CornerBlue Increases Mobile Conversions by 19% Using MixRank

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Founded in 2006, CornerBlue, Inc. has quickly become a leading mobile marketing agency that specializes in performance-based mobile campaigns.  CornerBlue now manages millions of dollars in mobile advertising annually across multiple verticals including education, insurance, and finance.

 

With their growing list of clients, CornerBlue’s team experienced increased pressure to rapidly launch mobile ads in verticals they had not tested before.  In order to efficiently and strategically drive their campaigns, the agency sought insights from real-time industry data.  They needed a solution that delivered proven ad copy and profitable placements to alleviate the time of testing each creative and website.

 

For reliable data, CornerBlue adopted MixRank’s solution because of its abundant amount of indexed ads across every industry.  MixRank offered CornerBlue verified advertising strategies that they used to kickoff new campaigns.  With MixRank, CornerBlue consistently found relevant contextual ad copy and traffic sources for a variety of verticals including the education and finance verticals. 

 

As a result, the intelligent search engine saved the CornerBlue team 25% of their time to set up campaigns, allowing them to focus on other optimization strategies such as researching negative keywords and setting appropriate keyword bids. Since deploying MixRank, CornerBlue’s mobile campaigns have increased daily conversions by 19%.

 

“Our team has found MixRank tremendously useful for our mobile ad campaigns. We use MixRank regularly. The ad copies and traffic sources allow us to jumpstart new campaigns and hit the ground running.”

— Arthur Chaparyan, CEO of CornerBlue

 

8 Tips for Optimizing your Landing Page Conversion Rates

This guest post is by Jonny Steel, Director of Business Development at ClickTale.


You wake up one morning and decide that you would like to double the amount of traffic to your website. Great idea! Your immediate instinct might be to dig deep and succeed to double your marketing budget. However, a much smarter first move (and much easier) is to maximize your landing page conversion rates without spending an extra penny. Often, a series of quick wins, together with some more thorough analysis and testing, can leave you with far better conversion rates.

 

Based on our experience at ClickTale working with some of the biggest brands in e-commerce, travel, entertainment and financial services, here are our top eight tips for landing page optimization:

 

1.
Test, Test and Always be Testing
– Even the best designers and usability experts in the world cannot know for sure which message, image and call-to-action will convert best. Don’t ever let the “HIPPO” in the room dictate your decisions (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion, in case you didn’t know). A simple A/B test or a more sophisticated multivariate test will show you how real visitors actually respond to the different versions.

2.
Visualize your Visitors
– You may have several elements on your landing page such as a sign-up form, key value proposition, image, testimonial, special offer and more. Web analytics will show you the click-through rate or conversion rate of the landing page, but you also need to know which elements your visitors actually looked at and what they ignored. ClickTale’s Visitor Recordings and Heatmap Suite show you exactly what your visitors do – where they hover, click, and scroll. You can watch recordings of individual visitors as if you’re sitting behind them or analyze hundreds of visitors on Heatmaps. This visualization of visitor behavior arms you with the knowledge of what content helps to boost conversions and what is just a distraction.

3.
Keep an Eye on Your Competitors
– Always remind yourself that you were not the first person to drive traffic to a website or create a relevant landing page. You may have direct competitors or at least other businesses in your space. MixRank Professional is a great tool for easy landing page research showing you what similar marketers are testing, the changes they make and reveal what they have learned through experience.

4.
Fantastic Forms
– Your landing page may have a simple call to action button, but in many cases you actually want to collect visitors’ information through a simple registration form. You are always split between keeping it short versus collecting more data to make your job easier later on. Rather than basing your decision-making on guesswork, ClickTale’s Form Analytics identifies all the fields in your form and shows you, for each one, where visitors abandon the form, take long to complete, encounter errors or leave it blank. This way you’ll have the most optimized forms possible.

5.
Know Your Goals
– One of the first questions you need to ask yourself is “what is the goal of my landing page?” Sometimes you want to communicate what you do and get visitors to just start clicking. On other occasions, you want them to give you their email address, or even make an immediate payment. Whatever your goal, absolutely everything on the page must be geared towards it. You may have other messages you would like to communicate but if they don’t correspond with your key message, then you’re better off without it. Focus on your value, take out the noise and let yourself be heard.

