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Newport Interactive Marketing

Simple Tests to Improve Your Website

Which Test Won logoWhichTestWon publisher Anne Holland’s quiz-show-style presentation at February’s Newport Interactive Marketers focused on how to use simple tests to improve website sales, signups, and conversion rates.

Holland provided copious examples of how small – often nontechnical – tweaks can result in huge improvements. Here are the highlights of the presentation.

Why Synchronous Testing?

  • Create two versions simultaneously
  • Traffic engine splits it into two different versions to see which does better
  • Super cheap and easy to do
  • You can go to Google Experimental Engine or Visual Website Optimizer
  • Great for an agency: You’ll impress your clients

Why You Shouldn’t Go With Your Gut

WhichTestWon’s founder Anne Holland says: If you’re just using your gut you are probably wrong.  “I’m still surprised by the results,” she said. “I follow my gut, knowing what I know, and it’s the opposite. If my gut is wrong, yours can be wrong.”

Knowing the product or the client too well can actually be a drawback. You’re not the visitors, so you don’t look at the product the way they do. For this reason, you’ve got to test. Amazon tests, LinkedIn test, Dell tests, and you should, too!

Where to Start Testing

Do not start testing on pages with high abandon or bounce rate because you won’t see a much change.

Pages to Test & Track

  • Thank you & receipt pages
  • Follow up
  • Emails
  • Digital Marketing Campaigns
  • Landing Pages
  • Search Results
  • Category Pages
  • Product offer description pages
  • Abandons

How to Decide What to Test

  • Use the same size screen that your traffic will be viewing: a 15” monitor, 1-24x 786 resolution (Hint: 980 pixels across, 520 down)
  • Quickly glance at page to see what you notice that needs to be changed
  • Remove clutter
  • Vary headlines
  • Big images, change images
  • Buttons: sizes, colors, wording

Make One Change at a Time

  • If you test two changes on the same page, your results won’t be useful
  • Don’t change the headline and the image because you won’t know which worked better
  • Example: If you change the size of the button, don’t change the wording on the button

Or Test a Radical Redesign

  • Radical redesign means you make the dramatic changes.
  • Then you compare your old page to the redesigned pages and see which does better
  • Then tweak the winning page to see which elements made the difference

What You Want to Achieve by Testing

You don’t want just more clicks. If extra clicks don’t increase sales, no one cares.

Instead of simply more clicks you want

  • More sales
  • More qualified leads
  • Lower cost per lead
  • Higher revenues per cart

How Long Should You Test?

Typically you should run a test for 21 days

Testing Examples:

1) Dell Mega Image Test

  • Mega Image Won (Mega Image is an image that fills the majority of the homepage screen)
  • Increased leads generated by 36%
  • Lowered the page bounce rate by 27%

2) Dell Search Box Test

  • Test between a button that says search or a magnifying-glass icon
  • Search button won
  • Resulted in a 6.3% Lift in RPV (revenue) avg.
  • A winning test is usually results in a 3% lift

3) Local or Toll Free Number Test

  • Toll free number or local phone number
  • Which would generate more sales?
  • The local number increased sales (checkout page visits) by 18.3%

4) Email Test

  • Should it say: “Click here for more info” or “Find out more”?
  • “Click here” won
  • 97% lift in unique clicks
  • 16% increase in page views

5) Overlay Test

  • Overlays are like pop-ups on your website
  • They are much more responsive than saying: Please join our email list
  • Often come free with email service provider or free WordPress plugin
  • Test was how wide should the overlay be
  • Smaller overlay won
  • Results 8.8% More Opt-Ins

Don’t miss  Newport Interactive Marketers’ FREE monthly networking-learning gatherings.

How Can URI’s Business Concierge Help Your Brand?

Newport Interactive Marketers partnered with the URI Business Engagement Center (BEC) to explain the valuable resources available for businesses at URI.

Think of Katharine Hazard Flynn as your concierge if you have a question about how to work with interns, sponsors research that could become product, or host an event at URI.

