Category: Uncategorised

Sport Relief Case Study: How the UK’s Biggest Charity Increased Lead Generation by 27%

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Sport Relief is one of the UK’s biggest charity events; Yieldify worked with them to help their website generate leads and sign-ups that led to over £55 million raised in 2016.

Sport Relief is where the Great British public get active and have fun to help change lives, raising money to help vulnerable people in both the UK and the world’s poorest countries. (Yieldify watches from the sidelines because PE teachers didn’t like us very much).

Like any charity, Sport Relief’s website is the hub for all its communications and fundraising – it’s therefore crucial to get it right. We sat down with Matthew McMahon, Senior Digital Marketing Executive, to understand how they did it:

Introducing Dynamic Promotions

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More personal, more powerful; our exciting new feature helps increase conversions and spend with targeted messages that change to reflect your visitor’s exact cart value

Personalising your website experience to your individual user and their actions is a powerful way of getting results – whether that’s collecting leads, driving conversions or increasing your average order value.

Our brand new feature on the Yieldify Conversion Platform allows you to take that a step further.

Dynamic Promotions allow you to deliver smart and simple triggered messages that automatically change to reflect your user’s unique cart value. Showing the exact amount a user needs to spend to reach a promotion makes your engagement more personal, encouraging them to take the next step – helping you increase conversions and order value.

Here’s how it works:

Harrys of London Case Study: How Yieldify Generated £60,000 Increase In Revenue

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Learn how Harrys of London used Yieldify to help deliver a £60,000 increase in revenue.

Harrys of London is a luxury men’s fashion brand that sells worldwide; its challenge was to make its digital experience meet the high standards its customers are used to in its bricks-and-mortar stores. And that’s where the Yieldify Conversion Platform came in.

Harrys of London was one of the first customers to use the Yieldify Conversion Platform and immediately got to work solving the problem of needing to deliver a digital experience as sophisticated and tailored as the shoes it sells.

Three short months later, its e-commerce team had delivered personalisation campaigns on a new website that served customers worldwide, helping deliver over £61,000 in revenue.

Click the preview below to download the case study and discover how: 

  • luxury retailers can engage in conversion rate optimisation without compromising on their brand values
  • how Harrys personalised their customer journey depending on where the visitor was browsing from
  • how Harrys acquired new customers and helped increase conversions without offering discounts

Want to learn more about the Yieldify Conversion Platform? Check out our latest blog post for more details or go ahead and request a demo.

5 Ways to Win Customer Referrals

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Let’s get straight to the point. There’s a ton of advice out there focusing on your consumers and highlighting how everything you do needs to pander to their desires.

How improving customer service fosters long-term loyalty and improving customer relationships is the goal we should all aspire to.

But we both know the truth. That underneath all the talk of treating customers well and gaining positive social proof, the main goal is to increase revenue.

There’s still a peculiar stigma attached to talking about cold hard cash. Even for those, like you, who are running a business. But come on, nice thoughts and positive social proof aren’t going to keep the lights on.

Everything you do as a business is to keep the cash flowing in and customers heading your way.

There are myriad ways you can achieve this, but as we recently covered, one of the most effective methods is to focus on your most profitable segment; current customers.

They have the highest levels of customer loyalty and, as a result, are likely to spend more and purchase numerous times. They are, in short, a potential goldmine.

However, focusing solely on your current customers is a recipe for consumer neglect and cash-flow stagnation. After a while, you’re going to hit a revenue plateau with them and when that happens, there’s only one way for you to continue to grow your brand.

Find more customers.

But hold on. The decision was made to focus on your current customers because finding new customers can be time-consuming and costly.

So, what can a smart brand do to attract new business at minimum cost?

Ask your most lucrative, engaged and loyal segment for a little help. Use current customers and their love for your brand to help win cheap and easy customer referrals.

Why customer referrals?

More traffic is not the answer to all your woes.

Increasing your PPC spend, running new Facebook ads and focusing on your SEO are great at getting eyes on your products, but they’re the opening battle of a long and arduous war.

These brand new prospects barely register on the customer loyalty scale. They don’t know you from Adam, they don’t owe you anything and they’re definitely not going to hand over their card details without good reason.

But a good customer referral not only brings new traffic to your door, it brings engaged, interested traffic:

  • 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer (source)
  • Word-of-mouth marketing has been shown to improve marketing effectiveness by up to 54% (source)
  • 84% of consumers reported always or sometimes taking action based on personal recommendations (source)

Your current customers aren’t just your most profitable segment, they’re also the most useful bargaining chip you have and are key to helping you win customer referrals.

But they won’t do it if not prompted, so here are a few pointers on eliciting those super valuable referrals.

Start with a solid plan

Referrals can and do happen naturally. But just as with anything else in marketing, a helpful push in the right direction is going to do wonders.

You need to figure out what it is you can do for your customers to elicit a referral from them.

Before you start thinking about interesting incentives or compelling campaigns make sure you’re hitting the below key achievements:

  • Offer a great service – Even with a great referral incentive no one is going to refer a friend if your service or product is lacking.
  • Understand the kind of referral you’re after. Are you looking for a quick introduction? Perhaps you want a current customer to refer a potential customer to a purchase page? Or maybe you’re looking for a simple social media shout out. Whatever it is, you first need to understand what you’re asking of your customers in order to offer a reasonable reason to do so.
  • Understand the right timing of asking for a referral. Different referrals will need to be requested at different times. You want to make sure you’re asking for a referral at the most optimal time.
  • Don’t flog a dead horse. If, after a few requests, you’re getting nothing back from your customer, cut your losses. If you don’t, you risk annoying them. Not only will you forfeit a future referral opportunity, but you could lose a paying consumer.

Once you’ve pulled together a plan of what you want to achieve and when precisely to approach customers, it’s time to get into the actual implementation of your campaign.

Make it easy for users

People are getting busier. The quicker and easier you can make referral actions, the more likely they are to be completed.

Numerous brands manage to increase their conversion rates by reducing the amount of information consumers need to enter into online forms.


Your users don’t want to have to jump through numerous hoops for you. They’ve got their own things they need to be doing so focus on how you can make the path to action as simple as possible.

If you’re looking to win customer referrals, then make it so customers can invite friends in as few steps as possible.

For example: If you’re looking for a social media referral, pre-plan messages and link them to social sharing buttons. Your user presses the button and your pre-planned message is shared with the world.

Here’s how Airstory is doing it for those who sign up to the wait list. Their site visitors click the correct button for their preferred network and the message is already written for them.

The same tactic should be employed if you want users to share an email with friends. Write out what it should say, all your customer then has to do is click the referral button and select their friend.

Make it easy, and more people will do what you need them to.

Bribe them

Nothing get’s people to take the action you want them to like offering a reward.

What you offer doesn’t have to be amazing. You don’t even need to make it an immediate monetary incentive.

In fact, lots of smart brands ensure their referral incentive actually solicits a repeat purchase thus increasing overall sales.

Greats Sneakers do this very well. If a customer notifies a friend about the brand, they both get 20% off their next order. Greats Sneakers lose 20% off their next sale, but that’s a next sale that likely wouldn’t have happened without the referral.

Initiate a referral program

One referral is good. Two are better.

Rather than asking only once for a referral, encourage those who love your brand to sign up for a referral program. Doing so gives you multiple opportunities to solicit referrals.

Of course, you may have to incentivise the process. Popular approaches include increasing the value of the incentive for numerous referrals or simply adding a threshold that has to be hit before an incentive is achieved.

Blush Hair Salon offers a flat referral fee for each person referred along with a larger reward for the top referrers at the end of the year.

Whereas RhinoShield will offer a 15% discount, but only after you’ve successfully referred three friends.

Setting up an evergreen referral platform will also help you take advantage of large seasonal interest. You can implement new campaigns at key times of year such as Black Friday or in the run up to Christmas.

Follow it up

There’s nothing as deflating as helping someone out only to get nothing in return. Sure, you’re offering your prospects a cash off incentive or something in the way of a reward, but sometimes, all people really want is a simple thank-you.

Thank-you’s should always be included whether or not you’re incentivising your referrals. It’s a simple thing which can go a long way into fostering customer loyalty, making them feel valued and improving customer retention.

We’re not saying you need to do anything crazy for a thanks. A simple email will more than suffice.

Keeping your customers happy will not only keep them coming back for more, but will also help gain more referrals further down the line.

Referrals are a great way to build your brand

Focusing on current customers is an easy way to increase revenue. It’s faster, effective and proven to increase sales.

However, you should never stop attracting new business. Thankfully, those same current customers who are willing to spend more cash could also be willing to forward new customers to your brand.

All you have to do is ask in the right way and you’ll not only delight those who are currently fans of your brand, you can also attract and convert tomorrow’s most loyal and profitable customer base.

How to Perfect the Post-Purchase Experience

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Can you really increase revenue by optimizing the post-purchase experience? We have, and we’ll show you how.

Months of planning, weeks of hard work and days spent biting your fingernails. All to make your new streamlined, customer-centric purchase journey a reality. You’ve followed the guides, listened to expert opinion and created a more efficient purchase journey. One which seamlessly ushers your prospects down the purchase path until they’re ready to click the big button saying “buy”.

Your hard work pays off and you see a healthy uplift in conversions. Success!

You’re now the proud owner of an effective sales funnel. All that’s left is to continue driving traffic to the top of your funnel; then it’s sit back and watch as they glide through to become paying customers. Sound a little too good to be true? That’s because it is.

You know it’s not that easy. A streamlined purchase journey is an integral part of any online brand. But it’s not the beginning and end of your marketing campaigns. Sure, optimising the purchase journey will help a higher percentage of consumers complete a purchase, but smart brands understand that the real money making opportunities come after a consumer has clicked buy.

It might sound a little weird, but the truth is smart brands can earn more and cut costs by optimising the post-purchase experience.

Why post-purchase experience is important

The post purchase experience is usually talked about in terms of customer service.

How poor after sales care leads to bad reviews and negative social proof. It’s an important element of customer interaction and highlighting your brand as one who cares about their consumer base.

But that post-purchase window can be about so much more than customer interaction and positive experiences. When well optimised you can use good customer relationships to increase average order value, solicit repeat business, and reduce outgoing costs.

  • 7 times more expensive to attract new business than retain current customers (source)
  • Increasing retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% – 95% (source)
  • The probability of a sale from a new customer is 5-20%, but from existing customers, it’s 60%-70% (source)

That initial conversion that turns a browser into a customer is not your end goal. Yes, it is the end of the purchase journey, but it’s also the start of the customer journey.

When someone clicks that big purchase button they’re no longer a stranger to you and your brand. They’re part of your tribe. The tribe that pays your bills, keeps a roof over your head and ensures the lights stay on. And you need to reciprocate.

You’ve got to listen to customer feedback and optimise your processes so you’re treating them with the same respect they’re offering to you. Create a well-optimised post-purchase experience for customers and they’ll not only purchase from you again, but you’ll be able to cut costs on attracting new business.

Post-purchase service

Purchasing is simultaneously the final step as a prospect and the first step as a customer. It’s here that perception shifts. You no longer have a prospect searching for a solution to a problem, you now have a consumer who needs to understand how to get the most value out of your brand and its products.

You’ve got to foster customer loyalty, and the best way to do that is to show them you care. Help them get the most out of their purchase, listen to what they have to say and show them you can be trusted.

Fostering customer loyalty is a long-term strategy. It’s rare for brands to turn first time buyers into fervent fans overnight. However, the sooner you start, the quicker you’ll see results.

  • 74.4% of users expect a welcome email (source)
  • Welcome emails have 320% more revenue per email than other promotional emails (source)
  • 48 hours after initial conversion is the optimal time to initiate a positive customer interaction.

The majority of the 59% of brands who do focus on a post-purchase experience do so with a single confirmation email. It’s often very dry and generic, listing only the price, description of the product, and maybe a delivery estimate.

It’s key information the customer needs to know, but it’s hardly offering real, tangible value.

You have to go above and beyond with your customer communications. Think about the primary questions a consumer has and the fears they experience after purchasing. Then, use a post-purchase email to allay those fears.

The fears you address will be individual to your business but as an example, you’ll want to think about:

  • Delivery times
  • How to change delivery times if the one listed isn’t convenient
  • Your returns policy
  • Explicitly stating when a free trial ends
  • Link to an FAQ section on site
  • Identify the biggest fears and questions your consumers have and immediately solve them.

Domino’s has a great example of this. They allow delivery customers to track their order. You know its exact position in the production queue giving an indication of delivery time. A godsend when hungry or hosting a party and waiting for food.


Your post-purchase service doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be incredibly simple, but it has to address a major concern of your customers.

Post-purchase conversions

The psychological principle of successive approximations states that after a person has taken one action, they’re more likely to perform additional actions. After completing an initial conversion, users are more likely to respond to a subsequent offer. Something which you can use to grow your brand in other ways.

For instance, if you’re initial conversion solicits a list sign-up then consider implementing the below on your thank you page:

  • A follow us on social media link
  • Sign up to loyalty program button
  • Or request more information to help better segment your audience

In the above example, Aweber has not only added social share buttons but also provided extra value by allowing you to add the date and time of the webinar to your calendar ensuring you don’t miss it. If a user has just purchased a product, then you might want to experiment with the following in post-purchase emails or thank you pages:

  • A cross-sell recommendation
  • An upsell page highlighting benefits of doing so
  • Discount on secondary purchase to bring them back on site and elicit a repeat purchase

Leadpages offer this example for a thank you page that informs the user of an upcoming sale with the aim of bringing them back to the store. Successive approximations can be a great way to increase revenue and offer a better service to your consumers.

Offer targeted help

There’s nothing worse than getting a brand new product only to find you have no idea how it works. Sure, you could work your way through the dry, boring technical manual that ships with the product, but who reads those anymore?

Make understanding how to get the most out of your product easy for your consumers. Time a post-purchase email campaign so they receive key information on basic features, advanced functions and general usage tips at the time they’re most likely to need them. The below is an example post conversion email series that focuses on providing the consumer with information to get the most out of the product before soliciting a cross-sell and social proof review:


Gather new info

Your marketing campaign is only as good as the information driving action. If you know nothing about your audience then you can’t help them. The more information you have, the more targeted your campaigns and relevant your communications. Gather customer feedback during the post-purchase experience to understand more about who you’re targeting. You can do this either on the thank you page or through an automated post-purchase email.

The key is to act fast and make the most of the successive approximations. Floppi offers a great example, immediately after submitting an email you’re presented with the below box to let them know exactly what was that drove you to sign up.

