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4 Unconventional Landing Page Techniques

September 22nd, 2014 No comments

By Juan Pablo Castro
Community Content Manager, Landerapp



4 unconventional landing page techniques

The Internet is packed with tips and tricks for maximizing the effectiveness of landing pages, but it may be time to think outside the box to improve results.

Although tried-and-true methods of Web design often deliver traffic, if you’re looking for a way to shake things up, it could be time for a change. Here are some landing page design tricks you may not have previously considered:


1. More Than One Call to Action

This tip goes completely against conventional landing page wisdom, but it can pay off when used appropriately, according to Crazy Egg. Most Web marketing experts will say one direct, specific call to action per page prevents users from being confused.

Utilizing multiple CTAs adds more opportunities for website visitors to convert. However, it’s important to let the page length and content dictate the number of CTAs you use. While more than one can contribute to higher conversions, don’t overdo it.

Multiple CTAs are most effective when they appear on a longer landing page. Traditional landing page design tips would recommend to keep pages short with the primary CTA appearing above the fold. It’s important to consider the overall flow of the page when using multiple CTAs.


2. Use Keyword Optimization for Images 

Search engine optimization is crucial for increasing landing page traffic, but you may be overlooking a few small aspects of your page where you can improve results.

Keyword optimization for images is a great way to boost on-page SEO results, Web Ecommerce Solutions reported. This strategy does not require a great deal of effort. All you need to do is name the image file to reflect your keyword targets before uploading it. Keywords can also be entered in fields for image properties, such as descriptions, titles, tags and comments.

Not only does this make your page appear more frequently on search engine results pages, it also increases the chances your products will be found in a Google Image search, which is particularly important for e-commerce vendors.


3. Longer Content 

Going back to landing page length, long form content can be beneficial when used in the right context. Shorter pages make sense in many ways: You want visitors to find what they need in the smallest amount of time possible.

However, the goal behind longer content is to provide readers with more resources that answer all of their questions. If you’re wary of creating a lengthier landing page, it’s important to remember that content needs to be engaging to keep viewers on the page.

Again, you need to consider the overall objective of the landing page and customer preferences. If potential customers need a lot of information before converting, longer content may be effective. It won’t necessarily be applicable for a quick, short-term offer.


4. More visuals

In the past, it was always thought that simpler landing pages were better because there was less to distract visitors from converting. However, images are quickly establishing themselves as a vital part of a content marketing strategy.

Visually compelling imagery can make people more likely to stay on your page. Photos, videos and infographics can make your landing page convert prospects.

Visual content works well because it’s a great way to distill complex information in an easy-to-understand format, which is useful for business-to-business vendors that sell highly technical products.

In particular, video can significantly increase conversion rates. This is a major change from conventional thinking that landing pages should be as simple as possible. Providing an interactive experience can drive conversions, making your pages more successful.


About the Author

JPCJuan Pablo Castro works as Community Content Manager at Landerapp, a landing page platform. He’s an author for the company’s blog, where he writes about Landing Page Optimization, Social Media, SEO and SEM. He also curates content for the company’s Twitter at @landerapp. 





Make plans to join us at the Conversion Conference Mega Event in Las Vegas, May 13-14, 2015 – get a full pass for only $897 when you register by January 31, 2015!
Categories: Conversion, Digital Marketing Tags:

Igniting Behavioral Data for Business Growth

September 9th, 2014 No comments

By Yaniv Navot
Marketing & Growth Manager, Dynamic Yield


igniting behavioral data

Collecting behavioral user data, such as affinities, interests, demographics, past purchase data and any other available user-centric information may have a significant, positive impact on user experience and business growth. It is a dynamically evolving area, which involves complex machine-learning algorithms and data mining capabilities.

Utilization of behavioral data for customized ads and/or content requires deep data mining abilities.

Data mining is a term used to explain the process of analyzing big data for the purpose of finding interesting patterns, correlations and insights. It is an analogy of the method of extracting rock-solid data from a massive mountain. In the online world, data mining is used to find behavioral patterns of users by analyzing their past online behavior.

While one might think of it as an out-of-reach technology, the fact of the matter is that behavioral analysis and targeting tools have become much more accessible today and most valuable – now more than ever. In fact, behavioral targeting is all around us. It is commonly used by online advertisers to deliver customized ads and increase the relevancy and effectiveness of their off-site campaigns. One classic example is the retargeting of ads to segments of visitors who had previously visited the website based on specific behavioral criteria. Another great example would be Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences capabilities. The Lookalike Audiences feature allows advertisers to automatically target people on Facebook who are very similar to the initial seed of audience, which was selected by the advertiser as a highly relevant target audience to its business.

Behavioral analysis and predictive abilities are gaining in popularity.

Many websites today understand that in order to increase user experience, engagement and conversion rate, they need to engage users in more personalized ways. Up to 94% of in-house marketers agree that website personalization is critical to current and future success (source). Predicting future behavioral patterns of the target audience may have an impressive impact on the bottom line, and that’s exactly were website personalization engines come in handy.

