As a manager of online marketing and analytics, the most important role I play in my company is to make sure we get the most out of our online marketing budget, maximizing:
- Allocation of resources in the most profitable markets and channels.
- Continuous optimization of our page and enrollment flow to ensure that the people we get through the door convert to paying customers.
The 4 practices I’ll discuss in this article helped us increase our conversion rates significantly. Before explaining what these practices are, let me give you a sense of my company and my specific role.
Univision is the largest hispanic media company in United States, owning three major TV stations: Univision, Telefutura and Galavision and dozens of radio stations. I’m a member of the Business Development team at Univision Enterprises. Our mission is to work collaboratively across Univision to assess, incubate and launch new and innovative businesses that enhance the loyalty and trust we have with the U.S. Hispanic consumers and deliver asset value to our sponsors/owners. I am primarily focused on the online marketing campaigns for all these new products.
The product and website I’ll discuss in this blog is the Univision Tarjeta Prepaid Card, which is a prepaid card for unbanked and underbanked hispanics in US, launched 3 years ago. The product has been a success, exceeding our original goals quarter after quarter. Our current site is located at www.univisiontarjeta.com and it is basically a conversion-optimized site, separate from our major media site www.univision.com.
Here are some practices that helped us achieve outstanding results in our conversion rates, this is just part of the insights I will be sharing in my presentation at the Conversion Conference in Chicago later this year.
One major problem in business development units is that corporate funding and support can sometimes be limited, especially when the product is new and it is not yet a proof of concept. Ideally once you get enough funding and support the first thing you should do is to get the most qualified people for the job and re-design the website. When I started working at Univision, our analytics weren’t able to analyze any behavioral/statistical data. So we used best industry practices and user labs. In the coming months, we re-designed our website to address major issues such as:
- Fix analytics for accurate traffic analysis and user behavior
- Create a mobile version of the site
- Simplify enrollment from a three step process to two
- Optimize the toggle between Spanish and English versions of the site
- Identify what potential customers wanted to see on the homepage and what information was more useful for them
- Implement rotating hero messages and videos on the homepage.
Pictured above is the site before and after for both desktop and mobile versions. It is interesting to note that rotating messages in the home page and prominent videos placed on strategic parts of the site turned out to be distracting and unnecessary. In user labs people expressed great interest in these items, but in reality when we launched the site, those items were barely used and didn’t help to increase conversions. The takeaway here is that sometimes what people say is not what people do. Further down on this blog I’ll give you some advice on how to overcome this issue.
When optimizing a site redesign is the place to start. Rely on data if you have it, and if not rely on the best industry practices and user labs. But never, and I mean NEVER stop there. Once your analytics are in place and the traffic to your site is growing it is the perfect time to move to the second optimization stage: testing.
Testing can help you identify major issues, while vetting your design, images, placement of different elements and copy. Nothing else can improve your conversions more than designing a good testing plan and then acting on it. At Univision we implemented an A/B/C testing for our homepage that helped us shape the way our website looks today. We were able to identify irrelevant elements, test images, messages and call to action items. Below the the A/B/C testing we performed. After testing all three options the winner was version C. Some of the contributing factors that helped this version perform better were:
- Image of the card, call to action, hero image, and money back guarantee seal all placed above the fold
- Recognizable image of Univision talent that helped us maintain the brand connection and the level of trust with our brand.
- Removal of rotating messages, videos and other non-relevant items for conversions on the main page
3. Deep dive in analytics
As I’m sure many of you know Google analytics is a great tool and can provide you quality information about your site and your audience, but as you grow you will need more sophisticated and complementary tools that can help you optimize your site at the micro level. At certain point Google Analytics is not good enough to help you identify opportunities that can improve your conversions by 1% or 2%. The difference may seem small, but when you are talking about thousands of visitors per day, these micro improvements really count. The job of a good online marketing ninja is to squeeze that extra 1% to 2% of your conversions. Below I’ve included a list of tools we employed to identify these micro optimization opportunities.
