“Always looking for the wins doesn’t help you improve. That helps you feel good, but it doesn’t help you make more money. It doesn’t help you serve your customers better.”
That’s Justin Albano, Digital Marketing Manager at IDX. And after a decade of driving results in various marketing and creative roles, he knows it’s better to face an issue than sweep it under the rug.
“As hard as it is to sit there and have someone say, ‘This is not working’…it’s always so much better to know that and be able to move on than have it not working and maintain the status quo.”
After all, ‘maintaining status quo’ isn’t how the best companies pull ahead.
Below, you’ll find out how to increase conversions like this brand. Justin and IDX admitted room for improvement, signed on for our conversion optimization services, and have seen ROI like:
- Homepage improvements that boosted enrollment in their product by 20.37%
- Focus and clarity around exactly what to improve and why
- An understanding of fundamental conversion truths IDX still uses each week
Identity theft cases more than doubled from 2019 to 2020
In 2020, combined fraud losses climbed to a staggering $56 billion. According to Javelin Strategy and Research, identity fraud scams account for $43 billion — over 76% — of that cost.
In a world of “over-sharing,” individuals are an increasingly attractive and vulnerable target.
IDX, a privacy protection service, is designed to help. They’re out to make the digital world a safer place for vulnerable consumers.
To do so, their service crawls the dark web to find out if your information (credit, medical, or otherwise) is compromised. If so, they alert you and work on your behalf to restore what was stolen. They cover the costs of doing so, too.
Simply put, IDX offers easy and robust protection from identity threats.
But, when we first met them, consumers were struggling to understand that.
How does a historically B2B company resonate with B2C customers?
Justin Albano, the Digital Marketing Manager at IDX, first came to us in August 2018.
IDX had spun up a marketing site for their B2C product, MyIDCare — a big step into new territory for the historically B2B company.
Justin knew success hinged on making a strong connection with customers. “Ultimately, we are trying to connect with our prospective customers out there,” he explained. “It really comes down to how effective are we at resonating with them? How effective are we at speaking to what their real needs, real pain points are?”
So, Justin knew his end goal — resonating with B2C visitors and converting them into customers. What he didn’t know was how, exactly, to reach that goal.
They had Google Analytics set up on the site and data coming out of ad platforms, but Justin knew this wasn’t the full picture. And he knew that piecemeal data wouldn’t tell him what, out of his big spreadsheet of ideas, to test — let alone which tests would make a difference in revenue.
Was it button colors? What about lifestyle imagery? Something else altogether? (Spoiler: the last one.)
To answer these questions, he needed better data.
“We needed better data to help us make decisions”
Justin and his team at IDX had assumptions, ideas, and gut leanings. But they knew those inputs weren’t unbiased (or influenced by lunch) and not reliable enough to drive the conversion outputs they wanted to see.
“It’s easy to think you’re super smart, and you’ve got it all figured out,” Justin noted, “But until you actually test it, until you actually go out and learn how people are perceiving you…you don’t really know.”
With big competitors in the space, IDX needed to know. But gathering and interpreting the data that’d require? It was an overwhelming thought. As Digital Marketing Manager, Justin had a hundred things on his plate and couldn’t spend all day in these tasks.
He needed a partner who could both do the work and remove all the guesswork.
“I really needed someone who could come in, do the research, do the analysis, and put in front of me a clear path to success…And that’s exactly what The Good gave me.” — Justin Albano
The search for experts with a clear roadmap
Justin considered hiring a partner internally. But, as a small team, IDX couldn’t bring on an analyst or strategist that could spend all day, every day, on these problems.
That meant turning to an agency instead.
Justin had spent over a decade in the digital marketing and creative industry, and he knew plenty of talented conversion optimization professionals. This didn’t make his decision easy.
In the end, two factors made The Good a good fit for IDX:
1. A clear roadmap and process
“I knew upfront what I wanted,” Justin reminisced, “I wanted a clear path.” He wanted to know what low-hanging, high-impact fruit his team could address now and what great ideas his team could tackle later. And he wanted to know exactly how a partner would identify those things.
