The number one threat to conversion


Anyone who missed the live Webinar presented by Dr. Flint McGlaughlin to members of the American Marketing Association on Thursday 1.17.08 missed a great opportunity to hear him expound on what MarketingExperiments’ analysts and staff named the number one research finding of 2007: The critical, twin roles of Continuity and Congruence in ensuring visitors flow from channels to Web site to conversion without disruption.

Dr. McGlaughlin also discussed the importance of having a clear, concise, and well articulated Value Proposition for both your business and your product before even attempting to communicate it. Only after you have it and have the means to successfully communicate it should you concentrate on driving traffic to your site. Otherwise, you and your visitors are in for disappointment.

Thanks to the AMA, I can offer a link to the Webinar slides here and to the audio here (just hit the “Playback” button at the bottom of the page).

One great question from the audience was about the results of Example 2 in the Webinar. The audience member was curious about why the number of visitors to the Control version of the offer pages was so much higher than that of the Optimized offer pages.

As they teach you in Business 101, you have to stay in business while you are making changes. The reason for the huge disparity in the number of visitors is that we do the vast majority of our testing in the “live” environment, so we only divert a sliver of total site traffic onto a test page. In many cases we are testing several treatments side-by-side and concurrently. Each treatment gets a slice so we can compare results.

The key figures as shown below are the number of subscriptions to the free offer as a percentage of the total traffic channeled to that offer. Result? The optimized version of the partner’s offer―the one where we concentrated on eliminating discontinuity and incongruence―resulted in a substantial gain in take-up of the free trial offer:

Version          Visitors     Free Subs.     Conv. Rate

Control           112,137          459             0.41%

Optimized       13,726           114              0.83%

Relative Difference: 103%

For more on the concept and the execution of Value Proposition as well as Continuity and Congruence, check out our research archive and the great blogs that Austin McCraw has been posting to this site for the past couple of months.

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