Making An Eye-Catching Website: Testing the Essential Elements
From Red Rocket’s Live Marketing Test Laboratory.
I know what you’re thinking. Testing and experiments sound a little boring. But, before you even think about leaving this page consider this…
Two People Launch Nearly Identical Websites. One Makes $81.06; The Other Makes $11,593.47. How’s That Possible?
You’re about to find out.
Our task everyday when we enter our marketing test laboratory is to discover the slight differences that can amount to thousands of lost dollars.
In this research brief you’ll find out how our laboratory tests have revealed clear-cut reasons for the success and failure of multiple experimental websites, including the example above.
Unlike the findings from most scientific experiments, I think you’ll see that the results are actually exciting and hold the potential answers you’ve been looking for. You’ll be able to use the results of our research and immediately implement a variety of quick fixes that can easily increase your website’s sales by more than 220%.
Let me just take a minute to bring you up to speed on a few things. First of all, why do we have a marketing test lab?
I have to be honest with you…
“We didn’t always build websites
that automatically generated leads and
effortlessly brought in the sales.”
There was a time, back when we first began developing websites in the 1990s…
We were like most other firms, making sites that looked great. Sure our clients were happy with their sites…for the first couple weeks. Then, they realized that their sites were just nice-looking sites, and that was it.
After all, what good is a hot-looking site if it doesn’t have lots of traffic and make tons of money?
I’m sure you’ll agree that a site that gets just a few visitors and even fewer sales is a TOTAL WASTE OF MONEY!
The last thing we wanted was to waste our clients’ money like the other marketing firms. That simply wasn’t acceptable.
We didn’t want to be like the other web designers who just made pretty sites that disappointed their owners after they realized that their new site wasn’t actually impacting their business.
We wanted to build sites that our customers would be proud to call their own. Sites that make our customers look great. But more importantly, sites that knock their socks off when they see their bank accounts growing.
You see, there are two kinds of websites:
- Websites that just serve as an online brochure so people can learn more about you and…
- Websites that are intentionally designed to make people weak in the knees, while they anxiously search for your order button.
Which kind of site would you rather have?
Unfortunately, most website owners have the first kind and are disappointed with their site’s performance because they just offer information about the company and don’t really do anything.
Does your site do all that you had dreamed it would when you first had it built? Come on; be honest with yourself.
Sure, you might be thinking that you had to get a site built just so you could tell people where to go when they asked for your website address. Well, if that’s all you want, then you can stop reading right now…
But, if you’re like our other customers who come to us, fed up with their existing, non-productive sites, then keep reading. You’re about to discover how we have transformed their sites from vacant, do-nothing Web pages into fully-automated websites that are:
- dynamic and exciting
- packed with hundreds of new visitors every single day
- continuously drawing people back again and again
- automatically converting prospects into paying customers
- producing income 24 hours-a-day
“How are we able to create sites
that get results like this when
the majority of all other sites are worthless?”
Research. Research. Research. There’s no substitution. And, there’s no shortcut for experience. While other firms dedicate all of their time to billable work, we think that it’s more important to first discover why some things work and others things don’t.
Because of our relentless desire for excellence, we have taken the time to question. We test, refine and improve our techniques every day in our test lab. Only then, after we have conclusive evidence that something works and we’re certain as to the reason why, do we turn the results over to our marketing team to implement on our clients’ sites. That way, Red Rocket’s clients aren’t treated like guinea pigs.
At times, it’s been exhausting but as our clients will tell you, it’s worth all of the effort we’ve put in to uncover the keys to successful online sales.
Just listen to the amazing success that our client, Skip Thomas, has had since first putting his site online:
“I thought I knew everything about my business because I’ve been at it since 1979 and have pretty much cornered the local market. However, after you guys came in last year and changed our focus to selling our patio covers over the Internet, our online sales now account for 17% of our total annual sales. We’ve had to hire more people and even build a bigger building to take advantage of the huge surge in business. Thanks for the expertise that you’ve brought to our business.”
Cedar Supply and VinylPatioKits.com
Fort Collins, CO
“So are you ready to see
the astounding results from
our recent 24-month study?”
Alright, here it is in a nutshell. Here’s how this particular marketing experiment worked. Our lab techs actually built several different experimental websites complete with products, advertising budgets, sales copy and more. Then after the launch, they used a series of A/B split tests to improve the sales until they reached our target goal. Then, for the second half of the experiment, in an effort to see how competition, market saturation and other factors play a role in the on-going sales of the sites, we actually performed zero maintenance on the sites, other than monitoring customer service and fulfilling orders until the sites began running in the red. Over the ensuing months, we studied the effects of neglect as the site’s sales rapidly decreased.
In this research brief, we will only be covering the first half of the experiment in-depth. The second half of the study is documented in our research brief titled, “Testing the Effects of Competition.”