Obtain extra social proof

Consumers will always trust their peers more than you. You stand to gain from their purchase so all your claims to greatness will be met with a healthy deal of scepticism.

However, claims made by other customers are generally believed, to be honest, and true.

It will benefit you to optimise your post-purchase experience to gain as much positive social proof as possible. Derek Halpern of Social Triggers is a master of social media and has a great example of how to gather great social proof immediately after a conversion.

Derek begins by giving you the lead magnet you requested. However, just after he’s given you something for free, he asks for something in return.

Asking for a social like, share and comment after giving you your free eBook plays on both successive approximations and the idea of reciprocity. Both great at driving customer interaction. Users will likely feel obliged to help as Derek is offering them something for free and clicking a like button is a very small conversion compared to submitting an email address.

A sale is not the finish line

Just because a customer has clicked buy, it doesn’t mean your relationship with them is finishing. In many ways, it’s just beginning. Those who have helped you out by clicking purchase are the people you need to focus your attention on. They’re the people who come back and spend more on your brand. Optimize your post-purchase experience to focus on providing a better service to those who have purchased and you’ll not only see them spending more, you’ll also attract others just like them.

Post Purchase FAQs

?️ What is post purchase experience?

Once a customer has purchased your product or service they enter the post purchase phase. This presents you with a chance to build customer loyalty and build a positive impression. Send them a personalized thank you email, ask them how you can improve or if they will leave a review.

? Why is post purchase evaluation important?

Post-purchase evaluation is important because it offers you the chance to get feedback on your products or service. Ultimately this feedback can be used to improve your customer experience by highlighting areas you are underperforming and not meeting customer expectations.

? What causes post purchase dissonance?

Post-purchase dissonance occurs when a customer is unsatisfied with a product or service they have purchased. There are many causes for this such as, unrealistic expectations, buyers’ remorse, poor quality product, poor service levels, bad customer service are but a few.

Google’s ‘Intrusive’ Interstitial Penalty: The Facts

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Google recently announced changes to its mobile search algorithm that will be effective from the 10th of January 2017.

Their actions to improve the mobile user experience and make finding content easier was expected, especially considering that more than half of all searches are carried out on mobile devices. The update to remove the mobile-friendly labels is fairly tame, however their aim to help users find the content they’re looking for has caused a bit of a hoo-ha.

Google has changed its attitude towards certain ‘interstitials’ that display on mobile websites, chalking them up as being intrusive and damaging user experience. They have determined that if an interstitial makes content less accessible, they will penalise those pages in search rankings.

What does Google count as an ‘Intrusive Interstitial’?

Google interstitial penalties

Less accessible means any interstitial that covers the main content of a page, whether it’s when the page is first visited or whilst content is being consumed.

Interstitials that are considered acceptable include ones of a legal nature, such as age verification, login dialogue for gated content and easily dismissible banners.

What about my Yieldify conversion campaigns?

Naturally there are a lot of people unhappy with these changes. Notably marketing professionals, who are harnessing the considerable conversion results that interstitials can yield.

With interstitials being our bread and butter, and countless businesses caught up in the confusion, we’ve reached out to our contacts at Google to find out how this development affects onsite remarketing campaigns and mobile devices.

Exit-intent overlays are allowed

In a video released shortly after the announcement John Mueller, a webmaster trends analyst for Google, reassured that exit-intent popups would be exempt from their disallowed list. We can corroborate that exit intent-trigger overlays on landing pages will not have an impact on search rankings, as this serves an overlay when a user switches between tabs or leaves their browser app and then returns to the web page. Any mobile overlay format that triggers via exit intent can therefore stay in place on landing pages.

Google have also stated that the ranking penalty will only apply to campaigns that display on landing pages. This means that mobile overlays on a timer or scroll trigger deeper into the site are absolutely fine to continue using. This covers pages such as the basket and checkout.

What Yieldify recommends

In regards to interstitials on landing pages, we don’t recommend displaying standard-sized mobile overlays that trigger based on a timer or when the user scrolls. Instead we suggest that you use small or expandable formats on landing pages, such as bottom bars. These formats are fine to use on a timer or scroll trigger as they don’t cover large areas of the screen whilst in an unexpanded state.

Since the announcement was made our Product Team have been working tirelessly, developing new overlay formats for mobile campaigns that will provide users with more options in the next year. Yieldify clients will continue to enjoy the benefit of high performing campaigns without worrying about any business impact.

Google are not against conversion tactics. They merely want to continue creating and achieving exceptional user experiences which you can also benefit from.

If you are a current client of Yieldify, please direct any extra questions you may have to your account manager.

If you are not a client but are concerned about how Google’s new stance will affect your conversion campaigns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our optimisation experts to discuss your needs and options.

What Exactly Is an Omnichannel Experience?

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We take a look at what an omnichannel experience is all about right now along with how things are shaping up across the eCommerce landscape for the future.

Tweak this, amend that color, change that word, enlarge the CTA, and BOOM – you’ve just increased your sales.

That’s the extent of much of the marketing advice now littering the web. All of these little tweaks, amendments and changes can help increase conversions, but often they’re nothing more than a band-aid covering a far larger problem.

A poorly optimized customer experience.

Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. Offer a more pleasurable, intuitive purchase journey and they’ll thank you for it with repeat purchases, positive reviews, and numerous referrals.

The problem many brands face is understanding how to optimize the customer experience in the modern digital era. With numerous devices and an always-connected mentality, there’s never been more opportunity to connect with consumers, which at the same time offers a higher potential of a terrible experience.

Technology has become so ingrained in our day to day activities we’d struggle to survive without it, we’ve even progressed to the stage of having social media enabled fridges.

Your customers are using myriad devices at every stage of the customer journey to find brands, research products, and commit to a purchase. A great customer experience streamlines the journey across all devices, offers the highest level of value to the user but doesn’t abuse the always-connected consumer with constant promotions.

What is an Integrated Experience?

Multichannel and omnichannel are not the same.

Despite being bandied around in the same circles these two methodologies are startlingly different.

An omnichannel experience integrates multiple channels but a multichannel approach is not integrated.

Savvy brands understand the importance of optimising each and every channel. Having a comprehensive social media campaign, optimising your mobile site and providing a great in-store experience are all par for the course.

However, these campaigns are often siloed and independent of one another. There’s nothing to link them. No way of creating a seamless journey between each channel. This is multichannel and, whilst it provides well optimised independent campaigns, doesn’t contribute to the wider customer experience.

There’s no continuity in multichannel. It’s a series of well optimised but disconnected experiences. Omnichannel connects each individual channel to create one comprehensive, intuitive consumer journey.

It creates a seamless journey regardless of the device used or path taken. It seamlessly integrates experiences across channels.

For instance, you find a pair of sneakers you want on the Nike online store. you’re at the mall later that day so decided to pick up a pair whilst there.

However, there’s nothing to bring your online search in store. You have to move back to the search phase to find the sneakers before you’re able to try them on, see how they feel and make a decision.

With an omnichannel experience, you could reserve a pair on mobile to pick up in store or thanks to beacons technology, use your mobile as an in-store map to find where they’re displayed.

Omnichannel experience isn’t the latest buzzword. It’s what your users want, need and are asking for;

  • 98% of consumers believe returns, purchases and delivery should be available across multiple channels (Forbes)
  • Brands with an integrated, omnichannel experience retain average 89% of their customers, compared to 33% for brands with weak omnichannel customer engagement. (Aberdeen Group)
  • Shoppers that buy across multiple channels have a 30% higher lifetime value than their single-channel counterparts (IDC)

Omnichannel is a necessity for brands who want to stay on top over the coming years, the question is how you can best implement an omnichannel experience.

The Key is Customer Centricity

Everything you do revolves around the customer. Omnichannel is not about pushing your products through several channels simultaneously. It depends on streamlining the customer journey and offering as much value to them as possible.

Yes, the goal for you is to increase revenue, but the best way to encourage users to convert, return and promote your brand is to offer them a service they simply cannot forget.

  • Brands who offer good customer service are 3X more likely to receive recommendations (Harvard Business Review)
  • 59% of 25-34 year-olds share poor customer service online (New Voice Media)
  • 95% of dissatisfied customers tell others about their experience (Zendesk)

Putting the customer first isn’t a meaningless action, it’s imperative for the future of your business.

At its core, an omnichannel experience is nothing more than great customer service. When you’re planning your omnichannel strategy be sure to look at everything you do through the eyes of your target market and ask yourself if you’re offering more value or a better service.

Collect and Collate as much Data as Possible

Personalization and segmentation are key to providing higher value, better-targeted service.

Brands in every industry have come to rely on audience personae and segmentation to better target their marketing. But knowing 30% of your audience is 21-30-year-old males isn’t going to help with an omnichannel experience.

Effective omnichannel experiences depend on vast amounts of data.

You have to know how your users interact with your brand across different channels and the thoughts and feelings they have for your brand. For instance:

  • Do they start on mobile before moving to a desktop to purchase?
  • At what stage do they switch devices?
  • Do they prefer to pick up items in-store?
  • What are their overall impressions of your business and, most importantly, are there any areas where you are not meeting expectations?

But tracking these items independently isn’t enough. You’ve got to pull it all together into one place. Poor data quality is the biggest reason brands fail in their omnichannel strategy. However, the quality of data often isn’t the problem, it’s that brands haven’t collated their various data sources.

In a Periscope study of omnichannel marketing, most brands cited poor data quality as the primary challenge. However, nearly all of the data references were specific to how users interacted across channels.

  • Lack of customer analytics across channels (67%)
  • Silo’d organization (48%)
  • Poor data quality (45%)
  • Inability to identify customers across shopping trips (45%)

Smart brands already have a wealth of data at their fingertips. But it’s often siloed, independent and specific to a single channel.

Having lots of data is great, but you need to collate it all in one place. You’ve got to bring everything together so you can create a unified view of each customer across channels, visits and purchases.

Integrate All Channels

Optimisation for most modern marketers revolves around digital channels.

We focus on optimising websites, email marketing and social media accounts. With omnichannel we examine how users move between these digital channels because we all believe digital is the future.

And with current consumer trends, that’s the most logical step. But it overlooks one very profitable channel.

Digital channels are rising in popularity but they’re yet to take over. Shoppers still love seeing products in person. They want to hold a new iPad to feel the weight, they need to try on a new pair of sneakers and want to check the picture clarity on that new 4K TV.

Christmas and Black Friday are testaments to the continued power of in-person shopping. Brick-and-mortar-stores need to be included in your omnichannel campaign for the highest possible returns.

Macy’s and Oasis have implemented great examples of how to include in store in an omnichannel experience.

Macy’s has joined their mobile search with their online stores. If a user searches for a particular item, Macy’s use the mobile’s GPS information to inform the shopper of the closest store which has that product in stock. It immediately gives the shopper what they want and also directs them toward an immediate purchase.

Oasis has also provided a digital in-store experience. Taking a leaf out of Apple’s book Oasis staff are now equipped with in-store iPads. These iPads are used during busy times to minimise checkout queues by offering mobile payments and are able to order out of stock items direct to the shopper’s home.

Both are great examples of how digital channels are being used to improve upon the in-store service.

Focus on Creating an Experience

Sales, conversions, revenue. Whatever name you give it, there’s one goal all business aspire to achieve – to increase the amount of money made.

However, in their pursuit of this goal, many brands fail in providing the key differentiator that actually drives sales – an enjoyable customer experience.

Brands who focus on the customer first are the brands that succeed. They achieve their revenue goals through creating an incredible user experience.

Take Apple as an example; everything it does from the operating system on their devices to device design and customer service is created to shine a favourable light on the brand.

As soon as you pick up an Apple product or walk into an Apple store you know what the brand is and the products it offers. Its sleek image spreads to their customer service. In-store, you can try products, use iPads to purchase from any location and even attend training courses for products and software –  for free.

Apple has built one of the most successful brands in the world by focusing on the customer. Its entire brand is fuelled by the unforgettable irresistible experiences it creates.

While achieving the same success as Apple will be a difficult task, you can definitely follow its lead and build a tribe of fervent fans through offering an intuitive, superior omnichannel experience that is entirely consumer-centric.

5 Techniques to Measure and Improve Customer Experience

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Our top 5 techniques to measure and improve customer experience and keep your visitors coming back for more.

Good service is the linchpin upon which your business’s success depends.

Get it right and you’ll have hundreds or thousands of repeat purchases, countless referrals and a very healthy revenue stream. Get it wrong and you’ll see your brand disappear into obscurity with nothing but bad reviews and angry customers for company.

But how hard can providing good customer service be?

All you have to do is find a consumer problem and present the solution. That’s it, right? Nothing else really matters. If you can solve a consumer’s problem then that’s the best customer experience imaginable.

Not exactly.

There are 28,000,000 small businesses in the US alone. To think that at least one of those businesses doesn’t offer a similar product or solution to you is arrogant, an arrogance which could sink your brand.

The differentiator for success is not just about the product or service you provide. It’s the journey you create for consumers. If you could measure your customer experience, would it be one that makes interacting with your brand not only easy, but pleasurable?

If not, then you could be leaving thousands on the table.

Why is customer experience important?

Most brands build their key performance indicators around tweaking web copy, optimising UX design and improving PPC campaigns.

They’re great ways to bring more traffic and potential leads to your site. And sure, optimised in the correct way the content of your site will help positively influence consumers.

But they’re all focused on acquiring new customers. On driving new leads to your site and convincing those who haven’t heard of your brand to take a chance and purchase from you. Which is pretty damn hard.

These top of funnel methods might seem like the best way to facilitate business growth, but they’re far from the most effective revenue driving methods.

What most businesses fail to understand is that the most lucrative target audience they have are their current consumers.

– Existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend an average 31% more

– Current customers, if happy with your service, are likely to become advocates and promote your brand for you

Customer acquisition is 7 times more costly than customer retention

– They’ll leave favourable reviews. Extremely important when 61% of consumers read online reviews before purchasing

– Those reviews also help with an average 18% lift in conversions

The most profitable brands continually measure customer experience and implement iterative improvements, such as customer experience software. Improvements that bring one time customers back time and again. They don’t just throw a product out there and hope for the best, they identify their customer’s expectations and exceed them.

They do whatever they can to improve the customer experience because they know it leads to more reviews, better referrals and a higher percentage of repeat purchases.

And the first step to optimising your customer experience is to switch up your key performance indicators from quantitative to qualitative. Stop focusing on how many customers view your product, and start examining how you can improve their purchase experience.

Ask them directly

Sometimes understanding your consumers is as simple as asking them how they feel.

