An in-depth case study from our work with Conversion Rate Experts, including before and after images of winning A/B tests

It's fair to say we talk a lot about how you can improve your digital marketing results here at SmartInsights. It's kind of our thing. I like to think nobody does it better. But those who talk the talk should also be made to walk the walk, else how else do they know their advice is actually relevant and applicable to real business? Since we're always talking about the need to optimize across the whole customer journey and constantly test messaging to boost your conversion rate, we worked with Conversion Rate Experts to do exactly this. We wanted to share what we did and the changes we made with you so you can make similar improvements to your own sites which can deliver big boosts to your CRO.

Start out with deep research


How to boost CRO for non-ecommerce sites

When you think of Conversion Rate Optimisation and AB testing, what comes to mind first is probably ecommerce websites, product pages, baskets and checkouts. But the scope of optimisation programs is much wider than this. We work with several brands, from car dealership groups to home improvement to charities, where the objective is to create a lead, usually via a form – the sale or activity happens in a branch, over the phone or in a customer’s home, rather than on the website. The challenges when optimising these lead generation sites can be quite different to e-commerce. Here are some of the things we’ve learned over the years.

1. There is no such thing as ‘best practice’ in a lead generation websites

Arguably, there’s no such thing as best practice on any website, but, still, there are some conventions and expectations around checkouts and product pages that…

How golfing brand Lyle & Scott achieved a 48% Increase in Revenue Per Visitor

Throughout its 140 year history, Lyle & Scott has built a global reputation for distinctive, beautifully designed, high quality knitwear, combined with the brand’s solid authority and presence in the golfing sector.  The company is committed to developing new and exciting products, making them available to customers across multiple channels. The Lyle & Scott website ( now retails in over 50 countries worldwide making ecommerce one of the major components of the company’s sales structure. This case study shows how they increased the vital revenue per visitor KPIs by following the AWA Digital Ecommerce CRO process.

CRO project background and objectives

Lyle & Scott’s objective was to increase the conversion rate of the Website. The ecommerce team wanted to augment online sales by increasing revenue per customer. The ecommerce team had built a substantial customer database and were already mining…

Get the right strategy in place before you start testing

Starting and running a conversion programme is all about asking the right questions. The questions you want to ask of the tests themselves, but also the questions you need to ask yourself and your team to get the most out of the programme. Here are our 18 chronological questions to ask yourself and your team if you have recently started a conversion optimisation programme.

Before you test

1. Are a broad range of specialisms feeding into the optimisation programme?

The most effective optimisation programmes need input from strategists, user-centred designers, front end developers, copywriters and analysts.

2. What sources are you using to feed into the ideation process?

Typically the highest quality tests (i.e. the ones that will deliver the biggest uplifts and/or provide the greatest insight into the business) make use of a number of the following techniques/sources: persuasion/emotion/trust (PET), heuristics, user research (remote or moderated)…

A review of the popularity and effectiveness of different CRO approaches

Segmentation and targeting are so important to delivering relevant marketing messages which boost conversion, yet the research suggests that many digital marketers are leaving money on the table because they are not serious enough about segmentation and targeting. In this article, I'll describe research we commissioned to understand the effectiveness of different approaches for segmentation and targeting as part of CRO. I noticed that another recent study has shown a similar situation in the US where 76% of marketing execs say they don't target with Behavioural targeting data according to a Razorfish study. After 25 years in data-driven marketing, I’m biased, but the facts speak for themselves. The graph below is from the RedEye Whitepaper 'The 7 best ways to improve website conversion and sales for larger e-commerce businesses'. It shows that for website conversion segmentation is more highly rated compared with,…

A structured guide to improving leads and sales from your website

You'd think Conversion Rate Optimisation would a “no-brainer”. You can get more leads/sales from your website without spending extra money on marketing for new visitors. Sold.  But it seems as if the jargon and complexities of analytics can get in the way of understanding approaches how to improve conversion rates. To help demystify what’s involved with a structured approach to improving conversion, we’ve created a 6-step process, which is the foundation of all our client projects, dubbed Conversion Architecture. To help explain to non-specialists what’s involved in a typical conversion project, I’ll be sharing how we approach each step in a series of articles on Smart Insights. In the first in this series, we'll cover Step 1 - Analyse

Step 1 Analyse

This is probably where most people start to get a glazed look…

How to nudge your customers towards conversion

Take it as an established truth: your customers are lazy. They want you to come to them, offer your product and ask minimum effort in return. They will pay you more if you allow them to be lazy. This means your first concern is to check whether your website will be admired by anyone except you. Ask your friend to “buy” something there. Did they manage it in 4-5 clicks? Have you made your registration form too complicated? Are delivery prices and conditions clear? To scale this to a more, I recommend you run a series of user tests with services like User Testing or What Users do in this Smart Insights list of online customer research tools.  You can also review this checklist for eCommerce beginners with which you can verify your online store. For those who want to get a…

An interview between conversion strategy specialists Hugh Gage and Craig Sullivan

Structured testing to improve website effectiveness has gained a lot of traction among digital marketers in recent years. Its adoption has been helped by success stories of subtle changes such as Google adding $200m in revenue by testing 41 shades of blue on their ad links, or the $300 million button, or even the $500 million button.

These types of 'quick wins' have encouraged more structured programmes moving from simplistic conversion rate optimisation split test to a more compelling realm of driving incremental revenue and profit.

The examples of improvement above are perhaps too tantalising, since they suggest that it's easy to get started and get great results. For many, the real world isn't like that - you have to make the case to colleagues and tests may fail to give these rewards.

As part of writing the Smart Insights…

Examples of applying proven techniques to create higher converting landing pages

Your landing page serves as your first impression to your site visitors. When you give them a great first-time experience, then they will want to explore further, even go as far as making purchases, returning and giving you referrals. Well, the term ‘good landing’ page is relative. Hence, we will get more accurate in our post and talk about a high-converting landing page, which is our definition of a great landing page. In this post, we will talk about the importance of a landing page giving different statistics as proof while including data-driven tricks for landing page designs in 2016. In brief, here is what you should expect to find: Important landing page statistics you should know in 2016 Causes of low landing page conversion rates Proven ways of boosting your landing page conversion rate

Important Landing Page Statistics You Should Know In…

When is the best time to call time on a split test??

One of the biggest issues when running a split test is knowing how long to run it for. Confusingly, depending on the split testing tool you use it may tell you when to stop or it may even stop the test for you based on it’s own statistical calculations. For the uninitiated that might sound like job done but in fact it’s misleading and possibly injurious to the final objective. You need to consider a few other things:

Business cycle

For the purpose of split testing, the business cycle, i.e. aggregate trade activity over a given period of time, is often thought of in terms of weeks or months. Years is rather too long to call a result even if it is likely to be statistically more robust. Days are pretty pointless, they are far too short a time…