6.
Clear Call to Action
– The main CTA button must be clear, prominent and seen by all. You’ll be amazed how many leading websites have their call to action button below the fold, hidden among other content or simply not compelling enough. You may want something simple like “Start Now”, “Register Today” or “Free Trial”. On other occasions a slightly longer message might work better like “Start Saving Money Today” or “Try Our No-Risk 30-day Free Trial”. Only testing will help you discover what works best for your visitors.

7.
Build Trust
– Your visitors may be first-timers who don’t know you. One of the most important goals of your landing page must be to reassure them that you are a reliable website which offers them great value. There are plenty of ways to do this but a good first step is to include a handful of logos of existing customers or quotes from satisfied users. If you’ve been featured in any well-known newspapers or websites, add their logos too. They don’t need to take up much space or attention but just to be there to subtly communicate this message.

8.
Lower the Risk
– Make it a no-brainer to proceed. You want visitors who have clicked through to your landing page to spend no more than 30 seconds looking at your page and be convinced that it makes sense to get started. The message in your marketing campaigns should flow smoothly into the landing page. With a key value proposition, simple form, evidence from customers and/or press coverage and of course an attractive design, you will minimize any obstacles. If you can offer them something with zero risk, like a free trial or an opportunity to browse or play without an initial payment, there will be little to hold them back!

 

About the Author

Jonny Steel is Director of Business Development at ClickTale, responsible for all partnerships, whether agencies or technology partners. With a background in e-commerce, he understands the desperate struggle websites face to understand what their customers are actually doing on the site. His main concern at ClickTale is developing a host of valuable integrations for our customers and ensuring that our valued partners are getting all the support they need. Jonny holds a law degree and MA in War Studies from Kings College, London.

About ClickTale

ClickTale is the leader in Customer Experience Analytics, the next advance in web analytics, optimizing usability and maximizing conversion rates of any website. Its patented Customer Experience Visualization™ technology allows ebusinesses to see their customers’ true-to-life online experience at all levels of detail, from aggregated views to playable videos of users’ browsing sessions. Unlike traditional analytics platforms that assess page-to-page navigation, ClickTale reveals the customer experience inside the page. ClickTale, an enterprise-class SaaS solution, is fast to deploy and provides immediate ROI. Serving over 2,000 customers worldwide including Fortune 500 ebusinesses, ClickTale is the fastest growing company in its space.