Customer satisfaction surveys often fall into one of two types. Customer satisfaction (CSAT) or net promoter score (NPS).

Customer satisfaction surveys

CSAT are simple questionnaires that measure the short term satisfaction of your consumers. They most often take the form of a survey or questionnaire sent directly to the consumer immediately after their purchase or interaction with a company is complete.

You’ll probably have received text messages or emails that follow the format of the below.

They’re great at getting a quick understanding of how consumers feel about your brand and can give some actionable insights on how best to optimise the customer experience. But they aren’t great at analysing long term happiness or customer loyalty.

Net Promoter Score

To get a better understanding of long term loyalty, brands use an NPS methodology. This is a test that measures how likely a customer is to return to your brand.

Again this test is administered through a survey question but focuses on how likely your customer is to recommend your service to others.

Net Promoter Systems has created a great guide on how the responses relate to a customer’s long term loyalty.

0 – 6 = Unhappy customers who account for 80% of negative word of mouth and have high rates of churn and defection.

7 – 8 = The passively satisfied group. They’re happy for now but have a referral rate 50% lower than promoters and are likely to defect.

9 – 10 = Your promoters. Loyal, enthusiastic fans who are happy to tell their friends about you and account for 80% of referrals.

Both methods are important for gaining a better understanding of your client base and measuring overall customer experience. However, unless using highly specific questions they can be difficult to help identify how to improve your service.

Identifying where you’re not meeting expectations

Jay Baer, author of Hug Your Haters offers a slight change to the NPS method which could be the difference in improving your brand. He says;

“Customer experience is all about expectation management. Great customer experience occurs when you exceed customer expectations in a palpable way. Poor customer experience occurs when you fail to meet customer expectations.

Thus, the best way to measure customer experience is to mine that expectation gap. Ask every customer (or a random sample) a simple question: ‘On a scale of 1-10 how much better (or worse) was your experience with our company compared to what you expected?’

It’s Net Promoter Score methodology adjusted for the realities of customer experience.”

This slight shift in methodology changes your survey results from “I’m not satisfied” to “I thought X (the service) would be Y (measurable metric)”.

Knowing how your service is failing to meet customer expectations is a more targeted method for understanding exactly what you need to improve.

Map their actions

Asking your customers directly is a great way to understand how they feel, but really, what people say and what they do are two different things.

A study by MarketingSherpa discovered the vast majority of users prefer to receive promotional emails monthly.

However, in stark contrast to this there’s numerous studies that have seen an increase in engagement, conversions and sales from an increase in email frequency.

Aviva, after increasing their frequency, saw an increase of:

48% in requested insurance quotes

45% more email revenue

According to Zettasphere 6 emails per week is the sweet spot.

Of course this doesn’t take into consideration the quality and value of the emails, but the point stands that sometimes what your users say is not what they will respond to.

You shouldn’t just follow exactly what your users say. Your key performance indicators should not solely be based on audience responses, but should be used in conjunction with usage statistics.

Bolster the information and feedback customers provide with statistics from their engagement and actions. Look at how many repeat purchases you see, what your churn rate is, the average value of a customer over the entire customer lifecycle and how many referrals you receive.

Your customers might say you’re failing to meet expectations in a certain area, but if that area is bringing in a much higher percentage of referrals should you listen to them?

Problem resolution time

Most customer journeys are uneventful. The customer finds what they need, continues to purchase, leaves the store and receives their item a few days later.

However, most problems affecting customer satisfaction in a negative way occur after the purchase has been made. A great customer journey can be ruined by a botched delivery or terrible post sales care. And it’s in this stage that customers are more likely to complain.

You’ve taken their money so a customer will have no problem publicly complaining if you fail to deliver on your promise. Just look at the Twitter feeds for large brands to see how a terrible post purchase experience can lead to negative reviews and poor social proof.

Enough to put most new consumers off the brand for good!

However, these bad experiences can be turned to your advantage.

Mistakes happen. Deliveries can be delayed, products are sometimes damaged in transit and a customer service representative for your brand could say something inflammatory.

You’re never going to escape from these issues, but a quick resolution can turn a disgruntled customer into a brand advocate. People are, by and large, reasonable and if you help them quickly solve the problem they will thank you for it.

According to Zendesk, 69% of consumers attribute good customer service to a quick resolution of a problem.

Convergys UK Customer Score Card study into customer service shows that the top attributes for a good customer experience are as a result of first contact resolution.

Measure your customer response and resolution time and do what you can to reduce it. If it’s too long, your customers will complain about the service you provide.

Just ensure that the speed of your customer service doesn’t come at the cost of efficiency. No one wants a quick service that doesn’t solve their problem.

Customer experience is of paramount importance

Customer experience is one of the most important elements of your wider marketing campaign. If you can get consumers on your side and raving about your brand, then they will handle most of the marketing for you.

These advocates will help bring new customers and provide reviews that will help plaster over any small gaps in your marketing campaign. But just like any marketing campaign, it requires continual, iterative improvement.

If you don’t already have a comprehensive method of measuring customer experience, introduce one now. Amend the performance indicators for the success of your brand to include qualitative customer experience statistics along with your quantitative site metrics. To build stronger relationships with your customers, consider using CRM software for ecommerce.

What’s the Best Way to Reach your Target Audience?

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You can reach your target audience through a plethora of channels, but you may be surprised at the one where you should still be focusing most of your attention.

Social media, content marketing, email campaigns, SMS messages and even good old fashioned audio chats via phone calls.

The channels through which you can reach your target audience are numerous and varied. But in the last few years, nearly every brand has started to favour digital channels, particularly content marketing and social media.

There’s been an explosion in online advice, “specialists”, and of course the various services that optimise and maintain your content and social campaigns.

Marketing managers the world over have shifted attention to these newer channels. And that’s great because they are key components of an effective marketing strategy.

But this new focus takes attention away from a channel that needs your attention. Email marketing.

You might have heard that email is dead. That the new kids on the block are where millennials hang out and thus, the place to reach your audience. That you’ve got to evolve with the times to stay relevant and profitable.

This is, in a word, BS. And here’s why.

Email vs ‘the new kids on the block’


That’s the key metric every business should be focusing on. Shares, likes and retweets are marvellous for brand awareness, but let’s face it, money makes the world go round.

And when it comes to both ROI and revenue, email is the undisputed king – as proven below:

Email statistics

If we round those statistics to the nearest whole and apply it to an audience of 1000 followers/subscribers you would have the following number of people viewing each message.

Facebook – 60
Twitter – 20
Email – 200

Big difference, right? But email isn’t just better at reaching your audience.

2015's most effective online marketing tactics

However, just because email is far and away the most effective marketing channel doesn’t mean you can blast emails to every address you’ve collected.

Email marketing is a complicated beast and requires a well thought-out campaign to really get the best results. And we’ve got a few tips to get your email campaign off to the best start.

Quality over quantity

This nugget of wisdom applies in two different areas of your email campaign.

First it refers to your list. It’s better to have a smaller list of qualified prospects over a large list of uninterested subscribers. An interested list of subscribers will serve you far better in the long run. They’re more likely to become repeat purchasers and recommend you to their friends.

A low-quality list often results in low open rates, numerous bounced messages and a large number of spam reports. All of which will ruin your sender reputation and negatively affect future campaign deliverability – making it harder to reach your audience.

Quality over quantity also refers to what you send your subscribers. In examining email effectiveness Campaign Monitor discovered; “If you start sending too many emails that are low-value, the most common effect is that you’ll see open and click-through rates drop.”

Campaign Monitor report on email marketing surveyed consumers and discovered that most users believe that email campaigns can be improved by sending fewer emails.

In every area of email marketing, quality should be at the forefront of your mind. It’s about targeting fewer users with relevant content, not trying to make up shortcomings with sheer numbers.

Create a dialogue

You want to talk with your audience, not at them.

Users don’t want to receive countless emails that push for the sale. They want to feel valued. Too many emails saying “hey, buy this from us now” annoy subscribers. According to MarketingSherpa most recipients prefer weekly or monthly emails.

Regularity of email preferred by consumers

Most users will under report the frequency they best respond to, but the fact remains they don’t want to be bombarded with sales pitches. You’ve got to put the customer first and also use email to provide valuable advice so they look forward to hearing from you.

It’s a difficult goal to achieve, but it’s something transactional emails do incredibly well because they offer high-value information based on certain actions a user has taken:

  • A guide on getting the most out of particular product after a purchase
  • A quick FAQ guide explaining a product after viewing its product page more than twice
  • A welcome series after an initial subscription that asks questions so you can offer relevant advice

To effectively reach your target audience you have to listen to their needs. You should respond to their actions and habits rather than just talking at them.

Follow basic UX design principles

UX design is an important part of creating a streamlined customer journey across all marketing channels, including email.

As one of the most effective marketing channels email should be top of the optimisation list when it comes to UX design.

Our previously published article on UX design outlines the major trends and actions you should be using, but as a short summary make sure your emails are:

  • As simple as they can be
  • Utilise good images
  • Pair colours so key actions and CTAs stand out from content
  • Have a clear CTA that focuses on the benefits

It’s all about timing

Reaching your target audience is half the battle. You also have to get the timing right. Sending a sales pitch to someone who has already purchased is a good way to annoy recipients.

Getting the timing right relies on understanding your audience and the actions they take. Transactional emails can help segment your audience by action and testing will help understand the most effective frequency, but when do you send emails?

Is 08:00 on Monday the best time? Or should you wait until 17:00 on Wednesday?

There are numerous studies on the time of day and day of week that see the best open and engagement rates, which will serve as a good starting point:

The best time to send emails

But they should only be a starting point. As soon as you start sending your own emails, track your opens and engagement rates to understand when your audience are most receptive to your emails.

Test everything with your emails from frequency to time of day to understand what resonates best with your audience.

Mobile optimisation

Mobile has overtaken desktop as the primary device for web users. 66% of all emails are opened on a mobile device:

The effectiveness of any campaign relies on how well it’s optimised for a specific audience. That includes everything from segmented, targeted content to ensuring that the content is presented in the most accessible way.

Of course, following the general design and UX practices will help, but you’ve also got to take into consideration how user engagement differs on the smaller screens.

We’ve put together a whole eBook on mobile optimisation, but to sum up the main points, when optimising your email campaign remember to:

  • Keep the subject line to 50 characters
  • Add in pre-subject text to catch attention
dotmailer visualisation
  • Use white space within the email body so it’s easier to read and click on the small screen
  • Test, test and test again

Mobile is already your users’ favoured device. Take advantage of user habits and optimise your content for the highest possible conversions.

Email’s still the king

Email is still the undisputed king of ROI and a proven way to reach your audience. Social media may seem like the sexier option but until it, or any other channel, can drive the kind of sales email does then it should be a secondary focus when you’re trying to reach your target audience.

Once you reach your target audience and entice them to your site, you need to give them a customer experience worth staying for. Our Customer Journey Optimization guide has all the tips you need to bring your site up to speed.

40 Headlines That Generate Interest, Clicks, and Conversions

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We’ve put together 40 types of headlines that will help you grab your audience’s attention, elicit that all-important click and then increase your conversions.

Before you can think about increasing conversions through your content, you’ve got to do one thing first. Get readers to click through to your content from search engines, email campaign, Facebook link or tweet.

So what gets your audience to make that all important click through?

Short answer, a kick-ass headline.

Headlines are the most influential element of any copy. Those short five to ten word sentences have the power to grab attention or turn readers off your content and your brand. Advertising legend David Ogilvy said that once you’ve written your headline, you’ve spent 80 cents of your dollar.

David Ogilvy quote

It’s a discovery which, even today, holds true. In tracking the open rates of emails Mailchimp have recorded averages hovering around the 20% mark. That means 80% of the people who read your email subject line never click through to read your email content.

The effectiveness of headlines has never been in question. What is up for debate is how to ensure the types of headlines you use not only elicit that initial click, but also help increase conversions.

To help get the most out of your content marketing we’ve put a list of 40 types of headlines together to get you off to a great start.

The ‘always effective’

The below template from Koozai is always a good option. It’s accurate, informative and succinct. The only problem you might have is finding which combinations work best together.

[Number] + [Adjective] + [Keyword] + [Promise]

7 Cheap Coffee Beans for an Incredible Cup of Joe

Curiosity gap

Curiosity is a powerful motivator. If you can make users think they have a gap in their knowledge, they’ll feel compelled to click. Joanna Wiebe of Copyhackers used a curiosity gap subject line to achieve a 104% email open rate. It was so good, readers opened the email numerous times!

[A statement that makes the reader ask how/why/who etc]

Why Kim Kardashian Loves the New iPhone

Curiosity gap + explanation

The problem with curiosity gaps is they tread a fine line between useful and annoying clickbait. To ensure you don’t overstep that line, add a detail oriented subhead to really ensure you’re not only building curiosity, but also providing value.

[A statement that makes the reader ask how/why/who etc] + [detail oriented sub heading]

How to Get Your Children to Eat More Vitamins: Five Sweet, Healthy Foods Kids Love

Negative angle

Search results and email inboxes are full of headlines focusing on the positive. Stand out from the crowd by repackaging the same message in a negatively worded headline.

[Negative modifier] + [common benefit]

Never write a terrible headline again!


Consumers trust the word of their peers over that of brands. That makes testimonial focused types of headlines a great way to build trust with other consumers and increase conversions.

[Quote from happy customer/summary of review/excerpt from testimonial]

How Yieldify Helped M&S Gather 4000 New Subscribers

The secret

We’re back playing on your reader’s curiosity. Who doesn’t want to know a secret?!

[Number] + Secrets + [Benefit]

5 Secrets to Selling like Amazon

Problem solving

Most people click because they’re searching for a solution to a problem. Feature that problem and hint at a solution in your headline to get their attention.

[Problem] + [Solution]

Why Your eCommerce Store is Failing and What You Can Do About it

Have your cake and eat it

The only thing better than one benefit? Two benefits of course!

Now you can [benefit 1] and [benefit 2]

Now You Can Work From Home and Earn Even More Money!

How to X without Y

Similar to the above, but instead of two benefits it provides one benefit whilst negating a common negative.

How to [achieve benefit] without [negative repercussion]

How to increase sales without spending a penny

The vanity headline

Nothing sells products like speaking to a reader’s ego. It’s why brands use world renowned athletes to sell their products, “buy these football boots and you could start playing like Cristiano Ronaldo”.

[Do something] like [world renowned person]

How to Bend it Like Beckham

To the point

Sometimes a product or offer just isn’t sexy. In these cases, simply stating the offer is a good approach..

