iWon Tests to Find Best Registration Process

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Online portal iWon.com told Web technology provider Optimost LLC it had a problem: It wanted to improve the conversion rate on its registration page in a multi-step sign-up process.

The issue of registering visitors becomes even more critical because iWon prides itself on offering advertisers a highly targeted capability on its site. Targeting criteria include demographics, geography, affinities and buying and site behavior.

"Their goal is to maximize people registering for the service, and if they increase the conversion rate, that's the bottom line," said Mark Wachen, CEO of Optimost, New York.

Part of the Excite Network, Irvington, NY-based iWon claims more than 2 million visitors daily. It also claims to be one of the leading portals based on pages viewed and minutes spent on the site.

So Optimost in January broke the iWon registration page into different components, developing a matrix of the values that could be tested. In the setup stage, Optimost selected six variables, including top image, signup copy, section header copy and promo copy block. It identified values for each of these variables.

Once the testing template was created, Optimost entered the variables and values into the Optimost platform. A total of 48,384 possible permutations was generated by the system.

However, an initial subset of 37 creative variations was selected for the first wave based on best experimental design to maximize value of data.

The results? In wave 1, Optimost found that 248,767 visitors to iWon saw one of the 37 versions. It tracked their response rates for starting registrations on pages 1 and 2 of iWon's registration section and mapped values that contributed to the performance.

In wave 2, Optimost saw 178,999 visitors start the registration process, and in the final wave, 419,140 visitors. The last wave was the result of the winning combination of optimal form layout, headline and copy.

All in all, iWon saw a 24.1 percent aggregate improvement in conversion rate versus baseline in the third wave. The first wave resulted in an 8 percent jump, and the second a 23.8 percent rise.

Wachen said the 24.1 percent jump in conversion broke down as follows: section header copy accounted for 10.1 percent, the top image accounted for 6.8 percent and promo copy block accounted for 5.2 percent. Other factors contributed the rest.

"The copy was benefit-oriented as opposed to 'enter your information here,'" Wachen said. "As for the image and promo block copy, the simpler to the point the layout and copy as opposed to being cute worked."


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