Concluding valuable insights from a thorough, automated data mining process and, then, dynamically packaging it for personalized recommendation modules is one of the most typical and effective ways of leveraging behavioral data. As an example, e-commerce sites have been using this technique for offering personalized product recommendations to their visitors.

With the explosion of big data, before making any big decisions, marketers should know how to effectively gain valuable insight and avoid any bias.

One of the key findings according to “The State of Always-On Marketing Study” conducted by Razorfish in collaboration with Adobe is that 76% of marketers are failing to use behavioral data in segmentation analysis and targeting execution. In addition, very few are capable of delivering real-time analytics and experiences in terms of technology, creative execution and integration of data. Choosing the right behavioral targeting tools, as well as a mature marketing strategic plan, is key to achieving success.


About the Author

yaniv navotYaniv Navot is the Marketing and Growth Manager at Dynamic Yield, a SaaS-based solution for real-time personalization and automated conversion optimization. He’s a conversion optimization enthusiast and a web analytics expert.






Make plans to join us at the Conversion Conference Mega Event in Las Vegas, May 13-14, 2015 – get a full pass for only $897 when you register by January 31, 2015!
Categories: Conversion, Targeting Tags:

Wanted: CRO Experts to Speak at Conversion Conference Las Vegas 2015

July 21st, 2014 No comments

call-for-speakers-lv-blogveAre you an expert in conversion optimization, web usability, marketing analytics, neuromarketing, UX or other discipline related to website conversion rate optimization?

If you read our last post on the top speakers from Conversion Conference Chicago and thought, “Hey, I’d like to be among these folks,” then you should apply to speak at Conversion Conference Las Vegas, May 13-14, 2015.

We’re looking for killer presentations that would inform, delight, and impress an audience composed mostly of chief marketing officers (and others in the C-suite), conversion managers, UX designers/specialists, internet marketing directors and managers, e-commerce professionals, and web designers.

In addition, presentations should align with the following categories:

  • Getting started with CRO
  • Enterprise testing and optimization
  • B2C and ecommerce strategies
  • B2B lead gen strategies
  • Testing techniques
  • Neuromarketing/persuasion techniques
  • Mobile optimization and testing
  • UX and usability testing
  • Content/social/email strategies (as they support CRO)
  • CRO management (culture/team/process/analytics)
  • Tools and technology

Learn more about the content we are looking for and our selection process.

And if you really want your application to have at least a fighting chance, bear these in mind when crafting your session proposal:

  • Topics should not focus on a specific vendor tool or solution
  • Preferred sessions are those that are highly actionable (e.g. 5 Ways to … , 7 Strategies for…, etc)
  • Attendees prefer sessions with examples (successes and failures, best practices and worst practices, etc)
  • Case studies should have broad appeal and applicability (not specific to a small niche or industry)

If you qualify, you must submit your application online by August 8. Applications not submitted through this process will not be considered. If you have questions about this call for speakers, please contact Casey Murphy, or (619) 866-4606.



Top Speakers from Conversion Conference Chicago 2014

July 17th, 2014 1 comment

ConvConTopSpeaker2014Wondering which presenters and sessions were a huge hit among conversion geeks and digital marketers at Conversion Conference Chicago 2014?

Well, the results are in (drumroll…) and here are the highest rated speakers and presentations from our final Chicago show based on audience feedback and ratings:


1. Charles Nicholls, Chief Strategy Officer, SeeWhytop-speaker-nicholls

A frequent speaker at Conversion Conference, Charles has never failed to impress ConvCon attendees. His sessions have always been among the highest rated at the conference, and his latest keynote presentation on Unlocking Mobile Conversions was not an exception. Charles not only focused on the “why” of mobile optimization but shared some valuable tips to ease conversions for users on multiple devices.


top-speaker-crestodina2. Andy Crestodina, Strategic Director, Orbit Media

It was Andy’s first time to speak at Conversion Conference and we’re glad we included him in the speakers’ roster when we did. Attendees got really practical ideas on content creation and lead generation from his Content, Conversions and Lead Generation session.

Plus, his deck rocked!



3. Angie Schottmuller, Director of Strategic Planning & Optimization, Three Deep Marketing

When it comes to combining SEO and CRO, Angie knows her stuff – and isn’t stingy with her knowledge. Her eagerness to impart truly useful advice with other marketers was greatly appreciated by ConvCon attendees, who gave her glowing feedback and high ratings in return. And hey, who wouldn’t love learning conversion hacks for organic search traffic from Angie’s MacGyver themed presentation?


top-speaker-harvey4. Joel Harvey, Managing Partner, Conversion Sciences

Joel gave ConvCon attendees an unforgettable moment at our March show in SF when he broke a phone to drive home a point about broken mobile experiences. He didn’t do any of that in Chicago but his session, Optimizing Phone Calls: Five Steps for More Rings, was still one of the most valuable for attendees.