Reading this Book Cost Me $15,000

If you’ve been following this blog you know I am a huge fan of learning marketing from the classics. Indeed, the fundamentals of human psychology and persuasion collected in these books offer tremendous insight that will help you make more money.But, as I learned with a campaign I ran in the halcyon early days of my affiliate marketing career, you can’t follow everything in the textbooks too closely.I was building a campaign for an education(scholarship grant) offer. I had done a little traffic in this vertical before, and I knew it had potential to be a huge campaign. So I was going to do this right, just like the old masters of direct response.Every old marketing book will tell you that 80% of marketing is research. And research I did. I spent weeks learning everything I could about my target market, trying to think like the people visiting my landing pages, finding and analyzing every single advertiser in that space, and so on. I searched all of the keywords I thought would be relevant and made huge spreadsheets of all of the headlines used in the ads and landing pages, what kind of images those landing pages used, meticulously documenting every little detail down to the color scheme they used.And that was before I had written a single word for my landing page. That consumed the next month. I think I wrote over 300 different headlines before finally settling on one I liked, in addition to the thousands of words of copy I kept writing, editing, rewriting, scrapping, and rewriting again, until it was as perfect as I could make it.I figured that it would be better to spend the time to create a high converting landing page than to waste money driving traffic to a worse landing page that might not convert.I was wrong.To say this was a lot of work was an understatement. It was a grind, a relentless slog. But the copywriting books promised that engaging in this process of relentless editing and refinement was worth it all. This, according to them, was what separated the good from the great.Meanwhile, while I was laboring on my landing pages, my competitors had thrown together quick landing pages in a few hours, launched their campaigns, and were testing and optimizing based on actual click and conversion data from their traffic.I was eventually able to launch my campaign, and it was profitable very quickly, to the tune of about $250 a day. Unfortunately, I was only profitable about about a week before conversions started dropping off. My competitors has saturated the market, and the campaign died quickly. If, instead of waiting two months to launch, I had launched this campaign right away, I could have been making $250/day for 9 weeks instead of 1 week.Although I had not spent much money, I had given up $15,000 in lost revenue. The opportunity cost of launching this campaign late was greater than any amount I was afraid of losing from launching with an imperfect landing page.All of the seminal copywriting literature, from Claude Hopkins to Gary Halbert was written in a very different time, when launching a marketing campaign was a slow, expensive endeavor. Back then, in the days of direct mail(that’s snail mail in case it’s not clear) you only had one shot to make a campaign work. If your copy didn’t convert the first time around, after paying for printing, postage, and list rental, you just couldn’t afford to try again.Internet marketing changed all of that. Now, it’s possible to test a campaign for only a few hundred dollars. If it fails, no big deal; most campaigns fail. The goal isn’t to craft the most brilliant campaign ever, it’s to test lots of different things and iterate quickly in response to the data the market gives you.When you’re building a business, any business, you need be cognizant of opportunity costs at all times. This is difficult and does not come naturally or intuitively, and it’s something I still struggle with every day. But you only have to look at how wealthy people manage their time and money to see that mastering the calculus of opportunity cost is a big coefficient, if not a precursor, of creating wealth.I think one of the most important things any businessman does is figure out how to allocate his time and resources most efficiently. You may miss out on a few sales initially because of suboptimal landing pages, but the opportunity cost of delaying launching by even a few days will dwarf those missed sales. Every day spent tweaking your landing pages is another day of missed traffic and revenue, and it is costing you money right now.So don’t waste time tweaking and refining your campaigns before the market has had a chance to validate their potential. Quit fucking around and just launch already.

How to Significantly Decrease PPC Click Costs

Most paid traffic campaigns you launch will start off losing money; that’s just a fact of marketing you will have to accept. The long term profits will come later, after you’ve optimized the campaign by removing poorly performing keywords and traffic sources, and increasing bids on high converting ones.But of course it’s always painful to keep running a campaign that is losing money every day, even if you know it will become profitable eventually. So let’s talk about ways to decrease costs as soon as possible and get closer to profitability without blowing through your budget.

Optimize for an Easier Conversion Target

As you know, you need to wait until you get to ~30 actions before you can get enough statistically significant data to make a decision. If you’re selling physical products, you might have to wait a pretty long time before getting to 30 sales for every single ad. This goes directly against our prime objective of building many campaigns and learning fast. To get meaningful data faster, it might make sense to make your initial conversion goal something with a higher conversion rate, like an email opt-in on a squeeze page or even a click through to your shopping cart or sales page.It’s a lot easier and cheaper to get 30 emails than 30 sales (or even long form leads). Optimize for those, and you’ll be able to see what works and what doesn’t much earlier.With me so far? How about optimizing for time on site or bounce rate? Very few advertisers do this, but the ones that can do this successfully are reaping the rewards.This is especially important for CPV/popup traffic, where even small differences in time on site may be a good leading indicator of conversions.If you’re direct linking to an affiliate offer, it may be worth it to switch to a landing page, just so you can collect this type of data and optimize for clickthroughs.This kind of optimization becomes a lot easier if you have good numbers about your entire sales funnel. If you know that 10% of email opt-ins consistently convert into sales or that your EPC on clicks from your landing page is always around $0.50, you’re not risking much by focusing on clicks instead of conversions.

Cut off Losers Fast

Earlier I said that you should always wait until you get to 30 actions before making a decision about a traffic source. This is true if you have an infinite budget in a market with perfect information. But since we don’t, it may be worthwhile to cut a few corners.If a campaign you just launched isn’t converting at all, it might make sense to kill it early, before you have spent lots of money testing, and move on to greener pastures.Sure, you’ll miss out on a few good keywords due to random chance. But accepting a higher incidence of Type II errors may enable a good chunk of your budget to live to fight another day.This is especially important for traffic sources like Facebook Ads or RON campaigns anywhere, which can devour budgets very quickly if you let them.