Think of Katharine Hazard Flynn as your concierge if you have a question about how to work with interns, sponsors research that could become product, or host an event at URI.

Leading the new Business Engagement Center, Katharine Hazard Flynn, serves as the University of Rhode Island’s connector to the private/nonprofit sectors, helping brands leverage URI’s resources for the betterment of the state.  A Brown alum, she also has significant finance experience in senior positions at Prudential Bache, Alex Brown & Sons, Toronto Dominion Securities, and Societe General.

Think of Katharine Hazard Flynn as your concierge if you have a question about how to work with interns, sponsors research that could become product, or host an event at URI.  Flynn discussed how the BEC was created to give businesses a place to come and connect with URI.  This center was modeled after successful programs such as University of Michigan’s BEC.

In addition to the BEC, URI also has another new initiative, the Small Business Development Center. The center is primarily for small businesses to get counseling and financial support in variety of different counseling mechanisms.

The BEC acts a one-stop destination for business owners to connect with the university. Through the BEC businesses can be connected with URI’s students, faculty, equipment and facilities. Here are some of the resources the center offers.

Find Talent

The BEC’s main goal is to increase industry engagement. URI wants to connect their students with jobs, internships, and faculty research. Some 60 percent of the university’s students are from Rhode Island. According to Flynn, this means that students want to stay here, work here, and thrive here.

The BEC is able to connect businesses with students from all disciplines including business, engineering, healthcare, arts and sciences, technology, and many other fields.

Sponsor Research

Whether you have a manufacturing issue, new product concept, or business challenge you’d like to do research on, URI can help. URI student and faculty researchers have experience working with businesses and can help you solve these issues. Use the BEC to aid you in accessing URI’s research expertise.

Develop Your Workforce

The BEC provides customized workforce training and skills development to help you achieve your business goals.  It offers opportunities to help your staff polish their skills as well as specialized training programs. Here is the full list of training programs the Business Engagement Center offers.

Facilities & Equipment

URI has facilities perfect for accommodating small and large groups. Its meetings rooms range from small meeting rooms to auditoriums accommodating up to several hundred people, and everything in between.

URI also has equipment that can be a valuable asset for businesses.  From the 3-D Imaging capability, to equipment in URI’s Sensor and Surface Technology Lab in chemical engineering, its equipment can fit the needs of many different businesses.

Here are some examples:

Meeting space and planning

Equipment Usage

BEC Success Stories 

Although new, the BEC has already partnered with many local business. One example is their partnership with the Pizza Gourmet. Co-Owner Jack Parente approached the center to help him create a better, and safer, grill for his pizza crusts. Hazard connected him with with professors at the engineering school and five seniors. They are now working on a capstone project to help improve Parente’s grill. The owner has been thrilled by the students’ discoveries and suggestions.

Another example of the BEC’s success is its YMCA partnership. When the center was approached by the YMCA looking for students to provide physical therapy, the Y was not disappointed, connecting with the URI physical therapy department for and  interns.

Lastly, the BEC has helped to connect GTech with writers from URI. Not only does GTech utilize members of URI’s writing and rhetoric majors as interns, but the global giant also often hires these students after graduation.

URI’s BEC has helped a wide range of businesses find what they are looking for.

Looking for help with any aspect of your business from internships to research? Be sure to URI’s Business Engagement Center Executive Director Flynn.

 

NIM Events You Missed

New Media events you may have missed

April 26, 2012 – Pinterest for Business: All You Need to Know

Annie Colella of Discover Newport (the Convention and Visitors Bureau) shared how Pinterest can work for your business. Attendees learned how to get to get started with Pinterest and how to get the most out of the social media site. Highlights from Pinterest for Business are posted on the Newport Interactive Marketers blog.

March 29, 2012 – The film “Connected” at the Jane Pickens Theater

 

 

March 1, 2012  Optimize Online Marketing With Secrets of a Revenue Coach

Let’s take a look at our websites and social media from a proven sales perspective.

