A/B split test result: trial sign-ups are down, but profits are up?

After running an A/B split test, when the results are in, you always have to make the decision:
Do I switch to the new version or not?

If the difference in conversion is large, the decision is easy: just switch to the best version.
If the difference is small, the decision may be harder, but then again, which way you go doesn’t matter much anyway.

However, I have just done an A/B test where the difference in results is large, but still it’s not clear whether I should stick with version A (my control), or switch to version B (my challenger). Here’s my test: Continue reading

A/B split test: cartoons vs photos

For the past 2 years, our Movie Collector product page has shown a picture of me standing in front of my own DVD collection. Similarly, the Book Collector home had a picture of my wife Sytske and her book collection.

But then we had nice cartoon characters created, mainly for use in advertising material. Being happy with the results, we thought: let’s use these characters on our product home pages too. It would improve the “after-ad-click” recognition of the visuals and of course, it just looked nice.

So we replaced the photos with the cartoon characters, without split-testing.

Recently, while staring at our website, I started wondering: was this really a good idea? The cartoons may look nice but do they really work better than the photos?

So I finally did the A/B split-test: Cartoons (A) vs Photos (B). Continue reading

Using remarketing to sell more software

Earlier this week, Dave Collins asked for feedback on remarketing. I have already posted some remarks in the comments under his blog post, but then I thought, why not write about my experience with remarketing in a longer blog post. So here it is.

First, a quick reminder of what remarketing is:

Remarketing is a cookie-based advertising system that lets you show your ads to people who have already visited your website.
Your ads can appear on any site that the user visits after visiting yours.

For example: A user visits my Movie Collector product page (it doesn’t matter where he came from, an ad, organic result, a link on another website, etc…). Now after he visits my website, this user goes on to browse the internet, visiting other websites. And suddenly everywhere he goes, he sees Movie Collector ads. Leaderboards, towers, inline rectangles, even little text ads. My ads are following him around the web.

One important thing to understand: remarketing ads do not only appear on websites related to your product, like your regular display network ads. No, they appear everywhere, on any site. Remarketing lets you target specific users on any site, as opposed to all users on specific sites.

Remarketing for software

I started using Remarketing for our Collectorz.com software 2 years ago, when Adwords started offering it. Like most advertising and marketing tools, it didn’t work right out-of-the-box. It took a bit of tweaking and tuning to make it effective, but ultimately I found that remarketing can be a great fit for software vendors, especially if you use some kind of “try-before-you-buy” system.
Here’s some factors I played around with:

  • Message
  • Targeting, or: who to cookie?
  • Audience Membership Duration and Frequency Capping
  • Bidding type: CPC or CPA
  • Reducing the creepiness

Let’s discuss these one by one: Continue reading

Top right

Through the years I have been experimenting with many different landing page designs and layouts. And there is one factor that’s consistently proving to improve conversion rates.

Or, to be more precise, consistently causes a decrease in conversions every time I stop doing it:

Having my main call-to-actions (Try and Buy) on the top right of the landing page

Continue reading

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?
Continue reading

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

Choosing the limitation of your trial edition

One of the hardest things to decide on when releasing a trial edition of your software is the registration incentive, or in other words, the limitation of this trial edition.
But it is also a decision that may have a big impact on your downloads to sales conversion rate. So let’s look at it more closely.

First, here’s my thoughts of what a trial edition is and what it is for.
A trial edition is:

  • A marketing tool, designed to convert website visitors into customers.
  • An evaluation version, a way for prospects to try your software before they buy.
  • Not free software.

So, how does this impact the design of your trial edition?
Continue reading