Delivered at MGS Europe 19 by Farhad Divecha, Managing Director, AccuraCast.
Get a first-hand account of how Artificial Intelligence and automation are changing the way digitally mature brands and agencies work. The session will cover the benefits and obstacles businesses face when adopting AI, and case studies of successful AI implementation in cross-device marketing campaigns.
ContentSquare on Tuesday launched Arti, an artificial Intelligence (AI) bot that uses data to identify the locations and behavior of consumers in real time as they interact with a
company’s Web site.
“We collect every mouse movement and touch, and can tell when someone comes to the site who’s impatient,” said Efrat Ravid, CMO of the Americas at ContentSquare. “From this
data, we can create behavioral segmentations to accommodate their behavior.”
Arti collects and processes trillions of data points each month from every site visitor interaction on a brand’s
Web site, mobile Web site, and mobile app, and makes recommendations on how to optimize the content.
Lucie Buisson, head of product at ContentSquare, said a handful of clients are testing the
platform. The platform also lets teams collaborate on the software of a service platform and give feedback, and has an extensive reporting infrastructure along with A/B testing features.
ContentSquare has about 200 clients that have millions of customers monthly. Each spend about one to three minutes on the site. “They click, they scroll up, they scroll down and we collect all
this,” she said.
ContentSquare creates audience segments based on customer behavior during a specific part of the day, along with other data.
The AI technology also powers the launch
of the company’s UX Performance Center meant to help brands improve real-time decisions made around data and user experiences on sites.
From the real-time data, the AI lets marketers optimize
or alter the customer journey such as increase or decrease engagement to maximize conversion rates.
The content center platform consists of three main features—My Feed, My Insights, and
Discover—each sharable with other members of the team. My Feed tells the market what to focus on first. My Insights shows how to optimize the content. Discover provides additional insights
through the data.
We want to support you as much as we can during this uncertain time. Check out the COVID-19 Small Business Care Package for a roundup of useful resources—including tech discounts, government subsidies, and marketing tips to help lessen the impact on your business.
Let’s face it: a lot of landing page optimization is guesswork.
Educated guesswork, sure. You know the best practices—copy and design techniques that, by and large, get more of your visitors to convert. And you know your customers. Looking at the results of past campaigns, you’ve got a pretty good sense of what will (and won’t) resonate with your audience. Like a hardboiled detective who’s about to accuse the police chief of having been dirty from the start, you’ve “got a hunch.”
That’s supposed to be where A/B testing comes in, right? You can create landing page variants and see which performs better to validate your hunches. The problem is A/B testing takes an either-or approach to optimization, aiming to find the one page that’ll appeal to as many people as possible. Not all visitors are the same, though, and even your highest-converting variant won’t click for everyone.
That means a lot of your hunches—optimizations that are probably great for some of your visitors, but not enough of ’em—get canned.
We first revealed our AI-powered conversion tool Smart Traffic at CTAConf 2019, where Unbounce co-founder Carl Schmidt made the case for using artificial intelligence to direct visitors to the landing page that’s most likely to convert. That means marketers can follow all of their hunches, using them to create relevant variants for different types of visitors. Rather than either-or, Smart Traffic is either-and… and-and-and-and.
We’ve already told you how Smart Traffic works. Now that hundreds of Unbounce customers are using it, we want to tell you about some of the marketers already optimizing their landing pages with AI.
ConstructConnect: Experimenting with Colors & Imagery
Meet ConstructConnect, a project management tool for contractors and manufacturers that helps them win more bids and grow their businesses. ConstructConnect has only been using Unbounce for a few months, and Smart Traffic was one of the big reasons they gave the platform a go.
We checked in with Tim LaBarge, Marketing Director of Campaigns, and Steven Keyser, ConstructConnect’s Inbound Marketing Director, to see how Smart Traffic is working for them. As Steven explains, they were both eager to take the feature for a spin:
Smart Traffic made sense from the first minute we heard about it. And that’s really why we bought into Unbounce. If you looked at our account, you’d go, “Gosh, these guys hardly put anything in here for four or five months.” That’s because we were waiting for Smart Traffic.