Optimize Your Landing Pages with Cheaper Traffic Sources

It’s certainly true that different landing pages convert differently with different traffic.But some factors, especially your headlines and calls to action should affect conversions in a somewhat consistent way, regardless of traffic source.When you’re in the early stages of testing landing pages and collecting data for a campaign, try to do it as cheaply as possible. That means getting traffic from Bing/Yahoo through AdCenter, going to PPV networks with lower minimum bids, targeting a country with cheaper traffic like Canada, and so on.Then, when your landing pages have been split tested and optimized as much as possible, you can move over to a more expensive but higher volume traffic source like AdWords.See also this excellent post by Finch on fighting back against rising click costs.

How to Instantly Generate Credibility and Create Trust

You’re losing lots of conversions right now for one simple reason: Your visitors don’t trust you.There a lot of shady, questionable sites out there, all trying to sell something. Maybe yours is one of them, or maybe it’s completely whitehat and friendly…it doesn’t matter. Either way, instead of committing to a purchase a significant percentage of your visitors are leaving forever because they don’t trust your marketing claims…or the quality of your product…or even your company as a whole.Now, there are two ways to build trust:

  1. Slowly and patiently build a strong, well-known brand, all the while nurturing a relationship with your customers so they get to know you and trust you.
  2. Exploit common cognitive biases, evolutionary psychology, and centuries of socialization to instantly evoke deep, genuine feelings of trust in your customers.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time for branding and relationship marketing. If I don’t make sales today, I don’t eat. I know that, for 90% of the traffic to my site, I have one chance and one chance only to get you to buy, and if I miss that chance, you’re just going to turn to my competitors.So let’s go ahead and see what’s behind Door #2.Note: If you think using consumer psychology and common cognitive triggers to increase sales is unethical or manipulative, please stop reading now. This post isn’t for you.Here are just a few of many time-tested, proven techniques you can use to instantly manifest authority and credibility out of thin air.

Always Be As Specific as Possible

This one should be intuitive and obvious to you…which one of these headlines appears more persuasive:

“This system lets you increase traffic to your website” or “By using this 1 simple technique, insight.io got 73% more visitors in just 14 days”

You see, over many, many years, humans have learned a simple mental shortcut for differentiating between opinions and facts. In general, opinions are vague, generic, and unquantified while facts are detailed and to the point.Nobody says “I like this dress 20% more than the other one”. But people do say “This dress is $20 cheaper than the other one”. See the difference?Specific, factual statements just have a certain air of infallibility about them.Every good liar knows the devil is in the details…the more specific you are, the more credible you appear. It’s that simple.

Use a Readable Privacy Policy

This one should be obvious, but so many people don’t do this that it bears repeating. If you have a privacy policy on your site anyway (because of credit card processing regulations, Google Quality Score, whatever), why not use it as a marketing tool? Don’t clutter your privacy policy with legalese. Instead, tell people about how you’ll never sell or share their data, how you use the highest levels of secure encryption, and so on.Think about it…wouldn’t you be more likely to have a warm, fuzzy feeling about a site that spells out in plain English exactly what it’s going to do with your personal information? Even if that site is peddling payday loans?The type of person who clicks on a site’s privacy policy is exactly the type of customer you are losing right now because of lack of trust. Assuage their fears and earn their respect. And speaking of security…

Strategically Deploy Symbols of Authority

You’ve undoubtedly seen those ubiquitous security seals on every shopping cart checkout page. You know, these:

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These seals, which convey no useful information, are so widespread because they work. The mere appearance of such a seal on a landing page has been repeatedly proven to increase conversions, by about 11% according to a Verisign-funded study.You might think that these seals work because they are a way of transferring trust by proxy. That is, if Verisign, a well-known brand I trust, implicitly endorses this site, then it must be trustworthy (Of course, anyone with a few hundred bucks can obtain such a seal, but that’s hardly the point of this exercise). That is not the case.Another company is also in the business of providing security seals to websites. When they first launched their service, this company was a complete unknown. They had no brand or inherent credibility to speak of. All they had was an official-looking seal.This company also commissioned a study to see how much inclusion of their seal on a sales page increased conversions. After lots of testing, this company determined that merchants putting this new security seal on their site increased conversions by an average of…11%.In other words, the Verisign brand on the seal had nothing to do with the increase in conversions. They could have omitted it entirely, or used a completely different, made up brand, and it wouldn’t have made a difference. Simply the presence of an official-looking seal, any seal, was all it took.As long as the seal looks legit, it works its magic.And the authority symbol doesn’t even have to be a seal. I once tested adding a small lock icon(

