October 30, 2007
MarketingSherpa Case Studies and research data have shown that adding a security logo to your Web site can lift sales. But don’t stop there.
An electronics publishing firm A/B tested a security logo in their email program and increased average order value 28.3%. Includes the best place in the email to put the logo and tips on scheduling emails.
Jay Greenberg, Ecommerce Manager, Franklin Electronic Publishers Inc., wasn’t looking for an anti-hacker logo or feature to add to their email when a security company started contacting him. “It sounded silly that if you put up a logo in your email, you’d have better results.”
Greenberg and his team simply doubted that a logo would have an effect because the idea of pulling out a credit card isn’t a part of a recipient's thinking process. Yet, they knew that anything plausible is worth testing when it comes to increasing conversions.
First, the team ran two A/B tests on their Web site and were surprised to see a 10.25% increase in conversions. With those results in hand, Greenberg decided to test the logo in 10 emails over seven months to see if it would make a difference.
They wanted answers to two basic questions:
o Would it increase conversions?
o Would it increase average order value?
-> Step #1. A/B test the list
Greenberg decided that adding the logo wouldn’t hurt emails, so he chose to use a large test sample and split the house file 50/50. During all 10 emails, the same consumers received either an email with a logo or no logo (the control). The buckets were never switched or mixed.
To keep each segment separate throughout the long testing process -- when new list members signed up, the odd numbers received the email with the logo; the even numbers received the one without it.
-> Step #2. Integrate the logo into email
They kept intact the email’s standard design of six featured products when a 65-by-37-pixel version of the logo was added. But Greenberg also wanted to see if placement of the logo on the page affected performance, so they tested it in two spots:
- Just below the featured products and toward the bottom of the fold. With the emblem, they used the copy: “Shop online securely from the convenience of your home. Save time and money by visiting us on the web at Franklin.com each week.”
- In the top right-hand corner, next to the navigation links. No copy was used here.
Of the 10 emails, five went with the logo at the top of the email, five at the bottom.
-> Step #3. Time the emails accordingly
For seven months every two to three weeks, they used their emails for new products and special offers for the tests. “We didn’t want to send emails in the test that were out of the normal cadence of our messaging,” Greenberg says.
Because the logo was already on their Web site -- from the homepage to the shopping cart, the idea of security was accented at multiple touchpoints for the recipients.
Security is still a key concern for online consumers. The test group had a 28.28% greater average order value than the control group, and the conversion rate for the test group was 8.06% better than the control.
“Even after the Web site tests and then the early email returns, I didn’t believe it and thought it was rather ridiculous,” Greenberg says. “After more of the tests came in, I was not sure how to explain it -- other than it was working. All in all, I think people’s level of concern is alleviated by the emblem.”
Placing the logo at the top of the email without copy also won out easily. It became the permanent position. “It proves there’s no sense in putting a ‘comfort logo’ at the bottom where people have to scroll to see it. And if they are seeing the email in a preview pane, they may never get that far.”
The more-granular stats were up moderately.
- The test clickthrough rate was 2.12% higher.
- The total number of clicks throughout the entire newsletter was 1.23% higher.
Recommending that his ecommerce friends test a security logo in emails is now a no-brainer for Greenberg. “I have no idea why everyone isn’t using them. I think people are afraid of what the logo will do to their designs, but they should not be.”
Useful links related to this article
Creative samples from Franklin Electronics’ icon test:
MarketingSherpa’s “Do Security Icons Really Increase Conversions? A/B Test Results From PETCO.com’:
Scan Alert - provides the Hacker Safe certification logo:
Quotient Marketing - Franklin Electronic Publisher’s email service provider:
Franklin Electronic Publishers: