, a search engine optimizer, an analytics monster and more. It takes a village.

Let us be your conversion optimization team. We offer turnkey website optimization services and can be hard at work on your site in a matter of days. Get a free quote from us, the agency that pays for itself.

Brian Massey

The knockout punch came near the end of the webinar. Who won, UX or CRO?

Watch the Webinar Replay

Listen to the Podcast

We shot this webinar because I had two things happen in the past year that made me wonder if we shouldn’t be doing more UX as a part of our CRO efforts.

First, we helped redesign a client site using conversion optimization. During the redesign, the client experienced significant increases in demos and sales of its software. To date we’ve almost tripled their demo requests.

Then, I happened across a landing page that I felt was very well done. When I asked the designer of that page how they had arrived at that design, Adam Treister told me they had done a UX process on it. And he had documented the process in a Udemy course. The page increased enrollment clicks by 246%.

Two different approaches. Two great results. I invited my UX friend Sarah Jabeen of DiscoverSTEAM to debate this with me. How are these two process different? How are they the same?

There is only one way for you to find out.

Conversion-Scientist-Podcast-Logo-1400x1400



21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks to Skyrocket Conversions

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
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The increasing popularity of a variety of devices to access the internet—ranging from small handheld phones to tablets and laptops—have led web designers and marketers to work on approaches to make the devices more compatible with Internet usage. They are studying ease of scrolling and navigation, visual appeal, support of different screen sizes, richer experiences and faster page loads.
Adaptive Web Design (AWD) and Responsive Web Design (RWD) are different methods that arrive at the same solution. RWD is the hotter and more popular approach now, but before you decide to jump on the bandwagon, take a look at AWD. It may prove to be a better and more far-sighted approach for mobile web design.
At the heart of it, both AWD and RWD are two different ways of approaching the same goal: to create effective and impactful, functional and customized web design which can be easily visualized on any device. But as you read on, you will find that it may be the more complex and resource intensive AWD which may be a better option for designers in the long run.

The Difference Between RWD and AWD

Responsive Web Design

RWD is the popular design choice right now. It is a dynamic rendering of a web page based on fluid changes in layout according to the screen size and resolution. Thus, the design is responds to the screen size dynamically and instantly.
The images are flexible in size and the use of fluid grids is necessary. There are changes in the width of the elements in response to changing window sizes. This kind of web design makes use of queries to detect devices, so it is useful for advanced phones with certain operating systems versions.
Ethan Marcotte introduced this strategy. The basis behind it was the permanent state of impermanence in the web design world —the web design has to keep evolving and shaping itself in response to changes. Thus, the advantage of this design is this: the same design can be used for viewing the website on different devices. This change in design is made possible by changes in the width and number of columns for storing text (container fields) in the code for the web page.  RWD is a real-time, dynamic, changing web design.
An example of RWD is that used by Barnes and Ernst, debt management experts in the UK. As you can see [need figure reference, or move images closer], the content is configured keeping in mind the interests of desktop and mobile users. Because of the increase in mobile users who were accessing their website through their smart phones, the company introduced mobile-specific search advertising and subsequently mobile-optimized websites.
Their aim was to deliver the required information to customers in a speedy way, without pushing down too much information. Based on their long-term goals and requirements, they went with the RWD one-size-fits-all approach: a single platform for all devices. Through this approach, they were able to optimize their site experience without the hassle of creating multiple websites. The site makes use of the smart-phone technology (touch/swipe), JavaScript, fluid queries, and flexible queries.

Responsive web design on a desktop

Baines and Ernst responsive web design on a desktop


Responsive web design on mobile

Baines and Ernst responsive web design on mobile

Adaptive Web Design

AWD requires several different formats of the website — often different templates — to be made and kept ready for different devices, unlike RWD. The version of the website displayed to the viewer is based on several factors such as the location, kind of device and OS. AWD requires more up-front effort and development, but it offers a customized experience for mobile audiences. AWD is the better option for marketers who are into content-rich marketing and who need to deliver content of all kinds to their audience.

