3 winning A/B tests B2B software sites must try

June 24, 2014

As we’ve studied and delved deeper into conversion path optimization for B2B software and tools, we’ve noticed as an agency that there are a handful of areas always worth testing.

In this post I’ll discuss the art of testing into a more effective value statement, how to toy with guarantees and find one that’s appropriate, and what makes a badass signup form that mints money.

These aren’t sure to work for everyone, but they are A/BRead more…

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As we’ve studied and delved deeper into conversion path optimization for B2B software and tools, we’ve noticed as an agency that there are a handful of areas always worth testing.

In this post I’ll discuss the art of testing into a more effective value statement, how to toy with guarantees and find one that’s appropriate, and what makes a badass signup form that mints money.

These aren’t sure to work for everyone, but they are A/B test ideas that we’ve seen win nicely for B2B software companies, which just might make them worth trying.

1. Can we pack more value into a headline? Websites (and landing pages) often have a key value statement. If someone drops by and reads nothing more, at least they’ll read this. We’ve found it useful to ask: can the value statement communicate more benefit than it does now?

We ran a test to this end on CleverZebo.com and here’s what we learned.

There were three variants:

  • Hands-on marketers who deliver revenue. (Original)
  • Results-driven marketing that pays for itself. That’s clever. (Variant A)
  • Results-driven marketing that pays for itself. (Variant B)

When you consider the original headline on top, against the winning headline beneath it, there are a few considerations.

Clever Zebo homepage A/B test

Delivering revenue sounds good to a business owner, but getting results and paying for yourself — being ROI positive as a vendor — is much better.

“Hands-on” describes us as roll-up-your-sleeves marketers who take on real projects, but “Results-driven” goes deeper than that. It tells the business owner not to take our word for it that we’re doing lots of work, but instead to hold us accountable for results.

Flipping your value statement is always a strong A/B test, especially when you think through the benefits packed into it from the perspective of your customer.

2. Can we offer a powerful guarantee? Retailers tend to offer guarantees, whether it’s a price match or an assurance of quality. Why don’t B2B software companies do the same?

There are a few elements worth testing here:

  • Image / guarantee badge
  • Guarantee messaging
  • What happens if the guarantee is not met

If you don’t have a designer on hand who can whip up a killer badge for your guarantee A/B test, here is a good resource for decent badges that are free to use.

Our friends at Crazy Egg recently published a useful post on creative and rarely used guarantees that may be worth A/B testing.

Here’s a guarantee used by Musement.com, an international travel and tour booking site.

Guarantee for A/B testing

 

The strengths of this guarantee are that it re-emphasizes the benefits of working with them, it builds trust with the “lowest price” promise and it’s specific about what you can expect.

It would be worth investigating whether these promises can be neatly shoehorned into a beautiful badge, and whether conversions rise if the visitor is told what happens if the guarantee is not met.

3. Can we offer more & ask for less in our signup form? Your signup form is important for capturing data, but it’s also a sales opportunity. On the signup page, you’ve yet to close the deal. Instead, it’s a critical phase where you must continue to shine. Check out how Box.com addresses this problem.

Box signup form

They collect a lot of fields, but they also build confidence through the “risk free” badge and the assurance of security and encryption. They also remind you what you’re signing up for: a business account with 5 users, unlimited users and more. They confirm the price on this screen. This is clean and clear-cut.

Box teaches us to test selling alongside the signup process, but also to keep that sale professional, useful and relevant. There’s no marketing-speak. It’s just the benefits listed as fact.

The other testing opportunity this example recalls is an obvious one: can we collect fewer fields and still accommodate the visitor? In many cases, requiring fewer fields has proven to convert better. So what’s most essential?

I once introduced a 2-field signup form solution to a fast-growing B2B software company. That shrank the signup process down from 6 fields and was highly controversial, but when it finally went live, it improved conversion rate by close to 50%. The lesson there isn’t just that you should test simplifying your form, but that opinions don’t count the way A/B tests and data count.

So do you really need the visitor to create a password, or can you simply email an auto-generated password to make that visitor’s upfront investment easier?

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Infographic: optimizing the value of your professional email

June 23, 2014

Interested in optimizing how you manage and think about business email? The infographic in this guest blog post by Brad Patterson, Community Manager at Evercontact, explores several questions:

What size is the average professional address book?