[Simple statement of what’s on offer]

Egyptian Cotton Sheets – 20% Off!

Big benefit

Focus on the key benefit and really drive it home.

[Highlight the main benefit]

Buy one watch, get the second free!

How to

“How to” headlines litter the web for a reason. They work. People want the solution to problems and how to is a great way to show them how to solve them.

How to [achieve something desirable] + [specific quantifier]

How to train your puppy to sit in two weeks

The surprise

Similar to the curiosity gap but this headline alludes to a uprising statement or discovery.

[Surprising negative statement] + [curiosity gap]

The new iPhone isn’t the best smartphone ever (but it could have been)

Make my life easier

Isn’t this what we’re all looking for?

[Expression of ease] to [achieve goal]

The quick and easy way to make your bed

If I were uou

If people subscribe to your email they likely trust what you have to say. Leverage that trust to your advantage

Why you should [shocking statement]

Why you need to stop using non biological fabric softener


Users want to know, without a doubt, that what they read will help them succeed. Use the word proof in your headlines to build a little extra trust, just make sure you’re telling the truth.

[Number] + [proof modifier] = [desirable outcome]

10 proven ways to write headlines that convert

Shocking revelation

One of those shock horror types of headlines that you see on the front of celeb magazines. Grab attention by offering a shocking discovery

Why [reputable brand] does/doesn’t [use product/advocate service etc]

Why Daniel Craig hates Omega watches

Don’t be stupid

Sometimes readers make mistakes without realising. Highlight the mistake in your headline and they’ll have to click

[Mistake] + [cost to them/their business]

10 optimisation mistakes that cause revenue loss

Play on a fear

One of the most effective types of headlines. Everyone’s afraid of something and will do whatever they can to make sure they don’t experience their fear.

[Pronoun/item in question] + [undesirable outcome]

Is your resume sabotaging your career?

Social proof

As previously mentioned, people trust the word of their peers over that of brands. Show, don’t tell, that your product is the best in class.

[Social proof] + [benefit]

The smartwatch that’s helped 14,000 people lose weight

The achievement

Readers are looking for an effective solution to a problem. Highlight how someone else achieved an outstanding result to capture attention.

How [someone/business] + [achieved desirable result] + [optional quantifier/timeframe]

How Amazon increased sales by 33% in six months

The data-driven headline

If you’ve conducted research into a topic, show it off in your headline. People love proven statistics.

We analysed [analysis topic] and found [discovery/curiosity gap]

We analysed 40,000 email campaigns and discovered the greatest subject line template

The gut punch

Sometimes tough love is just what your readers need.

[A claim that hones in on a reader’s worst fear]

Why you’ll never find love

The dream

Most readers have a dream they desperately want to achieve. List that dream in your headline and you’ll definitely grab attention.

Imagine/what would you do with [desired outcome]

Imagine launching a multi million dollar product

The intrigue headline

Allude to something that’s often overlooked.

What no-one tells you about [industry specific action/benefit]

What no-one tells you about weight loss programs

The straight question

Don’t beat around the bush, get straight to the heart of what’s bothering your readers with a direct question.

[A straight question]

Should you splash out on a new pair of shoes?

The comparison

81% of consumers thoroughly research a product or service before purchasing. Take advantage of the need for research with a comparison headline.

[Item one] vs [item two]: [primary difference to measure]

iPhone 7 vs Galaxy S7: Battle of the Mobile Cameras!

Breaking news

Show your readers that this piece of content really is on the cutting edge of discovery in your industry.

[Breaking news]: + [statement]

Breaking news: Quinoa could contribute to cancer

Short and sweet

Sometimes you don’t need any trickery, just a short, sweet headline that gets right to the heart of the matter.

[Four or five word headline]

How sugar affects children

The supportive headline

Sometimes readers just want to feel reassured. They’re looking for support during a difficult time and you could be the one to give it to them.

[Supportive statement centred around key problem]

Failure does not make you a loser

The SEO headline

Make use of those keywords to stand out in the SERPs.

[Keyword] +[ Supplementary keywords]

Headline Hacks: 101 Types of Headlines that Will Increase Conversions

The urgency headline

You can go one of two ways with this. Either attempt to elicit action today, or allude to how a lack of action is damaging the customer’s goals

[Action] + [urgency element]

Get Your Brand New Nike Air’s Today!


Fix your sales funnel leaks NOW!

The scarcity headline

Scarcity goes hand in hand with urgency. They force people to take immediate action through FOMO and can be extremely powerful motivators.

[Action] + [scarcity element]

Get your new watch today. Only 37 left!

Lessons learned

Proof can take many forms. One of which is showing what you or a customer learned through taking an action or using a product.

[Number] + lessons/things learned/beneficial discoveries + [particular action/place]

9 things learned at this years social media conference

Common mistakes

This combines the benefits of the problem solving headline and adds a little social proof so readers don’t feel so alone.

[Number] + [mistake]

7 mistakes first time parents make

The Big Ol’ List

Who doesn’t love a list of solutions that lead to a great big benefit?

[Number of list items] + [big old benefit]

45 delicious, easy chicken recipes


Nothing grabs attention like a claim dramatically opposed to popular opinion.

[Find a common belief and claim the opposite]

Why the British really do despise tea

The fear-buster

Sometimes you know exactly what fear a user is feeling and the question they’ll ask before they even say it. This headline pre-empts their fear and gives you a direct line to their attention.

[Negate reader question] + [highlight key benefit]

No, you don’t have to be a mathematical genius to win at poker


Click bait headlines are universally disliked. But they work. People might say they dislike click-bait headlines, but they still garner huge numbers of clicks.

[Unusual benefit] +[timeframe] + [curiosity modifier]

Domino’s tripled their conversion rate in only 3 months! Here’s how they did it…

6 Must-Know Web Design Trends That Boost Conversions

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Do you remember how Argos operated a few years ago?

No products on display and everything kept in a behind-the-counter warehouse meant you’d spend an eternity flicking through huge catalogues in an attempt to find the perfect product.

Once found, you’d punch the product number into a little machine checking stock levels before filling out an in-store order form.

It was a long winded, infuriating experience.

Well, Argos got wise to the poor user experience and started rolling out digital stores. Stores where shoppers could to quickly find and order their perfect products from an in store iPad.

There’s no difference in the information provided in either store, the difference is simply in improving the user experience. Users in the modern stores are presented with a more streamlined, user-friendly experience which has helped Argos increase overall sales.

It’s exactly the same with your online store. Improving user experience is proven to increase engagement, conversions, and customer satisfaction.

But it’s not just about following the latest web design trends, it’s about applying them in a way that streamlines the path to purchase and makes the experience of shopping with your brand so easy that users will want to shop with you again.

Let’s take a look at UX design trends that create a more fluid customer journey and boost conversions.

Split screen

Paul Smith split screen

The faster you segment your audience the easier it will be to display products they’re interested in purchasing.

In the above example from Paul Smith’s home page, users can immediately reduce the product selection by 50% to only include clothing of the gender they are shopping for. That’s 50% of products immediately removed from your browser based on an initial click.

Split-screen is one UX trend that enables users to quickly and easily identify the option that’s best for them and helps you provide a more targeted and user-friendly experience.

Optimize navigation

Navigation has long been the bane of online stores.

As internet shopping has become more popular brands have started to add more products to their range. This inevitably leads to a bloated product range and navigation.

We all know, thanks to studies like the Jam Study, that an increasingly large product range confuses users. It makes it harder for them to find the perfect product for their needs and increases the likelihood of post-purchase regret.

Navigation needs to remain as simple as possible and prioritize the most useful pages for users. However, in navigation design, there’s one common web design trend faux pas that complicates matters: Burger menus and non-prioritized navigation.

Burger menus, so named for their three-tier appearance, are often used to hide menus behind a clickable icon.

They’re great for effectively utilizing space, but don’t help users find what they need or direct them where you want them to go.

Hamburger menus complicate the customer journey. They add an extra link into a journey that you should be trying to simplify.

If a user wants to see a specific page they have to click on the hamburger icon, find the relevant page link in the dropdown then click on the relevant link. They make a huge assumption that the user knows how you’ve organized your navigation and where to find what they need.

You should use burger menus to hide secondary navigation goals so you can display primary pages and the areas you want users to see in your initial menu.

Facebook newfeed
(Source: LukeW)

Prioritize your menu so it displays the pages you want users to view and hide the less important pages that don’t contribute to conversions behind the burger.

Eliminate distractions

One page, one purpose. The golden rule of CRO.

Distractions are the enemy of conversion. Leave something on-page that might distract users from the action you want them to take, and it’s a safe bet it will do exactly that.

You’ve got to create a path to purchase of least resistance. One that ushers users down the funnel you want them to take. Erroneous links, images, and buttons aren’t going to help, they’re going to stop users from taking that key action you need them to.

When you’re optimizing anything from landing pages to blog posts and emails you should have one goal in mind. A single conversion goal everything on page contributes to.

To help keep your content as simple, effective and on message as possible, be sure to exercise the below.

  • Use a large, single column CTA with effective white space so users literally cannot miss it.
Single-column CTA
(Source: Unbounce)
  • Remove useless sidebars. removed their sidebars and saw a 71% increase in conversions.
  • Only include relevant fields on lead capture forms. It’s not just about reducing form fields, but also about the relevancy of the leads you capture and overall usefulness of your database.
(Source: Conversion XL)

Aesthetics are important

We’re not referring to the overused advice of “use orange CTAs because Amazon does.” That’s not going to help.

What will help is an understanding of how colors interact with one another and what combinations will help key elements of your page, like CTAs, important details, and text links, stand out from the page.

In fact, 92.6% of people take the visual factor into consideration when choosing whether or not to purchase. Typography is also another important element that, with a little experimentation, has helped achieve an increase of up to 30% on key metrics like bounce rate.

The way you present the information on your website will help establish your brand image. If you can align that image with the expectations of your users then you’re already winning the battle to boost conversions.


Online content is not just written. Content can be made to stand out with the smart use of images and colors, but the next (or more accurately, current) big thing is video.

Due to current web design trends, Cisco predicts that as early as next year, video content will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic, and video on demand will have almost trebled. Video is a peerless medium when it comes to reach. Youtube alone receives over a billion users every month.

Consumer habits are already favoring video content because it’s a great medium for communicating large amounts of information in a short amount of time. It’s more engaging than other content types, can give your brand a face, and is better at displaying the tone of your business.

It can be a daunting task to define the public image of your brand through video, but if done well it helps to build trust and boost conversion.

Keep it simple

When it comes to web design and UX trends there’s one simple, overriding rule: Keep it simple.

Good user experience is not about providing everything on one page. It’s about simplifying the customer journey and not bombarding users with too much information.

The tips in this article will help you improve your UX, but if you ever find yourself confused and not knowing what to do, follow the example set by the jam study and simplify everything you’re offering.

How to Combat Form Abandonment In Online Financial Services

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Forms are crucial to the success of your online finance site. Follow these smart tips and you’ll reduce form abandonment and increase conversions on your financial service site.

Digital transformation has changed everything. From the way brands communicate with customers, to onboarding new leads and advertising their products and services. But for financial institutions, there’s one element of the onboarding process which will never change.

Your visitors need to fill in a form.

For years banking institutions and financial businesses have implemented forms. They’re needed to apply for loans, mortgages and new accounts. And despite the shift to digital channels these forms are still long, complicated affairs most consumers dread filling in.

Digital transformation has done little to change the way financial institutions operate. For many financial brands, it’s still business as usual, the only noticeable difference is in the way their application forms and financial advice is delivered.

And this is a potential problem.

Abandonment is a crippling problem

The digital revolution has turned online shopping into a buyer’s market.

The growing availability and selection of services, coupled with a wealth of information has created a consumer belief products and services can be found for cheaper or through a swifter process elsewhere.

It’s a shift which has changed the way people interact with online businesses.

Customers are quick to abandon their purchases even after completing 90% of their purchase journey. The Baymard Institute puts the percentage of shopping carts that are abandoned at just over 68%.

And the number of people who abandon their forms is equally as shocking.

Whilst there’s no definitive study on form abandonment in the financial sector various case studies corroborate the statistics that around 60% – 70% of users will abandon their form before seeing it through to completion.

For an industry that relies on the completion of forms to onboard leads and assesses their suitability, this presents a huge problem.

Financial institutions have enough to contend with now that tech firms are encroaching on their territory. You can’t afford to overlook the one important area of your business that is paramount in growing your lead database.

You need to optimise the forms your business depends on so that you reduce the abandonment rate and increase the number of leads you’re capturing. The question is, what steps can you take to ensure that more of your leads are completing their forms?

Keep it simple

This is the golden rule for opt-in forms of any format.

You need to keep them as simple as possible.

Even reducing the form fields by one or two fields can help bring a healthy increase in conversions. Neil Patel of studied the effect of form fields on conversions and discovered three fields converts at a rate 10% higher than a form with six fields.

Quick sprout form image

The above is of course based on businesses which don’t require as much information as a financial institution. However, the point still stands. The simpler your form, the more people will see it through to completion.

When things become too much like hard work, your prospect will abandon the effort. They’ll move to a competitor who has optimised the prices so it can be completed in a fraction of the time.

You need to examine your forms in detail and ask how you can minimise the form to increase conversions yet still get enough information to accurately segment, advise, and sell to them.

It’s a difficult task, however, with a little creative thinking it’s definitely possible. For example, you could:

  1. Ask for the basic minimum information (name, email/phone number, a reason for contact) to secure the lead before pursuing further information through an automated email sequence or phone call.
  2. Establish specific landing pages to help you segment the people who sign up via that page. You could run different automated email sequences for sign-ups from each page to learn more about them over time whilst qualifying them as a good lead
  3. Offer a gamification element to the application to hold user interest and get them to finish.

The first consideration you should have when creating an opt-in form is whether every field is absolutely necessary. Your goal with an opt-in form is to secure key contact details. If there are fields that aren’t going to help you do that, then get rid of them.

Exit-intent overlays

Sometimes even the most highly optimised forms will still fail.

You’ll see users begin to fill things out only to abandon the form at the last minute for reasons no-one can discern. In these situations, you can either let the lead leave and chalk it up as a loss, or you can make one last-ditch attempt to get them to finish what they started and hand over their valuable contact details.

Exit intent overlays have proved to be successful in all fields of online commerce business. We’ve seen great results implementing them for clients including M&S and Domino’s Pizza garnering such results as a 99:1 ROI. However, when discussing exit intent most marketers immediately think that they’re only useful for traditional retail stores, which simply isn’t true.

