You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink and that goes for customers too – you can lead them to your page, but you can’t make them convert. But you can take steps to make your lead generation pages more likely to convert. Namely, you can – and should – test your pages.
Justin Rondeau – Chief Editor & Testing Evangelist, Which Test Won
Most sites are designed by owner’s ‘gut,’ using pre-formatted templates, copying their competitors and reading up on ‘best practices.’ The single best way to determine what is and isn’t working is A|B testing, which a surprising number of people don’t do. Staffing, resources and budgets are the top three reasons people don’t bother with testing.
“If you’re spending all this money to get people to your site, but then they leave, then you’re wasting a lot of money,” Justin said. If they are bouncing off your page, it’s not them. It’s you. But don’t pick a page solely based on bounce or abandon rates. Ask yourself three important questions:
Use both qualitative and quantitative data in testing. People often forget about the qualitative data available to them, like heat maps and persona information, in addition to hard stats like visits, bounce rates and time spent on the site. Justin also recommends providing an exit survey. While most people won’t fill them out, those that do provide valuable qualitative information. Qualitative data will give you a competitive advantage – people aren’t using it.
Justin’s No. 1 rule for testing is to always complete the week. 27% of marketers will call a test conclusive without taking time into consideration. Give data time to compile – 100% lift over the course of one to two days isn’t enough data or time to deem a test conclusive, despite the impressive number.
He also says to monetize results – how did they affect the bottom line? Your CEO doesn’t care about clicks. He wants to know what those clicks did for his company.
Another interesting insight from Justin involves the thank you page, as it is one of the most underutilized pages of a website, period. When testing form length, for example, ask for the bare minimum on the landing page. Then, on the thank you page, say ‘thank you’ and provide additional form fields to fill out with an offering such as a white paper, if they give a little more information.
“Tests themselves do not fail,” Justin said. “Hypotheses fail, testing does not.”
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