While Justin is a huge fan of roadmaps in general, a clear path wasn’t just for him — it was also essential for getting buy-in from stakeholders. To bring in an agency, Justin would need to advocate for rigorous testing and the ROI of doing it.
“It wasn’t nebulous…they helped me articulate why we needed this, what we’re going to do, and what we’re going to accomplish in a way that I was able to get buy-in.” — Justin
2. An emphasis on CRO so strong, it’s in the team’s DNA
IDX didn’t need a team that dabbled in CRO on the weekends. They needed a team that knew it inside and out. That was Justin’s impression of The Good. He recalled, “They talked it, they walked it, they breathed it…It’s in their DNA.”
IDX needed a partner who’d make their lives easier, not harder. And that meant a partner they didn’t have to second-guess, check in on, or project manage. “From the start, I knew I wasn’t going to have to manage them,” Justin said, “They were going to do their job and execute.”
“From the first conversations with Natalie and her team, it was really clear they were exceptionally competent and knew what they were doing.” — Justin
With the decision made, it was time to head into the first project.
Identifying key opportunities through a Comprehensive Conversion Audit™
Note: It’s been three years since we first teamed up with IDX. Since then, we’ve audited their original site, done A/B testing through our Conversion Growth Program™, and completed a Comprehensive Conversion Audit™ of their latest site. You’ll find highlights from all of that below, starting with the original site audit.
We define conversion rate optimization (CRO) as a data-backed system for increasing the percentage of website visitors that convert into customers. Or, more generally, take any desired action on a webpage.
So, when we do a CRO audit, our process looks like gathering different types of data, identifying problems, and outlining improvements.
Audits take, on average, 3-4 weeks from start to finish. The steps involve:
- Kickoff with stakeholders
- Research and analysis
- Findings presentation
Here’s what that looked like for IDX.
Kickoff with stakeholders: defining goals
The initial kickoff meeting involved IDX, The Good, and a lot of note taking. We dug into what IDX wanted to accomplish, what questions they had, and other background information.
Kickoff is also a chance for our clients to get to know their dedicated team. Each of our clients receives a lead CRO strategist and a specialized team. Teams frequently include specialists in consumer behavior, applied psychology, user-generated content, design, and human-computer interaction. (These diverse backgrounds help us form a 360-degree strategy.)
In terms of outcomes, goal-setting is a big part of these meetings. For IDX, the goals we established at kickoff and validated through research were:
- Increase site enrollment volume
- Improve customer experience on-site
- Align navigation to user intent
- Decrease funnel abandonment
- Increase email subscriptions so IDX could nurture leads
Research and analysis: marrying quantitative and qualitative
After the stakeholder discovery, we provided an external and unbiased audit to identify tweaks and improvements. To do so, we went beyond surface-level metrics and gathered both quantitative and qualitative data.
For example, in a typical audit, one specialist will dig through Google Analytics data to answer questions such as:
- Who are the top audiences?
- What pages are they visiting the most?
- What data indicates a problem area or opportunity for impact?
This quantitative research helps inform what is happening on the site. But to build a full picture, our team also needs to look into why.
“You have to have the data. You have to have someone who can run through the data for you and be able to analyze it correctly. You need those two working in tandem.” — Justin
So another specialist will then apply qualitative research methods, such as user research, to help answer questions such as:
- Why are people taking certain actions?
- What’s stopping conversions or contributing to abandoned goals?
Altogether, here’s what our team’s methodology included for IDX’s initial audit:
Findings presentation: where to go next
Once our team gathers and organizes all our findings, we build out a detailed report (typically 60-100 pages) outlining strengths, weaknesses, and key opportunities for increased conversions and sales.
“When they came back and presented their findings to us, that’s when the real magic started to happen. Because now we had a clear roadmap.” — Justin
Reports also include a customized testing roadmap that outlines what to do next.
In a two-hour meeting, our team walks through all of the findings, what they mean, and what the client can do next, with plenty of opportunity for Q&A.
For IDX, this meant a clear path forward. They met us with a pile of assumptions and ideas; now, they knew exactly what to test to increase conversions, maximize investments in ad traffic, and generate immediate ROI.
