Improving Conversion Rates: How a MarketingExperiments optimization training alum generated triple-digit conversion gains for his client


On Wednesday we showed you two pages and asked you to pick the highest performer. And congratulations to Brad Einarsen who not only picked the ideal incentive, but was closest to the conversion gain achieved by that incentive. But any site can just display a few screen captures and ask you which test won. The real value lies in truly discovering the principles behind successful experiments so you can test those principles on your own sites. With that in mind, here is the full story…

Response Capture‘s B2B client wanted to find a scalable alternative to telephone-based opt-in collection and improve an established benchmark landing page conversion rate as well. This Beaverton, Oregon-based performance marketing company decided to test for the ideal opt-in incentive while experimenting with the landing page.

Control White Paper Landing Page: Friction at work

Potential customers were driven to a landing page by email. The conversion goal was to have visitors download a white paper from a respected industry author.
Response Capture quickly focused on a few areas that would be ripe for optimization. They sought to reduce distractions such as navigation, search, and account creation. They also wanted to present an image of the white paper offer, bank on the white paper author’s creditability, and reduce the friction generated by the amount of form fields.

Test #1: A wealth of information…and results

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After removing distractions, presenting an image of the offer, and reducing the form field requirement to just email address (and even then, pre-populating the email text box for all known visitors), Response Capture achieved a 25% opt-in rate gain (from the check box option) and 36.4% conversion rate gain (of white paper downloads).

To gain the additional information that was lost when the form was reduced to just email, they created a second-step after the white paper download. This page used gift cards as an incentive to provide additional profile information. We’ll get to these results in a bit, but first let’s focus on this impressive landing page optimization.

“Adequacy is the Enemy of Excellence.” – Peter Drucker

These were significant gains that produced incremental opt-ins for the client. And if Response Capture had stopped here, this would be a very successful case study and an excellent example of how you can test key principles on your own sites. But, since we are profiling Response Capture on the MarketingExperiments blog, we all know that they did not stop there. Our story now takes us to the Emerald City.

Troy O’Bryan, the Co-Founder and Chief Response Officer of Response Capture, attended a Live Optimization Workshop taught by Dr. Flint McGlaughlin in Seattle. That changed everything.

“Troy was the first to take MarketingExperiments training program and he led the charge of implementing the learnings into the campaign that was referenced in the blog.” said Bill Kent, Response Strategist at Response Capture.

Before we continue with our story, I want to pause and ask you a simple request. Brag. I know what you’re thinking. In an age of Transparent Marketing, bragging is a totally inappropriate behavior. And I would agree. But I’m not asking you to brag to your customers; rather I want you to brag to your peers.
You see, we love hearing directly from our more than 2,000 alumni and learning about the success they’re creating in the real world. We only discovered Response Capture’s success from a Twitter comment about Bill’s blog post.

Alumni are often hesitant to tell us about their success directly because they worry we’ll poke holes in their methodology or suggest even bigger improvements they can gain. Don’t be shy. Tell us about your success in the comments section.

Test #2: After the Landing-Page-Optimization Certification Course

While Response Capture had already driven an impressive gain for the client, Troy noticed several areas they could further optimize after returning from the Live Optimization Workshop in Seattle. He learned that he needed to improve message consistency and created a new headline promoting the offer versus the generic “wealth of knowledge” headline from the previous test. He clearly supported the value proposition message by changing the copy to a bulleted list of white paper benefits. And he decreased the resistance to respond with a new, benefit-oriented button that says “Get the Free Report Now.”

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Results: A 258% Conversion Rate Increase for the Client and additional projects for the Agency

The new landing page delivered a 162.5% conversion rate increase over the previously optimized page and a 258% conversion rate increase over the original page. The new opt-in rate for the continuation offer increased 201% over the original page and 141% over the previously optimized page. And these results came at a reduced cost per collected opt-in.

What’s In It for Me?

In addition, Response Capture tested the incentive that would generate the highest amount of profile completions. Remember, this was a two-part process. The landing page converted white paper downloads and allowed opt-ins but only asked for the email address. And then the continuation offer captured more information from the prospect.

They tested a sweepstakes offering 20 Amazon gift cards worth $25…

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…against a sweepstakes offering 10 $50 gift cards…

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The sweepstakes that offered less, more valuable gift cards (10 $50 gift cards) gained 31% more conversions. The total cost of the incentive was the same ($500), but by testing and discovering that prospects preferred quality over quantity they were able to increase profile completion.

These are excellent results any agency would be proud of. It’s always fulfilling to deliver for our clients, but let’s talk about what these numbers really mean for Response Capture. After the success of these projects, they were referred to additional divisions and there is now an ongoing relationship between Response Capture and its client. And it all started with one class…

“After attending the live course, I had one of our Response Strategists take the self-guided, on-demand Landing Page Optimization Course online. And we have another Response Strategist who is scheduled to take the course next quarter as well,” Troy said. “We are big fans of the MarketingExperiments curriculum. We learned not just how to optimize a page, but how to optimize the thought process of visitors. By applying these learning’s, our clients have realized stronger results and our organization has benefited from happy clients.”

Our story doesn’t end here. With every page, there is always room for our improvement. Troy asked our researchers to take a look at his most recently optimized page, and propose further ideas to test. Come back to the blog on Monday and see that advice.

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  1. Darko says

    Wow, great case study.

  2. John Hyde says

    Thanks for sharing these results with us. For me the report title works much better than the big word “WEALTH” – which just looks cheesey.

    Of course the power of testing is that it does not really matter what *I* think – it’s what works best for more people in real life.

  3. Bhavinee says

    What if they had a third option: “1 of five $100 Amazon cards”. Would that have led to even more conversions?

  4. Emre MONTFORT says

    Hey, j’ai trouvé votre site via Google et je tenais à vous en féliciter car il est très intéressant.

  5. Derek Padula says

    These are great examples of optimization. I plan to create a new landing page based on this model now to see how well it works. Thanks.

  6. Keith Gilmore says

    I just love split testing online – being able to see the results of a small change in just a couple of hours or days vs traditional marketing methods and all the guessing and slow pace process you have to go through. THANK YOU so much for sharing these results!!

  7. Constantin Gabor says

    Outstanding results! Thanks a lot for a valuable insight!

    Gotta take this copywriting more seriously. 🙂

  8. bertiniedascenzo says

    Great case study!

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