Want to know Joel’s (and his partner Brian Massey’s) not-so-secret weapon for persuading audiences? It’s the lab coat.



Which sessions and speakers did you find most insightful at Conversion Conference Chicago last month? Let us know in the comments!


Want to meet and learn conversion rate optimization from the world’s top experts? Make plans to join us at the Conversion Conference Mega Event in Las Vegas, May 13-14, 2015 –

 get a full pass for only $897 when you register by January 31, 2015!




Categories: Conference News, Digital Marketing Tags:

Mobile Conversions: What Makes Callers Convert?

July 9th, 2014 No comments

Mobile commerce continues to be hampered by a number of conversion barriers, including security concerns and the fact that, as SeeWhy Chief Strategy Officer Charles Nicholls puts it, “fat fingers and small screens don’t mix well.” But with mobile devices driving a growing percentage of e-commerce transactions, marketers can ill afford to ignore the channel. Instead, digital marketers should take advantage of other opportunities for turning mobile browsers into buyers.

Findings from the 3rd Annual U.S.Mobile Path-to-Purchase Study done by xAD and Telmetrics reveal, for instance, that approximately 53 percent of mobile shoppers prefer calling a business on their smartphones. Hence, digital marketers must learn how to successfully convert callers – who usually dial with a strong buying intent– into customers.

Below is an infographic from LogMyCalls that sheds light on the factors that influence a successful conversion on click-to-call and is also helpful in explaining some of the sources of friction that prevent or discourage callers from completing the transaction.

[Infographic] Elements of A Converted Call

What we learned from the infographic:

Highly qualified leads convert better than poorly qualified leads. This seems a no-brainer, but it emphasizes the need for marketers to optimize their lead generation strategies. Think about the customer’s entire journey from search to landing on your site so you can present more relevant offers to your mobile customers. Relevance begets intent and lead quality.

It is not enough to display your phone number prominently. Make sure that your customer-facing teams are well-equipped not only in closing the sale but also in meeting customer expectations of basic phone etiquette, politeness, and helpfulness in determining customer needs.



Make plans to join us at the Conversion Conference Mega Event in Las Vegas, May 13-14, 2015 – get a full pass for only $897 when you register by January 31, 2015!
Categories: Mobile Tags:

What You Missed at Conversion Conference Chicago 2014

June 30th, 2014 No comments

charles nicholls keynote preso


The third Conversion Conference in Chicago wrapped up on June 19th –  the biggest gathering so far of digital marketing and CRO geeks in the history of the conference.

The event was a great success: attendees reported going home with lengthy to-do lists for testing and improving their web sites. But the best thing was seeing a lot of new faces mingling with the veterans in the conversion optimization battlefield, and knowing that we’ve accomplished our mission of spreading CRO practice:

Learned so much at #convcon, can’t wait to get back to work to try out all these new ideas.

— Paul Klodzinski (@paulklodzinski) June 18, 2014


Read on for the highlights!


Stepping Up with Conversion Rate Optimization

In his keynote presentation, Conversion Conference chair and SiteTuners CEO Tim Ash debunked popular myths about conversion rate optimization, including:

1) The need for everyone to adopt responsive design

2) Testing volume and velocity as the best measure of CRO

3) Web design is best left to the pros (web designers)

According to Tim, responsive web design can actually hurt conversions since it simply reformats the website to fit multiple screen sizes but ignores visitor context and intra-day usage patterns. Tim advised marketers to consider creating dedicated smartphone, tablet, and desktop experiences instead, bearing in mind users’ specific contexts and multi-screening habits.

Next, Tim cautioned attendees against thinking that CRO is all about testing, noting that tests are subject to law of diminishing results. He told them to focus on testing areas that lead directly to profit improvements:

Bigger test gains from experiences (buying process) vs elements (buttons). Hard work = more rewards – @tim_ash #convcon

— Hunter Boyle (@hunterboyle) June 17, 2014


Lastly, Tim decried the current practice of designing websites primarily based on the aesthetic of the designer, which often neglects the needs of online visitors. He reminded everyone to put the visitor’s needs and goals front and center and discouraged attendees from visual fads that often damage a website’s usability and user experience.


“I buy the way I buy, not the way you sell.” – @tim_ash #convcon

— Alexandra Gibson (@gibsondm) June 18, 2014


SeeWhy Chief Strategy Officer Charles Nicholls echoed Tim’s emphasis on the visitor context and usage patterns in his keynote presentation about mobile conversion optimization. Charles argued that the rapid growth of the tablet segment, along with changes in consumer purchasing habits (eg. consumers now use multiple devices before converting), means that mobile will soon outpace desktops and become the primary conversion device. This necessitates optimizing for the entire customer journey, which spans multiple sessions, devices, channels and time.


65% of email is opened first on a smartphone per @webconversion at #ConvCon

— Tom Bowen (@WSOMarketing) June 18, 2014


However, as Charles pointed out, there are still numerous obstacles preventing visitors from converting on mobile. First, an overwhelming majority of users still distrust mobiles as shopping channels. Second, users also don’t consider their phones or tablets as a converting device, using them mainly during the early stages of the customer journey (eg. researching purchases, comparison shopping, “webrooming”).