“We saw an immediate revenue impact.” — Justin
+20% enrollment increase through the Conversion Growth Program™
Following the audit, IDX signed on for our full-fledged testing program, the Conversion Growth Program™. This program is a monthly, done-for-you testing and conversion optimization service where we use advanced A/B, multivariate, and split testing to reach conversion goals.
For IDX, much of our testing revolved around improving enrollment for their platform.
Here are some highlights of the testing we did:
The power of asking, “what can we do better?”
A reason IDX saw these improvements is their willingness to face shortcomings and lean into a proven CRO process.
In a sense, it would’ve been easier for IDX to pretend as if their site was perfect. But Justin knew that’s not how they’d boost enrollment and revenue. To make meaningful improvements, IDX’s team had to face where things were broken or needed improvement and then make changes.
So, they leaned into the kind of testing we did above. They knew it was better to address a weakness than bury their heads in the sand and pretend it didn’t exist.
“The sooner we can identify what hurdles are in place for people…the sooner we can correct them, and the sooner we can improve.” — Justin
This was a mindset alignment between our team and IDX, speaking to one of The Good’s core values to make improvements, not excuses.
Seeing those hurdles (especially when your team designed them!) can be difficult, but Justin says, “once you get to the end, the reward is pretty sweet.”
A clear direction for new and future programs
Since then, we’ve worked with IDX in several ways. Most recently, we partnered with them to audit their new site.
As IDX had successfully grown their B2B and B2C branches of business, they’d started to fragment their messaging. Yet, both of these audiences wanted to see similar information — product details, pricing, trust signifiers, and so on. Justin said they realized they’d “benefit from a more holistic approach” and opted to roll the two websites they had into one.
But creating a cohesive site for multiple audiences was no small feat, and they knew there were opportunities to improve messaging, information architecture, and navigation.
So, they brought it to us for review.
“You can’t just stick your head in the sand and say, ‘we did this new website.’” — Justin
How to increase conversions using the ROI of acknowledging mistakes
“You launch a new site, a new campaign, or a new software product, and you’ve put your all into it,” Justin said, “And having someone objectively look at it and point out some pretty obvious things you might have missed…it’s hard to be that vulnerable as a professional.”
It’d be easier for IDX to launch their new site, celebrate, and move on.
Easier, not better for more customers or IDX’s bottom line.
Similar to past projects, Justin knew where he wanted to end up (better conversions) but wasn’t 100% sure how to get there. And he knew it was better to face their blind spots than plow ahead in the dark.
“Oftentimes, I learn so much more from being proven wrong than I ever would’ve by just assuming that I was right.” — Justin
Similar to our first audit with IDX, we combed through the site using several quantitative and qualitative methods. However, because this site had lower traffic than the initial site we audited, we leaned more heavily on qualitative methods this time around.
For example, Maggie Paveza, a CRO strategist with an extensive background in user research, used methods such as:
- Remote user research with highly qualified users, to understand the perspective and hurdles for someone new to the site. This revealed what prevented IDX’s target audience from reaching a conversion.
- Tree testing, a technique for assessing how well users can locate the information they want within a navigation. This illuminated hurdles within the information architecture and opportunities for testing a more intuitive navigation.
These and other qualitative methods, combined with several quantitative methods, helped us identify several key improvements for IDX, including:
- Improving lead generation forms with better expectation-setting for time-to-contact, assuring users sensitive information will be handled securely and confidentially,
- Providing easier access to resources for those at a top of funnel info-gathering stage
Baselines and focused testing efforts going forward
In the findings presentation, we presented several short-term wins, as well as a roadmap for future improvements and testing.
These recommendations were beneficial to IDX in three big-picture ways:
- “Best possible” starting point: IDX is building several new programs from scratch. Justin says the site audit is, “helping us build those programs, and build the website to be able to support those programs, in the best way possible to start.”
- A baseline for impact: Now that IDX has a clear picture of the current state of the website, Justin says they can “start testing and seeing what kind of impact we can drive.”
