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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Why Can Only 4.6% of Marketers Identify Winning Content by Eye?

We were surprised by the result of a competition we ran recently. Of 452 marketers who had a go at guessing the best performing content from a multivariate test, only 21 got it right.

This perhaps isn’t the most thorough survey but it has highlighted that just 4.6% of those working in our industry were able to identify the winning content from four options. Some preconceptions of what works well online must be guiding these choices as they’re so far below even what random selection would produce.

We don’t know what those preconceptions are but it would appear that they get in the way of selecting the best content and page layouts online. The client we ran this test with benefitted from an 11% uplift in clickthroughs as a result of implementing the winning content based on the response of live visitors.

We assume that, in practice, those who selected wrongly are using some better means of determining the best content to drive conversions on their own sites than gut feeling. However, the results highlight the value of making content decisions based on live visitor feedback over and above less empirical approaches.

Preconceptions run deep, it was the default page that over 60% of respondents selected as the likely winner, which had a lot of text and looks rather more complex at first sight. We frequently see cases where reducing the amount of text on a page leads to a significant increase in performance.

A proper process of conversion management using live visitor testing including techniques such as multivariate testing really is the only process that marketers should be putting their faith in for content decisions that are going to have a huge implication for conversion rate.

How does your company choose the copy, images, calls to action and product offers presented online?

Please contact us if you’d like us to help you make the right choices and increase conversion rate.

1 comment:

Chris Goward said...

Great idea, guys! This result is another vote for the importance of reducing Distraction on the page. There's another example of this in the case of Safe Software:

And more info on the *other* five Conversion Rate Factors on the Conversion Rate blog:

Cheers Alasdair,