Over the last few months I’ve attended several digital marketing conferences covering a scope of material from advanced PPC strategies to email marketing and lead generation tactics, but the quality of speakers at Unbounce’s Conversion Road Trip really blew me away. I strolled in to the swanky Revere Hotel in Boston expecting to listen to some hits and misses. I brought my computer assuming that during the mind-numbingly boring sessions I’d be able to scan through my email and get a miniscule amount of work accomplished. To my surprise, my inbox remained full because I was completely engaged and captivated by the elegance, humor, and useful information that each presented shared with the audience. Seriously, where did Unbounce find such talented speakers? As a new conference presenter myself I was able to learn not only from the marketing tips shared, but also from the styles and tactics I want to steal for future presentations.
Anyways, I’ll stop gushing and get into some of the most useful and surprising stats I learned in the jam-packed day at Unbounce’s Boston Road Trip stop. I’ll also provide some actionable tips on how to make use out of these stats.
#1: Calls to Businesses are Worth 3X More Than Clicks to Websites – Larry Kim, WordStream Founder
This first stat is from WordStream founder himself, Larry Kim. In May, Google revealed that mobile phone searches have finally surpassed desktop. The anticipation has been building for years with critics claiming having a robust mobile strategy is overrated, but now the importance of mobile literally cannot be ignored by marketers. Users are 9X more likely to place a call on the search engine results page (SERPS) than on desktop, according to a WordStream study shared during Larry’s presentation. If calls are proving to be so much more valuable what can marketers do?
For those doing PPC the solution is simple, implement call-only campaigns. Call-only campaigns are available on mobile devices and essentially force the searcher to call directly from the SERP rather than visit a landing page, cutting out the leakiest part of the funnel. “Pay per click is turning into pay per lead,” says Larry. This is exciting stuff!
#2: Emails with a Single Call-to-Action Increased Clicks 371% and Sales 1617% – Ellie Mirman, VP of Marketing at Toast
I think the entire audience cooed when they heard this stat. To me, it’s surprising and it’s not, but it definitely proves that testing call-to-actions in your email marketing efforts can yield some insanely valuable data.
Ellie stressed the simple things that make a big difference in email marketing, like having one clear and strong call-to-action, aligning email content with the stages of the funnel, and also dove into some more advanced tactics like using one channel to build up the other.
The bottom line, take a deeper look at your email copy to ensure your call-to-action is not only clear, but singular. People are lazy so if you’re asking them to do too much you’ll lose them, and won’t get the results you’re looking for. Also, you likely only want them to complete one action so don’t distract them with non-goal related links.
#3: Add a Beard to Your Models to Increase in Cart Adds by 49% – Daniel McGaw, Founder at Fuelzee
The audience fell into a pool of laughter when McGaw revealed that yes, beards do indeed increase conversions. You can’t make this stuff up. By simply changing the facial hair on this male model on this product page there was a 49% increase in cart adds. The target audience must be a bunch of hipsters, ay? The lesson here…Uh, beards rule? Try the Beardify app out? Or don’t underestimate the value of testing adjustments in your visuals? I’ll let you decide.
#4: The Average Landing Page Form with 2 Form Fields has Higher Conversions then 1 Form Field – Oli Gardner, Co-Founder of Unbounce
Really? I thought the shorter the better? This is what marketers have been taught since day one. Make your forms short, eliminate unnecessary fluff, only collect the bare minimum of information needed. This might still remain true, but when it comes down to shorter forms Oli’s found that landing pages with two form fields perform better than one. With that said, invest some time into A/B testing because this isn’t always the case.
CRO Consultant and soon to be Senior Conversion Optimizer at Unbounce, Michael Aagaard, stressed the importance of the form. “Think of your form as a landing page within a landing page,” he says.
#5: Engagement Lost During the Body of a Video (96% of the video) is the Same Lost During the Nose (the first 2% of the video) – Chris Savage, Co-Founder and CEO at Wistia
Talk about an enlightening presentation! Video content is something I just started to dabble with at WordStream in our Ask the Experts series produced by WordStream’s content marketer, Dan Shewan so hearing from the Founder and CEO of Wistia was pretty thrilling.
Savage revealed a laundry list of useful data on optimizing video performance. One of my favorite was the one above, which proves that the first 2% of your video is just as, if not more important than the 96% of the video that lies in the middle, known as the “body” according to Savage. If your story doesn’t start off in a captivating manner you’re just as likely to lose someone as you are to lose them during the real meat of the video.
So how do you make your nose grippingly captivating? (Your nose is that first 2% of the video by the way – I learned a lot of video lingo during this Savage’s talk). Get to the point! Savage has found that people drop of when introductions and brand offerings are flooding the start of the video. Viewers prefer jumping right into useful content rather than listening to Bob talk about his job role and hobbies. Find a creative way to pull your readers in to keep them engaged throughout the nose, body and tail of your video.
#6: Only .25% of PPC Landing Pages Have a Video – Chris Savage, Co-Founder and CEO at Wistia
I had to include two from Savage because this stat is truly pathetic. Out of 375,000 landing pages only .25% are using video! Really? I guessed low, but this is an all-time low. Savage discussed how he thinks the reason is intimidation. I understand that producing a video can seem overwhelming from the creative costs, to the production logistics to editing hours tackled on, but Savage explained it’s not as difficult as marketers are making it out to be. Check out Wistia’s learn section. There are likely several people at your company that could tackle quality video production gracefully so don’t be afraid to spice up your landing pages with more engaging content.
Bonus Tip: Don’t Underestimate the Value of Qualitative Data – Michael Aagaard, CRO Consultant & Ellie Mirman, VP of Marketing at Toast
As phenomenal and telling as data can be it’s not the end all be all of our marketing optimization efforts. “We have a tendency to only look at the quantitative; the qualitative is SO important,” says Aagaard. And he was not alone in his opinion on this! Several speakers emphasized that with all the A/B testing and data mining there also needs to be balance between being in the weeds with numerical analysis and actually taking the time to talk to sales and customer service to identify pain points, typical conversion paths, and the various personas they regularly encounter. Mirman explained that sales and customer support are the heart of your company because these are the people that are interacting with your leads and customers on a daily basis.
I couldn’t agree with the speakers more on this point. So, take the time to meet with these internal teams regularly to use them to enhance the way you communication to prospective customers through your marketing efforts. It will take your marketing to the next level by being able to relate and speak in the language of your target audience.
One overall arching theme of the conference, aside from Game of Thrones, is that regardless of the “best practices” and data you need to test it for yourself because each industry and business model is going to yield unique results. Basically, never base your marketing strategies off of word-of-mouth information. Test for yourself!
About the Author:
Margot is a Content Marketing Specialist at WordStream with a background in PPC, SEM, content and digital marketing. Margot is passionate about writing and is also a regular contributor to socialmediatoday.com and Search Engine Journal. She enjoys running and eating ice cream during her free time (not simultaneous although that would be impressive). Follow her on:
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