- Focused testing efforts: Because of the audit, Justin says “we’re not sitting there wondering what we should be doing.” Instead, IDX knows exactly what steps they need to take to improve conversions on the new site.
“It’s giving us a clear focus on what really matters.” — Justin
Immediate conversion improvements and long term mindset shifts
In the three years we’ve partnered with IDX, they’ve seen many short-term and long-term wins.
In the short term, their willingness to improve combined with our proven testing methods have resulted in homepage improvements that increased enrollment by 20.37% and “About Us” page improvements that increased enrollment twofold.
Immediate returns for testing AND improved ROAS
These and similar results meant immediate ROI for IDX — both in terms of our services, as well as in terms of investments they were making in other services, such as return on ad spend (ROAS). How? A conversion-optimized website makes the most out of traffic coming to the site, meaning dollars spent in driving traffic are maximized as well.
“We did see an immediate increase in our conversions, in our ability to convert people coming to landing pages from paid advertising…which helped us maximize those investments.” — Justin
Three long-term benefits that aren’t disappearing anytime soon
In addition to those short-term wins, IDX has experienced several longer-term wins, too.
- An understanding of fundamental conversion truths
- Data-backed decision making
- Focus and clarity
An understanding of fundamental conversion truths
From our very first project together, Justin started to collect fundamental conversion truths that continue to inform every site, landing page, and campaign his team develops.
“There are some fundamental truths that came out of that first analysis I use on a weekly basis.” — Justin
Take trust-building. Our research indicated building trust with IDX’s audience is critical. Without it, potential customers default to a well-known competitor. This is true for many brands in many industries, but it’s especially important with security. “In order for them to trust us with something that is so scary,” Justin recalls, “they really need to know who we are and know they can trust us.”
Consumers have to trust you to buy from you — that’s a fundamental conversion truth. And it’s one of many Justin and his team continue to reference in their day-to-day work.
He emphasized every time they build something, whether it’s an email or a site, they ask questions like, “Do we have trust builders? Do we have member quotes?…can people feel confident they can work with us?”
“…those truths continue to be guiding lights. Those continue to make an impact not just for me, but for multiple people on my team.”
Data-backed decision making
“The main result of our work together is that their team makes data-backed decisions,” Natalie Thomas, Director of CRO, explained. They’re “informed by real user research and behavioral data, rather than making gut-based decisions.”
Justin and his team suspected they couldn’t rely on guts or biases when it comes to driving conversions; our work with them solidified this.
For example, Justin thought optimizing lifestyle imagery was a priority. But through working with us, he discovered IDX’s audience doesn’t “necessarily care about the age and demographic makeup of the person you put in your picture.” In other words, Justin cared about this factor, but consumers didn’t. Turns out, for them, there were more important issues at stake.
Extensive research, analysis, and testing have helped illuminate which tests matter and which tests don’t. This, in turn, enables Justin’s team to focus on improvements that directly impact revenue and conversions vs. improvements that are trendy or personally driven.
Focus and clarity
Knowing which tests matter — and what tests don’t — give Justin’s team clarity and focus. In each project with us, IDX received a clear list and roadmap of high-impact improvements they could implement now, later, and further down the road.
To zoom out for a moment, this gives IDX a competitive edge in an increasingly dense security market.
Justin pointed out, “anyone can guess” and trust their gut, and that’s what many teams out there do. But while some competitors are spinning their wheels on ideas that might make a difference, IDX is gaining velocity making high-impact changes they know will move the needle.
“We are much more targeted and focused on what we can actually do. We’re not sitting there wondering what we should be doing or what’s going to make a difference. We know what we need to do now, and we’re getting after it.” — Justin
Looking for a CRO action plan?
Our Conversion Growth Assessment™ is designed to give you a step-by-step playbook for improving your site’s sales performance.
About the Author
Jon MacDonald is founder and President of The Good, a conversion rate optimization firm that has achieved results for some of the largest online brands including Adobe, Nike, Xerox, Verizon, Intel and more. Jon regularly contributes content on conversion optimization to publications like Entrepreneur and Inc. He knows how to get visitors to take action.