Optimization Summit 2013, held May 20-23 in Boston, is just weeks away. To help get you in the proper mindset for four days of hands-on learning and expert-led presentations, we’re continuing our series of video shorts highlighting the most memorable sessions from last year’s event.
As MECLABS’ Managing Director Flint McGlaughlin said at Optimization Summit 2012, “Best practices on the Internet are typically pooled ignorance.”
In the following video excerpt, Nathaniel Ward, Manager of Online Programs, The Heritage Foundation, and Tim Kachuriak, SVP, Innovation & Optimization, Pursuant, talk about how the conservative think tank tested and optimized its landing page by looking beyond established best practices and experimenting with new ways to use the website to build a quality email list.
[Please note, while MECLABS neither agrees nor disagrees with the political leanings referenced in the video, we seek to discover marketing lessons from all marketers. At Optimization Summit 2013, you can learn how Obama for America generated $500 million in donations using A/B testing.]
Ward and Kachuriak seemed to agree with McGlaughlin about best practices. During this session, they questioned several “sacred cows” of webpage design, such as inundating pages with email capture fields. Kachuriak spoke about how The Heritage Foundation put its website content into action with a short questionnaire about Obamacare, based on the popular children’s board game, “Operation.”
Kachuriak said, “Guiding people through that mental conversation that makes them more predisposed to want to accept our offer.” Indeed, while this short questionnaire added an extra step in the name capture process, it led to a significant increase in name acquisition conversion.
By garnering visitors’ names only after they completed the questionnaire, Kachuriak’s team was able to engage in a conversation with users, giving them a better understanding of the organization’s value proposition and reassuring them of the type(s) of content they would receive in exchange for entering in their email addresses.
This additional series of steps increased name acquisition conversion 282%, and a 900% increase in email sign-ups over the nonprofit benchmark.
How The Heritage Foundation increased donations 274% – Full, free video replay of this case study
How The Heritage Foundation Increased Online Donations 274% Using the MECLABS Methodology – Complete slide presentation from Optimization Summit 2012