Give Them the Right Pool of Candidates from Which to Choose

Pete Olson
Vice President of Product Management

Politicians use a variety of tools to predict what will happen on Election Day. They employ pollsters to determine what issues matter most to voters. These pollsters knock on doors, establish phone banks and stop pedestrians in public in order to gauge public opinion. Politicians then use this information to talk about things voters care about, thereby increasing their chances of being selected.

Similarly, shoppers “vote” with their clicks. So why not present them with the strongest candidates to choose from? Marketers can read their audiences with greater ease and efficiency online than politicians ever could by knocking on doors. Through targeted website testing, marketers can determine which language, images and calls-to-action convert browsers into engaged customers and buyers. Just like voters are more likely to go to the polls if they like a candidate, shoppers are more likely to buy if they like what they see, and if they feel the experience – the candidate – is speaking directly to them.

Last year, Forrester Research Analyst John Lovett asked in an article, “Why must marketers get relevant?” The answer, he wrote, is that marketers don’t own the Web, consumers do. If marketers want to capture a knowledgeable consumer base with infinite choices at its fingertips, they must make delivering relevant content a high-priority goal.

A/B testing enables you to offer multiple versions of a promotion or Web page to various groups in order to analyze which “experiences” are most effective. Both A/B and multivariate testing allows you to quickly capitalize on your existing acquisition and retention marketing activities, thereby maximizing each and every visitor’s interaction with your site, your brand and your products.

So where should you start in order to optimize your website?

Start with quick wins. Implement testing lightly at first. Choose heavily trafficked pages that will offer a statistically significant pool of voters/consumers. Use these early results to prove the business case for testing. Then, begin expanding to take maximum advantage of the customer intelligence within your website. Visit sites like for examples and ideas.

Build a culture of testing internally. Forrester reports that 48 percent of marketers surveyed who currently employ testing technologies note increases in online conversions as a top benefit. Share this type of data with internal stakeholders to build a groundswell of enthusiasm and belief in the value of website testing solutions.

Build a roadmap. Identify the higher value tasks that drive business objectives at your organization, and design your testing strategy to support those tasks.

Starting with these three fundamental concepts will certainly maximize your results on “election” day!