The Motley Fool increases order page conversion rate by 26% with Google Optimize 360
Case Study

The Motley Fool increases order page conversion rate by 26% with Google Optimize 360

Same key product, new marketing goal

The Motley Fool was started by brothers Tom and David Gardner in 1993 as a simple investing newsletter for family and friends. Two decades later The Motley Fool’s websites, podcasts, books, and premium investing services help millions of people around the world reach financial freedom.

Newsletters remain one of the company’s key products. One of the marketing team’s main goals is to attract new visitors and convert them into paid newsletter subscribers. In order to measure how it performs against this initiative and to better understand customer behavior on its website, The Motley Fool uses Google Analytics 360.

During regular reviews of its Analytics 360 reporting, The Motley Fool began to see a weak link in the sales chain. Email campaigns were driving visitors to the newsletter order page, but “we could see that a high percentage of those sessions weren’t leading to an order,” says Data Analytics Manager for The Motley Fool Laura Cavanaugh. 

To improve the conversion rate, her team decided to try a new approach that was already integrated with Analytics 360: website testing with Google Optimize 360, part of the Google Marketing Platform.

Starting with specifics

“Since the newsletter order page is the last touchpoint in the funnel for users to become members, we knew that even a small win there would have a significant business impact,” says Laura. “We started to think about new ways to make it as simple and as easy as possible for our customers to complete their subscription.”

Optimize 360 helps businesses test and improve exactly those kinds of customer experiences. The Motley Fool team began by reimagining the simplest design elements on its order page, and then they worked outward. For instance, would more visitors order a newsletter if the order button was more prominent on the page? What if some form fields on the order page were rearranged or removed? What if the order page was completely redesigned?

After using Optimize 360 to create a new test variant of its order page, The Motley Fool set the objective of the experiment: more newsletter subscriptions. With native integration between Optimize 360 and Analytics 360, the team was able to easily select the Analytics 360 goal that was already measuring newsletter subscriptions on its website.

Once the company designated which page of its website it wanted to test the new variant against, Optimize 360 handled the rest, directing users either to the new variant or to the original.

From the start, says Laura, Optimize 360 saved valuable time and resources. In the past, a new test meant a formal request for designer time, coordination with other teams, and two or three working days to get everything set up. “Now one of our marketing managers can set up a test from start to finish in less than 10 minutes,” she says.

The ability to use our existing Analytics 360 insights in a new testing platform was huge for our team. Our server-side event tracking for key metrics like leads and orders is 99% accurate — far better than with other sources.

Laura Cavanaugh, Data Analytics Manager, The Motley Fool

Driving power-packed results

The results of early testing with Optimize 360 were clear and powerful. “We saw a 26% lift in conversion rate after running an initial test for 33 days,” says Laura.

With those numbers in hand, The Motley Fool is now testing new elements for many different audience segments, like better landing pages for new users and custom experiences for loyal customers. Having the combination of Analytics 360 and Optimize 360 gives the marketing team a more complete view of the greater business impact of each of the changes.

“Optimize 360 has been very helpful in not only finding meaningful landing page wins leading to positive outcomes for our business, but also saving us a significant amount of time and resources along the way,” says Laura. “And we’re learning faster than ever before.”

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