Sure, that’s the area where they’ve been most widely used, but there are lots of examples of financial institutions that have implemented them successfully to drive higher sign-ups and conversions.

After introducing exit intent overlays, top UK travel insurer Staysure saw some excellent results. During a 6 week sample period, a third of visitors abandoning the quote process chose to engage with an overlay. One in five of these visitors, who would otherwise have left the site, went on to complete the quote process.


When you’re implementing your exit intent overlay there are a few key considerations that need to be made. You need to ensure:

  1. You have the timing right. Your exit intent overlay should only display once a user is exhibiting signs of exiting the site.
  2. The copy in the overlay is compelling or includes a “too good to pass up” offer
  3. Your overlay leads to a smart automation campaign to get the most out of the details you capture

Embrace your mobile strategy

Mobile devices have become the primary browsing device for online consumers.

The convenience they offer has been embraced by consumers across the globe with 30% of all online transactions now completed on mobile. Unfortunately, mobile is one area where financial institutions are seriously lagging behind the competition.

Very few financial institutions have a comprehensive mobile strategy established. They don’t have a useful app, haven’t optimised a mobile-specific site and don’t facilitate cross-device journeys. With such little focus placed onto mobile devices, it’s no wonder financial forms are often more confusing when viewed on anything but a desktop.

Although they only make up a very small element of your wider optimisation strategy should take the time to fully test different variations of your forms. It’s by no means a comprehensive list, however, the below are a few key considerations you need to make when optimising your forms for mobile devices.

  1. Enlarge entry fields and clickable elements to allow users to easily select and enter text on the smaller display
  2. Disable auto correct as it can cause issues with certain words and potentially derail an otherwise smooth experience
  3. Make certain elements like phone numbers or email addresses clickable to save the consumer time
  4. Reduce address entry to one field by implementing an address autofill
  5. Use a number pad for number entry (not the generic keyboard)

More and more users will be using mobile to check out your business and the products you offer. Mobile optimisation is no longer something that’s nice to have, it’s a necessity for the success of modern businesses.

Of course, the problem is that a mobile optimisation strategy is an incredibly involved process. A comprehensive strategy should take everything from customer usage and cross-device habits to basic copy changes and user experience issues into consideration.

If you think your mobile optimisation strategy could do with a little pick me up, be sure to check out our article on cross-device journeys and optimising for the modern user.

Optimise your copy

If we’re being honest, no-one relishes the idea of applying for a loan. If we’re being really honest, most people would like to avoid talking to the bank at all. Conversations and applications with a bank are often long, laborious processes associated with negative feelings. Consumers don’t think of the potential of what they could do if successful with their application and instead choose to worry over the implications if they’re rejected.

You’ve got to be very tactful in your approach when writing for online audiences. Choose the wrong word in your compelling sales pitch and it could be the difference between exciting or terrifying a customer. It’s something Content Verve put to the test when attempting to increase conversions and form completions.

They discovered that even when using negative words in a positive manner, consumers reacted negatively. In the below form you can see how they included the mention that they will never spam their customers. It’s a pretty apparent benefit to most of us. However, the simple mention of spam lowered overall completion rates by nearly 19%. Content Verve theorises that this could be because the term spam brings negative connotations and thus lowers the image of the brand in the mind of the consumer.

Content Verve

Every piece of copy in your forms needs to be carefully chosen. Finance has the added misfortune of working with the one commodity most users are extremely protective over – money. You can’t afford to make mistakes in any area of your copy.

As a general rule, you should try to ensure that all copy, from form fields to privacy statements and even your primary CTAs are benefit focused. That means making no mention of words with negative connotations like order, purchase, repayments etc but instead focusing on words that the consumer wants to hear such as approved and accepted.

Focus on what they’re going to get and what they can do with it when they do. It’s a simple change intact which can make the world of difference when convincing consumers to take a chance.

Sort your forms out

Look, we know that optimising forms isn’t a sexy aspect to digital marketing. You want to be focusing on the cool things like testing awesome headlines, using killer images and creating kick-ass CTAs.

And that’s all an amazing use of your time. However, you can’t overlook your forms. Your form is the last hurdle to gaining a lead’s contact details. All that hard work you put into optimising the other elements of your site will be worthless if it unravels at the final step.

You’ll have to run various tests on your forms to see exactly what will work best, but as a general start to get you going in the right direction just make sure that your forms hit the below four goals:

  1. They’re as long as they need to be and no longer
  2. They’re optimised for mobile devices
  3. They’re no mention of words with a negative connotation
  4. You have some form of backup, most likely an exit intent overlay that prompts them to finish what they started

Once you have these four elements in place you should see a healthy rise incompletions and you’ll have the security to then start accurately testing variables to increase your lead capture and form completion even more.

How to Improve Customer Experience and Increase Brand Loyalty As an Online Retailer

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In online retail, engendering loyalty leads to repeat purchases and recurring revenue – try these tips to improve customer experience and increase brand loyalty.

There’s a huge problem with modern marketing, a problem we’ve termed Jurassic Park marketing.

The internet is full of awesome advice and information on how to increase your signups, conversions and revenue. And it’s all incredibly exciting for marketing managers. You’ll read an article or e-book outlining how to generate more sales and your first questions will be something along the lines of:

Can I implement this in my business?
How can I make this work for me?
Can this increase my revenue?

Business owners, in their quest to grow their brand, are so preoccupied with whether they could, that they don’t stop to consider if they should. Sure, that other internet marketer increased engagement using Snapchat and yes, you could technically implement a similar strategy for your brand.

But should you? Will your consumer base appreciate it or will it just pass them by? For each piece of advice you read, ask yourself how it will impact your overall customer experience.


Because modern businesses live or die on their reputations. Poor customer experience is enough to turn customers away from you and straight into the shopping carts of your closest rival. Conversions are always going to be a paramount point of focus for online businesses. However, focusing on conversions alone is a very shortsighted strategy. Consider the long-term and how your campaigns affect customer feeling and lifetime customer value.

Why customer experience is so important

It’s strange that customer experience is overlooked by online brands, especially considering the number of studies that continue to highlight the importance of customer experience in the lifelong health of your business.

For example:

  1. Customer acquisition costs five times more than retention. Keeping customers happy with good service keeps them coming back which drastically cuts down on your overall marketing spend.
  2. 89% of customers have stopped shopping with a brand due to poor customer experience.
  3. Service-related problems cause customers to purchase from a competitor four times more than price-related problems.
  4. A 5% reduction in customer abandonment rate can increase profitability by between 25 and 125%.
  5. Companies can experience a 30% increase in the value of their business by improving retention rates by 10%.
  6. Customer experience is predicted to overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020.

Customer experience isn’t just about presenting a favourable image of your brand. It’s a key element in keeping your customers happy.

Happy customers are one of the most profitable commodities for any business.

Happy customers bring in more referrals, spend more money on each order and leave great reviews which are key in convincing new customers to take a chance on your brand. The question every marketer needs to answer is what can they do with their business to improve customer experience and create a loyal following who are more than happy to refer their friends.

First things first: Know your customers and your shortcomings

As with any marketing campaign, the first step should be research. Every business is different. We could list 100 tactics for you to employ in this piece but until you know exactly how to apply them to your business they’re going to be absolutely useless.

Even if you think that your company is currently offering the best customer experience and experience around you shouldn’t skip this step. According to Bain and Co, 80% of companies believe they offer a superior customer experience, but only 8% of their consumers agree.

So how can you reduce the gap in expectation and reality? According to Gartner, the brands with the most successful customer experience ratings are those who are actively reaching out to customers to see how they feel. So that’s what you need to do.

Before you take any optimisation steps you need to have a full understanding of the shortcomings of your brand in the eyes of your target market. Quiz your audience with surveys and questionnaires and mine their correspondence to find the answers to three important questions:

  1. Are customer expectations being met?
  2. Would your current customers recommend you to their friends?
  3. What’s your audience’s’ opinion on the purchasing process you have in place?

Couple each of these questions with the ever useful “why?” and you should have a great starting point on where to improve your service.

For example:

Was the purchasing process easy?



Because I couldn’t find a product for my needs and there was no help offered.

You immediately know whether the customer is happy with the service they’re receiving and why. You can use a free survey service or even implement a post-purchase automated email campaign to gather useful feedback you can use to improve your business, service and processes.

If however, you don’t have the ability to send a survey and reach out to individual users you can turn to public forums. Thanks to social media, review sites and the interconnected nature of modern consumerism customers are extremely quick to voice their complaints online.

Whilst airing your dirty laundry in public isn’t advisable, it does offer a wealth of information on how you can improve your customer service. In the planning phase for your next customer service campaign be sure to look through:

  1. Any complaint/praise emails your customer service department has received
  2. Any complaint tweets, Facebook messages etc pertaining to your business
  3. Third party review sites like Trustpilot, Amazon etc

Trawl through as much customer data as you can to find what aspects of the service your previous customers haven’t been happy with. Identifying the problems is more than half the battle in improving your customer experience.

Problems will occur, you just need to respond to them quickly

No business has a 100% customer success record. Something somewhere will go wrong sooner or later. And as soon as it does, you can be sure that affected customers will take to as many public channels as possible to voice their opinions.

This is problematic for two primary reasons. First and foremost, it’s a complaint against you. That customer’s opinion of your brand has been damaged and, if the problem is severe enough, they could end up leaving your brand. The second issue is your poor service has now been brought to the attention of the world. All those prospective future customers could see the complaint and use it as justification not to purchase from you.

You’ve got to nip these problems in the bud. You can’t leave them be and hope they’ll sort themselves out. Check the Twitter account of any major brand and you’ll notice how they respond to any complaint within a few hours.

Lancôme Twitter
An example from Lancome getting back to a customer ASAP.

The user doesn’t want the complaint to be solved right there on the spot. They just want to be heard. They want you to take their complaint seriously and acknowledge your service hasn’t been what they expected.

The general best practice for public complaints is to get the customer to take the conversation to a private channel. Once there you can sort out the problem on an individual basis and offer a more focused resolution service.

Once the problem has been solved you should also implement a post care automation which aims to achieve two things:

  1. A better understanding of how they found your customer service procedure
  2. A potential amendment to the initial bad review

Segment and personalize

Consumers want to feel valued. They don’t want to feel like just another face in the crowd. If you’re taking a generic approach to your marketing then your customers will feel undervalued. They’re not going to value what you have to say to them because mass email blasts show them that you don’t value them or their business.

Studies have shown that 68% of customers will stop doing business with a brand because they feel like the company was indifferent towards them. You need to show your customers that you value them, not just as a paying customer, but as an individual.

At the very basic level, your personalization should include custom first names and other basic merge tags in email correspondence. However, you need to take it further. You need to segment your audience by their interest so you can accurately market the goods and services most appropriate to their needs.

Track user behaviour and segment your audience based on the actions they take, the products they purchase and the items they show interest in. By doing so you can provide recommendations and advice based on their individual needs. Your consumers will no longer feel like just another face in the crowd and will resonate better with the materials you send to them.

Streamline the customer experience

The modern consumer is impatient. They want a quick, easy and streamlined process to find their perfect product. With average attention spans now sitting at a paltry 8.25 seconds, you can’t afford to confuse your customers with huge product ranges, complex support procedures or confusing recommendations.

You need to make sure you’re providing a customer-centric service. One which allows consumers to achieve what they want in the shortest time possible and with minimal hassle. To help achieve this, consider implementing a few of the below. A guided selling solution is a great way for you to help customers quickly and easily find the perfect product for them. Often consumers won’t understand confusing technical specs of products like cameras, televisions or other electronic goods.

Guided selling asks questions based on the consumer’s needs to recommend the best product for them. It’s a quick, easy solution which helps consumers find the perfect product and thus cuts down on the likelihood of returns or complaints from a bad purchase.

Here’s an example from Canon and their guided selling lens selector: 

Canon lens selector

Guided selling will help consumers navigate large, confusing product ranges, but what should you do to answer their questions? Most sites implement a support@emailaddress or they simply add an FAQ section to the site. These are average solutions at best. They’re not quick and, more often than not, your consumer will have moved on to another retailer before they get their response or answer form you.

An onsite chat function enables consumers to have their product or service questions answered at any time of day and eMarketer found that 63% of customers were more likely to return to a website that offers live chat. There are a few different ways to implement a chat function on site:

  • Sony redirects you to a specific chat page for the opening of tickets and to connect you to a real person who will walk you through a potential solution.Sony support
  • Nike opens a separate page on your browser so you can continue to peruse the store.
Nike support

In a similar move, other sites use corner highlights in the bottom corner to highlight their chat service – this unobtrusive method doesn’t cause any interruption to the customer experience.

When it comes to streamlining the customer journey most marketers will immediately jump to automation as the answer. Automation is great for certain aspects of your marketing strategy, however, when it comes to your customer experience you need to have real-time information and advice from a real person.

The convergence of marketing and service

We’ve entered an interconnected digital era where marketing and service have combined. Marketing no longer focuses on simply producing compelling sales messages, witty slogans or persuasive ads. There’s a huge overlap with the customer experience world. For your brand to be successful you need to focus on how you can amend your marketing practices to better align with customer expectation and streamline the customer journey.

They sound very un-service like, but when consumers enjoy using your site and the purchase journey with your brand is easy it leaves a favorable impression which leads to repeat sales and more referrals. Take a look at your marketing strategy and ask if you could implement any of the above methods to improve your customer experience and offer a better, more streamlined service.

Financial Marketing: 5 Ways You Can Build Consumer Trust

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When it comes to marketing financial services, trust is a key factor in customers’ decision-making process – here are 5 ways to build consumer trust levels online.

In 2007 the financial market crashed, leaving a huge dent in consumer trust that has never been fully recovered.

Even today,  years after the crash, any business even remotely associated with finance is still viewed with a liberal amount of skepticism and distrust from consumers.

At the same time, advances in technology and an appetite for an alternative to traditional financial services (perhaps also fuelled in part by this lack of consumer trust) has given rise to a fintech revolution.

New brands providing innovative models, alongside a focus on customer experience, have disrupted the finance industry, meaning established brands have had to raise their game to keep up.

The rise in choice within financial services that has resulted from this means that winning back consumer trust is now the key battleground for any financial services brand operating today.

Modern businesses live or die on their reputation. They depend on high levels of trust from their consumers to effectively sell their products and build a loyal following. If you can’t build that consumer trust you’ll lose your client base to competitors who provide a more consumer-centric service.