Hence, digital marketers to totally re-orient their marketing practices in order to convert more on mobile. For instance, they need to make sure that their sites have the 3 key elements of mobile conversion:

1) Simplified browsing & search

2) Email remarketing carries context across channels

3) Stored account details + payments


Mind-blowing Sessions with the CRO experts

The speakers – well-known experts in eCommerce, content marketing, testing, neuro web design, analytics, usability, user experience, and growth hacking – provided attendees with lots of insights on improving the effectiveness of their web sites. Below are just a few of the tips that attendees picked up at ConvCon Chicago:

“Are you going to be a better answer or are you just rearranging stuff?? Focus on being the best answer.” @aschottmuller #CRO #convcon

— Kate Gwozdz (@KateGwozdz) June 18, 2014


People will buy your product if they think it will help them become better versions of themselves. #convcon from @TaliaGw

— Jenny DeGraff (@JennyDeGraff) June 18, 2014


Listening to @TaliaGw merge psychology and web Analytics. I’ve never felt more at home. #convcon

— Jono Dykstra (@JDD10) June 18, 2014


This Content, Conversions and Lead Generation session is my favorite so far! So many ideas to take back to @MxGroup! #ConvCon @crestodina

— Cristina Sarnelli (@CMSarnelli) June 18, 2014


Customize your site search no results page and add a CTA #convcon @TopSpotIMS

— Harrison Jones (@hgjones2) June 18, 2014


“Avoid speed-dating your prospects. Don’t ask for that phone number too fast!” –@CaseyChesh Good progressive form advice #ConvCon

— The Mx Group (@MxGroup) June 17, 2014


Holy phone optimization batman! Getting seriously schooled by @joeljharvey at #convcon Awesome stuff here.

— Dan Bonomo (@d_bonomo) June 17, 2014


Check out the #convcon tweet stream for more insights and takeaways from the CRO experts at Chicago.


Live Blogs and Links

Live from #ConvCon Chicago 2014 – Marketing Apps: The Next Must-Have Weapon in Your Conversion Arsenal by Jenny DeGraff, Marketing Mojo

Live from #ConvCon Chicago 2014 – Driving your Multi-Device Strategy with Customer Experience Maps by Jenny DeGraff, Marketing Mojo

Live from #ConvCon Chicago 2014 – More Leads, Sales & Engagement: Your Email Optimization Action Plan by Jenny DeGraff, Marketing Mojo

Takeaways from Conversion Conference Chicago 2014 by SiteTuners

Don’t Think Of The Market — Think As The Market by Cristina Sarnelli, The Mx Group

CRO & Insights from Conversion Conference Chicago 2014 by Kevin Udy

Powerful Marketing Fuel From This Year’s Conversion Conference by Greg Geodakyan

Conversion Conference Chicago Caricatures by The Draw Shop

Conversion Conference Chicago in pictures by Tim Ash, SiteTuners


Join us in Conversion Conference Las Vegas 2015

We are immensely grateful to the amazing crowd of speakers and digital marketers who joined us at our final stop in the Windy City. If you missed the event, you can catch up next year during the Conversion Conference re-launch. So make your plans for ConvCon Las Vegas 2015 – get a full pass for only $797 when you register by October 4th!

Categories: Conference News Tags:

3 Must-Read Articles for Conversion Conference Attendees

June 16th, 2014 1 comment

Business cards? Check.

Booked hotel room? Done.

Elevator pitch? Wait, what?

We know how nerve-wracking it can be to attend conferences, especially if you’ve been hiding in your digital cave for too long. So now that Conversion Conference Chicago is kicking off tomorrow, we thought we’d help calm your nerves a bit. And what better way to do that than to help you prepare for the event?

Whether you’re new to the conference circuit or a seasoned road warrior, you’re more likely to get the most out of your attendance at Conversion Conference (or any other conference) if you come well-prepared. Here are three excellent posts that will boost your confidence and ease your conference-fright:

The Ultimate Pre-Conference Checklist- Rosemary O’Neill shares some tips on how you can have a more productive conference experience (Thanks to attendee Tom Bowen of Web Site Optimizers for the heads up on this article).

5 Ways to Optimize the Business Value of Attending Conferences – Lee Oden dispenses advice on how you can make a conference pay for itself.
How To Make The Most Of Your Next Industry ConferenceMark Goulston provides insights on how you can build successful and long-lasting relationships with speakers and colleagues while at a conference.

If you checked off all of the things you need to get yourself ready for Conversion Conference, congratulations! Make sure to get some rest the night before the conference so you have enough energy for two amazing days with conversion optimization leaders.

P.S. Make sure to plan the sessions you want to attend – check out the session descriptions here!