ConstructConnect had only built a handful of landing pages with Unbounce before using Smart Traffic. Tim was running an email promo that pointed recipients at the page below, prompting them to sign up for a demo:
This is one of the original pages ConstructConnect created pre-Smart Traffic. (Click to see the whole thing.)
When Smart Traffic launched, this page was converting an impressive 17% of all visitors. Tim was eager to see if Unbounce’s AI could push that number even higher, so he got working on some variants. And since the page had already been running for a little while, he could compare the results to his existing conversion rate.
For the first variant, Tim experimented with the page imagery. He replaced the background image and swapped the color overlay from blue to orange.
I wanted to test whether color and imagery have any effect on how captivating or engaging the page is. Everything else is the same as the original.
It didn’t take more than a couple minutes to whip up this page variant with new visuals. (Click to see the whole thing.)
Next, Tim wanted to try different messaging. He created two more variants—one in each of the new visuals—and changed the page headline from a statement (“Get Access to Private Projects in Your Area”) to a question (“How Many Private Projects Are Bidding in Your Area?”).
Creating variants for Smart Traffic doesn’t have to be big work—it can just be little tweaks. (Click to see the whole thing.)
Then he turned on Smart Traffic.
It wasn’t long (only about 50 visits) before Smart Traffic started “learning” and ConstructConnect got results. Two of the three variants immediately started converting between 23 and 24%—about 7% higher than before. The third variant slightly underperformed at 14%, so Smart Traffic started routing more visitors to the higher-converting pages automatically.
Not only that, but optimized traffic meant that the original page started seeing more conversions, too.
That was really cool to see. It wasn’t just the variants contributing to a higher conversion rate. Smart Traffic actually helped increase the conversion rate of the control page as well.
One month later, Smart Traffic had created an overall conversion rate lift of more than 35%. That’s translated into a ton of valuable leads for the ConstructConnect crew.
Smart Traffic added about 150 form fills in this [demo] campaign. We’ve got some duplicates, but that’s probably 125 more leads going through to our sales team. That’s significant.
Now that they’ve had a chance to take Smart Traffic for a spin, Tim and Steven plan to use it in all of their campaigns going forward. That includes rebuilding a number of high-traffic landing pages (we’re talkin’ thousands of visitors) in Unbounce so they can take advantage of the feature.
To have an effective A/B test, you need to go slow—just crazy small steps. With Smart Traffic, you can just create a totally different page.
That means ConstructConnect can optimize their pages faster than ever. And since Smart Traffic is constantly re-assessing which visitors are converting where, there’s no need to pick a champion.
Dooly: Using Variants to Target Different Benefits
Next up is Dooly, a CRM automation tool for Salesforce. Though it’s only been around a few years, Dooly has quickly become a must-have for tons of sales teams around the world.
Mark Jung, Dooly’s Head of Marketing, explained the tool’s popularity:
Dooly makes updating Salesforce fast and easy, saving reps up to 20 hours of CRM busy work every month so that they can sell smarter.
Lots of Dooly users discover the tool on their own, then refer it to coworkers at their company. One user becomes two, then four. Before long, the whole sales team is using it.
The viral nature of the product inspired Dooly to create its referral program. It’s super simple: the company assigns each user a unique referral link that they can share with their network. When someone signs up for Dooly using that link (or within 90 days of being cookied), the referrer gets 20% of the revenue—forever, uncapped.
Mark and his team created the promo campaign for the referral program in Unbounce. The plan was to send an email to their customer list, directing them to a landing page that explained how the program worked. But the question came: what messaging would best convince users to participate?
Mark found there were two main motivations for referrals. One was the financial incentive, obviously. (Speaking of which, wanna try Dooly? Lemme grab my referral link.) The second was about helping other people escape the time-suck of plugging data into their CRM.
While an A/B test of the landing page would’ve let Mark figure out which messaging generally resonated better with his whole audience, he knew that highlighting the right incentive for different visitors would help him convert better overall. So, he decided to try Smart Traffic.
For me, Smart Traffic made sense out of the gate. I’ve used Unbounce for years, so I’m used to building page variants, running tests. It’s kind of a natural stepping stone.