Avenue 32's adaptive web design on a desktop

Avenue 32’s adaptive web design on a desktop


Avenue 32, a top-notch luxury retail brand, has made use of AWD to design its websites suitable for smart phone and tablet. The use of AWD has helped the brand create a visually and functionally engaging and rich experience, which matches its desktop website, which is content-rich and engaging.
This creates an equally rich mobile experience, in which customers experience content from wherever they may be. When you compare the desktop and mobile versions of the website, you can see that the content is more or less the same, but has been arranged in a way best seen on a desktop or mobile screen.
Adaptive web design on mobile

Avenue 32’s adaptive web design on mobile


The URLs for both websites can be the same (dynamic serving) or through use of different URLs (mobile specific and desktop specific, for instance), so the website visitors see is determined by the kind of device and operating system being used. Use of predesigned and customized landing pages may save time and glitches, which may otherwise happen in a dynamic RWD system.
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Why is AWD the Design Choice with the Advantage?

Use of AWD makes accessing Internet pages more efficient. Pages load much more quickly with AWD, which improves the user experience and has been proven to increase conversion rates. This is because only those files which are required are transferred from server to mobile device. Optimum media files can be chosen that are suitable for the device and browser. This is how AWD delivers specific user experiences. Unlike AWD, RWD is more limited in generating optimized user experiences.
Adaptive web design can be used for older mobile phones unlike responsive web design which needs the latest technology and recent phones plus use of CSS queries.  The reason AWD doesn’t need the latest technology is because it makes use of client or server side code to detect the devices. This is good for the lower-end phones and older generation mobile phones which are not CSS optimized and thus do not have the ability to understand media queries and translate them.
Why is it important for a website to be accessible on many generations of mobile technology?  Even if a company is located in an affluent part of the world where there is a rapid turnover in technology, huge parts of the global population – in Africa and Asia, for instance – do not have the financial means to have the newest smart phone.  You would be putting your company at risk of missing out on new markets that may want what you’re selling but can’t access it easily.
You can easily deliver content to low-end mobile phone users in these countries who have much lesser bandwidth, poorer batteries and possess less power by using AWD.  Adaptive means your marketing efforts lead to maximum inclusiveness.
Another advantage of AWD over RWD is that responsive web design may not be able to integrate all advertisements into every possible screen resolution as it dynamically adjusts itself.  This problem is less of an issue with AWD since advertisements of all kinds can be tailored into it.
One example of the power of AWD is in the way Future Insights website generates pages. As you can see, the best customized webpage shows up for each device.

Example of adaptive web design

Future Insights’ set of webpages


All you need to do is to make one master version of the website, which can be tailored to make many minor versions of it. Thus, AWD offers many advantages without the drawbacks of RWD. AWD’s emphasis is on the overall functionality of the device rather than just the design. Sites using AWD can be more user-focused for mobile devices.
If you dream of achieving wider mobile Internet reach, don’t jump on the responsive bandwagon with out taking a hard look at adaptive mobile design.

About the Author

Jacey Johnson HeadshotJacey Johnson has been an administrator in higher education for over 10 years and currently works with http://aussieessays.com/essay-writers/ as a academic counselor guiding students. Most of her experiences have been in the online teaching, curriculum development and academic counseling.

What are you doing today to ensure that your business brings in a continuous flow of qualified leads on a daily basis? Do you have a refined procedure, or are you throwing content out into the abyss of the interwebs with fingers crossed, hoping to score new leads and make some money?  If you can’t map out your strategy and don’t know where to fine tune the rough edges over time, chances are your business won’t be around for long. At Conversion Sciences, we take the time to build blue prints, formulate hypotheses, test strategies, and analyze data to keep our business and clients growing and moving forward.

Optimizing our content strategy, we’ve found takes an important attention to detail, consistency, and patience to bring in quality business. If you’re ready to accelerate and improve your lead generation strategy, you must first understand the path you took to close the deal with your first clients or buyers. Who was the person you engaged with? What was their job description and social interests, and why were they an ideal lead?

Knowing this can help you understand who your target audience is and how to reach them on social media. Does this lead attend a specific type of conference or event each year? Do they read a certain publication or regularly visit an industry website?