Categories: Conference News Tags:

5 Quick Ways to Humanize your Email Marketing

June 11th, 2014 No comments

Co-Founder & Strategic Director, Orbit Media Studios


5 ways to humanize your emails

Small businesses have an advantage. Unlike big corporations, smaller companies can be more personal, more relatable, more human. Unfortunately, a lot of little companies miss out on these opportunities.

Email marketing is a classic example of how the little guys have the edge. It’s a chance to promote your content directly to your audience, person to person, with nothing in-between.

Now let’s look at personalizing the email experience itself. Here are five ways to add personality to your email marketing.


1. Sender Name

This is the fastest and easiest way to be a person in your marketing. It’s also one of the most effective.If your email’s sender name is just the company name, like “Company, Inc.” try adding the name of the author before the company. An email from “Dale Wilson / Company, Inc.” is perceived as coming from a person and is less likely to be deleted.I once taught this to a group of businesses. A week later, I got this feedback from the event organizer:  One of the business owners took your advice to use her name in her ‘from’ email. As a result, her open rate went from 20% to 39%. People also responded to the email, so it helped with customer service and client interaction.”

Be a person with a human name.


2. Picture of the Author

The human face has a powerful ability to connect. So powerful that it’s been ubiquitous in print marketing for generations, but somehow, email marketers tend to miss this. Very few small business newsletters include a picture of the sender or author’s face.Add a picture of your face. Let go of that hesitation, and show the subscribers who you are. Big competitors rarely do this because of politics, turnover, or simple lack of courage. But you can.Be a person with a human face.


3. Take a Stand

Have a point of view in your writing. Opinions, especially strong opinions, show that you care. They also add emotion for the reader. It may not be in every newsletter, but mix in the occasional editorial. Even if they don’t always agree with your point of view, your readers will know that you care.The big boys are often afraid to do this, which is why their marketing is often sterile and dry. The personality has been carefully removed.Be a person with a point of view.


4. Tell a Story

If you haven’t told your audience why you do what you do, it’s time. Tell the story about your passion and your background. Big companies can’t make this connection, but you can.Start at the beginning, but be brief. Make sure to touch on the big themes and let the passion come through in the tone. Connect the dots from your history to the value you offer to your audience and why it matters.Be a person with a history.


5. Say Thank You

This is a huge missed opportunity for companies big and small: the newsletter signup thank you page lacks personality. This page is literally the visitors’ first experience as a subscriber. If you’re not welcoming them to your list with a personal message, in your own voice, you’re not really welcoming them at all.So truly say thank you with a sincere message and an invitation to become more engaged. A visitor who subscribes may also be interested in connecting with you on social networks. Don’t miss the chance to keep the conversation going.Be a person who is grateful and engaging.


If you’re a person, this is all good news…

…because people get better results. These simple, free, and fast ways to personalize your email marketing will build stronger connections between you and your subscribers. Add a voice to your nameless, faceless marketing, and your email stats will thank you.



This is an updated version of a post that originally appeared on Constant Contact.


About the Author

Andy Crestodina imageAs Strategic Director for Chicago-based Orbit Media, Andy has provided web strategy advice to more than 1000 businesses over the last 12 years. Andy loves to teach web marketing, both as a public speaker and on the Orbit blog. He has written more than 170 articles on content marketing topics including SEO, email marketing, social media, and analytics. He is the author of “Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing”. Andy graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Asian Language and Literature and a certificate to teach Chinese.

See Andy Live!

Join Andy in his session on “Content, Conversions and Lead Generation” at Conversion Conference Chicago 2014, June 17-19.



Categories: Digital Marketing, Email Conversion Tags:

11 Steps Towards High-Converting Copy

June 5th, 2014 No comments

By Joel Harvey
Managing Partner, Conversion Sciences


11 steps towards high converting copy

I’ve spent many years in the trenches writing, testing, optimizing, erasing and starting from scratch.

If you’ve ever felt like you were spinning in circles when attempting to write your own conversion-boosting copy, you are not alone. You have probably wasted hours trying to find effective copywriting prototypes and best practices with fluctuating degrees of success. That’s why we’ve done the research for you.

In this article I will share 11 effective and actionable tips for writing copy that has substantial impact on conversions.


1. It Speaks Specifically to Someone

If you can’t tell who the copy was written for simply by reading it, you are probably in trouble. Who are your customers? What happened in their lives that made them come to your site at this particular time? Profile your visitors, understand their motivations, and write to their issues. Personas help.


2. It’s Written Naturally

Do people talk like your copy is written? Does it convey meaning with the kinds of metaphors, euphemisms and engaging omissions that are used in speech? Or are the words straining to persuade the reader, attempting to touch on every point necessary to make the reader buy?

“Clarity trumps persuasion,” says Flint McGlaughlin of MarketingExperiments. Stop persuading. Start communicating.


3. The Copy on the Page Matches the Offers in your Ads

Your visitors didn’t get to your site by magic. They got there from one of your ads, from a search engine or from a referral. Does the copy on your home pages and landing pages pick up where your ads started? Does your “Meta Description,” which the search engines display on their results page match the copy on the page itself? If not, you are breaking what the Eisenberg brothers call the “Scent Trail.”