And it’s this trust that is missing from financial institutions, especially when it comes to online.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. There has been an improvement since 2012. The Edelman Trust Barometer reports the financial industry trust ratings as 8% higher now than in 2012.

Trust in financial services

However progress has been slow, and part of this is due to the landscape evolving, meaning getting the online customer experience right is now paramount for financial services brands seeing to win back consumer trust.

Building consumer trust online: the changing face of modern business

The way businesses interact with their consumers has changed. Personal relationships and improving customer experience are now the primary driving force in attracting customers and increasing sales.

Thanks to technological developments businesses are now able to facilitate a better consumer experience in myriad forms.

However, financial institutions have been too slow on the uptake.

They’ve not adequately adapted their marketing strategies to respond to the new digital landscape. The lack of adoption has left a gap in the market, a gap which has been filled by highly trusted tech companies, and a growing crop of fintech upstarts who are building innovative digital experiences and raising consumer expectations.

Financial institutions no longer just have to worry about competing with one another. They’ve also got to compete with established technology companies expanding into the financial sector such as Google, Square and Stripe.

On top of that, there is the explosion of disruptors across the financial sector, gaining millions in investments. In the retail banking space with Monzo and Starling, in insurance with the likes of Root Insurance, investments with Nutmeg and Wealthify, and mortgages with Habito.

Marketing financial services: the rise of challenger banks

These companies have capitalized on the opportunities missed by financial institutions and are seeing rapid growth and incredible revenue numbers.

For financial services to compete in the coming years there needs to be a bigger effort than simply reforming a few outdated and damaging business practices.

There needs to be innovation, or more specifically, an embracing of digital transformation. You need to buck the habit of slow adoption and jump head first into the digital era if you have any chance of competing with the tech companies that are slowly pulling digital dependant millennials away from your organization.

The key to securing the future of financial institutions

In short, Millennials are the key to your future. They’ve now overtaken Gen X as the largest generation in the workforce and aren’t far off becoming dominant consumer market and lifeblood of businesses in every industry.

Unfortunately, millennials are less trusting than any other generation.

Millennials also believe:

  • The way we pay for and organize our finance will be extremely different in five years time
  • Banks offer nothing different or of note compared to their competitors
  • Startups are positioned to overhaul finance
  • Two-thirds are more excited for financial options from tech companies like Google than from their nationwide bank

It all paints a very bleak future for financial institutions if nothing is done to amend their current practices and build more consumer trust online.

For financial institutions to survive they need to adopt a digital-first mindset and tackle their two biggest challenges. Customer acquisition and consumer experience.

Financial institutions won’t be able to rebuild the consumer trust that has eroded overnight. However, by adopting the below practices you’ll set yourself on the road to recovery and will set the foundation for a future of trusting, loyal fans and customers.

The basic steps to building consumer trust online

Thanks to highly developed tech the basic steps to building trust in your target audience isn’t as tough as many think.

At the very basic level it comes down to five key areas:

  • Understanding millennial preferences
  • Be attentive and available
  • Be relevant
  • Be transparent
  • Add a human element

When summarised like this it all seems quite simple. However, the difficulty lies in knowing the exact steps you should be taking to combat shortcomings in each individual area.

The below list is a rundown not only of what the best actions to take are but also the tactics that have been successfully implemented by businesses to build consumer trust online.

Understanding millennial shopping preferences

Millennials are the generation of DIY consumers. In fact, nearly 75% of millennial consumers prefer to solve their customer service issues on their own.

It presents an interesting problem for modern businesses. Technology has removed the need for human gatekeepers and you need to closely examine your business to identify which areas require a customer service agent and which would be better off using an automated DIY system.

Whilst automating DIY self-service is relatively simple for many eCommerce businesses, the complexity of products offered by financial institutions makes it a more difficult task to tackle. Whilst by no means a comprehensive list, the below are a few ideas for aligning your business practices with the modern millennial DIY mindset.

  • Utilize guided selling tech to provide advice and recommendations on loans, cards, mortgages, etc
  • Improve mobile apps to allow easier access to financial statements and increased connectivity for payment or money transfers. A great example of a tech company that’s filled the instant digital payment gap is Venmo, an app that permits immediate payments to friends connected through Facebook.
  • Use tech to issue notifications of payments, bills, etc.
  • Make use of existing tech to improve security. Mobile phone fingerprint and vocal checks could all be used to quickly cut time spent talking to a customer service representative.

Technological developments have already presented a plethora of opportunities for businesses to facilitate the millennial need for self-service. Look at what’s already available and can be turned to your benefit to not only along with the millennial mindset but to also reduce your operating costs.

Be attentive and available

This is the basis of any good trust building customer service strategy. When customers have a question, query, or problem you need to respond to them in the shortest time possible.

In days gone by that would give you a few days to sort through the problems and come back with a definitive answer. However, thanks to the advent and popularisation of social media you no longer have any real breathing room with this.

12% of consumers will use social media to complain. Not a huge percentage but a huge increase on the 3% who used SM to complain 2 years ago. Social media as a complaint and consumer communication tool is on the rise and you need to have an individual in place that’s ready, willing and able to offer advice to your customers

Your social media representative doesn’t need to immediately solve the problem. All they need to do is acknowledge the customer, inform them what’s happening with their query and potentially forward them to the right department.

Virgin Media does a good job with this on their official Twitter account, often responding in between one and three hours.

However, being attentive doesn’t just begin and end with putting out fires. You should also be utilizing smart automation and various other technologies to answer questions before a customer feels the need to complain in a public forum.

You could:

  • Use a phone app to offer updates on service outages or improvements
  • Implement an automated email sequence to explain the benefits, terms of use or how to get the most out of a recent purchase or product
  • Couple your automated emails with your Guided Selling solution to present a fully self serve service
  • Implement smart FAQs and link them to knowledge databases to allow users to quickly problem solve on their own

Yes, modern consumers want to handle their problems on their own. But they also need to know that you’re there should things go wrong for them and they encounter a problem they are unable to fix.

Stay relevant

Building consumer trust is a multifaceted task.

You’ve not only got to pander to your consumers’ desires but also have to demonstrate that you are, without doubt, the number one knowledgeable source of information and advice in your industry.

People trust those in the know. They want the businesses they frequent to know the industry inside out so they can offer the kind of advice that makes a difference in the consumer’s lives.

Modern consumers rely on trusted content to make purchase decisions five times more today than they did five years ago.

And this is an area many financial institutions fall short in. There’s very little in the way of useful, trust building content in financial services.

Sure, there’s a good deal of news and yes, for a segment of your audience that news might be enough. But the majority of your audience doesn’t know how the latest legislative change on loan agreements affects them as an individual.

Instead of simply reporting the latest financial news, you need to create engaging, accessible content that the majority of your user base (the non-experts) will understand and benefit from.

That content could take the form of blog posts, free white papers, an eBook or even a short video.

By laying out in no uncertain terms how industry developments will affect individual users you’ll separate your business as one of the few who offers relevant, useful information to their users at no extra charge which is one of the foundations for modern business success.

With some smart repurposing, you could also use the same content as lead generation or lead nurture content. For instance:

  • Push content to relevant user segments via email or app notifications
  • Email gate a constantly updated eBook on everything mortgage seekers need to know about current mortgage legislation and offer it in an on-site overlay

Don’t take the well-traveled path of simply reporting what happened. Discover how recent developments affect your users and offer free advice on how it will change their service, what they can do about it and the long term implications.

Achieve and maintain transparency

One of the largest reasons few trust financial institutions is the perceived lack of transparency. Very few truly understand what it is most financial institutions do. It’s this uncertainty that leads to distress.

You have to be transparent at every touch point for your consumers to ever have any hope of trusting you again.

Of course, simply stating you’re a trustworthy business isn’t going to be enough. You need to take actions that demonstrate your trustworthiness and allow consumers to really understand not only what it is you do, but what you have done, what you plan to do and how your efforts have been received.

You can achieve this through:

  • Following Mark Murray’s, CMO of BT Financial, advice and opening your business to public reviews. Social proof is one of the greatest trust builders around as users trust their peers over industry pros.
  • Using real people wherever possible in marketing and messaging
  • Listening to your consumer base with surveys and questionnaires and releasing the full results
  • Perhaps offering periodic updates through blog posts or email content. This will let users know what you plan, what your business is working on and, if completed with the correct angle could be used as extra marketing material for your business. Tech companies are pretty good at this as many, like the Moz Dev Blog below, offer a development blog where they simply list everything that they plan on achieving.

Stay relevant and offer useful information to your consumers and they’ll not only trust the advice you provide but by extension your business and the products and services you offer.

Include a human element

It’s hard to trust a faceless corporation. Millennials prefer a more human, personalized element to their business transactions.

They don’t want to feel like just another faceless member of the crowd being pitched to. They want to foster a relationship and exploit the human side of business transactions as demonstrated through the below statistics.

  • 68% of consumers base their decision to open an email on whether it’s from a familiar name or generic address.
  • 20% of customers are willing to pay a 20% premium for personalized product recommendations
  • Nearly three-fourths (74%) of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content (e.g. offers, ads, promotions) appears that has nothing to do with their interests.

The above stats show that your consumers want a more personalized relationship with your brand. If you want to build consumer trust you need to align your business practices with their desires.

Thankfully with new marketing tech this isn’t as difficult as you might think. If you can follow the below steps you should be on the way to providing the personalized, relationship building service your consumers need.

  • Personalize all emails from everything including name to purchasing preferences and browsing habits
  • Send emails from a named address, not from a generic business email address
  • Personalize overlays and other marketing materials based on consumer actions

Rebuilding trust rests on two key actions

Being ethical and transparent.

If we’re simplifying it to the most basic level, that’s all it takes.

Thanks to our interconnected world consumers now feel more a part of the brands they frequent than ever before. With the closer link comes increased importance for ethical business practices.

Millennials associate with the brands they frequent. They don’t want to offer their custom to businesses and brands that employ anything even slightly related to underhanded tactics because it also reflects poorly on them as a consumer.

For brands to build consumer trust they first and foremost need to eradicate any underhanded tactics that may have survived the reformation following the

Once those tactics have been rectified, financial institutions need to open their doors to their customers. To allow a more honest and open view of their company and its inner workings.

If financial institutions can follow these two basic guidelines of ethical practice and bringing their consumers in, they should soon see an upturn in the level of trust their consumers have in them.

How to Increase Conversions on Underperforming Bookings in Online Travel

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Online travel sites will always have some underperforming bookings – here are a few simple ways to remedy the problem and increase your conversions.

The travel industry continues to evolve at warp speed.

Scrambling to keep up with the always on consumers whose behaviours change as quickly as the year’s hottest destination.

If you’re reading this, you’re already one step ahead – aware that optimising your site is key in the struggle to keep up in the race to stay relevant for the future of travel.

But amongst all the rapid developments, online travel operators still face problems that have been around since commercial travel began. Namely, how can you increase sales on low performing routes or products?

From flights to cruises and hotels to trains, you are always going to have less popular bookings – but how can you turn these low performing routes and bookings around?

Unless you’ve got the pricing entirely wrong, or the inventory simply isn’t worthwhile, there’s no quick fix.

But before you go and cut the route or slash your margins with wholesale discounts, there are a few methods for you to trial and test.

By the end of this blog we’ll do our best to arm you with these techniques – helping you to boost flagging conversions on those low performing bookings.

First up we’ll look at ways to increase the visibility of your bookings, before looking at a few ways to help increase conversions.

Increase your booking’s visibility (to the right people!)

Excuse the exclamation mark, but this clear fix is often overlooked.

Often we see particular routes, packages and bookings underperforming because they’re simply not visible enough.

Even if you’re using the tactics we’ll go into later – if no one sees your clever marketing that’s designed to boost your booking you have no chance of improving it’s performance.

So, first we’ll look at the smart ways we’ve found effective to increase the visibility of your underperforming bookings.

Make space on your homepage

This one is obvious enough. Display the booking or route where your visitors are most likely to see it – for example, your homepage.

Ryanair signpost their deals nicely – this banner is an example of simply putting the product straight in front of the customer.

Ryanair’s deal will change depending on the location or preference of the browser, but the principle is clear – immediately place the product you want to push in the forefront of your visitor’s mind.

Display in trending/recommended sections

A trending or recommended section, as featured on Mr and Mrs Smith’s homepage, is another place to position your bookings that are receiving little traffic.

These groupings of bookings are guaranteed more exposure due to their positioning and, just by placing a hotel or destination into a select group you increase its desirability.

You can also get more eyes on your low performing booking by recommending it on the products page when people search other similar products.

As your visitor exits

Despite your best efforts, sometimes your visitor will still miss your booking while browsing your site. Alternatively, they may have already seen the product and forgotten it.

At times like this, a message on exit can be a great way to target your visitor – giving you another chance to convert and increasing awareness of the route.

You don’t want to go giving every customer an exit-intent overlay. However, by targeting the right visitors with personalised, timely offers you’ll see an uplift in both awareness and conversions.

Perhaps you have a specific country with below average interest for the season – for arguments sake let’s say your hotels in Menorca are receiving a low level of visits.

Meanwhile you’ve got a higher number of visitors browsing similar mediterranean destinations – Ibiza, Majorca or maybe the Greek Islands.

You could target visitors exhibiting this behaviour and if they go to leave after an unsuccessful search, use an overlay asking whether they’ve considered Menorca.

The overlay could push an incentive (with urgency messaging):

“Can’t find a good deal in the Mediterranean? We’ve got 10% off Menorca hotel bookings for 24 hours only”

Some social proof:

“We have 90 hotels in Menorca within your budget with over 9/10 customer ratings”

Or just some relevant content:

“We noticed you’re keen to visit the med. Have you considered Menorca? Check out our guide to the Menorca’s 216 km of coastline here.”

This messaging and the delivery of the deal could, of course, be tweaked and targeted to specific bookings or to trigger for varying reasons. But the principle remains the same – get the product in front of more (of the right) visitors.

Notifications as they browse

You can also inspire conversion as your user browses your products. The simplest way to do this is using Notifications.

If you’re an hotelier, for example, a visitor who has checked out a couple hotels in a city could be informed of one of your less browsed but similar hotels in a subtle Notification…“ you may also be interested in.”

Or you can use the highlights to incite urgency and give social proof, both of which will help convince your visitor they’re onto a good deal.


Email is a key channel to raise awareness of any product and the same rings true for underperforming routes.

It also offers you a double threat: you can use both traditional email marketing plus email remarketing to give your conversions a boost.

The below Ryanair email is an example of how you can push specific bookings via an email blast. This email uses an incentive, with the 20% discount, as well as inspiring urgency by making the offer for a limited period.