Does your website put customers off? You think your website describes your company and products or services. You think you’re not “in the way” when they come to your site to learn about you — or via social media Read More

1/26/2012 Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

Annette Tonti, CEO of MoFuse, shared mobile web best practices for publishers and advertisers. NIM attendees learned the difference between a mobile app and a mobile site and how to build effective web content.

Check out the highlights from “Make Your Business Mobile Friendly.” Learn how to use mobile to engage with customers on Designated Editor’s blog.

 

Newport Interactive Marketers @ URI Social Media Social

Kevin Vine: Interactive Marketing Manager, Dunkin’ Brands, Inc.

Shawn Simmons: Director of Public Relations, StyleWeek

Suzanne McDonald: Chief Content Strategist, Designated Editor, NIM founder

11/29/2011

Newport Interactive Marketers joined the University of Rhode Island for the URI Social Media Social. The NIM speakers provided insights to students and Newport Interactive Marketers about what an intern can do and how social media can boost a business.

Discover what attendees learned from “Cross the Digital Divide” between digital natives (interns) and busy professionals on Designated Editor’s blog.

Create and Market Your Brand Story

Jamie Palmer

10/27/2011

Jamie Palmer, the Senior Practitioner at University Business Consultants LLC, taught NIM attendees how to tactfully articulate the brand. Jamie stressed the importance of telling the story and not selling the story. NIM attendees learned how to engage their audience with messages that would resonate.

Check out the key points from “Create and Market Your Brand Story.” Learn how to create a personal and effective brand story on Designated Editor’s blog.

Enhance your Brand with Google+ and Twitter

Discussion Panel

9/29/2011

Panelists Matt Medeiros of Slocum Studios and Michelle Quillin of New England Multimedia shared their insights on Google+ just as it launched. A general consensus was Google+ was not appropriate for all brands at that time. But for those who are concerned about SEO, it’s worth considering.

Learn more about to enhance your brand using social media from “Google+ Twitter Q & A at Newport Interactive Marketers” located on Designated Editor’s blog.

Intertwining Social Media and Customer Service

Chuck Dennis

8/25/2011

Chuck Dennis, Vice President and Senior Consultant for Knowledgence Associates, taught NIM how to infuse social media with customer service to boost engagement and ROI. NIM attendees learned how to interact with customers’ concerns and complaints through social media. Tips for detecting and redirecting what could become a PR debacle were also included.

Discover what attendees learned from “Social Media and Customer Service With Newport Interactive Marketers.”

Join NIM at the top of Newport Tweetup

7/21/2011

Keeping the social in NIM, attendees gathered high over Newport for free appetizers, drink specials, and nonstop networking.

Drive ROI from Google Analytics

Jay Murphy

6/23/2011

Boston University’s Center for Digital Imaging Arts instructor Jay Murphy showed Newport Interactive Marketers how to maximize Google Analytics to drive ROI. NIM attendees learned how to attract people that will actually buy and how to bring in more buyers and prospects.

Find out more about what attendees learned from “Google Analytics with Jay Murphy at Newport Interactive Marketers.” Discover how to get the best results from your online efforts, on Designated Editor’s blog.

SEO Mythology and Tactics from SEO Book Community Manager Eric Covino

Eric Covino, http://www.creativesignals.com/

5/19/2011

NIM was thrilled to have Eric Covino of internationally regarded SEO community SeoBook.com and CreativeSignals.com answer questions on Search Engine Optimization and Google rankings. NIM attendees learned tactics to get search engines to rank their sites number one. Eric gave tips on how marketers can boost their websites in just one week! He also explained how SEO differs for service businesses and local retailers.

Learn more about SEO from “SEO: What’s working? What’s relevant? A Newport Interactive Marketers session”, on Designated Editor’s blog.

Facebook Marketing Best Practices to Boost ROI

Tom Schuyler, Pandemic Labs’

4/27/2011

Tom Schuyler, Pandemic Labs’ Director of Accounts, shared Facebook best practices and ROI measurement types. NIM attendees gained tools and insights to measure the value of marketing on Facebook. Tom explained how to utilize Facebook analytics to assess weaknesses and opportunities to make brand presence more valuable. Attendees learned the core metrics you can use to determine how much Facebook is doing for your brand/business.