At each step of their journey to and through your site, there should be something familiar, something related to the previous step. Nothing provides scent better than headings and copy that draws on a common thing. Images and color are also affective, but that’s another article.

One of the most expensive mistakes is made in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on search engines. If you offer a discount in your PPC ad, the page they come to should have the discount clearly visible. Too often, great offers in ads are defeated when the visitor is taken to your homepage, on which the specific discount cannot be found.

Yes, to do this effectively means that each ad should have its own landing page on your site.


4. It gives the Reader Usable Information

Is the copy persuading or being helpful? It’s not about who you are and what you do. How can the visitors to your site solve their problems with your offering? Do you present a good value proposition?

When I come to your site, does your copy answer any of the following questions for me:

  • How does it work?
  • How will I use it?
  • Which features should I care about?
  • What should I be cautious about?
  • When does it make sense to try something different?
  • How do I justify the cost?
  • How do I sell this internally?

These are just examples, but you need to understand that they are fundamentally different from telling the reader that you will give them “unparalleled visibility, divisional support and alignment.”


5. An Experienced Copywriter Wrote It

Don’t look at copy as filler on your page. In the hands of an experienced professional, your copy will increase the effectiveness of your Web site and this will translate into more leads and more sales. Unlike design, though, we can all create copy. And unfortunately we do.

As I have said before, treat copywriters like designers. Get two or three “sketches” of the copy. Choose one. Correct the errors. Leave the rest alone.


6. It is Efficient

Long copy is OK. Rambling copy is not. Use efficient copy of any length to engage your reader.

Amy Lemen recommends using copy indexing formulas to help you measure the efficiency of your copy.


7. Your Analytics Tell You It’s Working

Google Analytics is free, easy to add, and relatively easy to learn. Use it or something else. Then ask someone to show you how to check the following. If copy changes don’t make these better, try again. The company that knows grows.

Bounce Rates: How many people leave immediately when they come to my pages? You want this to be low, at or below 30% usually.

Site-wide Conversion Rate: How many people visit the site? How many people take action by completing a form or buying something? When you divide the latter by the former, you get your site-wide conversion rate. You want it to be higher over time.

Exit Percentage: Which pages most often cause people to leave the site? These pages are either solving their problems completely or turning them off. Take a look at them. Try to get the exit percentage down.

Page Conversion Rate: For those pages that really count, the pages where people buy, find out how many people took action and divide that by how many people visited. This is your conversion rate for this page. You want it to be higher over time.

Web sales: How much stuff are you selling via the Web?


8. You had an Individual Edit it, not a Committee

Having a whole Web site go through a committee is a bad idea. Just because your marketing manager developed the product messaging doesn’t mean she should write or edit the copy. The product manager should only look for errors, not rewrite. The CEO needs to know the end result.


9. There Are Links throughout the Copy

When someone reads your text, they are engaged. In fact, they are probably less likely to see supporting information in the left or right columns of the standard Web page. Use links within paragraphs to get readers into the site. Don’t over-do it, however. Too many links or links that encompass lots of text will make the paragraph difficult to read.

This is great for SEO, too. It provides an internal linking structure that helps search engines understand what the site is about. Your copywriter should be using important keywords for these links.


10. You Got Someone from Outside the Company to Participate

Internal writers are often too close to the material. Consider a copywriter from outside the company. This also requires that you go through the process of communicating what your company does. You’ll be surprised at how difficult this will be, even with a sophisticated copywriter.

This process should help you refine your messaging, and maybe delay updates until you’ve got a coherent story that the average human will understand.


11. You’ve Tested Your Headlines

Your headings are critical to scanning readers. Try different headings, font sizes and colors. Be patient. Watch your analytics for benefits that last.

Litmus Test

Do you enjoy reviewing the copy for your Web site? Do you feel pride when you read it? Is it something you’d consider adding to your portfolio should you find yourself looking for work? If not, imagine what your visitors think. Remember that “good enough” just doesn’t convert as well.

Read the original article, 10 Ways to Know If Your Copy Will Convert Visitors to Customers.


About the Author

JoelHarvey-vJoel Harvey is a seasoned digital marketing executive and entrepreneur with a ten-year background in executing complex optimization engagements. As Managing Partner at Conversion Sciences, he has designed and run hundreds of tests — making him an experienced resource for optimization strategies. Joel has the rare ability to view everything through the lens of data and fact, without losing the ever important sixth sense one needs to consistently drive results. He asks why a lot, challenges assumptions, laughs loud and constantly reaches for the next level of results.

See Joel Live!

Join Joel in his session on “Optimizing Phone Calls: Five Steps for More Rings” at Conversion Conference Chicago 2014, June 17-19. Follow Joel on Twitter and ask for a promo code to save more on your pass.