Of all the people in that address book, what percentage do you think you’ve exchanged with in the past 6 months? 

Do you have phone numbers for all of your contacts?  At least 50%?Read more…

Read more...

Interested in optimizing how you manage and think about business email? The infographic in this guest blog post by Brad Patterson, Community Manager at Evercontact, explores several questions:

What size is the average professional address book?

Of all the people in that address book, what percentage do you think you’ve exchanged with in the past 6 months? 

Do you have phone numbers for all of your contacts?  At least 50%?  More or less?

How much of the email in your inbox was sent by a robot… and not a “real” human?

Could you optimize your contact management, sales pipeline and overall email productivity? We think so.

As a startup working within the contact management /email productivity sector since 2009, our team at Evercontact has heard each of these questions hundreds of times from our clients, and so we  decided to dig into our data the past few weeks to better understand how people use their address books and email in general.

Believe it or not, there are 1300 contacts in the average professional’s address book, but most professionals are not communicating with the large majority of their contacts; our data shows that over a 6-month period the average professional only communicates with 8% of their address book. Does that mean that you should be more regularly updating your contacts with what’s going on in your part of the world? Maybe a mailing list?  Some people do that, but if you haven’t had your address book opt-into those emails, it might not be the greatest tactic as it bypasses permission marketing.

On another level, all contacts are certainly not equally valuable to your efforts, so it’s good to have a CRM, or some way of following up more regularly with the higher-impact clients, partners and acquaintances.  Of course, it doesn’t have to be over email, as a quick exchange over the phone, a coffee, or on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and the like is a good way to keep your core community alive, and a CRM or other contact management software can certainly help you segment & prioritize your engagement accordingly.

Rapportive, the email plugin mentioned below allows you to see a photo of your contacts and also shows what they’re doing on social media which is a great way to expand interactions beyond just email.  It also allows you to see what those contacts are talking about on social media, so if you plan on giving them a call, it’s a nice way to prep for that call by seeing what’s currently going on for them.  Obviously, you’ll need their phone number if you’re going to call them, and our big data showed that only 43% of  contacts in the average professional’s address book have phone numbers.  That being said, you almost always have their number hidden in an email signature or on a business card, so it’s worth your time to set up Evercontact to automatically scan contact information in email signatures, and Fullcontact to grab that info off of business cards.

Another surprising find was that only 52% of the average professional’s inbox was “important” email (labelled “important” by Gmail’s priority inbox).  This shows that many of us receive quite a bit of newsletters, social notifications, and other “mass” email sent by robots, that really might not warrant the attention that it gets when it lands in our inbox.  A quick solution mentioned within the infographic is to “auto-filter” your email with Sanebox.  Yesware, another solution mentioned below provides insight on your emails (i.e. whether they’re being opened, whether the links are being clicked) which helps you to improve these interactions, and also to follow up  if your leads aren’t going through the pipeline as fast as desired.  Boomerang is also great for following up with emails that aren’t answered and you can even send an email at whatever time you’d like with their send later function.

Email is certainly here to stay, so we need to do our best in extracting all that rich data hiding in our inboxes. The services mentioned below are a great start to optimizing your email habits, contact management, all the while prioritizing what’s most important now.  Feel free to drop us any comments at @evercontact on Twitter.

Optimizing the Value of Your Professional Email

 

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5 reasons marketers should be addicted to users’ social data

June 10, 2014

This is a guest post by Rakesh Soni, CEO and co-founder of LoginRadius – the fastest growing social platform offering social sign-on, social sharing, user data and social analytics.

Know your consumer base. The most basic of business rules we all live or die by.

And what do we need in order to know who our online users are?

Consumer data, consumer data and more consumer data, of course.

Marketing teams spend enormous amountsRead more…

Read more...

This is a guest post by Rakesh Soni, CEO and co-founder of LoginRadius – the fastest growing social platform offering social sign-on, social sharing, user data and social analytics.

Know your consumer base. The most basic of business rules we all live or die by.

And what do we need in order to know who our online users are?

Consumer data, consumer data and more consumer data, of course.

Marketing teams spend enormous amounts of time and money trying to understand their user base, what they want, how to reach them and how to keep them coming back.

