CD Delivery and Priority Support – Opt-in or Opt-out?

Delivery on CD and Priority Support options, do you offer those up-sells “opt-in” or “opt-out”? In other words, when users click your Buy button, do you put these extras in their shopping cart automatically?

CD delivery companies (we have worked with SwiftCD and CustomCD) are always pushing us to have “Delivery on CD” pre-checked. Understandably, because this is bound to sell more CDs and thus bring them more business. And automatically adding a $10 Priority Support subscription is sure to result in more subscriptions to that service.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Making more money on each sale, who can say no to that?
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Website Design: Less is More?

lptest-smallOnce in a while, I try to take a “fresh” look at my website. I just put one of our product pages on my screen, I sit back and try to imagine what it looks like for a new visitor, who just arrived there after a Google Search.

The last time I did this, the main thing that struck me was all the Try/Buy “noise” on the right side of the screen. There’s a Sign Up for the Free Trial box, a Get it Free (TrialPay) option and five (!) different buying options (Standard, Pro, two “Pro + scanner” options, plus a “custom order” option). I realized that I had been replicating most of my shop page right there on the landing page.

So I started experimenting with a different approach, aimed at getting more people to sign up for the free trial. Then just let the trial edition and the autoresponder sequence do the conversion to sales. I didn’t want to remove all buying options though, because we see a lot of customers buying without trying. But it would have to be reduced to just one button, simply taking the user to our recently re-designed shop page. Continue reading

RebateDelivery – Mail-In Rebates for online sales

rebatedeliveryAt SIC 2009, Sytske and I talked with the RebateDelivery people, Jason Foodman and Steven Miller.
We have worked with these guys for years, when they were running SwiftCD, so we were curious to hear what they were up to now.

Well, in short, RebateDelivery is a new system for offering Mail-In Rebates for online software purchases. Let’s look at the details of how it works and how to use it to improve sales. Oh, and of course I am running a new A/B split test to find out if it indeed helps to sell more software 🙂
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Using TrialPay on landing pages

trialpay-logo-160pxAt the SIC in July 2008, WinZip’s Edwin Siebesma told me that I should talk to the TrialPay people. I did and I liked their sales pitch.
Of course, like everyone else who first hears about TrialPay, I had fears of cannibalizing my existing sales by offering a TrialPay option on my website.

So in August 2008 I ran a simple A/B split test, testing just that:


  • Group A: my regular product pages, no TrialPay option
  • Group B: An extra “Get it Free” button, taking visitors to the TrialPay offer page. Just for our Standard edition (regular price $29.95). The button was a regular HTML button, just like our other “Add to Cart” buttons. Like so ->

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Odd Pricing (.95) vs Rounded Pricing

A few weeks ago, Christian Mairoll of Emsi Software posted on the ASP forums about an interesting experiment he tried. He replaced all .99 and .95 prices (often called “odd prices”) with rounded prices. He reported that for him it made no difference. Interesting…

So I tried it myself. Last week I started an A/B split test on this. Group A getting my regular .95 pricing, group B getting rounded prices. But for me, it did make a difference. Here’s my results after 8 days:
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Interesting results for headline test

In the past seven days I have been testing these headlines against each other:

Version A, emotional, benefit-oriented:

Starting right now, you will enjoy a perfectly organized DVD collection…

Movie Collector Instantly Catalogs Your DVD & Blu-Ray discs.

You’ll Save Time and Money Today.

Finally Have Total Control Over Your Movie Collection.

Version B, practical, feature-oriented:

Automatic DVD Database Software for Windows, Mac OS X & iPhone

Movie Collector Automatically Catalogs Your DVD Collection.

Just Enter Movie Titles or Scan DVD Barcodes.

Instantly Download All Movie Details and Cover Images.

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New website design finally starts performing

And a week has gone by again. But now we’re finally seeing better results from the “B design”. Phew…

In terms of numbers of sales, it’s doing about the same as the old design. The profits for category B are slightly higher (about 3%), mainly because the average first purchase is still higher for the new design.

All in all, the new product pages are not a great success. But at least they are now performing well enough to switch to the new pages and start optimizing their details. I already have a couple of ideas I want to try:

  • Headlines: Emotional / Fluffy / Benefit oriented vs Practical / Feature oriented
  • Pricing: .95 vs rounded pricing
  • Upsells: Move stuff like CD Delivery, Priority Support etc… to an interstitial upsell page, as opposed to including them in my “Recommended Buying Choices”

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Testing a new website design

The design of our website is being changed almost continously. I am always trying to improve its conversion power, by making small optimizations to the layout, the design and the copy.

But this time I am implementing a more radical change: a completely new layout. In the next couple of weeks I will be testing the new layout vs the old layout using an A/B split test. That is, fifty percent of new visitors will be seeing the old layout, the other fifty percent will get the new layout. Then we’ll be measuring sign-ups, downloads, sales and profits in both groups.
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