Mark built two page variants, with the messaging of each targeting a particular motivation.
One was mostly about the financial benefit: “Refer, earn 20%.” But we’ve also seen a lot of positive mentions in the community about the emotional benefit of Dooly—the pain it saves them every day.
The messaging in the second variant was more about helping your friends stop their CRM suffering. That’s translated really well for our audience.
This variant page for the Dooly referral program is all about that dolla. (Click to see the whole thing.)
Just by swapping the headers, Dooly emphasizes the opportunity to help friends. (Click to see the whole thing.)
When Mark turned on Smart Traffic, he saw results almost immediately.
We had about a 30% lift in conversion rate from Smart Traffic on day one. We’ve also had a ton of conversions that didn’t necessarily convert on the Unbounce page but went to the referrals page in the product. So we’re looking at close to 45 or 50% conversion rate on the campaign.
Of the roughly 100 visitors who hit the landing page on the first day, almost 30 clicked through to get their referral code. Compared with the results Mark would’ve had in a standard split test, about 5 of those conversions are attributable to Smart Traffic.
Since then, Smart Traffic has continued to provide an overall lift of more than 10%. And remember: the virality of the tool means any single new user could win Dooly an entire organization.
Get Better Results Faster with AI-Powered Optimization
Smart Traffic isn’t a replacement for A/B testing. Instead, think of it as another tool in your arsenal. But when you want to deliver the best conversion experience for each visitor (rather than your average visitor), there’s really no comparison.
With Smart Traffic, I can test more things. Just the speed at which the tool is able to start adapting and sending people to different pages, and how quickly you see real gains—more form fills, more leads going through to sales—is impressive.
Start converting on more of your hunches. Build some landing page variants (using these tips), turn on Smart Traffic, and let AI do the rest.
What’s not to like? 24/7 customer service, greater capacity to handle customer inquiries, fewer operational expenses, improved customer satisfaction… But there are also some challenges to using chatbots.
For one, it’s not necessarily easy to ensure your chatbot is effective, and there are concerns about privacy and security.
But, chances are, the benefits of chatbots will outweigh the concerns, since you can take steps to alleviate the latter.
Digital marketing consultant Shane Barker has created an overview of chatbot, including a couple of major categories, as well as chatbot benefits and challenges, delving into each of those.
In 2017 we put together a graph to showcase the must-haves, the should-haves and the nice-to-haves of different AI applications for marketing and growth. We call it the A.I. for Marketing & Growth Maturity Chart.
A lot has changed since then though so it was time for an update. Let’s dive right in!
It’s not new news that AI in Marketing can bring a return on investment for a company’s capabilities.
There are numerous spaces where A.I. is helping marketers.
Text analysis and Computer Vision has now a much wider adoption: from copywriting and campaign optimisation, to collaborative platforms – all of which allow non-native analytics professionals to evaluate, prototype and easily communicate results to their teams.
But where do you start?
Two years and many adopters later from our first diagram, predictive modelling and clustering remain fundamental skills that a professional has to master.
Although they are mature applications, both forms of machine learning have become cheaper and easier to understand.
One of the main changes is that we downgraded recommender systems from a ‘should-have’ to a ‘nice-to-have’.
Despite being some of the most influential applications in our daily lives, the necessity of having a recommendation engine is reduced to businesses that employ a subscription-based model.
Natural language processing has consolidated its applications and status as a should-have.
This is even more powerful when it comes to improving copywriting by analysing the sentiment and personality of your customers.
The use of psychographics has raised multiple ethical concerns and data privacy regulations, forcing marketers to be more diligent with content.
The risk-return here is still unclear, and for this reason, we kept this skill as a ‘nice-to-have’.
Finally, image scoring became one of the most relevant and easy to acquire applications.
Uses cases of Image similarity showed good value as well.
These lookalike algorithms identify products that resemble each other that consumers might be interested too.
From traditional applications to the rising ones, the next coming years are promising for applications of AI in marketing.
We hope this video will help you take steps to apply artificial intelligence to your business and career.
What applications of AI in Marketing and Growth are you using frequently and why? Share your tools in the comments below!
