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4 conversion optimization trends and tips to watch for in 2015

January 19th, 2015 No comments

By Karl Norelius 
Vice President of Sales, LeadsPedia, Inc.

4 cro trends & tips copy

Although the holidays have come and gone, that doesn’t mean marketers should take their figurative foot off the pedal in terms of accelerating conversion rate efforts. With New Year’s resolutions in full swing, it’s time to ramp up outreach efforts.

There are a handful of things advertisers should keep an eye out for in the early months of 2015. To yield the most successful results, marketers must be vigilant for upcoming trends and patterns that can drastically impact conversion rate optimization success. The end goal for most advertising professionals, in addition to proving return on investment, is this: How do we obtain more conversions - and therefore sales – than we did last year?

Conversion rate optimization can dramatically improve landing pages and a company’s website. There are number of factors that go into creating successful CRO, but marketers need to simplify their outlook and develop a strategy that will work for their clients’ needs.

That said, here are four tips and trends to keep an eye out for in 2015:

1. Complete a comprehensive analysis.

Although this may seem trivial, the first thing a business must do is perform a self-audit of their current strategy. If a conversion rate is currently underperforming, marketers must first try and identify where the discrepancy lies. Once that’s established, it’ll be much easier to move forward and progress. If a certain metric is lacking, it’s wise to dedicate a new or unique strategy to try and improve upon that unit of measurement.

2. A/B testing is here to stay.

Believe it or not, A/B testing can dramatically improve conversion rates. While some believe CRO and A/B testing are the same thing, they’re actually not. The former is an all-encompassing experience that guides a visitor through a website with the content and call to action compelling the user to complete a conversion. The latter focuses on testing two separate variants, A and B, against one another and see which produces higher results. For instance, a marketing team can test changes to its website against its current design and see if the modifications yield positive metrics. A/B testing is an aspect of CRO. In fact, 67 percent of companies are currently A/B testing, according to a recent RedEye and Econsultancy study. It’s the fourth year in a row A/B testing was the No. 1 CRO activity.

3. Bigger is better.

The entire purpose of improving CRO is to grab the user’s attention enough so they will convert. That said, calls to action must be prominent enough to literally capture the attention and direct the motives of the visitor. CTAs not only must be large and noticeable, they must also be placed in easy-to-view areas of the website so the information isn’t glossed over or worse, not even noticed. According to Unbounce statistics, more than 90 percent of visitors who read a website’s headline also read their CTA copy, which highlights the importance for CTAs to be above the fold.

4. It’s all about the user.

It’s all about the user: In the past, conversion tactics focused on selling high-quality products without focusing much on the user experience. That’s set to change in 2015, though. In fact, the user is now the primary driver of conversion rates optimization, and will be going forward. The user’s tendencies, needs and preferences will all dictate how CRO strategies will play out . It only makes sense that conversion rates increase when a company’s goals meet with a user’s buying objectives. When motivations align, the likelihood of a conversion is much higher. Businesses need to figure out how their visitors feel and what their habits are. Once determined, conversion rate strategies can be optimized.



About the Author

Karl Norelius is VP of Sales at LeadsPedia, a SaaS performance marketing platform bringing Affiliate Management, Lead Distribution, Call Tracking & Routing all into one unified platform.



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!

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Categories: Conversion, Digital Marketing Tags:

7 Ways to Refresh Your Testing Strategy

January 12th, 2015 No comments

By Kim Ann King
Chief Marketing OfficerSiteSpect


refresh testing strategy

Every once in a while it pays off to “test outside the lines.” Don’t get stuck in a testing rut and run the same old tests on copy and layout to increase clicks and conversions. It’s high time to shake up your site testing plan, and start testing new elements such as form length, shipping prices, location, mobile display, and more. Here are seven ways to freshen up your testing strategy:


#1 – Test the Ideal Form Length

Many optimization experts believe that the shorter the form, the higher the conversion rate. But that’s not always the case. Case in point: a SiteSpect client recently tested a longer version of its signup process. Test results proved that the longer form actually resulted in higher engagement and signups. Another client tested multiple variations of its address collection form to determine which length was optimal, leading to an increase in form completion rates of 8.75%. The winner?  The one with an additional, optional address field.

Bottom line: Shake up your form testing initiatives by trying longer form lengths with more form fields or additional form pages, as counter-intuitive as that sounds. Don’t let predisposed assumptions be a block to higher conversions.


