Friday, November 04, 2011

Conversion Optimization: Go Beyond A/B Testing and MVT

A/B testing and MVT are a great way to help you drive more conversion on your website. A/B testing and MVT help you decide the best layout, headlines, images, message copy etc. that motivates the visitors to complete a transaction.

However, A/B testing and MVT will only get you so far. If a visitor does not complete a transaction during later steps of the funnel then there are generally other reasons than those that can be simply fixed by changing the page layout, copy, images etc. . Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you can’t improve conversions by optimizing later steps of the funnel. You can, but you will get to a point of diminishing return and you will need something else to drive more conversions. Moreover, the learning from A/B and MVT will only help you going forward but you will lose many customers while you are doing the tests.

Keep in mind that as a visitor moves down the conversion funnel his/her commitment to complete the transaction (convert) increases. If you are able to capitalize on that motivation in time, you will drive higher conversions.

Here are some of the ways to help you drive conversions from those visitors who walked away without converting (sales, download etc.):

  1. On-Site Targeting – This is very effective technique to drive user to take desired actions. You can target visitors with personalized message/offer, prompting them to complete a transaction, when they come back to your site at a later time.
  2. Remarketing or Retargeting via Ads– This works great to bring the potential customers, who have wandered away on the internet, back to your site. Using a service like Google Adwords you can reach your visitors on various sites which use Google Adsense. There are several remarketing services that you can use but Google Adwords, though not very sophisticated, is a good way to get started. Read my post on Google Adwords Remarketing before moving forward.
  3. Online Chat – Online chats are a great way to make a human connection with the visitors while he/she is still on the site and in the buying mode. Some products/people need human interaction to persuade and a triggered online chat might just do the trick.
  4. SMS - Everybody seems to own a cell phone these day, follow-up the shopping cart abandoners with an SMS message, hit the iron while it is still hot. SMS marketing is not very prevalent in US but is heavily used in many other countries.
  5. Email Follow-upFollowing up with an email is another excellent and widely used way to drive conversions from those unfinished conversions.
  6. Phone Calls – Similar to online chat, phone calls have a human element to them. Phone calls work very effectively even in converting a person who might have decided otherwise. Phone conversion rate is generally a lot higher than web conversion rates and phone salesperson can even do upsell to drive more revenue/visitors, though the cost also goes up. Striking a right balance is critical and needs proper assessment and strategy.
  7. Direct Mail - Yes it still does work in many cases.
Keep in mind that timing and right follow up strategy is very critical when contacting those that did not convert. If you do need help in this area send me a note.



  1. SMS, email and phone are subject to stringent opt-in laws. Depending on how far your users have got in the flow they may or may not have given you permission to contact them. Be careful. A client of ours is facing 4 lawsuits in CA right now.

  2. Good post. A couple of thoughts:
    1) One still needs to determine the 'what' along with the 'whom' with all of these additional options. For example, with behavioral targeting you still need to assess what action to take along with whom you are going to take it with.
    I would think that direct mail(and maybe phone) is really another channel - so you could perform AB/MV testing and behavioral targeting within the mail channel as well.

  3. This is great but as jonwhite123 said some people won't allow us give permission to contact them. So if we still contact those people we are violating their rights. What should we do that we can't violate the rights of other people.

  4. This works great to bring the potential customers, who have wandered away on the internet, back to your site. Using a service like Google Adwords you can reach your visitors on various sites which use Google Adsense.


I would like to hear your comments and questions.