Find out more about what Newport Interactive Marketers learned from “Facebook Marketing: Best Practices to Boost ROI.” Discover how to increase your return on investment using Facebook on Designated Editor’s blog.

Learn and Leverage Video for your Brand Success with Newport Interactive Marketers

Patrick Hughes of Visual Post

3/29/2011

NIM hosted Patrick Hughes and Scott Quillin to share their expert opinions on online video posts. NIM attendees learned why videos are so important to the success of their businesses. The experts explained how to use YouTube and how to start your own brand channel.

Check out the highlights from “Optimal Video on a Budget with Newport Interactive Marketers.” Learn how to incorporate cost-effective video marketing into your business on Designated Editors blog.

Mobile for Marketing with Newport Interactive Marketers

Tamara Gruber

1/20/2011

Tamara Gruber, the founder of Red Giant Consulting, guided NIM attendees into the mobile marketing world. She explored the difference between mobile apps and mobile sites and how they could optimize their businesses.

Discover more about what attendees learned at “Marketing with Mobile with Newport Interactive Marketers”, and grasp why mobile marketing matters on Designated Editor’s blog.

Social Media Secrets with Newport Interactive Marketers

Kathie Manchester from the Rhode Island Blood Center

Dana Duellman & My Perfect Space Entrepreneur, consultant, Realtor

Moderator: Nick Brown, Community Manager at Astonish Results,

10/21/2010

Newport Interactive Marketers hosted a panel of social media experts to teach attendees how to optimize social media. Experts shared the best way to connect with customers through social media and discussed the most effective platforms to use.

Learn how to enhance your success in social media from Designated Editor’s blog post, “Social Media Secret’s Out: A Recap and Tools with Newport Interactive Marketers.”

Search Engine Optimization Insights with Newport Interactive Marketers

Doug Wilson

9/30/2010

Newport Interactive Marketers hosted Doug Wilson SEO specialist at Netsense, a Pawtucket-based market leader in outsourced IT, website, and web marketing solutions. NIM attendees received a how-to seminar on search engine optimization insights. Attendees also learned how to boost their Google rankings.

Social Media Answers With Newport Interactive Marketers

Patrick O’Malley

8/26/2010

NIM hosted nationally known expert Partick O’Malley. Patrick is the former VP of Operations for Northern Light, Google’s former top competitor, and has spoken across the country and nationally. He is an expert on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Google. Attendees gained insights to use social media to effectively boost their businesses.

Newport Interactive Marketers Networking

Stephen Melanson

7/29/2010

Stephen Melanson opened the attendees’ eyes to the importance of Verbal Branding. The seminar focused on concise messaging.

Check out highlights from “Social Media and Verbal Branding: Get Your Twit Together.” Learn how to build your social media foundations with verbal branding on Designated Editor’s blog.

Newport Interactive Marketers Networking

Highlights from OMMA Conferences

Jessan Dunn Otis

6/24/2010

Jessan Dunn Otis, a linchpin, recapped Seth Godin’s talk in Boston on June 17, 2010. The seminar also highlighted from the OMMA Conference.

Check out a key point from “OMMA Video Conference 2011 Highlights on Designated Editor’s blog.

Newport Interactive Marketers

Matthew Mamet

5/20/2010

Matthew Mamet of EditMe presented how small businesses and individuals can use a Wiki platform to share information and foster communities. NIM attendees learned how to up their online presence quickly and easily.

Discover what NIM attendees learned from Designated Editor’s blog post, “Tips for Building Communities from Matthew Mamet of EditMe, presented at Our First Newport Interactive Marketers Event.”

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Newport Interactive Marketers: Increase Sales With a Revenue Coach

Revenue Coach Shares Proven Strategies to Increase Sales

Let’s look at our websites and social media from a proven sales perspective. Revenue Coach and author Kristin Zhivago helps helps brands become to customer-centric. 