Once you have identified your target audience, you can begin implementing advanced techniques to grow your business. Here are ten ways to enhance your social media lead generation strategy.

Choosing the Right Social Media Platforms for Lead Generation

Don’t invest time and money into every social media platform until you know what will work for your business.

The key to social media is not just a presence, but how followers engage with your brand and if those followers turn into leads.

If you’ve already established a presence on all platforms, see how your traffic correlates with each social site via Google Analytics or a comprehensive social media sharing software like Oktopost that allows for conversion tracking. What sites are bringing you more traffic and leads?

Based on our conversion tracking efforts using Oktopost, we can track how many leads are generated in each social network. We consider leads to be anyone who joins our email list, downloads a report, joins our blog course, or fills out a contact form. Last month we created a campaign that offered a free report for the higher education marketplace. Our large Twitter audience brought in the most clicks and leads. However, our data tells us LinkedIn leads convert at a higher rate than Twitter leads. We’ve begun focusing more on LinkedIn as a result.

For a clearer perspective on how to choose the right social platforms for your business, we recommend reading these tips from Wishpond.

Educating Your Buyer: Reports and Whitepapers

By offering free white papers, reports and ebooks are a great way to make your prospects experts at buying your products. They are also a great way to create email lists to better segment your audience. Pragmatic Marketing says, “if you provide something of value to prospects, they will give you their respect, time, loyalty, and ultimately their business.” If only it were that easy.

The cost of creating content is falling as the web gobbles it up. We use blog posts to test topics of interest to our audience. We will prepare a live presentation or webinar on hot topics. These presentations get cast into case studies, blog posts, reports and social media posts.

But writing a report simply isn’t enough. Targeting your whitepapers to the right audience is of utmost importance and can be done in several ways, including Facebook Ad remarketing, LinkedIn Groups, or Twitter hashtags and discussions.

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Why LinkedIn Groups Are Lead Hotbeds

A hotbed is defined as “a place or environment favoring rapid growth or spread”. In our recent research, we’ve discovered LinkedIn to be a valuable hotbed for B2B lead generation, particularly when it comes to engaging with LinkedIn Groups. In the past, most marketers or brands were taught to create a main page where all content would be shown to followers or ‘likes’. In recent years, we’ve seen a surge of engagement and activity in social groups with defined interests and demographics due to the change in algorithm from Facebook and LinkedIn updates.

Now LinkedIn Groups have been a hotbed for Conversion Sciences when it comes to generating new leads or subscribers. A few months ago, we launched our industry report for Higher Education Marketing and created a comprehensive campaign targeted to Higher Education professionals. By researching groups and engaging with members, we were able to build relationships and grow our lead pool in just a few months.

Screenshot 2015-06-16 20.10.07

By researching groups, and engaging with members, we were able to build relationships and grow our lead pool in just a few months.

At the end of the campaign, we generated a total of 24 leads in under a month; 80% of those leads were from Higher Education Facebook groups we engaged and shared content with. However, always remember that

one of the most important ways to gain new customers is to create an authentic relationship

. Groups are not for spamming or sharing irrelevant content.

How Ad Targeting and Retargeting Builds A Lead Magnetic Field

Did you know the Earth produces its own magnetic field which is important in navigation? It also shields the Earth’s atmosphere from solar winds that are capable of destroying humanity as we know it! When it comes to lead generation, you should think of your business as the Earth, Facebook Ads at the magnetic field, and your competition as the solar wind.

Facebook Ads will help discover and navigate your leads to your lead-generating content, and bring them back to “Earth,” aka your business. Let’s say you were a software company looking to draw attention to a new service targeted to apparel companies. You could create an ad directed toward people who like specific pages, job titles, and keywords, or install a Facebook retargeting pixel on your website. This will help a potential lead see your ad immediately over the duration of your campaign.

Take Google Fiber for example. I was recently referred to its site by a friend who mentioned it will soon be available in the Austin area. I snooped around the site but lost interest, since it isn’t making itself available in my part of town. In the days following my visit, this is what I saw in my Facebook News Feed.

