May 11, 2023
Case Study

Conversion Rate Optimization: 3 effective marketing strategies explained by the marketers who created them


Marketing examples can spur your next great idea, giving you inspiration for ways to get started when you are stuck.

But be conscious of where you find your marketing examples. It’s all too easy to look at a marketing example from the outside, and assume it performed well or poorly without really knowing. Or guess at the strategy behind it.

There is no guessing in MarketingSherpa articles. We get our case studies straight from the source – the marketers and entrepreneurs who ignited the initial spark of inspiration, then rolled up their sleeves and made it happen.

We give you a behind-the-scenes look at what really worked (and what didn’t) as they executed these campaigns. Like in this very article. Read on for an insider’s view of examples from an auto accessory ecommerce site, a fiction author, and a mobile game developer.

by Daniel Burstein, Senior Director, Content & Marketing, MarketingSherpa and MECLABS Institute

Conversion Rate Optimization: 3 effective marketing strategies explained by the marketers who created them

Making the marketing is not enough. The ad. The landing page. The push notification. That is just step #1.

The next part is where the money is really made – making the marketing better. Or as we call it in the marketing industry, conversion rate optimization (CRO).

CRO is so hard because you already put your best efforts into it the first time. How do you make it better?

To spur your ideas for improvement, you’re always welcome to join us on Wednesdays at 4 pm EDT for a Marketing LiveClass – ChatGPT, CRO and AI: 40 Days to build a MECLABS SuperFunnel.

And read this article where we share case studies that align with elements of the MECLABS Conversion Sequence Heuristic (to be clear, none of these case studies were conducted by MECLABS, but these savvy marketers naturally knew to focus on an element that MECLABS has identified as a key mover for conversion optimization):

  • Emphasizing Value Proposition and reducing Anxiety, instead of going all in on Incentive – In quick case study #1, read how an auto accessory ecommerce site increased revenue from $2 million to $18 million.
  • Reducing Friction – In quick case study #2, see a marketing example with results showing how a fiction author increased email opt-in rate.
  • Tapping into Motivation – And in quick case study #3, we bring you an A/B testing case study showing how a mobile game developer generated more sessions and increased conversion rate.

Quick Case Study #1: Auto accessory ecommerce site sees 9x growth by shifting focus from incentive to value proposition.

Seal Skin Covers is a provider of custom-fit vehicle covers.

BEFORE – Focus on incentive

The team’s advertisements and landing page both failed to effectively communicate the quality of Seal Skin car covers, which includes a 10-year warranty and multi-layer fabric, in comparison to other brands. Instead, the emphasis was placed on a 15% discount offer.

Creative Sample #1: Ad for auto accessory ecommerce site (before)

Creative Sample #1: Ad for auto accessory ecommerce site (before)

The landing page provided little information about the unique benefits of the product. There was no chat feature or social proof on the landing page.

Creative Sample #2: Landing page for auto accessory ecommerce site (before)

Creative Sample #2: Landing page for auto accessory ecommerce site (before)

AFTER – Focus on value proposition

The team completely overhauled the ads and landing pages and implemented a strategy aimed at educating people about the brand, with the goal of converting them into loyal brand advocates.

To accomplish this, they incorporated video formats that provided genuine product reviews and utilized social proof through the website with, for example, ShopperApproved reviews. The landing page not only highlights the current offer, but also emphasizes the quality of Seal Skin car covers and educates customers about their unique features.

Creative Sample #3: Landing page for auto accessory ecommerce site (after)

Creative Sample #3: Landing page for auto accessory ecommerce site (after)

The marketing strategy involved multiple touchpoints to move customers through the marketing funnel using a multi-pronged approach. They utilized Google Ads, Shopping Ads, social media Ads, display ads, and retargeting ads to create brand awareness, establish credibility, and ultimately build trust with potential customers.

Creative Sample #4: Ad for auto accessory ecommerce site (after)

Creative Sample #4: Ad for auto accessory ecommerce site (after)

Rather than simply selling the product, the goal was to foster a relationship with the audience and build a lasting connection with the brand. The team wanted to open opportunities for upselling and cross selling.

“Our marketing strategy is now focused on educating the customer and building trust. We aim to be omnipresent throughout the customer journey,” said Warren B. Jobs, President, Seal Skin Covers.

Results – From $2 million to $18 million

This strategy helped the team to increase revenue $16 million – scaling annual revenue from $2 million to $18 million. They increased the number of car covers sold by 1,079% and decreased cost per order by 21.57%.

“To achieve success in today's hyper-competitive landscape, brands must focus on educating prospects and building trust at every stage of the buyer's journey. Simply relying on traditional, in-your-face promotional strategies is no longer effective. Instead, brands need to understand the importance of multiple touchpoints throughout the buyer's journey,” said Andy Beohar, Managing Partner, SevenAtoms Marketing (Seal Skin Covers’ agency).

Quick Case Study #2: Fiction author increases conversion 20% with dedicated landing page.

Ted Galdi is a fiction author. He believes an email list tends to be an author’s top marketing asset. Thus, growing an email list with opted-in, relevant subscribers is his primary marketing activity.

He offers a free e-book in exchange for an email address.

And he partners with other authors in his genre (thriller) to do ‘email swaps’ – he will send his email list a link to download a free e-book from the other author and the other author will do the same for him.

