Josh Braaten is the Director of Customer Acquisition at Leadpages, where he oversees and supports a wide range of marketing channels and helps execute the company’s product visions.
A Quick Preview of the Podcast:
- How to find the right level of messaging for your market
- What is market sophistication and why it matters
- How to effectively market the features of your product
Tim: Previously on the all-new ConversionCast.
Josh: When we applied this tactic to the Leadpages homepage, we basically a 59% increase in our average order value and a 24% conversion rate in a test where we positionally page out one level of market sophistication versus another. The market level sophistication and the messaging should match for best results in your test.
Tim: This is the conversion journey in 13 parts as told by the Leadpages team. In this all-new series, you’ll hear what we do each day at Leadpages to find, convert, and keep our customers. I’m Tim Paige and this is the all-new ConversionCast. In the last episode, we talked about how to craft a promotion really designed to inject just a massive jump of sales into your business. Today, we’re going to focus more on positioning your products, positioning your sales page based on the market sophistication and I know you’ll correct me if I’ve missed anything on that but this is episode 8 of the all-new ConversionCast and I’m joined by Josh Braaten, who is the director of customer acquisition. So Josh, can you just first give us the idea behind what we’re going to be talking about?
Josh: Sure, so first of all thanks for adding me Tim, it’s great. The idea behind market sophistication is that as a product comes into a market for the very first time, how you describe that product to the market will change from thereto as the market gets more and more crowded, as more and more people know about the market, as more and more people know about or start to compete, you have to position your product differently and the market sophistication ideas are kind of simple framework for you’ll think about how you do that.
Tim: I think it’s easy enough to say like positioning and framework and for people that think like, “Oh this is a matter of branding and I’m trying to figure out how can I acquire customers.” I know it’s more than that so we’re going to be doing this through the lens of a specific case study that you have shared with me. So can you tell us the results first of the case study we’re going to be sharing.
Josh: Sure so when we applied this tactic to the Leadpages homepage, we basically saw a 59% increase in our average order value and a 24% conversion rate in a test where we positionally page out one level of market sophistication versus another.
Tim: Wow. That’s fascinating. Okay, so the director of customer acquisition, what does that mean? What do you do?
Josh: I basically help oversee many of the marketing channels here at LeadPages for all of our products and ultimately helped to execute the marketing vision and the product vision that Clay and the product team set out for the company.
Tim: Okay perfect. Well, why don’t we get into it? Why don’t you share this particular task? What specifically where the two variances that you were testing.
Josh: Sure so first to back up in just a step, we’ll talk about like five different levels of market sophistication.
Tim: Yeah great.
Josh: There are all sorts of things about this. This a unique idea to us. Clay shared the video with me when I first started and it was a really a need because when a market first starts like for example when the car first came out, right, people just said we have a car and that was the simple way to position the car in the market because it never existed and it never…there wasn’t any competition so there weren’t any unique features or benefits that you needed to talk about. It was just…we have a car, right? Then next you started to have benefits when you get to level two. Let’s say you start to have some competition in the market. You want to say we’re the best. We’re number one, the fastest, the easiest, the cheapest featuring on the benefits, right? That’s how you would want to position from a unique value proposition perspective. As you get to number three, you will get into a feature battle so you flip it from leading with a benefit to a feature. So the platform that gets you the most leads maybe for Leadpages or something like that. Then as you get to number four, it’s basically just an extension of three where you add a bunch of different features, the best platform because of x and y and z and a and b and c and all these different reasons and then finally when you get to level five that’s when the market has gotten so crowded that you start selling lifestyles like the platform for conversion marketers or something like that. So as you can see as a market gets more sophisticated, you’ll want to shift and you don’t to really be leading with a message that doesn’t match the level so, for example, this day and age, it would be really silly for a new car company to have a commercial and they would say introducing the car. That really would…that would not work, right so that’s just an example of how the market level sophistication and the messaging should match for best results in your tests.
Tim: Awesome. Now before we go any further, I have to mention that all throughout this episode and in the all-new season of ConversionCast. You’re hearing what we do at Leadpages to automatically grow our email list and boost our sales every single day. Well in my next webinar, I’ll show you exactly how to do this for your business. In this free training, I’ll give you a live step by step walkthrough of the top three tactics we use at Leadpages to automatically grow our own list week after week. This is going to be everything you need to know to implement this in your business so make sure you check it out. To reserve your spot on the Webinar, text LeadpagesLive to 33444. That’s all one word, LeadPagesLive to 33444, or had the leadpageswebinar.com. All right let’s get back to it. Well and at Leadpages we were probably never really at step one. I mean when Leadpages was released it was pretty early but they were already some landing page tools out there but I think the market wasn’t super educated so I would…I feel like we were somewhere between step one and step two when we first came out a few years back but in this test what kind of levels were you testing?