#2 – Test How to Best Personalize Location-based Content 

Multivariate testing and targeting allows you to optimize content based on your customer’s location and customize the checkout and registration process accordingly. For example, if a site visitor from London is looking for an item to purchase, test displaying the UK flag, showing prices in pounds instead of dollars, and giving relevant international shipping estimates. In this instance, your site and checkout form can also be customized for British English, versus American English, helping to increase the likelihood the visitor will complete the checkout process.

Bottom line: Test information relevant to the visitor’s location and customize your registration and checkout process accordingly. You’ll be surprised at what a difference it makes!


#3 – Use Location to Test What Weather-related Content to Display 

A visitor’s location can also play an important role in what they are searching or shopping for. For example, winter visitors from Vail, Colorado, which receives significant yearly snowfall, should be far more interested in snow-related items (such as shovels, ski boots, or winter jackets) than visitors from Florida.

Bottom line: A visitor’s location can play an important role in what they’re searching for. Test showing relevant weather-related offers and merchandise to visitors based on their location.


#4 – Test Checkout Experiences for Known versus Unknown Visitors

Try testing two different checkout flows, one for visitors who are already logged in, and another for new or returning visitors who are not logged in. Ideally, you can direct the logged-in visitor to a single checkout form to complete a purchase, whereas new visitors may have to enter their name, address, and payment information.

Bottom line: This simple idea can help drive repeat customers to purchase more, increase their average order value, and drive additional business metrics.


#5 – Test Optimal Free Shipping Thresholds 

Free shipping can be one of the best incentives to convert browsers into buyers. But this benefit should be tested until an optimal threshold for increased conversion rates has been found. What works for one organization may not work for another.

A small increase in threshold, such as from $30 to $35, could increase average order values and thus increase bottom-line revenue — but it could also have an opposite effect and cause fewer visitors to convert. Look at your own internal pricing data and the current free shipping threshold to determine the cost to achieve free shipping within your test, and then iteratively roll out the test to your audience.

Be sure to measure these free shipping cost changes thoroughly so you have as much data as possible to make informed shipping cost decisions.

Bottom line: Free shipping can be one of the best incentives to convert browsers into buyers.


#6 – Test Checkout Plug-ins

Throughout the checkout or registration process, there are numerous areas where a visitor can just give up out of frustration and exit. That’s why most e-commerce sites feature plug-ins designed to alleviate anxiety. For example, many sites include an option to chat with a representative when making a purchase.

In this new testing idea, you can run a simple A/B test by using your testing tool to turn off chat for half of your audience in order to validate that the plug-in is helping increase conversions for the other half.

Bottom line: It’s worth testing whether these plug-ins are performing the way you expect.


#7 – Test Mobile Display for Both Tablets and Smartphones

Many marketers treat tablets the same as smartphones and group them under a general heading of “mobile.” The truth is, mobile visitors have vastly different behavior when using a tablet versus a smartphone.

According to IBM Benchmark Hub reports from Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2013, tablet visitors actually spent double the amount of time on e-commerce sites, and converted 50% more often than smartphone visitors.

With this in mind, consider your overall mobile experience and what that looks like on both a smartphone and a tablet. Ensure you are taking advantage of the increased screen real estate afforded by tablets and the time that tablet users are spending on your site to make the most of the mobile shopping experience.

If you do not have a site that is optimized for the screen size of tablets, consider a test that sends site visitors to the full desktop version of your site instead of a smartphone-optimized version. However, in the best case scenario, you should have a unique experience designed for smartphone, tablet, and desktop visitors that optimally utilizes the screen size for each device.

Bottom line: Mobile visitors have vastly different behavior when using a tablet versus a smartphone.



These are just some ideas to put new life into your web and mobile testing initiatives. Just about anything on a website can be tested, from how it looks to how it works. Companies can test and optimize both front-end content and back-end functionality, while creating relevant experiences for every site visitor. Going into any test without preconceived notions can deliver results and increased conversions beyond expectations. Not convinced? Test it! Would you like to learn more? Download SiteSpect’s whitepaper entitled “7 Ways to Refresh Your Optimization Strategy.”


About the Author

kim ann kingKim is an award-winning marketing executive and has been a business-to-business marketer for nearly 30 years.

She currently serves as the Chief Marketing Officer of web optimization firm SiteSpect, where she is responsible for demand generation, brand awareness, and sales readiness initiatives that drive customer acquisition and retention.

Throughout her career, Kim has built global brands and positive market presence, helping to successfully launch several well-known technology companies, including host security provider Bit9, Internet content delivery provider Akamai Technologies (the fourth-most successful IPO on NASDAQ in 1999), and e-commerce pioneer Open Market (IPO in 1996).

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: Digital Marketing, Testing Tags:

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!

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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.



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