I saw a retargeting ad about Google Fiber when I logged into Facebook

I saw a retargeting ad about Google Fiber when I logged into Facebook

Fancy schmancy. It’s a Retargeting Ad! The fun stuff happens when I click on the “Sign Up” button. I’m directed to a landing page to enter my address to see whether Google Fiber will be in my neighborhood. Total bummer though: it looks like they won’t be available for a little while, so I decided to sign up for their email list. Guess what? I’m a lead now.  Not exactly a bummer for Google Fiber. We recommend Facebook for Business for further insight on how to create the perfect campaign.

I'm now a lead because I've signed up for alerts

I’m now a lead because I’ve signed up for alerts

Mapping Out Your Traffic Using Hashtag Targeting

Hashtags are the perfect place to find new business. By doing a simple hashtag search, you can find various tweets and discussions that direct you to new leads. Think of them as the magnetic field lines that map out all directions of the magnetic force. Hashtags direct content to communities, who in return will engage (like, comment, and share content). Let’s go back to the Higher Education report data. On Twitter, we found several hashtags corresponding that to this topic including #higheredmktg #hemktg #highered. This puts us in direct contact with many professionals we engaged with through content marketing.

Take for example our hashtag streams we created on Oktopost when targeting our Higher Education Report to industry professionals. We’ve created a comprehensive directory of conversations aimed at this topic. In it, we were able to locate specific professionals we could engage with and place our brand in front of by participating in their discussions. Look at this! @markhoddell works for the University of Chester in the Marketing Department. Potential lead? We think so! If you’re not taking part in hashtag targeting, the time is now.

Screenshot 2015-06-16 20.32.32

Learn more on Hashtag.org.

Juicing Your Lead Generation With Content Marketing and Blogging

Building reports or whitepapers, and launching them with comprehensive organic and paid Facebook Ad strategies, is just the tip of the iceberg in online lead generation. But, how can you continue to engage your community and build your customer base without reloading them with offers or retargeting ads?

By implementing an enriched content strategy in your marketing funnel, you will intrigue and entertain your audience, as well as leave a footprint online that will increase your organic SEO and reach. Infographics, videos, images, and podcasting are just a few content ideas that drive traffic. Think of your entire content marketing strategy as the great magnetic force that pulls in new leads. The strength of that force determines on the strength and creativity of your content.

Screenshot 2015-06-21 17.29.42

According to a recent study by the Content Marketing Institute, only 48% of businesses have a documented Content Strategy.

A recent study from the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs states that over 80% of B2B respondents use Content Marketing in their business practices, yet only 38% of these businesses say their strategies are effective. However, the study also indicates that 48% of these businesses were not documenting their strategies effectively. In the end, there’s no way of telling what practices are showing results, or hurting business. Here are a few creative examples on how we incorporate content marketing elements in our online lead generation strategy to ensure maximum results.

Webinars

Webinars offer exclusive information and help grow your email list and lead base. LinkedIn groups are the perfect foundation for generating new leads through webinar promotion. You can target groups based on your field of expertise, or type of audiences you aim to reach. This avoids spammy sales letters and overbearing ads. WebinarNL says, “webinars generate a lower cost per lead and high level of engagement with prospective clients.” They also detail several benefits to hosting webinars including:

  • Direct contact with your target group
  • Reaching your target group both live and afterwards
  • Interaction with your target group
  • How webinars save time and money

So, we decided to put this statistic to the test and hosted our very first webinar “UX vs. CRO: The Digital Fight of the Century” As a special incentive for attendees, we had them ask several questions on UX or CRO. The people with the most creative questions won a free website evaluation from Brian Massey himself.

After an extensive social media promotion, we were surprised to find 212 conversions in just 20 days of implementing our content strategy.  That’s more leads in a short period of time than any other strategy we’ve executed. So ask yourself, “What benefits do webinars offer your business?” To see how our first webinar panned out, watch the webinar replay.

Screenshot 2015-06-21 17.52.40

Data from our most recent webinar “UX vs. CRO”

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Conversion Data from our most recent webinar “UX vs. CRO.”

Podcasting

Perhaps the most underrated form of generating new business leads comes from podcasting. It’s free and accessible, and makes radio quality audio shows available for download through an RSS feed to a computer, MP3 player or mobile phone. Listeners only have to subscribe to a podcast once.