The copy also then nicely sells the little-known destination by comparing it to one the recipient is likely to have heard of ‘Visit the Vienna of Romania’. The email is rounded off with some targeted content on why you’d want to visit the particular booking: ‘5 Reasons to Visit Timisoara.’

This effective trio of incentives, urgency and relevant content is the travel equivalent of fat, protein and carbs found in the most enticing meals. Use it at your will to induce action on your low performing routes.

Email remarketing

As well as using traditional email marketing, if you’re receiving a high level of abandonment from certain bookings, email remarketing is an effective way to re-engage customers.

You can tie your email remarketing in with an exit-intent overlay – getting your visitor’s details as they abandon and then using your email to follow up with either a single email or a drip campaign based on their onsite behaviour.

You can even bring this interaction full circle by welcoming them back from the email CTA to your site with a tailored overlay taking them to the appropriate booking.

Alternatively, if the visitor has already started the booking and abandoned, they may just need a nudge or the opportunity to complete at a later date. By sending them the details of their booking so far it makes the likelihood they’ll come back and convert later far higher.

By using a mixture of reminders, incentives, urgency, social proof and relevant content you may just be able to incite that purchase in a follow up email.

Increasing visibility – segment and personalise for success

The key to all these methods of raising visibility is being able to segment your data so you can personalise your messaging and target the right users.

Although you want to get your low performing bookings in front of visitors – the messaging and content still needs to be relevant so as not to be detrimental to your customer experience.

Now that we’ve seen a few ways to get onsite visitors to see your low performing bookings, let’s look at some more specific ways to increase their conversion.

Facilitate cross-device conversions

We have a whole blog on the importance of embracing cross-device and mobile in travel, which is well worth a read for a more detailed rundown on the subject.

But we couldn’t mention mobile and facilitating cross-device if only to frame the rest of the approaches in the blog – especially when travel is well on it’s way to becoming mobile first.

Euromonitor research states that by 2017 over 30% of online travel bookings by value will be made on mobile devices.

As a result, for your low performing bookings (and all bookings really) making sure your mobile offering is up to speed is vital if you don’t want to miss out on a swathe of opportunities.

Facilitating a link between mobile and other devices is a key part of this. Of course, the ideal is to convert mobile visitors then and there. But we all know visitors will research travel purchases first and mobile is quickly becoming the prefered way of doing this.

By linking mobile with other devices, you have more opportunities to convert your user.

For example, you can collect your user’s email address on mobile enabling you to email them later with content or offers based on their behaviour.

This kind of link creates a coherent journey for your customer and increases your chances of boosting conversions on all your routes.

Use your ancillaries as incentives

Ancillaries, or extras as the rest of the world calls them, are an important part of the travel mix.

Everybody uses them and whether it’s a free glass of champagne or a discount on car hire – these supplements can make or break a conversion.

Secret Escapes use them regularly in their hotel listings (and the body copy when you click through). They position ancillaries as additional inclusive options – such as flights for the Madeira holiday below – increasing the perceived value of the booking.

Again, the below Secret Escapes listing uses inclusive extras as a large part of the sell. Realistically breakfast and spa access won’t be eating into margins but they’re appealing add-ons to the customer.

Extras could come in a variety of forms, from express boarding to cheap upgrades on certain routes or onboard credit – just remember to make sure once you’ve committed to these deals, to make them visible, as P&O have done below.

Adding inclusive supplements is a great way to boost your conversions on poorly performing bookings without having to discount too much or damage margins.

Inspire urgency to increase conversion

We’ve already mentioned urgency a couple of times, but it’s worth looking at in a little more detail as a way to boost poorly performing bookings.

Travel and urgency messaging go hand in hand. The idea of missing out – or paying more – for a train, flight or hotel because we’ve put it off for a couple of days is a powerful motivator.

All the large Online Travel Agencies use urgency messaging, but was amongst the first and they have it down to a fine art.

They play on the fear of missing out by highlighting the speed the remaining stock is selling out and give an extra push by showing you how many other people are also looking at that product.

By pairing the current interest and quickly depleting remaining stock you can create a highly motivating scarcity element – even on bookings that are perceived to be less desirable.

The above example also emphasises the value of ‘today’s deal’, playing on your worries that this could change if you leave it for another day. As we saw earlier in the Ryanair email example, this can also be replicated in your emails with limited time period deals/flash sales.

If you’re lacking the resources to do produce real-time urgency messaging, there are more simplistic ways to inspire urgency. For example, if you know your best value prices are 6 weeks out from booking and your visitor is browsing during this period – tell them that. They’re unlikely to want to miss out.

You could use any of the methods we outlined earlier – from overlays to emails – to make this messaging visible.

Social proof

In the urgency section above we already saw elements of social proof on the example: ‘just booked’ and ‘9 people are interested in this hotel now.’

This concept works in the same way as if there’s a queue for a restaurant we assume it’s probably better than the place that’s empty next door – if other people are interested we take it as proof it must be good.

As well as using this principle to show the activity around your booking, you can also use social proof in another way – reviews.

The success of sites like TripAdvisor show we’re suckers for a review, particularly in the travel sector.

If your underperforming booking actually has positive reviews then you can transform its fortunes by getting these reviews out there.

You can use customer’s feedback to market poorly performing bookings as hidden gems:
– Taking standout quotes from actual reviews, as done below by Travel Republic.

– Using review scores, eg. ‘90% of visitors rated this booking as excellent’ to back up your recommendations. 

Price reassurance messaging and flexibility

With your underperforming bookings, you want to give your customers every reason to convert – for example throwing in a few ancillaries to smooth the deal.

In a similar vein, by reassuring your visitors and offering them flexibility you can reduce the likelihood they’ll abandon their booking.

Using best price guarantees or hold the price deposits is a simple way to soothe your customers’ worries that the price could go down if they wait, or that they could get a better deal elsewhere. Here’s how British Airways give their customers a bit of breathing space to encourage conversion.

If you’ve managed to convince your visitor your product is a good deal, this kind of option can be the extra nudge they need to convert.

Similarly, the flexibility and convenience offered by deposit based schemes or long booking cancellation policies give your visitors an added layer of confidence when considering whether to purchase.

For bookings that are undersubscribed anyway, they’re well worth testing to see if they improve conversion.


Increasing your conversions on underperforming bookings all starts with visibility – from there on in you need to optimise individual bookings to persuade your visitors that they can’t resist clicking the book now button.

Each of the methods we’ve outlined has seen success on our clients’ travel sites. However, by no means will a one size fits all approach work. You need to tailor these methods to your site, continually testing until you unlock the campaigns that boost your underperforming bookings.

Why Travel Sites Must Embrace Mobile and Cross-Device to Satisfy Customers

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As travel site users’ behavior continues to evolve, we take a look at why travel – more so than any other industry – has to embrace mobile and cross-device optimization.

Who doesn’t love a good holiday?

The chance to kick back on the beach, sipping cocktails and getting a great tan. Or perhaps you prefer a winter holiday. A few hours every day spent on the piste, taking in the breathtaking views and clean mountain air.

Then there’s your adventure holidays. Jet skiing, mountain climbing, skydiving or any other number of physical pursuits.

That’s the amazing thing about holidays. They’re so personal.

Two people could go to the same resort and have vastly different experiences. No two holidays are alike.
But often, that level of personalisation isn’t apparent on many online travel stores.

The days of sitting down with your local travel agent and planning out your perfect escape are long gone. The travel industry has to face the facts that, like everyone else, more of your consumers are moving online.

It’s a shift which is causing numerous problems – primarily stemming from modern shoppers’ online shopping habits and the popularity of using multiple devices to complete a single purchase.

A potential customer might begin researching holiday destinations on their phone whilst on the bus. They’ll then look at hotels on their work desktop, only to continue by researching activities or sightseeing tours on their tablet that evening in bed.

According to eMarketer over 47% of digital travel research will at some point involve a mobile device. This number is set to increase to over 54% for next year and will continue to see steady growth over time.

emarketer travel statistics

This habit of jumping between devices makes it incredibly difficult for retailers to track individual users and offer the personalised service so closely associated with the travel industry.

However, this disjointed customer journey can be negated by taking a few smart steps towards implementing a cross-device strategy.

Focus on improving your mobile experience

In recent years there’s been a huge increase in mobile use resulting in mobile overtaking desktop as the primary device for online browsing.

mobile users statistics

As you’d expect, this has also caused an increase in the number of users who are shopping on mobile devices. While mobile conversions aren’t yet up to the level of their desktop counterparts, they are steadily increasing.

Statistics point to mobile soon catching up to and perhaps even overtaking desktop for conversions. For the travel industry specifically eConsultancy predicts that over 30% of travel bookings will be made on a mobile device by 2017.

The mobile market is not to be ignored. Your mobile campaign deserves as much attention as your desktop campaign. However, it’s also a completely different beast that requires a unique approach.

The basic rule for improving the mobile experience and conversions is to simplify every aspect of the customer journey. For instance:

  •  Simplify complicated form fields that could seem intimidatingly long on a small screen
  • Simplify the purchase journey
  • Understand the design differences between phone and tablet
  • Use large, easy to read text and images

Whilst simplification should form the basis of your mobile site and funnel design you should also consider the differing habits of mobile users. As mentioned above, conversions on mobile devices are on the rise. But there’s still a lot of studies that demonstrate the popularity of cross-device campaigns.

cross-device e-commerce infographic

Instead of relentlessly pursuing the purchase on mobile devices consider facilitating the cross-device experience. For example, include messaging that encourages hesitant visitors to save their bookings for later – enabling them to return and convert on another device.

We’re not advocating shunning mobile conversions, far from it, but you should have something in place that helps facilitate your customers’ growing cross-device habit.

Establish customer experiences that account for all cross-device journeys

Cross-device journeys are nearly always depicted in a linear fashion:
A user starts their journey on mobile before moving to desktop to complete the purchase.

However, this isn’t really how things work. Cross-device journeys can take myriad paths. Users will jump back and forth between devices. The above cited Criteo study shows us that users will use the device that’s most convenient for the action they want to take.

The linear path belief likely springs from the outdated information of mobile’s poor conversion rate. Because mobile historically converted at a lower rate, it wasn’t worth our attention. It was a starting point in the journey and unthinkable for anyone to convert on such small displays.

The smart marketer’s curse is to focus (often too heavily) on the metrics that directly impact our bottom lines. Conversions, revenue and sales.

Obviously conversions are great, and your bottom line is the most important metric to track. But in this hyperconnected age, businesses live or die on their reputations. A few bad customer experiences could lead to poor reviews that lose you future custom.

Customer experience is just as important as actual conversions and needs to be taken into consideration when optimising for cross-device customers.

You shouldn’t act on the now outdated advice ‘mobile doesn’t convert’ . Having a cross-device journey that pushes people toward desktop for conversion’s sake creates a bad customer experience. You’re forcing your customers to take an action they might not necessarily want to take.

Your cross-device campaign shouldn’t be linear. You should look at all options and paths and offer different services and experiences based on different start and end points of the journey. For instance:

  • Offer easy addition of boarding passes to mobile phones for those who complete their purchase on mobile devices (more than 50% of people have expressed a desire for mobile check in).
  • Follow up on ticket purchases with in app recommendations of activities or popular sightseeing destinations.
  • Create an automated after sale email campaign to instruct and educate users on their destination. Email campaigns are great because they can be viewed on any device.

None of the above have anything to do with increasing conversions. They are, however, paramount for improving customer experience, something that will help you gain more repeat business and higher levels of referrals in the future.

Planet of the apps

Apps are largely overlooked in mobile optimisation debates. Which is strange considering they convert at a higher rate than mobile sites.

Apps can yield amazing results for online businesses.

Not only do they convert at a higher rate, but they offer more options for increasing customer loyalty.
Think about it. A customer who lands on your desktop or mobile site through Google is likely a first time customer.

Those who download your app are going to be previous customers who have been impressed with the service you offer. They’re already interested and invested in your brand providing you with ample opportunity to offer an amazing service and build some customer loyalty.

This interests manifests in a higher user interest. App users typically spend three to four times longer browsing than their web surfing counterparts.

Session length stats from Adobe

The interest is also a golden opportunity for you to pursue some lucrative upselling opportunities whilst building trust and loyalty within your audience.

Below are just a few examples of the ways you can use an app to stay at the forefront of your audience’s mind and establish yourself as a helpful, knowledgeable source.

  1. Real-time communication. Through the use of push notifications you can keep users informed of the latest deals, developments and news. A method proven to re engage those who have downloaded your app.Percentage of apps not used
  2. Increase customer loyalty through app-specific incentives.
  3. Offer enhanced support. This could be through 24/7 in-app communication or something similar to Domino’s in app pizza tracker.
  4. Apps often require the user to sign up. This offers better data collection on individual users for a more personalized and improved customer experience.

A comprehensive mobile campaign simply isn’t complete without considering how apps fit into the equation. Apps are already proving to be a huge asset to online businesses and seem set to become one of the major influencers in user experience and conversion optimisation.

The travel industry needs to embrace the mobile revolution

Mobile optimisation is too often a case of simply tacking a responsive design on your desktop site and leaving it at that.

That approach once served as enough. But not any more.

Online shoppers now favour mobile devices across the board. It’s important for any brand to optimise the experience for any device and purchase journey progression. But it’s even more important for travel brands specifically.

Travel purchases are comparatively more fragmented. A user isn’t researching a single product, they’re looking at the logistics of travel, accommodation, insurance and every other facet associated with a holiday.

Purchases of individual products benefit from an optimised cross-device journey. Purchases in the travel industry require an optimised cross-device journey.

It’s no longer a case of keeping up with the current trends and more a necessity for future proofing your business.

The points in this article are a starting point, but there’s a lot of work and testing that needs to go into any cross-device campaign.

We’ve got loads more advice in our resources section to help you face up to the challenge of optimizing for an ever-evolving audience, including free guides on travel optimization, mobile optimization, and the cross-device journey.

11 Need-to-Know Magento Extensions for Your eCommerce Store

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Finding the best Magento extensions isn’t easy, to give you a helping hand we’ve selected 11 need-to-know extensions to optimize your Magento eCommerce store.

Magento is relied upon by over a quarter of a million eCommerce sites around the world to sell their wares.

The dependable platform’s allure is made all the more appealing by the sheer number of plugins and extensions available on Magento Connect to use on your eCommerce store.

By carefully selecting the right extensions, you can take your site to the next level – while also reducing your workload. Sounds good, right?

