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Posts by Natalie Hart

FutureNow Post
Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011 at 10:07 am

See the Visitors Through the Metrics

February 15th, 2011

Saturday night I went out to a new bar to play pool. I’m no pool shark, but enjoy a good game and watching the strategies of others. Within the first ten minutes, it became clear that the hall was short-staffed, and there was some confusion among the employees about who would be doing what. It was slightly annoying, but no sooner had we picked up on the problem than the manager came over to each table, apologized, took responsibility, and…

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FutureNow Post
Friday, Jan. 28, 2011 at 8:23 am

What to Do When You See a Test Failing

January 28th, 2011

If you test, whether it be A/B or Multivariate, chances are you’ve seen at least one test that has failed. We’d all like to get a 100% success rate, but testing itself is conducted because there are visitor behaviors we are incapable of predicting. Even with 10+ years of experience in behavior-based conversion rate optimization, we here at FutureNow are sometimes wrong. So, the question is, when you see that your test is failing, what do you do?

Just like there…

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FutureNow Post
Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011 at 10:32 am

Use Testing to Make Business Strategy Decisions

January 6th, 2011

We all know that testing is a great tool to use when deciding between images, content and layout, but have you ever considered it to make business decisions? Recently, a client came to me with a predicament: UPS is raising their shipping costs by 5%. My client wanted to know if it would be best to swallow these costs or pass these charges onto their customers. Obviously, they didn’t want to jeopardize their customers; however, incurring greater shipping costs was…

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FutureNow Post
Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010 at 9:07 am

Cart Full of Money – How to Prevent Cart Abandonment

December 21st, 2010

Whether you’re just beginning optimization or you’ve been doing it for the past 13 years (as we have), cart abandonment rate is one of the first places you should start and continue to cycle back to. This is because visitors who add to cart are yours to lose in the sense that they have already chosen your site, found something they liked, and had enough confidence to add the item to your cart. A friend of mine likes to drive…

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FutureNow Post
Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010 at 9:09 am

Why the Holidays Are the Perfect Time To Tweak Your Site

December 2nd, 2010

I’ve seen it time and again with my clients: as soon as the holiday season (sometimes even the beginning of the 3rd quarter) arrives, they begin to discuss putting a hold on their optimization efforts. I always ask WHY? I have at least three reasons why you should optimize during the holidays:

Getting a large influx of traffic is perfect for testing, especially if you know you have problems in lower traffic areas of your site!  And tests reach their…

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FutureNow Post
Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010 at 10:20 am

True Customer Care Pays Dividends

November 9th, 2010

Thank youMany online retailers have an endless stream of gimmicks and promotions to hook the customer. But sometimes all you need is a little good word of mouth to help you gain the advantage.

Recently, my friends and I began seeing Lands’ End Canvas free shipping coupons in popular magazines. Intrigued by the possibility of a new line from this brand known for quality, and drawn in by the promotion, we went to their site and began to peruse their inventory.

After a…

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FutureNow Post
Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010 at 9:06 am

Lead Value: What It Is, How to Calculate, and Why

October 21st, 2010

There’s no denying it: Conversion Rate improvements are great, but at the end of the day, data is nothing more than a bunch of numbers, while cash is something you can take to the bank! And more importantly, if you’re the Marketing Department, dollars are something you can take to the CEO and other decision-makers at your company to maintain buy-in for your Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) efforts and spending requests. That’s why it’s important to always tie your CR…

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FutureNow Post
Friday, May. 14, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Conversion Optimization: How Being Wrong Can Lead to Good Insights

May 14th, 2010

Google Image Result for http___schools.evergreenps.org_199420611231125463_lib_199420611231125463_dumbteacher.gifI had an interesting testing experience with one of my clients recently.  After looking closely at the data, I formed my hypothesis, and made a recommendation for a variation to test…and it underperformed the original version!  I was WRONG!

Now, I don’t expect to be right with every test (in fact, that’s WHY testing is so important), but my hypotheses are based on real data with a strong analysis behind them…and I have never been THIS wrong.  Was…

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FutureNow Post
Monday, Apr. 5, 2010 at 11:00 am

When Customer Reward Programs Backfire

April 5th, 2010

Ahhhhh, yes… those ever-so-compelling customer rewards and points.  In addition to discounts and freebies, many companies now offer points as a system of rewards for their customers and clients.  While I’m all for getting an extra 10% off my next pair of shoes, or $15 dollars off my next purchase of $150 (or more), I believe that if you really want to reward your visitors, make it easy for them to redeem these special bonuses.  If…

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FutureNow Post
Friday, Mar. 5, 2010 at 8:46 am

Credibility: Yours to Loose

March 5th, 2010

sotpShow of hands: How many people noticed the typo in the title?  My guess is that those who did were ready to jump all over my mistake.  It was done intentionally to help prove my point: Visitors notice typos. (For those who are still confused: loose = free or released from fastening or attachment; lose = to come to be without.)

These days, most people are less skeptical about the internet.  We think little of viewing bank statements, paying utility…

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