CAra Harshman at CTA Conference 2016

CTA Conference 2016: Cara Harshman

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DISCLAIMER: This post is written as a live blog from Call To Action Conference 2016. There may be typos and grammar to make my high school English teachers weep. Please excuse those … it’s a fast=paced conference with back-to-back sessions and no time for proofing or even proper writing.

Coming up after the lunch break is Cara Harshman from Optimizely who our regular readers will remember from our coverage of her session at last year’s Mozcon.

She begins by talking about Amazon circa 1998.  She quotes Jeff Bezos with, “If we have 4.5 millions customers we shouldn’t have one store, we should have 4.5 million stores.”  A revolutionary idea in 1998 but now we know it’s exactly the way Amazon does it so successfully now.

Cara suggests we need to kill the homepage and replace it with a landing page for each person.  Customize and personalize by known factors like time of day, what company you were from, etc.  They did this themselves very successfully.  She’s going to take us through the process …

1 – Why design and personalize?

  • Their current site had hit it’s peek though converting well.  They found many conversions low quality.  They had reached their local maximum.
  • They needed to approach their global maximum (best they can do).
  • They needed to support account-based marketing.
  • They needed a site to focus on lead generation.  Think about “who” first, then move to the message and then worry about where the message is.
  • They wanted to focus on showing their product rather than telling users.

2 – What did they change?

  • They took what worked and moved it but knew they needed to add a ton of additional content and personalize.
  • They created 26 audiences.
  • Audiences should be: identifiable, valuable, differentiated
  • They are then divided into 2 categories: behavioral and demographic. (what they are and who they are)
  • They used geoIP providers to target location data by IP.

3 – Redesign page

  • They added a lot more content to the page.  If you want to add personalize content you need to make roo for it.
  • The top section was a hero banner.  They tailored that for each company they worked with.  They wold title the page to include a company name if they knew it.
  • They included personalized information about events around them if applicable.

How did it perform?

They started with a 50/50 test to ensure it would be successful.  They measured …

Qualitative – anecdotal tweets and client feedback

Quantitative – stats – 1.5% increase in engagement, 113% boost to visitors to solutions page and 117% increase in starts-account-creation.  No effect on the funnel of leads.  They’re still testing.

Cara reiterates and stresses the importance of testing.

She wants us to ask who are our most important customers and then ask how I can speak to them more directly and personally on the site or via other channels.


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