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Closed Loop Marketing Case Study

Multivariate testing and A/B testing with ion doubles conversion rates

Closed Loop Marketing Digital Content Experiences Case Study

BACKGROUND

Closed Loop Marketing specializes in making websites more profitable. Founded in 2001, the agency’s core services include A/B/multivariate testing, search marketing, landing page optimization, user experience optimization and user research.

THE CHALLENGE

Prior to using ion, Closed Loop Marketing faced a challenge many marketers are familiar with: having to rely on client IT teams to get landing pages built and deployed on their clients’ websites. The process was slow and inefficient – IT resources often weren’t readily available, and sometimes they weren’t able to produce pages to spec, introducing delays for corrections and updates. Frustrated, Closed Loop Marketing looked for better, more agile solutions to landing page optimization, and found ion.

"The ion platform enables a continual cycle of innovation that allows our clients to maximize the return on their online marketing – I see it as a direct source of competitive advantage for them."

– Lance Loveday, CEO, Closed Loop Marketing; Author, Web Design for ROI

FOR EXAMPLE

Using ion's paltform, Closed Loop Marketing has helped its client, Blurb, increase site registrations from their pay-per-click (PPC) and display ad traffic segments.

Blurb helps customers create their own bookstore-quality books. Its business model is e-commerce with a twist: First, customers register and create their custom book with one of Blurb’s free book-making tools. Next, they upload the finished book to Blurb’s site. Finally, they order printed copies of their book from Blurb’s site. They can also make their book available in Blurb’s online store for others to order.

Closed Loop Marketing had been managing Blurb’s PPC campaigns and had grown the campaigns substantially over time, but had always been constrained to using landing pages available on Blurb’s main website. Without direct access or control over the pages for landing page testing or tweaks, Closed Loop Marketing was limited in how quickly they could test new ideas.

In 2010, when Blurb wanted to take their PPC campaigns to the next level, Closed Loop Marketing told them they’d need to focus on landing page optimization. And that meant incorporating real-time testing and a more nimble approach to page iteration.

THE SOLUTION

Closed Loop Marketing selected ion to help them launch and test new landing page experiences quickly and easily without having to further burden their clients’ already overtaxed web development teams.

THE EXAMPLE WITH ION

Closed Loop Marketing took a phased validation approach to expanding Blurb’s landing pages. First, Closed Loop Marketing created a new design template that incorporated usability and conversion best practices, and deployed the new template across the 5 highest volume products. Next, the new template was A/B tested against the old page, and each test resulted in strong conversion improvement for the new template. Armed with this test data, Closed Loop Marketing used the new template to build new pages for products and keyword groupings that previously had no separate landing pages. Closed Loop Marketing also built localized versions of the new pages for the EU, Australia, Canada and the UK. Finally, after a round of baseline testing, Closed Loop Marketing leveraged the paltform’s dynamic elements to quickly expand the new pages into multiple tailored versions, each with a tighter focus than before. ion’s platform has allowed Closed Loop Marketing to easily manage and test over 200 targeted landing experiences.

Once the major portion of the landing page expansion was complete, Closed Loop Marketing moved to the next part of their plan. Using ion’s A/B and multivariate testing capabilities, they created a testing plan to try larger, more innovative changes to the template and then smaller, iterative changes to the landing page elements. With the platform’s no-code multivariate testing tool they have tested multiple variations of page copy, imagery, call-to-action buttons, and many other elements.

ion made it possible for Closed Loop to quickly create new pages, test many individual page elements, manage hundreds of pages, and measure and report on success across each campaign.

THE RESULTS

With rapid, continual testing in the ion platform, Closed Loop Marketing quickly saw Blurb’s average conversion to registration rates nearly double, from 7 to 13% on average, and it continues to increase today.

Thanks to high-converting landing pages and landing page testing, Closed Loop Marketing has been able to steadily increase the registration volume and revenue from Blurb’s search marketing program while maintaining Blurb’s desired ROI. The constant cycle of innovation and optimization made possible by ion has given Blurb a considerable competitive advantage: a projected annual increase in conversions that’s measured in the tens of thousands.

Closed Loop Marketing CEO Lance Loveday explains it best, “Landing page optimization is the other half of search marketing – the one people talk a lot about but don’t really act on. With ion, we can do landing page optimization the right way, and the results speak for themselves.”

WHAT'S NEXT?

Closed Loop Marketing plans to continue leveraging their deep expertise in SEM and LPO to help clients get the most out of the SEM channel. By building the ion platform into the formula, Closed Loop Marketing gets an end-to-end campaign management offering with the control they need to do their best work, and their clients get better results than competitors who take the traditional piecemeal approach to SEM.

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