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Website Conversion May 27th, 2010
When I do our email marketing here for TechWyse I am constantly testing subject lines, copy and the placement of various elements and images. I wanted to share with you a recent set of changes that I made to our own newsletter which resulted in a 23% improvement in visitors clicking through to the website.
The first thing to know is that the changes I made as a result of constant testing. In fact, I almost never sent out and email campaign with testing something. I wouldn’t want to waste any opportunity to learn more about what does and doesn’t work. Our email marketing solution WHICHABAM! was the platform on which I created, sent and measured my emails. It is also fed directly into our Google Analytics account so that I can see if a change actually brought more leads in the door VS just more clicks in the email. Remember, you always want to make sure that you are looking at the full picture. Visitors from the newsletter aren’t worth anything to you unless they convert so make sure you traffic the full sales cycle. WHICHABAM! helps us do this. Sending mass emails from Outlook simply doesn’t cut it. Not only can you not measure and improve, but you’ll probably get blacklisted for spamming in the process.
Choosing what to test and creating your variation can be a fun little process. Try to pick the element which has the potential to make the biggest impact. If your visitor were to click on any one element, what would it be? Start with that item first and then move on down the line from there. If your email has a header, I recommend constantly testing the design and wording as that is the first thing your visitors see. If you have a sidebar, test the text, imagery and placement of key action items. Always remember, and this is important, to test one element at a time. If you make 5 different changes you won’t know which change influenced the results.
Let’s take a look at the key elements and their positioning in version A. The first thing you may notice is that Version A has a few elements were are not in B. This is because the metrics proved that while they may have generated some click action, they didn’t generate anything past the initial newsletter click.
Here is a look at version A. Click the image for a larger view.
Version B was the result of a staged testing approach. I tested different variations and placements of various items in version A until I found the right combination of elements. All of this testing information was used to guide the design process. These are the changes that separate version B from the original.
The sidebar was moved over to the left side. The simple reason why this works is because visitors tend to read from left to right. We wanted our bright orange button to get noticed first. The blog posts were moved to the sidebar directly below the orange button. This made them much more accessible as visitors no longer had to scroll to find them. The background was changed to blue to make the content area easier to read. We removed the text link to Twitter and added graphical Facebook and Twitter buttons to the contact information to continue to build our readership.
Here is a look at version B. Click the image for a larger view.
Here is a graphical look at the changes made. The arrows represent where each item was moved to. Click the image for a larger view.
Version B was dramatically better with an overall click-through improvement of 23%. But guess what? I’m still not satisfied! I continue to test elements of the new version each and every week. My focus is now on language and making subtle changes to headlines and calls to action.
Making subtle changes to any marketing material can have a very dramatic effect. The reason why internet marketing is so effective today is because it can be measured. You can measure your ideas based on actual visitor behavior to find out how people respond to the changes. Solutions like WHICHABAM! are imperative to running your campaigns properly.
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