Web Optimization: How to get your customers to say heck yes!


For e-commerce marketers, and many marketers with a subscription-based business, the value of the products they sell on the Internet is intangible when the purchase decision is made.

So who better to gain some conversion optimization advice from than an A/B tester who specializes in nonprofit marketing, the industry that must communicate the most intangible value of all – goodwill.

We brought Tim Kachuriak, Founder and Chief Innovation & Optimization Officer, Next After, into the studio and discussed:

  • The power of the value proposition
  • Creating a scarce resource
  • Commitment building
  • The value proposition train

I’ve known Tim for several years through his attendance at MarketingSherpa Summits, and am glad to have him as a featured speaker at the upcoming Web Optimization Summit in New York City. In fact, his Web Optimization Summit session was one of the things we worked on while he was in Jacksonville, Fla.


Below is a full transcript of our interview if you would prefer to read instead of watch or listen.


Daniel Burstein: Hi, I’m Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content at MECLABS. I work on some of the agenda content for MarketingSherpa events. And I’m glad to have Tim Kachuriak, with me, Founder and Chief Innovation & Optimization Officer, Next After. Tim is right here in our office in Jacksonville, Fla.  We’ve been working on his session for Web Optimization Summit.

Tim, you have an interesting background and it’s going to be an interesting approach, because we’ll be talking to e-commerce and subscription marketers. You test with nonprofit marketers, and we identified a really interesting component about how they connect.

So you have to sell value, implied value, right? You don’t have a tangible product and that relates a lot to what marketers are selling online. Because even if you’re an e-commerce marketer selling a product, there’s just intangible value until you [the customer] get that product. What are some of the lessons you’ve learned from having to sell an intangible value?


Tim Kachuriak: Well, the amazing thing that we found through some of our research is just the power of the value proposition. And when it comes to nonprofits, one of the things that makes us unique is the fact that we don’t have a price. And one of the things that we’ve taken away from some of our experiments is that when we convey a value proposition, we communicate it with such tremendous force, not only do we get more people to say “yes,” they say “heck yes!”

I’m serious – not only do they give, but they give at much higher levels.

And so, we’re able to influence two factors that influence revenue – conversion rate and average order value.

And so, what’s exciting about that is I think that opens up a tremendous new realm of testing, honestly, for subscription-based, e-commerce-based organizations that are trying to focus on people, getting more people to obviously sign up for their services, but at the same time, getting those people to sign up at higher, and higher levels.

So, it’s a pretty interesting concept. I’m excited about the session, it should be fun, getting people to say “heck yeah!”


Daniel: Getting people to say “heck yes”; that’s the goal. So if you are a subscription-based marketer, a marketer with a subscription-based company. You have to get people to continually say “yes” over time. What are some of the lessons you’ve learned regarding that?


Tim: So one of the interesting things we’ve been testing a lot with is this idea of exclusivity. When we actually send solicitations out to get people to sign up for, for example, a reoccurring giving program, where they give automatically monthly on a credit card. We’ve been testing, using this idea of, “We’ve got this club, it’s our leadership club, and we realized, it’s not for everybody. But it may be for you,” you know what I mean?

We kind of play up this idea, but being almost a scarce resource, a very small number of people that have the opportunity or see the value in that, but we single people out in terms of their potential to be a fit for the program. It’s been pretty interesting, and we’ve since seen some really interesting lifts by just applying that exclusivity principle, as what we call it.


Daniel: Excellent. And for e-commerce marketers, and I know you also have upsells, as you say, there’s no specific value. So, there can always be more cost, and more cost because it’s a donation, so people can donate whatever they want. What have you learned about upsells that may help e-commerce?


Tim: It’s basically all about commitment building. We’ll sometimes actually do campaigns when it comes to nonprofits, we’re trying to do lead acquisition and then instantly convert them in a B2C model. And so, it’s like lead acquisition and then instant conversion to a customer, if you will.

And so, one of the things that I think could be tremendously leverageable from some of our research is applying the same concepts of getting people to buy add-ons.

You have somebody that’s a subscriber for a particular service and then continuing to get them to buy an entire higher level. It’s just moving them further and further down the value proposition train, if you will.


Daniel: Excellent, so I’ve learned about the value proposition train, and how to get customers to say “heck yes.” I look forward to what you’re going to be saying in New York City.  Tim’s with us now in our studios in Jacksonville. We’re talking more about his session so we’re prepped for Web Optimization Summit in New York City, put on by Marketing Experiments and MarketingSherpa. Look forward to seeing you there, Tim.


Tim: Sounds good.


Daniel: And you can learn some more marketing lessons at MarketingExperiments.com, or MarketingSherpa.com. Thank you.


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