Book club: You Should Test That!

by Bruno Dillen - June 12, 2015

‘You Should Test That!’, the latest book by Chris Goward, is not only a handy framework to help kickstart brainstorming sessions for website optimization, it’s also an inspiration, with examples from Google, Salesforce & Shutterfly and others demonstrating the benefits of testing.

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The book explains the L.I.F.T. Model for conversion rate optimization. L.I.F.T. – Landing page Influence Function for Tests – contains the key elements that will either contribute to or hinder your customers from taking a desired action. This model is comprised of:

1. Value propositon

Evidently this is the most crucial element for any product communication. As your customers say: “What’s in it for me?”. A/B and multivariate testing give you the opportunity to see for yourself which product USP works best for your audience and how you should communicate it. You’ll probably be surprised how difficult it is to define the right USPs and the right way to communicate them, but doing so will help you immensely to understand your customers.

It’s essential to discover what’s most important for your customers and then make it easy for them to find what they are looking for. If your customers are looking for a second-hand car, make sure that you’re offering and clearly displaying second-hand cars for sale by using the right USPs.

2. Anxiety

While e-commerce is gradually becoming more common, it still raises a lot of questions for quite a few people. Will I get my product on time (or will I even get it at all)? Am I sure this product is really what I want? What happens if the item breaks? How safe are my personal and payment details? There are a whole lot of reasons to delay an action, which usually ends with never seeing that customer again.

Let the customers know what will happen with a short message or bullet point. The payment, the delivery, the security system, … Make them feel comfortable, but keep it relevant for your products. Convince customers that they can buy products in a safe and secure way. Sometimes it can also be useful to address product-related concerns with comments like “not tested on animals” (e.g. cosmetics) or “non-irritating” (e.g. cream).

3.  Distraction

The internet has taken a further toll on our attention spans. For every product your company offers, there are tens, hundreds and, sometimes even, thousands of other companies looking to grab your customer’s attention. So make sure your site not only loads fast (100ms additional delay might cost you 1%), but also doesn’t push too much information on each page.

4. Relevance

As mentioned earlier, an endless number of competitors are waiting just around the corner looking to steal that customer from you, so only sell what the customer actually wants. There is no hard sell online, so don’t even try to push the customer in a slightly different direction.

5. Clarity

Make sure that everything on your page serves a purpose, and that that purpose matches exactly with the goal your visitor wants to reach. Still need to show multiple call-to-actions? Organize them in a way that there is a clear best choice.

Be clear and cohesive in your messages. Only give necessary information and use language that the customers understand. Furthermore, remember that it’s not all about text: the images and the design on the website also contribute to the clarity of your messages.

6. Urgency

This is your trump card. Anything limited helps your customer decide right there and then. Simply think of saying “only 1 room left” to see how this works, although as with every trick in the playbook, it is important to procede with caution and not try to mislead your customer.

An example from Beobank

While the L.I.F.T.-model is only a guide, we do use the principles in our optimization brainstorming sessions. For Beobank, one of our customers, we are continuously working in improving the ‘Beobank kredietkaart’ pages.

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1. Anxiety: An important bullet in the header for Visa users - “Safe internet shopping thanks to Verified by Visa”

2. Distraction: The message and the image appear at the top of the landing page. It grabs user’s attention and contains the information needed to trigger the customers. This has a clean design without any irrelevant images that can distract customers. Clean and clear.

3. Relevance: This landing page is given when customers look for a ‘Visa card’. The bullets in the header and the message blocks below all contain necessary and useful information. But we have kept it as simple as possible. We guard the customers from an overload of irrelevant information. The USPs we use are the most important for our potential customers.

4. Clarity: The benefits of the card are clearly visible  - “Receive a reduction of 3% on every purchase online

5. Urgency: A sentence between the image and the action button - “Ready to start your request?”

Purchase your copy of ‘You Should Test That!’ by Chris Goward at Amazon.

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Bruno Dillen

Performance Marketeer