Want to make AI your secret weapon? Join our A.I. for Marketing and growth Course! A 2-day course in Amsterdam. No previous skills or coding required!
You’ve built the perfect landing page. Your headline is simultaneously descriptive and urgent. You’ve got a hero image of someone holding your product, weeping with joy. Your explainer video becomes a surprise hit at Cannes (though it’s controversially snubbed by the Academy). Your testimonials include Beyoncé and Tom Hanks, and you have to shrink the New York Times just to fit Disney into your “as seen in” logo spread.
Dream on, right? There’s no such thing as a perfect landing page because there’s no such thing as a page that converts every visitor. One person thinks your headline is condescending. Another doesn’t see themselves in your hero image. Everyone loves Beyoncé, but plenty think the live-action remake of The Lion King was a cash grab. Your page doesn’t speak to each person uniquely, so they bounce.
That’s why Unbounce created Smart Traffic™, an AI-powered conversion tool that automatically routes each visitor to the landing page where our robot algorithm says they’re most likely to convert. Unlike A/B testing (which is all about creating landing page variants and choosing the one that performs best), Smart Traffic lets you create as many variants as you need to appeal to each type of visitor.
Bottom line: Smart Traffic helps you capture more of those leads you’re missing out on.
Sounds great, right? (Biased opinion: It is.) The only catch is that Smart Traffic needs somewhere to send traffic to—ideally, you wanna start with between three to five landing page variants. Coming up with that many different versions of the same page can be tough. What the heck are you even supposed to… you know, variate?
We’ve always said that the most effective landing page structure includes five core elements. Below, we’ve got ideas for how you can use variants to optimize each one of them, plus examples of brands that are already doing it right:
“Do I really need Smart Traffic?” A/B testing often needs thousands of visitors to glean any useful information, but Smart Traffic starts optimizing in as few as 50 visits. Learn more about the benefits of AI-powered optimization.
Variant Idea #1: Try Changing Your Unique Selling Point (USP) in the Headline
If you’re new to landing page optimization, experimenting with your unique selling point (USP) might be the quickest way to get started. Changing the way you frame your offer can help you stand out from your competitors. Clearly describing the value people will get makes them more likely to convert. And with a tool like Smart Traffic, you can create landing page variants to highlight different selling points for each audience segment.
While your USP should inform your entire page, the headline (and subheadline, if you have one) is where you really state it outright. Along with your hero image, this is the first thing your visitors see above the fold.
The goal here is to clearly and succinctly describe your value proposition (while also ensuring the message matches the traffic source, whether that’s a search ad or email promo). It also better be engaging. You’ve only got a few seconds to capture visitors’ attention and assure them they’re in the right place.
Check out how Winc, a wine club subscription service, is optimizing their headline and hero image on this great-looking Unbounce-built landing page:
In their original page, Winc uses the headline “Unbox, Uncork, Enjoy.” It’s catchy—the sort of thing that’d stick in someone’s head after they’ve left—but anyone unfamiliar with the company might not get it right away.
Images courtesy of Winc. (Click to see the whole thing.)
This Winc variant takes the subhead from the original page and deploys it as the primary headline. Paired with a new hero image that includes one of Winc’s delivery boxes, this variant more quickly and clearly communicates the company’s USP: “a world of wine [at] your doorstep.”
Sometimes, the headline and subhead that work best will surprise you (which makes them fun to experiment with). Here are some things to try as you set up your variants for Smart Traffic:
Try different selling points. Could you frame your USP in more than one way? If you’re running a car wash, maybe one headline is about having the shiniest wax, while another is about the speed of your service. Create variants for each value prop.
Appeal to various audiences. Your visitors are a motley bunch. They come from all over the world. They click through from different sources on different devices. How can you pitch your USP in your headline to resonate with those different groups?
Keep it simple. Try to describe your USP as quickly and explicitly as possible, then make it your headline. If someone read that and not any other part of your page, would they understand your offer?
Change the tone. Is your headline highlighting a problem (negative), or presenting a solution (positive)? Is it serious, or funny? Could it be reframed from a statement to a question? Test your language to see how that changes the way visitors react to your USP.