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) next to the text input on an email opt-in landing page for a financial product. The simple act of adding that lock icon, which only took a few seconds, increased opt-ins by 7.2% versus a nearly identical page with no lock. Not bad for a few minutes’ work.The reason these specific symbols work isn’t arbitrary…it’s the product of years of social conditioning. Every bank website, every secure login page, every check ever written has imprinted in our collective unconscious that

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=TRUST. “Trust us…” that little icon implores. “Your data is secure with us.”

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=TRUST

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=TRUST

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=TRUSTThe Milgram experiments (and thousands of subsequent infomercials) proved that people will obey the most ludicrous commands as long as they’re coming from someone in a lab coat. All you need to do is show them a glimpse of the trappings of authority…and they’re yours.The collective marketing done by thousands of companies has already done the hard work of creating an incredibly effective brand signifying safety and security. All you have to do is reap the benefits.

This Common Tracking Mistake Is Costing You Thousands of Dollars

A few years ago, when I was still getting my feet wet in internet marketing and not making very much money, I had a conversation with an incredibly successful affiliate marketer. This man had come from humble beginnings, starting with little seed money and no marketing knowledge to generating millions of dollars in commissions for himself in less than a year.And he did this by promoting lead-gen offers in the financial space, one the most fiercely competitive and difficult to break into niches out there.Of course, I was dying to learn the secret of his success.I knew he worked very hard, but lots of people work hard without approaching his level of success. So I pressed him to tell me exactly what he was doing to be wildly successful where so many of his competitors failed. And he told me.He said….

“I track everything down to the individual ad level from impression to conversion”

He was advertising on AdWords in the highly contested finance niche, where clicks could easily cost $4-$10 each. His competitors were experienced affiliates and PPC managers for major performance advertisers, so they knew what they were doing.They all carefully tracked each keyword via a unique subid, so they knew exactly which keywords were converting well for their offer. But they weren’t tracking everything.When building a PPC campaign, most advertisers, even experienced search marketers, take two parallel paths in optimizing their campaign:

  1. They look at every keyword’s CTR and conversion rate, and eliminate poorly performing keywords that either have a high CPC(because of low CTR) or a low EPC(because of low conversion rate)
  2. Simultaneously, they test different headlines on their ads to see which one gets more clicks, keeping the ads that have a higher CTR

Do you see what they’re missing????

After finding keywords, the advertisers in this niche would spend most of their efforts on writing enticing ads, using words like FREE! and Try It Now! that would get a lot of clicks, thus lowering their cost per click.This clever affiliate wasn’t doing that, because he knew better. And the reason he knew better is that he wasn’t just tracking how every keyword was converting like everyone else…he was also tracking how every single ad he wrote was converting.For every ad he wrote, he appended a unique tracking ID to the destination URL, which would get passed through as part of the subid to that offer. He had a huge spreadsheet listing thousands of these ID numbers and the unique ad variation and ad group it corresponded to.The meticulous record keeping paid off. By tracking how every single ad converted, he soon realized that his most profitable and successful ads were not the ones with the highest CTR. In fact, some of the ads that got less clicks were responsible for the majority of conversions.Those clicks cost more, but they brought in much higher quality traffic. Instead of trying to get as many people as possible to click on his ad, he pre-qualified potential customers through the ad text, so only the most motivated and profitable customers clicked through to his landing page.When all of his competitors were losing money trying to get a high click through rate and getting cheaper clicks, he optimized his campaign at the individual ad level, went for targeted clicks over cheap clicks and was incredibly successful.Had this affiliate not been tracking every ad, he would have continued to put up high-CTR but low converting ads, lost money on the campaign, and missed out on millions of dollars in revenue for his business.Track every single headline, body, display URL, image, anything and everything. Follow the user from the specific ad all the way to the conversion.If you’re not tracking every little bit of data possible, I guarantee you’re losing money. Don’t make that mistake.