First, you’ll need to conduct a keyword search that will get your content noticed in the podcast world. Then, be sure to create short blogs of no more than a few sentences to capture the reader, launch your podcast, and have them listen.

Interviewing an industry expert or hosting a panel debate can help maximize reach and listeners. Be sure to keep discussions focused on topics you can actively talk about with your leads. This is the perfect way to begin establishing yourself as an industry thought leader.

“The goal of the business podcast is to create a conversational thread that you can pick up with your lead on the next call,” says Benchmark. Think of this as a first experience with future customers. You are building trust and proving them with valid information to nurture a business relationship. Again, podcasts are easy to market via LinkedIn groups, hashtag targeting, and Facebook Ads. Also, fan page Apps like 22Social help incorporate podcasts into your Facebook page so followers can listen in.

Guest Blogging

What does your business specialize in? Moving, fitness, prepping, or social media marketing? By writing as a guest blogger, not only will you be showing off your knowledge, but it adds credibility to your business and brand, while introducing your chops to an entirely new audience. This also gives you the opportunity to grow your social media following by adding social follow-back buttons or a Twitter handle to your posts.

Begin by creating a list of publications in your niche market that offer guest blogging and dive into what kind of content they are pitching.

KissMetrics layouts three important goals for Guest Bloggers:

  1. Positioning yourself as an authority and well-known name in the industry.
  2. Getting exposure (traffic) back to your website.
  3. Building backlinks to your website.

Again, you want your potential customers to know that you are an expert in your field, and in the process you’ll be increasing traffic back to your site. We recommend reading KissMetric’s Ultimate Guide To Guest Blogging for more insight.

Video Marketing

Did you know 80% of internet users recall watching a video, and 46% of those viewers actually take action after watching the ad? Now, YouTube is making it an even more refined tool through annotations. By implementing annotations in your videos, you can direct viewers to a landing page on your website where they can sign up for your services, download a free report, etc. YouTube Ads also amp up this strategy, especially since they easily incorporate with your Adwords strategy.

Let’s take this Heineken YouTube Ad for example. Apparently, the internet knows that people like me – people who are my age, have my interests, and share my browsing and search history, for instance – love beer. Again, this is the whole idea of remarketing.

As I’m watching this ad, what do I see in the corner of the video? It’s an annotation that says “Visit Advertiser’s Site”. Since I’m curious, I click on the link and low and behold, I’m on their site and enter for a chance to win in their sweepstakes.

Screenshot 2015-06-09 19.22.19

The sad thing is, the campaign was over before I landed on the page, and Heineken missed its chance to get me on its list. Will I see a remarketing ad in the future? Possibly!

Screenshot 2015-06-09 19.29.57

Are You Ready To Map Out and Fine Tune Your Lead Strategy?

So what will you do today to insure that your business brings in a continuous flow of qualified leads on a daily basis? Can you begin to map out a refined procedure? Remember, don’t just throw content out into the world and expect a beanstalk to grow in your backyard overnight. The business world is not a fairytale.

If you incorporate just a few of these social media strategies into your overall lead generation plan, not only will you be able to grow your business, but you will start a snowball effect that brings in new prospects for the long term. Now put your thinking caps on and start outlining your strategy, or if you’re looking to generate more B2B leads watch our latest webinar.

You’ve decided it’s time to undertake a website redesign. Should you focus on improving UX (user experience), or should CRO (conversion rate optimization) be your priority?  Are they mutually exclusive?  Is there a time when one is more important than the other?

Sarah Jabeen from DiscoverSTEAM tackles this issue with Brian the Conversion Scientist in a UX vs CRO (replay).

You’ve probably guessed that Brian has CRO in his corner; Sarah will be leading with UX.

Watch the discussion.

You’ll still walk away with valuable information you can incorporate into your site redesign including:

  • Do you have to choose one or the other between UX and CRO?
  • When should you focus on UX, and when should you focus on CRO?
  • How does CRO inform UX?
  • What do you do when tests recommend bad UX?
  • What are the similarities of the two processes?
  • What are the differences between the two processes?

