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Monthly Conversion Optimisation Tools Update – November 2017

Sally Edwards, Marketing Manager at AWA digital, takes a look at the latest conversion optimisation tools and industry news.

This month I review a new feature from split testing and personalisation tool Optimizely that uses machine learning to accelerate experimentation; explain how Balsamiq has speeded up its wireframing tool; introduce a new QR code functionality from AB Tasty that will make it easier to optimise websites for mobile; look at a new development from Google that will make it even quicker and easier to access data; share news of a new code-free template editor from multi CRO tool Omniconvert; and introduce Usabilla’s targeted in-app surveys.

Using machine learning to speed up experiments


Personalisation and split testing tool Optimizely has introduced Stats Accelerator to help marketers speed up their experiments through the use of intelligent traffic optimisation.

With Stats Accelerator, users will be able to accelerate experimentation to achieve statistical significance up to 300 per cent faster; maximise conversions from time-bound experiments or campaigns; and reduce the manual work needed to send website visitors to winning variations.

When Optimizely introduced Stats Engine in 2015, it represented a breakthrough in the way that companies could experiment on their digital channels. Developed in conjunction with statisticians at Stanford University, Stats Engine made it possible for users to act on their data more quickly and with more confidence.

Over the past two years, the Optimizely team has worked with customers to understand how to make the process of evaluating and acting on experiment results even faster and easier.

Using machine learning, Stats Accelerator automates the flow of traffic to experiments, so users can drive learnings and impact more rapidly. This means that an experiment that would have previously taken two weeks could be completed in just a few days using Stats Accelerator. Alternatively, users could double the number of variations in an experiment and reach statistical significance in the same amount of time.

Johann Van Tonder, Chief Operating Officer for AWA digital

“High velocity experimentation is one of the best ways to drive growth. Testing key assumptions isn’t limited to improving conversion rates; it can sharpen your business model and transform your business. However, you can always only move as fast as the laws of statistics let you. Speeding up the process by 300 per cent is not just about faster testing; it means you can possibly out-manoeuvre your competition – making this a significant development.”

Say hello to super-fast Balsamiq Wireframes

balsamiq-logo.pngThe creators of Balsamiq Mockups have developed a new, collaborative version of the tool built in Javascript so it runs natively in the browser rather than in Flash Player.

This rewrite has been such a major undertaking that it has been christened Balsamiq Wireframes, rather than Balsamiq Mockups 4, and it is now available for Google Drive with versions for Mac, Windows, Confluence and JIRA coming soon. Wireframes will also be included as part of Balsamiq Cloud, the tool’s new web app, and desktop and tablet versions are in development.

As the new tool is built in Javascript, it is much faster than Balsamiq Mockups 3, even on complex wireframes. Several new preconfigured Material Design controls have been added to make it easier to build Android applications and the canvas size has been increased by 400 per cent.

Balsamiq says that the most important new features are centered around collaboration. Both editor and reviewer roles have been created and there are also built-in threaded comments as well as a real-time co-editing function and even a built-in chat window.

We can’t wait to try out the new version, also available as Balsamiq Wireframes to Go, which should make creating wireframes not only faster, but easier to manage as a team.

Johann Van Tonder, Chief Operating Officer for AWA digital

“I’m particularly excited about two elements of this development. Firstly, the larger canvas size which has been one of the top requested features from Balsamiq users. The second is the collaboration feature integrated into the platform, meaning that teams can work together on wireframes in real-time.”

AB Tasty makes optimising websites for mobile a piece of cake

AB_Tasty.pngWith more than 60 per cent of search traffic coming from mobile, making sure that your mobile website is fully optimised is crucial.

The process of testing for mobile can be arduous as users generally create a test on a desktop, then have to login and find it on a mobile, which can be time consuming.

AB Tasty has come up with a neat solution to the problem with the launch of a new QR code functionality. This allows users to simply scan the test QR code that will take them directly to a preview of the test on a phone.

Johann Van Tonder, Chief Operating Officer for AWA digital

“Checking mobile tests doesn’t have to be a frustrating experience as AB Tasty is showing with this simple, but effective method of scanning a QR code to preview a mobile test. That’s how it should be.”

Now it’s even quicker and easier to access data in Google Data Studio

google_datastudio-logo.jpgMore than 25 new features have been added to Google Data Studio over the past six months and the latest additions to this useful tool will make it quicker and easier to access data.

The new Community Connectors developer program, created using Google Apps Scripts, will enable users to view data from any source. Once created, a connector can be shared with other users, who can use it to access their own data.

Google says that it already has 10 partners who have built connectors to more than 200 sources and is looking forward to welcoming more developers and data providers to the Data Studio community. 

In a separate development, users can now embed Data Studio reports within their workflows or publish reports on their own websites and apps using a simple iframe embedding function.  

And, to simplify reporting across multiple accounts, a new data control feature enables users to reuse a single report across all their accounts, dramatically reducing the time it takes to view data in a report.

Finally, users can now export any chart data directly to Google Sheets and a new Google Cloud Storage connector has been added, making it easy to use Data Studio together with data in Google Cloud Storage.

Johann Van Tonder, Chief Operating Officer for AWA digital

“Google Data Studio is one of our favourite tools for data visualisation. This development is useful, because now you can view data from a variety of sources in different ways and build meaningful dashboards. The scope is limited by your imagination. One example we’ve seen is the creation of an interface to monitor bitcoin prices.”

A new way to create and edit overlays without coding

Omniconvert_Logo.pngThe new Template Editor feature from testing and personalisation tool Omniconvert has been designed to let users edit an overlay without needing to code.

This means that marketers can change images as well as the copy, colour, font and size simply by clicking on the text. They can also customise the overlay to add in variables such as the city or weather without needing to call in a developer.

The Template Editor feature also lets users create overlays by choosing one of a number of predefined templates and adding in features such as pop-ups and ribbons.

This development from Omniconvert sounds like a real game-changer as it will make it much quicker for marketing teams to edit existing overlays or create one from scratch to increase conversions.

Johann Van Tonder, Chief Operating Officer for AWA digital

“Overlays – you hate them because of the user experience, but you love them because they actually work. Imagine creating them without coding experience, and then being able to test their impact. My guess is this will be a hot feature in Omniconvert. Templates are simple to build and launch, but the best thing about it is that it is integrated with Omniconvert’s powerful personalisation engine, so you can personalise the message based on a range of variables.”

A neat new way to gather insights from apps 

Usabilla-LOGO.pngAfter months of development and testing, Usabilla for Apps has made its targeted in-app surveys available to the public.

The feature has been designed to trigger non-intrusive surveys during specific mobile moments and gather the valuable user insights needed to continuously improve apps.

Surveys can be tailored for every scenario and users can be segmented, based on a whole host of targeting options such as language, actions completed, or other variables.

In addition, survey designs can be customised so that Usabilla integrates seamlessly within an app’s existing interface – all without needing a single line of code.

Johann Van Tonder, Chief Operating Officer for AWA digital

“We are increasingly asked about app optimisation, so we embrace any tool that  helps us understand the app user journey and behaviour. This new release from Usabilla promises highly targeted non-intrusive surveys. We’ve found that insights generated in this way help pinpoint issues and opportunities.”

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