Beyond landing page optimization: 6 of our favorite experimentation insights

By: James Flory
9 min. read Last updated: November 2nd, 2020

When you think of “experimentation”, what do you think?

At Widerfunnel, we go beyond just optimizing landing pages. We fundamentally believe it’s a core competency that every business should be pursuing.

We regularly use experimentation in new, exciting ways to improve our clients’ businesses and help them make smarter decisions. We strive to:

  1. Answer big business questions and continuously learn from our experimentation programs.
  2. Extract deep, cross-functional insights from every experiment we run.

Evidence-based decisions get the best results, so we’re always collecting data and gathering evidence to drive businesses forward—in the right direction.

Here are a handful of insights from some of our favorite and most impactful experiments.

1. Just because people feel good about something, it doesn’t mean they’re willing to pay extra for it.

We put the carbon neutrality and environmental sustainability movement to the test by helping one of our B2C (business-to-consumer) subscription clients showcase a potential carbon credit program. The program offset carbon emissions, resulting in a net neutral carbon footprint.

The program was positioned in two distinct ways:

Variation A: “Take the Carbon-Neutral Pledge”
Variation B: “Eliminate Your Carbon Footprint.”

We set out to measure the qualitative reception of the program as well as the bottom line business impact.

The result? We found that how we framed the program was important for both engagement and bottom line impact.

Variation B saw 45% more engagement on the ‘Learn More’ call to action. Variation B also saw 17% more users selecting ‘Yes’ to express interest in taking part in the program.

However, Variation B also saw a statistically significant decrease in overall new subscriptions, despite the increased interest in learning about, and participating in, the program.

One possible reason for this phenomenon is while people felt morally good about being part of the carbon credit program, they were not willing to pay extra for it.

This confirmed the importance of testing different messaging and pricing structures. We had to balance reducing the perceived ‘pain of paying’ with the added benefit (both to the customer and to the environment) of the program.

2. What gets users in the door isn’t necessarily what converts them into customers in the end.

In our work with a large automotive company, we took a step back in the customer journey to experiment on display ads instead of defaulting to landing page optimization. During extensive contextual interviews, we discovered the key moments, reasons and features that drove someone to purchase a car.

What caused more users to search for a car? What caused more searchers to actually purchase a car? We used our research to design strategic changes to the major car company’s display ads.

The result? Emotionally charged imagery drove more ad engagement, but that impact didn’t continue through to the landing page. Practical ads with logical appeals (features, price, maintenance, etc.) drove more landing page engagement.

We saw increased ad clicks on the ads with babies and puppies (because awe), but a decrease in engagement on the post-ad landing page, which did not feature the same baby and puppy content.

This highlights the importance of imagery and copy consistency throughout the customer journey, from ads to landing pages to on-boarding. Above all, it reminds us that we must optimize for the right metrics at the right conversion points, but never lose sight of the entire customer journey.

As the old saying goes, “The fastest way to increase your conversion rate is to make your product free.” What gets users in the door isn’t necessarily what’s best for your business.

3. A simple copy change to match the brand voice can go a long way.

Most of us are familiar with Dollar Shave Club and their playful, fun brand. That personality didn’t necessarily shine throughout their signup flow and onboarding copy. We found that using the brand’s conversational tone and simplifying the copy to match the user experience significantly boosted engagement at that step of the funnel and drove more purchases overall.

Updated copy to match Dollar Shave Club’s brand voice.

Taking a “what you see is what you get” approach also had an impact. Prominently displaying the products users will receive and listing them out increased the tangibility of what users were paying for. A little clarity goes a long way.

4. How you frame, bundle and present products matters more than you think.

With Dollar Shave Club, we also learned that bundling items can reduce cognitive load and make the entire signup experience easier.

How’d we do it? We bundled items as a set by default rather than allowing users to manually select each individual item. This reduced cognitive load and, ultimately, has the potential to increase average order value (AOV).

Bundling items to reduce the cognitive load.

Restyling the restock box items into a bundle, which doesn’t allow users to manually select items, increased trial completions.

5. The fear of the unknown is a powerful motivator. People thrive on certainty, control and security.

Perhaps not surprisingly, how patients perceive the wait time at a clinic greatly impacts whether they make a reservation or not. The longer and more uncertain the perceived wait time, the more likely it is that the patient will make a reservation ahead of time.

In an experiment we conducted with Providence, we displayed clinic wait times as a range instead of a specific time, which increased reservations.

Similarly, separating the walk-in wait time and the reservation functionality increased both reservation clickthrough and total reservations made.

When asked to choose between making a reservation or waiting in-person at the clinic, patients are more likely to make a reservation.

6. Increasing clarity, especially surrounding the value proposition, can increase product engagement in a big way.

Users were engaging with a stock watchlist, but only on the surface level. While they would add stocks to the list, they wouldn’t go a step further and indicate whether they had purchased that stock or not. Similarly, the adoption rate of new users adding recommended stocks to the list was low.

We found that clarifying the user interface (UI) to show the categories of the different stock picks (“watch” or “own”) resulted in a dramatic shift in users deciding to designate which stocks they owned and which they were merely watching. Categorizing activity among users skyrocketed over 100%.

At the same time, the simple change of styling the recommended stocks to match the look and feel of the watch list increased adoption of those recommendations by 6X.

Sometimes all it takes is a simple change in the product experience to dramatically change user behaviours.

Ready to take experimentation to the next level?

Do you want to go beyond landing page optimization at your organization? We can help you run these types of experiments and extract these types of deep insights for your business, too. Talk to a Widerfunnel Expert today.

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