Watch the replay. I hope I have you in my corner.

The long-scrolling flat style landing page is all the rage this year. This style of landing page suffers from some problems, however.

  • Large background images slow load time.
  • Information is presented in small bites. Sometimes more copy is needed.
  • Banded sections often look like the bottom of the page, reducing scrolling.

With the right approach, you can make these pages high-converting landing pages. Here’s how.

In my recent CrazyEgg Webinar How to Reverse-Engineer a High-Conversion Landing Page, I reviewed twelve landing pages using my “backward landing page” framework.

One stood out.

Here’s an excerpt of that presentation featuring the Body Language for Entrepreneurs landing page from Udemy.


21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks to Skyrocket Conversions

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
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Nail the Top of the Landing Page

The purpose of the top of the page is to give the visitor reasons to explore the rest of the page. It’s the headline, the offer and the hook for the page.

Include all Supporting Components

Five components and one contaminant to avoid in a landing page.

Five components and one contaminant to avoid in a landing page.

There are five basic components – Offer, Form, Proof, Trust and Image – and one contaminant to avoid (Abandon) in a landing page, which I outline in the CrazyEgg video.

The Body Language for Entrepreneurs includes all of them at the top, with no opportunities to abandon, such as social media icons, site navigation, or search.

Offer

Your offer is the promise and pricing that this page provides a visitor. A complete offer is perhaps the most critical element of the landing page equation.
image

image

Form

The landing page should quickly make it clear that the visitor can take action to get closer to solving their problem. The form should have a way to act and an effective call to action.
The call to action should answer the question, “What will happen if I complete the form and click the button?”
image

Proof

Support the claims made in your value proposition with proof.
image

Trust

Building trust builds credibility and authority. Your logo plays a role on a landing page: a trust-building role.
Often symbols can be used to borrow trust from other entities. This is what Body Language for Entrepreneurs did.
image
image

Image

A lot of space was dedicated to red buildings in this theme.

A lot of space was dedicated to red buildings in this theme.

If you’re going to slow the load speed of your landing page with a big background image, you better make it count. Designers like to use stylish backgrounds for effect. That’s fine, but not on a landing page.

Images should advance the value proposition. In the Body Language for Entrepreneurs landing page, they show the presenter. That’s relevant. Will I enjoy spending five hours with this person? Do they look credible? It’s all answered with the background image?

Nail the top of the landing page for incredible results.

Furthermore, they use video, which is image at 30 frames per second. Consider video if you don’t have an effective image that explains your value proposition.

Abandon

There is only one link in the upper area of the Body Language for Entrepreneurs page. It lets the visitor see all of the 56 reviews in the Proof section.

It actually doesn’t qualify as Abandon because it opens in a popover window. The visitor never leaves the page. Very smart.
The Udemy logo is NOT linked. Very smart.

Keep the visitors you paid good money to acquire. Don’t send them elsewhere or they will be gone forever.

Does This Design Really Work?

I asked Adam Treister, Growth Marketing Manager at Udemy to tell me how he arrived at this design and how this page was performing for him.

It was no accident.

Adam documents the process in his excellent Udemy course User Experience Design: The Accelerated UX Course.
The original page looked like this:

The original Udemy landing page for ad traffic

The original Udemy landing page for ad traffic.

After several iterations using UserTesting.com, VerifyApp.com, Google Consumer Surveys, and CrazyEgg, they tested the profile photo using PickFu.com. Finally, Adam’s team did a split test using Optimizely.

How did this process work for them? They saw a 246% increase in clicks with the new page. That’s not a typo.

Why This Might Not Work on Your Landing Pages

Every audience is different. They have different goals, needs for information, and are coming on a variety of different platforms. Images and words are powerful

The best way to ensure that your landing page works is to test the components: Offer, Form, Proof, Trust, and Image.
If your landing page is generating at least 150 transactions a month, Conversion Sciences will provide the complete testing team to find the highest-converting combination. Get a complete testing team for the price of a part-time employee.

Request a consultation and we’ll let you know how to make your landing pages surprise you.
Brian Massey