But, with so many extensions and potential integrations to pick from, it’s not easy to know which Magento plugins will have a positive impact on your website.

Of course, the mix of extensions you choose for your site will depend on your specific goals. However, despite your unique needs, there are plenty of common optimization opportunities for eCommerce sites that we see every day.

In light of this, we’ve put together this selection of highly regarded extensions in the hope that you’ll find at least one or two that will help improve your Magento store.

So – without further ado – here are our 11 need-to-know Magento extensions to optimize your eCommerce site.

1. Full Page Cache by Mirasvit

Full Page Cache

First up, a simple but crucial extension.

Load time is vitally important for both your site rank and your user experience.

For every second it takes for your page to load, you’re losing potential customers.

With your users abandoning site (and their purchases) at the suggestion of a slow loading page, a small investment in keeping your site up to speed is likely to pay dividends in no time.

Full Page Cache reduces load times and improves website speed and performance. Not only will this boost your website rank but you’ll see a healthy uptick in conversions too.

2. Product Matrix (WebShopApps)

Product Matrix logo

As an eCommerce store, if you can’t fulfill your shipping, you won’t be around for long.

One of the most common reasons for cart abandonment is a lack of clarity around costs – shipping being one of them.

If you don’t have your own ducks in a row with your shipping rates you’re probably not making it clear to your customers either.

This extension helps define shipping rates according to destinations, products, weight etc. So you can tailor them to your site and bring some clarity – both internally and externally – to your shipping.

3. AddThis

Addthis logo

As well as being a fantastic place to engage your shoppers, social media is a burgeoning market within itself – accounting for around 5% of online retail sales in 2015.

AddThis lets your users share content to 350 of the most popular social networks and content sharing (yes, there really are that many).

The service also has helpful features showing you how visitors are sharing content and what’s shared the most.

4. Advanced SEO Suite by Mirasvit

Advanced SEO suite icon

You’re probably more than aware of the benefits of showing up near the top of search engine rankings.

If your site isn’t showing up on the first page for relevant search terms sadly you’re verging on anonymous on search engines.

As a result, optimizing your SEO is a must to make it easy for potential customers to find you.

This extension gives you the opportunity to do this with its full SEO tool.

It makes implementing SEO essentials such as H1 headings, search engine friendly URLs, product tags, image tags, and metadata easy.

5. Simple google shopping

Simple Google Shopping icon

This extension enables you to export products from your eCommerce store to your Google Merchant account.

Selling your product on Google Shopping is a no-brainer to attract potential customers Googling goods from within your product range.

The search engine’s shopping platform will give you greater visibility to a wider audience and make it more likely your products will be found by browsers that haven’t visited your store before.

6. Yieldify

Yieldify logo

Despite visiting with the intention to buy, frustratingly, two-thirds of your visitors will abandon the site without purchasing.

Yieldify helps customers solve this eternal eCommerce problem with its onsite and email remarketing products.

Its tech predicts and reacts to your customers’ behavior – serving them personalized, timely content to increase conversions.

The Yieldify Magento extension offers the same global fully-managed Yieldify product and service, but with an even simpler way to integrate the tag.

The extension also lets users benefit from future technical improvements and new functionalities as they become available.

7. Sweet Tooth

You may have heard the one about it costing 5x times more to get a new customer than to keep an existing one.

Loyalty programs are one way to avoid this cost – encouraging repeat custom by cultivating brand advocates and boosting your sales and engagement in the process.

The Sweet Tooth Magento extension gives you a range of rewards programs options, giving you the opportunity to achieve these attractive goals.

Loyalty programs are also a smart way to encourage customers to create an account on your site – giving you more data and enhanced personalization opportunities.

8. Fishpig wordpress integration

Fishpig wordpress integration icon

The value of having a blog on your eCommerce store can’t be underestimated. It’s a place to tell your brand’s story, hone your voice, engage with your customers and boost your SEO.

By linking through to your product page your blog can also easily entice a visitor into making a purchase.

This extension gives you access to all these blog benefits by integrating your WordPress blog with your Magento store. The plugin also has a couple of nifty features such as keeping your Magento theme on your blog and associating blog posts with products.

9. Olark Live Chat

Olark live chat icon

Sometimes your customers just need to talk to a person in real-time. In these cases, live chat is a handy solution.

An ATG Global Consumer Trend study found that 90% of customers consider live chat helpful.

While found that 63% of customers were more likely to return to a website that offers live chat.

Olark Chat is easy to integrate chat that lets you quickly talk to any customers who are having problems. Rather than waiting for a ticket, it means you can address any problems there and then – hopefully helping to reduce lost sales.

10. Yotpo Reviews

Yotpo icon

Social proof and reviews are a powerful way to convince your visitors to click ‘buy’.

Shoppers have come to expect reviews and 61% of customers claim to read online reviews before making a purchase decision.

The Yotpo extension encourages your customers to generate these reviews. And it’s probably worth it:

They hold far greater weight than your own copy with consumers nearly 12x more likely to trust peer testimonials and reviews over professionally written content.

11. Trusted Shops with Trustbadge

Trustbadge icon

Shoppers, whether consciously or not, are on the lookout for relevant trust seals.

If you don’t demonstrate that both your site and payment processes are secure, visitors will be reticent to part with their cash and are likely to abandon the site.

Seals like Trustbadge reassure visitors you’re who you claim to be. This badge offers the Trusted Shops guarantee on your site and serves as a money-back guarantee (with the option of reviews if desired).

Integrating this simple extension, or other trust seals like it, is amongst the easiest ways to boost your conversions and sales.

4 Common and Costly Conversion Rate Optimization Mistakes

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We’ve highlighted some lesser-known but highly damaging conversion rate optimization (CRO) mistakes which could be costing your eCommerce site customers and cash.

Optimizing for conversions is a tricky process.

It requires an analytical mind, a keen eye for on-page errors, and an in-depth knowledge of psychology behind persuasion.

It’s all too easy to make a mistake and lose out on potential income.

But it doesn’t have to be.

You can find a wealth of free information on the internet to help you increase your overall conversions. However, the advice always looks at the positive side to conversions – it outlines the basic actions you should take to see meaningful increases.

What’s often overlooked are the pitfalls that trip marketers up. The little known, but highly damaging, actions that can leave your business losing potential customers and hemorrhaging money.

Now, we don’t want to come across as negative Nancys, but we thought we’d highlight a few of the pitfalls we’ve discovered to help you avoid falling short of a successful campaign.

A Lack of Specificity

Marketers love to make bombastic claims.

  • “We’re the number 1 business at what we do”
  • “The best business in the area”
  • “The greatest product for achieving X, Y or Z”

Claims like these litter sites across the web. But do such claims really instill trust or convince anyone that your product is better than your competitors?

It’s doubtful.

Why? Well, it’s mainly down to two reasons.

First, who says you’re the best? What proof do you have to back up your claim? Is it just the usual hyperbole inherent within slimy sales pitches and empty marketing ploys or is it a sincere claim?

Second, it’s too general. No one believes in general claims. When a business makes loose claims it’s usually because they don’t know what they’re great at – and you know what they say about a jack of all trades…

Instead, your grand claims need to have an element of specificity to them.

Narrowing the focus of your hyperbole helps you better target your campaigns. You can target your message to an audience who’s looking specifically for that particular benefit.

Adding proof is also far more effective. ‘Join 5,000 happy users’, ‘X magazines’ favorite product of 2016’ or a specific award adds credibility to your claim.

Stop focusing on the general and get specific.

Outline exactly what you’re the best at and add the proof people need to see.

Focusing on the business

“We’re the best at what we do.”

That’s all well and good. But 99% of your prospects don’t give a damn about you or your business. They’re looking for a solution to a specific problem. A problem they’re facing at this very moment.

That problem is all-encompassing to your prospects, all they can think of is finding the solution.

Making huge claims about how great you are isn’t going to hook their attention.

You need to focus on the user. Find their problem and tailor your copy so that it focuses on the solution they’re looking for.

Check any successful business and you’ll notice that they lead with a value proposition that’s focused on the customer or their problem. Here’s a great example from Evernote.

Evernote website screenshot

They could make a vague claim to being the best organizational app around but they don’t. They focus on your problem and tailor their copy to tell you how they help you solve it.

Ignoring user behavior

Test, test, and test again.

The first rule of CRO!

It’s a great little motto and forms the backbone of a comprehensive CRO campaign.

Yet what most marketers overlook is what they should test. They take the motto and assume that it refers only to results.

They track the CTR, conversion rates and overall revenue. These results form the basis of the changes they’ll then make. But tracking only the results tells you the what, not the why.

You’ll find out that users aren’t clicking the button from stage one to stage two in your funnel or are abandoning their cart at the last second. But that’s not going to help with the why.

You need to know why they’re not clicking through or converting. Use heat maps to check user click habits, implement an exit-intent campaign to see if all they needed was an added incentive, check your analytics to see where they went if they didn’t click the button you wanted.

When you understand the what and the why you can implement tests with a greater effect on your campaign.

Lack of strategy

If I change this button, I should see an increase in conversions.

OK, but why?

Your strategy is like your roadmap. Without it, you’re going to get lost. You need to know your destination and the route you’re going to take to get there.

In this study by eConsultancy, they discovered a lack of strategy as one of the major concerns for online marketers. In fact, it was the most mentioned word by respondents in the open-ended question of the survey.

econsultancy study on CRO

Reading an article online and deciding to implement a few changes is not a comprehensive strategy. You need to understand how those changes will impact your wider campaign, how they’re going to help or hinder your progress to your destination, and what they mean for your business overall.

The problem many marketers encounter is that each CRO campaign needs a wholly unique approach. Every business will require a different methodology and figure yours out is tough.

Your campaigns are no different. They need to be tailored to specific audience segments and optimized based on how that segment reacts.

While it’s a complicated process, the majority of CRO campaigns follow the below basic six-step approach (of course tailored to your site’s needs and nuances):

  1. Understand shortfalls in your site
  2. Analyze user behavior
  3. Create a hypothesis
  4. Implement tests
  5. Analyze results
  6. Repeat

Don’t fall prey to basic mistakes

Conversion rate optimization is one of the best ROI strategies you can implement. That is, of course, providing you implement it well.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of marketers out there who don’t.

They focus too heavily on their own business and ignore the user’s needs and behaviors. It’s an easy mistake to make, especially when you’ve just finished reading a kick-ass article about how someone helped a brand achieve a huge ROI.

But just as you should be aware of the best practices in any field, you also need to know what could potentially go wrong.

This list is by no means a comprehensive breakdown of the problems you need to avoid, but they are some of the most common. If you’re new to CRO, they’re the perfect place to start.

Empowering Yieldify with Data: What Has Looker Done for Us?

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Business Intelligence Analyst Demis Bhojoo looks at how Looker has changed the way we work at Yieldify by empowering employees with easily accessible data.

I recently stumbled upon Justin Kan’s old post The First Time I Used Programming at Work.

The post reminded me of my time at Rangespan – where my colleague and friend, Charles Dupont, wrote an excellent article on why learning SQL is important for any business team.

The article describes how, through the use of data, a small team managed to automate 90% of repeatable tasks (obviously a huge time saver) and enabled individuals to delve deeper into the reasons why specific actions were successful or not.

Having taken the leap early on, any new hire was able to use data to learn and develop effectively – and that’s how I got started in Business Intelligence.1

This short blog post reflects on how Looker has changed the way we work at Yieldify by empowering employees with easily accessible data – here we go.

Business Intelligence or Intelligent Business?

Since being deployed, the Business Intelligence (BI) team hasn’t become a bottleneck for data – instead we’ve thrived as a sounding board for feedback from various teams, helping decipher what information is needed to drive growth. The most recent example of this is the integration of Hubspot with our systems to measure the impact of our Content Marketing on Inbound leads.

So, what else has Looker enabled our BI team to do?

  • Decisions are all backed by data – every request can now be answered in seconds, the simple interface allows anyone to easily run a report to test their assumptions. This has made all our teams smarter in how we do business. Making decisions that actually impact clients and their campaigns – understanding success to make everyone successful.
  • Automate everything that is repeatable – once we know what we need, automate the report to ensure that you can work on the highest value action. The BI team is pushing more notification reports to be built in Looker to ensure we can see the root cause there and then.
  • Challenging the current processes – we learn more from accurate and clean observations of our processes. Testing various legacy actions to see whether they apply: one of our Account Managers has even started creating an improved Client Report.
  • Even more data – empowering each team to be self-reliant means that they begin to ask more data – eg. running funnel analysis on marketing strategies or understanding what campaign attributes are seasonally affected. This helps BI and Data Engineering prioritise what matters.
  • Technical interest – with more interest in how everything works and what affects the outcome, we have had more interested team members wanting to learn SQL – a gateway to driving the business to have more technical knowledge.

Looking further

While working at Amazon, I saw that there was a steep learning curve for anyone not familiar with SQL (or programming) and realised how this can inhibit any team.

The Looker platform enables us to do more with very little time – it integrates with just about every platform (Amazon Redshift, Google Big Query and Oracle, to name a few), the UI is simple and intuitive and for any technical professional, data modelling is handled by LookML, a simple yet effective modelling language.

Every release patch, I see Looker becoming even more powerful for the business team. As we continue to strive to empower everyone at Yieldify with data – we are only limited by what we want to do.

If you’d like to hear more about how we work at Yieldify check out our 2015 Year in Review here. 


1 Two great resources for anyone in Learning SQL – SQL in 10 Minutes, Sams Teach Yourself and Code Academy’s SQL Course

How Yieldify Grew by 110% In 2015 by Making Every Interaction Count

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Yieldify’s vision has never solely been about our technology.

It’s about empowering our customers to create great experiences online.

Our mission is to create smart and simple technology products that predict customer behavior and optimize customer experience with brand revenue.

2015 marked a great year for Yieldify. It was the year we took our company to the next level and we were able to do that because of the trust our customers place in us.

At Yieldify, we start by putting customers at the heart of everything we do.

We’ve taken a commitment to delight our customers at every interaction across our business. (… actually not only our customers, we want to make every interaction count with everyone… our partners, suppliers, employees, prospective employees… the list goes on)…

Below is our first annual Year in Review, where we’ve summarized what we believe were some of Yieldify’s key achievements in 2015.

Download the entire review or have a look at our 2015 snapshot our first-class design team put together.

Yieldify 2015 in numbers infographic

Thank You!

Whether you’re a client, content consumer, partner, employee or just a start up enthusiast – thank you for 2015.

You are the reason why Yieldify exists. We’re excited and proud to be on this journey with you and appreciate your trust, your support, and your ambition.