Optimise My Site & Win a Prize

I’ve finally started to lift my finger a bit with Mafia War Secrets, the info-product site I acquired a couple of months ago. It’s performed far better than I had anticipated, yet it’s fate is far from certain. The Mafia Wars game is likely to fade into non-existence as quickly as it has risen to stardom, and five competing products have suddenly hit the market, all trying to attack the same niche segment. For these reasons, VRE veterans typically opt to build upon evergreen sites – and I’m starting to see why. Nevertheless, there is plenty of opportunity for me to squeeze more potential from the site.

Therefore, it’s pretty imperative that I maximise the site’s potential while times are good. I see this being best achieved pursuing two goals; seeking out as much ROI-positive traffic as possible (I’ve made good inroads here already), and improving conversion rates to make the most out of the inbound traffic. I now intend to focus my efforts on the latter. As previously discussed, it’s incredibly easy to develop and roll out simple A/B tests and steadily increase conversion rates through continues iterations on the sales page. I’ve kicked off by testing the title copy that appears right at the top of the sales patter:

SplitTest

Version B was the original copy (the control). Conversion rates are shown first, followed by the percentage increase relative to the control. Versions A and C performed less favourably, but version D proved to generate an increase to conversion rates.

The impact is staggering: 5-minutes of labour gave way to a 3.86% uplift in the conversion rate. Annualised, the absolute value of this roughly equates to say, a return LHR:JFK flight, not bad at all.

What next? There are zillions of variables that could be tested, but in truth I seem to lack the mojo to make any real inroads. Hiring the services of a professional copywriter could prove expensive and risky. That got me thinking; why not run a risk-free contest whereby I award anyone who can provide demonstrable results? And so I will.

It’s simple: suggest a small change to a title, some additional text, new images, or a completely new design altogether – whatever really. I will then pit your entry against the existing page. If your ideas produce a >10% increase in the relative conversion rate (ie. 2.69% to >2.96%), you’ll instantly win $100 via Paypal. This winning entry will then become the new control which would need to be bettered by future contestants.

I’ll be happy to provide a log-in to the conversion tracking software so that you will have full transparency on how your entry performs. Reverse A/B testing will also be used to verify results.

To take part, just jot me an email with your entry and I’ll get it going within a day or two. Be sure to spread the good word!

Update: The one and only Mr. Zilic has entered the ring with 6 different tweaks to the sales letter. Despite best efforts, he’s yet to push me out of pole position – although one or two are in with a running chance. Anyone else up for the challenge?

Update #2: I’ve taken the plunge and hired two professional copywriters to see what they can muster together. Risky procedure.

Update #3: Danny has pulled off the impossible and beaten me. $100 is now winging it’s way to him. Nicely done sir.

 Tags: Business, Internet   Published: 1st September '09


6 Archived Wordpress Comments

Dan Zilic

Glad to see that you are making use of some prize-economics and crowd-sourcing. This article about it happens to be my favourite:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/23/magazine/23Netflix-t.html

Your prize is very generous, so wait for my submission to come in over the next few days, that is once I have overcome the joy of reading some posts again!

Etienne

Danny just beat me. I was going to post the same comment. 10% seems feasible indeed but it took a really long time on the Netflix constest to acheive….Will I have to join force with an other team to win the $100 prize

Keith Mander

What a great article – thanks Danny! I guess 100 bucks is pretty generous, but as is the case for Netflix, it’s worth every penny if it can maximise upon the potential of the site.

Oscar Karlsten

This is like a dagger in the heart for me. Mander, I expect a 100 bucks to my bank account asap for the optimizations of other sites, they should get you to the Maldives and back :)

Keith Mander

We can figure out a deal Oscar. If you can help me increase earnings, we can both go to the Maldives.

Oscar Karlsten

Like any publisher he make promises he can’t keep.