Introduce social proof. Sometimes other people sell your offer better than you can. We’ll get to social proof a little further on, but short quotes from customers can make for compelling headlines or subheads.
Variant Idea #2: Swap in a Different Hero Image or Rearrange Your Page Layout
Another great element to optimize is your hero image. This is your opportunity to show your offer in the context of use: a person happily pushing your new-age lawnmower, or someone really jazzed up by your webinar. (Hey, we can dream.) You’ve got a video of that lawnmower annihilating Elon Musk’s overgrown lawn? All the better.
As we saw in the Winc example above, experimenting with your hero image can help you find better ways to communicate your offer (or, if you’re using Smart Traffic, tailor each variant to highlight a different aspect of your offer). Winc’s original hero shot displayed a row of wine bottles. Just by putting a delivery box alongside that image, Winc adds a new layer of meaning. Visitors instantly understand the USP.
And it’s not just your hero image. Every design element on your landing page is up for negotiation. For example, see how popular meal delivery service Dinnerly created two variants of this price comparison landing page—one with navigation, one without.
Images courtesy of Dinnerly. (Click to see the whole thing.)
Or check out this Unbounce landing page from the sleep experts at Helix. The original variant is great: it lays out Helix’s USP step-by-step, includes loads of (often hilarious) social proof, and keeps things light with casual copy and memery.
Still, Helix felt like something was missing… a certain je ne sais quoi. So they decided to zhuzh it up.
Literally. (❤️you, Helix—you guys crack us up.)
Images courtesy of Helix. (Click to see the whole thing.)
Just by adding a little color—a yellow squiggle here, a red block there—Helix makes the page pop. It’s fun. And you can zhuzh up your own landing page design by experimenting with some of these variants using Smart Traffic:
Swap out your hero image. If your hero shot is product-focused, try using one that’s more about people (and vice versa). Explore whether photography or illustration resonates better with your audience.
Introduce video. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Then what about blasting 60 pictures every second? There are some real benefits to using video on your landing pages, so if you’ve got the resources, give it a shot.
Scramble your layout. Try removing navigation from your landing page. Split your layout into two or three columns. Mix your sections around to see what works best.
Add some flair. Directional cues and movement can help you focus visitor attention on specific parts of the page. Adding a splash of color or quirky visual elements can help you cut through the noise.
Variant Idea #3: Optimize Copy Length & See Which Benefits Resonate Most with Different Audiences
Next up, we’ve got your benefits—all those words below the fold that describe your offer and explain the real value of it. In terms of content, you want to both inform visitors what your product or service is (the details and features) and why they should care (how those features make their lives better).
Where you can really optimize here is in the way you present that information. Some offers need to be explained at length. Others might not need more than a few sentences. You can also toy with line breaks and bullets to make your copy more digestible, or rearrange content so that visitors see certain benefits first.
Take a look at this landing page from Savile Row Company, an upscale clothing brand. The page (built with Blimpp) is super thorough. Savile Row highlights the different value props, the range of shirts available, the glowing reviews from customers.
This page really hammers home the quality of the product, but how much of that stuff is essential to converting visitors? Savile wanted to find out, so they created a variant of the landing page that’s less than half the length of the original.
Images courtesy of Savile Row Company. (Click to see the whole thing.)
It’s got most of the same imagery, but lots of the copy—the value propositions, the descriptions of each kind of shirt—have been scrapped. As a result, this variant of Savile Row’s landing page is out-converting the original by a few percentage points. Less can be more.
Try creating variant landing pages for Smart Traffic with some of these changes to your benefits copy:
Make it about value. Yeah, tell visitors what your offer is or does, but also be sure to explain how it benefits them in a meaningful way. Shameless example-plug: At Unbounce, we like to talk about our drag-and-drop builder, but the value of that is marketers can create awesome landing pages fast, without a developer.
Check out reviews for new angles. Sometimes, one of your (seemingly) less significant value props can be the most important for a subsection of your audience. Sort through reviews of your offer and see if there’s a particular benefit that’s popular enough to have its own page variant.
Play with length and formatting. Long landing page? Try scrapping half of it. If you’ve got a short page, see what happens when you create a variant with extra sections. Shuffle up the order of your copy and try breaking things up with bullet points.