So, let’s get down to what we found…
There were 2 major questions to be answered by this project:
- What are the essential elements needed in order to complete a successful online product launch?
- Which marketing variables will prove to be the most effective?
So, back to our example in the beginning…
Why is it that two sites that are nearly identical can result in radically different results?
That question has puzzled many business owners for years, and we felt that it was about time we determined the answer.
In developing our test sites, we first began by controlling the majority of the elements in the site. The two sites would look identical. They would use the same fonts, same photos, even the same layout. The only differences that we’d begin testing would be in the slight variations in the sales copy.
We started by posting nearly identical sales letters on both web sites and then started changing subtle elements, like a couple words in the headline. Then we’d wait. We’d drive equal amounts of traffic from Google advertisements to both sites and see which one performed better. The results were so mind-blowing that we thought that something must be wrong. Surely, we had missed something. Surely, we had made a mistake. Maybe we had just done the math incorrectly. We checked our figures and found that nothing was incorrect. The second site, with the tweaked sales letter headline had outperformed the original by more than 92%!
So, we repeated the test again. This time we changed a couple more words. Once again, we saw an increase in sales. The sales nearly doubled again by just changing words like “learn” to more intriguing words like “discover.” It seemed obvious: people love to discover things, but they hate to learn. Learning reminds us of our boring high school chemistry class. Discovery reminds us of the first time we found a 4-leaf clover.
So you see, we learned (or discovered if you prefer) that the simple choice of words that are nearly identical in meaning accounted for a huge difference in the way people responded to the sales copy.
Imagine the impact that we could make to a website if we analyzed every single word and asked if there was a better choice.
We did just that.
And, as you can see the results were astounding. Our original control group, the first website, averaged just $81.06 worth of product sales each month. After revisiting, reworking and tweaking the sales copy, we were able to increase the sales to $11,593.47 per month.
And, bear in mind that the two sites remained virtually identical the whole time. The vital differences were almost impossible to detect. In fact, if you looked at both sites side-by-side, you’d probably be unable to pick which one out-performed the other by more than $11,500 a month.
Here are just a few of the key findings:
- Replacing words like “learn” with exciting, mysterious words like “discover” could nearly double the conversion rate.
- Removing the word “buy” and replacing it with other phrases like “order now” or “take advantage of this offer” increased conversion rates by as much as 26.7%.
- Adding a money-back guarantee increased the success of the sales copy by 207.6%.
- Adding a deadline to encourage people to act now increased conversion rates by as much as 68.5%.
- Adding first name, last name, city and state to the testimonials increased sales by 34.4%.
- Adding the person’s picture next to their testimonial increased the conversion rate an additional 12.9%.
- Making the “add to cart” button say “order now through our secure server” increased sales by 15.8%.
- Making the same button look 3-dimensional so it looked clickable, increased sales by an additional 31%.
- Adding a sign up form to collect names and e-mail addresses increased sales by an astounding 237%!
- Highlighting important phrases in bold or in yellow increased sales by 73%.
- Removing generic words like “things” or “stuff” and replacing them with more specific words increased sales by 6.2%.
- Adding graphics like a picture of a lock and the BBB logo to assure visitors that the shopping cart was completely safe and secure increased sales by 26.8%.
- Adding the Visa and MasterCard logos to the bottom of the page by the order button increased sales by 7.3%.
All in all we tested more than six-dozen variables over the 2-year study. I could go on and on about the facts that we examined, but there’s just not room in this research brief to go into all of the details. However, we’ve prepared a mind-blowing report that reveals all of the most striking findings from not only this study, but, all of our studies over the past 9 years.
If you’d like to discover more of the secrets that we’ve uncovered, please call us at 970-674-0079 and request our detailed free report, “The 4 Keys to Successful Online Sales.”
I guarantee your jaw will hit the ground when you find out some of things that we’ve found. You’ll see exactly why 95% of all websites fail to make money, and you’ll discover what you can do to avoid becoming one of the sad statistics.
This revealing report will show you:
- How to get visitors to your website.
- How to get them to stay at your site.
- How to get them to purchase your services or products.
- How to get them to come back again and again.
The information in this report isn’t your run-of-the-mill mumbo-jumbo that you can find floating around on the Internet. “The 4 Keys to Successful Online Sales” is the culmination of our test laboratory’s 10 years’ worth of work.
Don’t miss the opportunity to finally map out the exact steps needed in order to turn your website in a money-making site that can bring in profits 24-hours-a-day.
I hope to hear from you soon!
p.s. – If you’re one of the first 150 people to call and request your free report, “The 4 Keys to Successful Online Sales” you’ll also be eligible to be entered into our monthly drawing to receive our Basic Website Analysis at no cost. Call 1-970-674-0079 to take advantage of this limited time offer and get your website on the right track today.