What Your Current Clients Can Teach You 

  • What you think is important, isn’t what is important to the customer
  • Go where the customers are: a lot of CEOs are NOT on Facebook
  • If you’re imitating another company then you’re blowing it…customers are coming to you for a reason!
  • Best market research/data mining is asking existing customers the RIGHT questions
  • Client interviews will reveal the trends, in 6 phone calls; they’ll all basically say the same thing
  • Anticipate their questions and help buyers on their journey. You guess= you lose!
  • Have to ask current customers the right questions in the right way
  • People are doing their homework on you before they even contact you
  • If you call your customers yourself, you will still get the data, they’ll just be more polite
  • If you’re only asking one question of an existing client, ask them what they would do if they were in your shoes.
  • Channels,social media etc.- without customer knowledge is like whistling in the wind
  • Treat customers properly and give them what they want

Understanding the Buyer’s Process

  • Buying process changing radically. Overall, you are NOT in control of the process
  • Buying: First friends, then websites, and then Google
  • 80% of buyer’s questions are answered by others, not you!
  • Need to know why and how buyer’s bought from you
  • What’s going to happen to me after I buy? A key question buyers have that you need to answer.

Common Marketing Flaws

  • “Marketing is no longer about what you say, it’s about what you do.”
  • Don’t follow fads and don’t obsess with channels!
  • Is your data flawed? If you’re relying on salespeople, focus groups, social media, surveys and 3rd parties, the chances are your data is flawed
  • Stop selling and start supporting the buyer process
  • Relationship marketing is a misnomer. Do you want car dealers showing up to dinner?
  • Surveys are a waste of time, people will not say in writing what they are really thinking
  • Need to understand where you are in the spectrum to know what to say on your site, newsletter and other content
  • Everyone is doing something that gets in the way of sales
  • Usually you’re screwing up how you’re presenting the product or something else that’s fixable
  • Are you emphasizing what everyone already promises anyway? Everyone expects a boat to float
  • The problem with social media, It’s the biggest time-suck!
  • Usability matters more than design: We don’t look at billboards on the highway never mind on your screen

Branding

  • The difference between branding and your brand? Branding is what you say; your brand is what they say about you
  • Branding is the promise you make. Your brand is the promises you keep

 

A special thanks to all the NIM attendees who tweeted during the event! @KristinZhivago, @JoAnnLefebvre, @SusanneDay, @johnpicozzi, @PRnick, @scottindermaur, @vallerieMalkin, @trendyjenny, @NEMultimedia, @sue_DesigEditor, @NewMediaNPT

 

Don’t miss Newport Interactive Marketers’ next gathering: March 29 public is welcome to the film “Connected” at the Jane Pickens Theater. Tickets are $10, payable to the theater. Preregistration requested. 

Newport Interactive Marketers Goes Mobile With Annette Tonti

MoFuse: Powering Mobile Websites 
 

Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly 

As a tourism Mecca, easily reached from Boston and New York metropolitan areas, Newport businesses need to be in the know about mobile. Nearly half of all local searches on a mobile phone result in in-store visits, according to a March 2011 study.

Newport attracts thousands of visitors. What do at least 40% those visitors have in common?

1. Disposable income
2. A smartphone … iPhone, Android, Blackberry
They’re looking for places to eat and things to do and buy. Where are they getting that information? There’s a repository of locations, phone numbers, hours — right in their pockets.

BUT only if your website can be found, this is particularly true for hours. (Yelp, Google Places, etc seem to be not as up-to-date.)

It’s imperative to be there when people want YOU.

Thus, the first Newport Interactive Marketers of 2012 gave attendees an in-depth look at
• What’s happening
• What to do about it with limited time and resources
• How to maximize ROI as a result

Rhode Island-based MoFuse powers mobile websites for a wide variety of customers such as the US State Department, Pandora, Ghiradelli chocolate and numerous local businesses. Similar to WordPress, MoFuse offers a platform for businesses large and small to ensure they’re websites work via mobile phones.