Variant Idea #4: Find New Sources of Social Proof
One of the most powerful tools of persuasion at your disposal is social proof. It tells visitors you’re reliable—that your product or service works like you say it does. It also tells them they can trust you with precious data, like their email addresses, credit card information, and Netflix history.
Your main opportunity here is to optimize with different types of social proof, so we’ll jump right into applying them to your Smart Traffic variants:
Use (believable) testimonials. Find and include customer reviews from people online. (Double-check each website’s rules to be sure you can use them.) If you’ve already got some, make sure they sound like they came from a real person. Even legit reviews can come off as plants if they’re too robotic or kind.
Add a logo bar. Logos from other brands that have used your product or service (or media outlets that have featured your company) can act as a stamp of approval. You become more trustworthy just by association.
Include review scores. If you’re on Amazon, Yelp, or Capterra, you can repurpose your customer ratings on your landing page. Make sure it’s at least equivalent to 90% or above, though—anything lower doesn’t look great. (Tell that to my college GPA. C’s get degrees, y’all.)
Variant Idea #5: Rewrite Your Call to Action (CTA) & Incentivize Your Offer
Finally, we’ve got your call to action (CTA). The jewel in the crown. The thing that the rest of your landing page exists to support.
There are a few ways to experiment with your CTA. One is testing the CTA itself—the actual text and button on the page. The copy should be snappy and engaging, and tell visitors the benefit they’ll get with their click. It should also stand out from the rest of the page. Try making it bigger, changing the color, or adding directional cues to help draw attention.
Also consider how much work you’re asking visitors to do. Clicking a single button is much lower effort than filling out a lengthy form. The incentive matters, too. Free shipping, a trial period, or a small discount can help convert people who are on the fence.
Here’s a simple example from Codecademy, which has online courses in a ton of different programming languages. They created a variant of this landing page with just one teeny difference: the bit of copy in their CTA button.
Images courtesy of Codecademy. (Click to see the whole thing.)
Who are these different CTAs for? “Get Pro Now” likely appeals to visitors who are already sold on the platform—they know Codecademy Pro is what they want, so hurry up and give it to them, damnit. But people who aren’t familiar with Codecademy might be hesitant. “Start My Free Trial” is a lower commitment and might better convert those who are undecided.
Here are some ideas for optimizing your call to action with Smart Traffic:
Change up your copy. Is your CTA compelling? Does it say what’s going to happen when a visitor clicks? Would you click it? The copy here is ripe for experimentation, so go wild.
Test out the button. Use a sharp color that stands out from the rest of the page. Make the text bolder, big. Think about how visitors scan your page (top to bottom, left to right). Could your CTA be in a more obvious spot?
Make it easy. Do you really need visitors’ email addresses, or do you just want them to buy your knockoff Lego? Where you can, replace forms with a clickthrough button. If you absolutely need a form, try cutting down on the number of fields, or hide the form on a second page behind a button CTA.
Incentivize action. Highlight any bonus value you’ve got—things like free shipping or 90-day returns. See how even a small discount impacts your conversion rates.
Automagically Optimize Your Landing Pages with Smart Traffic
It’s true that there’s no such thing as a perfect landing page for your whole audience. But there is a perfect landing page for each individual visitor.
Smart Traffic helps you get more sales and signups by automatically sending visitors to the landing page that best resonates with them. No more testing, no more champions—just more conversions.
Everywhere you look, artificial intelligence is being touted as a solution for just about all digital aspects of businesses. It seems like AI is even the answer to some questions we aren’t asking (AKA, solving problems we don’t have).
Marketing is not immune to this push for AI. Quite the opposite, actually. Trade publications are inundated with references to, and hype for, artificial intelligence. And there’s no denying all the data derived from digital marketing opens the doors to useful applications. The term “data-driven” has been circulating around the industry for the past decade.
Of course, marketing has always been data driven to some extent, but our abilities to uncover insights have been enhanced exponentially by the digital transformation. Artificial intelligence is the progression, the next step, of this data science proliferation for marketers, but there seem to be some important caveats lurking beneath the hype.