Opticon 2015 is just a week away! As a platinum sponsor, we can’t wait to get to Pier 27 in San Francisco. In addition to participating in two panels and a roundtable discussion, we are honored to be in the running for multiple 2015 Optie Awards, which will be presented during the morning keynote on Thursday.
According to Optimizely, the Opties “recognize companies of all sizes that use the power of analytics, testing and personalization to turn data into action in unique and innovative ways.” In partnership with our outstanding clients, we earned five finalist spots, more than any other company or agency. Here’s the story behind each of our nominations:
Most Dramatic Business Impact:
Blu Dot in partnership with Clearhead
In an increasingly online world, offline catalogs can still be a powerful marketing tool. But creating and distributing printed materials aren’t cheap. When modern furniture and design store Blu Dot needed to validate their catalog strategy, we came to them with a unique hypothesis: replacing BluDot.com’s Newsletter Sign-Up modal with a Free Catalog modal would drive higher catalog requests among new visitors, without negatively impacting email opt-in rates.
The test was a resounding success. When presented to first-time visitors, the modal increased print catalog requests by 775%. Blu Dot knows that each of those recipients drives added profit. And since catalog recipients were automatically opted in to the newsletter, it actually increased email list signups as well.
If you’d like to learn more about our partnership with Blu Dot, check out our Power of Print case study as well as our recent Optimizely blog post on how testing everything is transforming their business. Mike Wodtke, Blu Dot’s director of ecommerce, will also be part of our Opticon panel Making it Stick: The ‘X Factor’ That Made Optimization Succeed.
Village Roadshow Theme Parks in partnership with Clearhead
Before embarking on an extensive—and expensive—redesign, Village Roadshow Theme Parks (VRTP) wanted to validate some of their key assumptions. Based in Australia, VRTP runs the country’s largest amusement parks, including Warner Brothers Movie World, Sea World, Wet’n’Wild Water World, Paradise Country and Australian Outback Spectacular. Visitors could purchase both regular and VIP park passes online, but there was no way for them to easily compare those options on the website.
We hypothesized that presenting ticketing options with a cleaner visual hierarchy would increase order conversion rates and revenue. Short and scannable benefits tables were tested against longer scrolling pages. All permutations of new and old pages were tested against each other, resulting in a complicated multivariate experiment. And that complexity paid off. The combination of new VIP with new non-VIP pages was the clear winner, widening their funnel while also generating a 7% lift overall in conversion rates.
You can get more details and dig in to the executive summary in our Village Roadshow case study Multivariate Testing’s Hidden Thrills. Jon Satterley, the group director of digital development at Village Roadshow, is also making the the trip to be part of our Opticon panel Making it Stick: The ‘X Factor’ That Made Optimization Succeed.
People’s Choice Experience of the Year:
Buildium in partnership with Clearhead
How many SaaS sites have you seen with long scrolling pages filled with tons of information and multiple Free Trial buttons? Buildium, a cloud-based platform for property managers and community associations, had dutifully followed this template. But was that really the best way to capture and convert the most qualified leads?
We worked off a highly disruptive hypothesis: by introducing a simple and fun questionnaire for trial signups, we could present more targeted offers and calls to action, ultimately increasing paid conversions. The responsive survey helped educate and qualify prospects while gathering useful data that could be leveraged by Buildium’s sales team. To execute this multivariate test, we built an entirely new multi-step survey and homepage experience all within Optimizely.
The results were even better than expected. There was a 5.14% lift in trial signups while bounce rates were reduced by 36%. The paid conversion rate also saw a bump of 4.2%, resulting in a monthly recurring revenue lift of over 11%. Plus it validated one of their most unique hypotheses and provided even more ideas for future optimization.
For the full Buildium story and data summary, check out our Revisiting Surveys for SaaS case study.
Developer Extraordinaire Award:
Tom Fuertes of Clearhead
Tom, our director of engineering, is the strategic and technical leader behind our talented team of developers. Fueled by little more than Topo Chico and Seventh Flag coffee, he uses his wide range of testing and analytics experience to help our clients find the data they need to optimize their businesses.
We went straight to the source and asked Tom’s team what makes him so awesome. Here are just a few of things they highlighted:
- “Tom knows the ins and outs of every testing tool—he legit probably knows them as well as the devs who built the tools.”
- “He is never satisfied with the status quo; he doesn’t settle for something that just works, he is constantly thinking of more elegant solutions and patterns that increase the quality of the code.”
- “Tom also has a broad knowledge of the ins and outs of web development, so he can always find a solution or work-around to any issue we’re facing.”
- “He’s not just a mad scientist, as developers are often expected to be. He’s also a great leader, both of people and in our space.”
An Optimizely guru and active member of the Optiverse, one of the primary challenges Tom solved for this year was developing complex experiments outside the standard version control/continuous integration workflows. Teams of engineers working on experiments either suffered quality or became communicationally gridlocked, which meant switching costs and industry standard development conventions became cost prohibitive. To solve the issue, Tom developed and released:
- fstimizely for easily developing experiments off the filesystem so that GitHub and CircleCI could be used to maintain code quality
- optimizely-snippets, an open source collection of snippets and patterns, so that teams were able to better communicate
- timpl so that we could easily merge html and js for larger experiments
- generator-clearhead to quickly scaffold experiments so that teams were able to easily spin up new ones
Thanks to these innovations, Clearhead was able to efficiently break through the engineering headcount ceiling while implementing industry standard best practices of code reviews and automated coverage checks. Switching costs also decreased between experiments, enabling them to launch highly complex experiments across multiple clients.
Solutions Partner of the Year:
Clearhead, the validation and optimization agency
Founded in 2012, we help innovative clients test, validate, hypothesize and optimize their way to data-driven success. In addition to the three great companies highlighted above, our client roster runs the gamut from retail giants to SaaS upstarts. We’ve investigated every corner of every funnel in almost every industry. And like Tom, our talent is second to none. We’ve been in your shoes, and we realized optimization isn’t just another thing, it’s the thing.
If you’re going to be at Opticon, stop by our booth and say hi. We’ll be to the right of the entrance near Optimizely’s booth with plenty of testing swag and Topo Chico. And if you’re ready for a deeper conversation, email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up one-on-one time with the team.
Congratulations to our clients, Tom and our fellow finalists! We can’t wait to see who wins at Opticon on June 18.