Categories: Content, Conversion Tags:

10 Trends in eCommerce Business Evolution for 2014

June 3rd, 2014 Comments off

By Yulia Smirnova
CEO and Founder, CommerceBrain


We’re halfway through 2014 –  it is time to plan for the future and get new ecommerce plans lined up for the peak shopping season. The industry is always evolving, which opens new doors to experiment with online marketing, shopping experience and ecommerce operations. So, what is in store for us?

Cyber Monday might become Cyborg Monday at some point, especially with Amazon drones delivery and returns already in the works.

Or perhaps, we would experience offers shared with us via apps sensing the best time for us to be receptive to them. In other words, having something similar to what Sleep Cycle app does while waking us up per the recorded sleeping rhythm and body movements of each individual. Can apps detect our shopping moods?

Or maybe, we would start getting loyalty points and rewards for simply thinking of a brand that could be registered somehow? It does sound as very far fetched, yet not impossible and easily imaginable.

So, what are the near future trends in eCommerce besides Amazon delivery drones and Google glass shopping?

10 ecommerce trends for 2014


 1. The rise of the brand can be observed in many ecommerce players developing their own products in order to differentiate their stores from competition.

Nasty Gal launched its own line of shoes. One Kings Lane now offers private label collections of luxury towels, curtains and bedding, exclusively on its site. While etailers like BetaBrand and Bonobos, ride the road to profits by owning their products (being a brand) and offering custom variations of limited editions (to intensify the demand). In the US, being able to stand out and be different is highly valued in the culture. No one likes to be boring and fit in, unless it is part of the cooler tribe of similar crazy, stylish, badass folks. Thus, at least here in the US, more brands will launch in the future that offer unique products and experiences according to originality of our preferred or associated lifestyles. Brands can start small and grow like mushrooms. So Worth Loving is a great store (sells customized apparel with inspiring messages) and it does just that and has a good following already. Chloe and Isabel is gaining momentum too (growing by 82% within the last year). Brand is good for profit, plays well with SEO, distinct in shoppers’ minds and has a way to make it to their hearts.


2. The demand for custom tailored complex products is driven by companies that found ways to scale design, tailoring and production via technology.

This customization goes beyond adding a picture and a tagline to T-shirts and mugs as on Zazzle and Cafepress. Now you can get a quality custom made anything, discovered through your own creativity triggered by a shopping experience provided on a site or within an app. Nike added this offering long ago as an extension of its lines. Today, offering custom made products becomes a standalone business model. The products are unique, of high quality and mostly sold at a premium price – all that signals potential for higher margins. Yet, besides tackling all the usual challenges of the ecommerce business, these companies also have to address demand generation and brand development through ongoing customer education. It does not matter if the demand is real (see Igigi for fashionable custom-tailored clothing for plus size ladies) or opportunistic (as with ThirdLove offering fitted and custom-made lingerie).


3. eCommerce adoption increases across industries beyond product manufacturers.

Many software firms (Autodesk, Adobe) or  B2B services (Trulia), as well as museums (California Academy of Science) and non-profits (Red Cross) setup their own ecommerce business units with distinct PnLs to grow beyond traditional revenue sources or streamline operations.  Today, no matter if you sell data, services, products or experiences – all can be monetized and operationalized for efficiency, scale and growth via ecommerce technology.


4.  Service and fulfillment become really personal through sophisticated technology.  

If you are selling through phone or personal agents, you can leverage Salesforce technology to make your sales people more in sync with your customers. Companies like TrunkClub scale their services with Sales Cloud, which maintains record of social profile of each customer (his/her activities, orders, customer communications, preferences and dislikes). TrunkClub stylists access a Salesforce platform app to use the data and also perform the personalized service while packing every new trunk in the warehouse.  You have a true weapon against competition as all those personal details and social media experiences become available to you to serve personally. This is also hidden through the hot term of the year 2013 – “big data” (or just one application of it as I see). Cloud CRM technology makes it possible to do business on a personal level through real (human)  1 to 1 communications (email and texts). It provides clarity about the world of your customers as you are able to understand and serve them better.

See TrunkClub video on use of Salesforce


5. Programmable site experience becomes accessible to smaller etailers and online shops. 

Personalization goes further than product recommendations on the site or within marketing campaigns, be those email, social, retargeting or search. Many companies now offer SaaS services to plug into your site to learn about your visitors’ site behavior in real-time, identify common patterns of shopping and deliver algorithmically special offers that will convert segments and cohorts of your visitors faster. What also is enticing that you do not have to wait and do the testing first. You can monetize what is happening right now while running your business. Plus, today you do not have to be a big retailer with tons of budget to afford using this code.  Nor do you have to employ a team to run the tech and refine campaigns. Moreover, this investment pays off within two months with the revenue growth up to a factor of 3.  Connect to me to learn about your options.