MoFuse CEO Annette Tonti was named one Mobile Marketer’s “Mobile Women to Watch for 2011,” and she received the Governor’s IT Achievement Award for Rhode Island.

Annette shared her insights with the 40+ Newport Interactive Marketers attendees who gathered at 41 North.

What does MoFuse do?

• Optimizes for thousands of mobile browsers and handsets
• Customers have the option to either use the platform or let MoFuse develop the mobile site
• Can be used to ensure that world languages and character sets will work
• Ensures your site will work on 5,200 mobile devices, iPhone and Android being the major ones.

Mobile Sites Vs. Apps

• Mobile sites are more cost- efficient
• Apps take a lot of upkeep & require different versions for each device type
• Mobile sites are easier to maintain
• Apps are device-specific & harder to find in iTunes or Android Marketplace for example

Lessons Learned

• Context is everything: When searching with your phone, you want it now.
• Mobile is primarily used to create content: Uploading photos, posting to Facebook
• Mobile sites can be SEO optimized: Ensure you’re found in search engines like Google
• Can be a low-cost way for businesses to launch websites or campaign-specific landing pages.

Don’t miss Newport Interactive Marketers’ upcoming events!

Newport Interactive Marketers team up with University of Rhode Island for inaugural Social Media Social

Newport Interactive Marketers members will join the University of Rhode Island’s student-led Public Relations Society for URI’s first Social Media Social on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. on the Kingston campus. For more information or to register, visit http://bit.ly/NIMatURI11.

The public is invited to gain insights from social media pros, students and to network with web and social media professionals, business owners, and members of Newport Interactive Marketers, the region’s premiere resource for social media and Web 2.0 networking and learning.

The Social Media Social will feature Newport Interactive Marketers:

Kevin Vine, Dunkin’ Brands Interactive Marketing Manager,
Shawn Simmons, Director Public Relations at StyleWeek Providence and
NIM Founder Suzanne McDonald, Chief Content and Social Strategist at Designated Editor.

Other featured guests include:

As a Social Media Strategist and professor of Social Media Strategies at URI, Newport Interactive Marketers founder Suzanne McDonald will discuss how social media interns can benefit businesses and organizations as well as what interns should know to be prepared for the workplace.

McDonald will also discuss social media in the context of:

  • What can an intern do?
  • How is social media part of every career?
  • How can social networking boost business?

Newport Interactive Marketers members attending:

Paula Keogh, Pixels & Pulp
Sherwoode Grosvenor Sherwoode Grosvenor Enterprises
Terry T. Grosvenor R&T Grosvenor Publishing
Rick Grosvenor, Prudential Prime Properties
Jennifer ONeil, Embrace Home Loans
John Mulroy, Energy Marketing Consulting Group
Bill Flanagan, Alteryx
Paula Sheldrick, Virtual DBS
Jon Guinn, NetNoticed
Austin White, Embrace Home Loans
Lynne Donahue, Seaside Consulting Inc
David Englund, Englund Studio / MobileVerb
Hal Landen Video University
Karlie Girouard, It’s Right:RI Matchmaker
Jon Cyr, Cloudy IT
Matt Medeiros, Slocum Studio
JoAnn Lefebvre, Shift 2 Inbound Marketinghttp://shift2inbound.com/
Racheal Renfree, The Inner Office, Inc
Katherine Gagliano
Mark Bush, Forty7Ronin
Julie Woodside, Designated Editor
Scott Indermaur, Indermaur Photography, Inc.
Dana Duellman, Indermaur Photography, Inc.
Captain Mike Brady, Employment Opportunity Expo
Jamie Palmer

The “Social Media Social” will be held in the Memorial Union Ballroom, 50 Lower College Road, Kingston, R.I. 02881, and will offer free ice cream for all. Sponsored by the University of Rhode Island Harrington School of Communication and Media and the Communications Studies Department, this event is free and open to the public.