- Clicktale: A tool that helps to fill in and respond to some weaknesses in Google analytics. The tool will allow you to see and analyze:
○ Heatmaps: To see where people are clicking, where they are moving their mouse or fixing their attention
○ Enrollment form performance: Unlike Google analytics, clicktale offers you this to users out of the box. Clicktale helps analyze how much time people are spending to fill out your form, and where they are dropping off. I have noticed some inconsistencies where radio buttons are present, otherwise clicktale does an excellent job analyzing enrollment forms.
○ Recording user sessions: Clicktale will allow you to record dozens of user sessions without users even realizing they are being recorded. This is an incredible tool that allows you to see real visitors to your site interacting with your content. This tool allows you to avoid data being skewed when the opinions of the most outspoken members in the session can influence the opinions of other participants.
Thanks to this tool we were able to identify small conversion optimization opportunities on our homepage and in our enrollment funnel, here are few of the things we were able to accomplish:
○ Removed menu navigation items from the enrollment form
○ Removed downloadable PDF enrollment form, from the web based enrollment form
Additional changes we are currently considering include:
○ Relocation of social media elements on the homepage.
○ Reorganization of FAQ on the homepage
○ Removal of login to “my account” at the middle right of the page
- Tableau: Tableau is a business intelligence tool that can help you visualize Google Analytics data in a totally different way. Most of the time the reports in Google Analytics are presented as raw data, and it is difficult to get any insight out of it. Information is divided into three layers: Raw Data, Staging Data (or data analysis) and Presentation Data (or dashboards). What Tableau offers you is the ability to browse that data and find the most relevant information quickly. In the image below you can see conversion rates by city on a map where highly populated hispanic areas are highlighted in purple. You can also see the conversion rate for the entire US. To compare conversion rates for each state vs overall conversion rate. The beauty of Tableau is that you can navigate month-by-month, and that all numbers update in real time.
- The tools Tableau offers helped us to identify that conversion rates for our product were much higher in Florida than on any other state in US.
- We were also able to see where our strongest markets were located, and as a consequence, we were able to focused our online marketing efforts in those areas.
- Custom In-House Solutions
○ Our product is a prepaid card where we make money where people start using the card. We profit from signature purchases, ATM usage, loads and monthly maintenance fee. So the ultimate metric for our business is CPL (Cost Per Load). Unfortunately, this was a metric that we were not able to track using Google Analytics or any other tool, so what we did was to develop an in-house solution that allowed us to track loads per each online marketing channel: Paid Search, Affiliate Marketing, Email Marketing, Referrals and Direct/SEO traffic. The solution involved some custom programming on our site and at the backend of our merchant processing provider.
4. Continue testing and optimization at the micro level
Once your site is optimized and performing well, it is still no time to rest and think that your job is done. Trends change, competitors emerge, consumer behavior evolves, so it is very important that you continuously optimize at the micro level. While you won’t see vast improvement, but you will see improvements that matter.
At Univision Tarjeta we continue to launch new homepage testings and remove additional items from the enrollment form that are distracting from conversion.
Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to optimize your website for mobile visitors, traffic from mobile visitors is growing at incredible speeds and can bring you great benefits going forward.
The conversion optimization process is a pyramid, and works exactly the opposite of funnels path in conversions. Conversion optimization usually begins at a broad level and then narrows as you complete every step of the process.
The four step process I described above helped us to increase our conversion percentage (Conversion / Start Conversion) by 28%. The more sophisticated you get the more refined the improvements you can achieve. Assuming that prospect visits to your site will grow over time, any small improvement in conversion will have more impact on the bottom line. Just follow these simple steps and I’m sure no matter what stage you are at, you will be able to achieve more.
About the Author
Libardo Limbrano has over 10 years of online performance-based marketing experience working in both an agency and client environment for Fortune 1000 companies. As Manager of Web Marketing and Analytics for Univision, the largest Hispanic media company in US, he leads 360-degree campaign development for the organization’s financial services division.