Written by Brittany Coombs, Demand Generation Manager at Oracle Maxymiser
When it comes to customer experience optimization (CXO), many companies are somewhere on the CXO maturity curve. With help from my friends at Relationship One, I’ll be sharing my knowledge via a blog series – A Lesson in Testing. Our goal is to inspire and educate marketers on how to take testing to the next level and yield solid (and revenue-increasing) results. Our first lesson – why to test the entire customer journey.
In my experience as a Demand Gen Manager at Oracle Maxymiser, I’ve seen a wide range of companies in many different sectors start a testing program, be it simple and A/B or complex and multivariate. Usually, however, these programs involve only testing landing pages, email blasts, checkout forms, and social media campaigns. Why limit yourself? Test everywhere to improve your customers’ whole online experience! Running more tests in more locations will require a greater resource investment, but trust me—by focusing not on one-off assets but on the holistic customer journey, you achieve more engagement, more conversions, and ultimately, more revenue.
I’ve compiled the three greatest reasons why businesses everywhere (including yours!) should broaden their testing scope.
1. Optimize Your Marketing Efficiency
Testing is valuable in CXO for the same reason it’s valuable in science and in life: It lets you experiment with different variables and discover what works and what doesn’t in relation to your hypotheses, resources, and goals. What elements should Version A of your page include? What about Version B (and C, and D)? How do these elements interact with each other? What action should this page inspire in the target segments?
Through optimization testing, you can find the right combination of answers to these questions, which boosts the odds you activate content that is sticky and resonant. While you’re free to start optimizing without testing, it’s not advisable. Testing makes it more likely your time, money, and expertise will yield the conversion rates and ROI you want.
Also, tests yield data you can use to make your marketing engine as efficient as possible, ensuring the content you deliver reaches—say it with me—the right people at the right time. The data you retrieve from testing builds on itself, informing and leading to future insights, which lets you sharpen how you target.
2. Inspire Customer Loyalty
According to Bain & Co., a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%. I probably don’t need to tell you how important it is to retain your customers—but what you might not know is how important personalization and CXO is to earning and maintaining their loyalty.
Through accurate testing and targeting, you can give individual users the exact experience they need and address their unique interests. This makes customers happier, which makes it likelier they stay with your brand over the competition. And this, in turn, leads to real, tangible uplift in revenue. It increases average revenue per conversion as well as customer lifetime value.
Consider this: While the odds of selling to a new prospect are 5-20%, they skyrocket to 60-70% for existing and returning customers (source: Marketing Metrics). There is clear value in boosting your ability to surprise, delight, and reward those users who have previously converted.
3. Streamline Your Sales Funnel
Even if you’re already testing your sales funnel, are you sure you’re doing enough with it? The length and organization of your funnel affects your conversion rates; the longer and less organized it is, the less likely users are to finish it. Testing, especially when combined with DMP data, helps you figure out the right funnel setup for different segments. And the more tests you run in different places and on different platforms, the deeper your data.
A car insurance company, for example, has many different factors to consider about prospects: age, gender, family status, income level, geographic location, and whether or not someone has previously been in an accident, for example. You can run tests to find the experience that inspires the most conversions in the segments you define by this data.
For instance, testing could show that older drivers are more likely than younger drivers to pay more for better coverage. It could show that prospects in cities where it’s more expensive to own a car, like New York or San Francisco, usually need a special offer to finish converting. And it could help you build a segment for unmarried people, who perhaps don’t need to be shown family packages on initial page load.
With these learnings, you can unclutter your funnel by removing content that’s not likely to engage a certain user profile. This prevents you from showing more content than users need. It also lets you reduce the analysis paralysis users might feel when choosing between options that don’t even apply to them. This, in turn, helps you improve load time, which has a direct positive correlation to conversion rate.
In Short, Test Everywhere
You can never have enough data, and it can be used to inform and improve every aspect of your CXO strategy. The more places you test, the deeper and more complete your data will be, enabling you to maximize your marketing team’s efficiency, make customers happier, and simplify your sales funnel. Testing the holistic customer experience will yield massive ROI in the form of more conversions, engagement, and revenue.
Stay tuned for the next lesson to learn what makes a good test.