September 07, 2023
Case Study

Strategies for Boosting Conversion Rates Across Industries: 3 ways to improve your marketing conversion rate


Looking for ways to improve your brand’s conversion rate? Here are three marketing case studies that provide actionable steps and creative samples that can be adapted to your marketing needs.

Read on for strategies from e-learning, retail, and professional service companies.

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

Get the power of 10,000 marketing experiments working for you. Play with MECLABS AI by signing up for a free trial at (MECLABS is the parent organization of MarketingSherpa).

Quick Case Study #1: E-learning platform increases conversion rate from 1% to 4% with video testimonials

Video content is impactful for building trust. According to a November 2022 Wyzowl report, 79% of consumers have been convinced to buy a software or app by watching a brand’s video.

Here’s an example from OSHA Outreach Courses, an e-learning platform that trains professionals in workplace safety.

BEFORE – Landing page without testimonials

Two years back, the website was experiencing extremely low conversion rates. Less than 1% of visitors were actually buying the courses. “This was significantly below the industry standard, which is 5%,” said Farhan Siraj, Co-Founder and CEO, OSHA Outreach Courses.

Creative Sample #1: Original landing page for 10-hour online training course

Creative Sample #1: Original landing page for 10-hour online training course

The team tried introducing discounted rates and improving checkout pages to increase the conversion rate. However, the results were less than satisfactory.

Finally, during a brainstorming session, one of the team members pointed out that visitors might doubt the authenticity of platform. “I agreed with this assertion as someone who has been in the e-learning space for a decade and has found the customers in this industry to be incredibly skeptical,” he said.

AFTER – Landing page with video testimonials

Understanding that real experiences from previous users could help alleviate doubts and foster trust among potential customers, the team incentivized user-generated video testimonials.o

They announced a monthly giveaway through their newsletter for customers who would leave a review. They began offering discounts and exclusive content to users who were willing to submit video reviews.

The announcement made it clear that participation was optional and the users must not only give positive feedback. They insisted that their organization values constructive criticism from their valued customers. “All of these reviews were done on Shopper Approved, which is a platform that only hosts authentic reviews from verified customers,” Siraj said.

He continued, “It was important to maintain the integrity of the reviews. We encouraged users to provide honest feedback about their experiences, both positive and constructive. This approach lent credibility to the reviews and showcased that we were genuinely interested in improving our platform based on user feedback.”

These testimonials highlighted specific features of the courses and how workers in different industries had benefited. Beyond that, adding real faces to the platform helped the team establish some credibility.

The video reviews were strategically placed on the landing page and relevant course pages, ensuring that visitors would easily come across them while exploring the offerings.

Creative Sample #2: Landing page with video testimonials for 10-hour online training course

Creative Sample #2: Landing page with video testimonials for 10-hour online training course

They started to specifically encourage users to watch these videos before signing up for courses.

Creative Sample #3: Video testimonial viewing required before enrollment

Creative Sample #3: Video testimonial viewing required before enrollment

RESULTS – 4% conversion rate

Four months after the implementation of this strategy, the conversation rate jumped to 4%. Visitors were now more engaged, spending longer periods on the website to watch video reviews.

“Without any doubt, this was one of the best and most effective strategies we ever applied on our website,” he said.

Key takeaway

“Satisfied customers are your best brand ambassadors,” Siraj said.

 Quick Case Study #2 – Jiu-jitsu website tests Instagram images, gets 450 visitors from best image vs 5 for worst image

According to April 2018 data from Emplifi, Instagram has the potential to generate 4x more interactions for brands than Facebook, because the overall engagement is much lower on Facebook.

Here’s an example from Grapplers Graveyard, a website focused on jiu jitsu. The team has been posting on Instagram for nine months. “We went the route of reposting/repurposing content on our Instagram page and grew a following to just around 50,000,” said Cam Allen, Founder, Grapplers Graveyard.

Now that they have grown a large enough audience, they spent a month testing posts to see what their audience is positively reacting to.

Setting up image testing

The team focused on story posts with still images, large bold text, and a clickable link right in the middle to see what people were responding to and what they wanted to know/read/interact with.

They polled their audience and discovered that most people that follow their page are white belts ranging from 24 to 34 years old.

The team posted and tested about 35 different story posts and repeatedly posted them throughout the month.

“We used Canva to make every single one,” Allen said. They used a fitting image, made it more transparent so they could highlight the text, threw their branding on it, and then posted it to their Story with the proper link for people to click on.


For example, the team posted an image of a yoga pose for Brazilian jiu-jitsu athletes.

Creative Sample #4: Worst-performing Instagram image

Creative Sample #4: Worst-performing Instagram image

They used this image to talk about the importance of stretching and adding yoga to your routine.

