Website Testing & Experimentation: Leverage Data with Optimizely

Chris Risner
Woman working on laptop

F or too long, marketing and business executives have been left in the dark as to what their customers really wanted. Yes, some datasets were available based on results from a promotion, but those results often took weeks, if not months, to receive – and were usually only able to be calculated after a campaign was complete.

Good news. Times have changed. The challenge now is to harness the data that is coming at us at the speed of light. Thankfully, software platforms like Optimizely Intelligence Cloud offer a data-driven model of testing and experimentation that creates usable, actionable reports. This also enables your team to prove the ROI of marketing actions, optimize strategies to improve performance and make intelligent, customer focused marketing decisions. In the age of website testing and experimentation, brands can leverage data, thanks to Optimizely more easily than ever.

In practical terms, testing and experimentation with Optimizely Intelligence Cloud empowers you to:

  • Prove the effectiveness of marketing campaigns
  • Shutter ineffective strategies and expensive mistakes
  • Innovate and test new design ideas
  • Improve campaigns and pages
  • Assess new marketing plans
  • Generate informed business decisions

Marketing experimentation is the fastest path towards true digital innovation and, more importantly, standing head and shoulders above your competition.

Website testing with Optimizely Intelligence Cloud

Getting Started with Optimizely Intelligence Cloud

To enable your marketing team to chalk up some quick wins with Optimizely testing and experimentation, their team has put together directions on ten common Optimizely Intelligence Cloud experiments including:

Geographical Differences

Do you want to know what matters to your customers in different parts of the United States? How about the entire world? This is a great experiment to see what content and imagery appeals to consumers in various locations. It’s even more powerful for commerce companies looking to see buying patterns in various geographic areas, as this can drive promotions or entire lines of new business.

CTA’s for New Visitors vs. Subscribers

Delivering clear and compelling content for each of your user personas is critically important, so the team at Optimizely created an experiment that centers around testing content for new users versus subscribers. After all, would you want a loyal customer to be greeted with a “let’s get started” form?

Website testing with Optimizely 2

Remove Distractions from the Checkout Funnel

Have you been challenged to improve online sales? One culprit that hinders most sales funnels is distraction. This test enables you to look at a variety of steps where your customers may be getting hung up. Could it be convoluted navigation? Could it be too many steps in your checkout process? There are so many ‘virtual squirrels’ that compete for your customer’s attention. Minimizing the interruptions they face will facilitate them across your goal line.

Optimize Your Pricing Pages

How a pricing or subscription page is arranged can truly deliver the goods for your team. The question is, what styling changes will deliver the magic combination? Prior to testing and experimentation, this was largely anyone’s best guess based on sales results. Fortunately, testing and experimentation takes the guesswork out of the picture leading to higher conversions and increased sales.

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Highlight Key Value Propositions

Do you offer multiple purchase choices customers can make, or new offerings you would like to highlight? Would adding a phrase like “most popular” sway your customers to make a choice they may not have made otherwise? The good news is you can test all these variables and get clear answers with multi-variate testing.

Symmetric Messaging

One of the truest marketing sayings is “the devil is in the details.” Many a marketing team has had battles over the tiniest differences in messaging and/or which images should accompany the text. The great thing is that with Optimizely’s ability to test multiple phrasing and pictures through A/B/n testing, teams will now know who gets bragging rights.

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Personalize Based On Cookies

One of the easier ways to deliver personalized content is to leverage the cookies your users download from your website. However, this can also get a bit over the top creepy. Finding the balance between what is a good use of cookie-based personalization is what testing can help you identify. You may have users who love a highly personalized website or you may have a customer who will jump ship. The only way to know is to hypothesize and evaluate based on actual trials.

Test Promotion Formats

Do you have a promotion that has gone over exceptionally well with your customer base? What would happen if you expanded that promotion from your website into an email or vice versa? When does the promotion reach its limit and run its course with your customer base? All these questions – and more – can be answered with Optimizely.

Optimize a Form

With website forms being a key component of demand gen pipeline, it’s very important for marketers to use them in the most effective way possible. For example, one company in the UK experimented with a long form that asked clients 1-2 questions per page over four pages. They found a 70% increase in their customer base completing the entire form versus having 5-8 questions in a one-page form. As one can imagine, a 70% uptick in form completion can do a lot for pipeline. In their case, it led to a whole new product line offering.

Website testing with Optimizely Intelligence Cloud - Adding social proof

Adding Social Proof

Adding social proof is a theory that examines the impact of whether adding a testimony will influence a customer’s decision to commit. With Optimizely’s multi-variate testing, it’s possible to also add sophistication with cookie-based personalization to test whether a testimonial from the consumers’ geographic area would be more trusted and influence their buying decision.

The good news about these 10 different experiments is that they are truly the tip of the iceberg with Optimizely Intelligence Cloud. The biggest challenge with this powerful platform is to be disciplined and stick to a strategic testing roadmap. Otherwise you may find yourself with a lot of disjointed data making it difficult to build actionable and measurable campaigns. An experienced partner like BlueBolt ensures the platform is implemented properly and enables your team to test often and fail, maximizing your investment for FY22 and beyond.

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