The most common way marketers have collected online user data has been, until now, via sign-up forms. Yet we know that around 80%* of users dislike traditional registration forms and most of them will enter incorrect or false information.

As a result, marketers are well aware that asking users to fill out more than five data fields is really pushing their luck. So the question remains – how can I get more, reliable consumer data?

Social networks have finally found a solution for us, and it is simple: offer social sign-on – also known as social login – on your website.

Social login allows users to register on websites using their existing social network IDs – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc. – giving them a hassle-free online experience by removing the need to complete another sign-up form or remember yet another set of passwords.

Offering social login on your sites gives you access to more than 200 data points, including verified email addresses, gender, age, relationship status and personal interests.

With verified information at your fingertips, businesses can truly revolutionize their marketing strategies. Let’s look at five ways how.

1. Understand who your users are

Consumer data is absolutely key to knowing exactly who your users are and being able to strategize and plan around that information.

But until recently, website owners had been faced with an uphill challenge when it came to collecting accurate and detailed data.

Even if you managed to persuade someone to fill out a registration form in the first place, there’s an 88% chance they’ll enter incomplete or falsified information.

But the arrival of Facebook Connect in 2008 completely changed the login and data game. With users able to carry their personal data with them around the web, website owners can now tap into far more useful and accurate data on a scale never thought possible before.

Social login gives you access to hundreds of data points straight from the user’s profile, including verified email address, personal interests, name, gender, age, location and language.

With access to quality, first-party data, marketing teams can develop better strategies and targeted campaigns.

2. Segment your user base

In a world with more niche markets, intense competition and more demanding consumers, market segmentation is both essential and increasingly complex.

With a wealth of social data, marketers are now able to constantly analyze their user base. They can segment them in multiple groups and conduct targeted strategies and campaigns.

For example, you can target even more defined groups – such as selecting female only users aged between 20 and 25 who live in a particular region and are interested in beauty products – giving you a competitive advantage.

This will in turn translate into a high return on investment (ROI) on your marketing campaigns and higher satisfaction among your users because the get relevant content.

User segmentation also empowers management to build business strategies.

3.  Personalize the user experience

Social data gives you a direct connection with your user – instead of just selling to consumers you can now build a relationship with another human being whom you are growing to understand.

In today’s marketing landscape, there’s been a shift from old-fashioned B2C (business to consumer) selling models to H2H (human to human) relationships.

Businesses that personalize users’ web experiences around their interests and demographics record a 19 per cent increase in sales.

Social login allows you to map a user’s visits to your site, enabling you to better predict his or her online behaviours and intentions, and then build a personalized experience for that particular user.

4. Target email marketing campaigns 

Forward-thinking brands are already delivering targeted emails based on the superior data received through social login.

Once you have segmented your user base and mapped their past activities on your site, you are now in a position to send out targeted email offers to drive up engagement and revenue.

Clearly it makes sense to not only follow up on a sale, but to also offer the user related items they may be interested in.

If you have sold someone a top of the range cell phone, why aren’t you recommending cases, headphones and other accessories by email?

People are quick to hit the unsubscribe button if you send them irrelevant emails too often, running informed and targeted email campaigns is essential if you are to retain your users.

5. Gather leads (prospect information) on landing pages 

So at this stage, you’re pulling in stacks of data. You can segment your user base and personalize the user experience. Now, I want talk about how you can use social login to capture leads on a marketing landing page.

We all make beautiful landing pages with very effective messaging to attract prospects, but there’s one problem we all face: prospects don’t fill out the form or, even if they do, they enter incorrect information.

So we know nothing about the prospect, limiting our sales team’s ability to gather warm leads, nevermind close deals. That’s a significant impact on sales, isn’t it?

Well, social login can help you fix that by asking your prospects to connect with their social accounts before downloading content, participated in a webinar or taking part in any other ‘call to action’ you have on your landing page.

So now, instead of filling out a registration form, your prospects just connect to their social account in a couple of seconds.

Landing Page Social Login SS

Offering social login on landing pages will eliminate fake users and gather a wealth of correct  data about your prospects.

Your sales team would love that, wouldn’t they?

To learn more about how social login can improve the user experience on your landing pages, check out this post.

If you weren’t addicted to users’ social data before, you should be now.

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