“To my surprise this was the worst-performing image of the ones I tested with only 5 people reading the post when linked from my Instagram Story. The majority of our audience is 24- to 34-year-old men so it clicked in our head that this group of people are probably not the ones that are looking to do something like yoga,” Allen said.

BEST-PERFORMER – Belt requirements

Creative Sample #5: Best-performing Instagram image

Creative Sample #5: Best-performing Instagram image

This image was by far the best-performing image that the team tested. This image resulted in 450 new visitors and became the most visited blog post on their site for the month.

“It made sense why this was such a hit to our audience in hindsight. Majority of the people who follow our page are new to martial arts and want to find out the way to get their hands on the first really big accomplishment in jiu-jitsu, a blue belt,” he said.

Along the same lines, a ‘how to improve faster’ story post also did well. “What this told me is that people want to rank up and they want to find the fastest way possible to do so. With this information, I now know a digital product may be a good route to further monetize the page as well as some specific training gear,” he said.

RESULTS – Instagram main traffic driver

They did not get any affiliate or ecommerce sales from these tests specifically, but they did get some notable traffic to their site from making the Stories – 1,100 new visitors to the site.

In fact, most of the traffic they got to their site that month was from Instagram. The testing of still images on their Instagram page attracted twice as much traffic as they got from search, which had a slow month.

They also created Highlights on their Instagram page so people could click through to Stories posts on a specific category, but Instagram does not provide analytics on how (or if) people interact with those.

“These still images have also been repurposed and posted on our Pinterest account where we are actively trying to figure out what people (in our niche) will engage with most on that platform,” Allen said.

Key takeaway

“All the material you have on your site right now can be turned into a Story post on your Instagram,” Allen advised. “When you find what's clicking with your audience based on the actual link clicks, double down on that. Be sure to post the Stories multiple times throughout the month because they will only stay up for 24 hours.”

Quick Case Study #3: Accounting firm increases client acquisition 100% with direct booking method

The automation of appointment booking has been a growing trend, expected to be worth $546.31 million by 2026, according to a July 2019 report by Allied Market Research.

Here’s an example from Cookie Finance, a new accounting firm that works exclusively with content creators and social media influencers.

BEFORE: Traditional intake form

When the company launched its service, clients submitted their interest via a traditional contact form. After submitting the form, the company would reach out over email to set up an initial consultation.

The traditional intake form, while functional, proved to be a barrier in the fast-paced world of content creation.

Approximately 50% of the prospects that were emailed would book a meeting, and of those that booked a meeting, 40% would fail to attend the scheduled meeting. This funnel led to a considerable allocation of resources in pursuit of prospects.

Under this approach, the company averaged four initial consultations each week.  

Creative Sample #6: Traditional intake form

Creative Sample #6: Traditional intake form

AFTER: Direct booking method

To address this challenge, the team made a strategic shift towards an online scheduling tool that allows users to immediately book a meeting. The company removed the intake form and replaced it with the plugin. This allowed prospects to directly book a meeting with the company's founder, Nate Coughran.

By allowing prospects to instantly book an initial consultation, the firm created a frictionless pathway for potential clients to engage with the company.

Creative Sample #7: Direct booking method

Creative Sample #7: Direct booking method

The team learned that the sooner they connect with a prospect, the higher the likelihood they will become a client.

When they first set up the scheduling tool, they allowed prospects to book a meeting up to three weeks in advance. However, they found that when prospects booked too far in advance, many times they would forget about the meeting, or they found another accountant in the meantime. They then modified the scheduling software so prospects could only book one week in advance. This immediately resulted in a lot more same-day or next-day meetings and allowed them to capture more clients.

 RESULTS – 100% increase in client acquisition

This small change saw an immediate impact. Within a week of making the switch, weekly consultations doubled from four to eight. As a result, the company was able to double its average new customer acquisition.

The ease of scheduling appointments eliminated the cumbersome back-and-forth communication often associated with traditional intake forms.

Having the ability to immediately book a meeting provided a few key benefits:

  • Prospects could now secure a consultation slot at their convenience, without delays or manual coordination.
  • The shift aligns seamlessly with the tech-savvy world of content creators, providing a user-friendly interface for scheduling.
  • The automated scheduling process minimizes administrative overhead, allowing the team to allocate resources more effectively.

Key takeaway

“By seamlessly integrating Calendly into our client acquisition process, we transformed our prospects into engaged clients. This transition not only eliminated the frustration of chasing leads but also doubled our new client acquisitions. [The] user-friendly interface aligned perfectly with our target audience of content creators who are typically younger, tech-savvy, and expect on-demand services from their platforms,” said Nate Coughran, Founder, Cookie Finance.

Related resources

Conversion Rate: Average website conversion rates, by industry

Website Conversion Rates: KPI data and marketing examples from 17 B2B and B2C marketers

Marketing Research Chart: Do conversion rates predict success?

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