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Within 0.01 seconds of landing on peeledsnacks.com this popup appears:

Peeledsnacks.com_Popup

Like, the page hasn’t even fully loaded and the popup is in my face.  Is that the best tactic?  What do you do when you get startled?  I know what I do: I get out of the way (in this case I click the [x]).  In a world where we can A/B test just about anything why not test the timing of this popup?  I mean, it’s a good offer and I would likely have wanted to signup for a 10% savings.  But give me a second to catch my breath.

What would have happened if the popup appeared once I engaged with the page (defined as time on site or pages seen)?  Would the signup have worked better?  Even if the absolute signup rate might be lower I bet you’d get better quality signups (i.e. people likely to buy your product).  In the end, isn’t that what really matters?

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Sometimes, Adding Friction Improves Conversions

When I landed on llbean.com through a PPC ad I was greeted by this popup–

LLbean.com

CLICK HERE TO ACTIVATE button could have been eliminated. They could have just shown the SAVE10 coupon code. Normally, reducing steps improves conversions. But in this case, llbean.com is adding friction (the need to click a button to activate coupon code) and it’s a brilliant strategy. Why? Because CLICK HERE TO ACTIVATE is a trigger that subconsciously influences the shopper. Once shoppers hit CLICK HERE TO ACTIVATE they have taken an action that takes them deeper into the conversion funnel. It’s not like they can’t turn around, they can, but it’s going to be 6% harder. Who knows how long that coupon code will remain activated? Who knows if SAVE10 can be used later without clicking CLICK HERE TO ACTIVATE first? Would it still work?

These questions incentivize the shopper to stay on llbean.com (i.e. away from L.L.Bean competitor sites).

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Fear Tactics

I clicked on an abt.com PPC (pay per click) ad and this message caught my attention—

comparison_site_banner

Notice the Purchasing from an unauthorized seller may invalidate your warranty text.

This is a very effective message for a PPC landing page.  Why?  Because the #1 objective of a PPC landing page is to prevent shoppers from hitting ‘back’ button (and reviewing competing ads).  And that’s what abt.com’s warning message accomplishes.

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Riding Coattails is Clever

Fact 1: 100 million people watched the super bowl this year.

Fact 2: The shark to the left of Katy Perry made a great impression on popular culture.

Fact 3: Revzilla.com knows online shoppers have an attention span of 5 seconds, tops.

Fact 4: The one thing revzilla.com wants new site visitors to know is that they offer free shipping over $39.99, guarantee lowest prices, and have excellent customer service.

Combine Facts 1, 2, 3 and 4 and you get this—

Revzilla.com_Banner

Nearly every visitor to revzilla.com homepage will notice the shark graphic, and by association, the assurance message next to it.  And that’s the whole point.

Only thing I don’t like: Combining shark message with President’s Day sale message might be a mistake.

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Clever Way to Capture Email

On horse.com this popup appears on landing pages—

Horse.com_Email

Couple observations—

1: Well designed.  Design matters.

2: Creates sense of urgency via Limited Time ONLY! banner.  Could be more effective if they showed dynamic date.  Example— Offer Ends [current date + 4].

3: They use a non-generic promo code (0EC211Y8IJ).  This is an important detail because when shoppers see generic coupon codes they tend to assume they’re freely distributed, a promo code like 0EC211Y8IJ looks special.

4: “We’ve applied your coupon, start shopping and save!”— clever.  The shopper doesn’t have to worry about manually entering coupon code since it’s been applied preemptively.  I did notice that on their cart page they show the discount …

Horse.com_Discount

… but don’t clarify that this discount is the automatically applied discount.  I’d clarify that through simple messaging tweak.

5: WANT TO SHOP LATER?— this is a super important detail.  Many people who are seeing this popup might not be ready to use the coupon code today.  Offering the convenience of emailing that coupon code to the shopper is a win-win for both parties.

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Come out and Say It

3ACTIVE is a brand of 3D glasses by Dimensional Optics (dimensionaloptics.com).  3Dglassesunlimited.com is an e-tailer that competes against Dimensional Optics.  Makes sense so far?  Ok.

I Googled 3ACTIVE and this paid ad appeared on my screen—

3ACTIVE_PPC

With a juicy message like What 3active Owners Wish They Knew. Before Buying – Avoid Regret! it’s impossible to not click the ad.  Clicking the ad takes shoppers to a page where 3Dglassesunlimited.com very eloquently explains why doing business with Dimensional Optics is a bad idea.  The page has been cleverly constructed and I recommend you check it out.

Is 3Dglassesunlimited.com playing fair?  Who knows?  Is the tactic working? Most likely.  Google certainly doesn’t mind PPC bidding wars.

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Data Breach + Bad Usability = Worst Possible Combo

Target (the retailer) was hacked recently and 110 million customer records were stolen.  Target took swift action and offered customers free credit monitoring for 1 year.  They sent an email asking customers to visit protectmyid.com and enter their activation code.

Let’s think about this from the perspective of a Target customer.  They are obviously freaking out and any personal information requested by Target is a sore topic.  But I wanted my identity protected so I visited the requested page.  Screenshot of top half of page—

Target_LP_Top

On protectmyid.com I’m required to enter my Social Security number.  That’s a big deal.  I wanted to make sure this was a legitimate site so I scrolled to bottom of page and clicked BBB (Better Business Bureau) link on footer—

Target_LP_Footer

Guess what?  The link doesn’t work.  Don’t believe me?  Go to protectmyid.com/target and click BBB (Better Business Bureau) link on bottom half of page.

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