Galdi considers this strategy a ‘triple win’ – he gains relevant, opt-in subscribers for free; the other author gains relevant, opt-in subscribers for free; the readers on both email lists get a free e-book.

BEFORE – Homepage as key conversion point

He was directing traffic from the email swaps to his homepage. Though visitors were able to click a button to download his e-book (in exchange for an email address), since there are many links on the page, not as many visitors clicked the desired CTA.

Creative Sample #5: Fiction author’s homepage

Creative Sample #5: Fiction author’s homepage

AFTER – Dedicated landing page with a singular CTA and no other links

“I created a dedicated landing page on MailerLite for my free-book offer,” Ted Galdi said.

The only action a user can take on this page is subscribing to the email list to receive the e-book – no other links are available to click.

Creative Sample #6: Fiction author’s dedicated landing page

Creative Sample #6: Fiction author’s dedicated landing page

RESULTS – 20% increase in conversion rate

For the three months he has used a dedicated landing page, he has gotten a 20% increase in conversion rate and grown his email list by 2,296. All told, his email swap strategy has helped him grow his list to 27,882 subscribers.

“For a lot of free, relevant leads, find others in your niche with email subscribers that would match your target customer persona, and offer to do ‘lead magnet email swaps’ with these marketers – you'd offer their subscribers something for free in exchange for an email address and they'd do the same for you. This is a ‘triple win’ as nobody pays a dime and everyone gets something of value,” Galdi advised.

Quick Case Study #3: Mobile game developer tests push notifications to drive the customer journey, increases conversion 14%.

Ten Square Games is a public company with $131.17 million in revenue in 2022. The mobile game developer is known for games like Let’s Fish, Fishing Clash, and Wild Hunt.

The team used A/B testing to evaluate the success of different content delivered via push notifications to improve user engagement and increase conversion rates.

The brand first sent the same message to all players in the flow. They then split the flow into a control group and a test group to see if well-written, personalized, and updated push notifications make a difference in conversions. All messages were delivered to users at the same time with the same settings. Ten Square Games ran this exact same test for two different games – Hunting Clash and Fishing Clash.

CONTROL – Push notifications with no personalization and recycled images

The control group received old messages created by a localization specialist, with existing assets from the games and no personalization. Both messages and images had been recycled over time. Conversations and resulting sessions had plateaued.

Creative Sample #7: Push notifications without personalization (control)

Creative Sample #7: Push notifications without personalization (control)

TREATMENT – Push notifications with personalization and new images

The treatment group received new messages written by a CRM specialist, with personalization added and refreshed assets. The CRM specialist helped create messages designed to resonate better with VIP players while the design introduced new images that would attract more attention.

Personalization was based on the name, but also the level of player (VIP vs. non-VIP). The content delivered via the push notifications was different based on the player's profile.

Creative Sample #8: Push notifications with personalization (treatment)

Creative Sample #8: Push notifications with personalization (treatment)

RESULTS – Personalized messages more effective than anonymous messages

While the audiences of each game are different, the tests showed very similar results.

For Hunting Clash, the treatment group, which received the personalized, refreshed push notifications, generated 15% more sessions, and had 17% higher conversion than the control group.

For Fishing Clash, the treatment group, which again received the personalized, refreshed notifications, generated 19% more sessions, and had 14% higher conversion than the control group.

“The increase in sessions generated was very impactful, particularly as [we] transitioned the campaigns from churn campaigns that targeted players that were not active for more than several days into ongoing campaigns for active players,” said Sebastian Racławski, CRM Operations Specialist, Ten Square Games.

The test results challenged the assumptions the team had made over time and led to further testing and further discoveries. “What I love about this example is that Ten Square Games didn't just decide to do a little personalization or one test and call it a day. Testing and personalization are part of an ongoing mindset for them. They don't assume anything – they always test and iterate, and that helps keep them at the top of the industry,” said Christy Huggins, Head of Marketing, OneSignal (Ten Square Games’ customer engagement solution).

For example, the team’s prevailing thought was that promotional images would be most effective for VIP/high volume players, but A/B testing showed that VIP players were more responsive to content that was to the point, providing updates on their gameplay without added marketing fluff.

The team also noted that players of Fishing Clash and Hunting Clash ultimately responded differently to some notifications, so any assumptions that the games had similar audiences that would respond the same way to all notifications were dispelled.

“Intuitively, you would assume that personalizing push notifications and other messaging would positively impact engagement and our data really backs this up. Notifications that use personalized content have a 259% higher engagement rate than notifications that don’t. Who wouldn't prefer to receive messages that are more specific to their interests, needs, and behaviors?” Huggins said.

She continued, “But it's more than just adding ‘Hi First Name’ to an email; it's about really understanding a customer based on everything you know about that individual user and strategically leveraging personalization to talk to them via the right channel in the right way at the right time. Knowing exactly where they are in their customer journey and tailoring your messaging, channels, and CTAs to the stage can significantly increase conversion rates and decrease opt-out rates by eliminating irrelevant messaging.”

Related resources

MarketingSherpa Quick Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization: 9 tactics to ensure you are running valid tests

Marketing 101: What is CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization)?

Conversion Rate Optimization: 7 tips to improve your ecommerce conversion rates

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