Josh: Sure so in this test, I think it was really…we kind of expand the gap between two and four. We first…because we did a couple of different tests. This was all part of a rebranding move that we did in March or we change the logo, we change the website look and everything so a lot of different pieces that we’re moving and we had to make a coupled series of tests, tweaks to kind of get the new brand just jamming just right. So first we had a benefit-driven headline and a benefit-driven kind of hero space above the fold on the home page and we featured a hero image. It’s actually a video background. We featured a woman at a computer building a landing page. We were showing the different features and we really wanted to show the benefit of like this is so easy, this is wonderful.
Tim: I’m sorry what’s a hero image?
Josh: A hero image…that’s basically just the main focal point of whatever marketing piece you’re looking at so typically it’s a person and you’re supposed to identify with that person as a consumer of the marketing. So kind of and they’re thinking that it’s a hero of the ad in a sense and you’re supposed to identify with that girl.
Tim: Got it, okay so keep going
Josh: So we launched with that and at first, we saw that we had about like a 15% worth of value decrease when we switched from our old messaging to our new messaging with that benefit type headline. That was just unacceptable, right, because you don’t want to rebrand and then have the net result of that rebrand be a negative revenue experience for you, right?
Josh: So we got to work and we started thinking about a couple of different things. We looked at and we did some user testing where we sense some users at the website and we asked them about two different questions about the experience with the products and it came out that ultimately it wasn’t necessarily just the…it wasn’t just the emotional benefit of getting more sales and leads. Other competitors were saying that too. It was more about the collective features and the platform that folks recognize that they would get that benefit of getting more leads in sales and so we flipped it to a feature focus homepage where we talked about being the number one landing page builder and then we had a lot of different feature clusters on the homepage that talked about leadboxes, opt-in texts, trigger links. We’re testing all of these different things that make Leadpages such a great platform for folks that want to grow their business and that was the ticket because the competition was kind of taking us into that market sophistication level four area. We had to say this is the feature base claim and here’s a bunch of different proof points in the form of product features that we want to share with folks and then that’s what ultimately increase the average order value by above 59% and bumped the conversation right up by about 24%.
Tim: Isn’t that fascinating because I think a lot of the conventional marketing wisdom is always that you’re selling the benefits but in this case, we had to have the prominent feature display because of the market sophistication because there are so many competitors. The marketplace is crowded. At this point, I think it was based on the kind of what I’m gathering. It was less than the market needed to be educated that they need landing pages or that they want to grow a list. It was more that they wanted to know that we had the ability to provide them with the best tool to do the job. Is that right?
Josh: That’s right. At this point, folks that are doing marketing are understanding that landing pages are a vital part of their legion strategies and so we don’t have to convince them with that but we should try to convince them that platform is the best.
Tim: So beyond just testing, beyond saying, “Okay, I want to find out what’s going to work best if my messaging is focused on whatever market sophistication level two or three, four, or five.” How do you get a sense of which level of your business is at, I mean if you were looking at this and it wasn’t Leadpages and you were…let’s say you were doing work with a client. You are seeing now them. How would you help them determine what their level should be and then from there how do you test…how you can change…your sales pages change your language to reflect that market sophistication level?
Josh: Yeah, I think first and foremost it comes down to market engagement. You have to be talking with people that are taking the consumer journey that’s reflective of your ideal customer because you can ask them, “Okay how do you think to come to the website?” or “How would you think to come to this website?” and they would say, “Oh, well everybody knows that this is a challenge so clearly I want to look for this” or “I’m looking for some vague solution. I’m having a little bit more abstract of a problem connecting with people at that point.” Finding out the context of their journey is a good way to understand what level you need to start at and if you’re finding that folks are a little bit more abstract and then they’re looking for something that maybe they don’t necessarily know what it is, it’s probably a hint that it’s a little less sophisticated of a market. If you know that people are asking for certain solutions and tactics by name then it’s a good chance that your market is on the more sophisticated level.
Tim: Got it so using that and you can then test to see what’s going to work best and kind of how far along that sophistication scale they are. Josh: Yeah, absolutely and if you think about every test is a measure about the concept and the execution, right? Your hypothesis and how well the design reflects that hypothesis and so I would say do a test, if you can do an AB test, that’s great. If not doing just a user test just one-off asking people to change the elevator pitch. Talk to them and ask them, “Hey take a look at this website. What does it look like to you?” Others also take wins to get that first impression type information and then adjust accordingly.
Tim: I love it. This is great Josh. Thanks so much.
Josh: My pleasure.