6. Partnerships with other ecommerce sites are more common.

Partnering up with other sites that target your audience and have higher volumes of prospective customers gives you significant leverage and lets your online store grow faster.  Many ecommerce sites join forces with online magazines, blogs and even other ecommerce sites to accelerate customer acquisition rate. This might come as a co-marketing effort as recently observed with CitrusLane and BarkBox (Facebook contest). It might also appear as a way to expand product assortment to cater better to your own customers and offer new channels for upcoming brands. As an example, Nordstrom partnered with Etsy to showcase unique high-end handmade goods. Or take Toms shoes that now launched a marketplace to invite other socialpreners to offer their goods. Collaboration helps accelerate your customer acquisition growth.


7. Selling primarily to markets outside your borders is a viable business model.

There is a number of new ecommerce businesses emerge that cater primarily to the foreign markets. Take Sendah Philippines that targets immigrants working overseas that still need to connect to their families through gifts, shopping and unlimited calls. Or check out MemeBox that sells Korean beauty products to US, Japan and Canada.  It does sell in Korea as well, yet targets international markets mostly with its subscription service. For other companies, being mobile makes the business landscape global instantly, especially if you launch via an app first. At the same time, bigger marketplaces offer options for small merchants to engage into international selling affordably (as with eBay international shipping program). You can also sell straight from your estore, especially if you run on Magento or Demandware by partnering up with companies like BorderJump to setup your sales in the same shopping experience, regardless of the country your shoppers come from (via APIs and plugins, with all taxes, fees properly programmed).  The experience is streamlined on the front end and back end, all you do is start selling globally and share a bit with the technology enabler. Plus, payment industry makes it simpler and widely embraced through PayPal for a fee, or Venmo for free.


8. Going offline (with tech) to get to profit and customers faster.

Many pure web only retailers start seeking ways to engage with their customers offline through setting up guide shops (alternatives to a brick-and-mortar store) and live events. Part of this trend spills into tapping the benefits of building a recognizable brand and becoming more real and visceral for shoppers. Some start advertising on radio and TV to break through the online noise (be those traditional or web alternatives such as Hulu and other video channels). This works well since most of us do not expect online stores to show up on TV and media ads, so we perk up and pay attention if this happens. Others decide to open stores and service locations to get to profit faster, as there are opportunities in doing offline retail more effectively (sharable space, ordering in store from online).  Plus, companies like ShopKick build entire reward experiences on what people already do (walking into the stores) and thus aid in bringing foot traffic.  Offline and online merge into hybrid models that work for a variety of purposes: brand, customer acquisition and profit.  Yet, offline is still supported with tech, now via phones and in the future through something wearable, touchable, voice-enabled or some other way more palpable.


9. Services in eCommerce are explored in a variety of ways: from curation to subscription to rental.  

Presenting services and goods well through curation, outstanding merchandising and user experience launched many niche sites that do not sell their own goods, including One Kings Lane, Brayola and Weddington Way. By simply investing into presenting curated merchandise well, these sites formed a new type of online retail by offering this service.  Then, there was a subscription model. Today, there is a subscription site for anything. Instead of the phrase: “there is an app for that”, we should be saying: “there is a subscription service for that too”.  Adding a service element to selling online allows for a predictable revenue model. It also becomes a great channel to acquire new customers and differentiate your site. On the other spectrum, new ways of putting to service what you have got becomes a very popular consumer movement supporting a new kind of ecommerce business, also known as sharing economy. Putting to a better use your spare bedroom, the time your car is out of use, the time you spend in your own commute and the service you can provide while at it – all enabled and commercialized with sites like AirBnB, Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit and RentTheRunway, leading the way.  Thus, packaging services creates opportunities for more valuable or new shopping experiences.


10. Mobile becomes dominant in all eCommerce operations.   

If 2012 was the year of responsive design and 2013 was the year of mobile marketplaces, consider this year to explode with mobile powering up not only storefronts, but entire ecommerce operations. Mobile becomes a way to service your customers, a way to market to them, and a way to reconnect through other storefronts and points of mobile existence (consider partnerships).  It almost becomes a job for every marketer or store owner to think how your store can connect in many ways with your customers on mobile. Think about connecting on mobile beyond marketing and selling, think about backend and fulfillment. What else that you are doing in marketing, operations, service, fulfillment that can be offloaded, enhanced or enriched via mobile? Think about the technology and business processes that can be accessed, integrated and simplified via mobile.  Find the ways to replicate or adopt for your business how TrunkClub scales its personal service through CRM and mobile.


What is trending for you in eCommerce in 2014? What have I missed? Please share.


This is an updated version of a post that originally appeared on


About the Author

yulia-smirnovaYulia V. Smirnova is an ecommerce industry thought leader, speaker, and blogger with more than 10 years of experience in internet retail and online marketing marketing. Prior to founding, Yulia worked for, (an eBay company), Texas Instruments, Microsoft and Intel, making online experiences simpler for customers and more profitable for businesses. Yulia received her BA in Marketing / Advertising Management and MBA from Portland State University, and MA in Foreign Languages Teaching from Sakhalin State University. Read her intelligent marketing insights at her blog,

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Join Yulia in her session on “Scaling Ecommerce for Profit” at Conversion Conference Chicago 2014, June 17-19.



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