Skip to main content


Monthly Conversion Optimisation Tools Update – July 2019

AWA digital’s Marketing Coordinator, Nicole Major, explores the latest conversion optimisation tools and industry news for July 2019.

This month we take a look at how the leading CRO platform, Optimizely, sees the future of personalisation, before moving into the UserTesting Learning Navigator, Sketch updates and why we think the Clicktale-ContentSquare deal could be exciting for CRO teams.

Optimizely: Personalisation has just got more, errrrr, personal
Optimizely logo (2)Leading CRO platform, Optimizely, has just launched Adaptive Audiences, aiming to give marketers an entirely new way to personalise user experiences.

It does this by giving you the control of rules-based targeting, yet with the reach and scale of automated personalisation. The idea is to use machine learning to match people with dynamic audience segments – not rigid rules – based on real-time user behaviour. Meaning you can target people based on their interests to give you better relevancy.

This could be a really nice balance. Currently, there are two types of personalisation tech around: rules-based targeting and automated 1:1 personalisation – and both approaches have their positives and negatives.

Rules-based targeting defines personas such as “people who have browsed a holiday in Spain more than 3 times in 7 days”, which can be very powerful. But it is also very labour intensive as you need analysts to constantly monitor behaviours and keep up with changing consumers. With automated 1:1 personalisation you’d create dozens of different user experiences upfront and let an algorithm decide when to feature each one. Good in theory, but that’s why our Spain traveller above would now get followed around the web for 3 months being shown pictures of paella. And, as a consumer, that can rapidly get tiresome.

Tools blog july 2019 image 1

Adaptive Audiences works on interest-based targeting

So, when we saw that Adaptive Audiences gives you a blended approach that combines machine learning with human insights we got a bit excited. At its core, automation is there to turn long-winded processes into quick and easy ones. But when it comes to our visitors experience, we want to stay in control to ensure conversions are being maximised. At least a little bit anyway and Adaptive Audiences seems to offer the right blend.

One of the key benefits though is in the speed of set up. Most personalisation workflows require that you spend weeks or months assembling, integrating and maintaining audience data and complex rules engines. That’s why so many automation programmes never get much out of first gear. However, Optimizely Personalization works with the data sources you’re already using today. So you can now combine their automated machine learning with your own 1st or 3rd party data to extend your reach.

Tools blog july 2019 image 2

It works with all of your existing data sources to make setup much quicker

Of course, this is Optimizely, so everything is a test with all their normal reporting and analysis to help you gain further insights to continually improve your personalisation.

UserTesting: Get better feedback with the UserTesting Learning Navigator
User Testing Logo 2018

UserTesting has long been one of the leaders in allowing website owners to get quick feedback at a fraction of the price (and effort) of doing it in person.

Now, they have launched the UserTesting Learning Navigator, which allows customers to find on-demand, interactive lessons, browse for answers to their questions, or connect with their award-winning support team.

Customers can access the UserTesting University, UserTesting Knowledgebase, and UserTesting Support base to help find the information they need in a single integrated hub.

Tools blog july 2019 image 3

It’s not a new product feature as such, but it is a really useful resource to help you get the most out of UserTesting. Any UT work is only as good as the questions you ask and the tasks you set, so a large resource that helps you get those bang on the money can only be a good thing.

What does the Clicktale and ContentSquare deal mean to CRO teams?

If you missed the news, ContentSquare recently purchased Clicktale, using up a fair chunk of the $120 million they’ve raised from VC’s in the last few years.

Tools blog july 2019 image 4ContentSquare in action

They are two of the big “digital experience” analysis tools out there and have over 12,000 customers between them. So what does the deal mean to us on the front line of CRO?

Firstly, their developers are working hard to merge the two platforms, having a unified tool by the end of this year. And that has got to be exciting.

Where the goal at Clicktale has been to help digital teams reduce friction by understanding customer behavior, Contentsquare has focused its efforts on the discovery of unseen conversion opportunities and the need to optimise content performance. By bringing both companies’ tools and expertise into a single platform, us CRO’ers are about to get a rich data set that analyses the whole user journey – and the intent behind it.

There’s very little (read: none) detail on whether this will have an impact on the subscription prices you pay so that could dampen our enthusiasm somewhat. But watch this space…

Sketch: Sketch for teams, Smart Layout and more announcements from Layers

Yep, another month, another Sketch update. Those guys do like to keep busy!

There has been more teasing about the new Sketch for Teams, which is coming imminently. It allows you to bring everyone into the design process as viewers, to view, discuss and comment on your designs.

The plan is to keep on adding features over the coming months – better file structures, better commenting through annotations, better ‘quick views’ and so on. Perhaps the most exciting though is the real-time, collaborative editing. It is something users have been asking about for a while and it’s coming on the Sketch Mac app in the Autumn.

There have been two other updates worth mentioning as well:

Smart Distribute/ Layout – means you can select a row or column of layers, grab the handles that appear between them and drag to adjust their spacing evenly. This is the first step towards a new set of tools that should make it quicker and easier to create and adjust complex layouts. It goes hand-in-hand with Smart Layout, which lets you create buttons and components that flow and resize when you edit their overrides.

Components Panel – this one streamlines the process of organising and managing your Symbols, Text Styles and Layer Styles. You can quickly rename, group and rearrange components and you’ll see a nice big preview at the bottom of the Layer List on selection, so you know exactly what you’re looking at.

Tools blog july 2019 image 5

Sketch Components Panel

If you want to learn more about conversion rate optimisation, read our Advanced Guide to CRO. This guide shares nearly a decade’s worth of experience of increasing online sales and revenue for multichannel businesses to empower you with the skills and knowledge to transform your business.

Keep up-to-date

People from Facebook, FarFetch and RS Components receive our newsletter. You can too. Subscribe now.

Interested in turning experimentation and testing into an advantage for your entire business?